Another Price War

This industry just doesn’t understand how to sell or market. No Value Proposition. No Laddering. No Positioning. Not even clear internal communications of how your product is better than the competition. So we have Price.

Now we have a price war. (It may lead to a SPIFF war, which would be great for partners!)

Recently, 8×8 launched 8×8 Express which “includes voice, video and chat, so there‚Äôs one application handling all of your communications needs at just $12 per month.” It is self-provisioned, e-commerce and the phone is extra. But we are $12 for a seat now. Normally the prospect would need a thousand seats for that price.

Since GoTo acquired Jive they have been quiet. Recently, they launched a bunch of Jive & GoTo for $15 per user.

I have seen TPX at $15 with the phone included.

To keep Wall Street happy, there has to be continued growth. To do that, you have to change something up, so price.

Now 8×8 might be doing this to crank up the ecommerce sales division. (It puts it in conflict with other sales channels!) Self-serve with 30 days to use it. There will indeed be a lot of churn on this. Maybe they are okay with that. No idea how much support or what kind of support the product has. No idea all the details – just that the seat is $12.

Now if a customer on 8×8 coming off contract, she would want that $12 a seat to stay with 8×8. There is no install. I already have the phone and the service. Now she just wants the market price the provider just set.

Do the other platform UC providers follow suit? Will Vonage leverage the Nexmo engine to offer a $11 basic webRTC feature set with chat and SMS?

One of the reasons that UC doesn’t have demand is that it constantly changes. IP Centrex, Hosted PBX, Virtual PBX, UC, UC&C and so many more acronyms for this product.

A majority of the businesses in the US are small business – less than 100 seats. No one seems to want that business – and quite frankly most businesses just want what they have only cheaper.

Granite is a billion dollar reseller of POTS and PRI, so we know that there is still demand for the legacy copper stuff. The 450+ independent RLECs are still selling POTS and PRI – at ridiculous margin too!

Only way to get people to change is to offer them something they cannot say no to.

The bundle that would work: cellular bundled with the webRTC features, softphones, portal, SMS/chat, and the ACD. Some provider have this to a degree but no one bundles it for small business to pull it off the shelf. It is not SKU’ed for easy consumption.

How many cell phones do you want? How many DIDs? How many will need text? Do you want to do SMS marketing? Do you want video calls? How many? In a step by step process like buying a domain. And Bingo!

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