Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Webinar on Marketing Tactics for Fiber Broadband

30+ Tactics for Marketing Fiber: a webinar on 6/21/17 at Noon Eastern.

This one is a little different than others I have done on the topic. This won't be strategy or marketing 101. This will be the tactics (30 of them) that are working to market fiber or gigabit broadband.

Now you can add some tools to your toolbox in order to get that take rate up!

Register NOW!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

4 Good Lessons from 4 Reads

Google HR boss explains the only 2 ways to keep your best people from quitting:
1. The quality of the people they work with.
2. The feeling that the work they do is meaningful.

Tedious work doesn't require 100% or Imagination. Workers tune out.

Mission, Vision & Values Are Dead & Forgotten (Here's A Framework You Might Actually Remember). Purpose, Way and Impact: a three-stage rocket to clarity and growth.

Amazon did not kill the retail industry. They did it to itself with bad customer service.
Netflix did not kill Blockbuster. They did it to itself with ridiculous late fees.
Uber did not kill the taxi business. They did it to itself with limited the number of taxis and fare control.
Apple did not kill the music industry. They did it to itself by forcing people to buy full-length albums.
Airbnb did not kill the hotel industry. They did it to itself with limited availability and pricing options.
Technology by itself is not the real disruptor.
Being non-customer centric is the biggest threat to any business. [Linkedin]

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Duolpoly Dilemma (part III)

There are about 1600 small operators in the US.

"The NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing more than 800 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America."

"NCTC has grown to serve over 850 cable companies across the United States."

These (mostly) small companies are facing some grim future. USF Reform changed some of their economics. But trends in the telecom sector have also hit their economics.

2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that 50.8% of American homes did not have a landline
telephone but did have at least one wireless telephone. [source] More than half of homes do not have a landline now. It tipped.

"Over half of U.S. cord cutters (51.8%) canceled their pay-TV service subscriptions in 2015 and 2016, according to new market research TDG (The Diffusion Group)."

"Just over 1 in 5 broadband households (22%) have no legacy pay-TV subscription, representing roughly 22 million homes, according to TDG."

“TDG observed long ago that incumbents were going to have to make a choice: either resign themselves to being a ‘dumb-pipe’ provider, or invest in using IP, change the TV experience, and become the go-to source for all things video,” he said. Comcast with Xfinity went for a better CX (customer experience). Just about everyone else buried their head in the and.

Tele-Health is a big opportunity. Huge! I tell you. Just huge. Except: "A third of senior citizens in the U.S. say they never use the internet. That's according to a new survey from Pew Research Center that looks at how digitally connected adults over 65 are. Seniors make up 15% of the U.S. population, about 46 million people.

Getting people to adopt not just Internet but broadband and the IP enabled life is a challenge.

Gigabit has reached 56M households in the US, according to Telecompetitor. There are almost 126M households in the US. That is a lot of digging, fiber strands and CAPEX! Verizon spent $1.3B on fiber to be deployed in the next 3 years.

It was expensive for telcos to get into TV just as TV declined. Whoops!

DSL can't compete against DOCSIS 3.0. Cable is winning the broadband game - at the expense of telcos, especially RLECs. Smaller MSOs were already getting cherry picked by DISH and DirecTV. They had to double down on Internet -- but at a considerable expense.

In almost every pie - TV, voice, broadband, cellular - it is saturated. The only way through is Innovation. You have to make the Customer Experience so much better.

It isn't even just CAPEX. It is Strategy of where can you grow especially in a take away game filled with Me-too products (VoIP, TV, SD-WAN, cloud). Where is the opportunity? Where can growth come from? What skills do we have in house that can be leveraged?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 UC Market Report Available

RAD-INFO INC has released its report on the US Hosted VoIP/UC market report. The report looks at over 20 providers in the US Hosted VoIP/UC space. With over 2000 providers operating in the US, the market is saturated, but about 20 providers have risen to the top in seats and revenue. For information about purchasing this report, contact the RAD-INFO INC office at 813-963-5884 or procure it below.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Restoring Internet Freedom

From FCC Chair Pai:

Restoring Internet Freedom

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – WC Docket No. 17-108

Background: For almost twenty years, the Internet flourished under a light-touch regulatory approach.

[me] For almost 20 years there was actual competition. There hundreds of independent ISPs. That is why it flourished.

During this time, the Internet underwent rapid, and unprecedented, growth. Internet service providers
(ISPs) invested approximately $1.5 trillion in the Internet ecosystem...

[me] and then consolidation hit. The pie stagnated with stagnated wages for most Americans. We had that huge downturn in 2006-2008. Remember that? Oh, and Verizon spent $26B on FiOS - and didn't get the 50% return they expected. ILECs called for - and received in over 20 states - deregulation.

[me] You know where we are now? Cable is the incumbent voice provider to more than 60% of households. Yeah, the ILECs were fat and happy on rate of return and USF money and fighting with CLECs. They missed the cable threat.

[me] For Telco TV the telcos HAD to invest in their networks for the first time in ages! And the timing was awful.

[me] TV is OTT now. But it wouldn't be without a watchful FCC.

[FCC]The Internet became an ever-increasing part of the American economy, offering new and innovative changes in how we work, learn, receive medical care, and entertain ourselves.

[me] Again wouldn't have happened without competition and a vigilant FCC.

