TMCnews Featured Article
August 20, 2008
Endeavor "Sharpens the Saw" and Promotes Mobile Connectivity
By Rich Tehrani, CEO, Technology Marketing Corporation
Endeavor Telecom (News - Alert), an innovative provider of private label wholesale professional services that reportedly saw a 58 percent jump in revenue this year, will be represented by CEO Justin McLain at the world’s biggest IP Communications show, TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO West 2008 in Los Angeles, next month. At the ITEXPO, McLain will present a session titled, “Service Provider State of the Industry” on Friday, September 19th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Known as the “Telecom Truck Roll Company of Choice” for carriers, service providers, VARs, and equipment manufacturers, Endeavor offers a suite of professional services- North American Field Services, Order Fulfillment Logistics, and Operations Support - which provide customers with a complete, first-class service delivery solution at an affordable price.
According to McLain, "Our unique position and wide customer base give us a unique perspective on many of the macro-level trends related to what is actually being installed versus what is just being talked about. As always, IT EXPO is an ideal forum to both learn and share. Through the open conversation and lively debate at the Service Provider State of the Industry in Los Angeles, I look forward to both level setting on the realities of the present state of Internet Telephony (News - Alert) as well as learning about its future.”
In June, Endeavor kicked off its "Trick Our Truck" contest to commemorate the first year of its company newsletter, "Endeavoring." Contest participants were sent a foam Endeavor van and asked to decorate it anyway they wanted however they see fit, provided it prominently features the company logo and is in good taste. The contest ends this Friday, August 15th, and the first prize winner will recieve two round trip tickets on Delta.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Justin and discuss trends in the communications market, the influence of Google, and his presentation at the ITEXPO.
RT: What has been your company’s biggest achievement in 2008 so far?
JM: In short, our company’s largest achievement for 2008 is an increase in revenue of around 58 percent. If our growth continues over the next two quarters, our run-rate in Q1 of 2009 will be nearly twice of 2007. The best part is that we have been able to improve both EBITDA and the quality of revenue while still aggressively growing the top-line.
RT: What can we expect to see from your company for the next 12 months?
JM: Endeavor will continue to execute as the industry’s leading provider of wholesale installation services. We are “sharpening the saw” through aggressive improvements in efficiency and operating income while still maintaining value and quality to our customers. After saturating our traditional service provider market, Endeavor has diversified its installation portfolio to include a variety of IP-enabled devices and related technologies such as digital signage, IP video surveillance, and industry-specific manages services. You will see us doing more in these areas.
RT: How do you see the communications market evolving?
JM: Eventually, everything will move to wireless – it just has too may advantages over wired services. As wireless methods of access broadband become more robust- supporting greater speeds and more available applications, the traditional facilities-based infrastructure will become less of an advantage.
RT: What company made the biggest contribution to communications this year?
JM: Hmm…I’ll answer that in two parts: The company that made the biggest visible contribution to communications this year is still Vonage. The doors they opened for VoIP and “choice” for service has created a whole new competitive landscape which has pitted the cable companies against the traditional LECs. That being the said, the company that has laid the bedrock for the most pivotal change in communications is Verizon. I choose Verizon because it is competing on both the business and consumer fronts. Sprint and AT&T (News - Alert) would be top contenders for their wireless innovations, but Verizon’s FIOS network is ushering in the new IP-enabled age of consumer services for the carriers. Additionally, Verizon’s fixed wireless network, like AT&T and Sprint, is proving to be an improvement to communication medium more significant than frame-relay was in the early 90s.
RT: How has Google changed our markets?
JM: How hasn’t it? I’ve outsourced my elementary education and long-term memory to Google. I can’t be bothered with remembering the 16th President of the United States, what 72 deg Fahrenheit is in Celsius, how many Dollars equals a Euro, the phone number (or menu) for my favorite Dim Sum restaurant, or yesterday’s Wall Street Journal headline. The only issue is that, now, I need to have constant access to the addictive “query-ability” Google offers. This keeps my Blackberry browser window constantly open and my mobile bill thick with charges. The tools and information provided by Google drives the need to quicker, more mobile broadband and reduces the need for localized software and services.
