Sunday, August 15, 2010

Where Can You Make Money

There has been a some discussion about my being down on DSL Resale. Without scale, this just doesn't float as a long-term profitable business plan. Your entire business is at the whim of the ILEC.

It takes time to design a Plan B and execute it. But you might want to start today.

Where can you make money?

As I have often said, Layer 1 or Layer 7. The buzz today in the tech industry is around a few topics: 4G, Cloud, Hosted PBX, UC, Security and Ubiquity.

4G - no one is there yet, but they keep talking about it to get press and the investor money that follows media interest. You can resell Clearwire 4G packages with your resold DSL. Or become an agent for any of the cellcos to make some extra bank on each account. The MVNO route: still waiting to hear back from Sprint. Go figure. It's been over six months!

Hosted PBX and UC (unified communications) are probably hand-in-hand. One Inbox (unified messaging) like Google Voice or Intermedia.Net are offering. UC typically means IM/chat, video, voice, text, SMS, Presence, conferencing, email, and hooks to databases like CRM and BI. It's a big project but there's money to be made in the pieces (like Hosted PBX, hosting the CRM, and the email) and in the Integration and Maintenance.

The Cloud. Need I say more?

Security. The downside is that you have to be really good at sales to sell security, since no one thinks they need it until AFTER the fact. (See virus steals $1M). But lots of regulations require security measures (not necessarily on the transport but on the app/data side) like HIPAA, PCI Compliance, GLBA, and SOX. (Email archiving and data backup would fall under security for this article).

Ubiquity: people want broadband access and data availability everywhere. Bundles that provide that are valuable. (See AT&T offering free wi-fi world over for its customers).

There you have ways to make some money outside of a dumb pipe.

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