Telarus

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Telarus, Inc.
Type Private
Industry

Commercial telecommunications

Internet Service Provider
Founded June 12, 2002 (2002-06-12)
Headquarters Sandy, Utah, United States
Key people

Adam V. Edwards
(co-Founder, CEO)
Patrick K. Oborn
(co-Founder, CIO)
David Bashford
(President COO)
Zane Christensen
(CFO)
Lanny Gray
(VP of Supplier Relations)

Paula McKinnon
(Vice President of Supplier Management)
Products Data, voice, cloud services
Services National distributor (master agent) of commercial telecom products
Revenue $28.2 million
Operating income $8.1 million
Employees 40
Website www.telarus.com

Telarus, Inc. is an American sales agency that holds contracts with many commercial voice and data telecommunications providers. Telarus consolidates the sales volume of hundreds of independent sales agents. As a master agent, Telarus functions as the top layer in the two-tier distribution model that is prevalent in indirect sales of business voice and data services.[1] Members of the Telecom Association voted Telarus the best master agent in 2008,[2] 2009, and 2010,[3] because of its ability to write software that eliminates manual labor from the sales process.[4]

Telarus carries contracts with the following business telecom providers: AT&T,[5] ACC Business,[6] Airband,[7] AireSpring, Alpheus,[8] Broadview,[9] Cbeyond,[10] CenturyLink, Charter Business,[11] Comcast,[12][13] Earthlink Business, Level 3 Communications,[14] GTT,[15] Integra Telecom,[16] Masergy,[17] MegaPath,[18] Netwolves, NewCloud Networks,[19] Nitel,[20] Powernet, RealLinx, SuddenLink,[21] TelePacific, Telnes, TelX,[22] Time Warner Cable,[23] tw telecom,[24] West IP Communications, XO Communications,[25] Windstream,[26] and Zayo.

History[edit]

Telarus, Inc. was founded in June 2002[27] in Huntington Beach, California by Adam Edwards and Patrick Oborn. From the beginning, the focus of the company was to service commercial telecommunications clients faster, better, and more efficiently than anyone else. Not having any financial backing to speak of, Edwards and Oborn set out to build Telarus, Inc. on their own with only a belief in themselves and a hope that their savings accounts wouldn't run dry before operational income could pay the bills. To keep bills low, Edwards and Oborn initially operated out of a small apartment in hopes of one day moving into a "real" office.

Without outside financing or carriers referring new agents to them - combined with the entry-level commissions they were earning, Edwards and Oborn needed a new and unique approach. They decided to begin building the business simply, making sales on their own and re-investing the commissions they earned back into the company.[28]

Patrick Oborn generated leads using his web and search engine marketing skills on sites such as ShopforT1.com. Edwards followed up on each lead, contacted the T1 carrier for pricing, and complied each quote by hand, one at a time.[29]

Realization of a New Business Model[edit]

Initial Business Model of Telarus that enables web affiliates and telecom professionals to share the residual commissions when a lead that is generated from an affiliates' web site is successfully closed.

It didn't take long before Edwards and Oborn became bogged down with the slow and cumbersome process of gathering information for prospective customers. From his experience as the web master of Cognigen, Patrick Oborn recognized the potential of an automated sales process and he became convinced that he and Adam Edwards could do the same for commercial telecom pricing research.[30]

In 2003 Telarus put together an agent program that allowed agents of different skill sets to participate in the commercial sales process. Edwards and Oborn came up with the idea for "Lead Generator" agents who could specialize in Internet and offline marketing, "Product Specialists" who could focus on following up on the leads created by the Lead Generators, and GeoQuote, the world's first real-time T1 pricing software.[31]

By dividing up the sales process into 1) Marketing and 2) Follow-up/Consulting, along with software that allowed this process to take place - Telarus was able to create a system which could sift through hundreds of new leads a day without burdening agents with the task of researching and generating proposals for clients. Lead Generators attract new visitors to their sites using the GeoQuote real-time quote tool, and the Product Specialists receive the lead on the back end, after the prospect has seen pricing. Oftentimes customers will remove themselves from the system after learning that a T1 line is $250 – $700/month, a price many businesses can't afford to pay. This saves countless hours of productivity and allows Product Specialists, all who are paid solely on a commission basis, to focus their time on customers who qualify and are ready to purchase service.[32]

