Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No Company For Old Ideas

One of most amazing success stories of the last 5 years has been the rise of Telarus, Inc. as a telecommunications marketing powerhouse. For veterans of the telephone and data line industry it may seem like this upstart has come out of nowhere to become a major player overnight. In a field where service options and prices have been slow and measured in their change, how can could this happen?

Adam Edwards and Patrick ObornIt's all in the innovation. Well, it's mostly in the innovation. The rest can be attributed to the energy of the two founders, Adam Edwards and Patrick Oborn.

I should mention that I've known both Adam and Patrick as an affiliate of their Shop For T1 program over the last five years. During this time I've been an eye witness to the light-speed change that has taken place in the competitive telecom services field, thanks to Telarus. Before I got involved in the program, marketing T1 lines was largely the purview of the telephone companies and industry veterans who broke out to start their own consulting firms. Then, instantly, businesses users could enter their address and phone number into an online form and get a list of competitive T1 prices in a couple of minutes.

What changed the game was a now patented software tool called GeoQuote (tm). The brains of the system is an online application that hooks-up with carrier databases to calculate line spans and their related lease prices. But the brains behind the brains is Patrick Oborn. A electronics engineer by trade, Patrick cut his Web marketing teeth by building a storefront and agent back office for Cognigen, the forerunner of today's Commission River. His next project, Telarus' Shop For T1 service with its groundbreaking GeoQuote engine, was an order of magnitude more sophisticated. It's still a work in progress. One of the latest features of GeoQuote is mapping out Ethernet service routes by just inputting a business address.

Adam Edwards has complemented Patrick Oborn's skills by being the brains behind the business. Technology, no matter how good, can wither on the vine unless it gets out there in the marketplace and grabs hold before something else moves in. The Telarus business model is unique in its teaming arrangement of lead marketing affiliates, professional sales consultants, carrier channel managers and independent value added resellers, all tied together by an automated infrastructure. It's a system that turns prospective leads coming in by phone or the Internet into customer consultations, service proposals, signed contracts and turned up line services and/or equipment installation. All while making sure nothing slips into the cracks.

This designed-in efficiency has been there from the beginning, and makes it relatively easy to layer on new services such as MPLS networks, wireless point to point, SIP trunking and whatever comes next. This proven model is now being used in an almost recursive way to re-engineer the old Cognigen marketing business into the next generation affiliate marketing company called Commission River. Cognigen was the pride and joy of the late Kevin Anderson, who stunned the consumer and SOHO telecom marketplace with automatic self-replicating storefronts that enabled hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide to make money with their own Internet-enabled businesses.

Commission River is expanding on Kevin's dream with a suite of new tools, training resources, and updated websites that maintain the focus on residential and small business telecommunications. What started as alternative switched long distance is now VoIP, cellular phone, Web hosting, Triple Play TV/Broadband/Phone, and related services.

What hasn't changed is the affiliate opportunity that enables ambitious individuals with a business or technology background to launch their own small businesses. It's just expanded into a wider range of technology offerings, even including the high commission business services sold by Telarus.

The last generation has been known as the era of Gates and Jobs. Could the next generation be known for Edwards and Oborn?

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter