Saturday, March 4, 2006

Jajah as My Integrated Communications Center?

200x300_07_jajahJajah is one of the most exciting new entrants I have ever seen on the market. I am thrilled by the services and since a friend told me about them I started assessing the impact Jajah could have on the market. Huge. Period. Now, the question I set out to explore is what I would ideally want from Jajah and the more I think about it, the more it takes the form of an integrated communications center with all sorts of interesting web 2.0 aspects to it. Here's my wish list...



Let me start by saying how powerful I find the concept of a fully web based service designed to allow users to cross the boundaries of communications networks without worrying about the underlying technologies.



Jajah is able to deliver on that with its first version of the service, which lets you call from your chosen number (landline or mobile) any other telephone number in the world. The enormous benefit of fully reusing existing infrastructure and consumer education is absolutely obvious. To add to the whole thing they have stellar marketing in my humble opinion.



Now, I would be interested in exploring how this web-based service allowing me to communicate seamlessly could be enhanced to the point of becoming absolutely unbeatable. What features and what design principles could really make Jajah compelling at least for the professional market? And I guess if the pricing is properly structured Jajah can also capture the consumer market, pretty much like the GSM cell-phone industry did after entering successfully the business market.



Let's start with contexts and players; here each time I use "call" it may be substituted with "chat" or "mail":



  1. one professional calling one other professional from a landline: key benefit is low cost


  2. one professional calling from a mobile phone while roaming


  3. several professionals in conference call


  4. one customer calling a service provider on a help line funded by the service provider


  5. several customers interviewed in focus groups


  6. one private individual placing a call from a landline


Now let's see what types of communication people may be using:



  1. text


  2. voice


  3. video


  4. document sharing


  5. desktop & file sharing


How about Jajah being able to support all these contexts and communication types from one web location that would be my personal communication center? And no, this is not the result of my being too exposed to the strong sun of the French West Indies, where I am still enjoying the wind and the sea on my windsurf :)



A few years back I had a dream because I was amongst those who had several phone numbers and some of them would change several times in a couple of years (project specific mobile numbers for example). The dream was that I would have a web space where my phone numbers would be automatically updated and people would only need to visit that page and click on the number on which they wanted to reach me; the communication woul dbe established directly without them worrying about any of the underlying bits and bytes... I never gave much importance to that dream. It would come back each time I had to send emails to update people about phone numbers that were no longer valid and about phone numbers that remained valid even if I moved from one country to another (I guess that's prt of the price to pay for being a "road warrior"). Now I know Jajah may finally make that dream come true which I would definitely enjoy.



2 comments:

  1. Hi Alex
    Frankly speaking, I am having nothing but trouble with Jajah. Since I am based behind a firewall and a reverse proxy, the service does not work.
    A lot of emails passing to and fro the Jajah support and still nothing working.
    To me it gives a very pre-mature impression :-(
    On the other hand, I installed Skype and it works fine w/o any problem.
    From a user's perspective (as such I usuall rely on a real phone and use these apps only as second hand tools) Skype wins.
    See you.
    Markus

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  2. Hi Markus,
    I don't know why you are having such issues and I forwarded your feedback to Jajah. I have had no issues whatsoever despite working from behind a firewall.
    So of course we have very different perspectives on Jajah and I don't see it as premature at all. When youa re able to try it you will see that their business model is way stronger than Skype's, while the technology actually works very well with better voice quality than Skype.
    Anyway, I am curious to see what Jajah's reaction to your feedbakc will be.
    Take care,
    alex

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