Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Tier 1 Backbone Debate

There are 2 firms that evaluate the top global Internet backbones: Renesys and CAIDA. In this post CAIDA compares its data against DYN's data from 2014. (DYN owns Renessys). DYN puts out the Top 13 (Baker's Dozen) list of top global Internet backbones (by ASN) each year. Level3, Telia, NTT, GTT, Cogent, Tata, Verizon, Telecom Italia*, Sprint, PCCW, China Telecom*,HE and XO. RAD-INFO INC can quote and provision 11 of the 13 for you. Call today!

The Dyn Research report describes the companies and their rise/fall. "AT&T (AS7018), now ranked #21, Qwest (AS209), now CenturyLink and ranked #14, and Savvis (AS3561), owned by CenturyLink since 2011, but with an AS that is still ranked #34." Email me if you want a copy of the report. Thanks! peter at radinfo dor co

Monday, August 22, 2016

Home Security Partner

I have written about Alarm.com going back to 2005. For residential ISPs who compete against a cable company also offering home security, Alarm.com could be a partner. They have grown significantly.

SaaS and license revenue of $42.0 million for the second quarter, a 23% increase year-over-year.

Total revenue of $64.4 million for the second quarter, a 24% increase year-over-year. [alarm.com]

DSL is Getting Killed, but Fiber?

Comcast Says There's 6 Million Unhappy DSL Users Left to Target is a great headline because it says it all: cable is targeting DSL - and winning. (see here).

Google Fiber, Sonic, Socket, Intelliwave and Rocket Fiber are just five of over 100 fiber to the home projects going on. BTW, consumers only respond to the term Gigabit Fiber broadband. It is about picking the right markets to construct fiber. It is also about first mover advantage (if you are the first fiber provider you can win against HFC and DSL).

Serving the Digital Divide is going to be expensive and it will require government assistance. We see it just with subsidized phone and Internet over the last 20 years.

The success or failure of these Fiber projects comes down to the basics of marketing (summed up here by Seth Godin in 4 lines.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Things You Might Want to Know (Part 215)

Some nuggets of factoids and articles.


Here's how you end up with a bully in a position of authority at an organization: here.

"Build a team of people who work together, who care and who learn and you'll end up with the organization you deserve. Build the opposite and you also get what you deserve." [Seth]

Google Fiber's pole attachment spat with AT&T, Comcast: something's got to give [fierce]. Probably why Google bought Webpass and starting saying Wireless Fiber.

How Google Fiber Is Changing Its Strategy as Costs Grow.

DSL is losing big time. "According to research from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), major telco broadband losses are accelerating, more than doubling from a year ago. Collectively, major tier 1 and 2 telcos lost 360K broadband subscribers in 2Q16, compared with 150K in 2Q15. Compare that with major cable broadband net adds of 553K in 2Q16." [telecompetitor]

Fatbeam in Idaho "won 11 FCC E-rate contracts, which will help fund the construction of an additional 200 miles of fiber." [telecomp]

Lightower is for sale. Either Level3 or Zayo buying. Maybe.

Verizon is even losing ground in Ethernet sales (as it buys AOL, Yahoo, and sells off wireline assets.) The New Charter (combined TWC-Charter-BrightHouse) is now third in Ethernet according to VSG.


A little something about CHURN.


Headlines and email subject lines are IMPORTANT!!! I suck at both. I think I have good, relevant info and stories, but it the headline and subject line that either make people read or pass on it. Here is some data on Headlines.









Cloud is a New Pattern

Seth Godin writes, "On the other hand, moving all your data to the cloud, or staying at an Airbnb, these are new decisions, new ways of being in the world. Trying to get a book publisher to fund your magazine or your web app might make sense to you, but without the benefit of a pattern to match, the publisher who has built a career around one pattern might get cold feet."


We buy what we know. That's why selling replacement products for less money has worked so well. Until now.


