Friday, February 02, 2024

I Don't Understand Analysts

 This is from the industry's favorite guy to give a microphone to, Jay McBain:

The MSP space is expected to experience significant growth in 2024 - here's the top 10 predictions from our MSP guru, Robin Ody from Canalys:

1. Total managed services revenue in the channel will grow 12% in 2024. Double digits in a tough macro environment.  [RAD: That seems reasonable.]

2. Over 50% of all MSPs will be operating an ecosystem (co-managed and/or co-partnering) model in 2024. The decade of the ecosystem!  [RAD: Define ecosystem because I don't think HALF will be operating one, since 90% of the MSPs do under $5M in revenue!]

3. At least 33% of MSPs will be using generative AI to build their own tools and automation processes by 2025. Once in a generation internal opportunity.  [RAD: unless Jay defines MSP as something other than the definition that CompTIA uses, I don't see it when 90% of MSPs do less than $5M in revenue.]

4. MSP partner programs will become widespread across IT vendors in 2024. We are tracking 35,000 vendors asking how to do this!  [RAD: sure]

5. Compliance consulting services will grow 60% for MSPs in 2024. Governance becomes the next frontier of managed services.  [RAD: I have seen other analysts with similar projections for compliance consulting, but I think they mean for the Big 5 like Deloitte.]

6. MDR services will be the number one growth engine for MSPs in 2024, growing at least 50%. Cyber is becoming a team sport - there is a natural MDR/XDR extension to every managed contract.  [RAD: sure]

7. At least three vendors in the RMM and PSA space will be acquired by 2025. Watch this space closely. I know Robin already has a couple under NDA.  [RAD: 3 large ones like CW or Kaseya or any 3 RMM/PSA like Halo or Screenconnect?]

8. M&A activity in the MSP channel will grow 50% in 2024, returning to 60% of 2021 levels. Not the surge from years back, but a return to roll-ups and exit opportunities for entrepreneurs.  [RAD: certainly looks that way with just December and January numbers]

9. Cybersecurity managed services revenue will grow 15% in 2024. Outgrowing overall managed services growth - and also outgrowing the 6,500 software and hardware vendors too!

10. The three key challenges for MSPs in 2024 will be new customer acquisition, upskilling existing staff, and transitioning their business models. Now over a half-trillion services opportunity, MSP's will need to mature their business models and take advantage of the growing opportunity.  [RAD: if M&A is up and Cybersec is most of the growth, which requires special talent, how will that growth come? Combine sales issues and staffing issues, these predictions are counter-intuitive.}

Does anyone understand the MSP space in the US? Really understand who they are and what that sector of the market is? If you think MSP and immediately imagine Dimension Data/NTT, then you may not see the market from the street.  Ingram Micro has 160K global customers. Those customers are VARs and MSPs - two distinctly different business models. Microsoft says it has 62K partners in North America. So assume that there are like 65K MSPs in the US, that means 6500 of them are who the analysts are talking about, not the 58K that make up most of the market.  Even CRN can't correctly identify an MSP:  CRN lists BCM One as an Elite 150 MSP, when in fact they are a managed SIP provider. When you look at it as data in begets the data out, I now understand the predictions. I wrote in my summary post about 2023 that most people who talk about the channel really don't understand it -- and they prove me right with each article.  

Monday, April 05, 2021

The Case for State Net Neutrality Laws

In a CCMI blog by Andrew Regitsky, the author argues that buying ISP service is not local and that 50 state laws is bad for consumers. 

Regitsky writes, "Personally, I find the arguments for 50 state net neutrality laws specious.  They fail to consider the regulatory costs to ISPs that will be passed on to consumers for having to comply with 50 individual laws." That's the same BS we have been hearing since the telecom act went into effect! Too much regulation -- but the ISPs are currently deregulated and are not subject to any regulatory costs -- and the US has the most expensive broadband in the G20. Also, there is nothing innovative about the Big ISPs! Cripes, AT&T just recently stopped selling DSL. Ma Bell still sells VDSL but the ADSL put forth in 1999 has just now been mothballed.

