75 Coolest Telecom Service Providers: The Innovators

The Innovators

Cloud computing and managed service models are changing the telecom game. In the second part of our 75 Coolest Telecom Service Providers, meet the innovators in the telecom channel that are meeting those trends heads-on.


In March, AirBand expanded its indirect channel program with a suite of bundled services focused on enterprise-class voice and data. It’s gaining traction by targeting two things channel partners crave: flexibility and incentives.


AireSpring continues to be saluted for its channel programs and continues to bolster its portfolio. The new Dynamic X SMB provides voice and data over a single circuit and provides PBX features such as conference calling, visual voice-mail.


Alteva partnered with Microsoft and Broadsoft for a hosted UC solution targeted at small businesses and enterprises. It also launched a Web store through which companies with fewer than 25 users can pick one of four customized UC bundles.


As a global force in SIP trunking services, BandTel wins raves for its N-Plus architecture, which lets the service provider deploy a matrix of N SIP proxies for managing data loads. It offers OEM, distributor and classic VAR partnerships.


Reports surfaced in October 2009 that Bandwidth.com had disbanded its indirect sales program but the company has since indicated it is honoring existing partner agreements and will work selectively with partners going forward.

Broad Sky Networks

Broad Sky Networks’ motto? ’Broadband everywhere.’ A number of existing partners point to ’evergreen’ commissions -- available through Broad Sky through the full life of a customer relationship -- as one reason they keep coming back.


Cbeyond’s sharp small-business focus has kept it on the fast growth track despite the economic downturn. In fact, Cbeyond, whose sales increased 50 percent from 2007 to 2009, was recognized as the 11th fastest-growing company in Georgia this year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Consolidated Technologies

Consolidated Technologies is pushing the cloud envelope. The unified communications power is one of the founding members of the Cloud Communications Alliance, a consortium driving development and adoption of a nationwide high-definition enterprise voice and data cloud network.

First Communications

Leave it to First Communications to make wireless services more affordable to SMBs. The Midwestern telecom services powerhouse launched a Mobile Share Plan that contains an allowance of anytime wireless minutes that can be shared across an unlimited number of mobile devices.


Glowpoint’s program lets partners stamp their own brand on Glowpoint services and do billing invoicing. Glowpoint boasts annuity commissions of 10% to 15% of billed revenue. Glowpoint also has game. This year it provided two-way HD videoconferencing to enable live interactive broadcast of the NBA draft.

iCore Networks

iCore Networks may well be your best defense against cyberattacks or a natural disaster. The fast-growth VoIP network superstar, which came in at No. 29 on this year’s Inc. 500, recently opened a network operations center that provides its geographically redundant, fully mirrored capabilities.


Leave it to IPFone to come up with a breakthrough iPhone app that lets customers integrate a hosted phone system on the smartphone. The app extends the features of an enterprise hosted PBX or phone system to employees using an iPhone. IPFone is a founding member of the Cloud Communications Alliance.

M5 Networks

M5 Networks likes to say it is redefining what a phone system can do. As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, M5 launched its Smart Business Phone System. In the past, M5 delivered its service using Broadsoft’s phone system software. Today, M5 uses its own software.


MetTel has a reputation as one of the most technology-savvy telecom providers. In fact, its online order entry and tracking capabilities are big differentiators. Founded 14 years ago, the privately held company offers a comprehensive portfolio of phone and advanced business and data services.

Nectar Services

Nectar Services is one of the more innovative telecom service providers around, and its software and services have garnered widespread industry acclaim. The Farmingdale, N.Y.-based company was recently honored with a Long Island Software Award for its managed SIP solution.


NetWolves took its channel game to a new level, naming a vice president and president for its Channel Partner Program. On the technology front, it added a new patent for its Secure Remote Monitoring and Management System, which lets it manage customers’ networks securely with minimal overhead.

One Communications

One Communications is spreading its wings. Just this year the Burlington, Mass., provider expanded into Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, adding them to its 18-state reach. One Communications also has the distinction of being the largest privately held, multiregional integrated telecom solution provider in the U.S.


Paetec is on a roll. This year the New Jersey Technology Council named Paetec’s Keith Wilson CFO of the Year. The data and voice provider, which has business customers in 84 of 100 top U.S. metro areas, has key acquisitions on tap and an increasing partner ecosystem.


Savvis bats for the cycle, tackling hosting, networking, security, and professional services; and it’s making a great deal of headway in cloud computing. Savvis also takes a vertical approach to services, catering to media, government, financial, health care, retail and more.


Voice applications, SIP trunking and cloud hosted PBX are just some offerings SimpleSignal trumpets as it heads to the cloud. It makes no bones about its mission: To have the biggest impact on business voice since the invention of the phone. It is also an inaugural member of the Cloud Communications Alliance.


Telarus is a partner’s partner in the telecom service provider market, as a master agent for many leading commercial telecommunications carriers including AT&T, Level 3 Communications and Qwest Business. Telarus in 2009 won top partner awards from seven companies, including five on our list.


Earlier this year TouchTone started offering flat-rate pricing of $0.0089 per minute for dedicated voice services and bills in six-second increments. Agents receive up-front cash bonuses, incentives and residual commissions, with no quotas or minimum sales requirements.


Everybody sing: Woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo. That’s the sound of one of the world’s largest providers of voice and messaging services over broadband networks. It serves more than 2.4 million in 60-plus countries. Most of its sales are either direct to customers over the Web or via retailers.


Whaleback’s services include CrystalBlue Voice managed IP telephony service with IP PBX and Key System Unit features for SMBs and SMEs, and CrystalBlue Lite managed VoIP service, which carriers with SIP trunking services can offer to SMBs. It offers services through carrier partners, channel partners and sales agents.


Windstream, Little Rock, Ark., provides phone, high-speed Internet and HDTV services to residential customers, as well as IP-based voice and data services and advanced phone systems and equipment to businesses and government agencies. Windstream partners with local service providers.