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!

Selling UCaaS Now (as WFH Solutions)

I recently secret shopped some top UCaaS providers. Let me tell you that the direct sales teams are unprepared to sell UC&C for WFH (unified comms and collab for work from home).

It seems we are still training sales to talk about seats and voice, despite the fact that voice has been in decline for years. Even though these same companies talk about omni-channel, they treat dial-tone as the end all.

No one asked about IVR, auto-attendant, screen share, conferencing and other advanced features. They did talk about meetings (because that is the name of many of the products), video chat and SMS.

When I would pivot away from handsets to try to discuss a mobile only option, there was disbelief. There isn’t much experience in mobile only UC – in spite of the fact that we have been shouting mobility for years.

It is a race to the bottom in UC seat pricing, largely because of the deficiencies in the sales process.

As we move into WFH (work from home or remote work) solutions, dial-tone isn’t the “hot button”; video conferencing is. Hence, why Zoom is sucking all of the air out of the room. Keep It Simple, Stupid! is a motto that still applies.

Most teachers and other folks pushed to WFH are not familiar with web or audio conferencing. These apps have to be as easy as Facetime for the many to use them.

In the mad rush to WFH, training will get pushed aside. You can win here by offering training videos and offering webinars on functions daily! (Record them and upload to YouTube to be re-purposed.)

Everyone is offering a free trial. You want to convert? Train them. Make it as easy as possible. I observed a focus group recently use the mobile apps. They are not as intuitive as the companies think!

This is a large opportunity for the sector. The services are needed. Can the sector rise to the challenge?

Want to hear what the secret shopper experience was like for UCaaS? There will be a webinar on March 31 at noon Eastern time. Register HERE.

Staying Current on COVID-19

Here are some links to some expert data.

First, Andy Slavitt, the former head of Medicare, Medicaid & ACA, provides solid info daily on twitter and Medium.

Next, 3 dashboards to follow the spread. Looks like May 1 before it peaks.

Dashboard # 1

Dashboard # 2 (splunk)

Dashboard # 3

Why are we practicing “social distancing“? 3 reasons.

#1 Public Health – From Joe @channele2e: “Canceling an event, closing schools & working from home have nothing to do with Fear. It has everything to do with social responsibility. Now, more than ever: My health depends on your health. And your health depends on your neighbor’s health.” Anyone can carry this virus asymptomatic and spread it for hours!

#2 The Math doesn’t lie.

#3 Experts (video on twitter). Joe Rogan talks with the expert on COVID-19.

Oh, yeah: WASH YOUR HANDS!

Small Businesses: Check with the SBA, your local bank, or your economic development council for bridge loans or other assistance. AMEX might help too.

Help small businesses by buying from them. Give Local Small Business accounts for more than half of all employment in America.

While you are stuck at home, you could binge Netflix — but you could also take any of these 450+ course online for free!!! I hope this helps.

Tips & Tools to Help with Remote Work (#WFH)

I am collecting a list of tips and tools for remote work on this page. Not everyone will have the benefit of a quiet room but here are some thoughts from a veteran in working from home.

Remote work adjustment tips: (1) have a routine; (2) have a designated place to work especially if you will be in video calls; (3) take breaks to walk around and drink water (Fitbit can be set to buzz you regularly to remind you to move); (4) interact with other people (Facetime, messenger, phone calls) as often as possible. It is Change. Give it some time to adjust.

Business changes for Service Providers from Channele2e but most important: LISTEN before selling.

For bosses, HBR has an article on things to do to make remote work a success for your org – and your employees! One minute video on skills needed to work from home (via #ICMIchat).

Granite Telecom (I rep them so I can help with this) has developed a Rapid-Response ‘Work from Home’ Solution.

There is a growing list of free IT tools HERE @ Channele2e.

There are numerous conferencing platforms from Cisco Webex to GoToMeeting. Zoom has a free version for 40 minute meetings. So does UberConference (shuts off at 45 minutes). [I would suggest freeconferencecall.com but it crashes on me.] Vonage launched a free video conference option, so did 8×8. OnSip has a free offering too. Skype and Microsoft Teams has built-in conferencing options. PBX-Change in Tampa Bay told me yesterday that they are scrambling to get licenses to businesses requesting them!

Note about video calls: Get a good microphone and use lighting on your face (not behind you). Some additional thoughts on video calls.

Beyond video calls and conferencing, here are some other software tools to use as you transition to work from home (WFH):

  • Basecamp for project management, all-company messaging, and direct chats.
  • Slack for messaging and Slack Groups for interaction.
  • Mural for brainstorming (think: virtual whiteboard)
  • Airtable for spreadsheet and database management
  • Fellow for agenda-keeping and note-taking/documentation
  • Chrome plug-in Loom for short recordings to explain things
  • Nimbus Note, a chrome plugins for screenshots and notes.
  • Google Drive & Google Docs, et al.
  • Check out Rambox. You can put FB messenger, hangouts, Whatsapp, Keep, Slack, etc. all in one box with tabs.
  • More to be added GetRemoteReady.

From Maggie Lima: “Do one thing per day that could help those who do not have the luxury of working from home. Example: buy a gift certificate from your favorite restaurant, check on an elderly neighbor or parent with children at home by phone, etc.)”

Support local businesses who employ more than half the people in the USA: Give Local

These tips came from a number of places (HERE & THERE) and my own 20 years experience of working from home. If you have anything to add, tweet at me on twitter @radinfo.

7.5 Things You Are Missing from Vegas

With the Channel Partners Expo postponed (and Enterprise Connect also owned by Informa postponed) here are 9 things you are missing from Vegas.

  1. Keynote talking about the channel is dying.
  2. Keynote telling you how to run your business – from someone who has never been a partner or knows what it is like to run an agency or an MSP or a VAR.
  3. Session on SD-WAN by someone who hasn’t spoken to a buyer in 5 years.
  4. Session on selling Cloud by someone at Avaya & Mitel (or another vendor who can’t sell cloud)
  5. Parties, a hangover and blowing some money at the casino.
  6. Meetings back to back miles apart, until your feet bleed.
  7. Networking (i.e., seeing which logo your peers are wearing at this show)

7.5 Join me and my friends on webinars this week to make up for the info you are missing (or might not have even gotten in Vegas) via video conference.

Tomorrow (3/11) at 1 pm Eastern Time

Thursday (3/12) at 1 pm Eastern Time

Join by emailing cp@channelplaybook.com

What’s It Like to Buy UCaaS?

Have you ever tried to buy your own service as a Mystery Shopper?

I just finished a project to Secret Shop UCaaS from some of the top brands. It was eye opening.

Three vendors were chosen and loaded on AT&T Samsung A10 for a market focus group (4 of them in fact). The process of loading UCaaS on mobile only is a challenge. Mobile UC is mainly difficult.

Want to hear the details? In this webinar, I will go over: the sales process; the buying process; and some observations from the users.

This webinar is Wed., March 25, 2020 at Noon Eastern time. It is $25 per seat. Register here: