Why Buy Telecom
Services Online? Disruptive technology introduced
recently allows anyone needing business telecom
services to get the best competitive prices anytime through an
By: John Shepler
One of the disruptive changes to the status quo
has been the rise of online transactions for everything from
consumer goods to professional services. Disruptive in the sense
that long established traditions of doing business are rendered
obsolete seemingly overnight. Nowhere has that been more the
case than what's happened in telecommunications over the last
The legacy model of telecommunications
sales was based on a monopoly-style utility. The Bell Telephone
companies were the only game in town. You took what you could
get and paid whatever the rate card said. Deregulation split
up the Bell System and opened the door to competitive carriers.
But the telecommunications industry retained its sense of elite
proprietary services with long bid and proposal cycles.
GeoQuote Revolutionizes Telecom Sales
That all changed in 1993 with the introduction of now patented
GeoQuote software from Telarus. GeoQuote did for telecommunications
users what Amazon.com did for book buyers and Ebay did for auction
aficionados. It enabled instant self-service shopping for telecom
services from fractional to full T1 voice and data lines, including
T1 dedicated Internet service, T1 PRI circuits for PBX telephone
systems, and DS3 bandwidth for voice, video and data transfer.
Price and availability for all of these services can be viewed
online in a couple of minutes by simply using the GeoQuote entry
form, such as the one found at MegaTrunks.com.
Now telephone and IT managers, small business
owners, ISP operators and anyone else needing professional grade
telecommunication services can check prices and options by using
a Web browser anytime they wish. Looking for new service? Need
additional bandwidth? Putting together a funding proposal for
a new project? Run an online quote at 2 AM from your home office,
if you wish. You need only enter the business address, main business
telephone line number (BTN) and some basic contact information.
GeoQuote will create accurate service quotes unique to your location
for as many as a dozen competitive carriers. It will organize
all this data and present it as an easy to read chart in order
of price, lowest to highest. Amazingly, this automated process
returns a result faster than you can take a few sips of your
The system does have a few limitations.
Line speeds greater than the T3 bandwidth of 45 Mbps, point to
point private lines, and VPN networks need expert evaluation
to accurately quote. The same is true for value added services,
including server colocation, hosted VoIP and SIP trunking services,
and VSAT business satellite bandwidth. Fortunately, a team of
product experts monitors the system and provides free technical
and sales consultations to anyone entering a quote. They are
also available at a toll free telephone number anytime 24/7.
Just try getting a quote from the incumbent telephone company
after business hours and you'll see how handy this service really
Competition Results in Plunging Prices
The other sea change wrought by instant online telecommunication
quotes is the concept of price shopping. Few vendors and long
quote cycles once meant very little price competition compared
to what yousee today. It's something on the order of checking
airline ticket prices at an online travel service versus calling
one of the big airlines and asking them how much it costs to
put you in a seat. With prices visible to anyone who cares to
run a search, telecom carriers are driven to offer their best
prices up front. Sometimes there are special limited time promotional
offers available that don't appear on the quote display, so it
does pay to discuss your options with the product specialist
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