Yahoo (YHOO) warms up for a search outsourcing deal with Google (GOOG) by outsourcing some of its telephone functionality to Jajah. This deal is a fine start, but unlike search, Yahoo should actually own this capability. So if the Jajah outsourcing test is successful, Yahoo should just buy the company.
What’s the difference between Jajah (buy) and Google (rent)?
- Yahoo is far stronger in communications than it is in search
- The IP telephony market is not yet “game over” (It would have been, if Skype had stayed independent, but the management turnover and lack of focus since eBay bought Skype has helped the company fritter away its once-dominant position, opening the door for Jajah, et al.)
Yahoo should have bought Skype instead of eBay–and back then, it actually could have afforded it. Still, given that Skype has taken its eye off the ball, Jajah will allow Yahoo to jumpstart its presence in telephone-based communications.
The Holy Grail here is to become a single portal for all communications: IM, VOIP, email, telephone, video chat, Twitter, etc. Lots of companies are strong in an application or two, but no one has yet put together all the pieces. As long as Yahoo Mail remains dominant, Yahoo is in an excellent position to become The One–though this ambition will become a major long-shot if Google buys Skype.
In any event, the Jajah deal is a (small) step in the right direction.
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