Master Agent 2H 2019 Recap: Intelisys, Avant, TBI, Telarus, Others Battle for Supremacy


AppSmart made two hefty acquisitions, and Intelisys won big with a vendor in the second half of 2019.

The master agent channel was an intriguing world to watch this year, and 2020 is set for even more fireworks. Most channel partners work with two or more master agents, but make no mistake — each master would love to be the only one. These companies are locked in an arms race to become the biggest and most trustworthy source for partners. Masters are battling to offer the best tools, the deepest support staff, the widest geographical footprint, the most diverse supplier portfolio and, of course, the most reliable commissions.

We assembled the most impactful master agency news from the third and fourth quarters. The big names are all here, including Telarus, TBI, PlanetOne and Avant.

Scroll through the 13 slides below to see the highlights.

Women in the Channel

Christopher Schubert joined Converged Network Services Group to serve as vice president of business development.

Schubert has worked with partners for a long time from the vendor side, with previous employers including Nitel and Windstream. He said he's eager to help partners through a consultative, vendor-agnostic approach.

That's not all we heard from CNSG this year. Keep sliding through the gallery to see even bigger news about the company.

Read about Schubert's hiring.
Women in the Channel

The 10-year-old master announced multiple supplier partnerships.

The multicloud networking provider Pureport, the research and advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG) and the voice and unified communications provider Momentum Telelecom all signed agreements with Avant. 

Avant also honored five partners for successfully driving business in Europe. And speaking of expansion – Avant opened its Dallas headquarters in November.

See the list of Avant's European partner winners.
Women in the Channel

The Arizona-based master filled its new headquarters with more employees.

PlanetOne Communications announced five hires during the summer, including a national mobility channel manager and two senior partner success managers.

In other news, CEO Ted Schuman used the last stop of PlanetOne's Tech Tour to speak about a key process that occurs behind closed doors — namely, supplier contract negotiation. He encouraged subagents to review their master agents' vendor agreements to see the differences.

"The devil’s in the details, and not paying attention to the little tiny details can really be catastrophic to your check,” he said.

Check out our recap from the conference.
Women in the Channel
Sandler Partners

California-based Sandler Partners announced new supplier partnerships during the summer and fall.

One agreement is with BullsEye Telecom, which is known for its ability to consolidate POTS lines for multilocation customers. Another is with Peerless Network, which provides UCaaS, SIP trunking and number management.

Read about the BullsEye and Peerless partnerships.
Women in the Channel

The AppDirect subsidiary hit the news wire hard with two acquisitions in the last three months.

The company announced the purchase of Michigan-based master agent Telegration in September. Then, earlier this month, AppSmart said it was buying North Carolina-based master CNSG. The CNSG announcement came a full year after WTG announced that AppDirect was acquiring it to form AppSmart.

Read about the Telegration and CNSG acquisitions.
Women in the Channel

The data center services sourcing company gave its partners new commission management features.

Colotraq's sourcing software now gives channel partners automatic notifications about expected commission sizes. The update also shows revenue and commission statements from various points in a project's life cycle.

Learn about the platform update.
Women in the Channel

ScanSource is pouring new investments into the Intelisys partner base to help them reach larger customers.

The distributor, which owns Intelisys, said it would hire seven programmers to help build more tools to assist partners.

“And the tools we have – the ones that are coming out – will be better than anybody else has. We will be known as the place of the best. And we have the resources to keep it,” ScanSource CEO Mike Baur said.

Read about the annual Intelisys Channel Connect conference.
Women in the Channel

The cloud distributor hired several new employees in its convergence push.

Pax8 first raised eyebrows when it hired Andrew Pryfogle, a 7-year Intelisys member, to serve in a newly created chief market development officer role. He said he joined the company to help it bring together the MSP and telco agent channels.

Pax8 went on to hire four people for Pryfogle's team, including three from Intelisys and one from the contact center provider Talkdesk.

Pryfogle outlined his vision for the channel in a Channel Futures interview.
Women in the Channel
Inc. 5000

Three master agents/distributors made the vaunted Inc. 5000 list for fast growing private U.S. companies.

Pax8, Telarus and Sandler Partners all made the list, and Pax8 landed in the top 100. Each company grew its revenues more than 120% over the last three years.

We compiled a gallery featuring 12 channel-facing members of the 2019 Inc. 5000.
Women in the Channel

The Chicago-based company was busy on all fronts.

There new vendors, including NetFortris and TeraGo Networks, a new vice president of emerging technologies, and major SD-WAN revenue growth. The company also reported growth in its three-year-old inbound referral program.

Learn about the company's referral program and new partnerships.
Women in the Channel

Telarus unveiled a points system that rewards partners for their sales performance.

The new system includes a "Telarus Store," where partners will redeem their points for lead-generation services, software license and other helpful tools. The Utah-based master is incentivizing partners to transact more business with it.

The company also announced a supplier partnership with Switzerland-based Open Systems.

See highlights from the company's annual partner summit.
Women in the Channel

Florida based Telecom Consulting Group signed five suppliers in three months.

First it was the UCaaS provider 8x8 that teamed with TCG in August, followed by BullsEye Telecom. SaaS provider Kerauno joined in September, and the security analytics company Cybraics and Brazilian telco Nova Soluções signed in October.

More than 3,600 subagents work with TCG.

Read about the latest partnership on TCG's website.
Women in the Channel

Several master agents made Masergy's list of top revenue-producing partners. Intelisys won top overall partner, while the platinum partner leaderboard included Advantage Communications Group and Bridgepointe Technologies.

Jenne came up big in Extreme Networks' recent partner awards, winning Americas distributor of the year.

Check out the Masergy and Extreme awards.

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