Not all master agent-supplier agreements are created equal, according to PlanetOne Communications founder and CEO Ted Schuman.
Schuman, speaking on the last stop of the 2019 PlanetOne Communications Tech Tour in Scottsdale, Arizona, urged partners to review vendor contracts to see how PlanetOne’s deals differ from other masters.
“We generally do sign similar agreements, but guys — the devil’s in the details, and not paying attention to the little tiny details can really be catastrophic to your check,” Schuman said.
A poll conducted at the conference showed that 75% of partners have never reviewed their master agent’s provider contract. Schuman called contract negotiation one of PlanetOne’s biggest differentiators. The process lasts an average of six months, he said.
“Nine out of 10 times the very first comment out of a provider’s mouth – after exhausting negotiations or we’ve reached two or three business impasses and all are non-starters – they all go, ‘Well, Ted, everybody else has signed it.’ OK, so they jumped off the cliff. Their subagents and partners have no clue what problems await them should Armageddon strike or there’s a problem with that provider,” he said.
Another partner survey found that 90% see accurate and on-time payment as the most important factor for giving PlanetOne new business.
— James Anderson (@JamesAndersonCP) November 6, 2019
Schuman reported that his Arizona-based master agent is in its 28th year of double-digit year-over-year net growth and is nearing 50,000 commercial accounts. PlanetOne moved into another office earlier this year and will continue to hire employees.
Schuman said the master agent has onboarded more partners in the last year than it did in the previous three to four years combined. MSPs are also coming to the fore.
“So the whole well-kept secret about our back office, partner experience, customer experience and everything we’re doing — is clearly not a well-kept secret anymore, because the partners are coming to us in droves,” he said.
Schuman pointed out a trend that the greater agent community has been enjoying: massive UCaaS growth. TBI told us year-over-year UCaaS growth is in the 100s; Intelisys shared news of a gargantuan agent-led deal.
“I don’t know how you get hotter. If there’s a hotter, vertical or product set in the industry right now, I’m not sure what it is,” Schuman said. “It is really taking most of the energy out of the room on some other products that used to be core services for master agents.”
Zane Long, RingCentral‘s senior vice president of global channel sales, added that we are nowhere close to the ceiling.
“UCaaS is a $75 billion global market. It’s about 9% penetrated. There’s really no …