GeoQuote was created when it became obvious the pricing process was very manual, when it didn’t need to be. It began in an attempt to bypass the human and give the computer access to all of the information instead. It wasn’t that humans were not helpful, it was just that it was an unnecessary step. Why not keep the human effort for the deal? Fast-forward fifteen years, and we now have an environment and a tool that is a great source of information for our partners.
Now think about this for a second, how many carriers have merged or been purchased in the last six months? Quite a few. We are now left with all this network that is combining and less people supporting us which means there is more quota to fill. By 2020 you won’t be able to function in this industry unless you have tools for two main reasons:
- You need tools to narrow the field down once you figure out what your customer is looking for.
- You have to ensure the quality of experience. You need to make sure that what you are recommending to your customer works, because if you don’t someone else will.
Back in the day, Geoquote was all about pricing, especially when we talk about geographically sensitive things like T1, EOC, fiber, and more. How do we know who’s going to play? Whichever carrier has paid money to dig up the street, string their fiber along poles, or put their equipment into a building. All of this translates into one very simple thing, if the carrier has spent money to be there, they deserve to win and they usually do because when the carrier has equipment in physical facilities the price points become competitive. Now enter the cloud world, having to find a way to tell the difference between Cloud companies. What we will discuss today is cloud voice and how you can tell the difference, if you’ve ever been to a Channel Partners show or an IT Expo it’s easy to realize their is no shortage of hosted voice companies.
What to Concentrate On
It is very important to be able to tell all the carries apart so you can make the right recommendation because you can kill a business or significantly damage it by making the wrong one. In the old days, you could differentiate based upon platform, but what does that mean? In order to figure out exactly what your client needs you have to get more granular without going into price, which is a secondary feature if you’re talking about hosted UC as a competitive weapon.
At Telarus, we’ve done an extensive amount of research with our carriers. For those of you who remember last summer’s Partner Summer, we put together all of the different features of the UC provide.
When To Use Matrices
Although Geoquote has always been a great source of information for partners, we all know that it does take awhile to load the information you need. The reason for this small delay is that it calculates between three and five thousand options per quote. Knowing how to use the filtering system makes a big difference. But what if you don’t have 90 seconds to wait? What if your customer is asking you questions directly and you need to give an immediate response? These are perfect opportunities to put the matrices to use.
How To Find Them
- Login into agent.telarus.com
- In the center section you will find a section called “Product Feature Matrices”
- Here you can choose between a Hosted UC Matrix link, and an SD-WAN Matrix link.
Quick Tip For Phones
- Open up Chrome or Safari, and login to agent.telarus.com
- Find “Product Features Matrices”
- Choose the Matrix you need
- Click the export button, and then the “Add to Home Screen” option.
This will enable you to create your own app icon for the matrix, making it possible for you to access it quickly when you need it.
Breaking Down the Hosted UC Matrix
When you look at the matrix it looks very busy and very intense. The matrix has been split out by carrier, it even goes as far as as going into product types because we all know there are some features that are available in some product packages but not in others. Across the top you will see that everything is broken down into five categories, which are also available on your Geoquote back office pricing tool.
- Contract Term: This is very important because month-to-month means your customer will not be under contract, while three years means you have locked them in for that amount of time. As an agent, you should understand which of the carriers don’t offer a non-contract option, and which ones don’t offer three years. According to the matrix Jive, RingCentral, and Vonage offer month-to-month options, so if your customer is really nervous and doesn’t want to commit they can go with this option. If they don’t like the service, they have the option to cancel without any early termination fees. , This allows you to provide value as an agent.
- Package Details: When we talk about package details, we are talking about things like pooled minutes, call distribution, bring your own phone, rent or lease, and if they are government certified. These are not very technical things, but at the end of the day could be deal breakers for your customers.
- Features: This is where where you get into some of the most popular features like call group, call monitoring, and video conferencing. If any of these things are important to your client then it is imperative for you to know.
- Application Integrations: This is the most important out of the five categories. If you are looking to unify your customer’s communications, you have to actually unify them. What that means is allowing their phone system to talk to other software products they use. These include things like CRM and email. If you took at the online version right now you’ll see Bullhorn, ConnectWise, Gsuite, Outlook, Office 365, NetSuite, Sky for Business, SalesForce, Monster, and Zendesk, which is coming soon. There are two things you should be asking in order to start the conversation about Application Integrations:
- Ask them about quality. Does their phone system work or does it drop calls? Does it sound garbled?
- Does their phone system talk to their CRM? When they get phone calls can they see the record of the person calling on their screen? When we ask this we are are talking about their CRM record not just their caller ID.
- Platforms: These are usually for customers who are in a particular environment at the moment and want to stay there. Platform comes into play when we’re talking about the interoperability of one company with other sister companies, and other different departments within their companies to make sure they’re all on the same platform.
There are a lot of things that will stick out to you in this matrix, a few of the things you should definitely look for are the following:
To learn more about how to use this matrix, a case study can be found here.
There are three parts of the business that demand matrix help, Hosted UC, SD-WAN, and Cloud Compute. The two areas Telarus is currently working on are SD-WAN, and Cloud Compute. Although the SD-WAN Matrix already exists, the different parts of SD-WAN are in the process of being fine tuned. When it comes to SD-WAN there is lightweight and heavyweight, controls, the ability to integrate with an existing MPLS network, and there’s incall failovers, these are all parts that are being fine tuned. Very similar to what was discussed on the geographic side where we look at what providers have spent the money, when it comes to the SD-WAN and the Cloud Compute Matrix (coming soon) all of the features you will see were paid and bought by the carriers themselves. What that means is they’re unique.
Telarus is very excited about all three matrices, and there will be be detailed trainings on each one of these matrices at Telarus Partner Summit, as well as one-day trainings at all the Telarus Innovation Conferences.
In a few years, people who do not have these tools are going to be at a disadvantage. Carriers are getting bigger and in turn we have to get smarter because the products are becoming more complicated and without these tools you will not be able to function. The purpose of these tools is to help you get answers faster, and more accurately. Telarus started in the tools business all the way back in 2003, and is excited to still innovate and lead the charge in building the tools that you need to not only survive in the year 2020 but to dominate. The products we talked about today, Cloud Compute, SD-WAN, and UC are all going to see an enormous uptick. 75 percent of all customers are still on premise, by the year 2020 that will lower to 50 percent that means that a full 25 percent of all businesses will be buying hosted UC in the next two years, and that is huge for you. Contact your Telarus partner support manager to learn more about the matrices.