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Internap Background

Internap is an enhanced network services provider that guarantees business customers levels of reliability, redundancy, and performance unmatched in the industry. The company's innovative and market-leading route management technology resides on a network that consists of all major domestic IP backbones, enabling customers to run their mission-critical applications over the internet without risk. Internap currently serves over 1,800 Fortune 500 and mid-tier business customers throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.

Internap's Challenge

By 2002, the perception in the marketplace was that Internet bandwidth was a commodity and that all network service providers (NSPs) were the same. In response, customers bought on price alone, creating intense competition and driving prices down. Internap began to lose deals to low-price, low-quality service providers. Though it was more expensive, Internap's solution guaranteed levels of service that no other NSP could match. Because of this premium, however, Internap sales were not growing as desired. Internap sales reps struggled to:

  • Differentiate the performance of Internap's offering from the competition
  • Describe the value of the offering in terms that clearly justified the premium pricing
  • Quantify the impact to a customer of signing with a lesser quality NSP that could not guarantee similar levels of reliability, redundancy, and performance

As a result, Internap experienced long sales cycles, unsatisfactory sales growth, and difficulty displacing incumbent NSPs.

The Talant Solution

Talant implemented several elements of its Value Measurement Suite including:

  • Needs Analyzer: enables Internap sales reps to assess a prospect's current Internet connectivity solution, identifying capability gaps between current needs-with respect to Redundancy, Routing, Performance, and Service Guarantees–and the service levels delivered by their current provider. The Needs Analyzer quantifies the impact of these gaps, in terms of additional cost incurred and revenue lost, on the prospect's business.
  • Business Case Generator: provides Internap sales reps with the financial and operational metrics necessary to cost-justify their premium priced solution; quantifies the benefits of Internap's internet connectivity solution as compared to current operations and competitive solutions.

Talant Impact

Talant's Value Measurement tools enable Internap sales reps to "de-commoditize" bandwidth. This is accomplished by assessing the degree to which a customer's current Internet connectivity solution supports the specific applications they are running over their network. Sales reps identify and quantify gaps between current operations and current needs by demonstrating that the real costs and risks associated with the current solution are higher than previously thought. Customers quickly understand that maintaining the status quo is unacceptable.

Internap sales reps are also able to measure each prospect's total cost of service delivery, unveiling all the hidden costs required to support internet connectivity solutions (cost of contract management, internal network engineering support, help desk, downtime, etc.) and demonstrating that a lower bandwidth cost does not always mean a lower total cost.

Internap reported the following benefits after introducing Talant's Value Measurement tools to the field:

  • Decreased length of sales cycles by clearly articulating the cost of maintaining the status quo and building a sense of urgency with prospects
  • Sales reps transformed into consultants, adding value to prospects by demonstrating the impact of internet connectivity options on their bottom line
  • More efficient sales process by using Talant's Value Measurement tools to engage key stakeholders and decision-makers early, uncovering issues and obstacles and managing them with real data
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