Google Will Add Phone Service to Its Business Apps
1 October 2014
As integral as the whole of the Internet itself, Google is an indispensable information giant that businesses have been leaning on since its usefulness was put on display as a search engine above all others. And in the mobile era, apps from Google are the latest of useful tools companies have at their disposal.
The Google Suite packages together many apps that help established and growing businesses communicate with one another, breaking the restraints o traditional work hours and environment. Though not as popular with the iOS crowd as it is for those connected through Android of Windows based tablets and cell phones, the business apps available have been met with overall acceptance as they connect profiles and devices to a complete network that almost mimics an intranet in its connectivity, But with all the positive feedback and continual usage from businesses the world over, one essential service hadn't been offered until now--phone service.
Ingenuity being a staple of Google's leadership, it should come as no surprise that those who addressed the missing phone service just so happened to be former executives. Connecting through the Internet, Craig Walker, CEO of Firespotter Labs, now known as Switch Communications, creator Google Voice, UberConference, and Noshlist, and a former executive at Google Ventures, launched a phone service. Relying mostly on the power of dedicated servers, the new service can run on mobile platforms like cell phones and computer tablets without requiring the purchase of new hardware or the interruption of other services or apps.
Users can utilize the Internet to make voice calls to users on other platforms that are connected to the original caller, completely removing the need for making traditional phone calls from mobile numbers or lan lines. Named Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP seeks to make itself as much a staple in a business' arsenal of tech tools at the ready. Causing a great deal of buzz from the outset, speculators and Switch Communication's own internal numbers project revenue of at least $88 billion, rising $20 billion from numbers just the year before.
Thought Switch Communications may be attracting a great deal of buzz as it seeks to corner the market of this method of communication for business, there are other VoIP providers ready to step up with money and famous faces of their own to compete. Of the competition is Comcast, which is eagerly seeking to dominate all forms of corporate communication, providing teleconferencing services and satellite communications. There is also Verizon, the large cell phone service provider that once dominated the business communication sector in the US. And Ring Central, the Californian cloud-based software developer and service provider. While this seems like stiff competition for Switch Communications' ambitions with their new VoIP service for businesses, forcing them to try and outshine the others with innovate service or perhaps less expensive access, they have one connection the other businesses do not--connections to Google and its executives.
Is the top Internet search engine playing favorites with its choice of VoIP service provider?
As to be expected, Switch Communications has a business strategy in place, forming a mutually beneficial relationship with Google's existing corporate structure, something that perhaps wasn't too difficult for former insider Craig Walker. While Switch Communications will be charged with developing the VoIP service to be added to the list of available apps in the business suite, complimenting email and video conferencing between employees and collaborators, rounding out the offerings from "Google Apps for Work." While this gives the missing piece to the app puzzle crafted and used by businesses for the past few years now, Switch Communications will essentially lock in the biggest client they could ever find in need of VoIP services.
Of the competitors vying for the coveted position as VoIP service provider to the Apps for Work suite, Switch Communications provides the best opportunity for exclusivity. With corporate giants like Comcast or Verizon filling the void of phone service, the possibility for exclusivity seems dubious at best. Verizon and Comcast would lose both profit and client connections were they offer up and degree of exclusivity. Switch Communications, however, would get the maximum payout by signing over to Google, while they are allowed to benefit from a service they need, stamped with their brand which carries value with consumers already.
In addition to that brand recognition, is the integration promised by Switch Communication with existing services found outside of the apps included in the suite. With this VoIP service, Google will allow users to connect to Gmail, explore related archived and new messages, accept and send invites from the calendar, and even access and open documents while engages in a call with another user. Craig Walker has gone on to say that with his company's VoIP service fully integrated, the apps provided in the suite will operate as they should, providing a better experience for all clients.
Google's collaboration with its former executive Craig Walker is also going ahead with a great deal of support. Switch Communications will be allowed to use Google Cloud Computing as they develop their VoIP, and there is even financial backing coming from Google Ventures.
The deal with Switch Communications has already received some outside support. Nicholas Gardner, the Weather Chanel's Internal Systems' Senior Director, has talked of replacing its existing communication deal with Cisco Systems with Google's new offer, citing a cut of almost 70% as being draw enough to jump ship.
How will VoIP actually affect Google's IPO in the coming years? We can't know for sure, but there will definitely be buyers interested.
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