This is a slide from EarthLink's earnings presentation. Basically, telecom spending is flat and it is roughly 11% of what companies spend on IT services. So if you were looking for growth where would you turn? Oh, yeah, IT services.
These have been the 4 segments -- the 4 drums really - that EarthLink has been beating for a while now - MPLS, IP, IT and Hosted Voice.
When you look at the broader picture, MVNO is not a high margin business. It is the new UNE-P. And as I have repeatedly said - Layer 1 or Layer 7 - either own a network or own the applications.
With the onslaught of the cablecos on the SMB market with their triple-play, CLEC's have to pick up the pace on sales. Not only do they have to sell more, faster, they have to retain their customers, too.
CLEC's need to get sticky. It doesn't have to be your own services either. Partner with someone. Speed to market is more important than owning or building. And if you partner with someone, they should have the deployment formula down pat.
Deployment is where the relationship begins. On-boarding is like the first date. When that impression is bad, there is no second date. There are rumors in the schoolyard about how awkward and weird you are. Today that school yard is social media.
Not every provider has the skills in-house to offer security, desktop, RMM and other IT services. Leverage a strategic partners' skills.
The key to stickiness is to be the one throat to choke. It was a lesson I should have learned working in the VAR business, but didn't get until I was an Agent. It is far easier to sell more to your current customers than it is to continually find new customers to sell one or two services to. And if a customer has 3 or 4 services with you, no one can take them away unless you screw up.
I'm not saying become a cloud services broker, but a model similar to that will work. You just need to have a small piece of all of the services that your clients use.