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.

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What Does All This Mean?

I missed the announcement that West acquired PhoneTree.

Some of these acquisition like Glip, PhoneTree, Fuze, etc. have been either acqui-hires or functionality fill-ins. In other words, buy it, don’t build it! (Smart strategy actually, because you get some revenue as well as talent and functionality.)

Much of the acquisitions in UC space have to do with 2 things: too many players, not enough growth; and I-have-no-idea-what-is-happening!

Star2Star and Blueface is a good example of “We took VC money and didn’t grow fast enough.” There are plenty of smaller examples of this.

TechTarget made a good point:

According to Gartner’s UCaaS Magic Quadrant, Star2Star, based in Sarasota, Fla., is a niche player with competitive pricing and a hybrid architecture that offers high reliability over low-speed broadband networks. However, Star2Star is smaller than other providers in the market in terms of revenue, number of employees and capital structure. The company also lacks brand recognition because of its channel-only sales approach.

RC spends 60 cents per dollar on sales & marketing. While some would say that isn’t profitable, it does fuel growth and brand. Isn’t that the name of the game right now?

Fusion (+Birch) said organic growth was less than 4%!! And instead of spending like RC on marketing, acquisitions hd a lower cost of sales. I take that to mean: we suck at sales and marketing!

You have to wonder a few things: What does that about not just the Brand, but also service delivery and customer retention?

EVERYONE says churn is low to zero. Everyone is full of shit. If you never lose a customer, revenue and margin should both increase every quarter.

BSFT getting bought by Cisco is an example of what are we doing? For both companies. They were both stalled. Not sure if together they can get the party started again. We’ll see.

I thought that Siris (the PE firm that owns Polycom, Tekelec, PGi and Airvana) should have acquired BSFT. Apparently they made a swipe, but didn’t want to pay the premium.

So to summarize: too many providers; not enough growth; no brand; all niche players.

There will need to be much more consolidation.

We are 15 years into Hosted PBX (or UCaaS or Cloud Comms) and if you aren’t growing, you are either stagnant or voice is just a small part of your business.

On another segment of the VoIP Market:

Polycom+Obihai, Vtech+snom, Mitel+Aastra, Mitel trying to grab Polycom are examples of too many vendors resulting in minimal growth. And in the handset space, we have peaked. It just starts declining at this point. Too many on the grey market. And many sales are app/softphone or browser based at this point. If there is a handset it is likely a bluetooth headset.

Sellecom: 101 Ideas for Marketing in the Telecom Jungle by Peter RadizeskiSELLECOM: 101 Ideas for Marketing in the Telecom Jungle.

by Peter Radizeski