Covad Starts a Blogger Relations Program
I realize I’m a little late to this party, but sometimes it’s difficult to get your schedules synced up. That finally happened earlier this week when I talked with Simon McIver from Covad about their new Blogger Relations program they are starting up. My buddy Ken Camp also talked with Covad about this and did a superb job summarizing what they were about. I recommend you read his post.
Covad was born out of the telecom deregulation in 1996 as one of the first CLECs in the US. Despite numerous regulatory changes since then, Covad has managed to survive and thrive where many others have failed. They currently do a mix of direct and wholesale sales and sell solutions into small and medium business (5 to 50 users).
Let’s talk about solutions for a moment. What really struck me about Covad was their desire to truly understand their customers so they can provide the right solutions for them. It’s not just about providing a pipe, which they most certainly can do. It’s about providing a complete solution for the communication needs of the business. Those solutions are met with additional applications over that pipe, for example VoIP. And since the pipe is managed from end-to-end, you can be assured those applications will run with the right priority.
What form will that pipe take? Depends on the customer. It could be DSL. It could be a T1. It could be wireless. To Covad, it ultimately doesn’t matter. They are transport agnostic. Wireless isn’t a huge part of Covad’s portfolio yet, but you can bet they’re working on it.
Covad is marketing their services in a very low-key manner. They are working to ensure that when people are looking for the kinds of solutions they provide, their name comes up. They use a fairly low-touch approach, letting new customers come to them in most cases. They focus less on the technical details of the solution and focus on the benefits they provide the customers.
The other thing Covad is doing is understanding their customer’s business to the point where they not only don’t attempt to upsell unnecessary services, but they don’t attempt to upsell anything during a bad time of the year. For example, accounting and CPA firms right now are under the gun for tax time. Those places would not be receptive to a sales call right about now. Maybe in June they might call.
I look forward to working with Covad further. One of the things I will get to do in this Blogger Relations program is experience the process “soup to nuts,” or at least as much as possible. That means I will get some Covad service of my own and blog about my experiences. Hopefully I’m within their service area, which it sounds like I am.