Bandwidth.com Makes VOIP Reliability PitchBy Pedro Pereira | Print
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The company expects its partnership with Level 3 to boost its VAR recruiting efforts.The average person can tolerate e-mail downtime or cell phone dropouts, but if the regular phone doesn't work, it's a whole different story. Tempers quickly flare.
"People get very angry when their phones are down," said Allen Rappaport, CEO of Associated Communications Resources, a VOIP (voice over IP) service provider in New York.
Rappaport should know, having dealt with enough of this anger when he started offering IP-based phone service. The carrier Rappaport was using experienced downtime far too often for his customers' tastes.
Kaestner's goal is to make Bandwidth.com the VOIP provider of choice in the SMB (small and midsize business) space, and he believes this can be accomplished through partnerships with data VARs and integrators looking to get into IP-based voice services.
To aid in reaching that goal, Bandwidth.com has a partnership with Level 3 Communications. The partnership just got stronger with Level 3's designation of Bandwidth.com as one of its two Premier Master Resellers.
The designation brings Bandwidth.com the prestige of what is essentially an endorsement by Level 3. In addition, said Kaestner, the recognition strengthens Bandwidth.com's efforts to expand its VAR base by leveraging a communications network that covers much of the globe.
The partnership with Level 3, Kaestner said, is extremely significant because of the reliability of the company's communications network. Reliable service, he noted, is a fundamental part of providing VOIP service.
And that goes back to Rappaport's point about customers expecting their phones to work all the time, not sporadically. Since partnering with Bandwidth.com, he said, his company has had no problems with the service.
Associated Communications Resources has about 20 SMB customers, such as accountants and mortgage and real estate companies, using VOIP services, said Rappaport, adding that over the past year customers have become far more willing to switch from the analog phone service.
"A year ago it still took a lot of evangelism," he said.
Bandwidth.com channel partner Harmony IP, of Salt Lake City, signed up with the vendor about six months ago after researching which carrier to use for extending VOIP services to its customers, said owner Robert Larsen.
Harmony IP chose Level 3, but partnering directly with the company was not an option because of the usage volumes it required, Larsen said. So Harmony IP hooked up with Bandwidth.com instead and was still able to tap its network of choice.
The relationship with Bandwidth.com has been productive, Larsen said.
"Bandwidth.com is very much involved with us in getting orders. We get the leads and then we bring them in as a value partner," he said.
Kaestner said he firmly believes VARs and integrators are in the vanguard of a telecommunications revolution. Because of their hold on the SMB market, VARs and integrators are better equipped than telcos or other traditional voice services companies to convert customers to IP-based voice.
"Customers are not going to their traditional service provider," he said. "They're looking to their VAR. They want one person who steps up to the plate and is trustworthy and reliable."