IT VARs: Success in Selling Telecom Services Through Strategic Partnershipss


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When it comes to telecom services, 98% of IT VARs either want them or already have them in their portfolio. What’s the allure? Why are nearly all IT VARs adding telecom services to their portfolios? Industry convergence is one reason, but good old-fashioned opportunity is another. Customers demand it. Carriers want it. Competition requires it, and IT VARs aren’t going to pass on the opportunity. The choice to add telecom services is easy; the trick—as this infographic illustrates—is deciding who to partner with and why.

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IT VARs: Success in Selling Telecom Services Through Strategic Partnershipss

  1. 1. Success in Selling Telecom Services Through Strategic Partnerships IT VARs: Industry convergence has propelled VARs into the telecom services space—and the trend is certain to continue as more VARs peg telecom services as an ideal addition to their portfolio. The new territory is rife with opportunity and rich with history. Recognizing not only the opportunity but also the necessity of strategic know-how, VARs are drawing on industry leaders as partners. Increasingly, those partners are cablecos like TWCBC that have spearheaded programs specifically to benefit VAR partners who maintain significant relationships with their business customers. Convergence: The New Status Quo “A tremendous upheaval in the general IT and telecom landscape— most notably convergence that is being driven by cloud computing, new routes to market, increasing customer leverage and managed services— is forcing all players to take a look at where they fit…” —IT VARs & Telecom Service Sales: State of the Channel Report co-produced by Channel Partners & CompTIA A February 2014 survey asked about the estimated percentage of telecom services revenue that results from sales efforts in the channel. Here’s what the survey found: Telecom Services Sold Through the Channel Telecom Services Revenue in The Channel 2% 9% 36% 40% 13% said 75-100% of revenue is through the channel said less than 10% of revenue is through the channel said 10-24% of revenue is through the channel said 25-49% of revenue is through the channel said 50-75% of revenue is through the channel As the channel’s share of telecom services revenue grows, carriers are aiming to diversify their partner base to include IT VARs and Solution Providers. Why? Telecom Carriers Court VARs Telecom services are an optimal fit for the VAR portfolio as it complements their existing product lines. VARs have identified these services as a way to differentiate their business: VARs Court Telecom Services VARs offering telecom services were asked why they’re adding telecom services to their portfolios. Reasons given were these: VARs Stand to Benefit IT VARs see value in partnerships—especially when addressing core areas of concern about telecom services. Areas of concern are these: Value in Strategic Partnerships Who have VARs chosen to partner with to sell telecom services? Identifying Partners Cablecos are an untapped, optimal resource for VARs. Cablecos know the industry and, thinking ahead, they have developed programs to meet the specific needs of IT VARs. TWCBC already offers a successful Partner Program for IT VARs that enables Partners to offer competitively priced IP-based data and voice communications solutions. Partners get the following benefits: Choosing the Most Valuable Partners Despite concerns... Customers already trust VARs. VARs understand customers’ current technology environments. VARs are well-positioned to sell network services, computing and communications technologies, and cloud-based services. 100% Agree Less than half of carrier revenue flows through the indirect sales channel. But most expect those revenue numbers to increase. expect channel revenue to “increase somewhat” expect channel revenue to “increase significantly” 57% 23% Video & audio services for conferencing & collaboration Broadband Wi-FiIP/PBX WAN services About 1/3 of IT VARs offer those five services To increase revenue/ profitability Recruited by specialist to do it Customer demand To remain competitive To win new business As an add-on to cloud solutions IT distribution partners added telecom Add a new line of business To offer more voice services 24%24% 8% 48% 28% 40% 15% 41% 45% 29% Choosing which pieces of telecom to sell or recommend Competition from traditional agents Customer preference for traditional provider 98% of IT VARs view telecom services positively 32% 66% view telecom services as an opportunistic component of IT VARs view telecom services as part of their core portfolios 50.8% 49.2% 56.9% Telecom carriers Telecom resellers or aggregators Cable operators 33.9% Telecom agents or master agents 20% A/V specialists 13.9% None of the above Successfully selling voice and data services Marketing support for selling services Onboarding and training Migrating to a residual-based compensation model Presenting effective customer talking points Order process training Selling telecom services to SMB and Mid Market clients TWCBC is partnering with IT VARs to achieve the following An infographic presented by 38%30% 30% 37% 9% Lack of sales experience with telecom Don’t understand business model Insufficient staff Lack of telecom- specific technology skills 40% 45% Diversified portfolio with data, voice, and Ethernet solutions. Opportunity to white label TWCBC services to rebrand as their own. Ability to set their own margins to create a recurring revenue opportunity. Optimal productivity with online self-service tools that drive efficiency and fast results. Increased profitability via a performance-based compensation program. Access to TWCBC’s wholly owned fiber network. Sources: through-ingram-micro-va.aspx class-wholesale-program ners/partners/channel-partner/overview.html IT VARs & Telecom Sales: State of the Channel Report A Report Co-produced by Channel Partners and CompTIA By Carolyn April and Khali Henderson