The Pressure of Price

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

The Pressure of Price

I have spoken to many in the industry this year who are upset that the channel isn't bringing in more deals - non-network deals.

As one CEO told me, "Luddites are still selling network. And the price compression is killing everyone." I know. Revenue and price compression are working against everyone.

I get requests for Gigabit pipes in rural areas that come with a budget of less than $3K. It is unrealistic, but you can't explain it to people. They don't want to hear it.

Providers would like to sell more managed services. They probably could if they told a better story besides we want to manage your technology. MSPs do a good job of explaining the value of outsourced services to businesses, but carriers do not (yet).

While partners hear all the chatter about cloud, colo, SD-WAN and UCaaS, they realize that network is the easier sale. And you have to sell more and more to stay even.

Some of it is a Trust issue. If the vendor has screwed up number porting on a PRI or POTS line, are you really going to sell their UCaaS?

If the carrier can't find their network maps, do you think they can do a good job with SD-WAN?

If the billing is always an issue, why would you sell complicated stuff with that vendor?

Personally, I have an issue selling managed router. It is overly automated with no human interaction at all. Automated emails and trouble tickets mean an angry customer.

Would I use that carrier for managed security? Um, no.

Some of it is a Clarity problem. By that I mean, the vendor catalog is so larg - and it is usually delivered to the channel in a fashion similar to confetti: thrown at you. There needs to be more context. What is the core product? How do the rest of those services align or add value to that core? Who buys it? Why do they buy it?

Additionally, there needs to be more proof that clients are buying it.

Meanwhile, another provider enters the network fray: Google Fiber is looking to partners to reach the small business market. "Aaron Withrow, channel partner manager for Google Fiber, acknowledged the challenges in selling to businesses and offering them value beyond a boatload of bandwidth." [CP]

An ASIDE: the reason folks sell SIP Trunks in place of UCaaS is a similar argument. It is a faster sale - straight up replacement transaction.

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