Is there really a question about the future of telecommunications? Over the last thirty years, I have participated in the development of the Intelligent Network Architecture that brought us Service Control Points and out of band signaling (SS7), Cellular communications (now mobility with Wi-Fi, Mi-Fi and femtocell) and today, IP Telephony. There is no doubt in my mind that the transition to IP communications is inevitable and I wonder why the FCC is asking for opinions on the subject? As usual, I'll keep an eye on that for you as well.
In other news, Cisco has found in an internal study of the marketplace for commercial voice and data that 50 percent resides with businesses that have fewer than 24 phone lines and 5 Mbps or less of broadband. This is consistent with the sales activity we have experience over the last year. It is not our preference that a majority of our sales is to SMBs, it is the nature of the landscape. With millions of SMBs as a target market and only a few thousand enterprises, it is not surprising the total number of clients in the SMB space far exceed enterprises. Moreover, the sales cycle is such that closing business with an SMB can be accomplished on the same day as an enquiry while the sales cycle with an enterprise can take over a year.
Finally, the same Cisco study noted that the average small business had 2.7 or 2.8 phone lines. I prefer to say three. This is one of the reasons that Broadvox moved from an offering of a minimum of six concurrent call sessions to three CCS. This expanded the opportunity for our partners to approach and satisfy a larger number of users. The conclusion Cisco offers as a result is one where they can substantiate their efforts to collaborate with a major cable company or MSO to provide their IP communications and computing solutions.
Clearly, products like Verizon's FIOS are capturing the imagination of residential users and SMBs but will it be the primary broadband of the future? It seems to me that the successful broadband implementation will support physical offices and virtual/mobile offices. We are becoming far more dependent on our ability to conduct business while on the move, even if only locally. Cable telecom access is replacing traditional landlines but is it truly disruptive? Solving mobility issues is the key to me in determining where we as businesses and a government need to make investments. Even so, I would not bet against Cisco.
See you on Monday with another new recipe and have a great weekend!