The first seven criteria covered in this weeks blog series for internet service provider selection were:
1. Competitive Compensation
2. Customizable Product Solutions
9. Customer Experience
And now that I know how I should have done this, lets conclude with 6 thru 4.
No. 6! Ongoing Communications The VAR should expect regular distribution of information pertaining to the ITSPs business performance, channel program, product releases, process updates, organizational changes and industry presence. This can be accomplished using traditional vehicles such as VAR portals, marketing collateral, newsletters, article reprints/distributions, white papers and case studies. However, todays ITSP should also leverage eNewsletters, social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc.), Webinars and blogs. A steady flow of information from the ITSP to the channel prepares it to represent the products and solutions better during customer engagements.
No. 5! Dependable Service IP Telephony should be as robust and reliable as any traditional telephone service. VARs need to know that when they turn a customer over to their ITSP partner, they are not jeopardizing that customers business. The network needs to be more than a hub environment in a single location. The ability to survive single points of failure is an absolute requirement. Moreover, partnering with an ITSP that has a private network monitored 24 hours a day, every day by network operations center would be a serious plus.
No. 4! Carrier-Grade Network A carrier-grade network means having network options such as Ethernet over copper, HD voice, a broad array of broadband services and MPLS with multiple peering arrangements with well-established carriers. That plus superior voice quality and a commitment to a high level of service will provide the VAR and customer many restful nights. Ask for the Mean Opinion Scores to see how well the network performs. Review the Service Level Agreements to know both what the ISP will commit to and what they will return if the commitment is not met. These elements are critical in determining whether to join an established channel.
Thats my Top 10. If I were to add an eleventh, request references. Check with other VARs and agents about their experience with the potential ITSP. When Broadvox established its Partner Program in 2007, we fought hard for our first partner. Today, we continue to work hard for every partner that joins our program. Check out the Broadvox Top Ten VAR Benefits.
Channel Partners 2011 in Chicago was great! Ill talk about that on Monday along with another great recipe!
David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox, and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs, enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.