Parks Associates estimates that that the home technology service market will reach nearly $1 billion by the end of 2011 ($450 million in 2007). The market is attracting attention from the “big guys”. AT&T, telecom industry giant, has introduced a new service called ConnecTech. ConnecTech is AT&T’s venture into technical services, designed to compete with Geek Squad (Best Buy). The service is available only to residential customers in the United States.
AT&T is still strong in computer networks, but otherwise, AT&T, once a bastion of technology, has been reduced to a paper lion. AT&T, never commercially successful (but with a credible technical presence, i.e. UNIX), exited the computer market almost 20 years ago. AT&T was never a significant player in consumer electronics.
Bureaucracies are an essential aspect of all organizations. However, when bureaucracies become self-serving and self-perpetuating, this is a problem.
AT&T is now best known for their retail stores selling phones made by someone else. AT&T hit the mother-lode with the agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone. At most stores, one must take a number to wait their turn for the privilege to buy an iPhone.
“AT&T has long been a familiar face in the homes of Americans,” said Carmen Nava, senior vice president, Consumer Marketing Operations for AT&T. “The home services industry represents a billion dollar marketplace.”
AT&T has a very nice website. In addition, many sporting venues, golf events, and at least two automobile races carry on the AT&T tradition.
AT&T ConnecTech Plan
AT&T has partnered with OnForce ( Who Is Onforce?) a company comparable to Ebay (and another bureacratic layer with little real technical contribution), to perform liason with the contractor workforce.
A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures that bureaucrats so strongly resemble.” Cicero
The next logical step would be for AT&T ConnecTech to add partnerships with U.S. Steel and Xerox for the additional prestige. This would facilitate additional bureacratic layers, and would complete the “Russian-French” model.