It's Just a Piece of Paper

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

It's Just a Piece of Paper

In the course of a day, I often hear about agent deals where the agent gets burned. let's face it, if you have been a channel partner for longer than a minute, you have probably been burned - either on a deal, a commission, or a contract.

During the prospecting stage, the Service Provider (SP) loves the Partner. Loves them.

Of course they love a free lead generation machine. Who wouldn't?!

But then the sale closes. And the CEO and CFO look at that balance sheet. That commission line item is so big! Why does it keep growing? Why do we keep paying agents for deals that closed more than a year ago?

It's called a contract, you big C-Suit wearing doofus. We bring you business according to this agent agreement we both signed. We hope you honor it - even though, even as we put ink to that piece of paper, we know that at least once, you will likely disregard this piece of paper and screw us.

"At that time the agent is valuable, but if you ask the same person about the agent and the account a year later, they have forgotten the value," an agent wrote me recently.

Channel executives have a quiet secret: that CFO's and CEO's make them justify the channel every year.

As consolidation accelerates, more agent business will be held by fewer companies. (With the tw telecom purchase, Level3 gets a bigger piece of agents' business. Zayo increases an agent's holdings with each acquisition.) It's a sobering thought.

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