Akamai and The Fortune 500


Akamai dominates the Fortune 500 landscape. No other CDN comes close. My guess is Akamai owns 90%+ of the relationships in that market. Can any CDN challenge Akamai in the Fortune 500? Can Faslty, CacheFly, CloudFlare, ChinaCache or others  win against Akamai?

I think its going to be very challenging. It takes a lot more than persistence, knowledge, features, pricing, bells & whistles to win the hearts and minds of the Fortune 500. The biggest problem is not sales, but the business model of the startup CDN itself.

Business Structure

CDNs are fast moving machines. The majority of CDNs are VC funded. Their under the time pressure element. They have to innovate quickly, and sell, sell, sell. The internal business structure of the CDN is built around the quick sale. There are monthly quotas, quarterly quotas, bi-annual quotas, yearly quotas,  and incentives created to match those quotas. Transaction volume is very important, because the name of the game is to sign up as as many new customers as possible.

Is this kind of CDN structure that will breed success in developing new relationships with the Fortune 500? I personally think the current CDN business structure prevalent today is the exact opposite of what is needed to nurture, and build relationships from the ground up, with the Fortune 500. It takes a very long time to win the Fortune 500 account.

Fortune 500 is not a transactional sale. It’s not going to close in 3 months, 6 months, or even 12 months. It’s going to take about 18 months. CDNs must think hard and creatively, forming a sales structure or group that is focused on the Fortune 500.  I have some ideas that I will share in a later post.

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