Just the other day, I heard someone comment about how voice has become a commodity and how difficult it is to make money in the voice business. This is probably true if voice is viewed as a standalone business. Whether it is voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or TDM, origination and termination costs have come down dramatically over the last 10 years. Margins are thinning, and middlemen are being squeezed out. The number of VoIP carriers in existence today is a fraction of what we had back in 2005.
Voice becomes valuable when it becomes part of a business application. Voice becomes indispensible when it gets embedded in business processes. For instance, when voice becomes an integral part of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application, its value rises exponentially. Even the simple ability for the sales rep to 'click-to-call' right from Salesforce.com makes them more efficient and productive. No longer does that person have to waste their time searching for a contact's phone number, fumbling with the phone to dial out only to be greeted with a voice mail. What if the rep can automatically dial out a list from their CRM application, and the auto dialer detects voice mails and reschedules the call so they never forget to reach that contact again.
Only when voice is integrated with customer applications and processes will it regain its former position as the king of communications, at least in the business world. In the consumer world it may have lost its prime position for good.