Archive for the ‘Why Buy from Telecom Agents’ Category

Want to Keep Competitors From Talking to Your Best Customers? Talk to them more yourself via web conferencing!

Posted on: March 20th, 2012 by admin

Talk-to-your-customers-more-with-web-conferencing

When your best customers don’t have any problems they don’t want to talk to any salesperson.

When they do have a problem they want to talk to the very next sales person they think might be able to solve their problem.

And that’s a BIG problem — for you!

 

Web Conferencing Keeps Your Best Salespeople in Front of Your Best Customers

Your main and ongoing advantage over your competitors when it comes to your customer’s limited attention span for “sales pitches” on new solutions or solution upgrades is that your best customers have already purchased from you and probably even like you.

While your “after sale margins” on one customer or another may not afford you the ability to have your best salespeople physically visit “sold customers” after the sale, you can achieve almost the same effect with a monthly “lunch and learn” webinar that you can invite all your best customers to dial-into via their computers or phones.

In the comfort of their own offices, your clients and prospects can see the latest and greatest solutions that you and your vendors are bringing to market. Even an emailed or phoned invitation to your customers to register them for a monthly solution webinar is another “touch” that re-establishes your credibility and expertise with customers you’ve already sold to and prospects you’ve already presented to.

If your sales people are too busy or too shy to get on your own monthly customer “lunch and learn” webinar invite your best suppliers or vendors to pony up one of their sales people for a short 10-slide solution webinar that showcases a recent customer case study. (more…)

What To Do When Public Business Internet Providers Fail? Put Your Business on a Metro Ethernet or MPLS Private Network

Posted on: March 20th, 2012 by admin

Ready-for-a-private-business-network-275

This past week it was reported that business customers around the globe suffered unexpected network service outages when two of the largest public Internet provers, Level3 and Time Warner, encountered routing problems with their Juniper Network hardware devices.

The outage only appeared to last for less than an hour but millions were affected in the United States and Europe.

 

Problems for Multi-Location Businesses

The public Internet being down for an hour or a day is certainly problematic for any business that relies on access to public business solutions like SalesForce or similar services.

Public Internet outages are doubly problematic though for multi-location businesses that use the public internet to connect their offices over a VPN (“virtual private network”) that creates a “private tunnel” but still uses the public Internet for the connection.

For multi-location businesses using the public Internet for there wide area network VPNs, when the public Internet goes down, so does their access to all their other offices.


Private Business Networks vs. Public Internet VPNs

Combining the public Internet with VPNs was seen by many multi-location businesses as “step one” of a very good idea.  Step two was to replicate the VPN using data transport facilities that do not use the public Internet.  Viola! Private business networks were born.

While point-to-point private networks have been around forever, their high cost and lack of flexibility was what drove multi-location business networks to VPNs on the public Internet.

With today’s MPLS and “metro Ethernet” solutions however, multi-location businesses can once again enjoy the security they had with expensive point-to-point circuits along with the flexibility, cost savings and convenience of using a network that someone else owns and maintains.

 

Which Private Business Network to Use?

Just as multiple phone companies were stringing phone wires down every street of every large city at the turn of the last century, today multiple telecom companies are building out their own private data networks for their multi-location business customers to securely connect to one another without touching the public Internet.

The best way to determine which telecom company and private network is best for you is to consult ATEL. We know which companies are providing the best service at the best price.

ATEL also knows which carriers can be mixed and matched if that’s possible. Integrating different networks is sometimes required when even the largest telecom company does not have a private network that touches every location a larger business might have.

AT&T: Your business is important … start paying $8 more per month for every phone line!

Posted on: August 30th, 2011 by admin

Dean1 Att-says-give-me-more-money Posted 8/29/11 By Dan Baldwin
Editor, 951-251-5155 email

So I’m helping a large multi-location business customer sort through, analyze, organize and otherwise  “fix” their multiple AT&T and Verizon phone bills and we ran across this politely worded notice recently mailed from Ma Bell:

Dear Valued AT&T Customer:

Your business is important to us…(yada, yada, yada)…please note that monthly rates for Local Exchange service are scheduled to increase as follows…(we’re adding $8 a month to the cost of each phone line).