RT: How about Apple?
JM: Outside of being responsible for putting nearly every music store out of business, Apple, too, is driving the need for high-bandwidth, mobile connectivity so that people can readily access their services, their information, their entertainment, and one-another.
RT: What mobile phone(s) do you use?
JM: To say I “use” a Blackberry would be an understatement, but I really wish that I could buy an iPhone to do everything my Blackberry does in my company now.
RT: Who will win in an Apple/RIM war?
JM: Apple, hands down. With the iTunes and the iPhone, Apple simply has too much traction in the market; the appeal of an iPhone for both business and personal use is overwhelming. The delaying problem in Apple’s eventual triumph is integration with the corporate network and applications. RIM is currently enjoying the lead, but the iPhone is one major product revision away from making a serious play for the business user. Once enterprises can securely and easily integrate iPhone middleware and communications gateways in their corporate computing environment, RIM’s slow death is sure to follow. It will only takes three to five years for the old RIM assets to be fully depreciated, chunked, and exchanged for newer cooler iPhones.
RT: What do you think the communications market might look like in five years?
JM: As mentioned earlier, wireless is the eventual chief mode of transport. As broadband becomes more mobile and the competitive environment less artificial, there will be a decreased dependence on the end-user computing hardware and traditional installation-based software applications. Nearly every application will be hosted and delivered over IP to the end-user.
RT: What will attendees learn about in your session at ITEXPO this September?
JM: Endeavor's unique position and broad customer base give it a unique perspective on many of the macro-level trends related to what is actually being installed versus what is just being talked about. My esteemed co-panelists are some of the industry’s leading minds on various aspects of telecom. Through the open conversation and lively debate at the Service Provider State of the Industry in Los Angeles, attendees can look forward to both level setting on the realities of the present state of Internet Telephony as well as learning about its future.
RT: What type of attendees do you think should come to your session?
JM: The attendees who would benefit most from my session are those who are, from an operating or investing perspective, in a key decision making role in the service provider industry or their dependent industries. Sometimes separating the hype from the reality is nearly impossible unless you are actively involved in the day-to-day reality of how service providers operate. Industry executives, analysts, and anyone else who wants to know what is really going on right now with new Internet Telephony technologies in the service provider industry should attend.
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions?
JM: First and foremost, we can provide service anywhere in North America, including all of the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Furthermore, we offer just wholesale private-label professional services. It is never Endeavor’s brand that is presented to the end-user, so there is no chance of competition with our customers. Endeavor has 350 direct techs and over 9,000 subcontractors, all of whom we certify and manage on an individual basis. This direct approach has huge advantages in regard to both quality and cost. Everyone in our industry already knows that providing superb professional field services is incredibly difficult to execute. It’s expensive; it’s not glamorous, but it’s a must-have for virtually every organization. We want everyone to know that Endeavor Telecom is here, ready to take on that burden under the banner of your brand with a wholesale, white-label offering that can’t be replicated.
RT: Please make one surprising prediction for 2009
JM: The safe prediction is that nothing is going to change in 2009: more consolidation and more regulatory bickering. Going out on the limb, the outcome of the 2008 election presents a mixed bag for telecom companies either way. The outcome may not be seen until the very end of 2009, but it will disrupt telecom yet again. An Obama Whitehouse would lead to a competition friendlier FCC (News - Alert) which would assist the competitive carriers and service providers, but his position on capital gains tax and increased investment regulation would further restrict funding to the already capital embattled telecom space. A McCain Whitehouse would be more of the same pro-ILEC and pro-consolidation legislation with a new zeal of at least four more years of job security. On the plus side, McCain’s administration would likely create no new restriction on available capital outside of our present economic plight.
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.