The telecom agent market is alive and well as evidenced by a number of meetings I have had recently with execs at communications providers who use agents to help them sell service. As you can imagine the challenge for smaller telecom providers is to come up with ways to differentiate themselves from one another as minutes become increasingly commoditized. To stand out, some providers choose price, others focus on service and commissions while others bundle more services to offer a compelling and unique value proposition.
One company doing all three is TMC Communications. In addition to the great name the company picked for itself they have also gone the extra mile to try to entice agents to resell their services and have customers buy from them. They currently run a "be a Hero" new customer program which has been extended to April 1st and allows a $100 donation to an agent's favorite charity as well as special payments for the agent and a rebate for the customer.
In addition, in a conversation with Sarah Graham Linares the VP of Revenue Assurance and Product Development and Melissa March, Director of Marketing I learned more about the company's Titan offering, which is a piece of leasable CPE equipment which handles bandwidth monitoring and management.
The product which is made by France-based Streamcore allows users to determine how much bandwidth different applications use and moreover ensures applications like video downloads don't overwhelm the network to the detriment of VoIP calls. Companies can also use Titan to prioritize SaaS bandwidth so network backups don't bring screen pops to a crawl when the phone rings.
Titan provides MOS scores and also allows departments to receive more bandwidth either temporarily or permanently. For example the sales team many need greater bandwidth to do web presentations or accounting may need to close out the month and in doing so needs to download massive spreadsheets and other documents such as scanned receipts and expense reports.
Linares and March explain the goal of providing Titan is to take packet prioritization beyond MPLS and as you might imagine, the box also provides reports on metrics relating to applications, sites and network link performance.
You may wondering about the company's network and you should know they have their own and also resell Level3, Qwest, Global Crossing PAETEC, AT&T, Verizon and others.
Now in its eleventh year of operation TMC Communications is looking to provide new services in the future which will allow companies and agents to better allocate phone calls to different call centers. For example if one center has a power outage, calls can be distributed easily to other centers in unaffected areas.