TelePacific Blog: Telecommunications Insights

Contact Center for TelePacific Hosted PBX

This month, with the release of Contact Center for TelePacific Hosted PBX, we’re continuing our rollout of products for your customers that marry the increasingly interdependent product lines that deliver cloud, connectivity and continuity.

Contact Center is the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective method of deploying a full-featured contact center. This cloud-based solution removes the maintenance and expense burdens of on-premise equipment and empowers your customers to employ operators that work remotely, respond on-demand to fluctuation call volumes as is needed regardless of office location (or home-office location). In fact, Contact Center can cost-effectively eliminate the need for companies to staff boiler room operations or outsource services to overseas call centers.

Contact Center for TelePacific Hosted PBX highlights include:

- Three standard levels of functionality (so your customers can buy only what they need):

Basic – Includes queuing with advanced call distribution routing (simultaneous, circular, weighted distribution)
Standard – Includes all Basic features plus reporting, agent login/logout, agent state (available, wrap-up, etc.), escalations of calls to supervisors and more
Premium – Includes all the features of the first two levels plus the ability to priority calls in-queue, place outbound calls on behalf of the queue, silently monitor agents, provide an announcement to agents before calls connect, and more (see sidebar)

- Optional GUI that makes call, agent and queue management simple and intuitive

- Instant, easy scalability – add 1-100 agents at any time

- Easy management of call routing, agents and statistical reporting through the TelePacific Hosted PBX self-service portal

- Continuity peace of mind with automatic call routing so customers can get through even when there are problems with the primary number or location

hpbx-features

Marketing Materials and Value Proposition

The sales and marketing proposition for Contact Center for TelePacific Hosted PBX is built around the following key benefits:

1. Low cost of entry – Since Contact Center is a cloud-based service, customers gain all the benefits of a feature-rich platform without the up-front expenditures of hardware and software installation and integration.

2. Fast deployment – Since there are no platforms to integrate, Contact Center can be deployed in days instead of weeks.

3. Reliability – Contact Center is backed by carrier-class availability, delivering greater resilience than on-premise equipment and location routing during power or transmission outages.

4. Instant scalability – New agents can be turned up on-demand, providing real-time operational scalability.

5. Lower total cost of ownership – Contact Center’s any user, anywhere value proposition reduces the need for office space and equipment, delivering significant indirect savings in addition to savings generated from the elimination of on-site equipment, software and maintenance expenses.

6. Seamless integration with Hosted PBX – With Contact Center, you and your customers will always have a single point of contact for service.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Squaring the Circle of Cloud Adoption Discrepancies

This year, we’ve been providing you with significant cloud adoption statistics to help you with holdout customers. One of the most compelling statistics was covered in our April blog in which it was revealed by cloud analytics provider Netskope that IT departments significantly underestimate the number of cloud instances used in their companies. Like us, you know this type of outside-the-IT department adoption happens all the time. There’s even a term for it – “shadow IT purchasing.”

At the same time, despite all the overwhelming statistics we encounter detailing cloud adoption, both current and planned, there remain plenty of journalists and analysts, armed with survey data, questioning cloud adoption rates. They tend to claim that, while cloud adoption is massive and undeniably at the center of our IT future, its adoption is not as widespread as many think.

So, which is it? Is cloud adoption ahead of projections or behind them? And why do these discrepancies exist? We believe the answer to these questions lies at the intersection of the Netskope’s study’s findings and traditional IT survey methodology.

Nearly all surveys of IT adoption are sent to – and filled out by – IT managers. This makes sense, especially when considering IT services history when virtually all IT purchasing activities were routed through the IT department. Whether homegrown or outsourced, IT equipment and services were managed on-site by a single department that was responsible for all IT activities companywide. This was no small undertaking. You know this as well as we do— the calling card of the independent agent/telecom consultant has long been the promise of taking away the headaches of voice and data services so IT departments could focus on the mind-boggling array of technology, equipment and services under their purview.

With cloud services, all the departments, managers and employees that have traditionally been dependent upon the IT department for organizational and productivity solutions can get the services they need without relying on the IT department. And, as the Netskope survey unearthed, they’ve adopted so quickly and deeply that the IT departments are unaware of the vast majority of cloud adoption occurring in their companies. These same IT managers are almost always the contacts surveyed by research firms for all forms of IT adoption, including cloud services. So, as you can see, there is plenty of room for discrepancies between what’s actually happening in terms of cloud adoption and studies relied upon by some analysts and journalists that suggest otherwise. It also explains why so many cloud projections are being revised upward. As cloud services provider revenues and other data validation points become available, projection models are being revised upward to make up for the initial underreporting of adoption rates.

So, the next time you encounter a holdout customer who’s read the mixed signals and thinks he’s got time to play it safe while he gets “comfortable” with the idea of the cloud, you can use this information to tell him something like this:

“Mr. Customer, I can point you to new data showing that cloud adoption is many times greater than surveys of IT departments have revealed because most cloud adoption is happening outside the IT department. In fact, there’s a better-than-average chance that your competitors are already using the cloud to try to get a leg up, so let’s make sure you’ve got the same competitive advantages they do.”

Your TelePacific agent manager is here to help you with these conversations any time you need it, so feel free to call on us for support any time you need it.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

The Cloud Hype Isn’t Just a Fluke

For much of this year, we’ve been providing evidence that hype about the cloud being overhyped is just its own form of hype.  Yes, cloud choices can be wildly intimidating and, yes, there are companies out there that slap the “cloud” label on inappropriate products (aka “cloudwashing”) and, yes, there have been some studies identifying that there are still plenty of cloud holdouts in the market.   But we’ve also pointed out that companies adopting the cloud report significant benefits, that the cloud is atop most company wish lists and/or spending priority lists, and that cloud adoption within companies is significantly more widespread than business owners and IT departments realize.

So it’s with considerable interest that we keep running into the positioning of the cloud as the next great business equalizer.  The idea is not brand new (this high-profile article from November is one of many promoting the idea), but it’s gaining traction in a manner reminiscent of the early days of the World Wide Web, when it often was touted that the smallest company could appear as large and robust as the largest.   The “equalizer” proposition delivers a powerful message that your clients likely are beginning to encounter with greater frequency.  There’s a hitch, however, in that cloud adoption is more complex, with more meaningful choices (compared to basic website content and design choices), and the choices are sometimes overwhelming to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).  As we’ve stated before, this is good news for you as an agent as it presents opportunities for you to build deeper relationships with your customers.

Of course, it also places considerable burdens on you as your customer’s cloud expert.  You have to help your clients evaluate solutions that work for them, and the cloud space is reaching the maturity point wherein specialized solutions are emerging for key business functions in key industries.  Plus, with all kinds of shadow IT purchasing occurring, you’re sure to have lots of cloud auditing to perform as you help your customers get their arms around their own firms’ cloudy activities.

Because of these realities, we’d be asleep at the wheel if we didn’t point out that the same TelePacific value propositions that you sell your customers – especially that we take care of our business so they can focus on theirs – also apply to you.  When it comes to the cloud, we can’t cover every possible app or need for every type of company, but we deliver a suite of core cloud services that can meet the bulk of your client’s needs.  This doesn’t just free them up – it frees you up – to focus on other customer needs and/or confidently set “Client A” up with reliable services before you move on to “Client B,” “Client C,” and so on.  And we do the same with the connectivity to make it all work and with continuity for security and peace of mind.

So, the next time you’re pitching to your customers that you’ll take care of cloud and communications while your customer takes care of business, keep in mind that this is why we reorganized our product suite.  No provider is more committed to agents than TelePacific, and we can take care of your challenges and your customers’ at the same time.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Note to Cloud-Resistant IT Departments: It’s Happening Anyway

If you’ve got a holdout client or prospect that’s still afraid of the cloud, or that has an IT department that rules the roost with an iron fist reminiscent of the cold war, here’s a sobering number – 10X. A study by cloud analytics firm Netskope found that for every cloud instance the typical IT team knows about, another nine exist.

It turns out that the lack of centralized cloud planning is creating issues with compliance and redundancy and overspend, so there’s plenty of room for you and your clients’ IT departments to wear white hats. Help them focus on simplification and adoption policies for their companies. Here are some steps you can walk your clients through to help them gain control of their cloud adoption:

1. Perform an audit.  Get every one of your client’s employees a form or a link to an online survey and figure out which apps they’re using.  Make sure you identify apps they may use personally but are sharing in the business environment (there may be opportunities to button down security here).

2. Take this list and organize it into applications categories so you can easily identify redundancies.   Pay close attention to discrepancies and redundancies among multilocation customers as shadow IT purchasing often is higher in satellite locations.

3. Help your clients’ IT departments establish best-of-breed applications and organize migration to common apps and platforms.

4. Look for multiple accounts for the same application and consolidate them under one master account to leverage bulk discounts.  (Cloud audits can work just like telecom services audits.)

5. Have your clients establish cloud adoption policies for future adoption uses.

Keep in mind that potential confusion and chaos in cloud adoption is why we rolled out our TelePacific Cloud Solutions Suite.  We can help you solve many of your customers’ cloud needs in the same way we help you solve their connectivity needs. Together, we can take away much of your client’s IT headache so they can focus on their business.  Our current cloud solutions include:

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

The Mobile Sales Enablement Opportunity

The ability to connect and enable mobile and remote employees often is seen as a way to boost productivity, enhance communications or even just to make the employee work experience more flexible and enjoyable. In one area of operations, however, mobile enablement is becoming an absolute necessity; and it’s an area of the business that most companies simply cannot afford to handicap: sales.

A recent survey from Aberdeen Group found that nearly two-thirds of companies’ sales teams members are now primarily remote workers. What’s more, the research shows that mobility enabled sales teams achieve stronger performance around quota attainment, customer retention and forecasting accuracy, as well as other common sales metrics.

Among companies that support sales mobility, for example, 76 percent report total team attainment of sales quotas. That number falls to 53 percent among all other companies. And whereas 39 percent of non-mobilized sales reps report to achieving sales quotas, more than half (56 percent) of reps working for companies that support sales mobility regularly hit sales quota. Sales forecasting accuracy, meanwhile, is achieved by 61 percent of firms that have adopted mobile selling practices versus 44 percent of those that haven’t, show Aberdeen figures.

“The overall takeaway here is that while companies are highly varied in their depth of sales mobility deployment, those with best performance – around quota attainment, lead conversion effectiveness and customer loyalty – lead the way with ‘anywhere, anytime’ sales enablement,” argues Peter Ostrow, vice president and research group director for Aberdeen.

Some 92 percent of sales teams surveyed by Aberdeen now have access to email on their handheld devices. But true mobile sales enablement is about much more than a smartphone connected to a Web mail server. Indeed, companies now realize that reps or account managers seeking to educate, influence and close a deal should have any and all content, communications or data that they may need in the palm of their hands, regardless of how the on-site meeting, conversation or pitch progresses, argues Ostrow. Today’s frontline sellers succeed most often when they not only have their presentations and content mobilized but also can readily achieve Web-based and secure data, as well as communicate in real-time with colleagues and partners, he continues.

This can include checking inventory, obtaining manager’s approval, confirming credit terms, asking for help in negotiations and accessing marketing or other content assets, as well as shipping and logistics information, sales forecasting and commissioning. Essentially, mobile sales enablement means “duplicating the same systems they use within the office to ‘seal a deal’ and service accounts,” says Ostrow, all the while ensuring that there are no losses in security and privacy.

The good news for front-line telecom agents is the tools to enable sales staff mobility – from MPLS VPNs to mobile devices and plans to mobile email to hosted PBX to applications such as Lync and SharePoint – increasingly are at their disposal. And in the case of TelePacific, all those tools are provided and managed by a single carrier and invoiced on one monthly statement.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Enterprise Collaboration to Go from Social to Seamless

When considering the capabilities have been widely available for only a handful of years, the usage of social networking tools at the enterprise level is nothing short of stunning. Less than a year and half since Facebook went public, more than three-quarters of business and IT leaders at firms with more than 1,000 employees say their companies are currently using social networking technologies, according to a recent survey by global research firm Vanson Bourne. Among just the IT decision-makers surveyed, 87 percent report using the tools for work-related collaboration.

The problem for channel partners is the vast majority of enterprise adopters are primarily utilizing social platforms of the consumer and “free” varieties. Companies collaborate using Facebook (74 percent) at nearly twice the rate of Microsoft SharePoint (39 percent) and four times that of IBM Open Connections (17 percent), found the survey. The most widely used social technology for collaboration after Facebook? Twitter at 51 percent.

The good news is we are seeing a reverse in adoption rates, as this viral spread of social collaboration in the enterprise is creating awareness for the functions and benefits that consumer services don’t provide. In turn, it also has led to an as-yet-unmet desire to fully adopt and leverage social technologies for collaboration at work, suggest the findings.

“Facebook’s e-mail and document-sharing features are not enough to make the wildly popular social network appropriate for the corporate world,” said Accenture researchers in a report earlier this year. “At work, people are motivated to get their job done as quickly and effectively as possible. Using social tools as designed today, to follow coworkers en masse, often becomes more of a time sink than a time saver.”

Even so, enterprise executives overall haven’t been disappointed with early experimentations. Among businesses currently using social collaboration tools, 82 percent want to use more of them in the future. Even better for channel partners, decision-makers reported a measurable desire to move in the next 12 months from more consumer-driven technologies to enterprise-ready collaboration tools such as Microsoft SharePoint, a recent addition to TelePacific’s cloud suite.

Among enterprises that have already adopted social networking technologies, 23 percent currently plan to move to Microsoft SharePoint, topping all other platforms. Facebook, meanwhile, is last on this look-ahead list at 8 percent.

Consumer-driven social technologies so far lack key enterprise collaboration capabilities such as document storage, the ability to share best practices across teams, sharing and group editing, deep search of knowledge and experience within an enterprise and integration with enterprise communications and office applications. Despite the ubiquity and friendly interface of services such as Facebook and Twitter, consumer offerings simply do not, and likely never will, offer the abilities to manage content, integrate and customize at levels that enterprises require to collaborate fully and effectively.

Ultimately, it’s the difference between social collaboration and seamless collaboration.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

CompTIA ChannelCon + Telepartners = Successful Show

Yesterday TelePacific wrapped up a tremendously valuable CompTIA ChannelCon show. The show was dedicated to educating and engaging the IT channel in order to help them drive business growth all ways possible. TelePacific SVP, Ken Bisnoff also participated on a panel to share his insights on how the best practices of selling telecom. Overall it was a fantastic show and a pleasure to touch base with some of our many great Telepartners (agents). Looking forward to it next year.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific Communications’ Senior Vice President Ken Bisnoff Joins Technology Channel Advisory Board

Ken Bisnoff, Senior Vice President, has been appointed to the Technology Channel Association (TCA) Advisory Board. TCA is the earth-shattering non-profit industry trade association zeroed in on the indirect sales professionals functioning as agents and consultants who accelerate a considerable fraction of the telecommunications industry’s success.

“I’m passionate about the importance of the indirect sales channel, says Bisnoff. “The relationships that indirect sales professionals form with their customers are strong, personal and lasting. At TelePacific, we work to build a similar relationship with Agents because they are a critical part of our ability to create stickiness and satisfied customers. About 40% of our business is driven by indirect sales and that’s a testament to their strategic impact.

Read the full press release here.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Hey IT, Get on My Cloud

Employees want access to both personal and corporate data on the device of their choice, whenever they need it, and they are finding ways to do it whether or not they have the blessing of their IT departments, show findings of new Spiceworks survey.  Unless IT professionals give them the cloud-based services they’re clamoring for, such as hosted email, file sharing and collaboration tools, they can quickly find themselves trying to  play catch up in a wild west environment.

A changing landscape:

• Nearly 50% of IT pros claim their employees already are using cloud-based file sharing and synchronization services on their own. Just 4% of IT departments now block employees from unauthorized use.

• Overall, 35 percent of respondents fully embrace the adoption of cloud-based file sharing, while nearly half (47 percent) simply accept that they’ll need to deal with and/or manage such a system whether they like it or not.

• Hosted email use is accelerating. 46% of companies today use hosted email services, up from 42 percent a year ago. By 2014, more than half plan to be using hosted email services.

• Top reason for using hosted email? Relieving the burden of administration and support from IT departments. Cost savings is only fourth on the list.

Spiceworks also reports “a significant increase” in the adoption of cloud-based productivity tools, such as team collaboration solutions, with a majority of respondents either fully embracing or simply accepting that adoption is inevitable. By next year, nearly half of all the survey respondents expect to use a company approved cloud-based productivity suite solution but 38% of today’s usage is employee-driven.  That’s led to a situation where there are often competing, unconnected solutions across the business, with most employees using Google Apps and most corporate IT departments preferring to roll out a Microsoft Office 365 solution.

“It’s clear that SMBs are embracing the cloud and keeping a more demanding and mobile workforce connected and productive,” the study concludes.   TelePacific gives Agents a compelling answer to IT departments’ needs to provide that integrated, secure and business communications environment with a complete set of cloud-based solutions  that includes Microsoft Hosted Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

The Next Great Business Disrupter

Mitch Joel, renowned marketer and author of the new book Ctrl Alt Delete, is convinced that utilitarianism marketing is going to be the next great business disrupter.

In the media-saturated and ads-everywhere world in which we live, utilitarianism marketing is not about advertising, messaging or calls to action. It’s about providing a true value and utility: “Something consumers not only want to use – constantly and consistently – but would derive so much value from it that it would be given front-and-center attention in their lives,” writes Joel.

Joel says that giving consumers something valuable seems counterintuitive to most marketing departments because they equate “value” with “cost,” and the last thing a marketer wants to do is give something that costs them more money to fewer people than they are reaching with their traditional advertising. But great utilitarianism marketing doesn’t have to cost more; it just has to be useful.

Something “useful to a consumer, truly useful… without a sales pitch, without in-your-face marketing messaging… is the next generation of marketing,” he says. “People are smart. They’ll figure it out. They’ll think, ‘I can’t live without this app… I can’t believe that Brand X gave it to me… how cool is that?’”

As an example, Joel cites Nike’s Fuelband, a cool-looking lighted bracelet, measures your physical activity and awards you with fuel (points).  The more you move, the more fuel you are awarded. You set goals and the bracelet notifies you of how you’re doing. It also ties in with a mobile app that lets you compare and contrast your goals with others’ performances.  The wristband, which costs $149, helps people in their battle with the bulge, and it’s a constant reminder of Nike.

The Nationwide Mobile App is another on-target winner, designed for people who have just been in an auto accident. It’s a step-by-step application that walks consumers through everything from collecting and exchanging accident information to taking pictures of the accident scene and recording the location using the iPhone’s built-in GPS capabilities. The app also allows customers to start their claims right away (reducing paperwork), and provides lists of Nationwide Blue Ribbon Repair Services Facilities and local towing services.

The examples above have one common attribute: They remove a point of friction. Nationwide’s app makes a horrible moment less stressful by providing the tools to capture every aspect of a car accident while your head may be in another space. Nike’s Fuelband provides both a reminder and a record of just how active you are.

Obviously, the vast majority of businesses don’t have the budgets of these companies. But any form of utilitarianism marketing that can remove friction will be a winner. When your brand can provide deep utility, people will not only want more from it, but they will take their connectedness to the brand to a whole other plane of existence, passion and care, according to Joel.

In the future, “to be successful, you will have to spend a lot more time acting like one of your customers instead of sitting behind a desk trying to get them to buy,” writes Joel. “Brands need to make their marketing more useful. Period.”

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Be an Infovore

At the apex of the CLEC revolution in 2000, customer churn was an often-cited metric that many analysts and operators used to assess how well carriers were performing. Generally, if a carrier’s customer churn (erosion rate) was less than 2 percent monthly, it was doing really well. Anything around 1 percent was considered excellent.

Today we don’t read or hear much about churn rates at all. But they are as relevant as ever for both service providers and agents.

To illustrate, in the Software as a Service (SaaS) world, it costs about six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, according to Venture Beat. Advertising, promotion, selling and time invested are all factors. Historically, telecom analysts have projected the cost at up to 20 times more expensive, depending on the product’s sales cycle.

Whatever the number is, even modest churn can stunt a company’s growth. So how do we keep churn low? The key, as many agent partners know, is to ensure that customers feel valued and satisfied at all stages of their relationship.

However, the satisfaction level of customers will increasingly rely on how much knowledge service providers and agents bring to the table.

We’ve all heard the meme “don’t sell products; sell solutions” and “solve problems.” But the “problem” has always boiled down to “I need Internet access and phone service at the lowest possible price,” especially in the small to medium-sized business market.

Well those days are numbered. Certainly, customers will continue to shop rates and seek competitive deals. But with personal devices in the workplace (BYOD), mobility and telecommuting trends, the shift toward cloud services, regulatory compliance becoming more burdensome, increased cyber-threats and data security concerns, and so many communications solutions, tools and options to weigh, business operators need help making sense of it all.

In this environment, we need to be infovores, meaning we must self-educate as much as we can about all of the above. The more knowledge we can accrue to guide customers through “the maze,” the more valuable we become to prospects, new customers and old ones.

With this in mind, we recently started offering more half-hour webinars for channel partners. Our two most recent presentations: the growing importance of online local marketing; and “Grey Matter Chatter,” in which our experienced Technical Solutions Consultants participated in an unscripted exchange with Telepartners on a number of topics. If you’re not already receiving notices about upcoming webinars, please contact your agent manager to make sure you are on our distribution list.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Polycom IP Phone Rebates

Polycom has introduced a new IP phone rebate program that Telepartners can use when selling hosted PBX to overcome one of the more common objections: “The IP phones I have are not that old, so I don’t want to buy all new ones.”

The program offers cash back on each new TelePacific certified IP phone (purchased or leased). Some of the highlights:

  • The rebate program is available now and runs through Sept. 30.
  • It offers cash back on all models of Polycom sold by TelePacific.
  • The rebates range from $15 to $200 per phone depending on the model type.
  • A minimum of five and a maximum of 250 Polycom phones purchased from TelePacific will qualify for this promotion.

With an office configuration of one conference room phone, one break room phone (IP335), six IP450s and 2 IP650 desksets, even a 10-seat customer can receive as much as $465 back. Also, the rebate program and the dollar amount saved can be presented to the customer as part of the quoting process.

Eligible IP Handsets

Device Part Numbers Rebates
SoundPoint IP 335 2200-12375-025 $15
SoundPoint IP 450 2200-12450-025, 2200-12450-001 $25
SoundPoint IP 650 2200-12651-025, 2200-12651-001 $50
SoundPoint IP 6000 2200-15600 001, 2200-15660-00 $200

To be eligible for rebates, the equipment must be replaced like-for-like. For example, legacy desktop phones must be replaced with new Polycom desktop phones, and legacy conference phones must be replaced with new Polycom conference phones.

Keep in mind that the Polycom rebate program may be stacked with any other TelePacific discount or promotion.

The datasheet and order form for this program are available on the Brain. Just search “Polycom.” Or reach out to your agent manager for more information.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific Unveils Universal Login to Revamped Agent Portals

TelePacific has created a universal login that makes it easier for Telepartners to find the information they need simpler, quicker and more powerful. The universal login gives Telepartners one-step access to tpacagents.com, the Brain and, for agents or master agents with a direct agreement, the Telepartner Extranet (accessible in the coming weeks).

A single password sends Telepartners to a personalized home page that makes access to helpful information and resources intuitive and fast because both tpacagents.com and the Brain have been revamped to be more efficient and user friendly.

tpacagents.com is designed to be a daily first stop where Telepartners can quickly view product information, new sales initiatives, in-market promotions by region, LOAs, provisioning documents, contact information for channel team leadership and much more. All of the content has been updated and better organized, and going forward it will be updated frequently.

The Brain also has been updated and refreshed to make navigating more in-depth resources easier. Here Telepartners will find product guides, order processing links and checklist documents, corporate contracts, forms and addendums, customer studies and various marketing tools such as quick fact and financial datasheets, sales proposal and price comparison templates, information about upcoming events, and many other resources.

To sum up, Tpacagents.com and the Brain are much improved and we encourage all of our TelePartners to make the most of them.  Look for a Webex invite for a June webinar that will cover the new universal login and help you learn how to get the most out of our portals.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the universal login, tpacagents.com or the Brain, don’t hesitate to contact your agent manager.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Retailers Need Help

Since the 2008 recession, retailers have collectively closed thousands of stores. And more closings are on the way. Courtesy of Business Insider:

Retailer 2013 Forecast Closings
Radio Shack 450-500 stores
Best Buy 200-250 stores
Barnes & Noble 190-240 stores
Sears 174-225 stores
JC Penney 300-350 stores
GameStop 500-600 stores

In addition, the merger of Office Depot and Office Max – both plagued with declining sales in 2012 – will result in the closure of at least 650 stores. K-Mart also is projected to shutter hundreds of stores this year. And after weak 4Q sales, Abercrombie recently announced that it will close 40 to 50 stores.

The closings seem counter-intuitive because U.S. retail sales have increased in eight of the last nine months. But rising transportation costs and related increases in the price of wholesale goods, combined with online competition, have many retailers smarting. Some analysts think the trend will accelerate this year as global currency wars put more pressure on trade relationships and diesel fuel prices continue their push north of $4 per gallon.

For agents active in the retail space, this is good and bad news. Market conditions should have a good number of retailers more cost-conscious and open to switching providers that can save them money. Unfortunately, this also means that your retail customers could be more receptive to competitors leading with price/savings, and get poached.

Since retailers are increasingly in the crosshairs of hackers, they also should be receptive to hearing about data security, backup and storage solutions. Already distressed retailers can’t afford the reputational damage or the massive costs related to customer notifications – especially SMB retailers.  According to Trustwave, retail businesses were the primary target of cybercriminals in 2012. Hackers find the sheer volume of payment cards used in retail very appealing, and stores tend to be relatively easy targets because the main focus of organizations operating in the retail sector is customer service, not data security.

The point is, in the retail vertical, projecting and communicating savings and security should open more doors than it would have a year or two ago. And when those doors open, keep in mind that we have the means to deliver on both fronts. Our network infrastructure allows us to offer some of the most, if not the most aggressive pricing in our footprint on many products including Internet access, integrated voice and data, high-bandwidth services, colocation, and data backup and storage solutions.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

2013 TelePacific Roadshow Enlightens Solutions Success

The product and marketing teams hosted a Northern and Southern California roadshow to share valuable insights on TelePacific’s latest solutions and technologies through a series of formal and roundtable discussions covering hosted PBX, cloud services, data center and colocation and TelePacific’s portfolio of network communication services.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific Winning Case Study | TelecomQuotes.com and Telarus Inc.

Learn about the successes of Michael Bremmer, CEO and President of Telecomquotes.com as he discusses several large opportunities he built with TelePacific Communications on Telarus’s weekly call. Michael Bremmer is key in TelePacific’s agent community and the success within.

Many thanks to Telarus Inc. as well for the call and case study.

http://www.telecomquotes.com
http://www.telarus.com

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

SMB Tech Support: Small Target, Big Market

A new report from Parks Associates suggests that demand for sophisticated tech support solutions is expanding as small and medium sized businesses adopt new and complex technologies, such as cloud services. The report examines related opportunities including help desks, virus protection, security, and hardware/software proactive monitoring, among others.