This is why selling Hosted PBX/UCaaS is so difficuly: You have to sell Change! No one likes change. Not even you.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

4 Quick Things

4 quick news items and one big one you need to really pay attention to.

The DCMA did not protect Cox from a $25 Million fine after letting subscribers pirate music online. The Appeals Court ruled that the ISP didn't do enough to curb illegal downloads.

The most successful SMB SaaS Launch is… here. 95% Channel sales.

I know we don't think of UCaaS as SaaS but it is. SaaS Lead Gen practices here.

Cyber Security and VoIP - what the Black Hats have to say. BTW, humans are the weakest link in any security.

FYI....  22 Military Veterans and 1 active duty soldier commit suicide every day! Stop Soldier Suicide

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Why Cloud is Important

Cloud is driving all bandwidth sales.
Cloud is driving network re-design.
Cloud is driving SD-WAN.

"CenturyLink says that it's trying to offer gigabit connections in more markets, but believes that the majority of its customers simply don't need anything that fast....CEO Glen Post made the case that 100 Mbps was more bandwidth than most customers need," reports DSLR.

That notwithstanding, "gigabit service does help in one regard: it helps sell slower speeds. Numerous ISPs have noted that when customers see gigabit ads they often call in because they don't remember what their current speed even is. Gigabit often either isn't available, or the user decides that a slower, cheaper tier is good enough."


Why when just 5 short years ago people were only buying 3M, just enough for a single stream of Netflix? More Than 90 Percent of U.S. Households Have Three or More Devices Pinging the Internet, says ReCode. (btw, the device report from Pew in 2015 has good data.)

The only term that captures consumer attention is Gigabit. Not DSL, not broadband. Thanks Google.

C-Link does have a powerful mission statement: "Improve the lives of our customers by connecting them to the power of the digital world." I wonder how many employees even know that.

"A new AT&T GigaPower map leverages interactive GPS technology to plot AT&T’s gigabit capabilities across 425,000 eligible apartments and condos. This gigabit coverage spans 56 markets nationwide, AT&T reports in a blog post. [source]


Windstream looks to fiber investments, cloud services to tighten bond with mid-sized businesses.

Mid-market isn't looking for broadband (except in remote offices). They have a complex Hybrid WAN that MPLS is struggling to contain. SD-WAN will be the next evolution for MPLS due to all the traffic outside of the WAN to Azure, AWS, Rackspace, SAAS, etc.


Short post from GapingVoid starts out: "What is so darn intriguing about being an entrepreneur?

It's the idea that no matter how specialized your training, the real requirement is that you be a generalist...." Read the rest here.



Thursday, August 04, 2016

Tidbits (part 214)

Verizon Offers 'Tech Support Pro' -- For $10 More a Month. Do you have options to increase ARPU?

"Rural broadband has come a long way in the last 15 years, according to new research from NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association. One hundred percent of NTCA’s small rural telco members who responded to a 2015 survey offer broadband to some part of their customer base — a big jump from the 58% that offered broadband in 2000, when NTCA did the first of what became an annual broadband survey." [READ MORE HERE]

G.Fast is being deployed by WIND in Lincoln Nebraska (into MDUs).

Does Google for Work plus RingCentral present a good alternative to Microsoft Off365? READ HERE.

Studies have shown that over a third of an employee’s time each day is spent looking for information versus being productive (via RC prezo). Collaboration, Slack, Sharepoint and other Workflow suites are supposed to help with that by containing documents and info for each project in a folder. CRM - if used correctly - does that organization for client and prospect communications and information.

"Industry-agnostic platforms are losing ground to vertical systems. As time goes on apps are going to become more specialized and industry-specific. You may find yourself using apps for things you never thought you would need to." This according to the State of SAAS report.

64 percent of small and medium businesses today rely on cloud-based technology.

43 percent of small business owners use mobile devices as the primary device for running their operations.

This aligns with data from Intuit, revealing that 67 percent of business owners utilize desktops. So where does DAAS/VDI fit into a mobile model?

