The CLEC crowd is trying to move beyond the legacy services of network and minutes. That can be hard to do when customers still want to buy the legacy services.
The marketing buzz centers on three services: unified communications as a service, managed Wi-Fi, and mobility.
I choose to throw collaboration into the UCaaS bucket to include Lync, Office 365, Dropbox (News - Alert), conferencing (audio, web, video), and contact centers. Many CLECs just offer the voice piece.
Some of it has to do with the buyer. Most buyers only know what they know (see further down in this post). Do they have the time (and patience) to learn what they don't know? How UC can make the business flexible and competitive? In my experience, that is not always the case.
Managed Wi-Fi is getting a push from Cisco, ADTRAN (News - Alert), and EarthLink. Technically, this is just another network play; but it also has to do with mobility. The problem is no one in the organization has responsibility for it. It makes for a good managed service offering.
Mobility is by far the biggest. If the Internet of Things is included in that tent, the circus is huge. Remember BYOD and the issues that corporations faced? That’s still going on, but now more companies are looking for mobile management. A couple of CLECs – MetTel and TelePacific – have nice bundles with MDM.
Everyone is in mobility – Google, AT&T, Tech Data (News - Alert). If you like selling replacement stuff, get a piece of this business. There is a lot more to it than just handsets if you want to tackle solutions for verticals.
Take transportation for example. Vehicles are tracked via GPS. Those devices that UPS and FedEx use to track packages are computers with 3G connectivity. Think Kindle with a scanner for ideas on how almost any business might use IoT.
Peter Radizeski is president of RAD-INFO INC
Edited by Maurice Nagle