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NEF: Get Your Colo Quotes Here

Agency NEF Inc. is gearing up to launch a new quoting tool for colocation and managed data center services. It will be available to potential subagents beginning in March.

NEF President Michael Murphy said the tool includes data on more than 1,000 data centers from 136 national, regional, carrier and neutral facilities or managed services providers with which it currently has contracts. NEF is working to expand the database with information on contracts held by fellow members of the Colocation ConsortiumGlobal Communication Networks Inc. and Bandwidth Advisors Inc.. When completed, he expects about 150 vendors and more than 1,100 data centers will be included.

Not only is the database one of a kind, Murphy said it is the first attempt to standardize on contracts with these facilities and service providers. In 70 percent of the cases, these vendors did not have active channel programs before working with NEF or its Colo Consortium partners, Murphy said.

NEF hopes to add project management services from GCN to the database in the future.

Agents can sign up to use the tool as a subagent of NEF. There are no revenue commitments, but agents are required to be trained to use the system.

It’s fairly straightforward, however, as Murphy demonstrated for PHONE+. The online tool includes a dashboard with intuitive features. The landing page features a quote tracker for hot proposals, a place to check messages from other people on the system, and help documents.

Two other tabbed sections include Prospects and Quotes. Prospects is for tracking workflow approvals in situations where inexperienced staff quote jobs that need supervisor sign-off. In addition, NEF scrubs all quotes for accuracy before they are sent out.

The Quotes section is where agents generate quotes by plugging in relevant data about the opportunity. The system filters the results by a geographic radius from the desired location and by product requested, e.g. rack or cabinet. The result is a list of potential facilities. A single click enables agents to view the specifications, which include electrical, mechanical, fire detection/suppression, physical space, physical security, network, building lease/ownership, pricing and more.

NEF serves as the master agent for all the contracts it owns. It technically is a subagent for any of the contracts held by GCN or Bandwidth Advisors, but NEF will still facilitate the deals.

Agents are generally paid an average 10 percent residual on the customer’s monthly recurring charge, Murphy said. However, some facilities prefer to do a larger one-time payment, so agents will get about 5 percent to 8 percent of the total contract value.

NEF will split this with the agent. That split will be based on sales volume and also on the knowledge level of the agent. The more NEF support resources required, the lower the split for the agent.


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