Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Selling Colo

Data Centers are HOT right now. The telcos - WIND, C-Link, AT&T and VZ - may have their data centers on the market, but the pure play data center companies are booming.

"Colo Atl has another fiber tenant at ist 55 Marietta Street. Southern Fibernet has built into the facility where it will find easy inter-connection to the 80+ other network operators in the facility's Meet Me Area and the SNAP internet exchange." [Ramblings]

"Zayo is expanding again in Atlanta in response to the needs of a major customer. They will be adding another 11,000 square feet of space to the data center they acquired back in July of 2014, then known as AtlantaNAP. Zayo says that since then revenue and EBITDA at the facility are up 60%, which is an interesting growth data point for the company's zColo business." [Ramblings]

Many small colo providers have switched to selling VPS and cloud computing to make more money per rack. (And it brings them back to the days of selling Hosting!) Selling colo is much like being a Realtor - you are selling location and real estate. Selling hosting or cloud computing is a different kind of sale. You are selling a virtual service. You have to project Trust, Reliability and paint the picture of the Digital Hands that will provide fantastic customer care.

Ask The Right Questions Before Choosing A Colocation Provider from CyrusOne.

Marketing Gigabit Has Rewards

CenturyLink: Gigabit Marketing Helps Sell Slower Speeds.

"When customers called and weren't in the fiber footprint and realized they could get 20 Mbps or get 40 Mbps and when they did they were willing to switch. I think it was the fact that it was unknown to them that they could get speeds they could get from us."

Build Versus Buy (part II)

I wrote on this topic recently - Building Your Own versus Buying. I also wrote a little about what technology you sould be working on HERE.

At the Open Source session at ITEXPO, someone in the audience talked about open source use because he could control it more, customize it more and offer stuff that maybe the commercial softswitch couldn't. I didn't rebut him because it had to percolate, but I don't see too many of the 2000+ VoIP providers offering anything cool. They all offer about the same thing. So if you are going to build it, build something cool like Slack, not a hobbled together cheaper version of Broadsoft.

People aren't really buying technology. They are buying outcomes. It is about getting to market fast; not getting to market eventually. There are a couple of ISPs that talked and talked and tinkered and came to market months later. The window of opportunity that they would have had shrunk.

The window of opportunity for a lot of stuff is shrinking, especially for UCaaS. To many players in the space and two giants that will soon be battling it out - Cisco and Microsoft.

Also during the Open Source session, many expressed a small problem: finding talent is becoming harder. Talent to run the open source software is getting expensive. Just another thing to think about.

Seth Godin this morning had a post about Loose/tight, thoughts on management. When to hire employees, when to outsource. It is the same concept I am trying to convey but he does it better.

Monday, February 01, 2016

2 Reminders on a Monday

I know it is McD's (in the image below), but they know what business they are in. Do You? Hint: You are not in the Internet business. Nor the voice business. You are in the technology delivery business coupled with making the tech invisible to the user business.

I wrote in my TMC blog this morning about all the acronyms we use and all the jargon we use. It is all Charlie Brown's Teacher to the prospect, to the marketplace.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Managing Your Tasks

I did a webinar about having the Best Year Ever where a good portion of focused on time management. So how do you manage tasks, projects, time? Here are lists of apps:

  1. Time Management: Best Apps for ADHD Adults. This list includes the likes of Listastic, 2Do, 30/30 and 24me (a reminder app).
  2. Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools. 
  3. 10 Time Tracker apps.
  4. 10 Great Time Management Apps for Adult Students.
  5. More productivity apps from LifeHacker.
I know 2 million people swear by Slack every day, but Quip is like Slack and used internally at Facebook. I think the key is to be able to add functionality. In this case, both Slack and Quip have integration. Read more about the Quip integration here. [You can Compare Quip and Slack here.]

You can add integration between software applications simply by utilizing integration-as-a-service platforms like Zapier or IFTTT.

If you use Trello, it has Slack integration!

Toggl to track how much time you spend on different projects.  (Or try Harvest time tracker).

Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind-mapping app.

MyLifeOrganized - Powerful To-Do list, task management and personal organizer software.

Boxer - email client and to-do list maker.

Email overload? Try (1) Mailbox (is closing down) or (2) Sanebox

Tech That's Revolutionizing Your Daily Chores

Get stuff done for you:
Need some ambient sound while working? Supposedly increases productivity. Coffivity.

One person suggested an online tool called Teamwork that offers project management, to-do lists and even billing.

Others suggested Podio, Wunderlist and Evernote.

Read this Google Email About Time Management Strategy.

Someone is using Wrike which is a task and project manager tool now. It wasn't when it was first released. There is also HiTask and Basecamp.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stats on Fiber

Two recent fiber acquisitions.

In North Virginia, "SummitIG gave an update on its progress since completing its new intercity and metro fiber build within and between Richmond and northern Virginia late last year. The infrastructure upstart says it now has 45+ on-net buildings to go with its 450 route miles of underground network, and has seen revenues climb 650% over the past year."

