Friday, July 22, 2016

Broadband Now (Blog # 3820)

“The industry's seventeen biggest broadband providers added 1.1 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers during the first quarter of 2016 -- and the vast majority of them went to cable providers. According to the latest data by Leichtman Research, the top cable companies added about 1,065,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter, or 99% of the net additions seen by the industry. In contrast, the top phone companies added just 10,000 net broadband subscribers for the quarter, thanks to the continued (and quite intentional) loss of DSL users.” [source: DSLR]

A short blog post about broadband with links to articles about price, an FCC report and what cable is doing and why.

What has Google Fiber been up to? Opening new markets in a serious looking way. They even launched Google Fiber for Business. This probably has to do with the abysmal number of paid subscribers that they have (estimated by many sources to be around 155K). TV subscriptions are around 60K homes for Google Fiber. That is an expensive venture for so few homes.

Google added voice to residential fiber probably to be have it available to offer business voice. Google also partnered with RingCentral on Google for Work for Enterprise. That will fail. RC has partnered with many ILECs - ATT, BT, BellCan, Telus - to no avail.

It's Surprisingly Inexpensive For Google To Build Its Cable-Destroying Google Fiber Network.

4 factors for selling Broadband.

COPPER!

CenturyLink is retiring copper just like the other IXCs (Ma and Pa Bell). It is weird because DSL, landlines, EoC all require copper.

Frontier doubles down on copper. So does Windstream, which is pushing 100MB broadband instead of Gigabit. But even AT&T offers SMS to landline.

Fairpoint is telling their investors that no one buys Gigabit. (They are like WIND and don't have the money to spend building out rural fiber broadband. Yet CenturyLink’s data suggests that Gigabit may not be the first choice, but people will buy higher speeds if offered Gigabit. (They don’t want the slowest, but they don’t want the most expensive either).

And for the sales sheet to MDU: Fiber-based broadband raises MDU rental values by 8 percent, says FTTH Council.

News You Might Have Missed (Part 213)

A round up of news and tidbits from the past month.

The top ILECs - Ma Bell, VZ, C-Link, Level3 - have rolled out SD-WAN. So have the CLECs - TelePacific, EarthLink, Mettel - as a way to manage the network for their customers, especially with varying carrier partners like cable.

Isn't interesting that Level3 became the 3rd Enterprise choice after Ma and Pa Bell and not CenturyLink? After Sprint collapsed under its former CEO (Hesse), C-Link could have become the # 3 with its Qwest network, but it lost to a Level3 that was hampered by too many integrations that look good on the surface but internally make them look like AT&T.

Next year XO will become part of Verizon Business and probably Level3 will become part of Comcast Enterprise. No idea what Comcast would do with all that wholesale business because there isn't enough epi pens in the US to help them get over their allergy to selling wholesale. The other rumor is that Sprint is selling its fiber network. I guess Softbank just realized they had one.
FYI… Sprint pricing at 56 in ATL: 100MB is $1259 and 10MB is $528 --- If you need bandwidth or circuits, I am still an agent for 50+ carriers.

What does VoIP Churn look like? Good read.

Growth Hacks are ways to short cut sales by using marketing tricks. Here are 21 tactics.

As I emphasized in the marketing workshop, marketing is about telling a story that resonates with your target audience.
Humans have been telling stories since before paper and books.
This article is about startup stories but as someone who deals with startups regularly the definition of startup has broadened to mean any business launching a product or re-branding.

Good read from Fred Wilson on Strategy vs. Execution with a little Simon Sinek (Start with Why) thrown in.

Google Calendar’s new Goals will help find you time for self-improvement. See Here. Dwayne The Rock Johnson has a clock app that keeps him in touch with his audience every day - both as an alarm clock on your cell phone and with a daily message. Also, you enter your goal and it tracks it with you. Kind of brilliant.

Great read from INC and Google about Time Management.




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

4 Things That Beat Price

I was checking out the pricing on residential VoIP on one of the comparison sites with the multiple pop-ups. Lots of VoIP is under $10 per month! If it was about price alone, MagicJack would still be on TV. Even on business VoIP you can get it under $10 per line if you shop around.

When MagicJack was selling tens of thousands of units per month, total revenues for 2013 were $143.5 million. In 2014, it was down to $116M. They were making about $20M per quarter on the magicjack. It is still in retail outlets and on Amazon. They were even making money on shipping and handling! But they were spending big on advertising.

Last year they acquired Broadsmart for $42M to really chase the business market. No name change. (Vonage should have followed that branding move.)

