Finally, the Complete Top Ten Criteria for Selecting an ITSP
The first seven criteria covered in this week’s blog series for internet service provider selection were:
- Competitive Compensation
- Customizable Product Solutions
- Customer Experience
And now that I know how I should have done this let’s conclude with 6 thru 4.
On Going Communications – The VAR should expect regular distribution of information pertaining to the ITSP’s business performance, channel program, product releases, process updates, organizational changes and industry presence. This can be accomplished using traditional vehicles such as VAR portals, marketing collateral, newsletters, article reprints/distributions, white papers and case studies. However, today’s ITSP should also leverage eNewsletters, social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc.), webinars, and blogs. A steady flow of information from the ITSP to the channel prepares it to represent the products and solutions better during customer engagements.
Dependable Service – IP Telephony should be as robust and reliable as any traditional telephone service. VARs need to know that when they turn a customer over to their ITSP partner, they are not jeopardizing that customer’s business. The network needs to be more than a hub environment in a single location. The ability to survive single points of failure is an absolute requirement. Moreover, partnering with an ITSP that has a private network monitored 24 hours a day, every day by network operations center would be a serious plus.
Carrier Grade Network – A carrier grade network means having network options such as Ethernet over copper, HD voice, a broad array of broadband services and MPLS with multiple peering arrangements with well established carriers. That plus superior voice quality and a commitment to a high level of service will provide the VAR and customer many restful nights. Ask for the Mean Opinion Scores to see how well the network performs. Review the Service Level Agreements to know both what the ITSP will commit to and what they will do if the commitment is not met. These elements are critical in determining whether to join an established channel.
That’s my Top 10. If I were to add an eleventh, request references. Check with other VARs and agents about their experience with the potential ITSP. When Broadvox established its Partner Program in 2007, we fought hard for our first partner. Today, we continue to work hard for every partner that joins our program. Check out the Broadvox Top Ten VAR Benefits.
Channel Partners 2011 in Chicago was great! I’ll talk about that on Monday along with another great recipe!