Casting a Wide Net

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

Casting a Wide Net

When I read that VZ and Sprint signed of to offer Office 365, I thought, "More me-too for this industry." Then I read further down where 42,000 Microsoft partners are also going to be reselling Office 365 and I about fell over. Everyone is offering Office! One big Red Ocean.

Looking at the Talking Cloud 100 cloud providers, a large number of them are data backup providers and Google Apps integrators. I can see how a Google Apps integrator can be competitive, but 30 or 40 data backup companies? How do they distinguish themselves?  We have already seen Microsoft respond to Google Apps pressure by lower its pricing in early 2012. It's going to be a race to the bottom.

The one thing I see is that everyone is chasing everyone. Casting a wide net makes it easy on the sales staff since they get to pick the lowest fruit, but by marketing and selling to EVERYONE, you are really - IMO - marketing to no one. There is too much noise, too much commoditization, too much pricing info available online to buyers - all of which results in a price war, lower margins, and unhappy salespeople.

When you look at the CLEC world, most have less than 50K customers. M5 only has about 2000. AirWatch has 2000.  If you have less than 50K and are not targeting, maybe you should target. Maybe the way you have been going about it is too loose.

EarthLink has decided to target multi-location customers primarily. That's at least a start.

When I look at all the fiber in the ground that CLEC's have - and the number of lit buildings for most is relatively small - I think that it is time to restructure telecom sales. And by that I mean, stop casting a wide net and start targeting high margin customers who would most benefit from serviecs that you offer. If you think about it, wholesale and carrier sales does that in a way. Zayo's SWAT Team for cellular tower backhaul is doing that. It might be time for of telecom to start doing that.


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