Yesterday I presented the Secrets of Running Your Agency as a TCA webinar. A major part of the session was the mindset of the agency owner and the agent. For small businesses (employee size wise), the business owner or agent determines the fate of the business. Sometimes, we forget that it is a business. I look at all the companies that have crashed and burned - Kodak, Blackberry, Sears, K-Mart, CompUSA, numerous CLECs - as examples of poor strategic leadership.
In retail, we have a couple of examples of similar companies - Borders and B&N, CompUSA and Best Buy - one is surviving (not thriving) and the other one BK'ed. Why? Poor Leadership. The executives can blame it on Amazon or whatever, but the CEO and his chums on the board are supposed to figure out the strategy for competitive success and execute on it.
Xerox, Blackberry, Microsoft, the entertainment industry have all blinked and missed opportunity. For some of these companies, it is because they are too big to be nimble and flexible. For others, it is because the current way they make money is enough (until it isn't).
Samsung is like Napster in a way. Samsung took a gamble on patent infringement but it paid off. Sure, it cost them $1B but they leaped into second place for just $1B! Napster disrupted the music industry with its copyright infringement. The industry hasn't been the same since. You can't put the genie back in the lamp!
In telecom, we are at a similar point. Why all the consolidation and M&A? As margins get squeezed, the only way to keep the plates spinning is to increase scale (size) and cut costs to the bone. In telecom, those plates include a lot of debt but also the two competing networks - PSTN and IP.
The acquisitions of cloud and IT services is due to 3 things:
- buying new skills, new services and a new stream of revenue;
- there isn't time to build it themselves;
- the old business model of telecom is crashing.
I spent a lot of slides on mindset because that is what has to change first in order for Agents (and the rest of the telecom industry) to Play Bigger! Or at least to decide to make the shift with the vendors from TDM to Cloud. Come be a Net-Head!
One last point: The channel HAS to move the revenue needle on cloud in order for the indirect sales channel to survive!
No joke. If the Channel keeps selling what it has always sold, it won't survive, because the vendor/carriers/providers have a new set of metrics and it isn't TDM - it's cloud.