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.

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The Desk Phone is Not Done .. Yet

OBIHAI, Grandstream, Yealink, Yeastar and VoIP Supply were just a few of the booths at ITEXPO with desk phones. While many say that the desk phone is over, there are still companies that say Not So Fast! They were pretty much hanging out in Ft Lauderdale last week.

  • Lucid Phones (more than just VoIP phones, surveillance and IP pagers)
  • KonfTel is offering a speakerphone to replace Polycom
  • Digium showcased its D80 touch screen phone
  • HTek UC900 series phones
  • Flying Voice wireless desk phones (Look, Ma! No wires!) They also make ATAs.
  • Denwa was there selling phones – and doorbells.
  • Akuvox has a knock off of the Doorbot aka Ring
  • ABP is a distributor with lots of surveillance stuff.
  • 888VoIP is another distributor. (No one has taken over the spot of NETXUSA since Ingram acquired them, but 888VoIp is trying.) Besides VoIP gear, Edgewater, Patton, Yealink and 3CX, they rep SimpleWAN.
  • Xorcom displayed its PBX systems along with Epygi.

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    Telco TV is a Disaster

    Imagine spending billions to not only upgrade plant to handle TV streams, but buy/build cable head-ends, negotiate content, test out set-top boxes, train technicians, ramp up advertising and staff call centers for sales and support. Do all of that to catch up with cable (who are eating your profitable lunch in the T1, DSL and POTS business). And after spending the combined billions for U-Verse, FiOS, PRISM, et al — you are still losing subscribers because (a) your broadband pipes are slow; and (b) cord cutting hits its stride.

    Now imagine that you are so far behind in voice that cablecos are considered the incumbent!

    You watch as ESPN – THE sports channel for decades – loses 3 million subscribers in three years to the tune of $500 million in lost revenue! NBCU (owned by Comcast) is closing channels and re-branding others.

    DISH Network launches Sling TV, an over-the-top TV streaming service starting at $20.

    Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime put out their own quality content. Game over!

    I don’t know where TV goes from here because the business model is falling apart. Not only subscriber dollars are declining but advertising dollars fall right alongside.

    Newspapers went through this – and are still struggling to find a business model that works. Cablecos knew about this problem five years ago but chose to stick their head in the sand as well. I truly believe ILEC executives have ZERO idea how to compete, so they follow the leader and basically act like a chicken in a yard.

    Worse, I read today that in a couple of years, auto companies, which account for 10+% of spending, will likely not have to advertise because of connected cars!

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    Apex Technology Services
    Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company

    Culture is the Cure

    “If you want to make change, begin by making culture. Begin by organizing a tightly knit group. Begin by getting people in sync.” Seth Godin

    This slide deck, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast“, while long (100 slides) does present the issue, What is Culture?, clearly.

    ____ Peter Radizeski is a telecommunications consultant and analyst with RAD-INFO INC. Service Providers have called on RAD-INFO INC for assistance improving sales, managing online marketing efforts, channel sales enablement and overall company strategy. Contact RAD-INFO INC at 813-963-5884 or http://rad-info.net

    IOT Evolution: Tellient

    Collocated with ITEXPO this year was IOT Evolution, which is the transition from the M2M show that Carl Ford ran. IOT the term means as much to people as UC or SD-WAN. That isn’t me being mean; ask people. These are umbrella terms for a vague collection of things.

    I sat down with an old colleague from ISPCON days, Tristan Barnum, and her co-founder at Tellient, Shawn Conahan. We talked about IoT, the Internet of Things, and its similarity to WebRTC. WebRTC was tech; VoIP is tech. Both needed a business plan wrapped around it to make sense. (The technology alone is not a business.) The technology has to be monetized. Tellient is in the business of monetizing IoT.

    Conahan describes a marketplace as the place where data inputs into other data. All that data by itself means little. It takes analytics as well as understanding to give that data meaning. Then you can take that data and deliver it to a user in a fashion (or graphical form) that he/she can understand and utilize, in place of a terabyte of ones and zeroes.

