Media Phones…I Still Don’t Get It.

Anytime I hear the phrase, "I don’t get it," it reminds me of the perplexed lady in the original movie Miracle on 34th Street asking the toy department manager why Macey’s would have Santa send shoppers to Gimbals. But that doesn’t have anything to do with IP communications, now does it? However, it does have something to with confusing a potential consumer with odd behavior by a vendor.

Okay, to my point. Vendors are coming out with high-end media phones. These are wired phones that sit on a business desk. They can connect to the Internet. You can program them. They support add-on applications. They have full keyboards. They support video. Uh…doesn’t that sound kind of like the computer you own. The one that sits on or under that same desk? Doesn’t it do all those things and more. Oh yeah, and doesn’t it have a display that is about 50 times larger than the one on the media phone? And the price of that media phone might be more than what you paid for your powerful computer. So why do you need a media phone? Someone else will have to answer that one.

To be fair I’ll even include a photo of one of the devices…I won’t give the vendor’s name, lest I be accused of picking on them. 

11_9670_086SCWE_3hr by Avaya Inc.

Good looking, I admit. BUT…DO YOU WANT TO SPEND A $GRAND$ ON A PHONE THAT ATTEMPTS TO MIMIC THE FUNCTIONALITY OF YOUR COMPUTER?

What I think you need is a good, reliable inexpensive voice path. Then move all of that fancy stuff into rich clients running on your desktop computer. Makes sense to me…but then again, maybe I still just don’t get it.

Joe Staples — Miracle on 34th Street fan and daytime blogger