Insta-plan

Insta

plan.com has been making a lot of noise in the mobile market of late and have been insisting Comms Business take a look at version 3 of their portal. It has been in the market for about six months now so Deputy Editor David Dungay thought it about time he went to take a look.

Since plan’s inception just over two years ago the company has expended a lot of effort, time and money in crafting their proposition. They wanted to build something revolutionary, and they wanted the delivery to spin the market on its head. Keith Curran, Co-founder admitted “We wanted to be different, give the market something unique and we wanted to do that through the technology we can provide, i.e. our portal.” Now with over 400 partners, plan.com are turning heads in the market place.

The concept behind the portal all came about because the same mobile tariffs were being offered to the same people for the same prices. “It was always the same year in year out” said Keith. “We decided there was little point in being another air time distributor, there can never be anything new about that model.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 09.57.18So what did plan do? They managed to integrate their systems directly into those of the network operator (O2). The end result? The ultimate in bespoke tariffs, and real time Customer and Partner support! This is where plan have really grabbed the attention of the partner community. Through the portal, partners can construct bespoke tariffs which can be tailored directly to the customer’s needs. Previously, if you wanted to tweak a particular tariff you would have to go to the network and it would take several days to get a response. This portal can build a bespoke tariff in real time and allows resellers to even tailor their own commercials for the same deal. As the reseller you can flex the price, the contract length and choose how much commission you want upfront or deferred.

You could be forgiven for thinking plan is a pure mobile player… they aren’t. Their portfolio has now expanded to include Fixed-line, VoIP, IoT, Apps, cloud and IT services too, all accessible via the portal. It even includes modules for Hardware and Recycling.

Hosted VoIP is currently one of plan’s most sought after products from their base of predominantly mobile centric partners. Chris Smith, Head of Business Development, added “The beauty of the portal is that it has all the answers there in front of you, so if you are in front of a customer and you don’t know much about VoIP you can still close a deal, the portal effectively makes you an expert.”

On top of the Hosted VoIP service plan are able to offer call recording, international numbers for points of presence around the world and a range of ‘plug and play’ desk phones from Polycom and Yealink. Again, building these deals is very simple with the use of sliding bars to account for units and included minutes etc.

In the Cloud range of services plan offers Office 365, Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite together with the ability to register a domain name for your business. This is a great added touch for those that may be dealing with start-ups or are provisioning existing businesses which are going through structural/ branding changes.

Verdict

Where this portal really excels is how it empowers partners to sell. Differentiating yourself in a competitive and crowded market is tough enough but with plan you can actually offer something bespoke and in an instant that other providers may take weeks to sort out.

plan partner Carla Redpath from Project Business Solutions commented, “We are closing more deals in the 1st meeting and having the credit check returned and the contract accepted in the same day. It has hugely increased our closing rate. We love it”.

In the portal, partners have access to real time usage information together with the ability to set an infinite range of alerts, add and remove bars and bolt-ons, and schedule events.
plan really has thought of everything a partner could want and need to be able to sell. As you would expect in 2016 they can also deliver the portal over any device, so if you happen to be out on the golf course and you need to keep an eye on things you can do so from a tablet or mobile too.