Bundling telecom services sells

Offering a new portfolio of network services, Delphi Solutions Corp. says it’s trying to make life simpler for organizations that are looking to install telecommunication systems. However, the Toronto-based firm faces some stiff competition, according to one industry analyst.

The network services bundle includes local and long-distance, toll-free, calling cards, high-speed Internet and a check-up feature designed to investigate operational efficiencies of an organization’s communications platform.

Ed Lavin, CEO of Delphi, likens the network services package to a physician building a prescription for a client.

“We look at the person [or the organization] and then apply whatever is applicable to them and then we write a prescription to make it happen,” he said.

This service not only takes the complexity out of dealing with various carriers, but it also keeps the client from being flooded with information, Lavin explained.

“Instead of a company being inundated with proposals from five or six different carriers with different stories about what you need and what the prices might be, we…get that done in one shot,” he said.

This type of bundled offering was the deciding factor for Brian Rattenbury, chief operating officer at Head Research, a marketing research firm. Over the summer, the company expanded its Montreal presence to the Toronto area and needed to install a telecommunications system in its new office.

The Toronto facility incorporates standard office space with special rooms to host groups of people for marketing research purposes. The offices also have outbound call centres.

“My objective was to try to integrate as much of the delivery of services we needed into one supplier,” Rattenbury explained. “I didn’t want to deal with one person for the telephone switch, another person for the network and another person for the long-distance charges then someone else for the local area networks. The more I could keep it all in one package, the happier I was.”

After Head provided Delphi with a floor plan of the empty facility, as well as an idea of its telephone and network requirements, Delphi conducted a site survey and ended provided the client with local and long-distance service, as well as a 1-800 phone number, a telephone switch, LAN connectivity and cabling.

Rattenbury said he is computer and telephone literate, but he needed some guidance as to what services were available in the market and what was practical to use for the results he wanted to achieve. “There are a lot of suppliers out there and at some point you have to say, ‘OK…I’ll have to make a decision.'”

Delphi’s challenge is finding customers in the competitive telecom arena, said Elroy Jopling, principal analyst at Gartner Inc. in Toronto.

Most customers already have relationships with service providers, Jopling said, but they might be convinced to switch carriers for a few reasons: better pricing; new technology; or expansion. Large companies might switch when contracts end.

“But if the price is reasonable then the old adage of ‘if it’s not broken, why fix it’ happens,” he said.

To learn more about Delphi visit www.delphisolutions.com.