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TBI Signs CoreSite, NetFortris, Touts Referral Program

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TBI, the Chicago-based master agent, has signed CoreSite and Netfortris as suppliers.

Channel partners can access two unique IT portfolios and “additional resources for end-user engagement” as a result of the new vendor partners. CoreSite is a data center colocation and interconnection provider, while NetFortris is a communications provider that acquired UCaaS vendor Fonality two years ago.

TBI solution engineers will assist partners in designing and implementing the new technology. Marco Sanchez, TBI’s senior director of sales, said both new suppliers help partners add value to their customers’ business processes.

Looking more more? See our recap of what master agents were up to in the second quarter.
Sanchez, Marco_TBI

TBI’s Marco Sanchez

“We are in the age of customer experience (CX), and aligning with vendors that allow you to manage and maintain workloads in a more effective manner, while giving the ability to plug in existing public cloud environments, allows the client to optimize their environment and offload the burden of some responsibility and knowledge from the IT department. Along with that, NetFortris can take all the various vendors and put them on one platform along with UCaaS, security and SD-WAN, which helps give clients peace of mind with billing, along with less work in managing and maintaining the IT staff,” Sanchez said.

TBI is carrying momentum over from a busy second quarter. The company announced a handful of promotions and cut the ribbon for its new Chicago headquarters.

Moving Upstream

Vander Vennet, Bill_TBI

TBI’s Bill Vander Vennet

Bill Vander Vennet directs TBI’s national referral program. The company formalized the inbound referral program in 2016 to help partners with certain customers. TBI takes responsibility for discovery, quoting, contract execution and back-end project management for end users that partners consider low-margin or too complex.

“The early catalyst was the fact that we just had a lot of partners and opportunities coming our way where people were looking to have somebody handle the discovery, quote and close for customers, and they didn’t want to be doing the selling themselves,” Vander Vennet said. “So it was an opportunity for us to take that business and help grow it.”

The program has grown significantly in the last three years, Vander Vennet said, and has helped diversify TBI’s partner base. Vander Vennet said the program’s expansion has mirrored the market’s growth. Many new members previously focused on selling traditional circuits and connectivity. They’re now targeting UCaaS, CCaaS, SD-WAN, cloud applications and other new technologies — and don’t see as much margin in their legacy portfolios.

“They’ve moved upstream into more complex services, and as they’ve done that, they’ve allowed the transaction stuff to fall behind, to the point where they’ve pointed them back to the providers themselves,” Vander Vennet said.

Those partners discovered an additional “avenue to revenue” through the referral program, but they aren’t the only demographic that benefits. Other members need help with the next-generation technologies.

“Conversely, there are still agents who are rooted pretty deeply in the traditional circuit-slinging world,” he said. “They’re not comfortable moving to more complex opportunities, but they find and stumble upon this stuff within their customer base, and maybe they just need help growing that side of their business until they can scale themselves up.”

Vander Vennet said partners will still earn commissions for the affected customers.

“They need to figure out how they’re going to balance a day,” he said. “How they’re going to go after different parts of the business. We don’t want them to limit themselves on how they’re thinking about things. We can be an extension of their sales force.”


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