Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Why Buy Telecommunications Services Online?

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 few years.

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.

That all changed in 2003 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 T1Rex.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 coffee.

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 is.

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 you see 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 who calls.

You can find online access to the patented GeoQuote engine at a number of telecommunications related web sites, including T1Rex.com, MegaTrunks.com and GigaPackets.com. If you are a current user of business dedicated telecom services or expect to be in the near future, go ahead and give it a try. There's nothing to lose and you may be surprised by how low prices have dropped on some of these services, especially in metro areas.

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

Please note that this system does not quote residential broadband services, including those typically used in home offices, such as DSL, Cable and residential Satellite Internet. To get instant price and availability quotes for these services, you can use a similar quote engine oriented toward consumer broadband Internet, like the one found at CanIGetDSL.com.

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