The research indicates that there are nearly 6 million U.S. firms with fewer than 100 employees. Nonprofits and non-employer companies also account for a large part of the market potential. In fact, the U.S. non-employer segment will reach nearly 24 million in 2013, according to the study. The research also shows that 45 percent of U.S. SMBs with between one and 20 employees have paid for tech support at least once in the past year.

“Businesses of all sizes have been relentless in their adoption of new technologies,” said Jim O’Neill, a research analyst at Parks Associates. “They have acquired new hardware and often allow the use of employees’ own devices, creating a complex environment of support needs. Throw the cloud and its various services into the mix, as well as the need of SMBs to curtail their expenses, and you have a perfect storm of opportunity for companies that can provide 24/7 help desks, remote software and hardware support, and the occasional site visit.”

O’Neill ads that the cloud services most popular with SMBs are collaboration, data backup, storage and CRM, saying that SMBs value migration to the cloud as a way to reduce software and hardware spending. However, integration can be complex, opening new opportunities for tech support providers that can address these issues. O’Neill concludes that tech support, especially for small businesses, is approaching a boom phase.

We couldn’t agree more. Some 88 percent of executives report that employees use their own devices and apps at work. As we suggested in our Oct. 2012 newsletter, while channel partners are not required to support services and products they do not sell, “supporting what you don’t sell” could become a new business opportunity as SMBs increasingly cope with the consumerization of IT (BYOD) and BPaaS services like risk management, email management and shopping cart services.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Hosted PBX Market to Grow and Drive Other Revenues in 2013

Surveys have shown for the better part of a decade that adoption of hosted PBX is growing. The harder part is figuring out how fast it’s growing, apart from SIP trunking and other related services. Pessimists might claim only seven percent of the market currently is met, while optimists might argue as much as 20 percent of demand already is being supplied.

By any measurement, the bulk of the U.S. hosted PBX market remains untapped. The early sales drivers were “convenience” and “savings.” More recently, with businesses increasingly distributing their workforces, mobility has become a key driver too. Additionally, hosted PBX solutions often accompany or drive sales of companion products such as SIP trunking services. And hosted PBX buys are increasingly part of a broader effort to deploy one or more unified communications services or applications, sometimes led by conferencing or collaboration apps.

These developments have industry analysts projecting consistent growth in the months and years to come. For example, Infonetics Research estimates that the number of hosted VoIP seats in use will double between 2012 and 2016, and Insight Research Corp. analysts project that hosted PBX services revenue will grow at a CAGR of almost 25 percent through 2015.

Given these trends, we set out to develop a robust hosted PBX suite several months ago and officially launched the new offering in December. Coupled with our portfolio of broadband access products and powerful session initiation protocol (SIP) network, our hosted PBX solution provides measurable voice quality, hassle-free management and maintenance, and scalable bandwidth that give businesses the voice and data services they need, when they need them.

Our hosted PBX solution is fully managed, feature-rich and allows employees to make and receive phone calls from any location and on any device. Company administrators and employees may configure, customize and manage their solution from an intuitive user interface, and because it’s cloud-based, they will always have access to the latest features and services that TelePacific has to offer. Additionally, our solution integrates seamlessly with workplace technology and supports multiple locations under one service account.

We offer several high-definition, pre-configured and customizable Polycom IP phones and four different “seat types” with a variety of features and other add-ons that can be selected a la carte by user or group. The Executive seat option, for example, provides a dedicated line with a 10-digit telephone number and the most robust feature set available. The Smart Number option offers a dedicated line with an advanced set of mobility features allowing users to unify all of their telecommunications needs under one number so that calls can be forwarded to a work, home or cell number based on selected criteria. Advanced and Basic options also are available.

If you are new to hosted PBX solutions and sales, don’t hesitate to contact your agent manager to learn more about the technology and how it might help your customers and prospects. And whether you’re new to the technology or an expert, know that we have a large staff of Solutions Architects that can provide sales support and assistance as needed.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Tablets a Boon to Dumb Pipes?

Many industry participants and especially media observers use the term “dumb pipe” as a pejorative to describe a commodity network service that only provides bandwidth speed between the customer’s device and the Internet. In fact, the term dumb pipe usually implies low gross revenue and lower margins, which is a misnomer. Profit margins generally are quite good. More encouraging for carriers and channel partners is that dumb pipe, especially fixed network dumb pipe, is becoming increasingly valuable. Tablets are the reason, according to Carrier Evolution.

Results from the CDW IT Monitor survey show that nearly six in 10 organizations use tablet computers. Though more prevalent among medium-sized and large businesses (62 percent), survey figures from iGR indicate that more than half (52 percent) of small businesses in the U.S. have employees using a tablet.

Adoption of tablets by small and midsize businesses is part of a larger trend, suggesting explosive growth in the tablet market for the foreseeable future, suggests Nathan Eddy with eWeek. He cites a report from Futuresource Consulting predicting that tablet sales will increase by 200 percent over the next two years and are on track to grow from 64 million units sold in 2011 to 232 million units sold in 2016.

Though mobile service providers try to convince users that tablets with their own mobile connections are more convenient and useful (e.g. Verizon Wireless “Share Everything” plans), most consumers have learned to save money on their mobile data plans by using Wi-Fi for tablet, smart phone and other Internet-capable devices. These lessons are creeping into the workplace too.

So the value of a fixed broadband connection is increasing because it supports multiple devices. Indeed, while monthly usage on mobile networks grew slowly (mean average of 312Mb to 317Mb) in the second half of 2012, the mean monthly usage on North America’s fixed access networks increased from 32GB to 51GB or by 70 percent. Slow growth of mobile data usage is most likely a result of users offloading consumption to fixed networks.

In any case, while mobile and cloud applications get most of the press, fixed network assets and dumb pipes are quietly driving the lion’s share of competitive carrier revenue and channel partner commissions. We don’t see that changing any time soon.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 2013

Gartner recently hosted 10,000 IT pros at its annual symposium and laid out its “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013.” Below are some of the more interesting trends for channel partners and their business clients, as well as a few notes on each one, as interpreted by Forbes.

Mobile Device Battles: Mobile experiences eclipse the desktop experience. Consumerization drives tablets into the enterprise. Cloud and mobile are mutually reinforcing trends. Bring your own device (BYOD) trend accelerates. In 2013, mobile devices will pass PCs to be most common Web access tools. By 2015, tablet shipments will be 50 percent of laptop shipments, with Windows 8 in third place behind Apple and Android.

Internet of Things. Over 50 percent of Internet connections are things. In 2011, over 15 billion things on the Web, with 50 billion+ intermittent connections. By 2020, over 30 billion connected things, with over 200 billion with intermittent connections. Key technologies here include embedded sensors, image recognition and NFC (near field communication). By 2015, in more than 70 percent of enterprises, a single exec will oversee all Internet connected things. Becomes the Internet of Everything.

Strategic Big Data: Organizations need to focus on non-traditional data types and external data sources. Hadoop and NoSQL gain momentum. Big data will meet social. Concept of single corporate data warehouse is dead. Multiple systems need to be tied together.

Actionable Analytics: Cloud, packaged analytics and big data accelerates in 2013, 2014. Can now perform analytics and simulation on every action taken in business. Mobile devices will have access to the data, supporting business decision making.

Integrated Ecosystems: More packaging of software and services to address infrastructure or application workload. There will be more shipment of “appliances,” with software delivered as hardware. New trend: virtual appliances, which Gartner sees gaining in popularity over the next five years.

Enterprise App Stores: By 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile app downloads from app stores every year. Also by 2014, most organizations will deliver mobile apps to workers via private application stores.

Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing: Changes role of IT. IT departments must play more roles in coordinating IT related activities.

The entire list of 2013 trends can be viewed here. Forbes also recently covered Gartner’s announcement of “10 Critical Tech Trends for the next Five Years.”

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Will SMBs Look to Carriers and Agents to Provide Cloud Computing Solutions?

In the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, things are moving so fast that it’s becoming challenging to discern what business certain vendors are in. The most recent example: After marketing cloud computing services to SMBs for nearly a year, GoDaddy has quietly killed its cloud computing business, writes Derrick Harris at GigaOM.

This illustrates one of the business risks of adopting cloud computing: A service could be here today but gone tomorrow. Recent examples of cloud services shutting down include Motorola’s ZumoDrive cloud-storage service, the Slicehost on-demand servers service (by Rackspace) and, nearly, TextDrive (by Joyent), which was saved at the last minute, Harris adds.

Longevity of suppliers and credibility of suppliers are two of the top 10 areas where confidence in the cloud is lowest, according to findings from a joint Cloud Security Alliance and ISACA study. This begs the question, as SMBs increasingly adopt IT and communications “as a service,” will they trust carriers and agents to fulfill those needs?

We believe the answer is “yes.” But success in this area requires that carriers and agents develop or acquire (by hiring experts or through M&A activity) a rock-solid understanding of the local area network (LAN) domain because they will be competing against hardware and software suppliers that have already accrued deep knowledge and experience in the space. Moreover, cloud computing products are displacing many traditional LAN components and functions. Without a firm grasp of what that means to a prospect both operationally and financially, contestants will have zero credibility.

Also, the number of contestants for SMB cloud sales is going to grow considerably, so it probably makes sense to develop some vertical market depth. A study of B2B vendors by The Shirman Group indicates that specialization is paying off dramatically in the IT channel, for example. Among vendors that focused on targeting vertical markets for at least two years, 90 percent reported notable or significant impact on leads within target industries and 80 percent reported improved brand awareness. Perhaps most importantly, some 70 percent reported significant impact on revenue after two years of specialization.

It’s impossible to predict how roles will change within the hardware, software or services parts of the ICT business, or how buyer behavior will change as a result. However, the important questions, short and long term, do not revolve around changing roles and labels within the ecosystem. Indeed, the most important question is “how do we create value?”, something that successful carriers and channel partners have a history of figuring out every time a transformational shift occurs.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Join Us at One of Our Roadshow Events

During the recent Channel Partners Conference & Expo Sept. 12-14 in Orlando, Fla., we had the pleasure of visiting with many of our Telepartners and updating them on our recent and upcoming product launches, promotions and network announcements. The latter was a hot topic due to our many recent enhancements to network infrastructure.

Specifically, we’ve made considerable investments in core network expansion and local access capabilities to give customers an even broader portfolio of solutions to fit their needs and budget. We also have added several new resources including a Tier 3 NOC support group and a lot of network and engineering talent, to cite just two examples.

If you were unable to attend the Channel Partners show and learn about these important updates, we encourage you to get in touch with us about our network roadshow this fall. Actually, even if you were able to attend the show and meet with us, you will find the roadshow informative and helpful. It was conceived based on the many questions and terrific feedback we’ve been getting from Telepartners regarding our network evolution.

At each roadshow event, Ken Bisnoff, our channel chief and SVP Strategic Opportunities, and Russ Shipley, SVP Network Services, will explain how our recent network enhancements benefit our Telepartners and their customers, and answer questions about any number of topics including our recent release of physical 2-way Nationwide Telephone Numbers (NTNs).

Our roadshow plans are somewhat fluid because we continue to field requests for visits, but here’s the latest: To date, six master agencies have asked us to visit on site and meet in person with their teams and agent partners, and we anticipate adding several more events to the schedule this fall. If you are a master agent or an agent working with a master agency and you are interested in the roadshow, please contact your TelePacific agent manager for more details.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Backing Up MPLS Circuits with 1Net Continuity

In today’s business environment, especially with the growing emphasis on mobility and cloud services, it’s critical that businesses have a back-up plan in case their primary access circuit should fail due to a network outage.

We offer a number of continuity and security solutions including 1Net Continuity, a new offering that backs up 1Net MPLS circuits. Using a variety of physically diverse access options, including customer-provided access, 1Net Continuity provides a secondary, secure back-up VPN connection. If a network outage occurs, customers maintain site-to-site communications via backup VPN connections through the public Internet. Their private network is secured and maintained through the use of encrypted VPN tunnels over the secondary (back up) path.

Importantly, disrupted connectivity automatically and seamlessly “fails over” to a secondary connection and “fails back” when the primary circuit is restored so IT managers and other personnel can stay focused on their core business.

How It Works

Using TelePacific provided Internet access via 3G and fixed wireless today, and DSL or cable modem in the near future, 1Net Continuity is available at any number of customer sites that have TelePacific 1Net service, including those on 1Net Extended Reach.

A VPN CPE appliance (Cisco 881 router) sits between the customer WAN router (a Cisco 2911 is mandatory) and the customer’s LAN switch. If the Cisco 2911 discovers that the primary 1Net circuit is not available, it automatically routes outgoing traffic to a secondary path via the VPN CPE. The secondary path is configured to support the customer’s revenue-based applications, taking into account the bandwidth of the primary path and cost considerations.

The VPN CPE establishes a secure VPN tunnel to an aggregation device within the TelePacific core network, which then directs the customer’s MPLS traffic back onto the customer’s 1Net VPN and to the final intended destination. As soon as the WAN router on the customer site determines that the primary 1Net connection is again available, it automatically switches the traffic back to the primary connection.

The Value of Redundancy

Depending on the size and scope of the organization, some IT administrators value redundancy more than others. Nonetheless, channel partners should always try to convince their clients to purchase some form of backup for both voice and data. Otherwise an unplanned network event could risk their critical business operations and revenue stream.

If you would like to learn more about 1Net Continuity or any number of our continuity and security solutions, and/or collaborate with a TelePacific Solutions Architect to provide clients with a business continuity assessment, please contact your TelePacific channel manager.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

SmartVoice Now Available Nationwide

SmartVoice PRI, SIP and business line services now are available nationwide. The expanded reach is made possible with our release of physical 2-way Nationwide Telephone Numbers (NTNs) and National SmartVoice to customers in the lower 48 states.

