Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

June 2010

You are browsing the archive for June 2010.

What Makes a Good Master Agent?

June 29, 2010

The Technology Channel Association (TCA) hosted a conference call today about What Makes a Good Master Agent.

The main factor is of course money. Commissions. Collecting them. Mediating commission disputes.

Qwest Loses Forbearance

June 29, 2010

Qwest had a forbearance petition in at the FCC for the Phoenix metro area. It was denied by the FCC last week. It was denied in 2008 by Martin's commission as well.

Qwest claims that cable, VoIP and cellular are stealing all the market share.

Is Rural Wireline Profitable?

June 28, 2010

Exhibit A: Fairpoint Communications. Small rural telco merges with New England Verizon assets and billions in debt. The 3 state utility commissions were uneasy about the merger to begin with. Two years later, Fairport is struggling to get out of bankruptcy court.

3 Tricks to EoC

June 28, 2010

Ethernet over Copper is picking up steam. Hatteras Networks has something to do with that as they are the vendor for Metro Ethernet over Copper for former BellSouth. XO also has EoC in most of their markets. I saw an ad today from Tele-Pacific's EoC. Many of my clients - regional CLEC's - are selling G.SHDSL based services.

Billing is a Headache

June 25, 2010

Speaking with several agents, service providers and employees of carriers, I get the feeling that billing issues are more frequent today than ever before. I kind of joke that the ILEC's purposedly bill wrong to gain a 10% revenue increase, but all I hear is billing problems. And never in the customer's favor. It's always additional USOC's and old circuits and extra charges.

The other side of it is that it is a time-consuming effort to get ANY billing issue resolved.

How Much is Too Much?

June 21, 2010

I was invited into yet another LinkedIn group today. This time from Telarus. Why? There are groups from Phone+ (Channel Partner Network), ChannelVision Magazine, Independent Telecom Consultants, Peer-to-Peer, Telecom Business Daily, Telecom Executives Business Network, Telecom Sales Pros, Telecommunications Professionals Network, and the Technology Channel Association.

A couple of months ago, a TCA Board member started Channel Update, kind of in direct conflict with what we were doing at TCA.

50 Ideas in 50 Minutes

June 20, 2010

Friday a client told me that he wanted me to re-do my talk titled 50 Ideas in 50 Minutes. This is a session that Jack Brandt and I did for the now defunct ISPCON shows. It was not original ideas but a collection of nuggets that people forget and do not implement. I thought that I would share them with you:

  1. Plan- so you have a path
  2. Strategy- so you aren't putting out fires
  3. Call your best customers just to make sure everything okay, then ask for referrals.
  4. Focus on goals
  5. Remember that Marketing takes 6-9-12 months
  6. Become an information source- newsletter, podcast, blog, keep people thinking you know everything
  7. Think tank for your biz: attorney, CPA, 2 best customers, 2 non customers
  8. Hosted non portable services- hosted exchange-makes you sticky
  9. Get others organized
  10. Phase out projects so goals met, not just GOAL
  11. Have a vision statement - so all employees/literature say the same thing.
  12. Add a closing script to calls/meetings
  14. Who's your competition?
  15. Bring your customers people who can be their customers, they will never leave you
  16. Differentiate- show EASY, ROI, EFFICIENT
  17. Make customers experience EASY (VOIP doesn't do this)
  18. Who is your target customer?
  19. Go vertical- find a niche
  20. Figure out how to steal competition from a competitor
  21. Sell more to your current customers
  22. Vertical markets are less price sensitive
  23. FASTER and BETTER, NOT cheaper
  24. Be able to TCO and ROI on product/service
  25. Sell Something/Cross Sell
  26. Address women - they make most of the decisions
  27. Hire WOMEN to sell
  28. Hire Attorney to Sell for you
  29. Give back to the community, then talk about it
  30. Get employees to give back, then talk about it
  31. Encourage employees to provide feedback to company about how to improve
  32. Outsource and partner - you can't do everything
  33. Start every day with 2 cold calls, the rest of the day will be easy
  34. Do not leave voice mail for someone you've never met
  35. Have a unique selling proposition
  36. Always ask for a follow-up appointment
  37. Teach a class or seminar
  38. Create podcast or youtube video
  39. Hire Slow, fire FAST
  40. Let your employees find other employees
  41. Hire your vendors' employees
  42. Have a process
  43. Have a script - this creates consistency and a process for up sell
  44. Rent a theater with new release for just customers - they will tell everyone, better than $5 pen
  45. Free lunch and learns via chamber
  46. Marketing on hold
  47. Everyone is stressed, be friendly
  48. Takes average of 7 touches to a customer to get them on board
  49. Use the power of a Thank You, hand written, especially to women
  50. Have a mystery shopper
  51. Follow up on service calls to make sure their happy
  52. Have tie in's
  53. Charities - Co-Market with them.
  54. Door Hangers.
  55. Surveys.
  56. Documentation management/storage, Make it EASY.
  57. Pizza Box Advertisement
  58. Coffee cups for local coffee shop with both logo's on it.
  59. If you are comfortable, you are not doing anything that will get you to the next level.
  60. Biz coaches- is free/retired biz people to help
  61. Use college business & marketing dept's.
  62. Hire an intern.
  63. Make them laugh- leave a joke as voice mail.

Marketing is Not Sales

June 20, 2010

Marketing is creating noise. Marketing is puking on Twitter and other social networks.

Sales is about relationships. Never forget: people do business with people. Sales is also about product knowledge.

7.5 Things to Consider about VoIP Providers

June 20, 2010

It's seems every day another provider of VoIP services pops up. There's at least 1100 of them. How does a small business decide what VoIP Provider to use?

