......towards the end of my first year as a trainee with IBM....the company announced that it was (due to anti-trust pressure) "unbundling" its core opsys and related software products from its hardware products. This 'strange announcement was incredible enough to me (a trainee whose knowledge of business was zero) but the follow on statement that IBM planned for software products to grow over the (then) coming five years from 3% in the first year to 20% of total revenues over the coming period - I forget the actual period time frame. To me, a laughably ridiculous plan as who on Earth would want to buy software if someone charged for it? Of course my total ignorance of both the acumen of IBM in dealing with the US Attorney General's Department and their then legendary sales and marketing skills were the reasons that the change had been made and then the change was then used to make it work in IBM's favour - as always at that time.
with a mixed feeling of wry amusement of how absolutely wet behind the ears I once was (if software now accounted for 30% of IBM's revenues they have built a $US30 billion software business since I heard the announcement that started the process) and a reminder that even the 'oldest' companies with entrenched 'go to market' policies, practices and processes can make quite dramatic strategic changes and not only survive but can become whatever they wish to be; at least that can be done if your company possesses IBM's analysis and marketing skills and a superbly trained sales force and sales management group. We don't have either of those resources at the moment but, hopefully, we are well on the way to having the first and it's only a matter of time before we develop the second.
I thought it was an auspice as we start the really hard and detailed analysis and planning work for the new financial year which will be based on a similar 'sea change' by accelerating the processes put in place over the past twelve months from moving our revenue from being largely based on residential ADSL to being largely based on Business Ethernet and other services - particularly VoIP and other elements of 'converged communications' with residential services increasingly being provided via wireless and fibre networks depending on the progress of each of those technology deployments in Australia by the different network builders; and how their wars between themselves eventually work out.
Of course the immense difficulties any company faces in moving its commercial endeavours dramatically cannot be underestimated - we face an immensely difficult set of tasks and an immensely challenging time frame. However, as with IBM's implacable imperative, in their case the US AG's department, we face the implacable imperative of the saturated ADSL marketplace and very, very tough competitive pressures that increase in difficulty each month and change bewilderingly within similar time frames. So, some interesting and 'testing' times are upon us and, one feather in the wind indication, there was a time yesterday morning that new fibre applications were running at 25% of total ADSL/Fibre applications. Given that the total available fibre marketplace represented less than one tenth of a percent of the available ADSL market place this was a remarkable 'micro statistic'. Of course, over the balance of the day it quickly diminished but, as I said, a feather in the wind indicating the change of direction that may well happen over the coming year.
Whether Exetel has the management skills and resources to bring about such a fundamental change in such a relatively short time span is difficult to assess. It's a very complex, and very difficult to even analyse, set of tasks to determine how and where you can start to accomplish such significant changes and I have serious doubts about my own abilities and skills to effectively contribute to such a set of processes. However, there is no other alternative and that is a sound enough basis to begin to plan changes - when you have no alternative.
that's quite an impressive ratio of new customers, I wonder how that might translate to other locations where there is currently no access to anything beyond an ADSL1 connection if you suddenly had something faster available
it could require dealing with the devil of course but I suspect there's opportunity out there still for what Exetel has to offer
I suspect at the moment the percentage of customers each provider has is skewed due to what they can offer and where, if there was a level playing field where everyone had access to the same infrastructure then maybe there would be a better picture of what consumers valued from their chosen provider, perhaps if we do ever get an NBN the landscape will change