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In the transformation to as-a-service models like cloud, telecom agents have fewer steps than do VARs, said Rauline Ochs, senior vice president and general manager for channel research firm IPED, in her keynote remarks Friday at Channel Connect 2012, Intelisys' partner meeting in San Francisco.
While agents have to add capabilities to deliver cloud services, VARs also have to adapt to a recurring revenue model that agents know well, Ochs said.
Ochs, a former IT channel chief for the likes of Oracle, IBM and BEA Systems, has been studying the convergence of IT and telecom in the cloud and its impact on indirect sales channels.
In her remarks, Ochs noted that the latest IPED research shows that customers have three technology concerns: their cloud, their network and their mobile clients. Channel partners of all types must focus on those three elements, she added.
However, she said that IT and telecom VARs are tackling convergence with new solutions like Microsoft Lync, but neither has the network component that the telecom agents have.
Because of the gaps, she said more agents and VARs will be partnering and/or buying each other.