Master Agent Update: Acquisition Mania, Vendor Awards, Record Growth

Acquisition fever took over the master agent community as 2020 came to a close.

We saw a significant amount of M&A in the last quarter of the year. TCG and Bridgepointe both acquired companies that will help them scale their operations and diversify their services. AppSmart announced its second master agent acquisition of 2020. Furthermore, a large agency got some significant private equity funding for the first time.

Our editorial team covered a variety of news, including supplier partnerships, hiring and new tools. We also saw no shortage of virtual summits, as companies like PlanetOne, Avant and Sandler Partners hosted online gatherings.

Scroll through the 13 images below to see the agent channel’s highlights from the last three months.

You can also check out our 2020 third quarter recap.

Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Utah-based company picked an SD-WAN provider that it will use for its own headquarters.

Granite Telecommunications earned the three-year contract. The managed network services provider will deliver VMware SD-WAN for Telarus locations.

Telarus also selected Ujet, a contact center provider, for its technology portfolio.

Learn more about Telarus' selection.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

Telarus (con't)

Telarus made headlines in December with an even bigger announcement.

Columbia Capitol led a private equity investment round for the the company. The new funds will help Telarus grow its sales and engineering teams.

"This move firmly cements Telarus at the front of the pack and gives us the opportunity to provide even better support to our partners through additional hires and more tools,” CEO Adam Edwards said.

Learn about what Telarus will do with the new funds.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Petaluma, California-based company received and gave awards last quarter.

First, 8x8 honored Intelisys as its third platinum partner. Then, Intelisys recognized dozens of suppliers and sales partners for their performance in 2020.

Furthermore, Intelisys introduced a Yelp-esque forum that allows partners to leave honest feedback about vendors.

Read about Intelisys' top partners and its recognition from 8x8.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


Telecom Consulting Group (TCG) announced the acquisition of a fellow Florida-based master agent.

TCG joined forces with Global System Telecom, whose co-founders already had a strong relationship with TCG leadership. TCG partner Dan Pirigyi said the acquisition reflects TCG's financial strength.

The company also announced a partnership with Avaya

Read about the acquisition.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Chicago-based agency signed with handfuls of new suppliers.

The company announced seven new providers back in the early fall, including business communications provider Dialpad. Then in December, TBI publicized its agreement with Everstream and Imagit.

Read about the new TBI suppliers.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The B2B marketplace provider bought another master agent.

MicroCorp joins the list of companies that AppSmart has bought in the last two years, including WTG and CNSG. AppSmart executives cited "cultural and visional alignment."

Get details on the transaction.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


Speaking of MicroCorp, the company made some announcements of its own in the fourth quarter.

The Georgia-based firm signed an agreement with telecom expense management provider Tellennium. MicroCorp also honored its top partners, which include ACC Business and Lumen Technologies.

Read about the awards and the partnership.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


Spearhead Advisors landed a big name in the fall.

Lisa Miller, who worked a high profile channel role at CenturyLink, joined the Dallas-based master agent. She now serves as president and chief operating officer.

The company leads with Lumen in its sales; Miller holds a non-compete clause with CenturyLink/Lumen.

Edward Gately has the scoop.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Silicon Valley-based agency bought a company from the other side of the country.

Bridgepointe Technologies purchased Clover Communications, which hails from New Jersey. The transaction expands Bridgepointe's geographical reach and helps Clover Communications scale.

See our story about the purchase.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

Sandler Partners

Sandler Partners significantly expanded its team in 2020.

The California-based company added 30 people — that's a 30% increase in staff. The agency also drastically increased its marketing department amid a campaign to grow a larger online presence.

You can read about Sandler Partners' updates in our coverage of its virtual summit.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Arizona-based firm and its agents did very well for themselves in 2020.

PlanetOne enjoyed its best ever quarter in Q1 2020. Although the pandemic put a damper on the sales cycle, CEO Ted Schuman said partners rallied. By November, PlanetOne had already surpassed its 2019 sales numbers.

We covered PlanetOne's virtual conference.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


Avant Communications thanked its agents for their strong performance during the pandemic. 

President Drew Lydecker praised partners for their efforts, particularly around UCaaS in 2020, and predicted "a tsunami of opportunities" that will roll in following the decline of COVID-19.

Avant also earned recognition from Rackspace Technology as its first partner to earn $1 million in monthly recurring revenue in one year.

We covered the virtual summit.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

Avant (cont.)

Avant also rolled out a new tool.

Partners can use Avant's UCaaS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Assessment Tool in their conversations with customers. The tool, on the Pathfinder app, helps illustrate the cost savings benefits of migrating to cloud-based communications.

In addition, Avant promoted Jennifer Gallego and Shane McNamara to new positions.

Read about the tool and the promotions.

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