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Case Study: Separating Sales and Deployment

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Photo courtesy of tec_estromberg(CC Attribution)

The Client:

Across the United States, telecom VoIP carriers sell proprietary equipment and user interfaces to help companies make their calls over the Internet. These are usually sold through an agent or dealer network, not directly to the public by the carrier themselves.

The Problem:

VoIP carriers often find that after their products are sold, deployment becomes a challenge. The apparent solution is to either hire a team of technicians, or train the agents themselves to become the installers. Whichever strategy the carrier chooses, problems are everywhere.

Technicians need a lot of information about a site before deploying a VoIP solution, but not every technician takes the time to collect it. The agents of a managed service provider aren’t always guaranteed to fully understand or be fully honest about the limitations of a product, meaning that whether they go to install the product themselves or send a tech from another department, there’s a basic issue of compatibility that prevents deployment, and someone has to break the bad news. Or, adequate testing isn’t done in advance and end users find themselves crippled by issues in the first few weeks, putting extra burden on the technician to resolve them. 

If the agents are themselves the techs, they aren’t always going to to be available to double as maintenance techs when something goes wrong. Send a free sales rep to another agent’s site to do the job, and they might try to poach business or bad-mouth their “coworker,” leading not just to unhappy sales-people-doubling-as-technicians, but to customers unimpressed by the company’s professionalism.  At the end of the day, no matter which problem confronts them, these carriers all know there has to be a better solution.

The Solution:

Outsourcing field deployment services to DiverseNet immediately solves all these problems for a carrier. Their sales people can go back to what they’re good at, and if they already have a team of technicians, we’ll work with them. Our process is all about standardization, and we serve as provisioner, installer, and trainer all in one.

Once the process is standardized, here’s how it goes: The moment an agent sells a contract, DiverseNet is on the phone with the end-user and the agent together, asking questions and scheduling a time to go out and conduct a site survey. We send a technician already knowledgeable in the carrier’s proprietary equipment to the site to conduct a two-day test of the facility’s Internet service, as well as investigate all wiring and other hardware. We help with configuration of the new phone solution to meet the end-user’s specific needs, and then handle the installation. The day of the install, we coordinate with the end-user’s Internet provider to ensure the translation takes place as smoothly as possible. A training of anywhere from 30-90 minutes for the phone system’s administrator(s) is our last on-site step until a service issue arises. We do follow up with the end-user to ensure everything is working well a few business days after installation.

This standardization can be implemented without even changing the VoIP carrier’s ticket submittal software or disrupting the sales process in any way. The carrier still owns the agreement, and the agent still owns the relationship. We just own the responsibility to get the job done right. In fact, we own it so well that we onboard a new VoIP carrier an average of once a month. Whether they send us one ticket a year or a thousand, we are grateful to serve as their representatives every time.

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