Monday, 04 April 2005 04:00

Usability issues put brakes on VoIP adoption


Australian Voice over IP (VoIP) services offer significant cost savings but lack the usability features to achieve further take-up and mainstream penetration, according to a local consulting firm.

Consulting firm Usability by Design says Australian residential VoIP service providers suffer consistent, core usability issues across the board. These include lack of support on how to initiate landline and cross-product calls, lack of access to cost savings comparison data, and the requirement for a high level of technical skill to download and operate the software.
Despite potential savings of up to 80 per cent compared to equivalent PSTN rates, comparative costing information is often unavailable or listed in offshore currencies, which presents a considerable barrier to take-up.
In addition, lack of information about the designated codes needed to dial landline numbers and lack of cross-product support between VoIP platforms means adoption further limits VoIP to users with a high level of technical knowledge.
'While Internet telephony is still a relatively new concept, there is a tendency among service providers to jump into a purely technical sell without adequate explanation of what VoIP is and how end users can benefit, other than generic 'low rates' or 'cheap calls' statements. From a simple usability perspective, if people don't know what you're selling or why they should use it, they won't buy it,' says Gary Bunker, Asia Pacific director of Usability By Design.
'Even getting people to trial it for free requires a certain level of understanding,' says Bunker. 'People won't try something for free if they're worried what they might be downloading and installing.'
According to Bunker, there are relatively simple steps that service providers can take to maximise sales opportunities for VoIP, particularly into the residential market.
'The biggest thing for service providers is to provide simple explanations of what VoIP is and how customers can use it. A couple of service providers also offer a bill analyser function to demonstrate cost savings to end users, but they are currently the exception rather than the rule,' says Bunker.


26-27 February 2020 | Hilton Brisbane

Connecting the region’s leading data analytics professionals to drive and inspire your future strategy

Leading the data analytics division has never been easy, but now the challenge is on to remain ahead of the competition and reap the massive rewards as a strategic executive.

Do you want to leverage data governance as an enabler?Are you working at driving AI/ML implementation?

Want to stay abreast of data privacy and AI ethics requirements? Are you working hard to push predictive analytics to the limits?

With so much to keep on top of in such a rapidly changing technology space, collaboration is key to success. You don't need to struggle alone, network and share your struggles as well as your tips for success at CDAO Brisbane.

Discover how your peers have tackled the very same issues you face daily. Network with over 140 of your peers and hear from the leading professionals in your industry. Leverage this community of data and analytics enthusiasts to advance your strategy to the next level.

Download the Agenda to find out more


Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



Recent Comments