Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

agents

Technology Channel Association Changes Taking Place

June 13, 2014

The TCA (Technology Channel Association), a non-profit trade association for channel partners that I helped found in 2008, has made a few announcements.

TCA President Jeff Ponts writes, "We have expanded our relationship with Cloud Partners, and have signed strategic relationships with CompTIA, and the Baptie Group to meet our goals." The main goal of TCA is education of the channel - all segments of the channel.

"The cornerstone of the TCA has always been the Certified Telecom Professional (CTP) exam. It was rolled out in 2010 and is now on its third revision to meet our industry's expanding role in supporting our members.

Vendor Buys Its Platinum Partner

June 9, 2014

"Vertical Communications, a provider of business communications software, announced that it has merged with Fulton Communications, a national systems integrator of voice, data and video communications technologies and one of the Inc. 5000 "fastest growing companies in North America."" Fulton is a Vertical Diamond Partner, who has sold more Vertical solutions over the past two years than any other channel partner."

"The new combined company will offer business customers vendor-direct communications technology solutions, including cloud and premise-based enterprise telephony, unified communications, and vertical-market voice applications, as well as a local presence for direct sales, support and professional services in major markets across the United States." [press release]

One Master Agent thought this was notable since the software company is looking for more direct sales (rather than rely on the channel). Many of the Master Agencies are in fact running a direct sales force in the background behind their prominent indirect sales model.

New President and CEO at Microcorp

May 29, 2014

On the heels of yesterday's email about buying up master agency bases, Microcorp announced today that Brad Miehl, founder of MicroCorp, will ne replaced as President by Microcorp's current Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Phil Keenan, a 28-year industry veteran.

Karin Fields will take over reigns as both COO and CEO.

Big shift to one of the largest and older master agencies who, according to the email yesterday, is looking to grow through acquisition of other agencies.

The Master Agencies seem to be at the transition stage if you look at the number of management changes that have taken place in the last couple of years.

Basic Math on Sales Commissions

May 28, 2014

Yesterday when I wrote about what the channel is selling, it was mainly bigger deals. Obviously, there are many more transactions taking place.

When I work with VoIP providers, the thing that always gets said is that it is just as much work to get 150 seats as it is to get a 15 seat sale. Think about that.

The Hosted VoIP Crowded Picture

May 8, 2014

Microcorp just signed up 8x8 as a vendor. By my count, that is the 20th service provider that offers Hosted VoIP of some kind. 20.

Some are Broadsoft based; some are Metaswitch based; and some are home brewed versions (Asterisk/Freeswitch/whatever).

Why Pivot?

April 18, 2014

In business, a pivot is a strategy change (especially in Lean Startup processes). When you look at brick-and-mortar companies like RadioShack, Sears/K-Mart, there have been strategy changes but not really what I would call a pivot - or even a course correction. The pivot for B&N was going digital with the Nook (right or wrong it was a pivot). Plaxo pivoted (out of extinction) when it added Pulse.

VARs Threatened by Agents

April 2, 2014

Quite the announcement: "CompTIA: 70% of VARs Concerned About Agents 'Encroaching' on Their Space".

For at least three years CompTIA has been working on partnering VARs with Agents to bring about this converged business that could manage the WAN/LAN/IT of the SME space. Does this figure mean that it failed?

My thinking is that Agents are selling more managed services than before because carriers are pushing them down the throats of their partners.

Agents Versus Brokerages

April 1, 2014

I often hear from carriers how Agents don't add value. I'm never sure what value the carriers are talking about. Agents are a sales force for you. We sell your stuff.

True Ups Kill the Partner

March 20, 2014

I just received news that tw telecom will be truing up my account. It will be a nice 4 figure pinch - going back to March 2013. I understand that the account had a billing adjustment, but a true up for a year ago???

As it turns out that isn't so bad.

Would You Hire That Way?

March 11, 2014

Lately, watching service providers (vendors, carriers, cloud providers - heretofore referred to as SPs) go to channel has been like watching either a reality tv show or a car crash. The way SPs approach the channel looks unplanned.

MessageBroadcast was in and out of the channel in less than a year. I don't know how you think you will get traction and sales that fast from zero.

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