Friday, April 28, 2006

Dean Bubley: Enterprise MVNOs are coming - new $200m VC fund

Dean Bubley writes at Disruptive Wireless about his participation at a MVNO conference and the potential role for them in the emerging FMC space. He states "the bottom line was "not very much, to be honest", unless they have strong skills in procuring & customising dual-mode handsets, or unless you take a broader view of FMC to include picocell-based services."

Bubley writes that Michael Mandahl, a partner at VC Brainheart Capital,"is starting a $200m fund specifically targeted at financing enterprise-centric MVNOs." He then opines that:

I think this makes a huge amount of sense. I have long held that existing mobile operators don't "get" enterprise. They don't understand IP, they don't understand IT (many of them outsource their own...), and they certainly can't grasp the fact that PBXs, especially IP-PBXs, are here to stay. Often, they also lack sales and marketing teams that can sell anything other than minutes and BlackBerries (usually with the help of RIM's own sales team). How many CIOs have their mobile carrier's account representative on speed-dial, or play golf with them (OK, that's a rhetorical question).

Enterprise MVNOs are no-brainers. Ideally, they'll be companies with existing strong enterprise relationships. Maybe PBX integrators (Damovo? Dimension Data?), maybe enterprise IT vendors & VARs (how about SAP? or Sage?) or integration/outsourcing companies (probably those that don't have other operators as clients).