Back to price. If it was price, the race to zero would still be on. If it was only price, magicjack would be a billion dollar company. It isn't. It is Marketing.



Vonage is a billion dollar company. It spent heavily on patent lawsuits, advertising and technology to make the product better. Then to get into business VoIP it bought Vocalocity then others.

4 Things that Beat Price:
  1. Marketing - if they don't know you, they can't buy from you!
  2. Innovation - keep getting better
  3. Deployment - it has to be smooth and work
  4. Customer Experience - a combination of all of it

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Data Center is Still Hot

The data center business is still growing strong. M and A is still healthy due to companies trying to get the right mix of locations in their portfolio.

Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are still building data centers. Apple is building its thirddata center in Oregon. Microsoft is building on in Iowa. Any other SAAS company - twitter, Snapchat, Salesforce, Carbonite, - and any VoIP provider is using data center space.

They are trying to get more efficient on cooling and power at the same time that they get denser. Hard to do. Switch in Nevada is in a fight over a solar power plant it wants to build.

Cyrus One out of Texas has added another data center to Phoenix and Texas.

Digital Bridge Holdings LLC, a firm that invests and operates companies that power wireless communications, is buying DataBank Ltd, a private Dallas-based data center company, the companies said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Netrality Properties bought two data centers from Digital Realty Trust out in St. Louis, Missouri as well as a bit of colo from 365 Data Centers. [source]

Even in Tampa, WOW! built out a data center after acquiring E Solutions and Knology. Also, Hivelocity Hosting expanded to another facility. And Peak 10 has 3 data centers in town.

The need is there. I can help you if you need colocation, a cage, a rack, whatever. Call the office at 813-963-5884

News You May Need (Part 212)

There is a legal battle over data and countries. Microsoft wins major victory in legal fight over data center access. Now data can be stored like money in a tax haven. It might also be stored where you can't access it.

And the FCC set guidelines for the Death of Copper and DSL.

Lots of rural broadband stuff going on:

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is funding 81 Distance Learning and Tele-medicine (DLT) projects in 32 states in order to improve healthcare services and extend distance learning programs in rural areas. A total $23.4 million of funding will come in the form of grants to support 45 distance learning and 36 tele-medicine projects." [source]
A bunch of stuff happening around 5G testing as government projects. SEE HERE.

For those of you offering TV, "Evolution Digital today announced that it reached a deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) to distribute its eVUE-TV™ IP Video on Demand service to NCTC member operators." [source]


AT&T is going deep into SDN and NFV. AT&T is releasing their SDN software, ECOMP, to open source. They are talking about being able to use white box CPE globally. Via 4G that CPE will download the necessary software to be a router or firewall or what-have-you. see more here

Broadsoft view of the UCaaS Mid-market on LinkedIn: 5 tips for driving mid-market business if you are successfully selling into SMB today.

Gitomer on sales:  "Many salespeople are trying to make their quota rather than developing a deeper belief in their product or service - and even worse, they don't have a strong enough belief in themselves."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Pitch Deck

The pitch deck is just a way to get you to do 2 things:
1) think about your company, values, business plan
2) tell your story

Looking for help with your pitch deck? RAD-INFO INC can help you work through it.
Call today! 813-963-5884

Funny infographic of startup theater

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

4 Things to Watch for Network Providers, ISPs


Top 1 is about an ISP's liability for packets: Windstream Fighting Claims It's Liable For Subscriber Piracy: "Late last year a Virginia federal jury ruled that ISPs could be held liable for the file sharing behavior of customers on their network, contrary to the belief that ISPs are protected from liability via safe harbor provisions embedded in the DMCA."

Next up is the FCC business data services docket (BDS, formerly branded "special access" services).
The ILECs are lining up against INCOMPAS and surprisedly Verizon in a fight over special access at the FCC. See HERE and Fierce media.

Then there is the Pole Access fight. Frontier teams with AT&T to block Google Fiber access to utility poles - from ARS and Fortune mag.

Lastly, ho hum... 8x8 is suing Star2Star – for employee hiring with a non-compete in Florida.

Scoble on AI

Apparently AI is growing. Robert Scoble is keeping his eyes on AI and VR.

Check out The Economist this week, for instance.

Google has announced a huge shift internally to AI-based systems.

Google’s futurist, Ray Kurzweil, is very bullish on AI HERE.

