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.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Tidbits (Part 2466)

Some interesting articles this week.

Why does Verizon care about telephone poles?

Verizon to discontinue more interstate DS0 services in 7 states. No more Copper! VZ plans multi-stage all-fiber network transition.

Even Frontier is turning from copper. Frontier Testing New Fixed Wireless Services

Frontier and Google fighting for 3.5 GHz spectrum rules.

Will Broadband rates double soon?

Why aren't cable or the cellcos treating like a common carrier? This opinion discusses the cellcos owned by LECs. The Cure to the Common Carrier

Meet Verizon Wireless' New Chief Customer Experience Officer, Scott Zimmer:

"In the competitive mobile space, it takes a concerted effort to build the customer experience. Verizon Wireless recently took it a step further when it brought in Scott Zimmer to serve in a new position as its Chief Customer Experience Officer. According to Scott, customer experience definitely creates a competitive advantage over other companies. Verizon’s goal is to go above and beyond to build brand loyalty and brand love so that customers prefer the company for reasons beyond it just having the best price. Its perspective and practices can help companies in all industries."

Randall Stephenson says his wireless carrier (AT&T) will use targeted advertising to change the TV market and lower prices for consumers.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Ransomware Threat Grows

Two separate reports on Ransomware:

About 5% of all small and medium-sized businesses were affected by ransomware in 2016, paying more than $301 million to ransomware attackers during the year, according to Datto's State of the Channel Ransomware Report.

In a report commissioned by Cisco Systems and Dimension Data, Cisco’s 2017 Mid-Year Cyber Security Report, found that nearly 50 percent of businesses around the globe experienced at least one cyber attack in 2016, and, of those, 39% were ransomware attacks. In the US alone, the number of attacks rose 300% from 2015 to 2016.

News Tidbits (Part 2465)

C Spire takes aim at AT&T with launch of fixed wireless services starting at 25 Mbps. "Regional telecom operator C Spire said it will launch fixed wireless services in eight initial markets in Mississippi, with more to follow. The company told FierceWireless it is using “multiple technologies and spectrums depending on the options available in any given area,” and that it expects to eventually cover 200,000 consumers and businesses in the state with the technology." [Fierce]

Sprint wants to remind people that it still has that LD fiber network [source]

CenturyLink to extend broadband to 3M homes by end of 2017, offer fixed pricing [source]

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bundle Tidbits (Part 2464)

A decent article on the value of a winning Bundle [article].

A couple of examples of bundles I am seeing.

Microsoft Office 365 and Nimble CRM Cloud Bundle [Channele2e] ZOHO released Zoho One to complete.

CenturyLink uses managed Wi-Fi platform to upsell SMB services. "CenturyLink has added another product to its business services portfolio. They have introduced Business WiFi, with the help of Cisco's Meraki technology. CenturyLink will be targeting the SMB that would like to offer its customers WiFi with an easy cloud-based way to manage it.

ADTRAN sells Managed Wi-fi too. Something you might want to add to your own portfolio.


Are You Texting Your Customers? Why you should be.