Utility services, the dull boring stuff that we all take for granted, are incredibly valuable. We take them for granted.
Initially I was going to title this post “turn it off” , this was based on a converstation with a client who wanted to continue to use the utility service (in this case data networks), just at half the price.
In my meeting with the client, I fronted him. I said to him
“sure, we can give you something for 50% of the price but before you jump think it through. What is the cost of moving to a consumer grade resolution on your business (we’ll get around to you sometime in the future). Or, how much would it cost you if you lost connectivity to your DataCentre?”
Then I drew out a basic network that included all the types of sites that he had, and lead him through the impact of his goal. Maybe i’ll win that argument, maybe i won’t. I suspect after the Christchurch earthquake, and the amazing effort my employer (and other network providers) have made to restore services, this guy might well appreciate the utility.
Same is true of consumers, watching the events unfold and seeing the way that the utility telco services have enabled people to text and call and tweet in this time of crisis puts the value beyond all doubt. As a friend said on my facebook page
“what we do means people can text and watch the Internet to find out their family is ok. I am stoked for Facebook and SMS right now”
I’m proud to be able to do that. Being able to hang your hat on that when asked what you do is meaningful.Profoundly human.
Perhaps the marketing teams in network providers need to get over themselves, leave that confusing value added services stuff alone. Go back to basics, “we provide the infrastructure so you can connect with your people”