AR goes on, "They also assert that more laws will result in more ISP innovation.  However, that makes no sense.   Costly research and investment are easier to cost justify when a company can do so over a larger number of potential customers.  Coke doesn’t perform research on different varieties of soda to sell one flavor in New York and another in Mississippi." Actually, that's incorrect. Coke launches products regionally as do fast food franchises and other companies that have the data to do so. It's also a horrible analogy because Internet is purchased locally, not nationally. Has he ever been a buyer for network from Comcast, Charter, AT&T or Verizon for Fortune 5000 clients? It is a patchwork effect since none of these giants cover the 50 states.

Further, he writes, "There are good reasons that Internet service has always been classified as an interstate service with the FCC permitted to pre-empt state laws that conflict with its own." Yeah, Power. Plus the Internet came out of a DARPA project and the network and backbone are international in scope and reach. Yet the last mile, the actual user is Local.

"While it might be deeply satisfying for some folks to want to “put it to” the ISPs, in the long run consumers will lose through paying higher broadband prices and having fewer innovative services available if states control the Internet." Does the author not understand that there isn't competition for broadband in America? Cable owns over 60% of the market. Most consumers have NO choice in ISP. Most consumers have only 2 possible providers - telco or cable. In total, at least 83.3 million Americans can only access broadband through a single provider.

The pandemic did a great job in demonstrating that broadband cap limits by cablecos were just about money; that there is a Digital Divide; and that not all internet service is equal. In fact, it so expensive to get internet that the federal government is now subsidizing it!!! That should signal that it is a Utility and not a perk. And should regulated as such!.

Love to know what innovation and competition the author - a supposed industry expert in inter-carrier compensation, universal service and lately, Internet regulation, who swallowed too much kool-aid from his former employers - seems to think is out there.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Tidbits from February 2021

Dialpad and T-Mobile are partnering up for biz comms. T-Mobile believes in the future of AI-powered cloud communications, and contributed to Dialpad’s Series E funding round in 2020. T-Mo also announced WFX, Home Office Internet - fixed 5G/4G broadband. 

 Microsoft rolls out Operator Connect, for voice services in Microsoft Teams. Don't forget that MS also offers CPaaS (dial-tone, SMS and more) via Azure Comms Platform. 

 Contact centers reported a 37% increase in demand during the pandemic via CP news. Explains Genesys having a good year: 800+ new customers during fiscal year 2021. 

 But no one had a better year than Zoom: Zoom saw total revenue grow 326 percent to $2.65bn. Apparently Zoom isn’t buying a CCaaS as they say they are happy with their partnerships with Five9, TalkDesk, Genesys and NICE. 

 Remote Workers and RAY BAUM’s Act: HERE. The  FCC on Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act 911 Direct Dialing, Notification, and Dispatchable Location Requirements (E-9-1-1

 Sonic Telecom Seeks Return of Cost-Based Unbundled Network Elements (HERE

 Is the next big #UCaaS trend employee monitoring and productivity products? @DaveMichels thinks so.  

Fuze went Vertical. Fuze for Manufacturing is available in Essential and Contact Center licenses, starting at $50 per user monthly, as noted on the Fuze for Manufacturing website.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Tidbits from January 2021

C Spire doing FTHH in Mississippi and now Jasper, AL. [telecomp]

Star Telephone in Louisiana gets its 2nd ReConnect award from USDA. [telecomp]

RDOF winners included many WISPs -- other legacy winners do not believe that these providers will be able to meet the speeds and deployment requirements.

SonicWall falls foul of zero-day vulnerability hack on own VPNs [source]

AudioCodes joins up with Twilio to offer direct routing to MS Teams. That is a crowded market - direct routing to Teams. And basically it is just dial-tone (SIP trunks) without advanced features. Not sticky. The keep is to add Value to that with IVR or voicemail or something. Business SMS - currently being touted by all Cisco powered providers - is something you can get in MS Teams with DR via SIP trunks or CPaaS. Reminder: Microsoft now offers CPaaS!

94 ISPs added wired broadband plans costing $60 per month or less during the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a new broadband price report from BroadbandNow.

Oak Hill Investment invests in CT ISP to accelerate FTTH deployment in Penn, CT and Northeast. [CV source] private capital is all over the FTTX space; UCaaS, cloud contact center and the MSP space. Monthly recurring revenue and some level of stickiness.

Bill Gates on life after the pandemic and Doug points out how this will affect ISPs [Pots and Pans]

Small business help from Intuit. Intuit has updated Intuit Aid Assist (IAA), a free website with two interactive tools to help eligible small business owners and the self-employed assess their eligibility for federal relief and related tax credits from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. The second round of PPP loans is upon us.

ISPs still suing California over Net Neutrality {ARS}

Friday, September 25, 2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness

FYI... from my SBA bank on PPP Loan Forgiveness. (I have not been invited to apply for Forgiveness yet).

To give yourself a head start to the forgiveness process, these are the required documents:

  • Payroll Report and Confirmation of Payments made for the Covered Period and Reference Period
  • Lease Agreement and Rent Receipts for the Covered Period
  • Utility Invoices and Paid Receipts for the Covered Period 
  • Mortgage Agreement and Mortgage Interest Statements for the Covered Period 
  • Bank Statements Covering the Covered Period 
  • 2019 Filed Business Tax Return 
  • Other Related Expenses for the Covered Period 
 Your forgiveness application is not due until 10 months after the end of the Covered Period you select (either 8 weeks or 24 weeks from initial loan disbursement). You can submit your forgiveness application and supporting documentation in our Forgiveness Portal. 

Employers: If you applied for your PPP loan with a Form 940, 941, 944, or W-2., You may be eligible for full forgiveness if: 

  • The entire loan is used for qualifying costs: 
  • At least 60% is used for payroll 
  • And the rest is used for business rent, business utilities, or mortgage interest on a business property 
  • You either do not lay off employees or if you do, rehire them by December 31, 2020. 
  • For your employees who make less than $100,000 a year, you either do not cut their wages by more than 25% or if you do, you restore their original wages by December 31, 2020. 
  • Note: If you received an EIDL Advance, the amount of that EIDL Advance will be deducted from your total forgiveness amount.

Monday, August 10, 2020

50 Ideas in 50 Minutes

Google just announced that Google Play Music will shut down. While downloading the music from there, I came across a bunch of my old webinar recordings.

50 Ideas in 50 Minutes was my start in speaking at conferences in 2006. The list of ideas is on Marketing Idea Guy.  My slides from ISPCON Fall 2008 are HERE.

What is funny reading all the blog posts on Marketing Idea Guy is the topics are still relevant - and I started writing there in 2006 (80 pages of blog posts!).  I also was a blogger for Phone+ for a year (2007), then on TMC from 2008 till 2017. Besides this Blogger blog, I also have MarketingIdeaGuy and This one is the one most relevant to ISP or NSP. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

How to Help Your Clients

I know things are crazy right now. I hope you are safe. They are crazy for your customers too. But they need tech to help them through this - and you are the tech expert! Do you want to help your clients?

Are you helping them with WFH (work from home)?

Are you offering endpoint security since phishing and malware attacks are up?

Are you offering backup in case of ransomware?

Are you offering video surveillance since their stores, offices, warehouse, supplies are empty and unoccupied?

Can you offer ways to make the office or workplace COVID19 friendly like with Ring or other video doorbell, speaker boxes, remote door locks, etc?

Did you ask them if they have any servers in the office? Move them to the cloud or colo.

Do they have paper files at the office that no one can access now? That is a document management project!

Selling these things is not taking advantage – it is looking out for…

A good conversation about all this stuff can be listened to HERE!