TBI Signs Strategic Deal with National Avaya VAR

Master agency Telecom Brokerage Inc. announced Monday that it has signed a strategic partnership to distribute service of more than 50 network providers through Altura Communication Solutions, a nationwide Avaya Platinum Business Partner. The services will be rolled out to Altura’s direct sales force in mid-May.

Altura offers a range of solutions, including voice over IP, data infrastructure, unified messaging, wireless mobility and contact center applications delivered by its own managed service organization. Adding carrier services will enable the company to offer end-to-end communications services.

“We are trying to combine what TBI is bringing to the table with our managed service deliver through our NOC in Fullerton,” said Bob Blazek, CEO and president of Altura. “In this case one plus one equals three.”

The partnership is expected to unfold in phases, with phase one focusing on Altura selling telecommunications services into its base of more than 6,000 customers. In addition to traditional voice and data services, Altura also plans to sell hosted IP telephony as a complement to its on-premises offer.

Later phases of the agreement may included Altura distributing managed IT services from TBI and/or its network services providers to business customers. An example might be TBI’s mobile device management service. Blazek said the company is focused on mobility with its unified messaging services and is finding that customers need to manage devices and applications.

Today, Altura sells campus-based wireless infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi access points and controllers. Depending on customer demand, Altura also may take advantage of TBI’s contracts with mobile wireless carriers to offer enterprise mobility. “We see that as another value add,” said Mike Izumi, Altura’s director of sales and marketing.

The existing agreement does not include reciprocity, but the partners did not preclude that possibility that TBI and its subagents might one day be able to sell Altura’s managed services.

This is Altura’s first foray into selling network services though the appeal of offering an end-to-end communications service was clear. Izumi said because Altura is nationwide with 26 offices, there is not one carrier that would serve its customer base. Plus, he said the carriers wanted his team to do the “heavy lifting,” which was not practical with their focus being IP PBX and call centers. Izumi said the TBI partnership brings multiple carrier relationships as well as the back-office support that Altura needs.

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