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There are many reasons organizations don’t partner with an agent for their technology services. Some aren’t sure how the relationship works. Others assume the service costs are higher than buying direct from a carrier. Some companies are simply reluctant to deviate from the status quo. No matter the logic, the lack of outside support means internal teams need to shoulder the burden—reconciling monthly invoices, haggling over installation dates and trying to match the company’s needs to an always-changing suite of service offerings and price tiers.

A relationship with a telecom agent can help your business avoid this unnecessary effort while also improving the performance of your technology services. The benefits come in many forms, from making better use of your team’s limited time to embracing more effective strategies for delivering the results your company needs to move forward. Of course, finding the most efficient spend levels is also an important measure.

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In any cost/benefit analysis, one of the primary points to remember is that your team’s time isn’t free. If you’ve ever navigated the murky waters of the average service provider—where the billing team, account reps, installation crews and engineers don’t seem to communicate with each other—you already know what I mean. Have a question about a charge on your latest invoice? Your account executive might be able to help, but you’re more likely to get stuck waiting to talk with someone in billing who doesn’t know anything about your account beyond what’s on their screen. Need to add a service? You may never get to talk with the engineer doing the provisioning, and you can only hope the powers that be set everything up correctly when the installer arrives.

An experienced telecom agent relieves your team of those burdens. Your agent rep is there to deal with the issues that invariably pop up, and to ensure your services continue to perform as expected. Your agent can look into invoicing discrepancies and advocate on your behalf. They also they have the necessary contacts within each carrier to proactively identify and resolve potential problems before they hamper service performance, such as working through the provisioning details of a service upgrade or coordinating equipment relocations from one facility to another.

Your telecom services need to deliver results, whether in the form of increased worker productivity, a better experience for customers or other factors that support your mission. Jumping on an introductory deal or signing up for whichever service can be installed soonest will surely lead to lackluster performance. By leveraging the expertise and support of an experience telecom agent, your business can reap better rewards in the long run. The right partner is vendor agnostic, and will help you deploy the platforms that are best suited for your specific needs, rather than pitching whatever represents the industry’s flavor of the month.

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Of course, there’s no ignoring the money aspect when it comes to weighing costs and benefits. There are companies out there that worry an agent will increase their expenditures, but that often isn’t true. The relationship isn’t like the middleman connections of old. Instead, skilled telecom agents can identify where cost savings may be found and help guide their clients to the right solutions without a lot of wasted services or unnecessary features. In addition, experienced agents have developed strategic relationships with top-tier carriers. They’re knowledgeable about which solutions are the most cost-effective and how consumption-based pricing can be leveraged to better control—and often reduce—monthly expenses.

If you aren’t sure your business could benefit from the support of a telecom agent, consider your existing services. Are you getting the most out of your time and money? If you see room for improvement, a knowledgeable agent can help guide you to solutions that will perform better and will be more time and cost effective.