Satellite: Stratospheric Opportunity

More businesses need broadband than ever before, but what happens when those businesses are too remote for affordable wired circuits — or any circuits at all? And what happens when disaster strikes and the SMBs and small enterprises that increasingly rely on data communications find themselves shut down? Thanks to satellite services, agents and VARs can answer those questions for potential clients, convincingly.

Adding satellite to the portfolio is the subject of Monday’s panel discussion, “Successfully Selling Satellite.” Channel partners will learn about the sweet spots for the service — including disaster recovery/business continuity, rural and underserved markets, and companies with specific application needs, including digital signage or video distribution.–along with how to sell and profit from these applications.

To boot, a geostationary satellite 22,000 miles up in outer space can give agents and channels more than just another offer to bring to their customer base. It also helps differentiate their businesses and retain customers. That’s because partners already selling T1s and other traditional services, or even voice termination and video, can go back to existing clients with satellite to gain a bigger share of wallet. Take for instance a company that stands to lose a large amount of money in the case of an outage, such as a financial services firm.

Satellite offers complete peace of mind for these customers, representing a completely diverse pathway from the terrestrial network. Even with wired redundancy, there’s no guarantee that the separate circuits don’t connect at some point of share common facilities. Hurricane Katrina — after which satellite was the only thing that worked — underscored the very real possibility that terrestrial back-up might not be enough.

Beyond disaster recovery, channel partners will also learn how they can solve any number of business issues with satellite. For instance, multi-location companies should always be vetted for a satellite fit, if they have remote or rural branch locations “off the grid.”

Panelists for today’s discussion, moderated by PHONE+ senior editor Tara Seals, include Sam Baumel, assistant vice president of SME sales at Hughes Network Systems Ltd., Brad Miehl, founder and CEO at master agency MicroCorp Inc., and Rod Stokes, director of channel management at SkyPort Global Communications.

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