The other morning I had an opportunity to listen to John Donovan, Chief Technology of AT&T who was presenting at a Mass Technology Leadership Council event, “The Future of Mobile” at Microsoft NERD here in Cambridge.
A key theme was the explosive growth of mobile traffic growth, which is fueled largely video (e.g, “24 hours of YouTube video uploaded every minute”). Donovan expects growth to continue at an event faster rate, so much that AT&T is planning to make major upgrades to its network backbone. Which is to say that AT&T will be spending billions on network-related hardware. Admittedly, this is not breaking news to most sales professionals in the business. But what maybe useful is what Donovan revealed about AT&T’s procurement process during the Q&A session which followed the presentation.
Donovan stated that their purchase decisions would be based on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with one key value driver being energy consumption. In other words, hardware that did not meet certain standards would not make the cut.
Which prompts me to ask this question: Suppose you are among those vendors competing for a share of AT&T’s wallet in this space. Can you show the value of your solutions differentiated advantage, in energy consumption or for all other sources of differentiation? Do you really know how much discount is necessary to win AT&T business?
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