Early on we would scratch our heads at the first question from new partners — "How many carriers do you guys have?" It was hard not to take it personally. "What do you mean? We have a lot...why does that matter?" We wanted people to understand that we were about the solution and the process, not the underlying commodities.
But the more we thought about it from the perspective of a partner, the more it made sense. People who are good don't want to lose, and in this business, not having the right carrier in your bag could put you in a losing position. It's natural — you want to know that you have access to the best the industry can offer.
Carriers form the foundation of even our most sophisticated solutions. Sure, there's a lot more to it that we're very proud of, but we get it now. We don't take it so personally. So to answer the question more precisely, we'll say this — you won't lose a deal because we don't have a carrier.
ACC Business provides voice, internet, and data to small to mid-sized businesses. ACC's services are all provided via the AT&T network, but they service those accounts themselves, which makes for a better customer experience.
Bottom line: AT&T products at better pricing with better service.
Access Point provides a variety of CLEC services, and has a particular strength in POTS line aggregation, allowing companies with small locations across the country to put all services on one bill. They've recently incorporated hosted VOIP and also provide integrated T1s, data, internet, and conferencing.
Bottom line: Service aggregator best suited for multi-site companies.
AireSpring is best known as a low-cost SIP carrier, providing competitive long distance and local services delivered over IP facilities they own. They also provide cost-competitive internet and MPLS services, and feature a commission structure that allows partners to choose rates and commissions for each deal.
Bottom line: Low-cost LD, usually delivered via SIP.
AT&T is such a giant they probably need no description here. They do everything, for everyone, and are one of the 800lb gorillas in our industry.
Bottom line: They're AT&T. 'Nuff said.
Bright House Networks
Bright House Networks is a cable provider with territories in Tampa, Orlando, Bakersfield (CA), Indianapolis, Detroit, Birmingham, and a handful of smaller areas in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. They provide coax and fiber based voice and data services to business customers.
Bottom line: Sixth largest cable provider in the nation, second largest in Florida.
Broadsmart is a hosted VOIP provider based on, you guessed it, a Broadsoft platform. They also offer internet and data services, both stand-alone and as a means to access their hosted VOIP services. That said, they will support hosted VOIP over internet.
Bottom line: Broadsoft-based hosted VOIP provider.
Broadview is a communications provider offering hosted VOIP, internet, and cloud services. Their offering includes hosted applications such as Exchange and Sharepoint, as well as virtual and hybrid server hosting.
Bottom line: Hosted VOIP and cloud services.
Broadvox is primarily a provider of SIP trunks for business, and they've been doing it since 2001. While they also offer hosted VOIP services, their SIP trunk services lead the industry and are certified to work with over 50 IP-PBX systems. Their services are easy to sell and easy to implement.
Bottom line: Simply put, SIP trunks.
CenturyLink is the combination of CenturyTel, Embarq, Qwest, and Savvis. Their local assets include several rural territories along with the USWest 14-state territory, and their long-haul data network is based on Qwest's robust IP network. Savvis brings very high-end hosting and cloud services to the mix.
Bottom line: Broad service offering especially strong in data, hosting, and cloud.
Colo5 is a SSAE16-certified hosting company with centers in Jacksonville and Lakeland. They take a unique approach to hosting by offering very flexible build-out options for tenants. They have over 120,000 square feet of dedicated facilities and have an infrastructure that is rated to withstand a category 5 hurricane. They also have an extensive IaaS offering.
Bottom line: High-end data center in Jacksonville and Lakeland, plus cloud services.
Comcast is the largest cable operator in the US and the 3rd largest phone provider. Their network is the largest single converged voice and data network on the planet, with over 599,000 plant route miles and 147,000 fiber route miles. They service 39 states and 18 of the top 20 markets in the US. They're also one of the only cable providers to offer SLAs on their commercial services.
Bottom line: The biggest cable provider with a sophisticated business offering.
Copper focuses on services that allow companies to manage virtual events, host online meetings, and host content. Traditionally a conference calling company, Copper has expanded their offering to include webinar platforms, and hosted content management systems.
Bottom line: Competitively priced conferencing and collaboration services.
DataSite is a collocation company with centers in Orlando and Marietta. Besides a spectacular facility (they have jet turbines for backup power generation), one of their primary benefits is that they charge for power on a usage basis, which can be a substantial savings for the majority of data center users. On top of that, they support liquid cooling, which lets them push the limits of wattage per square foot.
Bottom line: Awesome data center with metered power.
Earthlink is a long-standing residential brand that decided several years ago to expand into the business market by acquiring Deltacom, NewEdge Networks, One Communications, STS Communications, and a number of managed service providers. They offer a variety of IP-based services as well as some legacy services from their acquisitions.
Bottom line: Sophisticated service provider that's devoted to a more technical offering.
eSolutions / Knology
eSolutions is a data center based in downtown Tampa. Though they were recently acquired by Knology, they have retained their brand and continue to provide physical space, power, and bandwidth. They are located in the 400 N. Tampa St. building, a highly-connected telco hotel with access to nearly every provider with a presence in the area.
Bottom line: Flexible, easy to work with hosting facility with exceptional connectivity options.
FPL Fibernet is essentially the fiber network originally laid by Florida Power & Light for their internal telecommunications services. They've grown this network over the years and now offer very high bandwidth data transport services with flexible service offerings that are well-suited to intermittent or seasonal needs. They provide services in Florida and Texas, and offer long-haul connectivity to Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
Bottom line: High-bandwidth, low-cost fiber-based connectivity.
