Telecom CEO Dave Dyson: Big Changes Ahead in Communications

Expect a lot of telecom consolidation throughout the second half of 2021.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

February 12, 2021

6 Min Read
Change Ahead

We’re in the midst of a “rising tide” moment for the telecom industry, becoming more important and powerful as businesses think about, procure and manage technologies, says Dave Dyson.

Dyson is CEO of Eclipse Technologies. The telecom thought leader is one of the newest members of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board.


Eclipse Telecom’s Dave Dyson

“I’m a creature of this industry and a cheerleader for it,” he said. “I’m excited to continue on this path with [Channel Partners parent company] Informa, with Channel Partners being a voice for positivity, for change, for evolving our businesses, for building better companies, and for building a more diverse and inclusive industry. It’s a challenge we’ve had over the years here.”

The telecom CEO was with AT&T for more than six years before deciding to strike out on his own by starting his own company. Eclipse, more than 11 years ago.

“I like a challenge,” he said. “But honestly, it was this sort of market space idea that … there was a gap between what a big enterprise customer needed out of the experience of all things, networking, communications, and how they derive and deliver those services to their user community, and what the big telco companies of the world were able to deliver. So we started out with this idea of a bridge-building between what the technology providers were able to deliver or willing to, and what the customers at the end on the enterprise side actually needed.”

The most important thing every business of every size does is communicate, Dyson said.

“And so we set out with this idea that we would help foster better, stronger communication using technology,” he said. “It’s really about making it all just go better.”

Eclipse provides telecom consulting and management for midmarket and enterprise companies in cloud, mobility and connectivity.

Brisk Business During COVID-19

Business picked up for Eclipse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dyson said. It was basically “right place, right time, wrong scenario.”

“The situation is terrible, but we happen to have the expertise that the world is looking for right now, helping people communicate using technology, helping digitally transform organizations from where they were to where they’re going,” he said. “And more importantly, it’s on this very accelerated timeline.”

A lot of companies that had a three-year plan to move to the cloud instead had six months to do it, the telecom CEO said.

“So we’re guiding a lot of folks through that process right now, getting them pretty quickly to where they need to go,” he said. “So rollercoaster is the right term. It started out shaky, got a little stabilized and now we’re back on the assignments because, again, we have this expertise here.”

Amid the panic, a lot of businesses were prepared to make “huge” purchasing decisions, Dyson said. These decisions would impact their entire organizations and how they communicate for the next three to five years.

“If somebody wants to buy something, you should probably sell it to them,” he said. “But in our case, we were like, ‘Can we slow down for a minute because of the importance of these decisions?’ We were encouraging folks to think through the problem, to pump the brakes a little bit.”

In a few instances, Eclipse has helped businesses fix or improve upon panicked decisions they made, Dyson said.

“I think we’ll be seeing more of that over the next year, with people saying, ‘I did something to solve a burning-hot crisis; now can I make it better,'” he said. “Can I optimize it? Can I go in and make it a better tool for the organization?”

Massive Acceleration

From March through November of 2020, every trend happening in business accelerated, Dyson said.

“We took what was about to be a five- to seven-year window of transformation, and probably just compressed it into about 24 months,” he said. “So everybody needs to digest that fact and start acting accordingly. And that’s the folks on our side, the consultants and advisers to the client, the technology providers and most importantly, it’s the customers themselves. They have to think about the bigger picture ramifications here.”

Everybody was going to the cloud anyway; the pandemic just …

… “punched the gas,” Dyson said.

“And now we’ll go ahead and figure out what that means as a collective,” he said.

And cybersecurity has never been more top of mind with remote work, the telecom CEO said.

“By sending millions of people home, we just opened up the attack vector and attack surface area,” he said. “And the bad guys have noticed. They’ve taken note. They’re coming in through home connections and every other way possible into corporate networks because we’ve opened up the surface area. So security is at least topic one through nine on everybody’s top 10 list right now. And we have we have to be very mindful of it, of course.”

On the Horizon

In terms of the telecom competitive landscape, Dyson expects a lot of M&A this year after an extended break due to the pandemic. But it’s not likely to pick up steam until the second half of 2021.

“From a channel perspective … the small VARs, the small agencies and the small consulting firms are going to start finding ways to either merge, acquire, come together or what have you,” he said.

Cloud contact center is one area that looks ripe for consolidation, the telecom CEO said.

“It’s like any new technology,” he said. “There are a lot of entrants and then eventually, in the end, we’ve got the winners and the winners oftentimes absorb not the losers, but the ones who didn’t grow as quickly. And I think we’re going to see an era of M&A in the the next 24-36 months like we haven’t seen in awhile.”

In addition, if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that things aren’t going back to the way they were before the pandemic, Dyson said. It’s a good time to rethink how we work, where we work and when we work.

“Let’s get a better, more rational future for all of us,” he said. “Let’s have technology be an enabler to remove friction from human communication, as opposed to the digital ball and chain that we’ve let it become. I think there’s a lot of opportunity coming out of this. It just feels like to some degree there’s a lot of  thinking, planning and strategizing — and everybody’s got their hand over the pause button right now waiting to hit play again. And I don’t know when that collective action takes place, but it’s coming, I hope sooner rather than later.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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