Google’s chairman, too, says we should stop freaking out about AI. He goes on to detail why AI is so powerful, particularly when it comes to tasks like driving. FORTUNE mag

Google isn’t the only one. Lately on my world tour, [Robert Scoble] I’ve met some of the people bringing artificial intelligence to life. Here are four companies doing that:

Sentient Technologies, a company in San Francisco using AI for ecommerce and stock market predictions.

Digital Bridge, a Manchester, UK-based company, which uses AI to recognize walls, photos and furniture in your house, and then lets you redecorate.

Zebra Medical Vision, and Israeli company using AI to recognize cancer in MRI scans.

Agrible, based in Illinois, which uses farm data to grow virtual crops and predict how a farm will do. It then sells that data back to farmers and tells them what to do on their farms.

Rober Scoble concludes, "If you look at all these examples, you’ll see a clear pattern: teams of people are training artificial intelligence systems to learn to do various tasks. In the video with Hodjat, he shows how the algorithms work and gets us all up to speed. New jobs are looking at human behavior and looking for ways to apply machine learning."

If you want to get his newsletter, go here.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Telco CAPEX


Ever wonder about telecom capital expenditures?


Telecom Carrier Spending Entering New Era Marked by Diverse Regional Trends: "Worldwide telecom service provider capital expenditures grew 2.9 percent year-over-year in 2014, to US$352 billion, according to the latest IHS Infonetics."


Bench-marking a best practice in telecom capital allocation: there is an interesting paper to download from PWC (consulting firm)


What does the process look like for a carrier on CAPEX? PWC Telecom CAPEX expenditure process


2013 CBEY $ 15M per quarter; "Total capital expenditures were $14.2 million during the first quarter of 2014, of which $12.9 million were cash capital expenditures." On about $450M in annual revenue ($111M per quarter so about 11% of revenue on CAPEX) [SEC]

Monday, June 27, 2016

Reading List 2016


Some of these books have been sitting there since late 2014. It's like a pile of broken promises that I see every day.

Currently , I have about several ebooks open on my Kindle:
I also have a library book out, Living Forward by Michael Hyatt.

Money by Tony Robbins  is the one I want to finish by the end of July. I heard his podcast with James Altucher and I was hooked.

To Sell is Human by Dan Pick will be next because I heard his podcast too.

Others in the pile (excluding the fiction books) include:

  • Influence
  • Product Launch
  • Cracking Sales Management
  • Revenue Growth Habit
  • Lawrence Block on Writing  (help writing my first fiction book)
  • Icarus Deception by Seth Godin (there is always a Seth book!)
  • Challenger Sale
  • Dot Com Secrets
  • Wealthy Barber
  • Choose Yourself guide to wealth

What are you reading?

Marketing is a Story

In 2012, I went to NYC to see Seth Godin in an interactive day centered around Pick Yourself [pdf] - and what to do when it is your turn. It also was about how important story telling is; failing; and the connection economy.

I just finished presenting the 4 week Marketing Workshop. I emphasized the story because we do a lousy job on telling the story. We talk tech, list features, push replacement products, but we don't market or sell really.

Peter Drucker says Business has only two functions -- marketing and innovation. All the rest is overhead. If innovation is built into the product, then the story, the marketing is baked in from the beginning. Think about Apple or Ruckus or Office365 or Google Fiber.

Seth Godin said, “Because marketing has shifted from me marketing at you, to you marketing to each other.” That means we have to (1) tell a story that others can easily remember and pass on; and (2) give people a reason to talk about us (word of mouth). We need to be Remarkable. We need to provide an incredible customer experience, like Zappos or Disney.

This also means that mass marketing isn't working so well. However, we can pretty much market one to one today. We don't need to print up 1000 postcards and mail them out. We can create a unique card for each person or company we are prospecting. [Seth wrote about this in his book All Marketers are Liars. Impact's review is a good summary.]

Seth "reminded us that underneath message and advertising, purchases are inspired by emotion.....Now, quality products and a great story must spark consumers’ interest and, combined with their own memories and interests, entice customers to purchase them."

What does, "it's too expensive," mean? It means that the story you told didn't resonate as valuable with the listener. When you don't provide or explain the Value, they buy on price. When they can't see the difference - and you don't explain the difference - then they go with price.

One more point: Comcast can blast advertise because they cover a wide swath of area and they don't care about people who are off net but marketed to. You are not mass market. You are boutique. You are not the low price provider of a mass market service. If you are marketing to LIT Buildings or installing FTTH (or FTTB) or providing fixed wireless or EoC, then you are target marketing and that can be done almost one to one effectively.

*If you need help with this - or want to bounce ideas off me, make an appointment to speak with me.

Other Links

Slides on Brand Story Telling.

