Two Sides of the Street

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

Two Sides of the Street

In the past 18 months, I have seen a lot of carrier channel personnel make their way into desks at master agencies. (For example, this release.) It makes me think about quite a few things, but I am only going to touch on 2.

One, master agencies are building up for scale. There are positions for carrier folks there now, because some of these agencies have gotten so big. Big means that you want people who have worked in big organizations who might know P&L and scale.This also lends itself to the reality that master agencies have to get bigger to remain profitable. Smaller and smaller deals of small ARPU (sub-$1000) means that very many sales transactions have to take place.

Plus these masters have so many vendors - some have more than 100 vendors. It takes a different org type to effective manage that many contracts, quotas, commissions, and relationships. This extends into my view that master agencies and VADs (value added distributors like Tech Data and Ingram, who both had booths at the partner expo) are starting to morph into similar looking creatures. This calls for some different skills for the masters as well if they have to compete with the likes of a Tech Data, a CDW, an Insight - who not only have a huge catalog of hardware but are shifting into delivery of cloud services either as an agent or more likely as a service provider.

It's all about the back office, swivel chair and efficiency when you look to scale. VADs like Tech Data already have systems in place.

The other point is that masters are getting further away from the sale. Unless they have direct sales teams (which quite a few do today), masters look like they are taking a step back from agents into more of a management layer (if you will).

The carrier folks went from the vendor channel to the agent channel. It got easier is what they tell me. Sure, instead of doing all the pushing from the vendor side, they now get wined and dined by folks that took their place. That's a nice change of pace until the quota comes due - then the real pressure is on!

I'd like to hear your perspective on the latest moves in the channel. Leave a comment or drop me an email.

Related Articles to 'Two Sides of the Street'
Featured Events