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Master Agent Cloud Group Expands Mission, Considers Joint Contracts

The Cloud Services Round Table (CSRT) announced Monday the expansion of its mission beyond caring and sharing to cloud services channel development activities, which may  include joint contracts with cloud services providers.

The council was formed in May by master agencies Concierge Communications, Tempe, Ariz., and Terrapin Solutions, San Ramon, Calif., to organize master agencies focused on managed services, cloud computing and hosted services.  

The expanded charter was developed at the councils Sept.20 meeting held in conjunction with the Fall 2010 Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C. The member defined there objectives as follows:

  1. Provide a care and share” group for master agents focused on cloud products and services. This will include development of members sales teams and agents, tools and information for agents and sales teams.
  2. Increase the number of cloud-focused subagents for each of the participating master agencies by offering education programs, participation in industry events, support structures for collaborative sales and agent recruitment activities.
  3. Create social media activities regarding cloud services
  4. Facilitate high commissions pass-through of each others provider portfolios to give access to a broad spectrum of cloud-based providers
  5. Hold joint prospective and existing provider meetings
  6. Evaluate joint provider contract possibilities.

When we announced the CSRT as part of a care and share initiative, we were not sure what we would expect with regard to membership requests,” said CSRT Chairman Clark Atwood, vice president for Concierge Communications.  We received a stack of applications and inquiries from individual agents, traditional master agents, legal practices and many others. After meeting for the past several months online and in person at [the Channel Partners Conference & Expo], we have defined who we are, what framework we will build and where we are going.”

CSRT Vice Chairman Andrew Pryfogle, CEO of Terrapin-Solutions, said the group is positioning itself to capitalize on a changing marketplace while protecting the interests of master agencies. There is safety in numbers,” he said.

CSRT Member Todd Larsen, CEO of Limitless Technology, added that moving to a cloud-focus can be a daunting task for a master agency. With the pooled resources and attention of this group, we know our agency and our subagents will have the benefits and strengths needed to stay focused through the changes and consolidation that are sure to come. The collaboration and education are keys to our success as the world changes around us,” he said.

Pryfogle add that CSRT also will benefit cloud providers.  This is a win for the providers as well because they get the attention of the combined group rather than a single boutique master agency,” he explained.

The roundtable will serve master agents that want to add cloud computing, server and desktop virtualization, cloud infrastructure, cloud telephony (hosted VoIP), cloud mobility, remote management solutions, managed desktop/server/security, managed LAN, managed WAN (including managed MPLS/CoS), managed server, managed firewall and other cloud services.

To date CSRT has three members; Limitless Technology was added as a founding member in July. The group is considering the addition of at least two other master agencies, but will do so on a strategic not quantitative basis, Atwood said. The goal is not to have a bunch of master agents in a huge group, but to be more strategic, he said, noting that additions would not be made until December at the earliest. “We are interested in additional members if they bring providers to the table that are not in our collective portfolio. They must also bring the same passion, desire and commitment to consultative sales that the existing three have.”

Master agents wanting to request membership in the group or subagents wanting access to cloud service providers should contact the group via the Web at www.cloudroundtable.com/contactus.html.


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