[VoiceOps] SMS apps, providers, and peers

Alex Balashov abalashov at evaristesys.com
Tue Dec 8 12:37:08 EST 2009

Carlos Alvarez wrote:

> Sounds great, and is very logical.  I said the same thing about fax ten 
> years ago.  Today we (the entire telecom community) are wasting huge 
> amounts of time/money/resources in order to support this dead 
> technology.  What makes you think SMS will be any different?

Excellent question!  I'm not sure.  But I'm also not sure that's a very 
apples-to-oranges comparison.

A lot of the remaining backstop for fax has to do with the preeminence 
of the written signature as the mark of legal validity.  Until we come 
up with a good, universal way to electronically "sign" documents and law 
evolves to acknowledge it, I don't think the inertia behind fax will go 
away, even in industries where it continues to be used for reasons that 
are superficially very tangential to this.  Also, the alternatives 
offered to users of fax by the vanguard of new technologies don't really 
add much new functionality, while striking people accustomed to it as 
cumbersome.  Something about a scanner, saving files, attaching them to 
emails... yes, I know they're ultra-fast-acting document scanners and 
accompanying desktop software has made the process relatively turn-key, 
but it's still easier to just sign the page and put it in the fax 
machine.  The same basic result is accomplished.

The distinction between SMS and its prospective replacement is far wider 
and more pronounced, AND the reason SMS continues to dominate on phones 
capable of more (that is, aside from its ubiquity) is pretty much 
completely related to deliberate manipulation/coercion.  It has very 
little intrinsic technological merit.  That is why I think it will be 

Alex Balashov - Principal
Evariste Systems
Web     : http://www.evaristesys.com/
Tel     : (+1) (678) 954-0670
Direct  : (+1) (678) 954-0671

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