The day the VoIP Industry Rebooted – Jeff Pulver


Calling Jeff´s Friends

Jeff Pulver sends a letter out pretty often with a 1998 ALL CAPS PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COPY THIS notice, so here are the relevant paragraphs of his latest missive:

Looking back, I believe May 21, 2009 will be known as a milestone date in the history of the VoIP Industry. For certain it was one of the most significant gatherings of the communications industry in 2009. It was a day that 100+ people from: Across the United States, Israel, Canada, France, Germany and Russia gathered to explore the state of the HD VoIP ecosystem.

Special thanks goes to Daniel Berninger who helped organize the event and the support our sponsors: AudioCodes, Global IP Sound, Gigaset, Polycom, Snom and the DECT Forum. Thanks also to all the speakers who each shared their HD VoIP Pearls of Wisdom while they were on stage. And thanks also goes to everyone who took the time to twitter the event and share their experience with others who were not able to be with us in New York City.

Yesterday at the first HD Communications Summit was a moment in time when the VoIP Industry got together, compared notes, explored the state of HD VoIP and started a down a path I believe will have a positive effect for the future of the industry as a whole. Yesterday ushered in an era of coopitition in the HD VoIP space, a time where competitors realized it was time to work together to promote a common goal. Together we forged a bond which us take us forward as HD VoIP gains widespread adoption.

While I had strong feelings about the possible significance of the day, I was never really sure how to express this reality while promoting the HD Communications Summit. I was certain whatever I said would have been looked at as promotional language in support of the event and not heard in terms of the possible historical significance of what the day represented.

I opened the day by sharing some of my thoughts about “Hyper Communications” and the absolute need for HD Voice to become the norm. Along the way I announced the formation of a new HD VoIP marketing association, HD Connect and our plans to go to Wall Street and help educate the Buy Side and Sell Side about the possibilities of HD Voice. I also shared my plans to reach out to the FCC later this year in support of a High Definition Voice / HDV initiative and I announced the next HD Communications Summit will be taking place September 15-16th. Plans are also underway for both a European and an Asia Pac event for later this year.

On a personal note yesterday was a reunion of sorts for me. For the first time in a number of years, some of the pioneers from the early days of VoIP gathered again and while it was great to reminisce about the past, the conversations quickly moved to the future and the open possibilities of what we can help make happen.

So it turns out that the “purple minutes” I first spoke about at Spring 2002 VON are really HD VoIP Minutes. It took seven years to get there, but I left the day feeling positive about the future of VoIP and feeling re-energized. It turns out that sometimes the answers we are looking for are sometimes hiding in plain sight..and sometimes the answers we seek are hiding in our own denial. For the communications industry I believe the way we will see the restoration of billions of dollars in both market cap and (eventually) in sales is the embracing of HD VoIP technologies and the realization that this represents a future of things to come.

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