[FCC] The Commission’s 2015 decision to subject ISPs to Title II utility-style regulations risks that innovation, serving ultimately to threaten the open Internet it purported to preserve.

[me] Really, because that regulation didn't affect anything since it was enacted. NOTHING! And Title II didn't affect WAN or Voice development or innovation. You know what destroyed Innovation? Consolidation and Greed.

[me] Monopolists don't know how to innovate or compete except through litigation and buying regulation. Thanks for being a pawn! Bell Labs was a separate entity (like PARC was for XEROX) but that is where all the innovation happened. Nothing new since they sold it off to Lucent.

Best Headlines on Net Neutrality

ISPs Trot Out Old Lies to Defend New Attack on Net Neutrality

Throttling of websites and online services might help customers, FCC says.

The FCC will now take your comments on whether to kill net neutrality. [But the Chair won't listen.]

The Worst Lies From Yesterday's Anti-Net Neutrality Speech

Over 800 Startups Tell FCC's Ajit Pai Not To Kill Net Neutrality

FCC Falsely Claims Net Neutrality Took Away Your Freedom

US ISPs claim to love net neutrality while praising death of net neutrality rules
ISPs say they support net neutrality—but oppose FCC's authority to enforce it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

One Mission Statement Example

The mission statement of Najmtek, a hybrid IT company, is to change the way users interact with technology within their worlds. [source Gapingvoid]

What's your mission statement?

Gaping Culture

Hugh MacLeod at GapingVoid has been talking Culture this past month. Brian Solis and GapingVoid released a short ebook on culture (HERE)

Open, honest communication. Creativity and culture in the workplace come from the same place: A feeling of trust and safety in your workspace, with your team, and surrounding your mission. [source]

"You are going to spend more time at work than you will with your kids, so it had better have that deeper meaning," Nadella recalls. [source]

70% of employees are disengaged. That’s because 90% of companies have ill defined cultures.

HBR on Rethinking the Corporate Love Affair with Change

What is Your Culture?

A.I. Will Eat Your Job!

Robots are going to eat jobs. Already are, but it is going to accelerate. 40%+ of jobs are at risk of being automated!

4 skills that will stave it off: (1) code; (2) consultative selling; (3) problem solving; (4) creative thinking. Be a Linchpin.

"We have to prepare the next generation to be ready to work on their own, to use their brains to create every single day. All the other jobs -- those are being handed off to robots." [GapingVoid]

Broadsoft in Competition With its Clients

Interesting news from ADTRAN and Broadsoft: the launch of ADTRAN’s ProCloud UC powered by BroadSoft (BSFT). , so MSPs can white-label BSFT through ADTRAN.

"The addition of the BroadCloud call control platform to ADTRAN’s ProCloud Subscription Services Suite enables Managed Service Provider (MSP) partners to expand their cloud-based unified communications (UC) offerings." Truth be told if they wanted to white label it, there are a dozen options including Coredial, Momentum, PBX-Change, et al.

It seems more and more BSFT is competing directly with its customers in much he same way that ILECs and cablecos do. That won't be good long term for anyone. There are too many players in the UC game; most play the price game. Hard to compete with $15 per seat though from the manufacturer.

While I understand that BSFT has to sell seats to survive, doing it at the expense of its clients is crazy. Consider that there are about 2 million seats that are sitting out there unused and BSFT is NOT collecting maintenance on. Consider that as BSFT lowers the price to $15, its very own customers cannot compete so more seats end up unsold and maintenance payments slow down. Can BSFT make enough money selling directly to cover the losses soon to be suffered by its clients?

What type of VoIP is selling today? Most of the VoIP market is selling SIP trunks to replace PRIs and POTS lines. Hosted seats are tough to sell. Right now the UC market is shifting to Workflow and other siloed comms platforms like Slack or Skype4B. At Enterprise Connect, the keynotes were from Amazon (who launched a cloud contact center offering) and Twilio, not AT&T, not Avaya and not BSFT. What does that say about the future of UC?

One thing to think about is to "Give your employees less fragmented enterprise communications if you want them to collaborate better. Make the desktop more like the smartphone and enterprise experiences as good as consumer technology," writes David Carr at Forbes. Users are self selecting apps for comms including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, twitter DM and more. Most of it is outside the corporate umbrella. Many reasons for that, including you communicate with people in the easiest manner possible to get a response.

We'll see how this ends up.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Tidbits #2451

Charter was supposed to overbuild broadband as part of its merger with TWC and Bright House. The FCC reversed that idea. Competition is not a good idea, I guess.

John Malone's Liberty Interactive is buying Alaska's GCI. GCI is a cellular and triple-play consumer ISP. They are a big Metaswitch client.

Less than half of households living on under $20,000 are connected (to Broadband Internet) [Time]

A study on Remote workers from CIO mag: "The study revealed just how prevalent remote work is; nearly three out of every four employees surveyed say their company offers flexible working options and 32 percent of respondents say they regularly work remotely."

VZ merged AOL + Yahoo into a new company called Oath.

How Amazon's Connect Could Impact Twilio, Zendesk, RingCentral. Amazon is working with Vonage, Level3 and other companies with its Chime and Connect service offerings.

Extreme Networks does more M&A, buys Brocade’s data-center switching, analytics and routing business for $55M.