Value-Added Services Critical For IT&T Resellers
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A study of 450 IT&T resellers has found value-added services to be critical for success in today’s telecommunications market.

The study gained responses from Systems Integrators, Value Added Resellers and CPE Resellers across Australia.

The IT&T resellers that participated in the survey identified value added services as a key area of concern. The study showed 95 percent of IT&T resellers provide value-add to telco services sold to SMEs, and 68 percent are actually providing value-added solutions that go beyond services and support.

The top three reasons for offering value-added services were found to be customer retention, increased profit, and improved competitive positioning. The study found this to confirm the importance of packaging value-added telco services.

IT&T resellers also voiced the following concerns about their telco service providers:

About service range: “You can’t just survive with one product; you’ve got to evolve with whatever is available in the telecommunication market,” said Cleartel’s Jody Barlow.

About provisioning: “Implementation is a big thing. Being able to back up what a service provider has told you is not always the truth. Timeframes are also difficult, when a provider says 10 days and it ends up taking 20 days you have to manage the customers’ expectations in the meantime,” said Barlow.

About product info and training: “It is essential if you are going to partner with someone that you engage in something like training so that you know what their products are and you are able to educate your customers,” said LisTech’s Darren Bennett.

About billing systems support: “On an ongoing basis, we don’t have many customers that pay us on a monthly basis, so to actually include broadband as part of that offering is almost impossible,” said Microboss’ George Sabljak.

About demand and lead generation: “Some sort of external marketing would be really helpful. We have information and brochures, but telecommunication companies need to be more helpful with the sales process and educating the customer about what products will actually do for them,” said Sunstate Business Supplies’ Paul Wenzler.

About account management: “A good telecommunication company to work with would be one that you have a rapport with, which essentially means having good level of communication,” said Wenzler.

The survey was conducted over January and February 2006 by Frost and Sullivan Australia on behalf of IProvide by AAPT.

IProvide said it will be holding a series of seminars in June to discuss the concerns identified by IT&T resellers in the survey.