Granite is a service aggregation company that is the leading service provider for multi-location companies. They allow companies to combine voice and data services on one bill, with a very solid customer portal backing it up. Historically focused on POTS line aggregation, Granite now also offers broadband and structured cabling solutions as well. Their customers include the likes of Wal-Mart.
Bottom line: The biggest POTS and broadband aggregator in the business.
Intercall is a subsidiary of West IP that focuses on conferencing and collaboration services, from reservationless conferencing to huge operator-assisted broadcast calls to web-based collaboration. They are one of the largest conferencing and collaboration providers around.
Bottom line: Audio, web, and video conferencing and collaboration.
Level3 is a tier 1 internet provider with a global network. They offer a variety of voice and data services, along with managed services and content delivery solutions. Level3 acquired Global Crossing, which greatly expanded their international reach. They've historically been called the carrier's carrier due to their network being used heavily by other carriers.
Bottom line: Solid network with great pricing, even if the brand isn't well known.
Lightpath, previously Optimum Lightpath, is Cablevision's fiber division. Covering the tri-state area, Lightpath offers high-bandwidth Metro E products at exceptional prices.
Bottom line: Fiber and Metro E in the New York tri-state area.
Masergy is a data company focused on next-generation Ethernet networks. Their advantage lies in the sophistication of their management platform, which allows customers to change their circuits' provisioning details on the fly. Quality of service settings and bandwidth can be changed in real time via a simple but powerful customer web portal. As a result, many clients look to them for performance-sensitive services such as voice and video transport.
Bottom line: Hands-down the most sophisticated data networks available.
Netwolves is a service aggregator focusing on data and managed services. They have agreements with hundreds of local broadband, satellite, fixed wireless, and 3G/4G providers and leverage proprietary technology to build secure private networks over diverse connectivity, all on one bill.
Bottom line: Single-source WAN provider.
Nitel calls themselves a "telecom managed service provider," which speaks to their movement toward services such as managed security, monitoring, and application hosting. Historically, Nitel's value came from their flat-rate loop agreement with AT&T, which allowed them to service very competitively locations outside of major metro areas. That's still the case, but they've expanded their offering to include a variety of other services.
Bottom line: Fantastic rates on out-of-metro data connectivity, with some additional services added in.
Optimum is Cablevision's brand that offers a suite of communications services over the Cablevision cable network. Cablevision operates in the New York tri-state area. Their porftolio includes Lightpath (above), a major provider of fiber-based services in the tri-state area.
Bottom line: Cable provider offering coax-based voice, data, and video in the New York tri-state area.
Peak10 is a SSAE 16 certified hosting and cloud services company with collocation centers in ten metro areas throughout the southeast. They also offer a suite of cloud and managed services, from managed storage and backup to hosted applications. Best of all, their rates are reasonable enough for mid-sized companies not to choke.
Bottom line: Multi-location collocation center with great southeaest coverage.
PNG is a communciations provider that focuses heavily on long distance voice, but also provides data and SIP services. Most of their services are resold, but their rates tend to be extremely competitive.
Bottom line: Low-cost service reseller.
Stratus Networks, previously Access2Go, is a provider whose specialty is providing agents a buy rate which they can then mark up. Their services are all resold, and while data is their primary focus they also provide LD, hosted VOIP, SIP trunking, and conference calling as well.
Bottom line: Low-cost reseller with a buy-rate based compensation model.
TelX is a hosting and interconnectivity provider with over a dozen facilities across the country and strategic interconnection agreements that provide access to an ecosystem of over a thousand telecommunications carries, ISPs, content providers, and businesses.
Bottom line: High-end hosting and interconnection services.
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable provider in the US, with operations in 28 states. One of the cable industry's first entrants to the indirect channel, Time Warner Cable enjoys a very mature channel program that provides access to their business voice, data, and fiber products.
Bottom line: Second-largest cable provider serving several key metro areas.
tw telecom is one of the largest Ethernet providers in the country, with a strategy based heavily on delivering their own fiber to commercial buildings. As a result, they have a substantial fiber network and are able to provide sophisticated voice and data services at very competitive pricing to on-net locations. Previously a division of Time Warner Communications, tw telecom is now independent.
Bottom line: Extremely competitive provider of fiber-based services.
Verizon is another giant that needs no description here. They do everything, for everyone, and are the other 800lb gorillas in our industry.
Bottom line: They're Verizon. 'Nuff said.
West IP is a subsidiary of West Corporation, a behemoth technology-driven communications provider, providing high-end hosted VOIP solutions. Previously Smoothstone, West IP offers unified communications services over a managed MPLS network.
Bottom line: Enterprise-grade hosted VOIP.
Windstream is one of the larges CLECs in the nation, the combination of Nuvox, Paetec, and the legacy Windstream ILEC. Besides standard CLEC services, Windstream has a growing network of collocation facilities and a sophisticated suite of cloud services.
Bottom line: Large CLEC with a robust portfolio of services.
XO is another large CLEC with a nationwide reach, serving 85 major metro areas. XO has a comprehensive portfolio of voice and data services, and also has a very robust hosted IVR platform known as XO Interactive.
Bottom line: Large CLEC with a robust portfolio of services and a unique hosted IVR service.