Written by: Alan Lindsay
CompareBusinessProducts had a chance to interview Luca Filigheddu recently. Luca is the best-known international (non-US) VoIP blogger and also covers just about anything to do with voice and mobility. based in Italy, he also runs a highly respect IP Communications company, Abbeynet. Luca's current interests are web-based VoIP services, Web 2.0/VoIP integration and product marketing, with a particular attention to the world of Twitter. In his never-enough spare time, Luca loves martial arts and listening to good music (when his two little sons permit).
CBP: You are a well-known blogger in the VoIP space and probably the most successful outside the US. How do you see the role of your blog?
Luca Filigheddu: Over the years, I started covering much more than VoIP only. Currently, posts about VoIP are much less than those covering, for example, Twitter, mobile applications and everything related to Social Media. This because I think there is lack of innovation in VoIP, less and less companies are really innovating.
CBP: What do you see as the defining characteristics that set modern telephony or VoIP companies apart from older telcos and even mobile phone operators?
LF: Mashups, "One Number for life", applications "device independent". Mashups because VoIP must be integrated into everyday internet experience but people shouldn't care whether it is VoIP or not, user experience and the value users get from a service is all that counts. "One number for life", the tagline of GrandCentral now Google Voice, is something we should really get, sooner or later. Google is now the only "operator" that is very close to that. Last but not least, voice applications should be device independent and offer the same experience and usability regardless of the device used.
CBP: What are the most exciting developments in VoIP and telephony that you have seen in the past year in terms of changes that are coming that will benefit businesses?
LF: When you have a phone on your desk, you don't really care if its VoIP or not. I have a Polycom but I mostly use my mobile. I think that VoIP on mobile phones is one of the most important innovations I saw in the past years, and that's getting better and better. Buddylist, chat, Voice, all together. The point is who is going to play this game, operators or small companies that want to innovate and disrupt the mobile industry.
CBP: How about changes that you anticipate in the coming year?
LF: Web based collaboration services as well as powerful mobile voip / IM apps.
CBP: What do you see as the major problems facing the voice, VoIP and communications industry in general in the coming year?
LF: Telecom Operators and companies that really innovate are not the same entity. Something is going to happen (in particular in terms of M&A).
CBP: If you could recommend one thing to a startup business that needs to get its first phone service, what would that be?
LF: Get Skype ;-)
Our thanks to Luca for his time and for providing his insight into where the VoIP and phone and voice markets are headed.
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