Top telecom agents and VARs are gathering at the WTG 2014 Tee & Sea customer appreciation event this week in Malibu, California. (Click here to see images from last year's Tee & Sea.)
On the eve of the event, Channel Partners caught up with WTG CEO Vince Bradley, who founded WTG back in 1996 when he was just 26 years old — “a kid," as he recalled.
Now one of the most successful telecom master agents in the Untied States, Bradley occupies a unique position at the nexus of the information technology and telecommunications industries. As a master agent, he provides agents with technologies and services much the way distributors do in the information technology market. But with those worlds quickly coming together, he has an opportunity to provide more VARs and systems integrators with cloud innovations in a much richer way.
In this wide-ranging one-on-one interview, the former “kid" explains why WTG remains, as they say in nearby Hollywood, “in the picture." It does so by offering one of the most diverse portfolios in the business, going deep into certain vertical markets such as the energy field, and expanding internationally. Here, Bradley explains WTG’s history and the steps it took that led it to where it is today.
Channel Partners: You stared back in 1996. What opportunity did you see at the time and what is the big opportunity for your company today?
Vince Bradley: I worked for three years before we started the company. I saw a lot of opportunity in telecom. We started the company just after the Telecom Act of 1996. What a great time it was to start a business. We saw other agents focusing on long distance. Some were doing some data services, but most were not. As I saw it, I could focus on long distance, or long distance and local services. With that spirit, I decided to get into the CLEC space. So we did deals with TCG, ICG and NextLink. What was great about that was we could help agents sell dedicated services. That’s how we started. Then the nuclear winter of the telecom and dot-com bust happened. After, we leaned more toward private networks, which led us to partner with companies such as AboveNet. That was a huge push. [Eventually] we became the first master to build a diverse portfolio. I remember one of my competitors, a big master agent who was into cable and wireless, asking me "why are you doing business with all these companies? Why not focus on one or two and build your revenue?? I thought about, but stayed the course. By diversifying, we were able to weather some storms that really impacted others.
CP: And more recently?
VB: In the past couple of years, we have been focused on cloud technologies and services. We even developed “Cloudology," which is our trademarked, proprietary study of all things cloud. It’s all about learning.