CarrierSales: Partners Should Brace for More Master-Agent Consolidation

CarrierSales' Richard Murray at carrierxchange

CARRIERSALES CARRIERXCHANGE — Ready or not, more consolidation between master agents is coming, leaving many partners nervous about how it could affect their businesses.

That’s according to Richard Murray, CEO/owner of master agent and distributor CarrierSales, who addressed partners and vendors during his company’s carrierXchange conference high in the mountains outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The event has drawn 370 partners and vendors from 34 states and two countries, and more than 60 telecommunications and technology providers in a vendor expo.

When asked if CarrierSales is interested in a merger, Murray said, “I’m not out looking.”

“We’ve done some acquiring, and one was CMS in San Francisco as maybe one of the larger of the deals we’ve done,” he said. “And I don’t know that they’ll all look like the Intelisys-ScanSource deal, but there’s a reason that Sandler Partners merged with X4. They’re looking to be the next ScanSource-type deal. But then if you look at the providers [such] as Level 3 and CenturyLink come together, it’s going to change the programs a lot. If you’re not a top 10, you kind of don’t exist as a master and that’s moving to maybe a top five or top three with some of these providers.”

During a vendor breakout session, Murray shared the results of a survey of top partners, which showed many partners are nervous about upcoming consolidation. Among the survey comments, one partner said consolidation will be negative in the near term, but benefits will be apparent in the long term.

Murray said he would never say “no, absolutely not” to a merger “because there are deals that would make sense out there for us,” but it would have to be a “one plus one equals three for our partners.”

“In the world of consolidation, and that includes masters, as other masters have merged, we want to stand out from just our intense focus on the relationship, in knowing who sellers are and knowing their business, and caring about it.”

Murray also unveiled plans to launch a new mobile app for CarrierSales partners that will allow them to initiate quotes, track their outstanding quotes, see orders that are in flight and also obtain commission reporting.

“It’s built; we have the mobile app ready to go,” he said. “It’s on the Microsoft platform, so we have the plug-in that allows it to take all of the data that we have and put it in the hands of the partner. You’ll see that in the beginning of 2018. They don’t have those capabilities in the palm of their hand[s] right now. We started building the technology last October, so it was an internal fight first to get all of those systems built, and now we’ll be ready to put it into partners’ hands shortly.”

Telarus, another master agent, has a similar app for its partners, Murray noted.

“For me, it’s a little bit of a something that’s just the next evolution, but it won’t define who we are,” he said. “It’s something nice to have, but we can’t let it …

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