In my MBA class tonight, we talked about the disruptive impact of VoIP service on the telecom industry. At the end of our discussion of the various firms offering VoIP service, I asked:
Professor: Who’s going to be our VoIP provider 10 years from now?(I didn’t see who it was — so whoever made the prediction should take credit.)
Student (enthusiastically): Google!
Yes, we’d mentioned the VoIP service available with Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger and the like. Perhaps my class was sensitized by the ongoing mention in my blog of Google’s aims for total world domination.
Perhaps — whether or not they know Google has a 29% return on sales and is throwing off $4 billion/year — they see that Google has the resources and strategic intent to diversify into voice communications in a serious way.
Or maybe — after discussing the Skype reliability debacle — they were hoping that if anyone could provide quality, scaleable services for free, it’s Google.