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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

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Interview with Level3's Schlagbaum

August 20, 2009

This Q & A with Craig Schlagbaum, Vice President, Indirect Channels, Level3 comes from their monthly newsletter and is printed with Craig's permission.

Q: What is the top reason that partners should sell Level 3 today?
A:It's been about two and a half years since we launched the program, and our customer's experience today is the best it has ever been after integrating seven other carriers. We're now meeting our CCD set/met and our standard intervals at 90/90/80 percent of our goals which means customers are getting installed on a timely basis.


Nortel Being Sold Off

July 27, 2009

For those of you who missed it, Nortel is being sold off in pieces.

"Ericsson announced its interest in Nortel's wireless assets late, but it came home the winner, paying $1.13 billion for Nortel's LTE and legacy CDMA business." [Doug]

The Enterprise unit was sold to rival Avaya for $475M. [Reuters]

Radware had previously purchased Nortel Alteon business.

Having sat in a session with Nortel last week, it can't be fun to work there. Worse, it can't be fun to be a Channel Partner. Any residuals are likely gone.







The Stimulus Spend is Opportunity

July 23, 2009

I talk with many CLEC's and ISP's that are looking at the BTOP and BIP programs to see if there is opportunity for them. As I said in the podcast with Occam Networks, most of the funds are earmarked for companies already collecting USF funds. Why do I think that? Because it is a safe bet and politics is about safe bets.

I'm attending Tech Data's Technology Solutions Tour. This morning started with TD SVP Pete Peterson discussing how to translate the stimulus spending into technology opportunity.

A New Breed of VAR in the Cloud

July 9, 2009

On the LinkedIN Group for the Channel Partners Network, Heather Margolis wrote, "Cloud Computing has spurred the need for a new type of VAR and/or partnership elements. Read more here and tell me your thoughts." (That's one way to get traffic to your blog).

My thoughts:

It's not about saving a client money any more. It's about saving them time, making their employees more productive, and adding business efficiency - without the technology getting in the way (which isn't always easy). 

Being the Trusted Advisor today means being able to add Business Intelligence to the solution. Systems Integrators were valuable because they could provision, implement and glue all the parts and pieces of hardware and software together.





Global Capacity Maxes Out Capital

July 7, 2009

As per the press release, you would think that the last bunch of transactions had just crippled the accounting firm.

As previously announced in its Form 8-K filings with the SEC, the Company has been delayed in filing financial reports pending completion of its 2008 audit. The Company's change in independent registered public accountants and the complexity of the technical accounting treatment required with respect to the embedded derivatives resulting from the sophisticated financial instruments used in several of the Company's financing transactions were factors in the delay, which has resulted in the suspension of trading from the OTC Bulletin Board. Completion of the audit and filing of financials with the SEC is expected during July, at which point the Company plans to apply for reinstatement of trading of its common stock on the OTC Bulletin Board.

But a document mailed to me today states that Global Capacity, Inc. is experiencing "an unplanned cash constriction".

XO all about Expansion in 2009

June 22, 2009

Expanding network into Charlotte and Raleigh was just the start of expansion for  XO in 2009.  

XO's been adding even more services to its too-big catalog lately. (I say too big because even XO sales folks don't remember half of what they sell or can brief prospects on more than a handful). The catalog is RBOC sized including Hosting, wireless, IP, VoIP, PBX, SIP trunks, transport, collocation, TDM, Ethernet, and Managed Services.

Oh, I forgot wavelength services too.  And in a deal with Pacific Crossing, XO extends its reach to the Asia.

XO is back to pushing Fixed Wireless that it relegated to the old Nextlink brand.  It was mentioned recently when XO announced that it was adding new speeds to its Hatteras based mid-band Ethernet service.

XO is also pushing Concentric, its hosting brand, with the announcement of a Managed Backup Service.  According to Phone+ magazine, the service will be sold via a new VAR Channel Program (as well as current XO Business Partners).

Beyond transport, XO added Hosted IVR, labeled as an Inbound Teleservice, and XO Connect, which is a mass notification service. I guess, they are taking lessons from Ifbyphone to use SIP to do more than make cheap calls.

And finally XO has an agreement to extend VoIP to 2800 LSO's in the US.











What Does Partner Mean?

June 19, 2009

XO at the Tech Data Expo

June 19, 2009

I received an invite yesterday from XO to come down to the Tech Data Expo at the Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg FL. ADTRAN shared the booth with XO at this event. Surprisedly, the other two carriers that distribute through Tech Data had assigned booth space, but were absent. 

XO is a good fit for Tech Data. While I think the XO catalog is too large to know well - wireless, hosting, IP, VOIP, transport, collocation and more - the VAR's at Tech Data vary so much in what they do and what would complement their business that the wide selection helps - IF you can get in front of them and remind them throughout the year how they can take advantage of the additional revenue stream. 

For many VAR's the advantage of XO through Tech Data is that there's no contract (especially for those VAR's already under contract with Ma or Pa Bell) and with Tech Data as the "master agency", it isn't likely you need to worry about your residual check.  (And now that XO has converted their debt, it is in a good position going forward, which other debt laden CLEC's can't say).

Many VAR's are already in the PBX space and were asking about SIP. I wasn't sure if they actually grasp the concept of SIP or that they just know enough to be dangerous. The biggest difference between a PRI and a SIP Trunk is Inter-Operability.





Will Verizon Agents Get Screwed Again?

May 13, 2009

Remember the MCI Agents who didn't like the new deal under the Verizon Business umbrella, who were pushed aside and lost commissions? Did you know that when Verizon did their funky little deal with Fairpoint over the New England region, VZ agents were pink slipped. In fact, one agent is suing Fairpoint. It's the quote from Beth Fastiggi, a spokeswoman for FairPoint, that shocked me:

"We believe that our own local employees can better serve our local markets and, given the appropriate resources, will have the commitment and ability to increase our share of the local business market," Fastiggi said in a statement Friday.

Don't need agents. That attitude explains the lousy service, numerous complaints to the PUC, and the lose of over 100k lines - in a rural market!

Today, VZ announced it is spinning off the landline network in 13 more states - to a joint venture corporation with Frontier.





Level3 Needs Your Help

May 11, 2009

"Level3 is expanding is expanding its operations in key local markets throughout the United States. These actions are designed to provide a world class customer experience for mid-market business customers in these markets. Level 3 is launching the first phase of this initiative in the Nashville, Seattle and Washington, D.C., areas, as well as upstate New York (Buffalo, Syracuse and Rome/Utica) and Colorado (Denver, northern Colorado and Colorado Springs)." [press release]

Level3 has gone back to the Type II CLEC strategy of offering service to everyone they can touch via their own network and UNE / Special Access from the ILEC. It is pouring personnel into these markets to take on as much revenue as fast as it can.

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