Move to Utah[edit]

The Centennial Plaza Tower, location of the company's operations

After three years of operations in California, Telarus moved to Draper, Utah in 2004. Once there, new employees were hired to help maintain the technology that powers GeoQuote and the agent back offices, as well as agent sales support personnel that assist Product Specialists in their day to day sales activities.[33] With these new employees, Telarus has been able to proactively find and recruit many top Master Agents, individual consultants, systems integrators, and VARs into the company.[34][35]

On May 20, 2011, Telarus changed relocated its headquarters to Centennial Plaza Tower in Sandy, Utah.[36]

Revenue[edit]

In 2012 Telarus agents turned in over $4,000,000 in new carrier contracts ($80.45M in total contract value) and is on track to sell over $4,800,000 in FY 2013.

GeoQuote Real-time Pricing Software[edit]

Oborn and Edwards realized soon after getting into commercial telecom sales that, to achieve scale, automation of price quoting was required. In 2002, Oborn, who studied electrical and computer engineering at Brigham Young University,[37] designed the initial concept for GeoQuote[38] - a software that allows a user to access multiple carrier price options with a single search. In 2003 Oborn partnered with Aaron Lieberman to write the code that could compute pricing based upon loop distance (the distance from the customer's central office to the carrier point of presence) or through direct access to a carrier pricing API interface.[39]

shopfort1.com screenshot
Sample output of a T1 price quote as shown on ShopforT1.com

The prototype of GeoQuote was completed in August 2003.[40] The software was embedded in Telarus' public-facing real-time price research tool called ShopforT1.com.[41] The names of the carriers are removed in the public-facing version of GeoQuote to protect the sales agent from losing the sale by virtue of the customer calling the carrier direct.

In November of that same year, Telarus, Inc. filed for a United States provisional patent to protect the idea and coding architecture behind the GeoQuote concept. On September 30, 2004 Telarus filed the non-provisional patent application, which was accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on February 24, 2009. GeoQuote is now protected by US Patent Number(s) 7,496,184[42] and 7,916,844[43]

As of March 30, 2011, GeoQuote can provide pricing of the following telcom products: cable high-speed internet, business DSL, data T1, bonded T1, data DS3, wireless 3G, local voice / PRI, integrated voice/data, integrated SIP, long distance T1/DS3, and Ethernet over copper.[44] Fiber maps have been subsequently added to allow Telarus agents to see the path the fiber takes in an effort to locate the availability of Ethernet broadband services for their clients.[45]

Public License of GeoQuote[edit]

On March 14, 2010, Telarus, Inc. launched a new web site for the public use of its GeoQuote software: www.CarrierQuoteShop.com.[46] The site is powered by GeoQuote and financially backed by telecommunication carriers: XO Communications, ACC Business (a division of AT&T), AireSpring,[47] Nitel,[48] MegaPath, One Communications (recently acquired by Earthlink Business), TelePacific, and Windstream.[49] The site requires registration and users can only see pricing for carriers that have approved access.

Hardware[edit]

GeoQuote and the balance of Telarus' redundant network runs in Adobe Cold Fusion using a Microsoft Enterprise SQL server core from Telx data centers.[50]

Media and Awards[edit]

Telecom Association Award
Oborn and Edwards receive the 2012 top master agent award from Dan Baldwin, president of the Telecom Association

Telarus, Inc. has enjoyed many awards and recognition for its accomplishments in the telecommunications industry. Some of them include:

Year Organization Award
2013 Earthlink Top Channel Sales Agency[51]
2013 Windstream Communications Top Channel Sales Agency[52]
2013 CRN Magazine Top Channel Chief[53]
2012 Telecom Association Top Master Agent[54]
2012 CRN Magazine Top Channel Chief[55]
2011 AboveNet Fastest Growing Agent[56]
2011 Comcast Business First Channel Partner[57]
2010 tw telecom Top Master Agent
2010 Level 3 Communications Top Direct Agent (West)[58]
2010 Telecom Association Top Master Agent[59]
2010 Windstream (NYSE: WIN) Top Agent[60]
2010 MegaPath Top Agent[61]
2010 Telnes Top Agent
2010 PHONE+ Magazine Top Channel Manager - Michael Gottwalt[62]
2010 PHONE+ Magazine Top 50 Channel Program[63]
2007 Covad Top Agent[64][65]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]