It Will Be an Outsider That Kicks Your Butt

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

It Will Be an Outsider That Kicks Your Butt

Bloomberg has an article about Facebook at Mobile World Congress and how FB looks like a competitor to telcos. FM Messenger, WhatsApp (that FB owns), SnapChat, Skype, Slack, and many other messaging apps are video and voice enabled (in many cases thanks to WebRTC). More minutes are moving away from telcos. At least, the US cellcos have realized that they are in the dumb pipe bytes business.

Often I have said that the money would be in Layer 1 or Layer 7. It is clear today that if you do not own the pipes (Layer 1) then you better go up the stack to Layer 7 with an app to make yourself sticky.

In FB Messenger you can order an Uber and pay for it within the app. This should be a huge alarm bell for many companies.

Google Fi, Ting and Republic Wireless rely on wi-fi offload to keep the cellular rate plans low. If everything is a byte/packet -- including all your MMS and SMS traffic on a messaging app -- what happens to cellular ARPU?

There is a mobile UC company that has no desk phone option; offers its own MVNO plans; and ties into Salesforce with Zapier like integration. Mast Mobile even raised $7 million. It will be this type of thing that upturns the UC sector. Outsider, Dark Horse.

For being an engineering company, Broadsoft, has lost stride in the UC&C race. As it buys companies, it is getting outpaced by the likes of Slack and Mast. The race is going to heat up too. Microsoft wants this space. Cisco has a two-pronged attack in this space - Spark and HCS. Avaya, MITEL, Shoretel, Unify, Panasonic and NEC are struggling to hold on to their grip of the marketplace as well. Metaswitch is revving up its engine.

There are actually 3 separate markets: Hosted PBX (for folks that want key system replacement), Contact Center, Workflow. The important features include GUI/portal, analytics, integration and ease of use. No company will be good at all of that. Oh, they will try. They will struggle, spin, twist, but being everything in the 1-1000 space ignores the reality that those are very separate markets with different needs, buyers, sales triggers. But hey, investors, greed and clueless execs have always been a part of telecom. Why change now?

It won't be one of the current players that wins the UC&C marketplace. It will be a surprise, an upstart. And it won't integrate with Salesforce either. It will have a great GUI (user interface). It will be simple but elegant. It will be designed by users, not engineers. It won't be a faster horse; it will be a Model T.

Think about this: "There were over 1,800 automobile manufacturers in the United States from 1896 to 1930." There are over 2000 providers in the Hosted VoIP space in the US now. Yeah.

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