Based in Melbourne, Fla., USSI provides field maintenance and systems integration support for multiple technology markets including commercial communication systems. Through its partnership with USSI, Star2Star will have access to more than 300 service locations throughout the continental United States to deploy the Star2Star IP communications solution — a custom IP PBX and managed network service combination.
Star2Star sells through various channels, including interconnects, VARs, master agents and agents. This partnership will allow Star2Star to handle installation on a national basis; and although the company said its VARs and interconnects usually do their own installation and support locally, this relationship enables them to support these partners on remote installations, if needed.
Star2Star manufactures its own IP PBX and sells Polycom and snom phones. Sales partners make a margin on the equipment and set their own prices. They also can get paid on the installation or refer it to Star2Star.
Star2Star offers a tiered compensation plan for all recurring revenues (dial tone, maintenance fees, Internet circuits) based on productivity. The more a partner sells, the higher its tier percentage and the more it makes on all recurring service across all customers up to 22 percent.
“We basically ‘re-engineered’ the old ‘Ma Bell’ model based on delivering dial tone in a different way (IP),” said Jeffrey Kratsch, Star2Star director of marketing. “But in this case, the channel participates in all of the revenues.”
Star2Star’s solution was brought to market via interconnects and VARs in 2007, but its agent channel program was developed and grown this year. The company reported having several agents in the eastern and middle United States, and plans to be more heavily focused on the western part of the country in early 2009.
Kratsch said the company’s system sales and subscriber revenues have increased quarter after quarter for all of 2008. “Our solution works well for any agent, reseller, dealer, VAR because we have a very unique, fully managed end-to-end architecture and a complete voice and data solution set that is ideal and affordable for the SMB,” Kratsch said. “Our dealers are selling strong, even in this challenged economy, as most customers find that they can get the Star2Star solution (a new phone system and service) for less than they are paying today for phone service alone.”