The new release builds on previous SmartVoice releases of inbound-only NTNs and virtual 2-way NTNs, and gives customers in TelePacific’s California and Nevada footprint the ability to support their remote offices across the contiguous United States with local numbers that include 911 service.

Customers with multiple offices interconnected through an MPLS VPN also can deploy physical 2-way NTN service to all of their locations over the MPLS network. Indeed, National SmartVoice supports single, double and triple play (SmartVoice, Internet and 1Net MPLS) options.

This means that customers with satellite offices and remote employees now have the ability to consolidate all of their telecommunications services with TelePacific and be billed for them on a single invoice.  As long as the customer has an anchor location in California or Nevada, this rollout effectively gives our channel partners the ability to sell TelePacific as a one-stop shop nationwide.

New Study: SIP Deployments Saving Businesses 33 Percent

Nearly one in three business enterprises have deployed SIP Trunking and benefited from an average cost savings of approximately 33 percent, according to the “2012 SIP Trunking State-of-the-Market Report,” a newly published study conducted by the Editorial and Analyst Division of Webtorials.

The top two drivers for implementing SIP Trunks relate to direct cost savings, but the ability to “add new SIP-based features such as presence or unified communications (UC)” was a strong driver for half of the respondents. Some 68 percent of participants indicated their decisions were driven “mostly by cost savings” or “about equally” by cost and capabilities. VoIP (89 percent), UC (69 percent) and video conferencing (65 percent) were listed as the most important types of media to be controlled via SIP.

The primary inhibitor of SIP Trunking among “non-implementers” was that services were not available at all of their network locations. Our new nationwide capability solves that issue for customers headquartered in California and Nevada.

If you have any questions or would like more information about our Physical 2-way NTN release and Nationwide SmartVoice, please reach out to your channel manager.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Agents Sound Off on “Double Dipping”

In both the telecom agency and value added reseller businesses, it is becoming more challenging to sustain revenue earned from traditional products, leading many participants to explore different revenue models. Value added resellers are increasingly looking for recurring revenue streams, while telecom agents are increasingly searching for products other than recurring communications services.

As Channel Partners’ Kelly Teal writes, one of the growing debates within the telecom agent channel is whether agents should charge for pre-sale and post-sale support such as needs assessments, telecom management, help desk, etc. The issue has surfaced as more and more agents move beyond their transactional roots and assume consultative roles. The shift requires more time and effort to serve customers, but few agents are charging for it.

According to Teal, the main argument against charging for pre-sale and post-sale support is that residual commissions from carriers cover such support; making clients pay would amount to double dipping. But proponents say commissions only compensate for a sales transaction, not a partner’s expertise; charging forces clients to evaluate how much they rely on their agents and assign true value to those relationships.

A recent survey by Channel Partners indicates that nearly two thirds of agents think they should charge for pre-sale and post-sale support. Those in the minority believe carrier commissions pay for the support agents should provide and some say customers will not pay for advice and support.  Others fear clients’ reactions, and not knowing how or when to start charging.

Teal’s reporting includes recommendations from agents who have made the leap and she concludes that “charging works.”

That may or may not be the case, or it could sometimes be the case depending on the customer, service mix and many other factors. Telecom expense management and product integration, configuration, troubleshooting and monitoring, as well as mobile device management or entire communications lifecycle management, are some of the value-added services that a customer might outsource to an agency capable of handling those chores.

Of course, an agency has to be able to provide those valuable services credibly and without interrupting ongoing sales and other business activities. As some IT and telecom services continue to converge, and cloud and mobile technologies proliferate, sales cycles are getting longer for many small and medium-sized business accounts, so economy of time is already becoming an issue for some agents.

In other words, for agents that have built their businesses on a residual model, it won’t be easy to create pre-sale and/or post-sale revenue streams. But given the “heat” on this topic, we probably will witness a lot of experimentation in this area in the coming months. As we learn how these experiments unfold, we’ll be sure to keep you apprised.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Cloud Computing + Mobile Apps Could Have Huge Implications

Cloud computing might be part of the next great evolution of computing, but mobile computing probably will be such an intrinsic part of the architecture that the two will be hard to separate, and the ramifications could be substantial, according to tech blogger Gary Kim.

For example, Amazon’s AWS Marketplace and Hewlett-Packard’s HP Enterprise Mobility Platform could have serious implications for sales forces in the communications and IT sectors. The latter was launched so service providers could create enterprise app stores that help enterprises certify, distribute and manage “mobilized” versions of company applications for employees. Both marketplaces employ cloud computing and mobility to make business app installation, using a simple mobile app to install to a device with web browser capability and broadband access.

The enterprise app store concept disintermediates nearly all of the premises networking infrastructure, pointing to a future with no need for the enterprise local area network, except perhaps to switch to Wi-Fi access at times, says Kim.

This would have far-reaching implications for firms that traditionally make a living selling LAN gear and services to enterprises. It also could help traditional communications service providers and channel partners expand their role in the IT business because it would be much easier for them to sell business software.

Non-IT sales forces of all types could sell products that might have been too technical in the past. Indeed, firms outside of the IT business might find they can create bundles almost on the fly, customized for vertical markets or businesses of various types and sizes.

This development could lead to Anything or Everything as a Service (AaaS, EaaS), where service providers become retailers of entire business processes and applications, providing channel partners with even more selling and revenue opportunities.

On the other hand, more technology suppliers and/or vendors from wholly different industries might be able to add broadband access or communications features themselves and compete with service providers and their channel partners.

Even so, from our perspective, EaaS would be a boon for channel partners. They do, after all, own the customer relationship, and having more arrows in their quivers can’t hurt.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

The Need for Speed

Ethernet availability and demand was a popular subject at the recent Channel Partners show in Las Vegas. And how could it not be? Enterprise and business user spending on carrier Ethernet services, by several estimates, is in the process of doubling.

In the U.S., a firm’s ability to buy Ethernet services more than doubled between 2005 and 2011, according to Vertical Systems Group. Separately, Insight Research predicts that businesses and consumers will spend $44 billion on carrier Ethernet services by 2016. Infonetics Research projects end user spending on these services will double to $49 billion between 2010 and 2015.

Analysts at Heavy Reading have made projections showing the same sort of growth, essentially a doubling of end user spending over roughly a five-year period in the financial services vertical, for example. In that vertical, revenues are projected to grow from an estimated $375 million in 2010 to nearly $1.3 billion by 2015, at a 27.7 percent compound annual growth rate.

Cloud computing is driving much of the increased spending, as enterprises essentially outsource applications from local servers to cloud-based datacenters. Also, in more and more business situations, speed is imperative. Indeed, 10 Mbps is becoming the new T-1 access. And multiples of that are required to drive larger enterprises with a need for reliable high-speed access and communication between several locations.

As reported by FierceTelecom, TelePacific has made considerable investments in our Ethernet capabilities and take a multi-pronged approach to deliver solutions that leverage our network facilities as well as the network assets of our carrier partners. We’re Ethernet agnostic, meaning we’ll provide what we call EoX, or Ethernet over any (copper, TDM, fixed wireless and fiber) to help businesses cost-effectively and reliably connect to the Internet and communicate between multiple locations at high rates of speed.

Ethernet over Copper (EoC), which beats TDM access prices by 15 percent or more, simplifies CPE and features a universal hand-off. It’s also faster to deploy, easier and more flexible to upgrade and it’s just as reliable as TDM access but more resilient because it’s delivered over multiple copper pairs.

Our Ethernet over fiber solution delivers speeds up to 1 Gbps. As with other Ethernet types, more and more of our customers are delving into this space. Indeed, in any given week we’re working on 150+ high bandwidth Ethernet orders. However, when a fiber solution isn’t feasible, our customers opt to utilize Ethernet over copper, TDM, or fixed wireless.

If you think any of your clients might be candidates for TelePacific’s Ethernet services, please contact your channel manager. Our Solutions Architects can help you perform an audit, assess whether Ethernet makes sense, and draft a document with analysis and conclusions based on your clients’ business needs and goals.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Channel Cycles

Every few years the telecom channel cycles through some disruption due to regulations, technologies, economic conditions, M&A activity or a combination thereof. We’re currently going through one of those cycles.

Over the past year several service providers have been acquired or merged with other companies, sometimes leading to layoffs and related problems with provisioning and installations. Others under financial pressure reorganized, restructured and trimmed their channel programs or dramatically altered their agent contracts.  

Channel partners have seen this movie several times. It was much more acute after the dot com bubble burst and agencies suffered through bankruptcies, commission delays or non-payments and degraded service levels, among other issues.

Interestingly, Verizon recently “reinforced” its commitment to the indirect channel by revamping its partner program. As Channel Partners magazine reported, the move was in stark contrast to Verizon’s actions about a year ago when it cut indirect sales partners’ commissions by two thirds, scrubbed agents out of midmarket accounts and laid off nearly a dozen channel managers. Verizon apparently will increase commissions on IP and IT products and return some protected customers who could only be reached through direct reps. But the LECs have always been fickle about the channel. 

Perhaps less obvious – and certainly less reported by industry media – is the number of competitive service providers that alter their channel programs and compensation levels with the ebb and flow of company sales, market conditions and industry happenings.

We certainly learn about individual companies altering their programs, but industry media rarely, if ever, publish trend analysis in this area. If it did, we would see that no less than a dozen service providers have altered or cut back their agent programs and/or related support personnel in recent months.

Historically, TelePacific has been well financed, stable, consistent, and dedicated to channel partners, largely because corporate leadership understands and values alternate channel distribution, and considers it a strategic imperative.  Indeed, the majority of our agent support policies, promos and lucrative spiffs are rooted in feedback from our partners, and we are well-known for paying our commissions on time.

When market cycles or economic conditions create industry-wide challenges, we work with our channel partners to overcome them. We always have. We always will. Quite simply, our agents are too important to our success.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Enterprises Embracing BYOD

Analysts with Goldman Sachs expect tablet sales to grow over 300 percent through 2012. They also forecast a 42 percent compound annual growth rate in network-activated tablet subscribers (tablets that subscribe to a wireless data plan) and project that monthly data usage will grow 30 percent per year through 2020.

So it’s not surprising that a recent white paper by Linda Tucci and Michael Brandenburg with TechTarget reveals that more than 80 percent of the Fortune 100 companies have deployed or are testing iPads. Carolina Milanesi, research vice president in the mobile device group at Gartner Inc., told Tucci “our advice to CIOs has been to go out and get one and make sure you know what this thing is, because like it or not, it is coming into your enterprise.”

Tucci reports that CIOs are increasingly comparing notes about how to deploy mobile devices in a manner that ensures corporate data is secure while accommodating employee-owned device trends in the workplace, commonly called BYOD (bring your own device). Dick Escue, CIO at RehabCare Inc., told Tucci, “We refuse to be that IT department that was always saying no to everything. If you think you are going to stand there as an enterprise and say no in the face of unbounded technology for the consumer, you’re foolhardy.”

Escue is referring to the consumerization of IT in larger enterprises, but the trend is impacting businesses of all sizes. The NPD Group, a technology research firm, recently concluded a study revealing that nearly three quarters of small to medium-sized businesses plan to purchase tablets this year. The breakdown:

Tablet Purchasing and Intent

  Purchase Intent Average Spend Increase or Maintain Spending
Tablets 73% $21,482 90%
Under 50 Employees 54% $1,912 88%
50-200 Employees 70% $10,122 83%
201-500 Employees 81% $27,031 91%
500-999 89% $38,749 90%

Source: NPD Group

Brandendburg, Tucci’s colleague, stresses that some enterprises leverage their existing corporate pricing and pooled minute plans but allow employees to make phone purchase and upgrade decisions themselves. But he adds that many enterprise executives choose a BYOD strategy that requires employees to pay for the mobile device and service while reimbursing them for a fixed portion of the charges – essentially offloading most of the wireless telecom expenses to the user.

That corporate policy and the BYOD trend in general hinder a potential revenue stream for channel partners. The more BYOD in workplaces, the fewer the opportunities for channel partners to sell wireless devices and bundles. However, the more wireless devices in the workplace, the greater the need for broadband access, WAN, and online data security and storage products, among others. Net-net, that’s a win for the channel.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Why Cloud Computing Can Be Confusing

Why Cloud Computing Can Be Confusing

“Cloud computing” is one of those “hyped” concepts the telecom industry runs into from time to time that can be confusing both for customers and channel partners alike. To make matters worse, suppliers often try to repackage existing services by calling them cloud services, when, strictly speaking, those services are not “cloud computing” applications or services.

Many of the components of a “cloud service” resemble older products and apps.
For example, datacenter products are sometimes labeled as cloud services. Datacenter solutions can involve service level agreements, redundancy, load balancing or guaranteed bandwidth services, but none of those are cloud computing. Selling datacenter rack space, power and cooling are growing businesses for some telecom companies, but are not “cloud services.”

Neither is “remote access” to servers; computing as a service; or managed services. They are building blocks for cloud computing, but not “cloud computing.” Likewise, remote backup and virtual private networks are older concepts that resemble, but are not, “cloud computing.”

Cloud computing is a marketing term; a delivery model for information technology; a computing architecture; a business model and also the framework for many different types of services. Put simply, cloud computing is about “renting” rather than “owning.” Think of the difference between buying a movie and renting a DVD. Buying a DVD is like traditional enterprise computing. “Renting a movie” is like cloud computing.

There are a few “flavors” of cloud computing, usually software, platform, and infrastructure sold “as a service.”

