Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

agents

Will Verizon Agents Get Screwed Again?

May 13, 2009

Remember the MCI Agents who didn't like the new deal under the Verizon Business umbrella, who were pushed aside and lost commissions? Did you know that when Verizon did their funky little deal with Fairpoint over the New England region, VZ agents were pink slipped. In fact, one agent is suing Fairpoint. It's the quote from Beth Fastiggi, a spokeswoman for FairPoint, that shocked me:

"We believe that our own local employees can better serve our local markets and, given the appropriate resources, will have the commitment and ability to increase our share of the local business market," Fastiggi said in a statement Friday.

Don't need agents. That attitude explains the lousy service, numerous complaints to the PUC, and the lose of over 100k lines - in a rural market!

Today, VZ announced it is spinning off the landline network in 13 more states - to a joint venture corporation with Frontier.





Level3 Needs Your Help

May 11, 2009

"Level3 is expanding is expanding its operations in key local markets throughout the United States. These actions are designed to provide a world class customer experience for mid-market business customers in these markets. Level 3 is launching the first phase of this initiative in the Nashville, Seattle and Washington, D.C., areas, as well as upstate New York (Buffalo, Syracuse and Rome/Utica) and Colorado (Denver, northern Colorado and Colorado Springs)." [press release]

Level3 has gone back to the Type II CLEC strategy of offering service to everyone they can touch via their own network and UNE / Special Access from the ILEC. It is pouring personnel into these markets to take on as much revenue as fast as it can.

TCA: Top 5 Sales Practices

May 5, 2009

The Technology Channel Association hosted its first agent webinar on April 30. Steve Cadley at Cadley Consulting Group and Peter Radizeski, your blogger and TCA founding member, presented on the Top 5 Sales Practices that agents need to incorporate. We had a good turn-out, which is great because that means agents want training.

It was not a bunch of tips and tricks.

VoIP in the Channel: You Need a Complete System

May 4, 2009

Over the years I have worked with many VoIP Providers. A good chunk of my consulting is on The Channel, Referral Systems, and Sales Compensation.

There are a number of landmines that can destroy a relationship with an independent sales agent. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Your quoting system (or time to quote)
  2. How you track the sales and provisioning process.
  3. How you track Compensation.
  4. How you handle agents calls / issues / sales / payments.

All of these mines have subsets as follows:

  • What is your number porting process like?
  • What is your training like for customers?

Are You Still an ILEC Agent?

April 7, 2009

This from Telephony online and the Convergence Consulting Group:
The latest in an annual study of the bundled services market shows US telecom service providers are losing wireline voice customers at a faster pace and being transformed in the process into companies that will look very different from their traditional telecom roots. The Battle for the American Couch Potato: Bundling, TV, Internet, Telephone, Wireless, released this week by the Convergence Consulting Group, shows maintaining a broadband connection is increasingly important to telecom providers, as wireline voice services become much less important.
If you look at the numbers in that PDF report and you still think that the QBPP is a viable option or that the last 400K businesses in the BellSouth region will somehow see the light and convert, I have some land for you in South Florida.

I have written about this in years past: the telcos have finally hit the wall. Everything is flat or down now: TV, wireline, cellular, and broadband.


Telecom is Broken Part III

April 6, 2009

So a client calls me. An agent sent him an unsolicited quote for 10MB of bandwidth over Ethernet for a ridiculously low quote. Since I have a long history with the client, he offered me the chance to match it and take the order.

So I go back to the carrier and ask for a match. I'm told no.

Telecom is Broken Part II

March 25, 2009

Amid phone calls with agents who are in a struggle over commission payments with carriers, I have been speaking with finance companies about telecom stocks. Lots of debt out there. Not really enough revenue to cover most debt.

The other problem I see is the operational issues that most telecom companies face.

The Energy Game

March 23, 2009

Did you know that as an agent you can broker energy? Paetec is plugging agents into the energy business - after it purchased an energy broker. I know a couple of agents that have been in the energy business for a while. I don't think it can replace its telecom business.

In other energy news, the telecom companies are also looking to get into energy management in the way of the smart home.

Times They are Re-Channeling

March 16, 2009

At the Channel Partners Expo, on individual calls with agents, and on a conference call with a bunch of agents today, I noticed something big: the Channel is shifting.

I have known for a while that VAR's would replace the traditional telecom dialing-for-dollars, save-you-10% agents. It's coming because sales cycles are longer; the product set is very different; and it's all about IP and Apps. (Net-head versus Bell-head).

There's another shift happening: agents are banding together every way they can to get leverage against the carriers, who hold too much power. It started bubbling  in 2007 with my post called What's a Partner Worth?



Top 3 Reasons its Hard to Sell SAAS

March 14, 2009

Software-as-a-service (SAAS) is the new buzz in 2009. Salesforce.com hit a $1B in sales so its the poster child. Google is the other golden child of SAAS pushing is Apps and Gmail to businesses. For me, even hosted email is SAAS.

I am a referral agent for IKANO who is a Google Apps aggregator.

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