Welcome to the December issue of the Tiscali Business Services newsletter.
I am pleased to say that despite the 'credit crunch', looking back at the past 12 months, Tiscali has actually had quite a good year. In fact, as you will read in the first article, we have been extremely active introducing a series of innovative new products.
We started 2008 by launching the UK's first nationwide ADSL2+ service, bringing the benefits of leading high speed DSL technology to channel partners. Born out of ADSL2+, Annex M and SDSL (M) were introduced to offer a new package of wholesale telecoms services, bringing faster, more innovative and less expensive services than BT’s DSL and leased lines. We rounded off the year by unveiling Tiscali’s Next Generation Ethernet product at Comms Vision 08 where senior executives of leading channel companies gathered at the beautiful Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.
In the second article, Deborah Collins, Sales Director at Tiscali Business Services shares her enthusiasm about Tiscali's success at the event; there is no doubt our new Ethernet product – which will be officially launched in early 2009 – has successfully captured the interest of our channel partners.
To sum up, 2008 has been a year of innovation for Tiscali and we have no plans to stop here. We will continue to introduce more innovative services at extremely competitive prices to offer our partners the very best of wholesale telecoms services throughout 2009. The last article gives you a little taste of what we have to offer in the up-coming months.
Finally, may I take the opportunity to wish you a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Product and Marketing Director
Tiscali Business Services
Annus actually quite positivus
Tiscali ethernet takes flight at Gleneagles
The year of the ox and Ethernet
Next month's edition:
Warren Potts, Head of WIPVPN, talks about the potential for Ethernet products
2008 – Annus actually quite positivus!
Lance Spencer, Product and Marketing Director for Tiscali Business Services, reviews 2008 – what he calls: “annus actually quite positivus”
To say that 2008 has been a difficult, challenging or eventful year depends on your perspective. If you are a merchant banker or if you have just seen your portfolio of shares slide down as quickly as the value of your house, then I expect your view will be that it was annus horribilis, as the Queen once put it. At the time she was speaking about the trials and tribulations of her family, of course, not global economic meltdown.
Your view of every passing year usually depends on your own personal experiences and at Tiscali Business Services our family has actually had quite a good year! By this I mean our growing and very healthy family of wholesale broadband products.
We started 2008 by launching the UK’s first nationwide ADSL2+ service, bringing the benefits of leading high speed DSL technology to channel partners and their customers throughout the past 12 months. It was a good start for us and since then it has been a pleasure to see companies embrace ADSL2+ to bring advantages to their own businesses and customers.
The introduction of ADSL2+ opened up the potential for bandwidth hungry applications to flourish.
So, with 2008 also a year with environmental issues high on the political and social agenda, technologies such as video conferencing were back in the spotlight as a very real alternative to unnecessary business travel. ‘Carbon footprint’ and ‘credit crunch’ have easily become two of the most familiarly used and recognised terms in 2008, so why not video instead of hopping on an aircraft?
And if after the trials and tribulations of 2008 a break is needed and you are looking to get away from it all next summer, why not check out a holiday for 2009 with TUI Travel using their innovative new Web in Shops application? Rather than simply flicking through a brochure, customers of TUI Travel can now experience the sights and sounds of a potential holiday destination thanks to the combined expertise and innovative approach of Tiscali and T-Systems.
This is just one of many examples of companies doing things differently with new technology assisted with faster broadband.
As for this summer – well, we called it summer, but the warm weather in the UK lasted about a week, if I recall - Tiscali decided to warm the wholesale market up in July with a spectacularly good 21st century network alternative to BT’s offerings.
Born out of ADSL2+, Annex M and SDSL (M) were introduced to offer a new package of wholesale telecoms services for our channel partners, bringing faster, more innovative and less expensive services to BT’s SDSL and leased lines. Annex M and SDSL (M) enable our partners to provide their customers with greater service options and a host of attractive features, including higher guaranteed bandwidth for businesses, a doubling of VoIP connections per company and the opportunity to run multiple services such as voice, video and other media over a single circuit.
It certainly made a difference to companies like Coms, a Tiscali partner which was able to launch its own new products on the back of Tiscali’s innovation. As Autumn drew nearer and leaves began to fall from trees, the price of hosted VoIP was also tumbling as Coms unveiled Coms Office 10 - 2MB SDSL-M broadband as well as the Coms fully featured hosted VoIP service for up to 10 users, and all for the amazing price of just £99 per month.
By combining the new Tiscali Annex M products with the Coms hosted platform, the team at Coms was able to reduce capital expenditure and operational costs whilst providing a true carrier class telephony solution. It means that Coms customers have access to advanced features, and can take advantage of new developments without costly upgrades.
Terry Martins, the CEO of Coms, explained that they had spent a long time reviewing broadband offerings. Their objective was to partner with a company who could provide a range of products providing service level assurances to guarantee bandwidth and low latency from the customer’s local exchange, through to the Coms VoIP servers. Lo and behold: “Tiscali was the only supplier who could meet all of our requirements,” he said.
