Viodi View – 02/16/15

Value Added Business Services Drive New Revenue

A picture of the entrance to ITS Fiber's business office.
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“An all-star line-up of speakers that was assembled,” said Jeff Leslie, CEO of ITS Fiber. He was referring to this week’s event, Beyond Fiber and Into the Data Center and he was right, as all the speakers delivered great insight. As we discovered, what ITS Fiber is doing is even beyond the data center. Many operators are well-positioned like ITS Fiber is, to use their combination of fiber, data center and local presence to create a mix of high-margin, high-value services that are difficult for larger, out-of-town competitors to match.

Future issues of the Viodi View and ViodiTV will feature insight from this one-plus day conference. In the meantime,

click here to read an overview of the aim of the conference.

Cyber Insurance in Less Than 5 Minutes

Interview with Rudy Johnson of R.V. Insurance at the Seminole Inn in Indiantown, Florida.
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“Cyber insurance has made great strides in the last 20 years and we now have a mainstream product,” explains Rudy Johnson, president of R.V. Johnson Insurance. In the above video, filmed at the historic Seminole Inn in Indiantown, Florida, Johnson describes an application form that, for companies with less than $100M in revenue, is only one page long and can be completed in less than five minutes. Given the myriad of cyber risks faced by the small business owner, this sort of protection seems like a no-brainer.

Click here to view and read more.

Cyber Security – A Necessity and A Potential Competitive Advantage – The Webinar

A security camera depicting the import of cyber security.
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One of the sessions that we had to defer at last week’s event was a conversation with Jeff England of Silver Star Communications. England has been the voice of the industry at the FCC and NTIA regarding cybersecturity. Fortunately, we have an opportunity to catch up with Jeff online in a webinar format on March 20th.

Learn more and register here.

73 Magic Management Words Plus Two – A Brief Review

73 Magic Management Words+2 book review.
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One of the special goodies in the goody bags (sounds like a kid’s party), was Everett Christensen’s book, 73 Management Words+2. Everett, owner of Christensen Communications an independent operator in Madalia, Minnesota, reports that he has been giving these books out to business customers as a leave behind and that not only do people appreciate them, they purchase additional copies. I recently edited my video review of his book for Everett for use on his forthcoming website.

Click here to get a sneak peek of the video that will appear on his web site.

Wholesale CLEC & MVNO without Infrastructure Additions

Fritz Hendricks talks about the process for an operator to become a wholesale CLEC.
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Expanding outside an ILEC’s traditional service area without having to pay for upfront infrastructure is what Fritz Hendricks and Chris Brown of Onvoy discuss in the above interview, filmed at the 2014 Minnesota Telecom Alliance Convention. As Hendricks points out, this capability provides operators a potential for revenue growth. It also provides a low-risk way to edge out into areas outside their traditional wired service boundaries without major upfront investment.

Click here to read more and view the video

[Note: registration for the MNTA 2015 Annual Convention & Tradeshow is now open]

Managing Change – Staying Relevant

Alan Plott disucsses managing change at the 2015 Wireless Symposium.
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Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million listener penetration, while the application Angry Birds took 13 days to reach the same number of players. Alan Plott, Sr. Vice President of Operations for NetAmerica Alliance, made this point, in the above interview, to illustrate how change, thanks to technology, has accelerated over the decades. Plott summarizes his 2015 Wireless Symposium keynote speech, which focused on how organizations need to manage change, if they are to stay relevant.

Click here to read more and to view.

Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • @AjitPaiFCC (pdf) – “Will taxpayers subsidize a big corporation’s spectrum auction scheme? On abuse of the FCC’s small business program.”
  • Since broadband is now 25/3 Mbs, will lower speed offerings escape regulation? Does the 332 page book of Net Neutrality rules explain?
  • Interesting Freedom of Information Act (pdf) request to the FCC regarding further study of the competitive effects of statewide franchising. Initial review by these researchers suggest even threat of competition from adjacent overbuilders helps reduce price of basic service, while making no difference with extended basic. They point out that more study is required and, hence, their FOIA request.
  • The Drone Tractor – autonomous farm machinery is getting closer to full commercialization as Kinze will be building upon its program that found select farmers in the Fall of 2014 completing their harvest with the help of self-driving implements. This trend could have a huge impact on farmer productivity.

The Korner – Avocado of Things

An image of the MERA booth at CES 2015 featuring Avocados from Mexico.
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Avocados from Mexico had one of the clever commercials of the 2015 Superbowl. That they are marketing direct to the consumer isn’t a big surprise given that they were part of the MERA booth at International CES2015 last month. What might even be more clever and innovative are the kiosks they will be rolling out in groceries stores.

Bill Timm, VP of Business Development for MERA USA, the company that behind the technology for these points of presences, explains how these kiosks communicate to apps via integrated Bluetooth beacons. The sorts of things they will communicate include customers recipes and, potentially, special offers.

This unique application points to the way the Internet of Things offers the potential to create direct relationships between producer and consumer.

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