From Vertical to Horizontal - change the view

First small steps I made when I worked for Racal Datacom an IT infrastructure company focussed on Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN). The challenge for me to open a new market in the Energy, Utility and CATV companies. Most of the products we had would fit in a LAN and WAN but little differentiation possible compared with all the competitors with already established relationships. In this time liberalisation of the telephone network started and that's were I saw my opportunity. I wrote a marketing plan around a fibre optic multiplexor product that was basically designed for skyscrapers. As in the Netherlands we are a pretty flat country with a few high buildings I just rotated the concept 90°. There were 3 major players /competitors, Siemens, Philips, Bosch all very established at that time in the CATV market. The opportunity was with Philips and Bosch as they did not have their own solution. I decided that either Philips or Bosch should be the strategic partner. Siemens had their own product with OTN (Optical Transport Network). Most of the decisions around acquisitions and new services for CATV companies were advised by large and small consultant companies. Strong focus was on ROI and cost per Mb connection.
The CATV network owners the enemy was KPN (Dutch Telecom provider) as they owned all the access to consumers and most of the leased lines to business market.
The consultants thought the most logical strategy was targeting the consumers with telephone lines using CATV networks as that would give them access to the consumer market. My strategy was targeting the B2B market with leased lines and start small using maybe connection between CATV locations first internally and second use local government like police or fire departments to connect. I tried to convince the consultants with presentations about my MultiMedia Superhighway with presentations including a composed song around PremNet the name of the product and the give away a little Dinky Toy. The success some Metropolitan Area Networks were implemented with Nuon and the largest was build with Philips with Energy Company Maastricht who also owned the CATV network.
Just by changing the view I could open a new market and write the messages and complete the ROI model. What I could have been done better is a good program to convince the consultants as key influencers not a few presentations, something I underestimated.

PremNet was the name a fibre optic multiplexer for transport of video, T1, T2, telephone lines, Ethernet, token ring, rs232 etc..all through SDH/Sonet 155Mb pretty hip at that time


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