The Lighter Side of Being an Agent

By Peter Radizeski, RAD-INFO

I’m going to take a step away from talking about what needs to be fixed and ramble about the opportunities.

With VARs getting into the telco space as agents, agents have a chance to slip into the VAR space. (When I say VAR I mean a hardware centric IT service company or telephony equipment reseller.)

Traditionally, the telecom agent would move to disaster planning, auditing and TEM – with a partner or in-house.

And carriers would like the agents to sell VoIP. VoIP is just an application. So is CRM. So is most of Web 2.0.

(See a run down of some of the promise here.)

Solution selling to small business could incorporate applications. VARs have a leg up since some already do IT services.

Joost just raised $45 million. Viacom just picked SightSpeed. Skype is mashing with There’s some bank on apps.

Hosted apps require a big pipe. You know how to sell that. But if you could help them move to Web apps that would improve their business productivity, you have a different revenue stream. And there’s the chance to sell a redundant pipe like DSL with another broadband service: cable or EVDO or WiMax or Wireless. (Sprint offers a lot of nifty EVDO boxes.)

You probably sell cellular services. Do you offer asset management? How about insurance? How about TalkPlus? TalkPlus was at the Channel Partners expo demonstrating its ability to add numbers to a cell phone so your kids could have one, your girlfriend another and your clients a different one from your boss. How about adding voice mail to e-mail service like SimulScribe?

Lots of talk about work-at-home agents for call centers. UCN offers a service for this. VoIP works for this. Video works for this, so the boss can see if his people are working. There’s hardware opportunity here as well, but you can partner or affiliate for that.

We had our first Atlantic named storm, are you selling backup, data storage, redundancy or business continuity? Are you offering hosted PBX because disaster recovery is built in? Are you offering a reminder service like 6channel6 or Memo2me or iPing? Ding! “Time to backup your data.” And what a Branding occasion!

You could manage the bills for a monthly fee. You could keep up with the new technology (not just the new phones but the Web 2.0, voice 3.0 stuff to see what else is available to offer).

In today’s business climate, small businesses need help with this stuff.

They want productivity more than they want to save 10 percent. At the same time the carriers are squeezing your income, so adding a few different streams of revenue is a smart move. Now go sell something!

Peter Radizeski is president of


. He can be reached at

[email protected]


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