TELARUS PARTNER SUMMIT — Will the ongoing flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the IT/telecommunications industry help or hinder partners?
Adam Edwards. Telarus co-founder and CEO, took a stab at that question on Day 1 of the Telarus Partner Summit. He acknowledged the trepidation partners are feeling about industry consolidation.
“As we talk to partners around this country, this consolidation is concerning, because as a partner, when your role is to talk with customers about their choices, and all of a sudden they’ve got fewer choices, is that good for you as an agent?” he queried.
But Edwards says partners should recognize the realities certain vendors face.
“Let me tell you what’s a really good thing: having financially solvent providers that give recurring commission.”
Edwards and Telarus co-founder Patrick Oborn have been prominent voices in the channel and have spoken publicly regarding mergers in the industry, including CenturyLink-Level 3.
Edwards on Tuesday praised ScanSource’s acquisition of Intelisys, a move he says reflects a changing distributor model. He says that model shifts from a focus on logistics to a focus on centralized services with a “portal approach to the cloud.” Telarus says it shares that model.
“We think that’s very interesting, and quite candidly, we wish them luck,” Edwards said. “We hope they are successful, because we like this model. We think that cloud wants to be brokered.”
Telarus’ partners and suppliers have come to the mountains of Park City, Utah, this week for networking, education and relaxation.
Edwards and Oborn shared with partner attendees some of the distributor’s plans for 2017 and 2018. Much of the their talk’s theme focused on how we all can get more internet. They put forth satellite as one of the growing Internet options. Telarus in 2015 partnered with ViaSat, which launched a new satellite June 2. Oborn says ViaSat-2 will cover the U.S.
“Satellite before was never really considered a viable internet option due to latency, but now with the speeds that they’re putting down and the ability to adjust our devices to accommodate that latency, it’s now a perfectly viable option,” he said.
Another technology is coax internet, the speeds of which Oborn says Telarus is upping to 1 Gbps. According to Oborn, both satellite and coax have historically been considered second to fiber and MPLS, but they are now reaching enterprises. Oborn attributes this to SD-WAN, which can manage the good and bad of those technologies.
“Satellite is awesome; it’s fast, but there’s some delay that you have to compensate for; 5G is awesome – low delay – but it’s not available everywhere. Every single one of those has a plus and a minus,” he said. “SD-WAN is kind of like a marriage counselor. It takes the best of both and puts it into one package.”
Ecessa, Versa, VeloCloud and Viptela are the SD-WAN vendors of record for Telarus.
Tuesday morning featured a panel with CEOs Don Joos of ShoreTel and Alan Masarek of Vonage. Joos argued that the phrase “unified communication” will change significantly over the upcoming years to encompass more people-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions.
Masarek shared news about the growth of Vonage’s business unit, which was nonexistent several years ago in comparison to the “wildly profitable” residential unit. Masarek says the majority of his company’s revenue now comes mainly from business sales.
“That profitability that comes from residential has enabled us to hit this transformation so quickly and so hard. Over three-and-a-half years, we have gone from zero revenues in business to it now being the dominant segment.”
The Telarus Partner Summit continues Wednesday.