- “Software as a service” is the most prevalent form of cloud computing, by volume of users. SaaS includes any retail apps directly used by people, either in their roles as business or consumers.

-  “Platform as a service” generally is useful to application developers rather than retail end users, as it includes rental of computing resources to create, test, and manage an application. Basically, it is sold to software developers.

- “Infrastructure as a service” means renting computing power and storage, not “rack space.” IaaS is sold to enterprises and app providers.

- IaaS services generally fall into several buckets: “public cloud,” “managed public cloud,”virtual private cloud,” and “private cloud.”

The first two concepts involve end user access to cloud apps on either an “un-managed” basis (typically retail consumer apps such as Google search) or “managed” basis with service level agreements, and as their public moniker implies, generally are retail and consumer apps designed for use by the public.

The last two concepts involve something more like traditional enterprise computing. A virtual private cloud simply designates resources to a single customer. It typically is used by an enterprise for “private” network apps internal to the organization.

A “private cloud” means an enterprise owns its own servers and uses them to deliver internal data and apps to enterprise employees and partners, not the general public. In some cases, enterprises that own their servers use a remote datacenter to operate them. Private cloud is one of the concepts that accounts for confusion. Strictly speaking, it is not cloud computing, since the servers are not rented, but owned.

It can be very hard to explain precisely what a particular “cloud service” is, or why it is better than conventional “shrink wrapped” software purchases. The analogy many will be familiar with is “hosted PBX” services as an alternative to buying a business phone system.

But selling simple “rack space” is not cloud computing software, platform, or infrastructure. Think of rack space and datacenter hosting as a layer one enabler of cloud computing. It is the finger pointing at the moon, not the moon.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Channel Domains Blurring – More to Come

Communications services traditionally have been sold by different channel partners than information technology or business phone system products. But a shift to cloud-based managed services is beginning to blur the lines between “IT” and traditional “communications.” As cloud-based applications become more and more important to customers, new opportunities for either telecom or VAR partners to broaden product lines will surface. In fact, as voice becomes a server-based app or a managed service, VARs become logical voice channel partners for the first time, as well as logical partners for a range of connectivity services. Likewise, cloud-based services will make it possible for voice agents to sell more complex software products for the first time.

VAR effectiveness as a channel for selling managed services likely will vary widely. For example, managed services, such as hosted email, backup and disaster recovery, security, and customer relationship management, might be a reasonable fit for a VAR already selling servers, routers, and other IT infrastructure.

But sales of cloud-based inventory, transaction processing, accounting or personnel applications delivered as managed services will make more sense for software VARs with the product knowledge to sell cloud-based business applications.

Some telecom channel partners, on the other hand, are already moving outside their traditional product lines, selling managed services that historically have been IT or Internet service provider products.

So what makes more sense: buying IT-oriented products and apps from a “telecom agent” or buying access, transport, and voice solutions from an IT specialist?

Both options. TelePacific increasingly supports VARs that are selling data connections, colocation, MPLS, and mobile broadband backup. We’re also helping telecom agents sell hosting, intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system (IDS/IPS), firewall, filtering, and other managed security products.

In the coming months and years, a variety of enterprise and small-business software products, not to mention new mobile services of many types, will be coming to market. We cannot know for certain how channel partners’ knowledge, skills, and business practices will evolve as more of the strategic value from IT and communications is provided by “software” elements of services.

However, there is little doubt both telecom agents and VARs will continue to find fresh and creative ways to deliver value to businesses as new services and applications emerge. 

Happy holidays.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Datacenter Solutions: Selling Peace of Mind

Business organizations are increasingly turning to professionally run datacenters. Saving money is the obvious advantage. It’s difficult for businesses — especially small to medium-size businesses — to justify the capital investment to create a secure, reliable data center, however small, on premises.

Data breaches and loss due to fire, flood, lack of proper climate controls, negligence, and theft can cost a fortune to litigate, leave a legacy of bad PR and recurring headaches, and often force a business to close. Hence, the value of protecting mission-critical applications and data afforded by off-site collocation facilities dramatically increases, especially for organizations operating in medical, healthcare, financial, and government verticals with strict privacy and compliance standards.

Professionally run off-site datacenters possess the power, cooling, monitoring, security, and equipment redundancies necessary to protect IT systems and business-critical applications.

Channel partners win several ways by selling datacenter solutions. Solving more of an organization’s problems is one advantage; providing security and peace of mind another. However, datacenter services also create demand for high-quality bandwidth products.

Servers require network connections and secure services require redundant, spatially-diverse data connections for the server and management locations. Beyond that, the increasing demand for mobile and remote end user connections means broadband networking requirements both at remote sites and on a mobile basis. Bringing datacenter offerings into the equation allows channel partners to “pull through” additional bandwidth services that make for lucrative and sticky accounts.

Moreover, once customers install equipment in a datacenter, they often upgrade the bandwidth before their term is completed. Also, as organizations increasingly put all traffic and applications on a single IP network, the increased demand for QoS-capable protocols, such as MPLS, provides yet another revenue opportunity.

We’ve made significant investments to upgrade and expand our datacenter offerings. There is a tremendous advantage in terms of capabilities, cost, service, and overall value to your customers by having all of these needs met by one combined datacenter and services solution provider.

Market demand is increasing and there has never been a better time to sell our datacenter solutions. Our “show and sell” value pricing promotion offers uniform and discounted rack space, power, and network bandwidth for all our datacenter and colocation facilities, as well as discounts up to 30 percent off previous bandwidth pricing. Contact your channel manager for further details.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Helping Channel Partners Architect the Acquisition of New Business

As the channel continues to evolve into a more solutions oriented sales model comprising complex IP, broadband networking and hosted products, it becomes even more important that channel partners have high-quality and responsive technical assistance when designing solutions for their clients. 

Years ago, TelePacific created a team of solutions architects to address this growing need and more recently have fortified the group with additional solutions architects and other resources to make sure our partners have the assets they need to sell our expanding product portfolio. These solutions architects provide:

* Technical expertise to assess customer needs and assist with RFPs

* Designs for custom solutions that meet customer requirements and goals

* Network diagrams and supporting documentation

* Resolutions for technical issues identified in the pre-sales process

* Responses to partner and their customer inquiries

* Any other assistance throughout the pre-sales and sales process, including on-site visits, to position products appropriately and drive sales to completion

Our solutions architects frequently support agents with all manner of multi-location solutions as well as colocation, managed data protection services, and OneSecure network security products. However, since signing a definitive agreement to acquire Telekenex, a business-grade IP services provider with a nationwide PCI compliant MPLS backbone, they increasingly have been assisting agent partners with large MPLS and MPLS + SIP Trunking opportunities.

Recently, our architects collaborated with a channel partner to design and close a 70-location nationwide MPLS deployment for a large equipment rental company. Also, they recently collaborated with another channel partner, two channel managers, and additional personnel from Telekenex to close a 40-location MPLS deal that we installed in just 30 days. It was a great team effort that exemplifies what we at TelePacific are capable of doing to help channel partners win-over prospective customers.

At present we have 16 solution architects with extensive sales engineering experience and we’re in the process of hiring more. Every architect is educated on new technologies, industry standards, and TelePacific products. They’re also highly qualified to assess the business needs of our channel partners’ clients, design winning solutions, and provide support through the entire sales process.

If you’re not already taking advantage of this tremendous resource, please reach out to your channel manager for more details.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Telecom to Trump Gloomy Economic Forecast

A recent Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation survey shows that only 50 percent of the nation’s top economic bloggers anticipate employment growth, a decrease of 20 percent from the second quarter of this year. Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, believes the U.S. economy is about to enter another recession. “It’s either just begun, or it’s right in front of us,” he told CNNMoney in a recent news story

However, Insight Research predicts that North American service provider revenue will double in the next five years. Furthermore, In-Stat recently reported that business spending on IT and telecom products and services will grow considerably through 2015.

How do we reconcile the gloomy forecasts of economists with incredible growth projections from telecom industry analysts? More than ever, telecom is a facilitator of socio-economic advancement, and broadband and mobility are the key drivers.

Wireless broadband service revenues will grow at a CAGR of more than 45 percent, while wireline broadband services grow at about 14 percent CAGR, according to Insight. And mobile workers are dramatically changing the way enterprises approach telecom. Melanie Turek, vice president, research at Frost & Sullivan, says that about 10 percent of tablets purchased today are used for business purposes but she expects that will increase to 70 percent by 2016.

The takeaway from all this: broadband demand and mobility trends are changing the buying habits of businesses, and that will present channel partners with lucrative opportunities in the coming months and years regardless of economic conditions. The growing need for mobile and remote end user connections means broadband networking requirements both at remote sites and on a mobile basis. Moreover, as organizations increasingly put all traffic and applications on a single IP network, there are growing requirements for quality of service mechanisms, which drives demand for QoS-capable protocols such as MPLS, yet another revenue opportunity.

We at TelePacific are in a strong position to help channel partners realize higher sales and earnings from these types of products. In fact, our President and CEO Dick Jalkut recently was singled out by industry publication FierceTelecom as one of 10 telecom executives to watch, highlighting our strategic acquisitions and ongoing expansion of our service portfolio to include a wide mix of WAN, wireless, broadband and IP-based products and enhancements designed to satisfy the evolving needs of business customers.

And now we’ve opened up six new markets in Texas – a state that has added businesses and jobs at about twice the national average for the past couple of years. The metro markets:

  • Austin
  • Corpus Christi
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • San Antonio

Available products in these markets include business lines, PRI, Internet access up to 1Gbps and MPLS IP VPN services. If you have any questions about these new markets or available products, please contact your channel manager.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Perks for Our Non-Profit Customers

Did you know that TelePacific helps non-profits affordably upgrade their telecom infrastructure? By thoughtfully leveraging state-funded programs such as the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) and E-Rate, we create customized packages for our non-profit customers that can reduce costs by 80% or more. This is a terrific way for you to assist your non-profit customers that may be struggling to finance an upgrade that’s critical for their programs and services.

What is the CTF?

CTF is a California state program that provides discounts on selected telecom services to qualifying schools, libraries, government-owned and operated hospitals and health clinics, and community-based organizations. If you are interested learning more about the program, visit the CTF website.

What is E-Rate?

E-Rate is a federally-funded program in which the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund makes discounts available to eligible schools and libraries for telecom services and Internet access. Again, if you are interested in learning more about the program, visit E–Rate’s website.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific Scores High with Inc. Magazine for its Fifth Consecutive Year

 In August, TelePacific was named one of Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for the fifth year in a row. We’re understandably pleased to be included on this outstanding list. And as our partner, we hope you’re excited, too; because, in your business, partnering with a stable telecom provider is crucial.

Over the past few years, Telepacific has expanded both its services and its national footprint. The company has a strong future, and will remain a solid, consistent partner for our agents in the years to come. We never forget that your success is our success.

Dick Jalkut, president and CEO of TelePacific, is delighted to point out that as we enter new markets the company, “continue[s] to become an economic driver in the communities in which we work – providing jobs, investing in the community and helping small and medium businesses be more productive.” Feel free to share the good news with your friends.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific Once Again a Top 50 Channel Program

It was great seeing a lot of you at the Fall 2011 Channel Partners Show & Expo in Chicago. As always, it’s good to catch up and see what’s happening in the channel. One piece of news that obviously delighted us during the show was Channel Partners Magazine’s announcement of the top 50 channel programs in the country—voted by you—and the inclusion of TelePacific Communications in that list for the fifth year in a row!

It’s a great honor to be selected from among hundreds of companies by carriers, resellers, master agents, and hardware and software vendors. After all, you are all part of our team and play an integral role in our success, so your vote is a reminder that we’re getting things right.

Our Telepartner program is based on three important goals: helping our Telepartners succeed and earn more money; giving our Telepartners the best available support tools to do it with; and most importantly, giving our Telepartners easy, direct access to the people and know-how that can simplify their selling experience. We believe that if we get those three things right, you’ll have a successful and mutually-profitable relationship…and who doesn’t want that?

We understand that we can’t rest on our laurels, so we are continually building on the success of our Telepartner program, providing more support, product training, sales incentives, and a streamlined process. Our goal is to make your choice even easier—TelePacific’s channel program is not only one of the most rewarding, it’s also easy to work with.

We’ll continue working hard this year to earn a spot on the list again next year. Thank you for your vote and your continued relationship.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific’s Amir Hojjatnia Voted Top Channel Manager

At TelePacific, we like working with the best people. That means working with the best agents, but also hiring the best folks we can find. And while we know that all our channel managers are great, we have to give special kudos to Amir Hojjatnia, one of our regional agent managers. Amir was recently voted as one of the Top 15 Channel Managers in a Channel Partners Magazine poll by master agents, subagents, and independent agents. He was chosen by you from among 80 candidates.

That is quite a feat in and of itself, and it’s definitely not a fluke—this is the third time that Amir has been voted onto the list. He previously took home the title in 2007 and 2009. It looks like he’s on an every-other-year roll, so look out for him in 2013… but don’t be surprised if he makes the list in 2012!

If you work with Amir, then you absolutely know why he was nominated and ultimately selected. He has a strong dedication to his agents and makes sure that he’s there for them when they need him. “I strive to make myself available to my agents 24/7, providing them with the most accurate and current information available,” said Amir. “By demonstrating my unrivaled dedication to their individual needs, I hope to have all my agents think of me first and foremost when they have a customer opportunity.”

