My Take on the Vonage IPO
The only reason I think this IPO might matter is that helps to legitimize VoIP in the eyes of Joe Sixpack and Joe Executive. I’m anything that helps that cause. On the other hand, it doesn’t address the fact that Vonage is still hemmoraging money, mostly due to high customer acquisition costs. Here are some things they can do right now to lower those costs:
Allow resale of Vonage-locked devices. As I was told by customer service upon cancelling my account, I can’t give or sell this device I bought to anyone else as it is permanently locked to me. There’s no reason for that. How does device reuse help their bottom line? Simple: they don’t have to subsidize the device when it’s resold. See, the secondary market can actually be a benefit.
Speaking of devices, Vonage should also, for a fee, unlock any Vonage-branded device. This doesn’t help the customer acqistion cost per-se, but it does bring at least some extra money into the coffers.
Support open SIP credentials. If I can get a number with Vonage and NOT have to buy any special hardware–trust me, I have a ton of SIP hardware–all the better. Rumours are circulating they will enable this shortly after the IPO, but only time will tell. Of course I don’t expect the folks at Vonage to confirm or deny that, so we’ll have to wait and see.