PHONE+ and its T@G Partner Portal announced MicroCorp Inc. has become the first master agency to qualify for designation as a T@G Premier Master Agency.
The T@G Master Agency Certification Program was rolled out last fall in order to formalize this increasingly important dealer category and to recognize those who meet its specifications for the benefit of subagents and suppliers seeking partnerships with such entities. (Program details and application forms are available online at www.telecomagentsgroup.com.)
Founded in 1986, MicroCorp provides multivendor solutions to business customers nationwide. The privately held company is based in Atlanta and represents ACC Business, Acceris Communications, Access Integrated Networks Inc., BellSouth Corp., Broadwing Communications LLC, Internap Network Services Corp., Language Line Services, MCI Inc., MetTel Metropolitan Communications, MSI Computer Corp., New Edge Networks, Power Net Global Communications, Primus Telecommunications Inc., Qwest Communications International Inc., Raindance Communications Inc., SAVVIS Communications Corporation, Sprint, UCN Inc., XO Communications Inc. and Xpedite.
MicroCorp CEO Brad Miehl receives the T@G Premier Master Agent award from PHONE+ Group Publisher Marla Ellerman.
MicroCorp President and CEO Brad Miehl, who also is president of the Agent Alliance (see story below), says “The T@G Certification process truly helps define and set the standards that are associated with being a true master agency.”
These include experience and stability dating back at least three years, operation of a multitier organizational structure, maintenance of direct contracts with multiple suppliers as well as back-office technology and employees in support of agents and carriers, provision of a training curriculum and marketing support for agents and carrier billings exceeding $1 million per month. T@G validated MicroCorp’s compliance with these criteria to confer the T@G Premier Master Agent designation.
Miehl explains while MicroCorp adheres to the traditional master agency roles it has focused on creating a stronger value proposition for customers, agents and carriers. To do this, he says, the company is tapping its software development roots to create a collaborative environment for carriers, equipment providers and agents - namely VARs and systems integrators.
”Carriers largely have not been successful bringing VARs to the table,” he says, citing the learning curve on data and voice services sales engineering.
“We can remove the complexity for the VARs,” and at the same time enable them to expand their channels to include these players, he says.
The company’s Nautilus software system provides a platform for both the carrier and the VAR to work together. Carriers also can tap this VAR network for complementary equipment sales and installation. Similarly, MicroCorp is working with equipment manufacturers to provide them with the link to multicarrier network services and, if needed, the channel to implement them.
“One of our biggest objectives is to bridge the gap between the equipment vendors and carrier services. We want to bring the two together in a collaborative environment where they can exploit each other’s talents without having to learn them. Software is going to be the key.”
MicroCorp is licensing its software to other agents, carriers and equipment manufacturers.
Agent Alliance Nets New Leaders, Members
The Agent Alliance, a buying consortium of communications sales organizations, has tapped Brad Miehl, president and CEO of MicroCorp Inc., as its president for the 2005-2006 term. Miehl, who has been a member of the group since 1998, previously served as its vice president.
Replacing Miehl as vice president is Bill Power, president of Association Resource Group.
Miehl says the alliance’s primary focus in the coming year will be better integration with carriers and how the alliance members can help them foster relationships with VARs and systems integrators.
Miehl dispelled rumors the Agent Alliance plans to transform itself into an industry association. “It just didn’t make sense,” he says of the idea, explaining the alliance is a closed, self-interested group while an association must be open to the masses. “It doesn’t mean we can’t be an advocate” for the betterment of the industry, he adds.
The group did open up its membership on an invitation-only basis in January. Two new unnamed channel partners have joined. With the additions, the ranks number 15, he says.
|Agent Alliance www.agentalliance.net
MicroCorp Inc. www.microcorp.com