If you have any questions…(blah, blah, blah)…Thank you for choosing AT&T.

Sincerely,

Your AT&T Service Team


Huh, what!?

Well I can certainly understand why AT&T “values their customers”. I’d value my customers too if I could jack up the cost of every widget I sell them $8 a month everytime I was running a little low on cash by sending out a simply worded one-page letter.

(Note to self. Call attorney to see if I can jack up my customer’s rates any time I like with a simply worded one-page letter…Just kidding!)

Att-price-increase2 There’s really not a lot more to say about this.

Business customers that get their business phone service from any of the old phone carriers just don’t have a lot of say about what they’ll pay. Most every phone bill tariff is written to allow the carrier to pretty much change the rate any time they like with little more notice than a post to the tariff page of a carrier’s website – regardless of the way a customer’s “contract” is written.

Most contracts that business customer’s get from a phone carrier state little more than:

“We totally promise on a large stack of phone books that this is the absolute rock solid price per line per month that you’ll pay for the entire term of this agreement until we decide to charge you something different.

Sign here, press hard, you’re making three copies…”

 

How Can Customers Avoid Unexpected and Serious Monthly Price Increases?

Work with a professional telecom agent when ordering any phone, data or technology service.

Independent telecom agents and business phone service consultants are impartial brokers of all the business phone service carriers, broadband Internet and wide area data network (WAN) providers.

Keeping tracking all of the service providers and making note of which ones have the most steady prices without sacrificing network quality and customer service is what independent telecom agents do.

And that’s what we do.

Give us a call and we’ll let you know what our other business customers are doing to minimize or completely escape the “Gimme more money” letters from AT&T and the other old, large carriers.

Click here to see a full size view of AT&T’s price increase letter. The red increase column was aded by me.

 

Getting Ready to Sign or Renew Your Carrier Agreements?

If you’re getting ready to sign or renew an agreement with a telecom, data or technology service provider, call us first. We’ll let you know how the rates and terms you’re getting compare to both the best and the least expensive providers in the industry.

We can also introduce you to Ben Bronston, the telecom lawyer we recommend to clients who want every clause of their prospective agreement economically reviewed by a competent telecom trained attorney that’s seen all the tricks the carriers try to sneak by unsuspecting business customers.

But we can’t help you if you don’t call us first!

 

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Wondering Where Comcast Fits Into Your Voice & Data Mix? Ask a Professional Telecom Agent

Posted on: June 21st, 2011 by admin

Comcast BusinessBy Dan Baldwin, Editor

If your business is in an area served by Comcast you’ve probably at least tried them at home for your local phone service or TV service. Now you’re likely wondering, “How can their business voice and data services help my business solutions?”

Well wonder no more because Comcast has recently become “telecom industry friendly” by allowing their business services to be distributed by professional telecom agents and other independent IT voice and data consultants.

Why is it important that Comcast distribute their business services through professional telecom agents and IT consultants?

So telecom agents and IT consultants can give business customers an honest and independent evaluation as to how Comcast’s suite of business services solutions should be integrated in the customer’s mix of voice and data solutions.

(Now I’m sure that the direct W-2 salespersons working for Comcast Business have their customer’s best interests in mind but they are not likely to recommend or even know about a non-Comcast solution even if it’s in a customer’s best interest.)

Professional telecom agents and IT consultants represent (and get paid by) all the major voice and data service providers. This preserves their independence and adds diversity to their recommendations which ultimately saves the customer money as well as provides for a more robust solution.

Comcast1 So if you’re thinking about Comcast, you can now call your independent telecom agent or IT professional to get a quote. Chances are you’re going to get the Comcast availability confirmation and price quote quicker from an authorized Comcast Business agent than you would get the same information from Comcast direct.

Following is some additional background information about Comcast provided by Telarus, a national Comcast Business partner that provides “real-time” availability and price quotes.

“Comcast is the largest cable operator and third-largest telephone company in America, providing broadband internet, telephone service, and cable television to businesses in 19 markets nationwide, covering 39 states.

