In 1997, TMC's founder John Marsch sat across TA's brand new desk and announced to me that TMC Communications was going to set the telecom agent industry on it's ear by providing the first "equity play" for agents. John was going to build TMC up into a telecom powerhouse and sell it for a great multiple as he had done with his first telecom company several years earlier. Agents that came on board with TMC and help build it up would profit handsomely on the day it sold!
It all sounded pretty good to me! John followed his words up with actions by being one of the strongest supporters of the agency model over the years. John passed away in 2006 before he was able to sell his company a second time.
Well TMC did finally sell today to SIP and videophone provider GLOBALINX® Enterprises, LLC and rumors have it that
So what's in store for the TMC agents and employees that still have to keep working for a living? Well that's a good questions. I spoke with TMC president Ron Ireland this evening and he suggested that Craig Jerabeck, GLOBLINX's owner told him that all TMC employees were staying and that all TMC agents simply had to sign a new agreement but that the terms would remain unchanged. OK, that's good...
But what does the future hold for TMC/GLOBALINX? Is this some place that TMC agents want to put more business? To answer that question one needs to consider why agents have been putting business with TMC to date. Mostly it's the fact that TMC's agent channel really knows how to take care of agents and that TMC always seems to be coming up with the hot business products and prices TMC agent need.
So will the "kick ass" agent support channel at TMC achieve it's future full potential as part of GLOBALINX? Maybe. I definitely think the GLOBALINX purchase increases the odds this will happen. Over the past four years it seems to me that TMC has been quite intolerant of any sort of risky business. That's both good and bad for a reseller like TMC. It preserves the "cash cow" part of the business but it does not "bet big" on future money-makers.
TMC has done reasonably well as a very conservative reseller over the past several years with a great agent support team. The general understanding though was that there's been no one at the TMC "sales wheel" to throw caution to the wind, floor the sales and marketing accelerator and see how many competitors its hot agent team could pass on it's way to the sales finish-line. Well with any luck, someone's going to step on the TMC sales accelerator and we'll all get to see what happens.
So who's going to step on the gas? Maybe Craig Jerabeck or his partners Jeb Tyler or Jason Guck. Click here to view a 5Linx video where the three speak to their company visions.
The whole 5Linx thing appears to be a resi VoIP/video phone opportunity being spun up by 50,000 MLMers. They do have a commercial arm though at this link that will seem a whole lot more familiar to agent and SIP/VoIP resellers who do their thing in the commercial markets.
This will help more than it hurts. After John's passing, TMC lost its crazy "pull-out-all-the-stops" sales leader. Any company like 5Linx/GLOBALINX with 175 employees is a real company. They could simply tell their 50,000 MLMers about their TMC acquisition and drive in a ton of commercial leads. It appears to be a complimentary acquisition where 5Linx/GLOBALINX gets to balance out it's resi/MLM business with commercial business.
Whether or not existing TMC agents get all jacked up to sell 5Linx' video phones or GLOBALINX' hosted VoIP and wholesale SIP opportunities remains to be seen. (Those that need hosted VoIP & SIP already have about a buzillion vendors to get it from that aren't distracted with MLM.)
In any case though I think a little MLM/videophone excitement is just what TMC needs to pull the cork out of their sales tailpipe! (I can actually envision John Marsch explaining to me how every corporate executive across the US will abandon their Blackberry's for video phones over the next 12 months - and don't I want to be the one to sell it to them?!)
But who cares what I think! What do you think? Leave your comments below.