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Rich Tehrani

[February 21, 2005]

The VoIP Reseller Opportunity


[Editor's note: TMC's Rich Tehrani will be conducting a session, "How to Make Money Selling VoIP," on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005, 10:15 a.m., at the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo in Miami.]

Industry pundits say no one is making money in VoIP. People who make predictions like this are so out of touch with reality they are probably on their way to Neverland with the kids for vacation.

I keynoted at an ABP user conference and had a "distinguished" speaker from MCI say in front of an audience of resellers that no one is making money in VoIP except for conference organizers! (Here is a hint: His initials are Dr. H.S.)

While I can tell you first-hand that the VoIP conference business is doing great, I wasn't prepared for the number of resellers who came up to me at lunch to say they are making a killing selling VoIP products and services. Yes, the opportunity is very real and we were on-track to attract over 1,000 resellers to this ITEXPO! This is a record, not seen since the 2000 time-frame.

Why are resellers coming in droves? Because people are buying VoIP products in record numbers.

Recently we decided to survey some of our web visitors, including the Internet Telephony Magazine online readers, and it is amazing to see how much purchasing is going on among the TMC community. Here are the stats:

  • 87% of the visitors are personally involved in the purchase of VoIP products.
  • 83% plan on purchasing products and services in the next 12 months.

These are the actual products and services that will be purchased:


Percentage of Purchases Among Audience

IP Phones


VoIP Gateways


WiFi Telephony Products




IP Video


SIP Phones


Network Management Tools


So there you have it. People are buying VoIP products like never before. Logic tells us that resellers are needed for many of these installs. With growth numbers like this, who isn't making money in VoIP and more importantly who has their head in the sand (and that's putting it nicely)?

By the way, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005, is VoIP Reseller day at the ITEXPO show and we are offering this session free to all resellers. Why are we doing this? One simple reason: Without a very healthy reseller market, the VoIP industry cannot flourish. To be honest, many engineers who develop today's VoIP products have the marketing skills of a corpse and distribution skills worse than their marketing skills.

Over the years I have seen countless VoIP companies with amazing products fail miserable because they have no marketing or distribution strategy. Trillions of dollars of investment (in technology in general going back a few decades) have been blown by technical and financial people who head up companies and think customers will find them without sales and distribution!

In every case, they are 100% wrong and will stay wrong forever. Even Apple, with the lion's share of the portable music player business market, are laggards in the industry. As a distribution strategy, they opened their own stores! In addition, every company is dying to resell a product with such a huge marketing budget.

The most successful companies have people at the top that understand sales or marketing. If they understand both, then that company has an even better chance of succeeding.

Enough ranting. My goal is simple. Educate resellers. Make them rich. Have them grow and take on more and more VoIP products to resell. As this happens, customers get better pricing and more choice and the VoIP market flourishes. VoIP resellers... Welcome to the TMC family.

If you are a reseller that wants free press please send me the details of your successful deployments. I will make sure we highlight your achievements for the world to see.

Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments. Participate in our forums.

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