“Comcast Business, launched in 2009, originally targeted businesses with less than 20 employees. Today Comcast Business is targeting POTS and PRI together, with plans to move even higher upstream into metro Ethernet and SIP. You can sell Comcast Business with confidence because there are no leased lines between your customer and Comcast, who manages their own network end-to-end.

For more information about how Comcast Business fits into your voice and data solution mix, contact an authorized Comcast Business Class solutions provider.

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Why Buy From Telecom Agents? Multi-vendor technology solutions require multi-vendor technology experts

Posted on: June 21st, 2011 by admin

Dean1You-are-fired-attBy Dan Baldwin, Editor

Does it make sense to fire the people who know how your business critical technology solutions work in a multi-vendor environment?

You’re right, it doesn’t, so file this this news story under “How-does-that-help-your-customers?”

In getting ready to attend the Managed and Hosted Video SummitI’ve been researching the electronic security industry to find other telecom agents, IT consultants, business phone systems vendors or equipment VARs who provide video surveillance or other sorts of loss prevention, security or asset protection solutions to their business customers.

That’s when I ran across this news story published in Security Systems News that discusses how AT&T purchased a security monitoring technology company named Xanboo and then decided to discontinue Xanboo’s reseller program.

Security Systems News quotes a March 31 letter from AT&T general attorney Meredith Mays as follows. (I added the bold red emphasis for dramatic flair).

“AT&T is currently in the process of integrating Xanboo into AT&T’s portfolio of services and affiliated companies. At this time, AT&T anticipates modifying or eliminating current Xanboo products and services and winding down its existing processes. The purpose of this letter is to notify you that your agreement shall be terminated effective as of midnight, July 4, 2011.” The letter tells dealers “you should not market or sell Xanboo service after July 5, 2011.”

Happy Independence Day!

I don’t know what percentage of Xanboo’s sales success can be attributed to Xanboo’s value added resellers (VARs), telecom agents and integrator dealers, but but I can’t imagine that the Xanboo’s dealers are all that excited about AT&T’s decision to cut them off from an important component to their packaged security solutions.

As well, I can’t imagine future Xanboo/AT&T customers are going to be inspired with confidence when the integrators with all the experience installing the Xanboo solutions are no longer available to consult with.

Why Should Business Customers Care About AT&T Firing Systems Integrators?

It’s my humble opinion that this action shows that AT&T continues to embrace the old “Ma Bell” philosophy that states, “If we don’t make it – our customers don’t need it”.  That attitude certainly works for AT&T shareholders – but most AT&T customers I know use their AT&T services and systems in a way that interconnects with non-AT&T telecom and technology vendor’s systems.

Is AT&T helping their current and future customers by firing the experts that know how to integrate AT&T’s newly purchased systems to other vendor’s systems? I don’t think so.

Maybe AT&T is developing a new “Ma Bell” philosophy that states, “If we don’t understand what we’re selling our customers – that’s our customer’s problem, not ours!”

Call a Telecom Agent Before Contracting for an AT&T Service or System

If the AT&T service or system you’re thinking about contracting for is your best choice, a professional telecom agent will be the first person to agree with you and support your vision.

Integrating-with-att2 Before signing on the dotted line with AT&T though you need to have an objective telecom industry systems integrator share with you the pros and cons of how that AT&T solution integrates with the other non-AT&T vendor services and equipment systems your envisioned solution requires.

A professional telecom agent will help you envision and work through the challenges before your solution stops working half way through your implementation.

Some of the bigger “Ma Bell” type phone companies are happy to suggest, “You don’t need no stinkin’ consultant – we’re the phone company – we know what’s best for you!”

And then after the solution fails to work – that same phone company will say, “Pay us now – you signed a contract – the contract doesn’t say our service works with other vendors – it just says you have to pay us or we’ll sue you!”

It’s best to work with phone companies and technology vendors who like to work with independent telecom agents and integrators because multi-vendor technology solutions like managed services, physical security, monitoring, fire, intrusion, CCTV, closed circuit television or access control require multi-vendor technology experts like telecom agents and telecom systems integrators.

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