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!

Pop Music or a Symphony?

Channel Strategy is a lot like music. You can have formula like pop music. It’s a fad but there is a Top 40 list that can make you money and feel good. But the numbers indicate that you will likely be a one hit wonder and fade to obscurity.

But a symphony carries on for years. And it moves people. Isn’t that what you want from your program- to move people and not fade away?

There are three factors to becoming a symphony. At the heart of every great opera or symphony is a story or an emotional narrative.

In addition, tonality is a key. Does it resonate with the listener? If it doesn’t, they won’t listen long. (Especially on webinars where the speaker is reading the slides in a monotone!)

Then there is the movement. To me the movement is the sell through. It isn’t about how many sub-agents that are signed up through your awesome plan to ink every master. It is about how many sub-agents align themselves with you – and sell your stuff! THAT is the most crucial part of the whole symphony – the movement!

So go make music, but try to make it a symphony and not a pop tune.

Rural Broadband in 2018

First off you have historic CAF funding: $2 Billion CAF II Auction Will Provide Broadband Expansion Funding. The Connect America Fund has been helping to bridge the digital divide that rural America is facing.

On the one hand, the National Journal asks, “Does Rural America Really Need Billions in Federal Broadband Funds?” Experts are increasingly skeptical that Washington will allocate enough infrastructure money to wire rural America with high-speed internet, despite CAF funds. Will Corporate America figure it out before the Duopoly? Experiments from SpaceX, Facebook, Alphabet and more may find the answer. However, the big bet is on 5G, which is a a marketing buzz term. 5G technology and chips are not delivering any more speed than 4G LTE can. Go figure! IEEE Spectrum has a good read.

The Brookings Institute writes, “Communities can’t afford to wait for the federal government to obtain next gen broadband.”

“It’s been less than a decade since the release of the National Broadband Plan, but the evidence is now even stronger that next-generation broadband networks create a number of benefits. Various studies have concluded that such networks result in improved property values, improved economic performance, and lower broadband prices—benefits shared across the general community,” Blair Levin states.

“The FCC in 2016 estimated that connecting rural areas to next generation broadband is a $40-80 billion challenge… What is far more promising, however, are a number of models of community-led upgrades that did not exist in 2011.” It’s up to the private sector.

BTW, Alphabet says Google Fiber is on hold until they can make it 10x better than it is – in other words, on hold in definitely.

Peter Radizeski is a telecommunications consultant and analyst with RAD-INFO INC.

What Will WIND Do?

Windstream’s stock has been under $2 for a month now. It may go as low as $1 according to a few speculators. On top of that, they are sitting on $6 Billion in debt with less than $6 Billion in revenue.

They have to spend some CAPEX to upgrade broadband in RLEC region. They lost money on data centers when they sold it off to Tierpoint. They wasted dollars on IPTV; and are now re-selling AT&T DirecTV. Dividends require free cash flow.

What move does the C-Suite make? A re-brand.

The Cloud & Connectivity Unit becomes Windstream Enterprise & Wholesale, combining all Enterprise, Wholesale and CLEC/SMB business units. The C-Suite is going all in on SD-WAN, fiber and UCaaS. The hope is that the old CLEC operations will win the day. The RLEC is basically a drain. They don’t think they can move the needle against cable and 5G.

None of the factors externally changed. They still have to win business against their rivals: Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T and Verizon.

In the UCaaS space, there are at least 9 companies performing better — and most of them lose money! How does WIND outperform in UC against companies willing to lose money in the near term?

In the SD-WAN race, they are now the early bird in a sea of providers. That will hurt their margins.

For them to win business, what is the new story now?

All this is lipstick. It is a new logo. Big deal. Brand without Culture is a failure. Re-naming the division you are betting your business on without a culture change won’t work. Your Culture is Your Brand.

There were problems with service delivery; and profit on services sold. The mentality of any revenue is good revenue is a telecom fable. I just don’t think anything internally changed at WIND except the logo (shirts).

Tom Peters writes, “Logically, we think that strategy should drive behavior, but, in reality, it’s the culture—underlying norms, values, belief systems—that dictates how effectively people work together. Employees’ behavior has direct impact on the bottom line, costs, revenue streams, level of productivity, customer satisfaction, even the brand—every aspect of the business is affected. If strategy and culture are not aligned, the culture may support behaviors that conflict with what has to get done—and actually block execution of the strategy.”

The Change in Driving

Fred Wilson writes about his observation that in LA there is a shift happening to more ride sharing and less driving a car. And how some kids are not even learning to drive. (Parents are saving on insurance!)

I know a few people in their 40s in Tampa who gave up their car. All ride share or a private driver.

AngelList has a write up on the number of companies (and the immense funding) going into driverless cars.

There is a shift happening that insurance companies, car manufacturers, financial institutes and the ancillary businesses better pay attention to. It will disrupt them all – and sooner rather than later. (I won’t have to hear any more GEICO commercials soon!!!)

Why should you care?

Retail, Restaurants, Hotels, Cabs and more are being disrupted by Amazon, Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, UberEats and more.

How will any of this affect your business?

Well, if Comcast is any indication, they are selling 4G and broadband access together under their SD-WAN bundle. Other providers are too. Some analysts think that apps will sell access (or include it). If that’s the case, 4G/5G will become the primary ISP.

In other disruption, Workplace by Facebook has signed up WalMart, Farmers Insurance, Starbucks Corp. and 30,000 other organizations! According to the WSJ, “Launched in October 2016, with 1,000 commercial users, Workplace has since attracted more than 30,000 organizations, together forming over 1 million separate user groups, Facebook says. They include small and midsize ventures … as well as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.”

Be flexible. Listen to your customers. Innovate.

Peter Radizeski is a telecommunications consultant and analyst with RAD-INFO INC.

Opportunity Aplenty

In 2018, while CenturyLink gets indigestion integrating Level3;
while GTT only looks at the revenue goal, overlooking the customers;
while AT&T fights the DOJ for TW; and while Verizon figures out what else besides 5G will make it enough money to prop up its business, there is OPPORTUNITY aplenty.

NITEL, AireSpring, TPX, CBB, PowerNet and other mid-sized (former CLECs) providers have an opportunity to step into the channel space that is available and grab market share.

Service Delivery is the most critical aspect of that.

Where can you step into the market and deliver service in a better than average way? (Where can you suck less?)

It’s going to be in the 10 employee to 199 employee space where most of the opportunity is. Even more in the 20-99 segment. Focus on that.