Monday, January 15, 2018

East Coast assets of FiberLight were finally sold!

The East Coast assets of FiberLight were finally sold, according to Ramblings (and notes in an investor report by Atlantic Broadband owner, Cogeco).

FiberLight's history dates back to 1993 when the original assets were founded as ASCI. ASCI went on to became e.spire. In 2002, after another management buy-out, it became Xspedius Fiber Group. This company later spun out the fiber division as FiberLight in 2005 after yet another PE firm change.

Interesting to me: Atlantic Broadband purchased several dark fibres throughout south Florida from FiberLight, LLC for a consideration of US$16.8 million.

So an IRU cost that much now.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Get the Most out of the Trade Show

How do you maximize your benefits from a trade show?

Here are some simple tips to follow:

  1. Register early to get the best rate.
  2. Stay at the host hotel because you will run into more folks than if you are commuting to your hotel.
  3. Research travel arrangements - like airfare, cabs, buses, Uber, whatever. How expensive is parking?
  4. Have plenty of business cards [In fact, order some now at MOO!]
  5. What is your Goal? What two or three things do you need to take away from this show for it to be positive?
  6. Plan in Advance. Check to see what sponsors and speakers will be there. What sessions look interesting? Mark your calendar!
  7. For the biggest impact vendors like to have a booth or table. See about opportunities to sit on a panel. This gives you a little bit of spotlight.
  8. Bring two pairs of comfortable shoes and wear them on alternate days.
  9. Wear your badge in plain site. 
  10. Be sure to follow up with new contacts and vendors after the show. 
  11. Note anything interesting in a notebook (or a note taking app like Evernote). 
  12. Carry a pen or 2! 

Lately, some folks just take a photo of my business card - or quickly add me to LinkedIn. I still take notes on business cards  (hence the pens)

Good thought:  Take a moment after the show to make note of any exhibits or displays that you thought were particularly effective. What did they do that you could implement in your own company's marketing campaign?

Dinner:  Having a meal is a bonding experience. I always have dinner gatherings at shows. You can too. Many attendees have no plans, so inviting folks to dinner (even a Dutch treat) will quickly make you a friend.

Peter Shankman has some interesting things to add.

We'll see you in New Orleans on Feb 5-7 for FISPA LIVE and the following week on 2/13-2/16 at ITEXPO + CVX Expo + SDWAN in Ft Lauderdale.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

About Talent (Especially Millennials)

FISPA wanted me to do a talk on Millennials but I just don't have enough real world experience except in the startup world. But NYU Professor Scott Galloway does a good job of giving some advice on managing Millennials. Despite that it is about Retail, the data can be extrapolated to your business as well.

Enjoy this podcast

Friday, December 15, 2017

Are We at the End of Broadband Growth?

Are We at the End of Broadband Growth? is a blog post from Doug. Nut it leads me to speculate that one reason the Duopoly fought so hard to repeal Net Neutrality was that all their pies are full - voice, video/TV, broadband, and cellular. There isn't much growth left.

It is a game of take away now. That is an expensive game for customer acquisition.

Every recast contract is a write down since customers now want twice the speed for less money than they did 3 years ago.

The Duopoly (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter/Spectrum, Frontier, Altice) want to increase ARPU, but in cellular there is too much competition. T-Mobile and Sprint bring too much price pressure to bear. And they have to spend billions on 5G build out.

Despite having to lay tons of fiber, broadband rates are stagnant as well. Hence, the reason for all the hidden fees.

Something to think about.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Small Business Bundling for MSPs

I have been on a kick to change the sameness of bundling. Bundles are ways to increase ARPU, attract a client base and reduce churn. Bundling exactly as the Duopoly doesn't exactly help you.

There is a SMB survey about cloud challenges.

"Although cloud services have gone mainstream, some entrepreneurs and SMBs still have lingering concerns about SaaS and other on-demand IT services. Indeed,

21 percent said cost was a barrier to implementing a cloud-based solution;
53 percent said security was an issue; and
another 46 percent named workflow disruption as a problem."

They want to hire people to remove the tech from their workflow. It is an art to provide technology without it being a burden for the users.

Here are a couple of MSP service offerings that I noticed recently

"MSP Platforms: Uplevel Systems, provider of an SMB management appliance for MSPs, has launched Secure SMB Suite. First, a little background: Uplevel’s SMB appliance, which supports up to 25 employees, already integrates networking, VPN, WiFi, storage, security and remote management capabilities. Now, the expanded Secure SMB suite includes enhanced firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS) capabilities, protection against ransomware and real-time threat intelligence to secure every facet of managed IT services, the company says."

"Managed Workplace’s Evolution: Avast continues to enhance Managed Workplace, the RMM platform first developed by Level Platforms. Avast acquired Managed Workplace as part of last year’s AVG purchase. Fast forward to present day, and the brand is now called Avast Business Managed Workplace. Eager adopters apparently include Integrated Enterprise Solutions, an MSP in New York. The company leverages the RMM platform and its integration with CloudCare — a free, cloud-based endpoint security administration platform."

BTW, if you use Autotask and Slack, look here!

One more idea: Managed Wi-fi!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Are You Offering Cloud Backup?

Carbonite revenues were $61.6 million in Q3 2017, up 19 percent from the corresponding quarter last year. Some of that was due to 2 acquisitions in 2017.

In August Carbonite acquired Datacastle. Carbonite acquired Double-Take Software for $65.25 million in January

Carbonite offers data protection solutions, including cloud, hybrid and on-premise backup and restore, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) and e-mail archiving. Ransomware is prevalent and increasing. Cloud backup is good insurance against such an attack.

Are you offering Cloud Backup or DRaaS or email archiving?

What are the Cableco's up to?

Taco Bell chose Comcast Business as their technology partner. "Taco Bell has selected Comcast Business Enterprise Solutions to provide managed services, including guest Wi-Fi, at more than 6,200 Taco Bell company and franchise locations across the U.S."

Managed Wi-Fi and 4G backup connectivity for point-of-sale and credit card processing are becoming table stakes in the retail space.

MSO's are moving to a cloud-based "Experience Center" like Comcast Xfinity 1. "Altice One is an all-in-one user interface portal for video, broadband/WiFi, and phone services. Rather than being resident on the set-top-box or gateway, Altice One is cloud-based, allowing for more features and rapid feature introduction and upgrades."

Altice USA also launched an MVNO using Sprint. Charter is launching MVNO as well - using VZW.

Comcast has 250K subs on its VZW-powered MVNO service already. That doesn't sound like much, compared to Comcast's 22.5 million TV subscribers and 25.1 million broadband customers, but cellular subscriptions are full.

VZW - 147M
AT&T - 136M
T-Mob - 59M
Sprint - 53M
USCell - 5M
That's 400M subscribers in the USA, with a population of 323M!

Cable had TV; moved into Broadband and Voice, where it is now the dominant player with 66% of the market share. MSOs try different things like Business TV; home security; home automation; and end up killing it with MVNO (cellular voice and 4G data). Even managed wi-fi services are doing well for them. Take note. Copy it!

Friday, October 20, 2017

ISP Satisfaction

451 Research did a survey on ISP satisfaction. VZ Fios won.

DSL providers remain most vulnerable to switching.

Top Factors. Cost (69%) and Quality/Reliability of Service (68%) are the most important factors when consumers choose an ISP.