Telecom Disruption

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

Telecom Disruption

You read about disruption in other industries with household names like Dropbox, Uber, AirBnb and Netflix. Telecom is being picked apart the same way Craigslist started the revenue decline for newspapers.

No one makes voice calls any more. It is all text and chat. These simple communications have been enhanced to include peer-to-peer video calls in the same vein as Facetime and Skype. WebRTC has allowed WhatsApp and Facebook to add calling features to their messaging apps, pulling even more minutes from carriers. (Most of this revenue is now in mobile data buckets, which means just 2 carriers get most of the money.)

The real disruption in business communications, the last bastion of good revenue for carriers, is being done by non-telcos. Twilio is just one example of elastic communications from a non-telco. The bigger news was the Slack-Skype integration.

I saw a list of forward thinkers of VoIP and it was a list of CEOs. Only one company on that list is making any noise at all. The rest are just staying the course, while the course is changing around them.

If comms is all about mobile, shouldn't the forward thinkers being making a dent in mobile, SMS, chat, IM, presence?

Video, security, analytics, APIs - see the lies of Highfive, Redbooth, Ringio, RogerVoice and Sinch - are the key components to be adding to the standard UC product offering.

In CIO magazine, "Given the cost and complexity of implementing UC&C .... When making those decisions, CIOs and other IT leaders listed these factors as the most important when selecting a UC&C vendor:"

  • Ability to meet security requirements: 58 percent
  • Ease of use: 46 percent
  • Low total cost of ownership: 45 percent
  • Integration into existing architecture: 40 percent

Nice infographic about the CIO UC&C study.

Reviewing those 4 factors, forward thinkers would be looking at encrypted chat, better deployment, improved user and admin portals, and APIs / integration.

There are apps that you can add to your offering for encrypted chat, like Wickr or Signal or OpenFire server or Pidgin. For API, you could utilize a service like Zapier to help your users mashup tasks for productivity.

Or on the small business side, the rise of Personal Assistant apps in the past two years along with the tsunami of information, means that a better unified inbox, search, curation, prioritization are all things that users are looking for.

Have you looked at Cloze, billed as a relationship management software that "keeps track of your email, phone calls, meetings, documents, Evernote, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. And everything from dozens of other services." Unified messaging beyond just the concept.

I'm not saying if you have to do this stuff, but I am saying that you should be trying new stuff. New ways to deploy, to remove friction in the sales side or the implement side or the admin track. Analytics to the call logs. Endpoint management. Business Process Improvement. Security for no other reason than terms like HIPAA, PCI and Sox. Encryption of data at rest whether that is call recordings, vociemail, faxes to enable peace of mind for the HIPAA/HITECH admins. (Rackspace has a way to encrypt databases here.)

Otherwise you will be selling cheap voice against a real disruptor.

Another reason to add something to your product offering is to have an upsell opportunity with your current clients to make them stickier, more productive and add some ARPU.

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