I spoke with Mike Cassidy at SUTUS this week. SUTUS is finally seeing success after years of trying to find its niche in the SMB PBX space. SUTUS had a couple of pivots along the way - and usually a new CEO to go with each pivot.
Now they are on the path to success due to stumbling upon a vertical.
When you are in a hyper-competitive market like SMB phone systems or better yet Hosted PBX, you have two choices: you can chase everyone as a potential customer or you can tell a better story to attract the right customer to you.
Most of the Hosted PBX space spends dollars and days chasing low hanging fruit instead of compiling a database of good clients within one or two verticals.
What is so special about a vertical? At least three things. Less competition, more word-of-mouth, and you learn the inside language to provide valuable, specific benefits to the vertical.
I hate to say that VZ was the first one to take a step in that direction by launching VCE with Google Apps integration but the fact is: it's true.
The Cloud Comm Alliance has a meeting come up in Tampa Bay on Feb. 4. I hope that I will hear a couple of stories about a pivot or two where these service providers have decided to attack a vertical to hack some growth like SUTUS did.