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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Is This the Way to Get Attention?

If you want to get a partners attention, want to know some of the best ways to do that?

  • Spam them
  • Don’t use BCC. Show all the emails of everyone on the invite!*
  • Invite them to events that are thousands of miles away – in another state.
  • Be lazy.

You got my attention. I already had one go around with Convey and LSI over this.

Convey Services is SAAS company that runs a portal for master agencies. LSI and ByteGrid hired Convey to handle their portals and an event. Convey did a poor job on the details of this. The email came from them, not LSI or ByteGrid. The email didn’t explain clearly anything actually.

Convey tracks agent usage of the portal. Where they go, what they look at. I figured they scraped my email from that. Convey says it was provided by LSI, who got it from a LinkedIn connection with one of their executives.

Everything about these 4 or 5 emails has been the showcase for the Lazy Marketer. Quick, Dirty and Hurried.

It was a blast email, but the emails were CC’ed instead of BCC’ed. (So I will likely get even more spam.) If you can’t Blind CC, do I really think you can handle Compliance issues?

For your own education, HIPAA is not HIPPA. This does not exude confidence.

I asked to be removed from the email twice – both to Convey and LSI. No idea how ByteGrid got it. I have never done business with any of these companies.

Also, it takes one minute to look at my website or my twitter or my LinkedIn profile to know that I reside in Tampa Florida. Why do I get invited to so many events in Atlanta and Miami? One is a 7 hour drive and the other is 4 hours. From companies I have no relationship with?

If you aren’t careful with my email, why I would I trust you with my client?

I know you think I made a mountain out of a molehill, but I get tired of the pile of email I get that is this or even more irrelevant.

I understand you want to get the word out. It’s a fun event. Let’s Blast it out! NO!!! STOP!

It’s like when a Channel Manager from a carrier I quoted but never sold, does the musical chairs to another company and pings me from there. I shake my head.

3 Things:

  1. Seth Godin wrote Permission Marketing in 1999. It’s 256 pages but the gist of it can be read here.
  2. Trust is huge component of sales. If I don’t trust you, I will never buy from you.
  3. Marketing is Everything, every touch of the prospect/customer/marketplace.

Don’t Be Lazy.

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    LANTelligence’s CEO on Channel and Contact Center

    After a short conversation with Martin Tracey, CEO of Unified Communications Solutions Provider, LANtelligence, we decided to do an interview to share some of the points we were discussing.

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    RAD: The Telecommunications/UC space is changing. It is a lot different than when we both got in during the heyday of the 90s. How will these changes affect channel partners?

    CEO: The evolution of Cloud offerings in the UC space is changing the fundamental structure of the type of partners that are required for a successful channel. The classic VAR’s face the challenge of a major change in becoming solution focused, not product focused. This also entails a change in the type of technical talent required within the VAR’s to execute on their new solution offerings. A market that for more than a decade had only 5 to 10 top providers, now as the shift to cloud continues, has 30 or more providers with UCaaS offerings. With this, VAR’s that navigate the change will have to focus on providing solutions that incorporate integrations to other work flows, CRM’s and related solutions. On the positive side, it does allow VAR’s to truly become solution providers by having the ability to easily offer multiple Cloud solutions, finding the best fit for each prospect.”

    Tracey continues, “As a result of these changes, many of the providers turned to alternative channels like Master Agents and Value Added Distributors (like CDW and Jenne). This opened a larger market reach than the classic VAR channel, but has compounded the problem of finding resources to deploy and support these solutions as they grow in numbers and scope.”

    “As we sit today there is a lot of uncertainty in the channel and lots of scrambling for solutions. Channel partners that can adapt and overcome will have plenty of opportunity and the re-occurring revenue streams should provide many opportunities for growth beyond that of the traditional VAR.”

    “What is really needed to succeed is the technical talent and execution of a top VAR, with the exponential sales growth opportunity of a channel like the Master Agents built for carrier services.”

    RAD: What have you seen that is a positive indicator?

