Voice and Portals

Andy makes some good points on “showing us the money” in his post Does Voice Have a Place With Portals? I’ll speak to these in more detail in a later post, when I get some more time. As a quick comment, Andy asks:

At no point in time has AT&T put CallVantage into their portal/on ramp packages sold as DSL by Yahoo. Neither has Verizon done that with VoiceWing, their VoIP service, yet like AT&T, Yahoo is the web portal for the Verizon’s DSL. In those cases Yahoo owns the cookie. Verizon with their FTTP play goes to the home. Why do they need Yahoo when they already own the customer also?

Part of the reason is because these are not known as Internet brands. Neither Verizon nor AT&T (or back when they were SBC) have a reputation for being trusted Internet companies or offering Internet services.

One may recall that, at first, SBC did try to be the ‘Internet service’ — and they failed miserably. They couldn’t even run a reliable email service. Forget about a ‘Portal’. That didn’t help to build consumer confidence that telephone companies can provide Internet services; and the reputation has stuck.

Internet users do not turn to AT&T and Verizon for information or Internet applications. Check out the Alexa graphs below, first showing Verizon vs. Google and Yahoo, and then the same for AT&T.

As you can see, uh, as big as these brands may be, Andy’s blog may get more hits.

So why do they need Yahoo? Well, at one time it was because they didn’t have the DNA to run Internet services. So has that changed? I’m not convinced.