Business voip

ITSPA event just two weeks to go #VoIP #polycom #microsoft

It’s only two weeks to the Internet Telephony Service Providers’ Association (ITSPA) Summer Forum due to take place on Tuesday 13th July at the Polycom offices, Old Broad Street, London.

These events, chaired by yours truly, have become “must attend” occasions for ITSPs in the UK. On this occasion we have a Keynote Speech from Microsoft, an update from BT Openreach on their NGN VoIP plans, a talk from Polycom and a panel discussion on “Wholesale “VoIP. There is also an update from Matt Townend from Illume on the “State of the Union” in the VoIP market.

The wholesale panel has representation from the leading wholesalers in this space: Gamma, Magrathea, BT IP Exchange and X-Connect.

If you want to come there are still some places left though these things usually sell out nearer to the day so you need to be quick. Email [email protected] for more info.

Business ofcom voip

Ofcom market research

Had an interesting meeting with the Ofcom market research team.  This is the team responsible for the Annual Communications Market Report which is a must read if you are in our game.

The meeting was arranged by Ofcom’s Chris Rowsell because the VoIP service provider  industry, via trade body ITSPA, had expressed concern that the VoIP content of last year’s report showed a decline in consumer use of the technology.  This was not the actual experience of the ITSPA membership so this year we wanted to try and help make sure that the research that was conducted was more accurate.

After the meeting I did come away with a certain degree of sympathy for Ofcom.  It is very difficult to come up with an easy definition for VoIP that can be understood by the general public so that accurate research can be conducted. 

It didn’t really help that some of the example service providers used by Ofcom in the research questionnaire were of services that no one in the room had ever heard of. If industry experts could not answer what chance Joe Public?

Another interesting part of the mix is that the only bit of the Annual Report that Ofcom is required to cover under statute is the TV market. This means that the mobile/fixed line telephony/internet bit is optional and the regulator is only interested in covering bits that might affect the legislative decision making process. So consumer VoIP is of interest to them but not business VoIP.

As a Business to Business VoIP provider Timico, along with most ITSPs in the UK is only interested in the business market numbers. This is somewhat disappointing to the industry which is left without a particularly accurate metric of its size.

We left the meeting with a some positive actions. Ofcom is quite happy to take on board suggestions from ITSPA as to how the research can be improved and although there isn’t much time this year to get it done, this is something we will take onboard. Secondly, in the absence of their own data, Ofcom appears to be willing to publish the numbers collected by ITSPA member and Communications Consultancy Illume which gathers basic industry subscriber numbers on a quarterly basis.

Hopefully we will be able to help improve  the VoIP aspect of the report this year.

Business UC voip

ITSPA Autumn Dinner

A very enjoyable evening was spent at a restaurant in Westminster last night as ITSPA held its Autumn dinner. Yours truly was asked to chair the after dinner debate of which, unfortunately, I can tell you nothing because it was held under Chatham House rules – what goes on tour stays on tour 🙂 .

What I can tell you is that the Sponsor of the evening, Telecoms Consultancy Illume now quotes the market for business hosted VoIP seats to be around 300,000 subscribers. Illume conducts a quarterly survey of the ITSP community to come up with their figures.

Interestingly VoIP players have seen the need to move away from selling VoIP as cheap telephony and are now looking at different added value angles such as Disaster Recovery and also the productivity benefits brought about by Unified Communications.

The ITSPA dinners are open to both members and non members and are not only a great networking opportunity but a wonderful source of information. If you want to know more about forthcoming events visit the ITSPA website or its Facebook Group or just drop me a line.