Ford holds a conference every year about the trends it sees. In 2013 Seth Godin spoke. Notes from that talk are here . Ford's 2016 Trends report is here. Interesting read.

Marketing is a Story

In 2012, I went to NYC to see Seth Godin in an interactive day centered around Pick Yourself [pdf] - and what to do when it is your turn. It also was about how important story telling is; failing; and the connection economy.

I just finished presenting the 4 week Marketing Workshop. I emphasized the story because we do a lousy job on telling the story. We talk tech, list features, push replacement products, but we don't market or sell really.

Peter Drucker says Business has only two functions -- marketing and innovation. All the rest is overhead. If innovation is built into the product, then the story, the marketing is baked in from the beginning. Think about Apple or Ruckus or Office365 or Google Fiber.

Seth Godin said, “Because marketing has shifted from me marketing at you, to you marketing to each other.” That means we have to (1) tell a story that others can easily remember and pass on; and (2) give people a reason to talk about us (word of mouth). We need to be Remarkable. We need to provide an incredible customer experience, like Zappos or Disney.

This also means that mass marketing isn't working so well. However, we can pretty much market one to one today. We don't need to print up 1000 postcards and mail them out. We can create a unique card for each person or company we are prospecting. [Seth wrote about this in his book All Marketers are Liars. Impact's review is a good summary.]

Seth "reminded us that underneath message and advertising, purchases are inspired by emotion.....Now, quality products and a great story must spark consumers’ interest and, combined with their own memories and interests, entice customers to purchase them."

What does, "it's too expensive," mean? It means that the story you told didn't resonate as valuable with the listener. When you don't provide or explain the Value, they buy on price. When they can't see the difference - and you don't explain the difference - then they go with price.

One more point: Comcast can blast advertise because they cover a wide swath of area and they don't care about people who are off net but marketed to. You are not mass market. You are boutique. You are not the low price provider of a mass market service. If you are marketing to LIT Buildings or installing FTTH (or FTTB) or providing fixed wireless or EoC, then you are target marketing and that can be done almost one to one effectively.

*If you need help with this - or want to bounce ideas off me, make an appointment to speak with me.

Other Links

Slides on Brand Story Telling.

Ford holds a conference every year about the trends it sees. In 2013 Seth Godin spoke. Notes from that talk are here . Ford's 2016 Trends report is here. Interesting read.

Marketing is a Story

In 2012, I went to NYC to see Seth Godin in an interactive day centered around Pick Yourself [pdf] - and what to do when it is your turn. It also was about how important story telling is; failing; and the connection economy.

I just finished presenting the 4 week Marketing Workshop. I emphasized the story because we do a lousy job on telling the story. We talk tech, list features, push replacement products, but we don't market or sell really.

Peter Drucker says Business has only two functions -- marketing and innovation. All the rest is overhead. If innovation is built into the product, then the story, the marketing is baked in from the beginning. Think about Apple or Ruckus or Office365 or Google Fiber.

Seth Godin said, “Because marketing has shifted from me marketing at you, to you marketing to each other.” That means we have to (1) tell a story that others can easily remember and pass on; and (2) give people a reason to talk about us (word of mouth). We need to be Remarkable. We need to provide an incredible customer experience, like Zappos or Disney.

This also means that mass marketing isn't working so well. However, we can pretty much market one to one today. We don't need to print up 1000 postcards and mail them out. We can create a unique card for each person or company we are prospecting. [Seth wrote about this in his book All Marketers are Liars. Impact's review is a good summary.]

Seth "reminded us that underneath message and advertising, purchases are inspired by emotion.....Now, quality products and a great story must spark consumers’ interest and, combined with their own memories and interests, entice customers to purchase them."

What does, "it's too expensive," mean? It means that the story you told didn't resonate as valuable with the listener. When you don't provide or explain the Value, they buy on price. When they can't see the difference - and you don't explain the difference - then they go with price.

One more point: Comcast can blast advertise because they cover a wide swath of area and they don't care about people who are off net but marketed to. You are not mass market. You are boutique. You are not the low price provider of a mass market service. If you are marketing to LIT Buildings or installing FTTH (or FTTB) or providing fixed wireless or EoC, then you are target marketing and that can be done almost one to one effectively.

*If you need help with this - or want to bounce ideas off me, make an appointment to speak with me.

Other Links

Slides on Brand Story Telling.

Ford holds a conference every year about the trends it sees. In 2013 Seth Godin spoke. Notes from that talk are here . Ford's 2016 Trends report is here. Interesting read.