Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Matt Bross to leave BT - Big Bear heads home

BT's CTO and CEO of Ignite is to leave BT at the end of July to return to the US and follow other interests. Bross is a popular figure around the industry and is one of those rare things these days - a tech' enthusiast, a champion of the 21CN and more importantantly someone at the heart of BT who is known to have wanted to build bridges, both with BTs peers and other 'new technology' companies. Rumour is that Bross has been increasingly unhappy with the lack of investment in innovation since Verwaayen departed, and the accountants have taken over.

That whole scenario reminds me of the last time BT lost a great CTO, Peter Cochrane; an engineer to his soul and evangelical about the coming explosion in communications, left in 2000. Many felt Peter was sidelined by the Valance/King/Bonfield team as they crashed a previously majestic BT into a pile of debt and confusion. The £30bn($50bn) debt mountain resulted in BT having to sell off assets including BT Cellnet (now O2) and the resulting restructures set the scene for the collapse of Global Services in 2008.

Bross' departure is loss to BT not because he was a great business driver, but because of what he represents; BT has a big old hill to climb as it tries to reposition itself from a traditional telecoms company to a provider of converged networked services, it needs people like Bross to stand up the front and shout "We believe!!!" If BT truly believe, their customers will believe as well.

Industries need their cheer leaders and I'm sure Bross, like Cochrane, will continue to entertain and inform us for years to come it's just a shame BT lets these guys go just when they needed them the most.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

CW to spin-out DEMON Internet

In acquiring THUS, CW got it's hands on a mighty NextGEN network, major MPLS infrastructure and associated high value customer-base, datacentres, a sticky product set, skilled engineering team etc. Essential elements in taking on BT & Verizon in the modern enterprise.

As with any house sale they also got some bits they don't want; where as most of us would have put those on eBay or dropped them off at the tip - reports are coming in that CW management have appointed Rothchild to help them clear out the cupboards. Which almost certainly means Broadband ISP Demon Internet is up for sale. Suggestions of a £75-£80m asking are being floated - a nice 'find' as the daytime presenters would say.

But if history is anything to go by I expect CW to find a lot more value than just the sale price. Those of you with half decent memory will remember Bulldog the CW subsidiary voted as 'Britains worst broadband provider'. After Pluthero and the Energisers got hold of it they sold off Bulldogs customers in a deal that ensured the acquiring company had to lease network from CW in order to serve them.

So, I expect more of the same. Double's all round!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Rackspace Customers in Bristol

We have been improving the mapping in our Market Intelligence product. Here's a screenshot showing a selection of Rackspace customers in the Gloucester area.
In the software you can drill down and see details on both the customer and the services they buy.