Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Annals of VoIP Dept.: Selling IP Short?

I’m currently researching a story for VoIP Planet about home cleaning franchisor MaidPro. Cleaning ladies on the cutting edge of technology? Not quite. (The story has now posted at VoIP Planet here.)

Two years ago MaidPro signed a preferred supplier agreement with TalkSwitch, a maker of small business IP PBXs. The idea was that MaidPro would recommend TalkSwitch’s phone systems to its 100-odd franchisees. So far, over 40 have purchased TalkSwitch systems.

What’s striking, though, is that few are actually using them as IP PBXs. The TalkSwitch products support POTS lines and analog phones too – and that’s how most of the MaidPro franchises are using them.

MaidPro is not pushing IP because it believes owners will be intimidated by what to them is a radically different approach to telephony. It also worries about call quality with VoIP – and what customers might conclude about the company if quality is occasionally poor.

Even TalkSwitch recommends a POTS/analog configuration to most MaidPro owners because it simplifies the sale – eliminating worries about having to tune or possibly upgrade a franchisee’s LAN.

Recently, the more technically savvy owners have chosen to go with IP, and both companies believe most will eventually follow their lead. But in the short and medium terms, it seems, the old ways will prevail.

I’ve been writing about the IP revolution in telephony for over ten years. This is not the first time I’ve slipped into thinking that IP had finally wiped out the last pockets of resistance - only to be reminded that it just isn't so.

1 comment:

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