Regardless of the industry, most businesses find the periodically introducing a new or improved product or service is key to success. In the telecommunications technology industry especially, change and adaptation are imperative. At times, it might seem as if the industry is moving at such a fast pace that it’s impossible to keep up. But successful companies do, nonetheless, figure out the balance between proven offerings and staying ahead of the curve.
There are a number of ways to go about achieving growth by changing and adapting. Cincinnati Bell (News - Alert) Telephone, a regional telecom company in Ohio, is achieving change in part by acquiring new assets that will enable it to enhance and expands its services portfolio.
I asked Michael Herrmann, director of new product development at Cincinnati Bell, about his company’s market strategy. He mentioned strategic acquisitions and physical expansion of facilities, both of which will enable the provider to introduce new VoIP, fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) and Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) product in the coming months.
Herrmann will zero in on meeting needs of small to medium-sized business (SMB) customers at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO West 2008 next month, during the “SMB Networking Alternatives” session on September 18 that he’s co-presenting. Even more specifically, the session will examine how SMBs are using SIP trunking and why service providers are investing in this technology.
RT: What has been Cincinnati Bell’s biggest achievement in 2008 so far?
MH: It’s difficult to pin it down to one particular item, because we’ve got a great deal of things happening across the entire organization. For me, I’d say the completion of two of our strategic acquisitions (eGIX and Gramtel), and crossing the 200,000 square foot threshold of completed data center space really stand out. Achievements like these are both exciting and critical to our continued success — they are examples of how we have been able to drive year-over-year revenue growth for 11 straight quarters in an extremely competitive and changing market.
RT: What can we expect to see from Cincinnati Bell during the next 12 months?
MH: You will see an increasing number of VoIP applications that we offer to our business and residential customers, as well as some very exciting fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) and Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) products that uniquely bundle our voice, data and wireless network assets. You will also see new applications that leverage our data center technology. Lastly, the geographic reach where we are able to offer these solutions will continue to expand.
RT: How do you see the communications market evolving?
MH: There really isn’t an area of the market that isn’t quickly evolving; it continues to be an exciting time to be in our industry. In my area of focus, we are seeing an increasing level of customer interest in mobility/wireless integration to premise and hosted telephony systems. We also see an increasing demand for SaaS (News - Alert) applications and services.
RT: What mobile phone(s) do you use?
MH: Personally, I carry a Blackberry UMA Pearl.
RT: What will attendees learn about in your session at ITEXPO (News - Alert) this September?
MH: I believe they’ll gain some insight on the SMB marketplace – the trends we are seeing, the areas we are focusing on for 2009 and beyond, and what problems our customers are most interested in solving with our technology.
RT: What type of attendees do you think should come to your session?
MH: Business Development, Sales Management, and Product/Marketing attendees would probably find the entire panel very beneficial.
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions?
MH: We have both a proven track record in launching new services offerings that meet our customer’s changing business needs, as well as providing outstanding service for more than 130 years.
RT: Please make one surprising prediction for 2009.
MH: The second time’s hopefully the charm: The Bengals will win the Superbowl!
Mark your calendars for Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO will take place in Los Angeles, California, September 16-18, 2008, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Register now!
Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.
Edited by Mae Kowalke