Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jajah, Yahoo, Jahoo, Whoohoo....

I made a conscious decision to take most of yesterday off because of my birthday. I'm the boss, and what I say goes.

Invariably, something interesting always seems to happen when I do things like this. So, better late than never, but yesterday's news with Jajah and Yahoo sure is a goodie. It's been well covered by now, and for reference I'll steer you to the mainstream press - Business Week - and some blogs - Andy Abramson, Irv Shapiro, Gary Kim, Garrett Smith, Alec Saunders.

And if that won't keep you busy enough, Alec interviewed Jajah's co-founder Roman Scharf on his Squawk Box program yesterday.

Tons going on with this news, and it's one of the best examples I've seen about bringing telephony and the web together. To sum it up, I'd just use one word: SCALE.

This news validates web based calling for the masses like never before. Jajah has hit 10 million customers. Yahoo's IM base is 97 million users. They've basically outsourced the voice element to Jajah, who now has a turnkey hosted platform that could be used on a wholesale basis by any carrier/operator looking for someone to take LD voice off their hands. Plus, Jajah has opened their platform up to the developer community. I should also add that Jajah is more about using the phone to make calls than the PC, the latter of which is really Skype's domain. Oh, and let's not forget Jajah's relationship with Intel, which could make them the default voice service embedded into their chips. Etc., etc.

If this isn't Voice 2.0 and Web 2.0 all rolled up into one, I don't know what is. On the side of caution, Andy rightly notes that Yahoo is still potentially in play with Microsoft, and if that comes to fruition, Jajah may need to yield to Microsoft's voice technologies. That aside, this news is serious validation that the world is ready for 2.0, whether you call it voice, web or just applications. Scale is the final frontier for making these things mainstream, and with this news we sure have it now. Whoo hoo!

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