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Wednesday 13 November 2013

So why do we still need phone numbers?

All of my companies and I use Google Apps for Business as our communications platform. It gives us the full suite of Email, Instant Messenger, Hangouts(video conferencing) and Drive(cloud storage) and Google+ for social networking. It is cheaper than any other platform I am aware of to run and in our experience hangouts have proven to be far more reliable and easier to use than Skype and we can have up to ten of our team members around the world in a single Hangout simultaneously. The connectivity to our Android phones is seamless too.

Whether you personally prefer Google, Apple, Microsoft or others, the one thing that has become a common denominator among them all is that you set up an account that creates a unique personal ID or profile and gives you access to the online resources. The advantage Google+ has is that from this single platform you can initiate hangouts, IM and emails as well as access to numerous other Google based applications such as YouTube.

I believe applications like Hangouts and Apple's FaceTime are gradually taking over from phone calls. After all they are more personal if you choose to video conference than a phone call and cheaper too. They also go beyond international borders for no extra cost per minute. Not to mention you can share photos and other files which you can't do in a phone call. 

Instead of having a phone number and using the phone system to speak to someone you can use the internet and mobile data connections to do the same. So why do we need a personal phone number anymore when you have your profile or account ID that allows people to find you and then connect more easily than ever?

If you are not familiar with Hangouts, check this 1.23 minute YouTube clip out to see what I mean.

Retailers are suffering because in many categories of goods buying online now provides the superior consumer experience. Communications are the same. With modern smartphones enabling Hangouts, FaceTime and the like so cheaply and internationally, phone calls and texts no longer provide the superior communications experience. Increasingly mobile phone plans will be about the data plan you have and not the voice or text.

As for email...well if you really want feel old....the younger generation sees this as "old school"! Their main communication is done via their preferred social network.

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

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