TechData entered a similar agreement with MicroCorp last fall and Ingram Micro's April deal with CenturyLink is being facilitated by Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI).
The ScanSource-Intelisys deal, which was pre-announced Thursday at the Scansource Next Is Now partner meeting in Dallas, enables ScanSource to be a non-exclusive referral partner for Intelisys.
"We will market their services and solutions to our reseller partners, get the appropriate parties engaged on each side and host training sessions and marketing events to promote solutions," explained Brian Cuppett, vice president of merchandising for ScanSource Communications in an interview with Channel Partners.
ScanSource VARs will sign up as a subagents directly with Intelisys, which will provide support and systems, as well as pay commissions directly to the VAR.
A shortened time to market was at the heart of ScanSource's decision to partner with a master agency rather than work directly with telecom carriers and cloud service providers, Cuppett explained.
"By going this route we could start providing value to our reseller partners much quicker than negotiating our own agreements," he said, noting the back-office setup as a time-consuming endeavor. "The level of expertise provided by Intelisys would allow us to hit the ground running with our partners."
Additionally, ScanSource VARs can participate in Intelisys' Channel Alignment Program, which was rolled out earlier this year to pair IT solutions providers with Intelisys agents to jumpstart VARs' move into carrier services while preserving their control over customer accounts.
"Utilizing their Channel Alignment Program will allow our partners to start selling today these solutions -- that is powerful," said Cuppett. "If our partners are in more deals selling services that will drive more hardware -- that is the win-win-win for all three of us in the value chain."
While Intelisys will facilitate VARs selling carrier network services along with their hardware and software offers, the master agency also will provide access to a growing with of cloud services providers.
While other distributors have taken steps to become cloud services aggregators, ScanSource is taking a different tack. "We're looking at how this type of program and offers will be adopted by our partners and then we'll make decisions from there," Cuppett said.
He added that Intelisys will be able to facilitate commissioned and white-label relationships where they are available. "I'm not convinced that white-labeling is what VARs prefer to do," said Cuppett. "I think VARs want to make money and we think by offering this facilitation of a relationship with Intelisys we can get more of our partners selling carrier services and cloud solutions, which a significant portion of them are not at this time."
VARs can sign up for the program immediately, but more formal marketing of the program will begin July 1.