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TBI Gives Agents First-of-Its-Kind TEM Platform

By Kelly Teal
September 30, 2011 - News

Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI) on Friday debuted what appears to be a first-of-its-kind product for agents: a flat-fee, SaaS-based TEM platform for partners and their customers.

The software, named partneriQ, covers wireline and wireless services, and is not carrier-specific. Agents license partneriQ for one price, for an infinite number of users, and won’t have to pay extra as TBI adds upgrades. From there, partners can charge end-users for access to partneriQ, or let them use it for free as a value-added service to stand out from the competition. The clincher is that partners get to see all of their customers’ telecom expenses.

“You, the agent, have all of the contract dates, you know what’s coming up. You become their telecom consultant," said Geoff Yearack, director of TBI’s wireless division.

But partneriQ won’t be constrained to TEM for long. “We have a roadmap," Yearack said. Eventually, partneriQ will include partner management, commission tracking and a full CRM system.

“I kind of call it CRM-meets-TEM," Yearack said. “Every tool you’ve ever heard of for analyzing, catching errors, and doing procurement and ticketing, will be in this system." End-users even will be able to create their own service tickets on the CEO’s iPhone, for example, or procure a new T1.

TBI developed partneriQ with the help of one TEM platform company, after narrowing the list down from 20. “Our plan was to build a product for the partners, not the customers," Yearack said. “It’s customer-facing and does what the customer needs, but it’s built so partners could have a full view of their customers’ telecom expense. And then they have the ability to manage it for their customers at a price that’s absolutely affordable."

Dan Vidal owns Telecom Advisors, a consultancy that works with TBI and specializes in expense management. He said partneriQ features the resources and flexibility that agents need.

“The ‘stickiness’ potential we will have with our clients with an offering like this … makes this the perfect strategy for gaining maximum wallet share from our clients’ telecom spend and also streamlining it for consistency," he said in a prepared statement.

So, even though TBI has just introduced partneriQ to agents, it already has licensed the platform to 18 partners. Users don’t have to be TBI agents to license partneriQ.

“Our whole vision was not to make this a profit center for TBI," Yearack said, “Our goal was to give partners tools to get deeper and wider into the customer base, and have a better product offering than any competitor."

Yearack also is trying to ease wireline partners into a more wireless mindset as mobility gains pace among SMBs and enterprises.

“I wanted to give our partners an easier way to get into mobile device management because it’s very hard for a wireline company to understand," Yearack said. “This gives partners [that capability.]"

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