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Master Mania: Intelisys, Telarus, TBI Have a Busy Q1

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New technology, new buildings and new faces.

After three consecutive years of at least one major master agent undergoing consolidation, we had a relatively quiet first three months for 2019. PlanetOne got a new office, CNSG upped its cybersecurity game and Telarus added legal support for its partners.

We like to give a quarterly update on master agents, who function as something of a barometer for the channel partner community. These businesses interact with both sides of the ole “ecosystem,” helping vendors and partners alike achieve their sales goals. So it’s no surprise that the various personnel appointments, back-office support initiatives and supplier agreements give us clues about where our industry is going.

Scroll through the images below to see what some of the most influential facilitators in the channel have been doing lately.

Check out our 2018 Q4 wrap-up if you’re feeling extra nostalgic.

Growth
PlanetOne

The master agent moved into a new office.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company moved north to a different building in the same city. CEO Ted Schuman told us that a larger office was necessary to handle PlanetOne's growth. The company will hire staff in engineering, sales, back office and finance.

We toured the new headquarters. Check out our gallery from the visit.
Growth
Channel Influencers

We recognized three masters in our recent provider awards.

The companies making our "25 Organizations to Watch" list were WTG (along with AppDirect, which acquired it last year), TBI and Telarus. They've each been active in the hiring and portfolio expansion. 

Take a look at the awardees in our Spring issue.
Growth
Founder's Forum

We took a pleasant walk down memory lane with some longtime channel allies.

Five masters that helped found the Channel Partners Conference & Expo helped celebrate its 22nd anniversary. Bigwigs from Intelisys, MicroCorp, WTG, TBI and PlanetOne participated in a panel at last week's event.

Those companies helped us assemble a juicy Q&A preview reflecting on their first show.
Growth
AppDirect-WTG

WTG subagents met in Arizona to learn about all the resources AppDirect is making available to them.

The e-commerce provider bought the California-based WTG back in December and has been steadily unveiling new sources of support. AppDirect Co-CEO Daniel Saks noted that the recently acquired partner base is adapting to relatively new technologies and vendors. AppDirect has increased its presales support and encouraged partners to take advantage of its IT help desk team.

Read more of Saks' comments.
Growth
TBI

The Chicago-headquartered company is moving several familiar faces up the corporate ladder.

TBI announced six promotions last month, including Mike Onystok and Pete Shah, who will both be working below TBI president Geoffrey Shepstone. Four other employees, among them millennial wunderkind Bryan Reynolds, moved into a new position.

Read about the many promotions.
Growth
Avant

Avant Communications added a networking and security company to its portfolio.

Open Systems is a Swiss company that provides managed SD-WAN. It previously sold through direct channels but is seeking managed service providers (MSPs) to expand its go-to-market strategy. Teaming up with Chicago-based Avant allows the European company to gain a bigger U.S. presence.

Learn about the partnership.
Growth
Telarus

Utah-based Telarus cited the changing industry landscape for its hiring of new legal counsel.

Rich Goates now serves as in-house general counsel for the company. Vendor consolidation is one of the biggest reasons why Telarus has a lawyer on staff. Every merger or acquisition leads to vendors asking their surviving master agents for a new contract, according to chief operating officer Richard Murray. Telarus wants a skilled negotiator on hand to get the best deals for its subagents.

Read about Goates' other new duties.
Growth
Intelisys

We wrote about two new Intelisys supplier partnerships.

The company announced in January that its partners can now sell the net2phone UCaaS portfolio. The vendor also partnered with Sandler Partners that month

Intelisys more recently teamed up with Skywire Networks, which provides Ethernet and a broadband network in New York City.

Get details on the net2phone and Skywire agreements.
Growth
CNSG

North Carolina-based Converged Network Services Group announced two security partnerships last quarter.

CNSG teamed with Ruckus Networks, whose CyberFusion platform offers around-the-clock detection and monitoring. It later announced an agreement with Symbol Security, which offers phishing simulation and training. The master agent said it aims to advance its security and cloud offerings and pick "only those suppliers that have a true understanding of how to work within a channel partner community."

Read its announcements about Ruckus Networks and Symbol Security.

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