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TBI Blog

Ken Mercer



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For years telecom agents have sold into one silo with one contact. Often it has been with a company’s IT director or voice manager, both relatively narrow focuses. As a result, when it comes to penetrating accounts wide and deep, many agents have had little success.

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TBI has been offering technology solutions for over 25 years. We offer many private managed cloud solutions to bypass traffic and roadblocks. These solutions from our providers give customers access (for a monthly fee) to an environment built from certain hardware and software configurations that the customer can rely on to always work. 

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We’ve been selling telecom services for years. Now our carriers like CenturyLink are having conversations with us on how they compete with the likes of IBM by offering professional services. Services such as consulting, managed services, system integration, outsourced IT and bundled IT packages: hardware, software and services with monthly pricing.

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Solving problems. While getting paid for it.

As a tech distributor or broker, for lack of a better word, we are in an interesting position. We hear from our vendors how they want to be more involved in the end-user conversation, entrenched in strategy building, to have the ability to understand needs and pain points before a quote comes in. At TBI, we teach and enable our channel managers to assist our partners with solution-selling, serving as a consultant, a resource, knowledgeable of all our providers to source the right solutions and meet business demands and solve real business problems. 

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I doubt you've gone a few days without hearing one of these terms: smart car, smart home, smart city, smart grid or smart phone.

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“How can I save my customers money on the things they don’t know they are paying for in addition to the things they want?”

This is a question agents should be asking themselves as they are trying to meet the technology needs of their business customers and strengthen their relationships.

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“How can I compete with a carrier direct sales team?”

That’s the question I often hear from agents looking to gain an advantage over their competition. What they mean is, “How can I compete with a team that has an arsenal of marketing resources, training support, and sales material at their disposal, backed by a huge corporation?” To our independent agents this is a feat that is intimidating at best and discouraging at worst.

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The telecom landscape is constantly changing with new, more efficient technologies being introduced to the marketplace seemingly every day. The scalable access to cloud-based offerings, fast-expanding use of video beyond conferencing, and machine-to-machine communication (M2M) are just a few of the services changing the dynamics of telecom today. These offerings are redefining the essence of how businesses communicate both internally and externally.

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When pitching corporate clients, VARs need to go beyond the same old technical differences, strengths, and limitations of MPLS and Ethernet services. Instead, focus on the operational and business advances that are tipping the scales in favor of the LAN-turned-WAN technology.

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*This article was originally published on channelpartnersonline.

Cloud computing has been pitched hard to enterprises as a means to achieve a lower total cost of ownership and a higher ROI while still meeting IT service needs. What isn’t always factored in is in-house manpower savings — it’s an often overlooked benefit in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) justification equation.

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*This article was originally published by The VAR Guy.

With cloud computing catching the attention of CFOs, COOs and CMOs, VARs need to ask the right questions to determine what companies are best served by a public, private or hybrid cloud architecture as the network foundation for their business applications.

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*This article was originally published on CRN.com.

Large businesses — defined as those with 250+ employees, over 20 sites and a $50,000 spend on monthly recurring charges (MRC) — offer opportunities for big channel revenue rewards.

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** This article was originally published on CRN.com.

The midsize business market – defined as those companies with 25-100 users, more than five corporate locations, and $5,000 in monthly recurring charges (MRC) – offers alluring opportunities for driving significant channel revenue growth in the years ahead.

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Here we are: 2015. A new slate, a fresh start.

Closing the book on another year, not only is it human nature to look back at the past 12 months and measure your personal successes and setbacks, it’s also prudent business practice. The best way to set constructive and realistic goals for the new year is to take a good look at the past year.

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While high-level catch phrases won the day in non-IT circles this past year, the emergence of unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) — packaged telephony functions integrated with messaging, mobile, and productivity apps — made 2014 the year of voice.

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The small and midsize business (SMB) market (1 to 99 employees) offers many opportunities for driving significant channel revenue growth in the coming years. The challenge for VARs is understanding that companies in this market have unique business requirements and technology needs that are sometimes overlooked.

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This morning TBI announced a very exciting business partnership: An exclusive relationship with Houston-based Teligistics.

Teligistics is in the telecommunications sourcing and expense management business. They assist Fortune 1000 companies reduce the complexity of purchasing telecom services and work to keep service providers honest by making sure they adhere to the fine print details of multiyear, often multifaceted and confusing, contract language.

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When we say “The Year of the Voice,” you might assume that we’re referring to the popularity of NBC’s Emmy award-winning TV show where contestants and their celebrity coaches battle it out for stage supremacy and stardom. But you would be wrong. As much as I love Carson Daly and a good cover song, I’m actually talking about voice over integrated circuits.

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Five things to consider when choosing a provider

Geico, the nation's second-largest private passenger auto insurance company, has long been known for its advertising catchphrase, "15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance." This slogan, and an aggressive marketing campaign, recently propelled Geico past Allstate in the hyper-competitive automotive insurance market.

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