Well, it looks like you not only thought of him first when you had a customer opportunity, but also when you were asked who the best channel manager was. On behalf of Amir, the other channel agent managers, and the entire Telepartner program, thank you for your vote of confidence. We will continue to bring the best people into those roles, like Amir and other TelePacific channel managers who have won in the past, so we can offer you the best support and expertise possible. And, thank you Amir for being such an exemplary model of what we do best in the Telepartner program.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Hot Colocation Promotion + Your Clients = ♥

You and your client, sitting worry free, C-O-L-O-C-A-T-I-N-G…

Summer is in full swing and love is in the air. Can’t you just feel it? The dog days of summer bring long nights and bright sunshine and what can we say? Our future is so bright we have to wear shades; with the recent acquisition of OCiX, TelePacific has expanded our presence in California with a second SAS 70 Type 2 datacenter in Orange County, California. The southern California datacenter is a perfect complement to our SAS 70 Datacenter in Sacramento that we acquired last year – providing the geographic diversity that your clients need for their operations. TelePacific now has colocation facilities in Irvine, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Rafael and Santa Ana.

TelePacific is celebrating our new Datacenter with a Show & Sell colocation promotion that features some very attractive pricing options on all TelePacific datacenter “colo” facilities that may be just what your customers are looking for to see if colocation is a fit for their business. Customers can save up to 35% on Datacenter cabinets and power services and up to 80% on Internet and MPLS bandwidth for data with this limited time promotion on a 3-year term.

Colocation services can be a wise move for customers seeking business continuity solutions that bring tremendous performance and fiscal benefits in comparison to hosting the same systems in-house. The sky is the limit for your customers when they have the power and convenience of a datacenter without the capital expense of building one.

We already have big plans for our new state-of-the-art facility. The 10,000 square-foot datacenter will receive an 8,000 square-foot expansion to provide customers with private meeting and disaster recovery space and storage. In addition, TelePacific is transitioning both of our SAS 70 certified datacenters to the new security standard of SSAE 16 in order to adhere to the latest evolution of datacenter security standards.

We’re already halfway through summer, so now is the perfect time for your customers to take advantage of this limited-time offer. Contact your TelePacific agent representative today to get the scoop on our current collocation deals.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Of Course I Love You, We Just Need to Connect More

Connection. It’s that spark that made you long for a second date, isn’t it? Well your clients long for that same connection only we’re talking business baby! You’re already providing your customers with TelePacific’s outstanding services and products and they love you for it. They are going to love you even more for this; it’s time to dig deep for your customers, very deep… look into the screen… your getting very sleepy… okay maybe that wasn’t fair right after lunch. But seriously, It’s time to think about what wireless technology can do for your customers – and even more important, get them to think about it. We’re not talking about the latest device craze, sure wireless devices are pretty nifty and we have plenty of options to choose from. What is more important is the technology that is the driving force for these devices.

TelePacific ‘s product portfolio has grown with the addition of mobile services and fixed wireless and so has your customers ability to be connected. Customers can access the Internet and their servers on the go with our mobile products, or set up a satellite office for a few weeks with fixed wireless. From TelePacific’s mobile connectivity solutions to USB modems  and smart phones, your customers have the ability to be connected whenever and wherever they need to be.  Connection is a beautiful thing and we’re proud to introduce Michael Jacobsen, your Telepartner Mobility Specialist that is available to help your customers find their mobile services sweet spot. I sat down virtually with TelePacific’s Michael Jacobson to pick his brain about his new role at TelePacific, within a few minutes it was apparent that this gentleman is teeming with knowledge.

Q: What will your role be as the Telepartner Mobility Specialist?

A: My job is to provide information and resources to empower TelePacific’s agents. Our mobile services are a recent addition and there are a lot of choices when it comes down to products, services, and technology. I’m also here to help agents look beyond the immediate question of what devices can do for their customers and think about how wireless technology can enhance their customers business. With the addition of mobile services and fixed wireless TelePacific is now a “one-stop shop” for SMB telecom services. One invoice, one company for all their needs.

Q: Should agents contact you directly or continue to contact their agent manager?

It’s always best for agents to work closely with their agent manager in order to maximize the value of that relationship. That being said, agents are welcome to contact me directly and loop their agent manager in on that conversation.  The agent manager and myself, we’re the dynamic duo.

Q: Will you also be interfacing directly with customers for sales support?

I am certainly available to interact with customers. When it comes down to it, I’m a resource for TelePacific’s mobile solutions so I am happy to work directly with a customer or exclusively with the agent(s) – whichever they prefer.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for TelePacific to have a dedicated mobility specialist available to Telepartners?

A: There are definitely a number of agents out there that are familiar with the mobile marketplace but there are also quite a few that don’t have experience in the mobile realm. They may not know how to identify customer’s needs or how to position TelePacific’s mobile services. That’s where I come in – I’m here to help them hone in on the mobile service offerings arena.

Q: How do you think mobile services are shifting the way people do business? How do you recommend that Telepartners tap into that?

A: Wireless technology is clearly making a huge impact on the business world. Just look at the evolution of the technology in such a short time. We went from using cell phones as a back-up communication tool to it being one of our primary tools. Shortly after came voice with texting and then email and now PDAs and tablets. The technologies are rapidly evolving and driving the behavior of business people. The technology is here to stay so agents need to embrace it.

Q: Creamy peanut butter or crunchy?

A: Crunchy, definitely crunchy.

Michael Jacobson may be contacted at:
mjacobsen@telepacific.com
O: 818-264-1911
M: 661-313-4291
F: 866-585-9986

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Mixing and Mingling on the Beach: 2010 Presidents Club Trip

At TelePacific we view our Telepartners as just that – partners. We know that it’s a broad business world out there and are thrilled to have motivated and successful agents on our team. We don’t just kind of like you, we’re like those parents on the sideline at every soccer game beaming with adoration. In other words, we think your pretty darn swell. To show our appreciation, we offer competitive compensation packages, special SPIF programs, and an annual Presidents Club incentive program for our sales partners.

In order to show just how swell we think our Master Agents of 2010 are we recently treated reps from the top five agencies to a California getaway in sunny San Diego. Our guests really roughed it with three days and two nights of accommodations at the historic Hotel del Coronado – yeah, that shabby little place that USA Today listed as one of the “Top 10 Resorts In The World”.

Those in attendance included reps from the top five 2010 Presidents Club award winners – Sandler Partners, PSI Network, BridgePointe Technologies, Datatel Solutions and Intelisys Communications.

After all, who doesn’t like to party on the beach? No, we’re not talking about that kind of party, come on now – I don’t think keg stands would have been appropriate. There were some intense games of horseshoes and volleyball followed by a gourmet dinner on the beach with smores around a fire pit for desert – and of course the never-ending debate of burnt marshmallows vs. toasted.

Attendees enjoyed a great day on the Coronado Municipal Golf Courses, which is considered one of the finest public golf courses in Southern California or a relaxing spa day. The celebration concluded with the awards reception and dinner where each of our winning agencies received an award for kicking butt and taking names in 2010.

It was a fantastic trip this year; in fact, it may be hard for us to outdo ourselves – but we’re certainly going to try!

Plans are already in the works for next year’s award trip. We hope you’re out there working hard because the trip next year is going to be so worth it. We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Presidents Club in 2012 as well as our CEO, Dick Jalkut’s 10th anniversary with TelePacific, with an amazing luxury ski vacation to Banff, Canada. So start selling some product because we would love to see you on the slopes with us next year and don’t worry we won’t laugh if you fall – we’ll think your swell even if you aren’t a great skier.

A huge thank you to all of our Telepartners for helping TelePacific achieve such success in 2010. We couldn’t do it without you!

Want to learn more about TelePacific’s agent program? Click here to sign up and get all the details.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

All the Speed, None of the Wires

With the recent acquisition of Covad Wireless, TelePacific channel partners now have more broadband options to offer their customers.

TelePacific now offers Ethernet over Fixed Wireless (EoFW). This is a great service, offering our best and lowest bandwidth pricing to customers that are beyond the reach of Ethernet over Copper (EoC) or for whom EoC cannot be provided due to technical issues with the ILEC outside plant.

With bandwidths from 1Mbps to 100 Mbps (and pretty much everything in between), EoFW is a perfect solution for your customers. And because TelePacific owns the Fixed Wireless network, there’s no need to wait for the ILEC, so provisioning takes less time and pricing is more competitive.

Your customers can use EoFW entirely for their Internet needs or they can keep their existing wired network and add EoFW as a reliable back-up, offering built-in redundancy in the event of extreme weather or other events that may have an impact on their primary delivery system.

EoFW also provides other opportunities that wired options cannot. With Fixed Wireless, we can quickly set up temporary broadband Internet access with speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps. This is perfect if your client is organizing a special event, like a concert, fair or convention, and needs to provide Internet access for a few days. It’s also great if your company needs to set up a satellite office for a few weeks or months at a project site and needs to ensure their employees have reliable Internet access, without getting locked into a long term contract.

EoFW offers solutions not previously possible with other Internet delivery systems while also enhancing existing services. Check with your TelePacific representative today to learn more about Fixed Wireless pricing and agent incentives.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

What Happened in Vegas (Was Fun)

 
TelePacific Agent Managers at Channel Partners LV Conference 2011

TelePacific Agent Managers at Channel Partners LV Conference 2011

It was great seeing so many of you earlier this month at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. It’s always great to spend time with our agents and hear about what they’re doing and how we can work even better together. Thank you to all you folks who stopped by our booth to talk about some of our new products and pick up some candy, and thank you also to those who came to our presentation. We really appreciated your support and interest in what we’re doing at TelePacific. And, of course, we can’t forget about the VIP party at the Deuce Lounge at the stunning new ARIA resort & Casino. Well, depending on how much partying you did you may either want to forget some of it or may have already forgotten. Either way, we had fun with all of you there.

We always love these Expos because we get some one-on-one time with you and it’s always fun to get away to somewhere fun. Speaking of getting away…in case you missed it, we had a big announcement at the VIP party. Next year being the 10th anniversary of the Telepartner President’s Club, we decided to really kick it up a notch (or several) and have an awesome trip planned for the top five agents this year. Yeah, I know we’ve had some pretty awesome trips to date, but nothing like this, because we’re taking those top agents to Banff, Canada.

So start selling some product and packing some bags if you want to join us on a trip that will offer amazing views and of course skiing! 

We’ll have a lot more details for you as the year continues, but start practicing your pose for your passport photo and keep getting those contracts signed. On our end, we’ll be sure to keep adding exciting new products and services and attractive pricing to help you make the sale.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

What Happens in Vegas…

The Channel Partners Conference & Expo is right around the corner, and any excuse to go to Las Vegas is a good excuse. Any excuse to go to Las Vegas and spend some time with our Telepartners is an even better excuse.

If you’re at the show this March, be sure to come into the exhibit area and drop by our booth 1401. You can come see what we’ve been up to, learn about all the latest products and services we’ve introduced recently and what we have in the pipeline, and meet with our product managers who will be there to answer any questions or just chat for a while.

Speaking of new products and services, if you haven’t been keeping up with all the TelePacific news and communications, you’ll be surprised by all the great new products and services we are offering, including mobile voice and data, mobile hotspots, additional Ethernet options, equipment leasing and more. If you have been keeping up, then you may have also noticed our theme this year—like a kid in a candy store. The theme conveys what it feels like to have all the great TelePacific products and services from which to choose. But another great benefit of the theme is that it gives us a great excuse to have candy at our exhibit booth. So if you’re looking for something to appease your sweet tooth, drop by our booth, we have you covered.

And if all that wasn’t reason enough to visit us, how about the fact that our booth was voted Best in Show at last year’s Spring Channel Partners Conference & Expo by show attendees? Now you know you have to come by and see how we’ll outdo ourselves this year.

Whatever ultimately gets you to join us (great products and services, last year’s award or outright bribery with candy) we hope to see you at the Expo in a few weeks. It’s always good to meet with our partners face to face and get some feedback on we can better work with your toward mutual success. See you in Vegas.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

The Willy Wonka of Telecommunications

Remember that scene in the Willy Wonka movie (the Gene Wilder one, not the freaky one with the Johnny-Depp-Michael-Jackson hybrid…that one was just too weird) where Charlie and the other children were walking through factory, eyes wide open, staring at and drooling over the candy? They were excited because everything looked so good and there was so much from which to choose. Well, that’s just how it looks now around TelePacific (minus the drooling). We have so many great products and services for customers, and attractive pricing and SPIFs for our agent partners, that it feels just like you’re in the candy store trying to figure out how to pick from all the tasty treats.

Take advantage of TelePacific’s selection of products and services. When meeting with customers, let them know what’s available to them, including mobile phones, mobile data, Ethernet options, business continuity solutions, integrated network security, colocation, SmartVoice, VPNs, conference calling, POTS, equipment leasing and so much more. Let them know how they can get all the services they need from one vendor.

Unlike the Willy Wonka movie, customers who use our products won’t be turned into giant blueberries or miniaturized and put on television. They will, however, receive one convenient bill for all their California and Nevada offices and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that TelePacific’s unparalleled customer service is ready there for them.

But there are sweets for our agent partners as well. The more products and services there are to sell, the more SPIFs are out there for the taking. And with the extension of all promos, special pricings and extra incentives through March, it makes it even easier and more profitable to sell TelePacific services to your customers. Talk to your TelePacific representative today to learn more about all the new services and current pricing and incentive specials. You too could be Willy Wonka to your customers. We promise not to sing oompa loompa songs in high, nasally voices every time you make a sale.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Help Your Customers Plan for a Rainy Day

It seems like almost everyday we’re seeing news about extreme weather seriously impacting cities throughout the country. In late December and early in the year California was drenched in seemingly never-ending rain. There have been record snow storms in New York, Chicago and other places around the country. Often times, these weather events negatively impact communications infrastructure and leaves business and individuals without the services on which they rely.

