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Report: Niche Telecom Markets Thriving
Aug 2003
OLYMPIA, Wash., August 22 -- While venture capitalists lick their wounds from the tech bubble and look for their next big score, telecom entrepreneurs are quietly creating their fortunes, according to ErgotecGroup, which provides market research services to telecom manufacturers.

"At least 25 entrepreneurs in the telemanagement applications industry have amassed $1 million or more in personal wealth," said Daniel Stusser, principal researcher and author of an ErgotecGroup report, "Telemanagement Applications Industry 2002-04."

"Telemanagement is a collection of niches, the type of market where entrepreneurs thrive," said Stusser. "Some segments are growing, and some are shrinking."

Two growth segments are telecom invoice management and Enhanced 9-1-1 for private branch exchange (PBX) users, an application mandated by eight states. Telecom invoice management, the fastest-growing application, according to the report, is sold to large businesses that receive most of their phone bills electronically. The customer's billing data enables vendors of telecom invoice management applications to apply computerized analyses that quickly determine if the bills are accurate -- frequently, they're not, ErgotecGroup said.

"Customers like telecom invoice management, said Stusser. "It's a cost-reduction tool that yields immediate, measurable results. That's why invoice management is showing triple-digit growth."

The research for "Telemanagement Applications Industry 2002-04" uncovered two significant, continuing trends in all telecom management applications, he said. The first is the migration from the purchase of software packages to "hosted" or "ASP" applications bought on a pay-as-you-go basis. The second is the requirement for Web functionality.

The Internet has changed the way call-accounting and other telemanagement applications are delivered," Stusser said.

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