Peter Radizeski is Founder and President of RAD-INFO INC. He is an accomplished blogalyst, speaker, author and consultant. He has helped many service providers with sales training, marketing, channel development and business strategy. He is a trusted source of knowledge about the telecom sector. His honest and direct approach make him a refreshing speaker.

Look for his innovative ideas and analysis of current technology on his blogs.

Meet him at one of the many conferences he attends and speaks at.

Hire RAD-INFO today!

Full Circle

Starting in 2003, VoIP companies started offering the precursor to UCaaS – Hosted PBX. The providers were offering retail, wholesale, white-label, even switch partitions – literally anything for revenue on their million dollar switch investment.

Twenty-one years later, providers are offering a plethora of ways to get dial-tone: Operator Connect, Direct Routing, SIP Trunking, HPBX, UCaaS, UC+CC, CPaaS, and POTS replacement. Again anything for revenue in a market that has shrinking ARPU.

It didn’t work then; it probably won’t work now.

Leaning heavily into the transactional products – OC, DR, SIP, POTS-R – means more commodity play, but it is aimed at quick revenue. More importantly, it plays to the strength of the sales channels, who lean towards quick transactions.

Most partners don’t have the sales acumen and/or desire to sell a complex product, when a simple one will be effective short term. Even sales reps are motivated – nay, compensated – better for a complex deal, since most compensation plans are tied to either revenue or margin.

Most sales reps are not in a position to walk every Prospect through the various options. “Oh, Mr. Prospect, you have Teams? Okay, let’s discuss the ways we can add value to that.” More like, “Do you want dial-tone with that?”

It is back to the Integrated T1 battle days. What size bucket of SMS are you offering?

There is an opportunity to add functions like omni-channel and AI, but the outcomes aren’t in a simple story to be re-told. Truthfully, when you sell a UC+CC deal in January and it takes until May to be implemented and, as a partner, it is July and still waiting to get paid, the emphasis is on quick hits for compensation, simplicity and satisfaction.

The industry brought this on to themselves. Everyone wanted to sell potato chips. No one wanted to get out of the chip aisle into a vertical or niche. Providers have NO idea who their Target Customer is — who best benefits from your service offering? And now with 7 voice offerings, there should be 7 Targets.

Providers don’t have a valid Value Proposition. Why YOU over the other 2000 providers?

Some of you need to read the Weave Investor prezo then compare it to either 8×8 or RNG – vastly different. Weave has 31K profitable customers. They have a great bundle and you can’t find a single telecom acronym in their presentation!

Providers don’t understand that 5,000 satisfied and profitable customers in a region/vertical/ niche is better than trying to get 7,000 barely profitable ones, who churn at renewal because they were still stung by the delivery or lack of care.

This all starts with the lie called market size: a $58B market opportunity for all of the Cloud Business Communications [UC+CC+CPaaS], which 8×8 “realistically” shrinks to a “$10B Opportunity with our Target Customers [50-20,000 employee enterprises in our markets]”.  If you go to Wall Street saying it is a $10B market, how much do you think you can capture? And HOW is 50 employees an ENTERPRISE?

And in the same presentation that you talk about UC+CC, AI and more, the big slide next says: “390 million seats in orgs that have M365 but no Teams telephony solution.” Another monster of a market (actually a sub-set of that $58B except that $58B shrinks every year and includes high margin POTS, PRI and UCaaS seats at $29 that are being cheaply replaced!)

The providers are going to replace on-premise PBX seats that required a $300 phone with a $15 dial-tone bundle ($5 for MS license and $9.95 for Direct Routing).  No wonder the PBX partners can’t/won’t sell cloud comms!

If there are 390M seats waiting for dial-tone, why are providers spending on WFM/WFO, AI, etc.? If you are chasing Microsoft, how do you even think that Co-Pilot isn’t going to beat whatever GPT notion you have?

8×8, RNG and Dialpad have put out packages for verticals – for sales, healthcare, retail, hospitality – hedging every bet they can make, like they were AT&T and everyone has to buy from them.

How do you train a sales team with even 20% turnover on all of these products?

How do you cultivate stories on outcomes for all of these products?

How do you let customers know about the new functions available? How do you train them on it?

Cisco rolled out over 400 features to Webex since the pandemic. No one that sells Webex can name even 5. Lots of features that no one knows about or worse, no one uses, is the same as burning your R&D dollars.

I think it all swings back to dial-tone. The industry is focused on fiber broadband, which begets selling cheap, digital voice for residential and very small business. Hence, why the MVNO option for even regional cablecos. Since most everyone mentions that Microsoft is the giant in UCaaS, UCaaS will get less attention.

 

Thee Channel

One point about The Channel: There is no “The Channel.”  There are a variety of business types and models that partner with various vendors to bring their product and services to market. ISV, VAR, MSP, Inter-Connect, Influencer, Referral, Affiliate, … [Continue reading]

The Race for Sales

As companies add UC+CC or UC to CCaaS or other bundles, the success of sales will be limited and take a lot of time to come. Why? Because most salespeople do not have the training, acumen and coaching to sell beyond transactions. POTS Replacement, … [Continue reading]

A Tale of Private Equity

The MSP software industry has been dominated by private equity. ConnectWise, Datto, Kaseya, N-Able, Pax8 and so many more software companies that serve the MSP space have been acquired by private equity in the last 5 or 6 years. This is also the case … [Continue reading]

What Does a Five Buck Seat Mean?

NICE just announced a UCaaS offering at $5 per seat. TalkDesk launched a phone in 2021. It was rumored to be $10, like Zoom Phone. What does all this mean for the average UCaaS provider? NICE has decided to get more channel friendly now that they are … [Continue reading]