Russ: This is The BusinessMakers Show, heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessMakers.com. I'm at Business Matchmaking 2012 in Houston, Texas; this is about the fifth one of these I've done around the country and now my guest is Brian Wesolowski, National Manager with Sprint. Brian, welcome to The BusinessMakers Show.
Brian: Thank you Russ, I appreciate it.
Russ: You bet. Well let's start by you telling us about Sprint's relationship with Business Matchmaking.
Brian: Sure, sure, and it's definitely a junior relationship compared to some of the other sponsors of the event but in short we leverage the relationship between Business Matchmaking and Sprint to drive a supplier diversity awareness amongst the businesses in attendance and as well the Sprint community in terms of the partners that represent our products and services of which my team manages and oversees on a daily basis.
Russ: Okay, well I know you're the National Manager of the Indirect Channel, what is the Indirect Channel?
Brian: Sure, Indirect is an alternate form of sales methodology leveraging external companies to sell Sprint services - that would be Sprint Wireline and Sprint Wireless services. We bifurcate the solutions if you will into the aforementioned categories and involves both, so in terms of partners, external companies selling our solutions.
Russ: Okay, well I did a little research for you and then discovered the Wireline category; I had no idea that Sprint did that as well, I thought it was all Wireless.
Brian: How deep did you dig is what I want to know?
Russ: Well, not - not very far. In fact, to be honest, I just searched on your name and discovered that you had a background in that category and still do, right?
Brian: Certainly, sure a nineteen year history with with Wireline. Wireline would be what in today's today's moniker nomenclature would be our convergence solutions and that would be core internet IP-based solutions. It would be business to business wired communication using fiber optic technologies, both domestic and international and we've had a program at Sprint for nineteen years and I've been in the industry almost that amount of time and starting with owning my own business four years ago, selling to AT&T and then migrating up to where I am today.
Russ: Okay, real cool, but I gotta tell you it must be awfully exciting and challenging to be in the communications business right now. I mean it seems like it changes every month.
Brian: Without a doubt. And when you're managing two separate solutions if you will, Wireline and Wireless and keeping up with the dynamic aspects of how those two are interacting with each other, how those two are playing into providing holistic, comprehensive solutions to our customers becomes a challenge. You see Wireless, Russ, being more dynamic in terms of its changing nature.
Russ: Right, well and you see a lot more television ads and that sort of thing too, yeah, right.
Brian: Oh, without a doubt. Well, and that's a product of our core focus being Wireless. Eighty-six percent of our, say allocated ebitda bottom line comes from Wireless solutions.
Russ: Eighty-six percent?
Brian: Eighty-six percent, fourteen percent comes from Wireline. Thus, your probably your limited knowledge of our solution because we're focusing advertising and media spin, if you will on the wireless piece.
Russ: Sure. Well even my goodness, the competitors in the space, I mean keeping up with them and their - and their shifting and they're bringing out new technologies while you are simultaneously. There's just so many moving pieces, it seems like much more than you see in any other category of business these days.
Brian: I would agree with you, I would agree - and, from a competitive standpoint in the dynamics related to on again off again with competition, wireless has - we have three core competitors, as you know and Wireline I could probably name fifteen to twenty core competitors. So you definitely see a piece of fluidity maybe more so in terms of competition on the wireless side, but on the Wireline side having that the aspect of maybe a more of a core product and solution that really has not changed over the last eight years or so that is there alongside of wireless for us.
Russ: Okay, okay. So, we're sort of in this small business category right now, is a small business a good prospect for your Wireline services or is it mainly big, giant, Corporate America?
Brian: I would say it's closer to the latter. So, typically - if you're saying my business being our Wireline or wired business - mid-market up through mid enterprise customers; say you're Fortune 50 company down to mid-market general business focus. Companies that have international and/or domestic presence, companies that have typically five or more sites that wireless technology is either one, not as reliable as need be, two, not as prolific in terms of signal penetration or what have you a-and three, from a cost standpoint it we can often do - get more creative on the Wireline side than wireless.
Russ: Okay. So before I let you go, and I and I know you do have some small business in your own background right now - let's say we have a small business person tuned in right now, brand new, starting out, and they have like a - they're gonna have a sales force and a staff and it's time to make the decision for what sort of wireless applications they need, what kind of general advice would you give him and her? I mean is it just about price, is it just about 4G?
Brian: We're talking technology in from a sales portfolio product standpoint but more so from how do they most effectively run their business is where you're going?
Brian: Certainly we've seen over the last three or four years change in terms of Wireline product mixing, i.e. Office in a Box. So three, four years ago you did not see in the industry the ability to have a self-contained I open it up, I make one phone call and it's active self-contained router wireless phones that interact in terms of convergence capability with maybe a wired unit that all I do is maybe plug in or maybe I don't even have to plug it in, but it's all in one, office-in-a-box that has wireless Wireline, self-contained, again, ready to go out of the box. It has web conferencing, audio conferencing, video conferencing, presence, messaging, collaboration, wireless, and Wireline baked into one product; pretty cool, pretty cool stuff.
Russ: Boy, it seems like all it needs is a sales staff in there for you too to go out and make your numbers.
Brian: Yeah, well you're exactly right, it doesn't do that quite yet. It will maybe it'll be there in the future. But it's nice to be able to offer that turnkey solution at this point for the small business.
Russ: Boy it sounds great, it sounds great. Well Brian, I really appreciate you giving us some of youre time.
Brian: Thank you Russ, I appreciate it as well.
Russ: You bet. That's Brian Wesolowski, National Manager with Sprint and this is The BusinessMakers Show, heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessMakers.com.