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Many organizations now get their telecom services from independent agents instead of their provider's direct representatives. Direct representatives are bound by the processes and incentives of their carriers. Independent agents instead are strictly invested in their customers' success.
These are 6 reasons why organizations choose independent telecom agents instead of direct representatives.
Following deregulation, bankruptcies led to mergers and acquisitions within the telecom industry. These mergers include Level3 and CenturyLink, XO Communications and Verizon, Earthlink and Windstream, and Electric Lightwave and Zayo.
Independent telecom agents do not have to struggle with this. It is easier to stay connected with them because they have avoided bankruptcies and merger activities. This means their contact information remains the same.
When evaluating a new carrier, organizations typically obtain at least three bids and schedule two appointments with up to three carriers. You may have had to schedule at least a dozen appointments to make a well-informed decision.
An Independent Telecom Agent may recommend a single or multiple carrier solution. Either way, they ensure you'll always have a single point of contact. You'll spend one appointment determining the best course of action and one more evaluating the best options available in your market.
The goal of an independent telecom agent is to build a book of business with happy customers. They do this by forging positive relationships with their customers over long periods of time. A good independent telecom agent isn't just another business associate. They're an extension of your organization.
There are several questions when deciding a telecom solution.
Does your provider offer SD-WAN or SIP trunking? Will they offer an IP-VPN solution for your remote sites? How reliable is their network? Will they be able to meet your desired install date?
All these questions can be answered by an independent telecom agent with no bias toward a particular carrier or manufacturer. Your agent can help you find the right solution whether your organization is expanding, streamlining, or contracting. They can also help you future-proof your systems and services to keep you out of inflexible commitments.
Both independent agents and direct representatives have identical pricing. The difference comes in the quality of service.
Independent agents have a broad knowledge of the market. They may have worked with several different carriers over the years. Best of all, they don't have a bias in favor of any particular carriers or manufacturers. They will recommend whichever provider will best fit your infrastructure and schedule.
All the knowledge and experience of an independent agent comes at no extra cost. These agents can also help uncover fluff in your telecom bill you don't need — which saves you money.
As you look to deploy next-generation technology, you may find your carrier doesn't offer what you need. A single carrier can't possibly master all technology and product niches. Therefore, a direct representative won't be fully aware of which solutions your organization is evaluating.
Independent agents spend their time learning about the industry rather than one specific carrier. They can assess your environment and infrastructure to determine the best way to implement new technology. This helps most organizations reduce costs. The larger organizations, in particular, can save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When managing your telecom solution, you'll need an unbiased opinion, a strong partnership, and flexibility for next-generation technology. It can be difficult to find all of these from a direct representative because of their loyalty toward one provider.
At Continuant, we provide you with independent agents who help you find the solution you need. Our agents give you a single point of contact for your support and become the go-between for you and your carrier.
For more than 25 years, we've managed communication systems for large organizations all over the world. We've often helped our customers save up to 40% in cost.
Looking to get cost-effective support from an independent telecom agent? Schedule a call with our experts today.
* Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2018 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Joining Continuant in 2005, Pat Halliday brings over 30 years of industry experience to the team. As a Carrier Services Specialist, Pat’s job is all about listening and asking the right questions. This involves analyzing and developing solutions best suited for each customer’s needs, as well as negotiating better than...