If you didn't attend ISP America in Orlando this week, you missed some good networking and some decent sessions. I did Hiring Sales People, another one on Sales Compensation, another on Marketing Cloud Opportunities and began it with a CEO session on Wed. night.
I actually gave some key points to the group of CEO's that I had learned in Vegas at a meeting a day before.
Buyers are not buying technology. They are buying solutions, more importantly, they are buying a more efficient business process. Keep that in mind.
Think about email. Most folks have a Gmail, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account. It's free. They have no idea what server it sits on, what the software is, where the boxes are. Nor do they care. All they care about is uptime and availability. Even though they don't pay for it!
Expectations are shrinking. People expect a response in less than a day. IN some cases of tech support or customer service in less than an hour. Thanks to social media.
I agree with the Synnex CEO: "It's About Higher-Margin, Not Higher-Volume." It's also about Layer 7, not Layer 1, 2 or 3. People are concerned with the pipe (nor the size of the pipe). They care what they can do with it. Consumers only care about the size of broadband so that they can stream Netflix. No one knows what 3G or 4G speeds are. Just can I get service, grab my email, use my apps, update my Facebnook. That's it.
I think the big issue for ISP's is that most users are mobile. At some point, that terrestrial access pipe to the home will go the way of the home phone line. Why? Mobility and the fact that twenty-somethings do everything on their phone. How will you sell them a DSL or fixed wireless connection, when they want service everywhere? Cable and AT&T are adding wi-fi hotspots to adjust for this. What are you doing?
To get sticky to the customer, you need to bundle. Bundle what? Well, there are numerous cloud services that you can sell in a package -- IF you can get over the control issues and just make a business decision.
Some other points:
Think about What is the Market Demanding?
The Cloud Changes Business processes.
It's a commodity, especially when it can be bought online. But for some services, consumers want to buy directly. The Power of 3 means that when they hit 3 services, they want help (maybe one bill or one throat).
In the future, when you hire technicians, make certain that they can think about the Customer and Business Processes.
Can you bill? Can you bill usage or metered?
Help Desk -- it all comes down to people are frustrated with crappy customer service. Some will pay for outside support of free services (like Google Apps). even more, people will pay for integration of Gmail with CRM with invoice software. That's where the big money is.
The company that can sell an integrated bundle into a vertical will make the most margin.
It's a lot to think about.