Office 365 Saturation Low Among Rural Telco Customers

According to survey from Codero, in managed hosting services and technology enablement
This is a Press Release edited by on 2018.03.13

Codero Holdings, Inc., in managed hosting services and technology enablement, announced that 86% of rural local exchange carriers (RLEC) the company surveyed said their customers were using cloud technologies and 63% said customers had a DR plan.

Only 38% of RLECs reported that their customers currently use Microsoft Office 365. These three findings reinforce the opportunities that exist for RLECs to provide IT services both to help customers through the challenges of migrating to new technology and to offer customers a single point of contact for all of their IT needs.

The survey of 90 RLEC participants representing 55 companies from around the country took place at the NTCA 2018 Rural Telecom Industry Meeting & Expo (RTIME), an event for decision makers from the rural telecommunications sector.

Cloud Technologies
Codero asked providers whether their customers were using cloud technologies, with 86% of respondents answering affirmatively. RLECs have played a large role in enabling this growing trend through their investments in high-speed fiber optic lines, but need to be proactive to ensure they are customers' preferred choice for these cloud services.

"It's certainly not surprising that cloud technologies, from cloud-based storage to backup and recovery and other SaaS applications, are in high demand among rural customers," said Ric Riddle, Codero's chief revenue officer. "For RLECs, it's important now to ensure that they're the ones customers are coming to for those technologies - otherwise they're missing out on some of the gains from their fiber investment."

DR Plan
Of the RLECs surveyed, 63% said their customers had DR plans. This high adoption rate is likely a result of the advent of DR-as-a-Service and the other cloud-based DR solutions that have made recovery preparedness more affordable for small businesses.

It also speaks well to the customer education process, as too often small businesses do not recognize the need for a DR plan until it's too late. However, if their DR education and solutions are coming from a third party, the RLEC is missing out on a potential revenue stream once again.

Microsoft Office 365
It is the most-used business application on the Internet, but only 38% of RLEC respondents said their customers were using it. This implies there is a large, untapped opportunity for RLECs to resell Office 365 licensing, migration, and management to rural small business customers.

"If rural small businesses are not operating on Office 365, they're most likely using legacy versions of the Office suite," said Riddle. "Migrating to a new system can be a huge challenge for companies without in-house IT expertise, and that means RLECs have the opportunity to build a revenue stream around Office 365 services."

Partnership Opportunities
As a company serving and owned by RLECs, Codero works with RLECs to help them add new revenue streams around IT services and managed solutions, including cloud technologies, DR, and Microsoft Office 365.

"RLECs have a unique opportunity to be the single point of contact for virtually all of their small business customers' technology needs," Riddle said. "If you're not expanding your revenue streams right now, you're falling behind, and you're certainly not making the most of your fiber investments."

RLECs can begin offering their customers Codero solutions, services, and support by joining the Codero Partner Program.

Codero serves over 3,500 customers worldwide. It offers a portfolio of custom hosting and technology solutions focused on the needs of SMBs and community anchor institutions.

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