Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tiscali buys out PIPEX Consumer Business

This weeks announcement that PIPEX is to sell off it's consumer business to Tiscali for £210m ($420m) will be no surprise to those who are following the increasing desperate consolidation of consumer Internet access.

A surprise to some, and relief to it's many business customers is that PIPEX plans to continue as a provider of Business DSL. Assuming that the deal is along the lines of the Bulldog customer account transfer this looks like being a result for PIPEX, having paid £109($218) each for Bulldogs customers they have sold them on for in excess of £400($800) each.

As media and the mobile operators are driving the price of consumer Internet down to "not free, but just about" . PIPEXs move back to higher value business services comes at just the right time.

Only question is what will happen to the Hoff, will he stop dyeing his hair maybe buy a Lexus and a nice suit?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Google and Postini Senior Execs Talk about the Acquisition

It's worth a trip printing off the charts below and heading over to ZDNets Blog to listen to Dave Girourd, vice president and general manager, Google Enterprise, and CEO, Postini Scott Petry, founder, CTO and exec VP of product development, talk about the thinking behind the acquisition and the integration of Postini.

Bar Chart

Bar Chart

It gets a bit nerdy in places but is worth listening to get a view of how the combined company plans to interoperate with other alternative application vendors such as the Mozilla Foundation, and to make the experience for the serious business user, well 'more serious'.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Google to acquire Postini leading US Mail security vendor

Breaking news in the informartion security area is that Google is to acquire the US leading email security vendor Postini .

In April this year Postini and Google announced a strategic tie up for the consumer oriented Gmail.

Now (July 9th) it is announced Google will acquire Postini for $625 million in cash, subject to working capital and other adjustments, and Postini will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google.

Dave Girouard, Vice President and General Manager of Google Enterprise. said "The response to Google Apps has been tremendous, with more than 1,000 small businesses signing up for the service every day. At the same time, large businesses have been reluctant to move to hosted applications due to issues of security and corporate compliance. By adding Postini products to Google's technology, businesses no longer have to choose -- employees get the intuitive products they want, and the company achieves the security and assurance it needs,"

CEO Eric Schmidt commenting on the addition of Postini to the Google Apps portfolio said "With this transaction, we're reinforcing our commitment to delivering compelling hosted applications to businesses of all sizes. With the addition of Postini, our apps are not just simple and appealing to users -- they can also streamline the complex information security mandates within these organizations,"

The news comes as this sector hits hypergrowth. As second quarter of 2007 saw a hockey stick in the adoption of managed hosted mail security, it also saw Googles arch rival Microsoft growing deployments of the Exchange Hosted Services Portfolio based around their strong Frontbridge solution.

This strategic move by Google looks to have slipped them ahead of the game;

Here is the market share data for use of these services amongst some of the worlds largest corporates. The FTSE350 and the Fortune 1000.

Bar Chart

Bar Chart

As you will see, we left the old names on but here for completeness...

Postini = Google, Frontbridge = Microsoft, BlackSpider = Websense and Messagelabs well there still Messagelabs.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Notes on the potential auction of Virgin Media

On the 2nd July it came out that Carlyle Group had made an offer of about $11bn for Virgin Media $11bn for Virgin Media

On the 4th of July it was reported that Virgin Medias bankers inc' Goldman Sachs were preparing detailed financial presentations for other prospective suitors amongst the Private Equity community.

We've often commented on the similarities between the ISP businesses of Virgin Media and BSkyB, NTLTelewest and EasyNet respectively.

Both these companies are in the UK 'top ten' business Internet market shares Each has about 3% share of the UK businesses with a turnover up to £125m ($250m).

The chart below profiles each companies Internet Access customers (amongst a representative sample of 80,000 in January 2007) as I mentioned before each company has near enough 3% share overall.

Bar Chart

NTL Telewest, which claims to offer service coverage to 85% of UK business, is an established and interesting ISP, one that has managed to retain a leadng position in the UK ISP marketdespite suffering from the failing strength of the NTL consumer brand.

As the second largest provider fixed line telephone services and having already sunk an estimated £13bn into its NGN/All IP infrastructure. Perhaps a move into the hands of a private equity firm might see a resurgence in it's fortunes.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Protecting legacy customer revenues

BackChannel is offering a major account profiling service, which allows service providers to gain a complete overview of the Public Internet services brought by their largest strategic accounts on a country buy country, or worldwide basis.

The worlds’ largest Telco operators have thousands of major accounts that generate billions of $ in revenue from a mixture of fixed & mobile telephony and legacy private data services.

These legacy accounts are the corporate crown jewels of the business providing some with up to 70% of their turnover.

Big Telco’ around the world have become experts at weaving themselves into the fabric of these customers strategic private telecommunications infrastructure; not so their public facing IP infrastructure.

BackChannels latest research shows that 77% of major accounts buy their Internet access from other providers and this rockets to nearly 90% for other Internet services such as web hosting, collocation, managed email and DNS services.

A ‘network as a utility’ mentality has developed in the purchase of public Internet services, and that represents a significant threat to these core revenue streams.

Customers see technology migration as an opportunity to tender out, and due to the flexible nature of IP this ‘utility’ mentality in the acquisition of Internet services is slowly starting to effect customer attitudes to Private IP infrastructure.

As the telecommunications industry progresses towards all IP Next Generation Networks (NGNs) new threats to their position are arising all the time; VoIP, Streaming media, Web 2.0, Software as a Service, Google… All are becoming more & more stable and running over super cheap bandwidth that business now buy like electricity.