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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Vonage Forum Archive
Poll

Should Vonage add additonal features before expanding?
Yes
77%
 77%  [ 21 ]
No
11%
 11%  [ 3 ]
Who cares?
7%
 7%  [ 2 ]
What are features?
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 27

Author Message
jnuzzi
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:17 am    Post subject: How about new features instead of expansion? Reply with quote Back to top

Vonage Voip Forum Digest wrote:
Vonage To Use Venture Capital for More Expansions

In an article in the (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, Vonage spokesperson Brooke Schultz tells reporter Beth Fitzgerald what the company hopes to do with some of the $408 million in venture capital it has raised so far. She says that Vonage intends to expand into Europe and Southeast Asia.

Vonage, incidentally, raised $199.9 million of that $408 million last quarter (April 1-June 30). That number placed Vonage in the top ten of companies ranked by venture capital received in that time period.

I for one would like to see some new features, like ACR, before Vonage expands. I am sure the venture capitalists just want Vonage to increase their revenue though. Wink

What do you think?

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VonageTPA
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Considering the pissing & moaning I frequently see in the forum, it looks like Vonage needs to work on their existing features first (voice mail & website stability) before consider either of the options you've proposed.
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Back in the spring when they got a big pile of money I suggested this very thing might happen.

Vonage is not the flagship for what Voip can be, they are trying to be the low costs broadband based alternative to POTS.

Think of Vonage as your local WalMart. They sell computers, they may not have all the features you would like but they are cheap. If, for some reason, you needed more features then you would need to go shop at the Apple store and pay more.

In terms of Vonage's investors, they will see a much better return by offering the service to 1 billion new potential customers rather than trying to attract the business of a small percentage of the current potential customers who need a niche feature.

There is a good side to this though. It leaves room in the market for smaller Voip players who need to charge more (because of scale) but who offer specialized features and push innovation.

Eventually Vonage will adopt new features, but from this point out Vonage is going to be offering features after other providers because of the higher cost of implementing them for the larger customer base and the importance of growing the geographic reach of the company. Think of Vonage as the next generation of Ma-Bell.

I can think of only one major feature that Vonage is going to need to be out in front, and that is video. If Vonage is not one of the first providers to offer real video phones then they stand to lose customers in a big way.

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Dominus
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Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well I'll play along, of course I voted yes, it's a bit like asking a company's employees if they think they should get free daily ice cream before the company expands.

I disagree with the last post, I don't think the analogy really fits, and adding more features to an internet-age product should be cake and I think surely this outfit has a lot of money going into Research and Development including features.

But we should all hope for a very competitive and aggressive company, because that will drive the company worth and the more capital it has the better it will be. The minute they announce "we're pulling back on expansion to please our already loyal customer base" is the moment the stock will dip in favor of a more sane provider, and then you'll find out what it means to be unhappy with this service hehe.
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Dominus wrote:
I disagree with the last post, I don't think the analogy really fits, and adding more features to an internet-age product should be cake and I think surely this outfit has a lot of money going into Research and Development including features.


I encourage you to disagree. Please explain why you don't think the analogy fits. It is hard to flesh out this analogy in full without adding in a comparison of Voip providers, but I will not do this as it is against forum rules. However I stand by my position that Vonage is trying to be a low cost solution rather than a best of breed solution.

Do I understand correctly that your argument here is that adding new features is simple so there is no reason Vonage won't do it while simultaneously expanding?

If so I would challenge you to explain why Vonage hasn't introduced ACR, a feature most POTS providers already offer, that has been a topic in these forums since as far back as May 18, 2004.

I also encourage you to read the thread in the UK forum thread on dialing premium rate numbers. A senior Vonage executive clearly explains that they depend on market research to determine what features the majority of customers want.

Kerry Ritz, Managing Director of Vonage Limited, the UK subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp. wrote:
We will always consider making changes to the functionality if there is sufficient demand from customers.


Now, I will agree that there is a possibility I am taking this quote and applying it well outside the context it was originally made in, however it supports my point that Vonage isn't concerned about features desired by only a small percentage of its customer base, but rather is interested in presenting a product with mass customer appeal. I am using it here because it is one piece of the entire picture that I am using to form my opinion of how Vonage is operating their business.

Finally, I would like to think that Vonage has a lot of money going into R&D and has a lot of new features just around the corner. But my post is a result of my observations of Vonage's behavior for the past year. Without hard data on how much R&D money Vonage is spending, and more importantly what they are spending it on, it is just wishful thinking to assume they are funding research to enhance the feature set.

My guess is that a significant part of their R&D resources have also been diverted to handle the E911 situation. Hopefully once that is resolved we may see some progress towards advanced features. It remains though that Vonage's publicly stated key goal is to increase their customer base by expanding into new territories to ensure they are large enough to survive the competition when the large telco companies enter the Voip space in force. They are sacrificing early profitability to achieve this goal.

One opposing view might come from the Red Herring Top 100 profile of Vonage. One of Red Herring's criteria for Top 100 companies is a commitment to R&D. If anyone has seen the profile and can provide an overview of the information from it about Vonage's R&D efforts I would appreciate it.

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Onazuka
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Joined: Jul 10, 2005
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti wrote:

Vonage is not the flagship for what Voip can be, they are trying to be the low costs broadband based alternative to POTS.

Think of Vonage as your local WalMart. They sell computers, they may not have all the features you would like but they are cheap. If, for some reason, you needed more features then you would need to go shop at the Apple store and pay more..


So who would be a quality Voip provider ? I would rather pay more for better service (especially to get my TiVO working) but I though Vonage was supposed to be good.
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Onazuka wrote:
So who would be a quality Voip provider ?

Vonage is a good quality broadband phone service provider. They don't offer some of the features of some other providers, but the service they offer is among the best.

Onazuka wrote:
I would rather pay more for better service (especially to get my TiVO working) but I though Vonage was supposed to be good.


My TiVo has worked with Vonage for over a year. If you cannot get your TiVo to work with Vonage following the advice provided in the 'Fax - TiVo - Alarm' forum then I don't know how much luck you will have with any other Voip provider because the problem is most likely with your broadband connection. That is not to say that some other provider won't work for you, however since many people have TiVos working with Vonage this is not an issue with Vonage's quality of service that simply changing providers will resolve.

You may have the option of switching to a digital phone service such as one offered by a cable company which is more expensive but typically has its own higher priority data connection.

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