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October 30, 2009
By Pat Akinson, Net-Work Communication Inc.
Independent agents got a chance to rub elbows with senior representatives from more than a dozen service providers in Denver on Oct. 22, thanks to master agent ADVODA Communications, which put together a full-day event with presentations by executives from Qwest Communications International Inc., Level 3 Communications, Lightyear Network Solutions, ACT Conferencing and more. The day was designed specifically for independent agents in the field, with all of the sponsors delivering information on what services are hot in the market and how to position those with clients.
The day kicked off with Ron Dunworth and Hilary Fox, ADVODA’s managing partners, delivering an overview of the market and how agents can leverage the current state of the economy for success. They also launched a new online Agent Resource Center to keep agents apprised of promotions, training opportunities and marketing collateral.
“ADVODA has always provided significant back-end office support, essentially providing the infrastructure of a full office so our agents can focus on their clients,” Dunworth said. “We handle order management, billing questions, technical escalations and more. At the Agent Day, we were pleased to show our agents that we are now doing even more to support them on the front-end so they can win more business.”
Following the opening address, agents were introduced to Qwest’s new channel sales manager, Terry Stenlund. He shared his goals for Qwest’s ongoing master agent program before introducing Jane Thornton, Qwest’s QMOE Product Manager, who shared an inside look at a new Ethernet product coming down the pipe. Qwest continued to show its commitment to the channel by bringing in Blake Wetzel, vice president of sales, and Mindy Powers, regional sales director.
The morning would be rounded out with presentations from ACT Conferencing and Lightyear. Brandon Warren, director of channel and strategic sales for ACT Conferencing said, “This was a great opportunity for us to get in front of the agents who are in the field every day and help them understand what ACT can do for clients. ADVODA is a great partner to us and they really strive to ensure their agents have everything they need for success.” ACT launched its new unlimited Web conferencing product and Lightyear shared information about its extensive coverage and significant agent promos.
The luncheon offered agents a chance to sit down with representatives from all 13 of the day’s sponsors for one-on-one conversations about products, SPIFs, opportunities and more. Agents also networked and many made connections for future working relationships.
The afternoon brought presentations from Simple Signal, MHO Networks and Level 3. Dave Gilbert, CEO for Simple Signal, shared the company’s efforts and success in integrating its hosted VoIP solution with a variety of applications, including Salesforce, ACT and Exchange. MHO Networks highlighted its fixed wireless solutions for the Denver Metro market, offering multi-megabit connections to businesses. Level 3 rounded out the afternoon presentations highlighting its aggressive pricing strategies and significant footprint.
A panel with representatives from the six presenting sponsors offered the opportunity for an open dialogue between the agents and carriers to address many concerns in the market, including the state of VoIP, handling of channel conflicts and more. The day wrapped with a cocktail party where all 13 sponsors and agents were able to relax and build relationships.
Attending agents and sponsors both called the event a success and shared their enthusiasm for the next event slated for April 2010.
Pat Atkinson is president of Net-Work Communications Inc., an Advoda Communications subagent based in Denver.
Read more about:Agents
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