The Conference Group Moves to Two-Tier Channel

The Conference Group has transitioned its channel program to a two-tier distribution model, according to the conferencing providers director of business development, Greg Plum.

Plum told PHONE+ that about six months ago, the company evaluated its strongest sales channels and determined that master agents and resellers were the most effective sources. Since then, the company has terminated its inactive agents and rolled a majority of its smaller, less active agents under master agency Telcombrokers Inc., which agreed not to raise the new subagents buy prices.  Plum is quick to point out that The Conference Group did not cut anyone off.” We did not want to impact them financially. We did not want to have that black eye,” he said.

Plum said the company has retained some direct agreements with its most active independent agents, but declined to disclose the number. On a go-forward basis, he said, agents will be directed to one of the providers master agents based on a geography, culture and whether they already are working with one of the masters. In addition to Telcombrokers, The Conference Groups master agents include X4 Solutions, Telecom Brokerage Inc., Telecom Management, TelcoPro and Outreach Telecom & Energy.

Plum said The Conference Group will support the master agencies recruitment efforts with its expertise and time, such as in joint Webinars. As the program matures, we hope to develop marketing plans with the master agents,” he said, noting that increasing conferencing sales is primarily a function of awareness. Its still lucrative at 20-40 percent margins plus theres no complex installation,” he said.

The Conference Group also has expanded its suite of collaboration services available to the channel to include LotusLive Meetings, LotusLive Events, Microsoft LiveMeeting and MegaMeeting. Vidyo, an additional video option, will be added in the coming weeks.

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