On-Demand CRM for Telecom Agents Debuts

After a year in beta testing, startup Qudex.com announced in fall 2009 a new on-demand CRM package just for telecom. The software as a service application was designed for customers, carriers and agents to manage telecom assets.

January 29, 2010

3 Min Read
On-Demand CRM for Telecom Agents Debuts

By Khali Henderson

Tired of spreadsheets for managing prospects and customers? Sick of shoehorning your customer data into generic software? Frustrated by the high cost of custom applications? If so, you are not alone.

Telecom agents have the unique problem of having a highly diversified supplier base and a highly specific product set that requires highly customized customer relationship management and partner relationship management solutions but little, if any, wherewithal to buy or create them. The industry-specific solutions are targeted to carriers and master agents with price tags commensurate with their size. And subscription-based hosted services, aka Salesforce.com, while affordable lack the telecom-specific functions.

A startup company, Qudex.com, is working to change all that. After a year in beta testing, the company announced in fall 2009 a new on-demand CRM package just for telecom. The software as a service application was designed for customers, carriers and agents to manage telecom assets.

The software is advertised as being able to assist decisions relating to inventory management, call accounting, audit management, reverse auction, RFP process management, infrastructure management, wireless management, network security, business process optimization, trouble-shooting and support. However, it also includes features just for agents, such as CRM, subagent and commission management.

The commission module, for example, enables agents to manage all commission structures within their organization and with third parties. It enables comparison of incoming payments against net or gross monthly billed revenues. And, it allows agents to manage the entire process according to their own audit rules.

Qudex also allows agents to offer customers and subagents a platform for day-to-day support, including real-time trouble-ticket management, credit process reconciliation updates, outage notifications and provisioning management.

Significantly, Qudex.com offers e-bonding services with carriers and other suppliers utilizing standards-based XML Web Services technologies to allow system-to-system access for real-time trouble-ticket management. Andrew Brynczka, vice president of sales for Qudex.com, said the company is working on direct interfaces with carriers. Presently Verizon and Qwest are linked while negotiations with AT&T and 10 other providers are pending, he said.

An agent’s existing customer data and info provided from carriers can be uploaded via Excel or input manually. Custom reports, dashboards and graphs are available. All data is exportable.

Qudex.com also assists agents with sales production by creating sales reports, managing opportunities and leads and controlling contractual pricing. In addition, the auction module allows for RFPs to be placed in the system for quotes or auctions.

Brynczka said the agent features are applicable and affordable for the smallest subagents and the largest master agents managing hundreds of subagents. For example, a subagent with up to five users, 100 customers and 100 locations costs $100 per month. Similarly, 10 users with 50 customer and 500 locations is $500 per month. Master agents can private brand the service for their agents.

At the same time that an agent can use Qudex.com to manage his customers’ procurement, expenses and inventory (including equipment), they can also sell its capabilities to end-user customers. In this situation, the service can be private branded for agent or the customer itself to be used as an internal tool across multiple locations.

Qudex.com offers visibility and access through an enterprise-grade, role-based security system that includes sharing rules, field level security and groups. This means agents can set up multilevel organizational hierarchy and control the data-level access rights by user role at the agent, subagent and customer level.

“Qudex specifically focuses on the indirect channel sales world by integrating every back-office need that telecom agents, their partners and customers could possibly have,” said Dany Bouchedid, CEO of COLOTRAQ and president of the Technology Channel Association (TCA). “I believe that Qudex is perfectly positioned to become the industry standard.”

Keith Muller, CEO of master agency Interactive Telcom Solutions has been using Qudex.com to process subagent commissions as an alternative to spreadsheets and a homegrown system. About half of the company’s 150 agents have been onboarded. The company also is using the inventory management capabilities, which it sells to its customers. In both instances, Muller said, the ROI is high since there is no capital outlay and the subscription service costs are scalable as the customer base grows.

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