The Future Requires Teamwork

Erik Linask : Convergence Corner
Erik Linask

The Future Requires Teamwork

After Taqua CEO Eric Pratt introduced him as a prime example of a user who has embraced the ideal of user collaboration to enhance the value of the T7000 for everyone, Nsight EVP Rob Riordan had little choice but to take the stage and present a compelling case for following in his company's footsteps.
Having been at the house that Jerry built - new Dallas Stadium - a day earlier to watch the Dallas Cowboys battle the Tennessee Titans, Riordan, looked to the Cowboys' owner as a model for Taqua users. 
"Jones is not in the football business," he said. "He is in the entertainment business."
The point is that there is little opportunity for additional individual revenue with the NFL's revenue sharing structure. Jones, however, recognized the value in entertainment and has turned his stadium into the ultimate game experience, including the obscenely large screen - though if you weren't sure who sang the national anthem, the screen left little doubt it was country star Trace Adkins.
"You are in a business too -not just communications, but the service business," added Riordan. "You can be a Jerry Jones too."
What he means is that service providers have to provide a service for their customers above and beyond the basic offering. Instead of just a football game, they have to offer a complete experience and, importantly, in order to do that well, they have to listen to the customer. In fact, they have do more: they have to understand what customers are actually telling them.
Nsight, for instance, seeks to maximizing on its assets to ensure its customers receive the best overall service, which includes becoming an market resource, whereby it informs customers of the latest technologies even if they aren't yet available. The goal is to build a trusted relationship - a stickier relationship.
The reason is simple. By becoming a trusted partner to its customers, Nsight significantly reduces the likelihood of churn and, perhaps more importantly, the residual impact of churn, typically manifested in what Riordan calls feeding the hog, meaning that customers don't simply leave, they tell others why they are leaving, the impact of which is significantly increased by the growth of social media.
The key, however, is for operators to understand they don't have to do it all on their own, that this entire user conference is built around the idea that what works for one provider should be shared for the benefit of the whole user group.
Riordan discussed a number of future opportunities, from home network monitoring and home automation to network-based IP cameras, QoS, and application mashups. In order to make any of these solutions work, partnership are crucial. 
"The future requires teamwork," he concluded.

If he can get more teamwork on the field, Jones might be a happy as happy at his weekly "user conferences" as Pratt is today.

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