The Benefits of Providing Managed Network Services

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

July 1, 2004

2 Min Read
The Benefits of Providing Managed Network Services

As the telecom industry continues to endure a state of flux, agents press ahead to define profitable opportunities and strategies, which should definitely include offering managed network services. Doing so will give each of your customers a complete package that meets their needs and keeps them coming back to you.

A lot of todays prospects are confused, notes Tim Basa, vice president of business development for Telegration Inc. They are struggling with Internet connectivity, hardware, security, hosting and data backup, to share a few. Even smaller businesses are seeking more complex solutions. They need to streamline their e-mail, establish an off-site data backup. They are looking to share information more rapidly via the Web or connect their locations.

More than just helping to tie all of the technology together, a solid agent provides a single point of contact, helps control costs and augments a clients network efficiency, giving the customer peace of mind. To quote a recent prospect, Who has time to learn all this? I just want it to work, says Basa.

Thats where you, the agent, come in. If the agent really wows the client, they will become unbelievably loyal, Basa stresses. This results in long-term relationships, stable commission streams, and maybe a referral or two!

Telecom Brokerage Inc. employs a somewhat different approach. The master agency uses WAN Technologies Inc. (WANTEC) to provision its nationwide managed network services. Outsourcing the capability allows the carrier-neutral WANTEC to handle issues ranging from trouble tickets and SLA enforcement, to resolving any problems post-sale, say Ken Mercer, director of sales, and Geoff Shepstone, president. This frees TBI agents to focus on sales and customer service. Mercer and Shepstone cite value-added solutions such as managed software as keys to creating new sources of income and strengthening agents relationships with customers.

Another set of benefits offered by managed network services is the ubiquity and budget of an Internet VPN, as well as the reliability and security that is only available with private networks, says Vince Bradley, president and CEO of World Telecom Group. Managed services are an incredibly important product set in the telecom industry, he adds, noting that IP VPN, voice services, and managed hosting and Internet are just a few options.

Bradley also points out that, with the current trend toward VoIP, managed services become even more important. From firewalls, site and/or remote user-to-site VPNs to intrusion detection, managed services cover all of the customers concerns, he says.

Ultimately, when it comes to the benefits of offering managed network services, Telgrations Basa sums up the issue this way: To make it big in todays market, you need to solve problems and eliminate hassles by way of offering managed services. Agents who build such solid relationships will find their customers sticking with them, he says.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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