Special Focus

The GLOBALINX Masterstream Solution: A Tool to Help Agents Spend Time Selling Rather Than Doing Quoting

By Rich Tehrani, Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC  |  June 17, 2014

GLOBALINX is a fast-growing, hosted services provider that offers a complete line of hosted products for agents and wholesale customers. Recently GLOBALINX changed its billing strategy – moving from a multi-line bill listing CPE and service, to combining both with a competitive single MRC pricing strategy named 1Price. Since advertised, we’ve decided to dive deeper to see how competitive this 1Price offer really is.

One proof point of GLOBALINX’s strength in the industry is the fact that the company has been on the Inc. 500/5000 list of the fastest growing privately held companies for eight consecutive years. GLOBALINX has also been on the Rochester Top 100, a program that recognizes the fastest growing privately owned companies in the Greater Rochester region.

The new 1Price billing, which was launched late last year, is a more competitive and simplified pricing system for agents and customers. It includes all calling features and any customer selected add-on services as part of a single monthly charge. The 1Price model also includes maintenance, professional installation, 24/7 service, award-winning U.S.-based customer service, and more which we found unique compared to other resellers offering similar bundles

“It’s our goal to make the decision-making process as easy as possible for our customers and to provide them with a great experience,” says Michael Machonkin (News - Alert), GLOBALINX Vice President of Business Development. “One price that includes everything a customer thinks they need, while delivering everything they will need is as simple as it gets.

To view this new pricing strategy, we were able to tryout GLOBALINX’s customized new quoting software, called Masterstream, with which many agents already are familiar. GLOBALINX customized Masterstream to allow agents to turn a quote into an order – allowing electronic signatures from customers, order updates, and more. Agents have the ability to upload their unique logos and have them appear in the top right hand corner of proposals.  

We really liked that the Masterstream home screen includes a bulletin board allowing agents to see messages about important items such as new sales contests and new cross-sell or up-sell opportunities.

Speaking of productivity, we liked the Quote Ready feature, which allows canned text to be written once and included on the proposals in an automated fashion. Each user can customize his or her own letter with numerous messages and unique signatures. It’s worth mentioning the standardized letter can be edited before sending – allowing you to add niceties like, “Good luck at the triathlon this weekend,” etc.

Perhaps one of the more important parts of the solution is its ability to notify when a customer looks at an order. The default is off, but you should turn it on.

We believe the interface, while good, can be more intuitive. If you go through an hour of training or so, you will be able to navigate it effectively, but I get the sense that there is much more power here than most people will use. This is a typical challenge with full-featured solutions such as word processing as well; but I think the agents will likely sell more effectively if they are able to take advantage of all of the powerful features under the hood. It is worth mentioning there is a basic bubble-help system which we believe helps a lot.

Master agents will love the reporting feature, which lets you search for orders, RFQs, and other activity based on where it is in the order funnel. A system administrator can add users who could be sub-agents. A total of 99 sales managers can be added and each manager can have 9,999 reports, each with their own ability to login with a unique ID, orders, etc. People can see down but not up, meaning a salesperson cannot look to see what the manager is up to or what the master agent above him is doing; but master agents and managers can look below.

The Resources link allows users to enter in NPANXX codes to determine who the carrier is corresponding to the area code and prefix. We performed testing with numbers in California and Connecticut, and it was accurate each time with responses such as “SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TELEPHONE CO” now part of AT&T (News - Alert) and in another search, “CELLCO PARTNERSHIP DBA VERIZON WIRELESS – CA.” You also can find out the wire center identification code serving this number. Moreover, this can be a handy mileage tool which allows you to determine the distance from a wire center to an address. We tested this feature within Fairfield County, in Connecticut, and it was accurate.

When entering a new RFQ you can add a new customer, modify existing locations, and import a CSV file for multiple locations. Error checking was pretty good. In our testing, it caught addresses which were invalid as well as e-mail addresses without the @ sign. The system has the ability to match addresses, which are entered against the U.S. Post Office database, and when they are validated, the location name is displayed in capital letters to assure you the address is correct. If you enter an invalid address, which we did – you are alerted to this fact and given the option to add it anyway.

When adding network services, you can choose between one and three years and then select the network beyond GLOBALINX – the company suggests you choose “no preference” but you can narrow the list down by selecting specific network(s) the customer requests. In our tests we selected an existing customer from the prepopulated test database, selected MPLS, GLOBALINX as the carrier, a 20 percent commission, Ethernet at 10mbps, voice service, and a managed router. If you have a customer in a GLOBALINX location you can opt for hosted PBX (News - Alert) as a service as mentioned above. At this point you are prompted to select various devices from categories such as office station or reception. You can also choose from various purchase options, and you can easily present various payment options to your customers.

One great option we liked was the ability to duplicate options so they can be changed and presented to customers for their evaluation. At this point the system goes out to the carriers and processes the orders. The quotes come back very quickly, but the processing status stays there until they are sure the price is correct.

Another great benefit of the system is customized pricing request that lets you let GLOBALINX know what you need to ensure you win the business. GLOBALINX can then lower the price based on your probability of winning the business, and it then shows the new price in the system.

Once sold, you can track the order as it moves through the provisioning system of GLOBALINX – similar to how you might track a package from FedEx.

In short, the GLOBALINX Masterstream system is quite powerful and the customizations made to it have improved the service dramatically, meaning agents can spend time selling and not performing data entry. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi