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August 29, 2007
By Cara Sievers
Vocio Inc. announced in July it is seeking independent agents to sell its V-Vision TEM solution, which is designed specifically for small and medium businesses companies with $25,000 to $500,000 in monthly telecom spend.
These [customers] are typically below the radar of the other TEM providers, says Noel Huelsenbeck, president of Vocio. Should the others compete for this business, we typically can outsell them on price, features and track record with this-sized account.
V-Vision provides inventory management, auditing, cost-recovery and invoiceprocessing capabilities. V-Vision allows business subscribers to view a PDF of any invoice, place and track orders, and access reports for metrics about their telecom spend, all from a Web-based application.
The software program is delivered by a software as a service (SaaS) provider, which Huelsenbeck declined to name. He says working with an SaaS provider means Vocio does not have to maintain its own network infrastructure and can pass those savings on to customers. Corporate end users pay a monthly recurring charge ranging from $500 to $15,000 or more with a setup charge of $1,000 to $20,000.
Vocios program is segmented into three different service levels: fully managed, partially managed and private-label (see sidebar for details). There is a clear migration path from one to the other, but Vocio is targeting master agents for the private-label option. Huelsenbeck reports working with several masters, but no agreements have been finalized.
The agent program provides a 15 percent commission on the one-time setup fee and the monthly recurring charge for each of the service levels. A master agent also would get a 3 percent to 5 percent override based on volume. For master agents, the minimum cost for a custom private-label suite of applications is $25,000. Vocio customizes the applications based on the specs provided by the master agent, so the pricing is determined by the number of hours Vocio needs to pay the programmers.
Once an agent signs an NDA and agent agreement, and completes a Web demo, Vocio will help the agent identify suspects in the market or the agent can sell into an existing customer base. As for support, Vocio guarantees to post an invoice within 48 hours of receiving it, and promises to get back to agents in a timely manner. We answer the phone and respond promptly to calls and e-mails, Huelsenbeck pledges. We dont want to be the roadblock to an agents productivity.
Vocios V-Vision TEM application is the only service available from Vocio to agents. Vocio once had subagents selling carrier services but exited that business earlier this year. We felt if we had subagents selling carriers services, then other master agents would see us as competitors and not be as willing to buy our TEM services, says Huelsenbeck. We didnt want to be in competition with them.
Huelsenbeck feels the TEM market is wide open. Less than 1 percent of businesses that could use a TEM service actually are using one, Huelsenbeck says. When talking with enterprises during the last six months, we have seen a dramatic increase in TEM market awareness. Right now, there is so much business that competition is rarely encountered.
Huelsenbeck also believes selling TEM services can open the door for agents to further business. Given that the client grants permission, the agent can mine the TEM data to make suggestions to the client for service changes or equipment upgrades. The agent is then positioned to make the changes and [receive] any carrier commissions that go along with them, he says. We find selling TEM services increases the stickiness and deepens the relationship with your clients, which then creates more opportunities to generate carrier commissions.
At press time, Vocio had 10 independent agents signed up, but Huelsenbeck expects to get more interest as the word spreads. Also, were a small company, so we wont be signing up hundreds of agents, Huelsenbeck explains. Agents must have the skills to sell a midmarket enterprise account and be able to communicate with C-level executives as well as IT and financial folks.
This market is expected to grow 40 percent a year for the next several years. If youre an agent not selling TEM, youre missing out on a great opportunity.
V-Visions Service Levels
Vocio inputs all invoices.
Vocio inputs all invoices.
Agent maintains the customer relationships.
Source: Vocio Inc.
Vocio Inc. www.vocio.com
Read more about:Agents
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