TA Tours Telecom in the Pacific Northwest


Netstar, CTG3, XO, New Edge, Integra and balmy weather welcome TA

By Dan Baldwin, TA Founder & Executive Director

     Over 200 years ago the famous American explorers Lewis & Clark traveled through the Pacific Northwest in search of an easy passage to the Pacific. This past week I passed the explorers' footsteps on a quest of my own - to visit the intrepid telecom explorers of Seattle and Portland - CTG3, Netstar, XO, New Edge and Integra.

     Here's what I learned...


Netstar & CTG3

     Netstar and CTG3 are two related telecom master agencies owned by Dave Laskowski with his partner Tony Cheng. Netstar is a hands on telecom expense management ("TEM") company with a knack for getting free press in newspapers, TV and radio via their in-house marketing expert Annie Cheng. Click the link below to watch a TV story on how Netstar helps businesses save money. Contact Tony Cheng at 425-865-9811 if you'd like Netstar's help in getting a similar PR boost for your own TEM marketing efforts.

Local Seattle TV news story about Netstar's TEM service

     CTG3 is a primarily Qwest master agency that also enjoys the ability to sell Qwest residential services which they do very well via independent Internet service providers ("ISPs") throughout the local Qwest footprint that take advantage of Dave's Bandwidth Builders website. To hook up with CTG3 or Bandwidth Builders, contact Dave Laskowski at 425-458-4070.

     We'll have more about Netstar, CTG3 & Bandwidth Builders after we finish producing the video we shot at Dave & Tony's office.


XO Communications

     Beating the local players on their own turf – that’s all XO is working on.


     I met Tom Gorey, XO’s Channel VP and the local XO channel team at the XO office in Seattle and learned something I didn’t expect – how XO is positioning itself as a local player in every US market so XO can beat the local CLECs at their own game – on their own turf.


     How do they do it? First, they put a local team in every market. Second, they support the local channel partners as hard as they support the local direct XO reps. Does this work for telecom agents and channel partners? It must because all the master agents I speak to these days suggest that XO has done what they've needed to do over the last several years to be the "local CLEC to beat".


     TA will have more on XO's local CLEC strategy over the next several weeks after we publish the video we shot at the XO Seattle office. To get XO on your team today contact Dave Sambrook at 678-433-5742.


New Edge Networks

     While some carriers and agents want to do everything for every class of customer, New Edge Networks wants to focus on their sweet spot.

     I met with New Edge's Sales & Marketing VP Greg Griffiths and his channel partner team at their Vancouver, Washington headquarters.

     The perfect New Edge prospect? The nationwide multi-location business putting an MPLS network together. New Edge is especially popular among multi-location retailers and is focused on owning that market.  

     Many agents are upgrading their prospecting to only consider business customers with three locations or more. These agents need to get to know New Edge. Why? The last thing an agent wants to see is their nationwide multi-location prospect considering a New Edge proposal that they did not produce.  

     The other sweet spot for New Edge? Existing multi-location customers that are trying to save money. New Edge has a solution that allows multi-site customers to prioritize their critical business applications without requiring that every location have a synchronous T1 pipe or better.  Want to save your prospect or customers money by converting their T1s to business-class DSL? Call New Edge Networks. Want to know who you don’t want to see competing against you? Think New Edge Networks.  

     TA will have more on the New Edge multi-location strategy over the next several weeks after we publish the video we shot at the New Edge office. To get New Edge working on your multi-location deals today contact Stephanie Senner at 877-689-5755.

     Look for the great video TA shot at New Edge's office in the next week or so.


Integra Telecom

     In their downtown Portland corporate headquarters I met with Trent Anderson , VP of Marketing for Integra Telecom, a CLEC that serves 11 states that roughly match the Qwest local footprint.


     I first ran into Integra a couple years ago as a CLEC competitor in a deal I was working on. They came up big for me again last month when they gave an impressive presentation at Vince Bradley's WTG "Tee & Sea" event. 


     Whenever I run into a CLEC that looks to be a serious competitor in my deals, like most of you, I make it my business to find both their sweet spot and their weak spots so I can either lead with their solutions or know how to compete against them.


     Integra likely has many sweet spots that I hope to learn about but the one that sticks out the most is the phone system equipment solutions they bring to the table. In addition to providing both local dial tone & wide area data and Internet connectivity solutions, Integra also provides phone systems .


     This phone, dial tone & data/Internet combo makes Integra a triple threat in the areas they compete. To start distributing Integra Telecom's solutions today, contact their master agent WTG at 310-456-2200 x2.


Balmy Weather

     This past week makes the third time I've been to Portland and Seattle and still no rain. The weather was unseasonably warm but most remarkable was all the exceptionally pleasant people I met (a warm Spring after a cold winter?)

     In any event I was quite struck by this water fountain I walked past in downtown Portland since I'm from water-starved southern California. 


     Free flowing water fountains and public transportation? Is this Shangri-La? Both Portland and Seattle are strikingly beautiful cities. If you're looking for a place to visit I'd strongly recommend either. I'm already looking for a reason to return myself.

Questions about this article? 

Please contact Dan Baldwin at Dan@TelecomAssociation.com or 951-251-5155

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