Google seems to have partnered with major operators including Level3, Neustar and Global crossing. Most of these companies are probably helping them with PSTN interconnectivity, rate center coverage and LNP, CNAM types of services.
Obviously Google is not looking to create its own telecom network. The intensions are quite obvious that they want to include telecom into their cloud that at present does pretty much everything. Now whether they want to include end user voice/video access or just remain focused on the cloud intelligence is debatable. First, if they do offer end user voice access, they will become a VoIP provider like Skype (why not buy Skype?). That will invite rules, regulations and scuffles with telcos that Google don’t want to get into. Second, it takes a while to build a robust customer support platform. It took years for Skype to be where it is today.
However it won’t be surprising if Google integrates its voice service with existing voice and video chat service. Then tightly integrate Gmail with Gvoice. Build Gvoice add-ons with its chrome browser and android OS. Enable click to call on Blogger, Orkut, and the newly hyped Gwave. The possibilities are endless for the cash rich company. And there are no apparent reasons why it won’t pursue those.
In my last post I purposely left out the discussion regarding the Google Voice’s support of actual end clients; as it’s a whole new discussion. Also I want to make it clear, that Google Voice service will ultimately drive more traffic for carriers and put more dimes into the pocket to the telcos. Who stand to lose out (not immediately though) are the companies which play in the cloud hosted services industry, either for consumers or enterprises (if Google apps can do it, so can Google voice).
Nortel had once the market cap of over 200 billion dollars. The shares were trading less than a penny while it filed for chapter 11. For most part it’s the financial and operating mismanagement that’s underlining the collapse. Now whether Nortel emerges successfully remains to be seen, there is no doubt that it will have to sell off most of its flagship businesses. Up for grabs is its Metro Ethernet business, and others could include Unified Communication division, Enterprise Networking division and wireless business. The likely suitors and bidders are being speculated, but it will be interesting what will be retained while it’s going through the bankruptcy process.
For someone who has started their career with Nortel, its disappointing to see its collapse, but as an ex- insider this wasn’t as surprising. Reeling with dotcom bust, accounting scandals, and mismanagement, the company was fighting an uphill battle just to break even. Putting behind all the losses, to make the company profitable again, Nortel hired Mike Z from Moto in a hope of revamping its operating structure drastically. Lots of changes were brought into the company including adoption of six sigma paradigm, a decision with an outcome that is still uncertain. I ditched Nortel, just about when sig sigma was being introduced. To me it was the last thing Nortel needed and a blow to the company already leaning south. Not discounting LSS, I felt is was wrong time and place for it. This was precisely the time; the focus should have been R&D and innovation. It was a time to encourage the great research and technical potential to create new products, reassert technical leadership where Nortel was loosing ground and restore the customer confidence as a company what will deliver strong products into the future that is worthy of a long lasting relationship. LSS should have/could have followed. More outsiders didn’t either value or didn’t understand where Nortel’s core potential lied. The new CEO proved to be no different.
The new initiative did yield certain results that showed improved customer satisfaction and retention; however customers were not certain as to what the company was doing for the products they expected to help them effectively compete in the market that’s coming in next decade. Most of the ¾ of the employee base that Nortel let go during the beginning of this decade were absorbed by competitors and upstarts who made bets on Nortel’s loosing ground and catered to that very need of Nortel’s core customers. Share holders realized this development and started dumping the stock. I don’t know why it was so hard for executive management to realize. With these inefficiencies, the current recession gave a final blow and put Nortel -or at least the Nortel we once known and felt proud of-, to rest.
There are probably more people who wanted to see Nortel survive and thrive than the people who wished otherwise. Those shareholders who hanged on to the stock even after loosing millions, even those employees who lost their life’s savings in their 401k, even those customers who remained loyal, all for the institution that is was once.