Apart from the technology being available, the impetus behind the launch of Coms 10 had much to do with the montage of a BT bill. “You need a degree in acronyms to try and understand what you are paying for,” said Terry. “There is no transparency and that is the way the traditional fixed line and mobile companies like to keep things. In this challenging financial environment, customers just want to pay for what they use, at a reasonable cost. When they add more users it needs to be simple, speedy and the costs need to be transparent.”
Certainly, I would agree with Terry that 2008 has become a “challenging financial environment” for businesses and 2009 is looking likely to be another annus horribilis as far as money is concerned.
At Tiscali our aim is to make innovation an integral part of business, and our resolution, as it was last year, is to offer our partners and their customers the very best in the way of wholesale telecoms services throughout the coming 12 months.
And with Tiscali’s Next Generation Ethernet on the horizon, we expect a good start to 2009 too.
Tiscali Ethernet takes flight at Gleneagles
From a networking perspective, Tiscali rounded off the year by attending Comms Vision 08, billed by its organisers as the Channel's Strategic Business Planning Convention, where senior executives of leading channel companies gathered at the spectacular Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland.
Deborah Collins, Sales Director for Tiscali Business Services, attended Comms Vision 08 with several Tiscali colleagues over a three day period in November.
“The great and the good in the channel came together to present, debate, listen and share their views on hot topics in the channel as we move into 2009,” explains Deborah. “It was a fantastic opportunity to have so many senior figures, innovators and opinion formers in one place and we were delighted to be involved – the first time we have attended a Comms Vision event.
“As well as participating with several of our existing channel partners, such as KCom and Azzurri, it was also an opportunity for us to meet with new people in the channel, and particularly companies who previously had little exposure to what we have been doing at Tiscali Business Services over the past 18 months.
“From my perspective, there was such a lot to say! It was terrific to be able to share with them the fact that we have been extremely active in 2008, launching at least one strategic new product every quarter. It was a real eye-opener for many, and since the event we have entered several discussions as to how we can help these companies in early 2009 and hopefully beyond.
“For example, the event presented us with a rare opportunity to meet several CEOs from voice resellers in one place, so we were able to discuss Tiscali products such as WLVA, an ‘all in one’ service which enables resellers to deliver tailor made, competitively priced line rental, voice and data services over a single connection.
“Without question, the highlight for us was the massive interest in Tiscali’s Next Generation Ethernet product which we were able to unveil and will officially be launching into the channel in early 2009. In fact, several partners came up to us following the Ethernet presentation by Lance Spencer, Tiscali’s Product and Marketing Director, saying that news of this new service alone made attending Comms Vision 08 worthwhile.
“That’s not to take anything away from the overall success of this event; it’s just that many companies are looking for some shining lights going into 2009, and Next Generation Ethernet means they can truly visualise how they will help their customers to bring on board new and innovative services whilst also making good margins in what is a tough trading environment.
“Other topics of discussion included convergence which continues to be a major theme for companies looking to consolidate their data, voice and mobile applications. There have been many early adopters of convergence, but equally there are so many businesses out there which have yet to take advantage of this approach to their business communications.
“The mood of the event was extremely positive. It was nice to see so many individuals buzzing with new ideas and discussing innovation and collaboration which in a funny way mirrors convergence and other technical aspects of our industry.
“Finally, it is worth mentioning the fantastic location and service of the staff at the Gleneagles Hotel. It was the first time I had stayed here and I was extremely impressed. As well as me, 150 delegates of Comms Vision 08 were treated to the very best service. An occasion like this reminds you that good service is paramount – the end game - and that is something we are all striving to achieve for our customers.
“So, all in all, hats off to Comms Vision 08 which lived up to its promises as an event to be at.”
2009 – the year of the Ox and Ethernet
If 2008 was the year of ADSL2+ and Annex M, then 2009 will be the year of Ethernet.
Ok, it’s not quite the same as the rat or ox, the equivalent in the Chinese calendar, but nevertheless these technologies are important for our channel partners as Tiscali continues to introduce more innovative services at extremely competitive prices.
The full details of Tiscali’s Next Generation Ethernet portfolio will be made available in early 2009 – watch this space – but until then here are a few facts and figures to get you thinking during the festive period.
Tiscali will be launching a range of wholesale Ethernet services to support our partners’ access portfolio based on our high capacity Next Generation LLU Network.
These services will include low cost 10Mb – 100Mb Ethernet access to MPLS IPVPNs, new low cost Wholesale Ethernet and Internet Access products.
It means that, at launch, Tiscali will have the largest Ethernet PoP footprint in the UK. This will simplify and lower Ethernet costs providing a more competitive opportunity for you and your customers. In addition, there will be the opportunity to find out about future Openreach Ethernet services such as Fibre to the Cabinet and Fibre to the Premises.