As you’re meeting with clients, be sure to remind them of the importance of business continuity planning and network redundancy. It may require a little more forethought and investment on their part, but they’ll be absolutely grateful to you when the system goes down around them but they’re able to continue doing business while others are left making snow angels or splashing in puddles.

Simple things like colocation, RemoteStor data backup, the ability to forward calls remotely to name a few can help a business quickly and easily restore and continue functionality while protecting its equipment and data. If a customer’s office Internet goes down, for example, they can quickly connect up to five computers to WiFi using TelePacific’s MiFi HotSpot. Or if phones in one office go down, they can go online and transfer all calls to a different location or different number, ensuring they don’t miss any important client calls. Simple solutions like these are not expensive and can really save the day. However, customers aren’t always aware of them, so it’s up to you to let them know they’re available and show them how they can use them in these types of situations.

When thinking about business continuity we typically think of earthquakes, fires or other disasters. But weather can have just as devastating effect. Many of your customers may have had experiences with it this winter, so it’s fresh on their minds. Talk to them now while they’re thinking about it. If not, they’ll be disappointed later in the year or next winter, when weather affects them once again and they hadn’t received the guidance that may have helped them prevent it.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Why Buy When You Can Lease From TelePacific?

If you have customers who need a new telecommunications system but don’t want to tie up the capital required to purchase the equipment, TelePacific can help. TelePacific now offers an equipment leasing program that lets customers bundle the cost of the equipment they need, regardless of make or model, with their monthly telecom bill. This means a single consolidated monthly statement for all equipment, related software, warranties, maintenance and telecommunication services.

Your customers will like that they are free to select the products that works best for them, regardless of vendor. Customers will also have access to the full suite of TelePacific services, selecting and paying only for the services they actually need. And if they want to keep the equipment after the lease, they can buy it for a dollar.

TelePacific’s equipment leasing program can be a powerful tool for agents with customers who need to upgrade their equipment but can’t afford the full cost of an up-front purchase. It also provides a lot more flexibility than the leasing programs offered by other carriers, many of whom restrict which vendors the client can choose, don’t provide buy-out options or require specific services to be bundled with the lease.

Visit our website and contact your TelePacific representative to learn more about TelePacific’s leasing program and SPIFF opportunities.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Pick and Choose

Most of the time, when you purchase a bundle, you know you’re getting a few things you really want and others you don’t…that’s why they’re bundled together. That’s not the case with TelePacific. With TelePacific, your customers can select the products, services and features they want, and create their own bundle.

Take the Flexible 5 program for example. If your customer signs up for SmartVoice, they can choose five different options from more than a dozen great choices, including toll free numbers, fax-to-email boxes, voicemail boxes, conference calling, minute bundles, managed firewall, remote data storage and more. Better yet, they get their five choices for free!

So customers get to pick what they want in their bundle and get them at no extra cost. What could be better? All they have to do is sign up for two or three years of SmartVoice and they can customize the bundle to best meet their needs. And this offer applies to both new and renewing customers, so all your customers can get in on the bundling fun.

Bundling doesn’t stop there. Your customers can combine their voice, data, mobile and business continuity services with TelePacific and save money in the process.

And there’s more to it than just saving money. Customers also get the convenience of getting all their services from one vendor on one bill. This saves valuable time and energy; and with TelePacific’s great customer service, peace of mind goes up and stress goes down. It’s a win-win.

Get your customers bundling today and call your TelePacific representative to learn more about the savings your customers could be getting.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific Expands Mobile Services

There’s some exciting news on the TelePacific mobile services front. As you know, we launched our mobile services early in the fall with multiple options for data cards—allowing customers to access Internet and their servers on the go. Now in December, we’re taking a big step forward and adding voice services and BlackBerry devices.

On December 17, TelePacific will start taking orders for mobile phones and mobile voice plans, with fulfillment in mid January. And since at TelePacific we’re all about options and customization, we’re launching the service with three different BlackBerry phones and very customizable mobile voice and data plans, which include discounts based on number of minutes, number of lines, number of contract years and more. There’s lots to choose from and something for every customer.

And there’s something for our agents as well. Not only are the expanded mobile services a great opportunity to start new conversations with customers, or even conversations with prospective customers, they can be used as the “tip of the spear” to open up access to additional telecom needs. Mobile can also help increase client “stickiness” and reduce churn rates—and there are great incentives for our Telepartners. It starts with a $125 SPIFF per line sold, and it continues with a four percent residual on mobile services! That’s right, you keep reaping the rewards as long as your customer remains with TelePacific. That, as well as our great products and services, sets us apart from our competitors.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

The Company You Keep

It’s often said that you’re only as good as the company you keep. Well, if that’s the case, we’re doing pretty well. After all, our Telepartners are amongst the best agents in the industry. And we strive to reciprocate that relationship by providing the best agent support in the industry.

We work closely with you to give you the tools and support you need to make the sale. Take The Brain for example. Telepartners can use The Brain to gather product spec information, customize sales and presentation materials, share best practices and tools, read tips from TelePacific and and more.

There’s also TelePacific University, an online campus where Telepartners can take courses to sharpen their product knowledge and sales skills. Courses are customized to the needs of the agent and online tests let you know how well you’ve retained the information. That’s in addition to regular Brown Bag trainings and product presentations that are available to Telepartners throughout the year.

In addition to training support and access to helpful libraries of information and customizable sales materials, we have tools that make your job easier. For example, our new and improve Electronic Order Package lets you easily order services.

And if all that support isn’t enough, what about all the great sales promotions and incentives, the President’s Club and the unparalleled customer service TelePacific provides to back it all up?

It’s no wonder that in 2010 TelePacific was voted by agents as one of PHONE+ Magazine’s Top 50 Channel Partner Programs and one of CRN Magazine’s Coolest Telecom Providers.

We’re proud of our Telepartners and we are dedicated to continuing to provide the best agent support in the industry. And we hope that you will continue keeping company with TelePacific and be as good as we can possibly be—together.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Check Out TelePacific’s New and Improved Electronic Order Package

We are technology geeks. We know it and we’ll admit it proudly. After all, technology is what we do. And because of that, we understand that technology must constantly be updated and advanced to meet new and changing needs.  We know you are always working with your customers to meet their ever-changing needs and at TelePacific, we are striving to make our systems and tools easier to use, more efficient and more effective for you.

With that in mind, we would like to introduce the new and improved Electronic Order Package! We’ve recently made some upgrades to the Electronic Order Package that will make ordering products and services easier for you and result in an even smoother process for your customers. 

The latest model of the Electronic Order Package (EOP) is more intuitive and user friendly. With a simple step-by-step interface, you can quickly and easily input order information and produce all of the necessary documents in one place. Here are some of the highlights:

-         Once is enough when it comes to entering the basic customer and agent information. EOP will automatically populate that information throughout the system wherever it is required. No more doing the same thing twice!

-         Drop down menus let you choose from available products and the associated promotions and specials, making order entry a breeze. EOP even blocks out the unnecessary fields depending on the product so you don’t have to hunt for information that isn’t needed.

-         Add your own customized products, services and promotions in free form space. With this system, you are not tied down to the standard form. You can create your order the way you want; just make sure you are current on all of the deals, discounts and rules that apply to each product.

-         Input multiple orders from one place. You can easily input multiple orders for multiple locations from the same EOP form. You can also preview all of your orders and print your documents from the same EOP file. No more opening multiple files for each location; it’s all contained in one simple spreadsheet.

If you are a current Telepartner, you should have received an email with a webinar tutorial on the updated EOP. If not, contact your Telepartner manager.

We know the system isn’t perfect yet and we’d love to hear your feedback on the changes we’ve made and what you’d like to see added in the future. Let your Telepartner manager know your thoughts and feedback. Happy selling and have a great day!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Top 50 Channel Partner Program Again…That’s Right

Woo hoo! We did it again! TelePacific’s Telepartner Program was voted as one of the Top 50 Channel Programs recognized by PHONE+ magazine. The winners were announced at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, held this week in Washington, D.C. This is TelePacific’s fourth year in a row on the list, and we’re as proud now as we were the first time.

Everyone enjoys industry recognition, but this is more significant to us because the winners were selected by you, our partners. We value our relationships with our partners and enjoy working together to help customers and be successful. 

You may already know the goals and driving forces behind the Telepartner program, but we’re going to recap them here because they are so important. We want to help our Telepartners succeed and make more money; give our Telepartners the best support tools to do it with; and most importantly, give our Telepartners easy, direct access to the people and know-how that can simplify the entire selling experience.

It’s also important that TelePacific provides you and customers with state-of-the-art technology and cost effective communications solutions. And we will continue our focus on partner and customer service to exceed all expectations for service and satisfaction.

We think the Telepartner Program is pretty robust and rewarding, and it’s nice to know you agree. Thanks for voting for us again, and have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Customer Service, Winners and Tradeshows…September is a Busy Month!

It’s already September…crazy! Where has the year gone? We know we’ve been busy, as have you, so maybe that’s why time is passing so quickly. We won’t think about the fact it could be because we’re getting older…no, it’s because we’ve been busy.

One of the things we’ve been busy working on is a new tool to make it easier for customers to communicate with us about issues and questions. You’re familiar with OneCentral Portal (OCP), TelePacific’s online account management system? Well, OCP now includes an online trouble ticket management service that makes the process of reporting, tracking and resolving customer problems streamlined and simple. 

Customers can log into OCP, fill out a trouble ticket form with the appropriate information and submit their request.  It’s just that simple!  Customers can also view the status of their tickets and track progress resolving their question or issue. It could be something as simple as responding to a network outage report, or something more complicated like a billing inquiry…now customers have another way to work with TelePacific’s Customer Care to get their questions answered and problems resolved quickly right from OneCentral Portal. Check it out today, and encourage your customers to do the same.

While we’re talking about things to check out…check out TelePacific at the Channel Partner Conference & Expo later this month. You can find us in Booth 3007 at the show, held from September 20-22 in beautiful Washington, D.C. We’ll be talking about Ethernet over Copper, mobile services and perhaps some other fun news…

And speaking of fun news—congratulations to the winners of TelePacific’s Summer Sales Contest! The top two performers in the President’s Club category were Sandler Partners and PSI Network. In the Non-President’s Club bracket, Telesonic Voice & Data Solutions and Dial Tone Services are the lucky winners. Now the winners can jet off to a destination of their choice—each of the first place finishers will receive a $4,000 travel voucher while the runners-up will take home a $1,500 travel voucher. Congrats! And thanks to everyone who participated in the contest.

With that, we’re now back to work coming up with more new and exciting things to announce…stay tuned. And have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Calling All Mobile Units…Come In, Please

Yep, summer is funner…especially when you can work outside of your office using TelePacific Mobile! It’s a good selling point, even if not grammatically correct.

TelePacific Mobile is available this month. The first data cards and MiFi hotspots to allow high-speed, 3G wireless access anywhere users can get cellular service are shipping momentarily. Up to five devices can be connected to a hotspot, so users can create a mini-office anywhere they are: the pool, a picnic table in the park or even their conference room so everyone can chat and work together. Or if a customer is a road warrior or one-person show, a data card may be the right choice: either the one with optional data storage or the one that works in either a PC card or ExpressCard slot. Either way, summer fun can be theirs while still being “plugged in” (wirelessly, of course).

You’ve heard about the upcoming mobile additions but I’ll note them here too. This fall, we’re introducing voice products (like Blackberry devices) to make it even easier for users to stay connected on their own terms. And we’ll roll out wireless failover to ensure access to mission-critical applications…and ensure customers have peace of mind (even when they’re working by the pool).

The Telepartner site, The Brain and your Telepartner manager have the details you’ll need to help your customers be successful while still enjoying summer—all thanks to TelePacific Mobile. And the nice summer weather, and fun activities, and vacations…okay, it’s not all thanks to TelePacific Mobile but some of it is!

 Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Will We See You in D.C.?

The fall season is nearly upon us already…how did that happen? Seems like summer was just starting last week. But now some kids are back in school, others will be joining them soon, and we will soon be heading out to Washington, D.C. for the Fall Channel Partners Conference & Expo!

We’re really looking forward to the show. It’s a great chance to catch up with old friends, meet new people, share news and see what’s going on in the world of telecom. And visiting our nation’s capitol is always fun—the history, the culture, the sights and sounds…love, love, love it!

But that’s just us. Will you be attending the show? What are you most looking forward to seeing, doing or learning? Is it a trip to one of the 19 Smithsonian museums for a new exhibit? Enjoying the fall colors? Learning more about product updates, introductions or future trends?

There’s so much to discover. Yeah, I think that’s a line from an ad campaign, but it works here too. We hope to see you from September 20-22 at Booth 3007 at the show. Stop by, check us out and hear what’s new. We’ll be talking about Ethernet over Copper, mobile services and who knows what else (maybe the chance to touch a rock from the Apollo 17 mission at the Air and Space Museum?). Whatever you do, and wherever you go when you’re here, it should be lots of fun!

Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Back to School Isn’t Just for the Kids…

Experts say it’s important to keep your brain working hard, solving problems and maintaining connections, to stay healthy. You can do crossword puzzles, play chess, engage in volunteer activities…there’s no limit to what you can do to challenge your neurons and keep sharp.

One idea is even to go back to school. Why should kids have all the fun? Because really, learning and expanding your horizons is fun. Why not re-learn world history? It might come in handy on that trip to Europe when you win the Summer Sales Contest. Or dive into economics so you can make educated judgments when economists “predict” the length of our economic downturn.

But if actually going back to school seems like too much work, or is too expensive right now, you might want to check out TelePacific University. We’ve developed specialized courses to either introduce you to TelePacific products and services you aren’t familiar with, or to help you build your contacts and business. Most courses are online and can be taken at your own pace.

