CHANNEL PARTNERS — Intelisys (Booth 5004 and an Executive Sponsor) on Thursday formally launched its Channel Alignment Program, which helps telecom agents, VARs and IT solutions providers establish business partnerships.
The program addresses the chaos caused by the blending of telecom and IT, and pairs IT solution providers with selected Intelisys agents. That way, the IT partners may add a cloud and carrier services practice to their business models, with little to no capital investment, Intelisys said. That's because Intelisys manages all of the contracts and commissioning processes in a way that does not require IT solution providers to give up account control. Channel Alignment Program also jump-starts a recurring revenue stream for IT partners, who are accustomed to earning large up-front payments; up-front compensation is declining, however, as end-users choose opex-centric services over capex-consuming hardware purchases.
“Both parties win," said Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president and general manager of cloud services and complex bids for Intelisys. “The IT solution provider is able to leverage the expertise of the telecom agent in order to build a coveted recurring revenue stream. The telecom agent gets access to those valuable customer relationships that only the IT solution provider holds."
Pryfogle said Intelisys crafted Channel Alignment Program in response to partner demand as the telecom and IT fields become one.
“This definitely is an epic shift we are experiencing, but it does not have to be painful," he said. "The right partner makes all the difference."
For the initial phase of the Channel Alignment Program, Intelisys has enrolled 15 of its top agents in major metro areas of the country. It then assigns IT solution providers in the same regions to the appropriate agent.
“It’s time to stop competing and start cooperating," said Patrick Wefers, founder and president of Infinium Communications. Wefers has built his agency on serving as an outsourced carrier and cloud services arm for VARs and IT solution providers. To that point, he called Intelisys' Channel Alignment program "brilliant" because neither party has to worry about financial risk.
“As an industry, it’s time to realize that VARs don’t need to become agents and agents don’t need to become VARs," he said. “Many have tried that model and failed."