Waiting on the Channel

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

Waiting on the Channel

Whether it is TPX CEO Richard Jalkut or other channel executives, providers are impatiently waiting on the channel to jump off selling network and start selling other things.

The products that have been launched recently sit in big buckets titled IOT, Cyber-Security, Managed Services, SD-WAN and of course UC (UCaaS, UCC, WCC).

Rich Tehrani has a nice read about AI and analytics transforming companies like Vodafone.

COLOTRAQ has a new IT Risk/Cyber-security Assessment and Planning Service. They even brought in some talent to delivery it in Victor Zamora.

MetTel launched a single SIM for IOT. One VAR I spoke with said that they are going to run with this to the end-user because it is a niche that is almost without competition.

Level3 consistently emails me about selling cyber-security, especially their DDoS Mitigation service.

EarthLink is still around? They launched a secure public Wi-Fi connections with Norton WiFi Privacy (basically VPN). Considering how often businesses use Starbucks, hotel, airport and other public wi-fi, this should be a no-brainer sale.

Panterra rolled out Streams, an ode to Slack, but integrated into a secure, encrypted full unified comms platform.

VZW has One Talk, one of the few mobile UC plays out there.

When TelePacific re-branded as TPx, the highlighted products were managed IT, security, UCaaS and SD-WAN.

Aryaka just rolled out a clientless SD-WAN: "SmartACCESS - the first-to-market SD-WAN for remote access, with built-in dynamic CDN." In the US, Content Delivery Networks are how a majority of users get their Netflix chill on.

Verizon announced that they are selling more MPLS due to SD-WAN. CenturyLink has said that SD-WAN is not a quick fix. So there is a lot of room for expertise and advising in these projects still.

AT&T says that enterprise clients want a hybrid solution to managed services. (Nothing new here). Some of the services will be outsourced to the likes of AT&T and some will remain in-house. That is the way it is for cloud as well - HYBRID, according to an Evolve IP survey. Private for mission-critical, Public (AWS, Azure, SaaS) for mass market stuff and VPS for DevOps. Pulling that together requires some expert help. Is that you?

All of these vendors are just waiting for Channel Partners to pickup the ball and run with it.

It will take more than the Twitter approach to launch. Twitter put there platform out there and waited to see what people would do with it. Years later, Twitter still has no idea what the business case or financial model is. Don't be Twitter!

It isn't about just throwing your toy into the yard so someone will stumble along to play with it.

We want to be spoon fed who IS buying it; why are they buying it; etc. (As I have written about ad nauseum.) It is all about the Stories! Ignoring this means that we will leave that toy alone on the ground over there.

I understand that channel partners have to innovate, change, transition, etc.

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With network revenues steadily declining and telecom being a broken mess, partners spend all day selling bandwidth at lower rates - and lower commissions - and then having to navigate the many layers of Dante's Hell that is a carrier today to get it installed (and then fixed - yes I am talking to you ACC Business and GTT!)

In the midst of this mess, on-going consolidation and the accompanying musical chairs is making a partner's job harder, not easier.

Much of these products require new knowledge and some training. That is not time that is always available to partners. I know, Go Make Some Time before you become Extinct. You see, we'll have time when we are extinct.

Besides compelling stories, buyer profiles and the WHY, we will also need new sales skills. Selling dial-tone or network is replacement. Selling Cyber-Security or AI requires a different sales approach.

MSPs understand how to sell managed IT but some VARs do not. (Hence why they are still VARs!)

While many of these products allow a Partner to enter a green field with little competition, maybe the business model for the partner has to be demonstrated as well.

And maybe instead of launching more services, you figure out how to deliver on the ones you have. If you can't deliver the easy stuff (Network), I will never give you a shot at the complex!

Just some food for thought while you wait on the Channel.



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