    CEO: “We see growing demand from the providers for an answer to their execution and support issues. The demand for organizations that specialize in UCaaS/CCaaS and have the required skilled engineers to successfully design, deploy and support these solutions will see tremendous opportunity. We also see growing demand for technology in the business space that can improve companies’ ability to compete in their markets. We see increase value put on UCaaS and CCaaS solutions as a key for organizations to succeed. It opens lots of opportunities for those organizations that are ready to take on the challenge of these changes.”

    RAD: How do you see the Contact-Center-as-a-Service space evolving?

    CEO: “I see the CCaaS space evolving ahead of the UCaaS space. Contact Centers are often the heartbeat of an organization and its key factors – revenue and service. The more organizations realize that Contact Center productivity is a driver for their business, the more demand we see for the business applications/features to be built in to the Contact Center solution. The line between CRM and CCaaS is blurring as more companies demand integrated access to multiple communication channels and data sources. And today it’s true not only for bigger business players but also for SMBs.”

    “There’s a very limited number of competitive premise-based Contact Center offerings in the small-to-medium market. Cloud solutions are stepping forward bringing top-level Contact Center functionality to this market along with the reliability, scalability, continuous software advancement and next to zero hardware requirements. Smaller contact centers now can afford to operate on the same level as business monsters with less risk and more opportunities to grow.”

    Tracey adds, “We see some big SaaS CRM platforms presenting themselves as Contact Centers to play as CCaaS solutions but they are still lacking lots of expected Contact Center functions and they lack the ability to route interactions from multiple channels effectively. They face a step climb to catch up to the rapidly expanding feature/application sets of specific CCaaS solutions. At this point in time with some many of the CCaaS players offering integrations into these big SaaS platforms and having open API’s for continued advanced integrations. It just makes more sense for CCaaS to be integrated into complete CRM than the opposite.”

    Tracey remarks, “When it comes to the channel, CCaaS business is a great source of MRR revenue. The average CCaaS deal will have a Top Line of 4x to 5x in comparison with UCaaS, and it is still a field with fewer players. MSPs, VARs and Agents who see the writing on the wall about declining top line revenue in their carrier business should really start considering CCaaS as an alternative.”

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    Do You Have Any Marketing Firms or Banks as Clients?

    It was a rough day in Europe with ransonware hitting banks, airlines, utilities and other businesses. Many businesses closed early in Europe. Some businesses in the US with parents in Europe were also infected.

    WPP is one of the largest advertising and marketing firms in the world. They are a conglomerate of a number of acquisitions of agencies globally. WPP was hit with a ransonware hack that disabled its network (see HERE and HERE). It shut them down.

    No one think it will happen to them, but the ease at which hackers are able to assault ANY computer or Internet-connected device makes EVERYONE susceptible. This gets exacerbated by 4 things that are easy but users are too lazy to do: (1) have a strong password policy; (2) update operating systems as well as anti-virus software and RUN it weekly; (3) back-up data; and (4) stop opening attachments!

    You should be on top of your customers today pushing those 3 things: password policy; Managed IT or at the least anti-virus software; and cloud backup. Go make some money while this is still fresh. Or go help your customers so they aren’t helpless tomorrow!

    BTW, this would qualify as Disaster Recovery

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    The Next Billion Dollar Telecom Player

    GTT has been on an acquisition tear lately. They bought Perseus and Giglinx in the last month. “Perseus specializes in the ultra low latency connectivity used by the high frequency trading community,” according to Telecom Ramblings. The purchase price was $37.5M plus the assumption of $3M in capital leases. Perseus comes after GTT bought Hibernia Networks in January.

    Then the announcement came that GTT had picked off Giglinx Global, a wholesale reseller of IP and network. Details were not disclosed, but revenue was assessed at $16M.

    This morning, GTT announced that they were buying Global Capacity from Pivotal Group. [Pivotal Group acquired GC from Bankruptcy in 2011.] “Under the terms of the agreement, GTT will pay $100 million in cash and issue 1.85 million shares of GTT common stock, to the sellers at closing. GTT said it expects that Global Capacity’s annualized revenue will be about $200 million at close,” according to the press release.

    GTT is a stew consisting of WBS Connect, PacketExchange, N-layer, Tinet, UNSi, MegaPath, One Source Networks, Hibernia, and these 3. It has a Tier 1 network according to Dyn. And it is looking more and more like GTT is the new Level3, as L3 goes quietly into the closet of CenturyLink.

    Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO has repeatedly expressed that he expects GTT to achieve the “financial objectives of $1 billion in revenue and $250 million in Adjusted EBITDA.”

    No idea what the magic is with $1B in revenue for the sake of it. Intermedia Communications hit the Billion dollar mark in 2000 – and collapsed in 2001 selling to Verizon. PAETEC hit $1B in revenue before being scooped up by Windstream. No clear idea who would buy GTT if they hit $1B in revenue.

    GTT’s revenue last quarter were $182.4 million, which is $700 million annuallized. Add in GC at $200M and GTT will almost hit a billion in revenue (with a billion in matching debt by the way.)

    Another company striving to reach a Billion first is RingCentral. (I think Vonage will hit it first, since they have Consolidated Revenues of $243 Million in the last quarter. Vonage Business revenues are expected to be $486M in 2017.) RC’s quarterly report says Total revenue grew 29% year-over-year to $111.8 million. This makes RC revenue about $450M, a little behind VB.

    RC’s CEO Vlad Shmunis says, “As we look ahead, we are excited about the market opportunity for cloud communications as enterprise customers empower their global and distributed workforce to work anywhere, any time, and on any device. This market transition will fuel our growth to $1bn by 2020.”

    RC is riding high after Synergy Research marked them as a Leader in the 3 spaces of UCaaS: Retail, Wholesale and Cloud Comms.

    “With a 19% market share by revenue, RingCentral is growing twice as fast as the overall UCaaS market, according to Synergy Research.” So where does that put VB? It isn’t even listed. RC is followed by 8×8, Mitel and ShoreTel in the report. That’s why I just love analyst reports. P2P Baby! P2P!

    I wish instead of spotlighting the revenue, they could spotlight customer care, trouble free deployment, retention, and ease of doing business. Instead it is a race for revenue, gobbling up companies, and a mess to deal with. Integration is a Myth in Telecom. It is smoke and mirrors with duct tape, foil and pink slips.

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    The Cable Merger World Churns

    There was a report that Verizon tried to buy Charter for about $100B. It was rejected for being too low.

    The other rumor is that Altice which bought Cablevision and Suddenlink is looking at a nearly $2B IPO and will use those proceeds to buy Cox. But that may not happen because Charter now wants to buy Cox.

    John Malone, the pioneer cable consolidator, has been all about consolidating cable, telco and wireless. His Liberty Interactive just acquired Alaska’s GCI for $1B. There is noise that he would flip that to Charter. Cox plus Bright House plus TWC plus Charter plus GCI gives a 49 state footprint and would make that entity bigger than Comcast.

    Charter was fined by New York State $13 million for not living up to its merger agreement. The rest of us are enjoying newer, higher pricing.

    Meanwhile Comcast is being sued for cutting a small Texas ISP’s lines and putting them out of business after they rebuffed an offer to be acquired by Comcast.

    Just to add some notes, a bunch of Senators asked the DOJ to “closely scrutinize AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Wamer.” It won’t change the course of this consolidation.

    As 5G rolls out — or 4G gets density to satisfy the bandwidth consumption of mobile Americans, you pick — it will require a lot of fiber to towers and small cells. The editor opinion on Fierce makes it sound like the cellcos weren’t hard nosed negotiators before now. Sheesh. There has always been a cap on how much a cellco would pay for bandwidth to a tower. Always.

    Nearly 25% of Urban Americans aren’t connected to broadband internet, usually due to cost for broadband. And despite the fact that Americans pay more for broadband than other countries, Wall Street is asking the ISPs to charge more. Greed.

    The divide between rural broadband and urban is still large. The short fall at the USF Fund isn’t helping. The telcos, including AT&T, want that funding to do any build outs. A political hot potato to add to the pile with Net Neutrality, mergers, healthcare and the whole American infrastructure (bridges, roads, power grid).

    Bigger not Better.

    Who thinks that the CenturyLink acquisition of Level3 will be derailed by the $12B lawsuit that C-Link is facingin the wake of charges that they pulled a Wells Fargo accounting scam?

    One last thing: GTCR acquired Inteliquent. GTCR also owns Onvoy. They merged them and decided to keep the name Inteliquent.

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