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Onebox sucks. This article confirms it. They’re also pig-faced liars, and the world knows it! 🙂 By the way, I didn’t say that.

http://www.upside.com/texis/mvm/print-it?id8b6ca1e0&t=/texis/mvm/story

Messaging On the Edge by Robert McGarvey March 06, 2000

[HIGHLIGHTS..]

Indeed, unified messaging definitely did not break into killer-app status in 1999, when, according to International Data Corp. analyst Dana Thorat, the market size reached perhaps $93.2 million, including in-house enterprise solutions. “Unified messaging has had a lot of hype, but it hasn’t delivered,” adds Brian Strachman, an analyst with Cahners InStat Group.

But there’s another, more important hitch. “Users are confused about UM and often don’t see the benefits,” says Raymond Tong, CEO of Uniconn, which provides unified messaging to customers in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other parts of Asia. “It takes three minutes to explain to somebody what UM means,” adds Tornado’s Sheinrock.

OneBox’s marketing strategy is what really sets it apart. Unlike eFax and Jfax, says Nguyen, “we’re a business-to-business, not a business-to-consumer, service. We make deals with large websites that pay us to provide services.”

[Ian: HUH? How is OneBox B2B? I hate buzzwords!] …

He’s happy to talk about users, though: “2.5 million, and we’re growing by 50 percent monthly.” Competitors and third-party observers question the accuracy of that figure, which is more than 50 percent higher than eFax’s user base and many multiples of Jfax’s. “I cannot imagine how OneBox grew that fast,” says eFax’s Brown. “They don’t have the visibility. Personally, I don’t believe it.”

“A public company has to tell you the truth, but who knows with a private startup?” says analyst Kauffman. “I see no evidence that OneBox’s claim is true.” (Repeated requests by Upside Magazine for documentation were brushed aside by OneBox.)

Adds Forrester’s McCarthy: “I think that a lot of serial signer-uppers are out there. People may have signed up, but what sort ofA continued use is there?” (OneBox rebuffed Upside Magazine’s requests for usage stats, too, so how many users it has and how often they use the service are anyone’s guess.)

-Ian.

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