Carrier Requests channel support

Carrier Requests channel support

Request Broadband has spun off a wholly-owned direct sales and service subsidiary to attack the SME market with bundled telephony and broadband Internet service packages sold through a dealer channel.

General manager of the newly formed Request Business Solutions (RBS), Garry McCarten, said that the dealer program launched in November had already reaped nine partners.

He expected that number to grow to more than 20 by the end of this year.

"The primary focus of the program is to complement and augment business for the channel - not to compete against it," McCarten said. "What we are offering is a second-to-none dealer program which will allow our partners to target SMEs with the promise of high quality broadband Internet and telephone line rental bundled into one low cost product."

He said the RBS Voice-on-Broadband product was not unique. The same applied to the attempts of Broadband service providers to engage the channel to reach the lucrative-yet-diverse SME market.

McCarten was, however, adamant that the RBS program was the easiest and most rewarding around.

"We have seen some of the other programs on offer and they don't always make it easy for the dealers to manage and profit," he said. "Our dealers get lucrative ongoing revenue streams for introducing us to the customer.

"A dealer just has to send us the signed contract and then we handle all of the administration. They don't have to invest in any specialist skills or bear the cost of new processes, 24-hour support billings and debtor management.

Partners within the RBS dealer program would also benefit from direct marketing initiatives which would feed leads directly back to the channel, McCarten said. Three staff had been allocated to full time management and development of the program.

He said that 30 orders for service were signed in the first five weeks including SMEs in manufacturing, retail and insurance verticals.

"The potential customer profile for this [Request product] is anybody with more than four phones, a need for the Internet and a desire to save money on their phone bills," he said.

McCarten said that the Request product was not voice-over-IP so it did not involve the high hardware prices that stifled the cost benefits of Internet telephony.

"This is traditional ATM telephone service delivery," he said. "It is just delivered in conjunction with ADSL Internet service. We install some hardware at the customer's site that is effectively a router for data and voice communications and then the existing phone system just plugs into that.

"There is no upfront cost. We waive all the fees for installation and rental of the box."

McCarten said there were two types of reseller who were most likely to be interested in the RBS dealer program and they can be either value-added solution resellers or straight out sales organisations.

"Most dealers in the data business have some knowledge of voice telephony and the reverse is the same," he said. "This product gives them both an opportunity to cross over the divide and develop customers and services in the other."

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