Just 450 miles of fiber and 45 on-net buildings = huge revenue explosion.

"Maine-based Oxford Networks purchased the New Hampshire Internet and data center company BayRing Communications. The purchase combines 2,000 miles of fiber-optic network in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and positions the company with access to 50,000 commercial buildings." I didn't know there were 50K commercial buildings in that part of New England. (I am from CT and spent time in each of those states skiing and vacationing.)

Even if you don't out fiber in yourself. Have a Lit building strategy. Get a tenant in a multi-tenant building - and then aggressively pursue the other tenants. Granite Telecom has an MDU strategy to chase malls and strip malls.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016: The Year for Security

Cliff sent in a good article about the Year of the Hacks (2015). "Hackers had a busy 2015, breaking into everything from the Ashley Madison database to CIA Director John Brennan's AOL account... This year, more than 178 million records on Americans were exposed in cyber-attacks, according to the Identity Theft Research Center. The worst of them included the breach of the Office of Personnel Management, which exposed the personal information of 21.5 million people."

In marketing, one technique is called news-jacking. I would suggest that every time you see an article about a hack that you leverage it as a way to email your list about security. You can be educating your customers about Ransomware, Password Basics, wireless security basics and more. You can be sending out password change reminders. Lots of ways to be Helpful (rule # 1 in sales) and establish your company as the expert, the helpful expert.

Have you explained about the Insider Threat?

"The insider threat encompasses not only malicious employees who want to do harm, but also compromised corporate IDs and credentials — for example, a user who inadvertently clicks on a suspicious email attachment that exposes the system (and possibly the corporate network) to malware is an insider threat."

A survey by Autotask of "more than 1,100 ITSPs found that there is an increased demand for them to manage the security concerns of their clients."

There is opportunity here. Grab it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Register Now for Upcoming Webinars

I have been asked to repeat some webinars from the past. Yet I never give the same presentation twice, so while the name of the topic of the webinar may be the same, the subject matter will be fresh and up-to-date.


First up is a 45 minute webinar on Friday, January 29, 2016 at Noon Eastern time to provide concrete steps to have your Best Year Ever. The 6 things that you can do to improve your business. REGISTER HERE for $19.95.


Join me for a 1 hour webinar to learn some techniques for Competing Against the Incumbents on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 at Noon Eastern time. REGISTER NOW for $29.95!

FISPA Live is Feb. 24-26 in Tampa where I will be presenting live 2 sessions: Competing Against the Incumbents and Marketing Your Fiber.


Are you deploying fiber? This one hour webinar is on ways to Market Your Fiber. On Friday, March 4, 2016 at Noon Eastern to go through different ways that you can market your fiber for greater take rate and pre-sales. REGISTER HERE for $45. [This is the only webinar that you get a copy of the mp3.]


One of the most popular webinars I haven't given since 2014. Soft selling tips for customer service reps and technicians in two separate webinars of 45 minutes each.

Soft Selling for CSRs REGISTER HERE at just $24.95 on March 8th at Noon Eastern

Soft Selling for Technicians REGISTER HERE on March 9th at Noon Eastern.


Probably the session I have presented the most - both in-person and on webinars: How to sell Cloud Phone Systems. REGISTER HERE for only $19.95.

You can buy the ebook, SELLECOM2: Selling Cloud Services for just $10.


Get a company package deal: all these webinars in Q1 2016 would cost you $175+. You can get them all including the mp3's, the slides and the ebook for just $118 for MLK Day.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Ole Business Model Needs to Pivot

The original ISP bought a PRI and an Internet T1 from the ILEC, plugged it into a modem bank and then sold some accounts for $25 a pop. CLECs helped to reduce the cost of the PRI and Internet over time. But dial-up gave way to DSL. DSL was mainly resale of the ILEC or CLEC (Northpoint, Rhythms,Covad). The ISP bought a hub circuit and sold DSL circuits off the hub.

The surprising thing is that as we make the move to fiber and Gigabit, the resale business model is in full swing. The time when CLEC's colocated in the central office, added their own gear and used copper to supply the last mile to the customer for T1, T3, xDSL and EoC is coming to a close I think. VZ, AT&T don't care what anyone says they are selling off, decommissioning and not installing any new copper wires. It is all fiber, all theirs and available only through commercial agreement.

In the current resale model, CLECs would need to remember the era just after UNE-P was canceled. In that era, they struggled to survive until commercial agreements were negotiated that replaced the UNE-P deal. Granite Telecom is a billion dollar company based on copper contracts, but even they are shifting to an MDU product and cloud.

You can ride it out like the UNE-P guys and LD minutes did. Or you can pivot or innovate or change up your game a little bit. At the FISPA Live event in Tampa on Fen. 24-26 I will presenting on How to Compete. I have presented that before (2012, see here and buy the mp3)... and this will be a 30 minute session. If you can't make it, then join me on a 1 hour webinar about Competing Against the Incumbents on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 at Noon Eastern time. REGISTER HERE: