VoIP services provider GLOBALINX, which is owned by
5LINX Enterprises, announced July 6 its intent to acquire TMC. Terms of the
deal between the privately-held companies were not disclosed, but it is
expected to close in 60-90 days pending regulatory approvals.
One of the reasons agents may be upbeat is that a
stated driver of the deal is the acquisition of the TMC agent channel. TMC has
more than 300 direct agents, not counting subagents of its master agents, which
grow the number to more than 1,000, said TMC President Ron Ireland.
As evidence of this, the companies said
the TMC agent contracts and support team will remain the same. The TMC
contracts include evergreen clauses ensuring continued commission payments to
agents for the life of the customer, Ireland confirmed.
"TMC is known for its commitment to
serving the agent channel and will be keeping current TMC staff. They also
claim agent contracts will be honored and remain unchanged. With those two
things in mind, I’m optimistic,” said TMC agent Bret Hickenlooper with Sumo Communications Inc.,
Ireland added that the deal will bring
more resources to TMC to do more for its channel, to grow its business and add
TMC agent Jeremy Kerth, managing partner
for Wired Networks,
Kerrville, Texas, agreed. "With the combined companies pooling of assets,
resources and cash they should be able to make some upgrades and improvements
to partner tools, products and additional applications," Kerth said. "Effectively,
it appears to be business as usual just under a different name and ownership and
maybe a bit deeper pockets. Personally, I am excited to see what changes are
going to be made in the next six months, and I expect we will see a good many
of them as positives."
Ron Dunworth, president for master
agency Advoda Communications, Greenwood
Village, Colo., said he is hopeful that the new owners will preserve the TMC
back office, which he claims to be among the best in the business.
Ireland told PHONE+ that GLOBALINX likes
the platform, including QuoTrak for agents and MyAccount tools for customers,
and expects to preserve and expand them.
In addition, GLOBALINX bring more IP-based services,
such as SIP trunking and hosted PBX options, to TMCs agents. TMC focuses more
on TDM-based services, such as local PRI and 800-number setup. Ireland said the
companies’ respective product lines overlap in only one area — hosted VoIP.
And, there, he said the products are targeted toward different buyers;
GLOBALINX to consumer and TMC to businesses.
"Im enthusiastic about the idea of
bringing more products to my customers with a deeper VoIP offering," said Sumos
For some agents, losing TMC represents
the end of an era. The company was founded in 1997 by channel advocate John
Marsch, who died of cancer in 2006. "This does close the chapter on John
Marshs TMC, which is sad," Wired Networks Kerth said. "It was
refreshing in this industry to do business with a family owned and operated
company with the story of TMCs. I did not have the chance to meet John Marsh,
but he did build a good company and surrounded himself with good people."
Of course, Marsch made no secret of his intentions
to one day sell TMC. When he formed the company he offered indirect sales
agents equity in TMC, so they would get a payout upon sale of
the company they helped to build. Ireland told PHONE+ some 50 agents hold
equity contracts and will receive payment as a percentage of their revenue at
the close of the transaction.