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It Can be Lonely at the Top … For Customers

December 17, 2013

I’m often asked where Peak 10 fits competitively in the cloud industry landscape, and if the major players concern me. I pay attention to the competitive environment, of course; it’s a necessity for business survival and detecting customer preference shifts. But the big guys? Not so much. They are a different animal.

There’s a heated contest for cloud computing supremacy in full swing among the market leaders. I wonder if a too-big-to-fail scenario may be shaping up. It’s a different part of its business, but consider that when Google’s search engine went dark in August, global Internet traffic plummeted by 40 percent, reflecting its stranglehold on the web. Its cloud platform is built on this same infrastructure, just as Amazon’s is built on its retail platform. Leveraging existing infrastructure is what got them both into the cloud business in the first place. Microsoft and IBM are coming at cloud from another direction … as computer industry icons who absolutely, positively need to be in the cloud market.

When you are big, I mean Really Big, there is a tendency to want to be all things to all people. Personally I don’t believe this is a sustainable business model over the long-term. You can’t be great at everything. You can’t get down and dirty with your customers and help drive their success. Your fiduciary responsibility to constantly increase shareholder value is inescapable and sometimes at odds with long-term goals.  Market dynamics and rapid innovation run head-on into corporate inertia and the inability to turn on a dime.

Not to say that they will, but plenty of industry giants have lost their way and toppled from on high: Motorola, Blockbuster, AMR, and Nortel Networks, to name a few of the better-known. In 2010, Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry controlled 43 percent of the U.S. smartphone market; today it’s less than 4 percent, thanks in no small measure to the Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and a failure to respond to consumer whims. Such is the nature of disruptive innovation, which often bubbles up from below and takes market leaders by surprise.

Becoming a big-box, self-service cloud store is not something Peak 10 aspires to. We are a company that customers turn to when they feel dispossessed by their provider, unsatisfied with pedestrian service and services, nickeled and dimed at every turn for services they may not even need. We are also the company that’s there for young businesses and start-ups; being a provider/partner in driving their success is incredibly rewarding.

As a company, Peak 10 is well positioned for consistent, sustainable, profitable growth and geographic expansion. Our ability to transform to meet customers’ changing solution needs and to adapt to marketplace flux defines our agility, something we have held essential for more than a decade. I like to think that we accomplished that one customer at a time.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest