Dave Wallace, formerly a channel executive with Cbeyond Inc., has launched a master agent program for LAN integrators, PBX resellers and independent agents offering telecommunication solutions, including voice, data, wireless, conferencing, security and hosting, to SMBs.
The master agency, Aligned Communications, officially began Aug. 1, and now has approximately 20 partner relationships. Wallace hopes to grow that number to 100 active partners over the next year.
Prior to forming Aligned Communications, Wallace successfully built a channel program consisting of more than 2,500 VARs for Cbeyond, an IP-based managed services provider of IT and communications services for small businesses. Wallace admitted that the travel required “to properly serve the agent community” as Cbeyond’s vice president of sales became daunting when he tried to balance it with his family life.
“I decided to make a change that allowed me to spend more time with my wife and daughter,” said Wallace. “I saw the successes of other master agents that I had the good fortune of working with while at Cbeyond, and decided to form Aligned Communications using many of the best practices I saw employed by those master agents,” he said.
“Launching a master agent program enables me to share my industry expertise and insights into the telecom competitive landscape with my agent community,” said Wallace. “Aligned Communications offers VARs access to best practices, extensive marketing resources and generous compensation plans.”
VARs can choose to work under Aligned Communications’ referral program, agent program or both. Through the referral program, VARs can leverage the team at Aligned Communications for carrier selection and receive a referral fee.
By participating in the agent program, VARs have two options for generating revenue. They can manage the sales process with the customer and receive a one-time upfront payment after the installations, or they can choose monthly income for the life of the customer in the form of residual payments.
All partners are offered training, marketing and technical sales support, and have access to Aligned Communications’ agent Web portal, powered by MasterStream, to simplify and streamline quoting, track orders and reconcile commissions.
“Aligned Communications knows that in a tough economy, SMBs are cautious about their telecom spending,” said Wallace. “To ensure they are making the right choice, our master agent program enables VARs to offer an objective search for the exact telecom provider that fits their customers’ operational and budget needs.”
Aligned Communications is also a charter member of the Technology Channel Association.