I had an enjoyable morning with BT Openreach last week as they outlined their plans over the coming years. While the business isn’t the most loved within the industry I thought the presentation was well thought out and impressed by the staff. What was interesting was their candid nature on growth aspirations and while they don’t see dramatic increase on their £5 bn or so of sales each year they do foresee dramatic changes in how this is made up within their product portfolio.
One key thing for Openreach is to continue to push new technology which may reduce margins or return on more profitable legacy technology. They seem to understand that with any change there is always loss of existing business but in most cases made up for with the replacement and the new requirements it spawns. When local loop unbundling came in the impression was BT revenue would fall but instead it actually grew as more businesses entered the broadband space.
One key legacy technology that is the bread and butter of Openreach is ISDN technology and they were very clear on their expectations for this to be replaced with SIP technology. When it will happen exactly they don’t know, as customers seem slow to adopt, but it will happen and they are ready for it. You even get the impression they want the switch to happen faster. Obviously for companies such as ours this is good news especially as we recently launched a range of products under the ADVANCE brand which deliver seamless failover to multiple networks, perfect for delivering the kind of SLA customers expect from ISDN. All we need now is more SIP carriers who can persuade businesses to make the switch.