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Master Mania: Intelisys, TBI, Telarus Expanded in Q2

Master

Master agents provide a litmus test for where the rest of the channel is going.

Often self-styled as distributors, these companies form a bridge between the vendors and the partners, and their technology portfolio changes are usually a good indicator of what subagents are demanding. And in the last three months there seemed to be no shortage of demand, or supply for that matter.

The second quarter of 2018 saw master agents announce national expansions, new hires, supplier partnerships and vendor awards. We’ve compiled the dozen most interesting news stories about master agents from April to June. Scroll through the gallery below to see the highlights — and get caught up on what the masters have been doing.

Missed the Q1 recap? Find it here.

Follow @JamesAndersonCP on Twitter.

WTG Bolsters Portfolio

The Malibu, California-based company announced a diverse range of new supplier partners last quarter. 

WTG, which has differentiated itself with technologies such as IoT and energy, added colocation provider Hurricane Electric and Canadian carrier iTel in the spring. It also expanded its relationship with SD-WAN vendor Bigleaf Networks

Furthermore, WTG launched new e-learning software to help partners educate themselves on the company's vendor portfolio and to take supplier training modules.

Learn more about the Bigleaf partnership and new software.
TBI Grows Team

The Chicago-based master agent has been on a hiring spree this year

There are multiple new regional channel managers on staff, as well as a national channel manager. The hires bring a deep background from the carriers, cable providers and fellow master agents. Verizon, CenturyLink and Sandler Partners are just a few of their previous employers.

Get details about the new national channel manager and some of the regional channel staff.
Telarus Expands Into Australia, Pushes Contact Center

Telarus, which recently acquired CarrierSales, is moving into Oceania.

The Utah-based company said it hopes the initiative will imitate the organization's North American business model. The expansion will also target New Zealand and will have headquarters in Sydney, Australia. A former member of distributor Westcon will lead it.

Read about the expansion.

Also of note, Telarus held its first annual partner summit since acquiring CarrierSales.

The Partner Xchange event in Boca Raton, Florida, showcased a unified company that has rounded out its portfolio. Telarus CEO Adam Edwards noted that CarrierSales brought expertise in contact center and unified communications, while Telarus is strong in wireline.

Telarus also rolled out an upgraded version of its UCaaS Matrix, which allows agents to help their customers narrow down vendor choices.

Read more of Edwards' comments, as well as the UCaaS Matrix reveal.
Sandler Partners Boosts Midwest Presence

The California-based master agent/distributor hired Ryan Yakos as a senior director of channel for Midwestern states.

Sandler Partners continues to look for regional channel managers to hire. The Midwest in particular is a "key growth market" for the company.

Read about the Sandler Partners personnel news.
Viasat's Partnerships

We wrote about a couple of master agents that teamed up with the satellite broadband provider.

Viasat, which debuted internet service from its most recently launched satellite last month, announced a partnership with Telecom Consulting Group (TCG) in April. It also made its portfolio available to TBI's stable of VARs, MSPs and consultants.

Read about Viasat's agreement with TBI.
MicroCorp Cloud Division

MicroCorp used its acquisition of Open Spectrum to create a new business unit for cloud.

Open Spectrum’s portfolio includes a range of professional services and colocation, security, infrastructure as a service and disaster recovery as a service. MicroCorp, which made the purchase through an equity investment, said the new cloud-services division will provide a “a robust consultancy resource for SMB and enterprise opportunities.”

MicroCorp President Phil Keenan said the two companies had already been partnering to give MicroCorp partners cloud consulting services.

Read about the acquisition and new division, which MicroCorp announced at our April show.
Intelisys Hires

The massive master agent/distributor continues to get bigger.

Intelisys hired a partner-development manager for the Southwest and a regional channel manager for the Mid-Atlantic South. The former previously worked for XO Communications, and the latter worked for Broadview.

Speaking of UC companies, Intelisys joined forces with Avaya for its cloud master agent program in April.

Read about the latest appointment.
Avant Expands Supplier Portfolio

Avant Communications announced two partnerships in April.

The company joined the TPx Communications national channel-partner program, earning access to the TPx portfolio of managed IT, connectivity and unified communications services. Avant also announced a partnership with BluLogix, which has a software-as-a-service platform for billing management. 

Read more about the partnerships as well as a study Avant did about cloud.
TCG Signs Partnerships

Florida-based Telecom Consulting Group (TCG) expanded its supplier portfolio during the second quarter.

As previously mentioned, TCG partnered with satellite broadband provider Viasat in April. It also joined forces with TPx, which has been in national-expansion mode all year. The master agent says it has 3,000 subagents across the country that will sell the portfolio.

Lastly, TCG partnered with nexVortex, a provider of SIP trunking and hosted voice. 

See TCG's announcement about the nexVortex agreement.
ACC Recognizes Top Masters

Telarus and Intelisys reached a unique status in the “multimillion-dollar club” with ACC Business.

The two master agents are the only ACC partners billing more than $2 million monthly for the AT&T boutique. Intelisys and Telarus were already part of the “Million Dollar Club,” alongside PlanetOne Communications and MicroCorp, when ACC announced its awards last year.

TBI joined the “Million Dollar Club” for the first time.

ACC Business is a division of AT&T Partner Solutions.

Get details on the awards.
PlanetOne

PlanetOne upped its cloud play by hiring an eight-year Rackspace veteran.

Tyler Kee is working for the master agent as a cloud solutions architect. The Arizona-based company said he will provide an interface for partners and suppliers as they go deeper into cloud technology. He most recently served as a partner-sales specialist for Rackspace’s Microsoft platform and collaboration business unit.

Read more about the hire.
Honors & Awards

The masters love to recognize high-performing partners — from both the subagent and vendor sides.

Intelisys honored its 16th platinum partner. Avail Partners reached the elite club of sales partners that earns at least $1 million in monthly recurring revenue with the master agent.

Meantime, Avant recognized several subagents and suppliers. 8x8 was a big winner with the Chicago-based company.


Read the full list of Avant winners and learn about the Intelisys platinum club.

Colotraq

Colotraq, the data center infrastructure services master agency, now offers partners and customers blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

The company formed new partnerships for blockchain and says it will be a provide strategy development, product development and prototyping. Colotraq also has a dedicated blockchain team, which includes developers, architects, data scientists and AI experts.

Read Colotraq's announcement.

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