    “For companies wanting to embrace the Internet of Things to extract the greatest value from their products and customer relationships, the new value chain must include device analytics.” [from the Tellient website]

    One example Conahan gave was over a NOAA buoy, which can be used to improve shipping routes from the same data that the NOAA collects (but doesn’t use.) Another example came from GoGo (the satellite Internet provider to airlines) who will use data to help airlines avoid turbulence, which wears on both the passengers and the planes.

    In a way Tellient is helping to build a mesh network to connect data from a number of connected sources, add analytics to it and provide a functional output (like graphs).

    For me, Big Data, AI (artificial intelligence and bots), math (algorithms + analytics) are all coming together at the same time as sensors, computing and connectivity are all hitting mass market penetration. Look at the Raspberry Pi, a $5 computer! Sensors are under a dollar each. Smartphones can be had under $100. Connectivity is all you can eat. Data storage on AWS or S3 is pennies. All of this hardware is commodity. The smarts – the math – is where the business plan is. It is where the money is.

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    ITEXPO: The UC Outlook

    The future of UC is bright says a number of executives at UCaaS providers. But is it?

    I spoke with a few VoIP executives including CoreDial at ITEXPO. There are two separate layers: cheap voice or POTS replacement and people who want a comms platform.

    Most aren’t using the full suite since they have Slack, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. They have Office365 or Google for Work. It is a siloed approach to a comms suite.

    Price points are decreasing. But then they had to since UCaaS is costing more than a SIP trunk and a small business PBX (think 3CX, FreePBX, Asterisk).

    There aren’t that many multi-location businesses. (And everyone is chasing them!)

    There are more businesses with remote workers. There are also more workers with consultants, contractors and freelancers who are outside the federation of the enterprise system. How do they fit into the organizations’ communications?

    Coredial turns all features on when they sell off the Broadsoft platform. This way users know about features that they may not have been aware of, like voicemail to email or text to email.

    There is training for users – and later due to employee turnover, more training for users. This is but one way to ensure that the customer’s organization is getting the full benefit of UCaaS. Otherwise they could have bought the cheaper version!

    Everyone is talking about softphones (especially Broadsoft and Counterpath!) Yet there were many new phone/handset vendors at the show. [There also were a couple of VoIP endpoint vendors who had devices very similar to Doorbot! ]

    Are you using a softphone on your laptop/desktop/tablet? I’d be curious who is – other than folks who actually work at the VoIP provider!

    8×8 is pivoting to Global! I guess they think they have taken all the share they can in the US. Or it is getting too expensive to acquire a customer in the US!

    Maybe I am jaded because I have been staring at the VoIP World since 2002.I have waiting for the tidal wave of adoption but small business after small business are pretty happy with a key system, which despite the argument to the contrary is not the value of a Hosted VoIP solution (to see Key System Emulation is UGH!!!!)

    I saw quite a few new logos that offer VoIP/UC. Consolidation news has quieted down. Current UC providers have to get – not only better at selling seats – but more efficient at selling them. Velocity has to happen. Yet to have that happen, the provider has to take more friction out of the sales process. The provider has to narrow its focus on who it can best serve and why – and target better for faster conversion.

    During my discussion with Coredial. we talked about the market – actually we talked about the fact that the market of 1-500 employees is more like 7 markets with 7 different buying personas. UC is still triggered by an event more often than not, says Coredial. Moving, expanding, shrinking, acquiring — these business events for the organization warrant a look at shifting from premise to Cloud Comm.

    The market segments need to be addressed. The messaging, the targeting, etc. Considering many service providers barely have marketing in place for one persona, how will they market to 5 or 7 segments while addressing even half that many buyer personas?

    I often talk verticals, but I also know that channel partners HAVE segmented the providers. “We use this one for 1-5 seats and this one for up to 20, etc.”

    It is unlikely that a partner will use the same provider for 10 seats as for 150 seats. It would be a white whale.

    Just some food for thought.

    One more thought: with Net Neutrality going away fast, what do OTT VoIP players do?

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