Monday, February 6, 2012

Hosted plug and play

Today I have a business idea.

When I bought a Kindle from Amazon, I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have to set anything up. The only thing I needed to tell the device was the password for my Wi-Fi access point (it would have been scary if that step was also not necessary any more). But apart from that, take it out of the box, it was already charged, and as soon as the Wi-Fi password was on the device, I was ready to do my first purchase. Okay, go figure why this device cost only 199 USD.

Anyway, why don’t we do the same thing with the m9? Broadband is available widely, and all it would take would be someone who gets access to snom Active and sell the m9 on Amazon. After scanning the MAC address, all that would be necessary to set up a DID for the device, enter the according provisioning data into snom Active, maybe perform a test run to make sure everything is all right, and put the device into the hands of the parcel-service-of-your-choice. Even people who don’t know what VoIP is would be able to use this device as a telephone.

It does not even have to be a real DID. For example, callcentric offers “virtual” DID numbers that cannot be dialed from the PSTN. This reduces costs for the service and makes it possible to just try the service out. Customers are still able to call each other on the network. This could make sense for people who have parents in far-away countries.

Ideally, the person who sells the m9 would already have the customer’s credit card number, so that recurring revenues AKA telephone charges could be charged every month. There are a lot of service providers that could do that. This would address a different customer base that the people who are using a softphone on their PC or smart phone. Think about grandma.

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