Here is a link to an article on VCs and VOIP (via Andy Abramson of VOIPWatch). There are some VCs who think it it too crowded and others (like myself) who still see opportunities. However, the one thing I was not pleased about is that the only quote the author uses for me did not include the rest of our conversation. I should have just pointed her to my blog post from last September on the topic where I say that:
This battleground is about software and not devices which is why I believe companies entering this market from a telephone-centric view of the world will miss out on a big opportunity.
When I say, VOIP is "moving beyond Vonage" what I mean is that the opportunity is not about making and receiving calls but about how VOIP becomes seamlessly embedded in all applications, into the very fabric of the web. Imagine seeing any phone number on a web page and clicking it to dial seamlessly. Or how about being in your CRM application and knowing which of your sales reps are online as you are reviewing the pipeline and clicking to IM or call them through the CRM app. When you call them, you have no idea if they receive the call on their home phone, computer, wifi device, or cell phone. All you know is that they are available and that you can call them with one click. This is the direction we are heading in - it will take time, but it will be interesting and it is certainly more than just a phone call. If you want to learn more about this I suggest reading Alec Saunders from Iotum's post on Voice 2.0. As Alec says, :
In the voice 2.0 world any application, within the bounds of permissions set by the subscriber, can access presence; initiate, accept, and redirect calls; and query directories.