Packet8 maker and marketer 8x8 reports that it now has more than 6,000 U.S.-based business customers.
Trend lines seem to point to a diversification of the business beyond increasingly discounted residential service, to higher-margin business service.
The lesson, at least to me, is that an appropriate message to business users- backed up with dependable products, can make inroads into a sector that is largely dominated by the QoS-offering giants.
I am talking about actual solutions, not simply sticking a "for Business" label on a suite of services and equipment, charging more, and then waiting for the new accounts to roll in.
The key is 8x8's Virtual Office, and its array of video solutions. Revenue from each of these sectors have respectively increased by 30% and 22% from the third quarter of 2006 to 4Q.
As a result, business sales are now 33% of quarterly revenue, with video solutions comprising 5% and wholesale 4%.
Residential revenue- which I believe to be a fool's chase when concentrated on exclusively- is now "just" 58% of 8x8 revenue. That's down 11% from the previous quarter.
I have to think that because 8x8 offers its own equipment- handsome at that- this is an advantage over other pure play services that offer a confusing array of devices.
“We are very pleased that our diversified strategy of focusing on higher-margin business service customers with our unique and patent-protected Packet8 Virtual Office technologies and video communication technologies are yielding these landmark results," 8x8 CEO Bryan Martin tells Telephony Online.
I've said it before, and I will say it again. It's not about the price, but about the services.