Competing Against Vonage (And Other Death Wishes)

It's interesting how many individuals and companies express this (apparently suicidal) wish. Why would anyone want to compete with Vonage?  This is a company successfully sued to within an inch of its corporate life for patent infringement, a company that loses money on every sale and tries to make up for it with volume but can't because of a customer turnover (churn) rate that seemingly guarantees a permanently profitless future.

The appeal of the Vonage proposition to the consumer is undeniable: unlimited telephone service, e-mail, and fax for about $25 per month.  Even acknowledging some limitations (non-standard 911, no operator service or collect calls, variable voice quality, no service during power outages, etc.), it still seems like a bargain for the user.

It's a different story for the VoIP provider. Startup and market entry is inexpensive and the technology is readily available, making the service a commodity and resulting in significant competition and thin margins, at best.  The sole remaining possible differentiator (a factor that makes one company stand out against the crowd) is marketing.

Does Teleconvergence have that single magic marketing answer? Of course not. There is no magic answer, at least no single answer that applies to multiple companies.  If there was, smart entrepreneurs everywhere would immediately seize upon it, eliminating its value as a differentiator, and the hunt for the magic bullet would begin anew.

However, the fact that there's no single answer available to everyone does not mean that you can't identify -- or create -- one that can work for you.

The next article, The Elements of VoIP Success, paints a realistic picture of participating in the VoIP market.  It will identify how to avoid at least some self-inflicted wounds and how Teleconvergence may be able to help you achieve your objectives.