Master Agent News Update: Intelisys, Avant, TBI, Telarus, More

The IT and telecom master agent channel has championed remote workforce solutions to partners and customers in the last four months.

Home offices are still functioning as the main venue for business, as state governments continue to keep nonessential business offices empty. Meantime, telecom agents and the firms that support them are working hard to meet demand for robust work-from-home technology.

We’ve seen numerous master agents sign supplier agreements to give their subagents access to cybersecurity, networking and wireless technologies. We’ve even seen master agents add to their head count to provide increased support. PlanetOne, Sandler Partners and Telecom Consulting Group joined a number of firms making headlines.

We also covered the European channel. Two master agencies announced plans to expand their operations into Europe. A British distributor kicked off a new master agency model with a Zoom partnership.

Check out our recap of the biggest news in the telecom agent channel.

Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Utah-based company announced multiple vendor agreements in the last four months.

Telarus signed wireless internet provider For2Fi and critical event management (CEM) provider Everbridge. Fiber-optic telecommunications provider Sonic also joined the supplier stable.

Telarus also tapped Taylor Klevins, a Serenova and Intelisys alumna, as a new senior partner development manager. She'll recruit and support partners in northern California.

Read about the Everbridge and For2Fi partnerships.
Broadvoice personnel

Racial Inequality Conversations

The Xposure Inclusion & Diversity Council brought in CEOs from Telarus and Avant to discuss racial justice.

Avant's Ian Kieninger and Telarus' Adam Edwards joined Xposure founder Kelli McMillan and executive director Brandon Knight in a webinar. The four discussed specific changes that master agents have rolled out in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Their initiatives include making Juneteenth a holiday and forming inclusion committees.

Edward Gately shared highlights from their conversation.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

International Expansion

Two master agents expanded into European territory.

First, TBI announced its plans to move into the United Kingdom. That announcement followed movement from Telarus and Avant into the U.K.

Then, in June, Advantage Communications Group said it was going into the European market. The business consultants leading the expansion will work out of Portugal and Spain.

Read about Advantage and TBI's plans.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

COVID-19 Response

It's the unavoidable subject — How are master agents responding to the pandemic?

We chatted with Telarus, TCGIntelisys and PlanetOne Communications about how they worked to help their partners enable unprecedented numbers of home-based workers. Their comments showed the huge challenge facing master agents and agents, who needed to move to remote work themselves, even as they moved their customers.

Telarus COO Richard Murray praised the agent channel for its response.

“We’ve helped save companies and jobs because of our response to this, in answering calls and helping people get turned up on solutions that allow their employees to continue to work," Murray said.

Check out our article on the subject.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

COVID-19 Response (Cont'd)

Another group of telecom experts shared about how the master agent community views long-term impact of coronavirus.

AppSmart, Avant, iTelecom and TBI executives shared their expectations for how businesses will operate if the pandemic ever dies down. We heard a common sentiment that the mass exodus to work-from-home environments is a preview of the future. 

Although businesses will open up their offices at some point, Avant's Drew Lydecker said many companies have "leaned into" their cloud-based virtual communities.

“The rate of change is constantly accelerating, and this epidemic will only contribute to that momentum," Lydecker said. "Once government mandates to stay at home are over, we’ll see this new rhythm of remote work live on."

Read their in-depth comments in our article.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Chicago-based company expanded a partnership and launched a new market report.

Avant expanded its relationship with Zoom. The company's agents had already been selling Zoom phone, but now can sell Zoom's "video-first" UCaaS platform.

In other news, Avant's market research division unveiled new data on IT security, touching on ransomware, DDoS, staffing and other concerns. The company also teamed up with Stratosphere Networks and several other IT partners to help support an alternative health care facility in Chicago.

Read what Avant had to say about the Zoom partnership expansion.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


ScanSource promoted a work-from-home campaign in the spring and early summer.

The South Carolina-based distributor last month hosted a "Go Remote Virtual Summit," where ScanSource and supplier executives shared resources and answered questions about remote workforce solutions. Lynn Haber reported that 600 partners attended.

In addition, Edward Gately in April wrote about new program that ScanSource and Intelisys launched to better enable remote work.

Read about the virtual summit and the remote work program.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

Sandler Partners

California-based Sandler teamed up with Oregon-based Bigleaf Networks.

The supplier agreement gives Sandler agents access to Bigleaf's SD-WAN solution. They'll also be able to sell Bigleaf's home office solution. A Sandler executive praised Bigleaf's "competitive SD-WAN service model."

Edward Gately has the scoop.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


PlanetOne added another supplier partner in the form of BullsEye Telecom.

The agreement gives the Arizona-based agency a deep communications portfolio that includes SD-WAN, IoT and managed Wi-Fi. The deal came a month after PlanetOne landed Granite Telecommunications.

Learn about the partnership here. And while we're on the topic of PlanetOne supplier agreements, you'll want to check out the fiery speech CEO Ted Schuman gave last year about how his company negotiates with vendors.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


Telecom Consulting Group (TCG) became Edify Lab's first master agent partner in April.

The Florida-based agency and its partners will sell Edify's customer engagement and cross-team collaboration software. Edify, known more formally as, hired J.P. Dundas earlier this year to build a partner program from the ground up.

Telarus joined the same program two months after TCG did.

Read about the partnership.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The Chicago-based company announced several supplier partnerships.

The new vendors vary quite a bit. There's the data center provider DataBank, the mobility management provider Wireless WatchDogs and the cybersecurity provider 360 SOC. TBI also expanded its relationship with Cox.

Read about the Cox, DataBank and Wireless WatchDogs partnerships.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

TBI (Cont'd)

TBI also added new staff in the last quarter.

The company snagged David Bailey-Aldrich as a new channel manager. He'll be handling partners in five Midwestern states.

Check out six other new hires in Craig Galbraith's people on the move gallery. Then, get details on the integration.
Datapipe's Robb Allen


The IT distributor made the news for partnerships it formed with vendors.

Nuvias teamed up with the Cato Networks back in April to become the SASE vendor's first pan-European distributor. Also, Nuvias UC partnered with Zoom as part of a new master agency business model.

Read Cato's press release and the AV Magazine article about the Zoom partnership.

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