Economic Outlook for the Quarter

The numbers are in for most service providers. Here are some highlights.

For Windstream, a RLEC, CLEC, fiber and cloud provider that recently raised minimum sales order from $300 to $1200 to the channel.

  • "Windstream's management is making necessary investments in its business to meet consumer and enterprise demand for additional bandwidth, according to the analysts at Jefferies." [source
  • Windstream will have to spend double the CAPEX in order to compete against consumer cable broadband in its market. 45% of their market is one of the Big Boys (as opposed to a mom-and-pop cableco). 
  • Building out fiber to the enterprise is trading CAPEX for margin and control (over using Type II circuits from ILECs or IXCs).
  • Windstream's consumer and small business ILEC service revenues were $397 million in the first quarter, a decrease of 1 percent from the same period a year ago. Driven by growth in high-speed internet bundle revenue, consumer service revenues were $312 million, an increase of approximately $1 million from the fourth quarter.
  • However, Windstream lost 40,000 broadband subscribers to end the quarter with a total of 1.09 million subscribers.

The big warning: "the Jefferies analysts sounded the alarm on Windstream's legacy business, which they said accounts for roughly 40 percent of its revenue. "As such, Service revenue is expected to decline ~2% in 2016, and while we could see some modest improvements going forward, we expect revenue declines to persist for some time," the analysts wrote. "Importantly, like its peers, the mix shift in revenue pressures margins and free cash flow and we anticipate margins to decline further, despite management confidence in margin stabilization."

It isn’t just WIND. Most of the ILECs have the same problems – cable, CAPEX, declining revenue, while face declining revenues in legacy business -- in small business ILEC/CLEC, carrier services and regulatory revenue for the foreseeable future.

CenturyLink revenues were flat at $4.4 billion in quarterly revenue.

For Broadsoft, "On the BroadCloud expansion front, we ended the quarter with more than 290,000 BroadCloud subs, which is up from 200,000 subscribers we announced at the end of last year's Q2." It was mainly European growth.

SaaS revenue was $12.8 million as compared to $12 million last quarter and $8.5 million in last year's Q2.

The focus is on Project Tempo, UC-One and BroadSoft Contact Center.

Rogers Communications in Canada selected BroadSoft as the underlying engine for Unison, a new mobile solution for our businesses. The service is designed to provide large enterprise-wide communication features in a full mobile environment that even SMB customers can access.


For RingCentral, "RingCentral office is now in almost $300 million annual recurrence revenue business, growing over 40% year-over-year, and representing over 95% of our net new business in Q2."

Integration especially with Microsoft Office 365 was noted.

For 8x8, total revenue in 1Q2017 "grew 25% year-over-year to $60 million. Service revenue of $55.3 million also grew 25% year-over-year, both on an organic and inorganic basis."

Service revenue from mid-market and enterprise customers grew 44% year-over-year and now accounts for 52% of our total service revenue.

Channel sales teams increasing 62% year-over-year, accounting for 58% of total monthly recurring revenue booked in the quarter.

Vonage numbers were hard to decipher due to Nexmo acquisition. No organic quarters to look at there.

AT&T 2Q16 consolidated revenues of $40.5 billion, up more than 22%d (includes the acquisition of DIRECTV).

For Verizon, "Total operating revenues in second-quarter 2016 were $30.5 billion, a 5.3 percent decrease compared with second-quarter 2015. Excluding second-quarter 2015 revenues from divested local landline businesses and second-quarter 2016 revenues from AOL, which was not part of Verizon a year ago, total operating revenues on a comparable basis (non-GAAP) would have declined 3.5 percent year over year. AOL delivered strong revenue growth in second-quarter 2016."

"New revenue streams from IoT for VZW continue to grow, with revenues of approximately $205 million in second-quarter 2016, a year-over-year increase of about 25 percent." Almost $1B in revenue!

It is all about business services in the upper markets. Channel is driving sales. Another factor is integration and collaboration functions.

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.