My guess is that it's the first one to knock on his door that he trusts.

My Thoughts on the BSFT IPO

June 17, 2010

Disclaimer: I work with both Broadsoft and its customers.

I was shocked to learn that Broadsoft hasn't made money yet. Granted some of their clients came through acquisitions of Genband and Sylantro, but they have 400+ clients including many large ILEC's worldwide.

Broadsoft raised about $76M from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Grotrech Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Columbia Capital, RRE VEntures, Crescendo Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners.

HDTV Experience

June 16, 2010

I have Bright House Networks for my Internet access and TV. I have a Toshiba LCD HDTV. I have had problems with signal disappearing to the TV for a while. I have also been experiencing problems with Video-on-Demand not working and the Guide.

CommPartners BK

June 15, 2010

The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that CommPartners has filed bankruptcy protection (against Ma Bell). "The filings were made in Nevada bankruptcy court by Las Vegas-based companies CommPartners Holding Corp., CommPartners Carrier Services Corp., CommPartners Network Services LLC and CommPartners LLC." (Doing business under the name CommPartners Connect.)

An inside source reminds me that, "It's a Chapter 11 re-organization, not liquidation. Caused by an FCC that has been afraid to tackle inter-carrier compensation reform and by greedy ILECs that act as if they are entitled to inflated access charges.

Is FiOS Crushing Verizon?

June 11, 2010

Is Verizon getting crushed by their FiOS project?

A source says that the labor force internally has shifted around so that the FiOS department is a separate stand-alone department without access from other departments. In other words, FiOS is a silo. That's not that unusual in big corporations, especially telcos.

Not the Way I Saw It

June 10, 2010

Speakeasy is merging with the merging Covad and Megapath in a menage of sorts, according to this press release from MegaPath.

I saw New Edge Networks, the EarthLink company, joining with the other DLEC's. Didn't see this one coming.

"Through a combination of direct sales and a national network of more than 8,000 IT consultant partners, Speakeasy has experienced significant customer growth, with more than 30,000 small business customers nationwide.

Verizon Starts Blocking

June 9, 2010

Comcast won in court over the FCC on the issue of traffic shaping, so Verizon started blocking ports this week.

First, VZ started blocking port 25 yesterday on their FiOS and DSL networks. Now VoIP Traffic is being blocked.

From an ITSP, "We started getting calls today, and it seems that Verizon has started blocking ports, traffic shaping, something, but it is interfering with voice service, email, and some web traffic.

A Big Outage Day!

June 9, 2010

Twitter is down. (And a few million people have nothing to do).

Facebook is experiencing issues as well.  I guess people will just have to work today.

AT&T's cellular network is down in Tampa Bay. (And a few thousand iPhone users are cursing.)

A point: you can't count on another network - twitter, Facebook, Google or any other - for your business. It's outside your control - and at the price of free, well, you can't have expectations of four 9's uptime.

The SMART System

June 8, 2010

SPOT, SMART, GCSM are all the names of the systems that AT&T Solutions Providers must learn to navigate to put a sales lead into the system in order to get pricing and contracts.

Have they not seen SIMPL? That's the system that ACC Business uses. ACC Business is the step-child subsidiary of AT&T.

Congressional Rural Broadband

June 7, 2010

For years no one in Congress cared about the Internet or Broadband. (In fact, it looked like they didn't care about anything but re-election).

But the ILEC's have them caring. Yep. Lobbying dollars into the accounts of about 40 congress critters will do that.

As Switch & Data Becomes Equinix

June 7, 2010

Equinix announced on May 4 that it completed its $683.4 Million acquisition of Switch and Data.

What it didn't announce (yet) is that the channel program for Switch and Data has been shuttered. The employees were let go yesterday. 

Dany Bouchedid, CEO of COLOTRAQ (a collocation specialty shop), "I can't say that it's a surprise." 

The termination clause in the Switch and Data agent agreement allowed the new owners to walk away from its agents easily. 

Bouchedid asked me what happens after Telx's IPO? Telx has a very agent friendly program, according to Bouchedid. Equinix is just one of the players in the collocation space.

No Wireless Competition

June 6, 2010

Rich Calling is Different

June 3, 2010

Google Voice rolled out a new way to look at call management. (Even though GotVmail - now Grasshopper - had a similar product for a while with far less fanfare.), RingCentral and other companies have offerings that are similar to GOOG's Grand Central experiment.

I got to speak with Micheal Zirngibl at Ringio. Ringio is rolling out "Rich Calling".

Let's Move Beyond Me2

June 3, 2010

The CLEC Industry was all about Arbitrage. Me-too services for less money. First with UNE-P, then Integrated T1, now with SIP Trunking. All about price. Blah!

Metered Data Begins

June 2, 2010

TWC and AT&T both trialed metered Internet access over wireline broadband. As far as I know, both trials were not that successful.

The big issue for ISP's is that the bandwidth consumption keeps increasing (as the Internet becomes the communication avenue as well as entertainment and news outlet). This doesn't bode well for Duopoly revenue long-term. Why? 

AT&T and VZ are spending a fortune to deliver TV via tripple-play to consumers.

Do You KNow Your Broadband Speed?

June 1, 2010

I think my cable modem from BHN is 7MB x 1MB but not sure that it what they promise, best effort or what I guess it is. I'm not alone.

"Four out of five home broadband users (80%) say they do not know the speed of their home internet connection. That is, when asked to specify their home internet connection speed, described as "the download or downstream speed of your connection per second," the vast majority of home broadband users in the United States cannot identify it.

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