You can even catch up on Brown Bag sessions you may have missed. There’s everything from presentations by product managers to best practices to networking tips to competitive positioning. And there’s a special Telepartner QuickStart program to get new Telepartners, or new employees at your company, up to speed quickly so they can start producing.

Check out TelePacific University today. If you don’t have a login or password, request one from your agent manager. And check out other resources, especially free or low-cost ones, to build your brainpower…work related or not!

Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments (1) |

Calling all Telepartners | Have You Used The Brain?

I watched an old movie recently that made me think about brains…The Man with Two Brains, with Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner. Why is poor Kathleen so often cast as a man posing as a woman? Is it her voice? I mean, it happened in that movie and on “Friends.” But I digress. What I really want to talk about is The Brain.

In case one of your brains has forgotten, The Brain is TelePacific’s online workflow improvement tool to help you do your job more efficiently. It was introduced in this blog a few months ago (remember? “The ‘go to’ place for TelePacific Grey Matter?”), so it seemed like a good time for an update. Have you checked it out recently? If not, you should!

There is a ton of useful information stored there. Everything from easily-customizable presentation templates to product information to competitive information to tips for keeping your brain sharp can be found in The Brain. Some of the recent popular content is about TelePacific Mobile, including questions from agents and answers from TelePacific; about the recent Ethernet product upgrades; and sample emails to help you communicate with your customers.

But The Brain needs your help to expand its capacity even more! We’ll keep updating it with product information and keep that RSS feed of industry news going; can you help by sharing your tips and tricks and materials that have worked—and by rating the materials that are in The Brain so we know what’s working for you? All of our brains working together should help keep us all fresh and current.

And speaking of current—what was in that multi-colored goo Dr. Necessiter kept the brains alive in? Did it have some kind of electrical current, even without wires? Whether you can answer that question or not, send us your brainy thoughts to improve The Brain. Or just let us know you like it as it is…we like feedback! Almost as much as we like brains.  

Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

We Should Call it SmarterVoice

SmartVoice has been upgraded! Yes, we didn’t think it could get much better either…but it did! TelePacific has expanded the list of certified PBX systems, upgraded some standard equipment with Cisco hardware and expanded the available configurations. Whew, that was a lot of work!

So…SmartVoice now supports four new PBX systems: Asterisk-derived systems meeting certain requirements, Mitel 3300MCD, Toshiba CIX series and Cisco Call Manager Express. This is in addition to the systems already supported, including Allworx and ShoreTel, and the list will keep growing.

In other news, the Cisco ISR will become standard for the SIP network. This is good news because it no longer requires a certified firewall with a SIP trunk. The Cisco router supports higher bandwidths and provides unscreened calling for SIP network continuity. Good news!

And we’re expanded the configurations available for SmartVoice. All products now start with four call paths and we’ve increased the upper ceiling on PRI and CAS. We’ve also increased the available bandwidth options for all configurations, ranging from 1.5M to 135M.

New pricing is included in the product guides, and there’s lots more information on the Telepartner site. Or check with your Telepartner manager for all the details.

Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

It’s Sizzlin’ Hot This Summer!

 When the dog days of summer roll around and no one wants to work (its way more fun to be out of the office playing), we have to get creative to keep people engaged. Not engaged like the “to be married” kind, but engaged in the workplace, making decisions and bettering their workflow. So how do we do that?

One of the most popular ways is by offering promotions. Who wouldn’t take a second look at a cool product that available with a special promotion? I’m sure a certain retail behemoth will do well selling a certain hot smart phone at an extreme discount…but I digress.

Back to the summer deals! You’ve already read about our summer sales contest with far-flung vacations available for the winning…now for the SmartVoice Summer Sizzle. From now until August 31, you can offer customers some great promotional pricing on SmartVoice PRI, CAS, SIP and Business Lines, as well as the SmartVoice 1Net Double and Triple Plays for any new location ordered. We can’t share all the details here, so check with your Telepartner manager if you want the nitty-gritty breakdown.

Once again, you can create a win-win for customers: they get a great service at a promotional price and you create a happy, satisfied customer. That’s sizzlin’ hot!

Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Check Out The Brain

Kind of a creepy title for this entry…but appropriate because we want to tap into your brains! Don’t worry, not in a mad scientist kind of way…or zombie kind of way. But we do want to harness your knowledge, experience, connections and resources, combine it with ours, and help you be an even more effective “closer.” How, you may ask? Good, I see we got that brain intrigued….

Introducing (drum roll please): The Brain! TelePacific has launched a new online tool that allows us to share a variety of information with you, and that we hope will enable better conversations between you and your customers. If you haven’t browsed through The Brain yet, here’s an overview: 

  • We’ve posted presentation templates you can customize without worrying about formatting. Drag and drop slides to arrange your presentation, find slides others have developed if you think you’re missing something and follow a simple form to include all of your information in the presentation.
  • Read up on TelePacific’s competitors through our RSS feed of market news, and check out the Competitors tab for positioning tips.
  • Learn about the vertical industries where TelePacific has customers. This can help you target a new market or find a new idea.
  • Find all kinds of TelePacific information, from product datasheets to case studies to sales tips to analyst reports.

We’re calling The Brain the “go to” place for TelePacific Grey Matter. We’ll keep updating it with new information and we ask that you do the same. Share your tips and tricks, materials that have worked and rate the materials that are in The Brain. Then search to find the most popular, highest rated and recently updated information to be sure you have the best tools to close a sale.

If you are a current Telepartner, you should have received an email with login information. If not, contact your Telepartner manager. And we’d love to hear your feedback on The Brain…email telepartner@telepacific.com with your brainy thoughts.

Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Don’t Fall for Summer

Summer vacations are overrated. The weather is hot. Locations are crowded. Prices are expensive. I guess if you like overpaying for crowded, sweaty vacations, perhaps summers are okay. I personally prefer fall vacations. Better weather, deals and tourist density….and it could even be free.

If you haven’t already heard, TelePacific is offering a cool summer contest with four winners and more than $10,000 in travel vouchers. There are two categories: 2009 President’s Club Agents and Non-President’s Club Agents. First place in each category wins $4,000 for their dream vacation, and second place in each category wins $1,500 to travel wherever they desire.

Check out the fine print here: 

  • Achieve the highest combined total revenue of all new SmartVoice and OneNet orders from May 1st through August 31st. Additionally, all Value Added Services revenue from that period will apply.
  • Double Dash value added sales will be counted as gross revenue before the discount, which means your customers get free services and you get the credit. Wow!
  • Value Added Services include OneSecure, RemoteStor, Conference Central, Fax Central, Trunk Group Call Forwarding, Station-to-Station Dialing, voicemail, Email, Web Hosting, QoS, Outbound Internet Failover, DNS, Feature Pack, Network Redundancy, and VPN Remote Access.
  • Winners will be based on contracted revenue within the contest period, minus fallout/cancels.
  • The highest revenue total will determine the first and second place winners.
  • In the event of a tie, the agent with the highest Value Added Services revenue will win.

Vouchers will be awarded no later than November 1st…so perhaps a skiing vacation in the Alps? Holidays in Bermuda? New Year’s in the North Pole? It’s up to you. Contact your Telepartner manager with questions.

And have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments (1) |

Simply The Best: TelePacific’s Customer Support

 “You’re simply the best! Better than all the rest. Better than anyone, anyone I’ve ever met!”

That Tina Turner song probably sounds familiar. You may have hummed it to a loved one…shouted it to a co-worker…or sung it to yourself in the shower. You may even remember it as part of advertising campaigns. Its message fits so many situations and so many people…so we’re going to apply it to TelePacific’s customer support.

We admit we’re a little biased. But we also know that if we didn’t have outstanding customer support, we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today. Sure, our services are reliable and we offer products customers need at reasonable prices, but those are only two pieces of the puzzle. If customers and partners had challenges working with the people managing and maintaining TelePacific’s services, we wouldn’t still be in business.

You have to like the people you work with—at least a little. It makes life easier, work easier, and being positive about a product or company easier. We know that customers make purchasing decisions based (at least somewhat) on who they will be working with. And we know that having solid, reliable and friendly customer support makes your job selling our services easier.

So we’ve got the customer service, products and prices to make your job easier…what else can we do to help? Drop us a line or connect with your Telepartner manager. You know you’ll find a smiling person on our side, ready to help with whatever you need.

Have a good day at work! 

Interested in learning more about the channel? Check out TelePacific’s Telepartner program out today.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Best Booth in the Universe

Yes, it’s true—TelePacific had the best booth in the universe at 2010: A Channel Odyssey, the Spring 2010 Channel Partners Conference & Expo. If you didn’t make it to the show, check out our awesome agent managers and our booth!

TelePacific's Agent Managers at the Channel Partner's Show
TelePacific’s Agent Managers
TelePacific's Booth

TelePacific's Booth at the Channel Partner's Show

Yeah, we’re pretty proud. After all, we won because attendees voted online to select the Best in Show…and they chose us as Best Trade Show Booth. Guess our chill vibe and lounge-style layout helped people relax and do business…just like we’d hoped!

We’re looking forward to picking up our trophy at the Fall show in Washington D.C. Check us out there too—you never know what we’ll come up with next!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Snow, Sun and Fun: the 2009 President’s Club in Lake Tahoe

What a great trip! Not that we’re bragging…but this year’s President’s Club celebration was fantastic. For those of you not familiar with TelePacific’s President’s Club, it is an honor bestowed on our top-performing Telepartners each year. In addition to joining the exclusive group of President’s Club honorees, each of our honorees is treated to a weekend getaway at a fun and fabulous resort.

 This year we feted seven President’s Club Telepartners instead of the normal five. Our 2009 honorees are:

  • Sandler Partners
  • World Telecom Group
  • PSI Network
  • Intelisys Communications
  • Telecombrokers
  • Datatel Solutions
  • Bridgepoint Technologies

For our 2009 getaway (which happened just a few weeks ago, in the first half of April) we went to The Ritz-Carlton Highlands in beautiful Lake Tahoe. We enjoyed tasty food, great networking, fun with the group (karaoke, anyone?)…and that was just the first night! We also had a great day on the slopes at Northstar or a relaxing day at the Ritz spa; heard a TelePacific update and industry perspective from President and CEO Dick Jalkut; and celebrated our Telepartners’ achievements with the Awards Reception and Dinner.

All of our Telepartners are eligible to achieve President’s Club status. We’ll be announcing the destination for next year’s event soon…so keep working hard if you’re interested in joining us next year and enjoying an outstanding weekend to celebrate your successes!

And a big thank you to all of our Telepartners for helping TelePacific achieve such success in 2009. We couldn’t do it without you!

Want to learn more about TelePacific’s agent program? Click here to sign up and get all the details.

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

Services to Help Our Telepartners Help Customers

We’re here to help you. No, seriously. A lot of people say they’re “here for you” and then don’t deliver. TelePacific won’t do that. We’ve got your back.

You’ve probably noticed an increase in communications from the Telepartner organization. Good! We made a resolution for 2010 to keep in closer contact with our partners and make sure we are doing all we can to help you be successful. Case in point: our new Agent Brown Bag sessions.

The February session was a doozy—and we mean that in a good way. Data Services Product Manager Extraordinaire Jon Lowry covered both new and expanded data services products TelePacific rolled out in 2009 and is working on for 2010. These value-added and integrated services provide you another way to be valuable to your customers by helping them be more productive, efficient and save money.

For instance, did you know that TelePacific expanded its Ethernet offerings in 2009—and is continuing to do so in 2010? Look for Ethernet over TDM, Ethernet over DS3, Ethernet over Copper and more Ethernet partnerships with third-party providers. And did you know that we are integrating services like SmartVoice with Internet; SmartVoice with 1Net; SmartVoice with 1Net and Internet; and 1Net with Internet to help customers increase their optimization and efficiency? Well, now you know.

And of course we have our Conference Central; Fax Central; Voicemail; OneSecure VPN with managed security services; RemoteStor, the comprehensive enterprise-class data backup and recovery service; and new Classes of Service (CoS) packages to help customers plan ahead, be available to their customers and protect their information assets.

These new integrated and value-added services are a win-win: your customers will benefit from an increased ease in doing business, and you’ll benefit from increased revenue.

Keep looking for more helpful information as the year goes on…more Brown Bag sessions, more blog entries, more newsletters and our same excellent customer support—for you and your customers. Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

TelePacific Telepartners Take Notice

It’s the TelePacific blog, take two! Wait, I take that back. This is a new blog, all about the channel. So it’s related, not entirely separate. Consider the blogs sisters, since they both descended from TelePacific. And since you can find this blog by visiting the TelePacific blog, it makes sense (right?).

This blog is focused on TelePacific’s Telepartner Channel: the program, the agents, news and information relevant to agents and sometimes some interesting stuff we find online. Hopefully, this blog will become a valuable resource as you look for ways to better work with your customers. And, of course, it will help us share important information with you.

For example, you’ve heard (by now) about some recent changes in the management of the Telepartner program. In the future, news like that, specific to the channel, will also be shared via this blog. TelePacific is all about communications and this is just one more way for us to communicate with you.

But we can’t write this blog without you. We can post multiple entries every day but if those entries aren’t useful for you and your business, there isn’t much point. So let us know what you think. Let us know what’s working and what isn’t. Post comments or questions. Engage in a dialogue. Give us ideas for future blog posts. And refer your friends and colleagues who might benefit from reading the blog too.

With that, consider this blog live. Check back often for updates, news and interesting tidbits. Have a good day at work!

Share Button

Read More | Comments Off |

  • Subscribe to the TelePacific Blog

  • Become a Facebook Fan

  • TelePacific on Twitter

    • Authors

      • David David Zahn

    1-800-399-4925

    Copyright © 1998-2013 U.S. TelePacific Corp. All rights reserved.