Is The Cloud Profitable For Your Business?
By Dave Wallace
If not (or simply just not yet), focus on doing what you do best.
I have to give credit where credit is due… It was the famous Boston Celtics coach and GM, Red Auerbach that said, “Just Do What You Do Best." That is fantastic advice in this new cloud frontier. I have been watching agents/VARs get worked into a frenzy over “the cloud". Everyone wants to capitalize on the shift, but how do you make money in the cloud? The answer is that there are plenty of profitable services and products in the cloud that traditional telecom agents can wrap their businesses around or create new business models to service. But keep in mind, just because you decide to incorporate the cloud into your business model, there are no guarantees that the cloud is going to make you or your business rich. Hence, Red Auerbach’s quote …
The telecom industry has gotten itself worked up in the past over SIP, Integrated Access, Dynamic Allocation, VoIP, DSL – the list is endless. It is a pattern you can watch with regularity. A breakthrough occurs, then begins the hype stage (a lot of promise, poor execution), then there are an explosion of businesses that want a piece of the action (and many that fail after they get it), and finally the technology matures and becomes sustainable, supportable, and commonplace. Until the next innovation…
There have been plenty of technological breakthroughs that have occurred in telecom prior to the cloud. However, the list of businesses that have not only survived multiple “next big things", but also stayed profitable through each one of these periods, is very short. They thrive because they are the businesses that continue to do what they do best, regardless of the latest fad/product/breakthrough. It isn’t BECAUSE of the breakthrough that they are successful. It is because they do what they do best WITH the breakthrough that creates the sustainable success model.
Some businesses are great with process, so they will figure out how to onboard and support customers more cleanly and quickly than their competition. Some owners are financial gurus that figure out how to squeeze the highest margins from an innovation. Others are technical gurus. They will make the new technology do something that no one else has thought to make it do, and sell that service to their customers. Still, others are marketing geniuses. They will take other businesses’ innovations and find ways to repackage and sell them with their irresistible branding.
If you want to be successful in the new world of the cloud, do what Red Auerbach says and do what you do best.
Want to learn what your peers are doing best? Join the TCA, the telecom industry’s only non-profit organization dedicated to the education and advancement of the indirect sales channel. Come visit our booth and meet other TCA members at the TCA-hosted networking event at the upcoming Orlando Channel Partners show. Look for the announcement on the first TCA member mixer to be held in Chicago in October!
Dave Wallace serves on the board of trustees for the Technology Channel Association (TCA), the telecom industry’s only non-profit trade organization dedicated to the education and advancement of the indirect sales channel. Dave is currently the President of Aligned Communications, LLC, a premier cloud consulting firm, telecommunications brokerage, and master agency he founded in 2008. Prior to starting Aligned Communications, Dave was Vice President of Channel Sales for Cbeyond. He was named as a finalist for the 2008 Channel Executive of the Year Award from Channel Partners magazine.