New Telarus Tool Targets AI Consulting as TSDs Attempt AI Land Grab

The AI Quick Solution Assessment is the fourth technology module Telarus has rolled out thus far.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

June 12, 2024

5 Min Read
Telarus launched a tool for AI consulting

Technology services distributor Telarus has launched a new tool to help technology advisors conduct sales discovery calls around artificial intelligence (AI).

The new SolutionVue Quick Solution Assessment (QSA) analyzes AI in customer experience (CX) platforms and large language models (LLMs). QSA is a dynamic questionnaire that automatically generates a dossier for business customers with information and advice regarding their technology posture.

The AI QSA can focus on either AI that enhances contact center deployments or methods of building an LLM. The AI QSA will eventually feature sub-modules for business process automation (BPA), and AI for cybersecurity and network.

Technology advisor partners such as EVOK Technologies plan to integrate the tool into their processes.

“The automation ensures we’re asking the right AI questions throughout our discovery call to acquire the information necessary to address the customer’s AI automation, insight and efficiency needs," EVOK managing partner Brandon Ivey said. "We plan to use it extensively to grow our new AI consulting funnel.”

Telarus has also rolled out QSAs for cybersecurity, cloud and contact center.

Tech Consulting in the Age of AI

Many partners in the traditional agent channel have adopted the moniker of a technology advisor, which emphasizes the vendor-agnostic consulting capabilities they bring to the table for their business clients. Indeed, technology advisors have styled themselves as consultants in customer-facing conversations about IT and telecommunications platforms.

Related:Verizon, Telarus Among Winners of NICE Elite Partner Awards

But that's difficult to do in a fast-evolving world where rapid advancements in technologies such as artificial intelligence are coming down the pike.

“Because AI is so new, the adviser may not have as much breadth of knowledge in a particular area, but the AI QSA still enables them to converge on a recommendation set for the customer that's meaningful for their needs," said Nick Ochoa, senior director of product marketing at Telarus.


Ochoa said the QSA can help partners demonstrate to clients that they are a trustworthy source on AI.

“It shows instant AI credibility to the end customer. They feel like they can trust the advisor because they’ve been asked detailed, probing questions that result in rapid AI guidance," Ochoa told Channel Futures. "The advisor can then have next-level discussions and quickly move into tech evaluation.”

Not all QSA users will take the questionnaire to their customers. Others will run through it internally to test their own knowledge of AI, Telarus senior vice president of product Nate Juraschek said.

Related:Telarus, CableFinder Announce Back-Office Integration

"After we launched the QSA, many technology advisors started using it, running it several times to get familiar with it, how it works, and the output," Juraschek told Channel Futures. "A subset will also go and check all the boxes to produce an output containing a large amount of the rich content it provides that they can use for many different marketing, sales and education purposes. So in addition to a guided selling tool, it’s also a personalized content generation tool on the topic of AI.”

Outside the Portfolio

The latest QSA gives a unique twist in that it offers information on suppliers that don't exist in the Telarus portfolio. That's very clear in the "Cloud, Data and Generative AI" sub-module, where Telarus offers information on the different GPT engines used to build LLMs. Telarus doesn't directly resell LLMs, though many CX vendors in its portfolio do integrate the technology. And even in the "CX" category, Telarus has included insights on non-Telarus platforms such as AWS Connect.

Telarus' Nate Juraschek

While the goal isn't ultimately to recommend non-Telarus suppliers, the QSA seeks to arm tech advisors with the full view of the market, Juraschek said.

“We even give insights for AI suppliers that we don't have current contractual relationships with. Because some of the AI areas are so important, there are new technologies out there that we felt we had to include in the conversation and analysis," Juraschek said.

Related:Telarus, Nordicom Tops in AT&T Alliance Channel

Telarus and fellow TSDs are seeking to make a land grab in the AI space by attracting up-and-coming AI companies to sign with them. At present, many TSD leaders say CX and CCaaS are the most immediately monetizable areas for partners to consult on AI. However, partners are also eyeing solutions for communication platform as a service (CPaaS) and business process automation.

TSDs are ironing out the balance of onboarding next-gen suppliers at a faster pace while ensuring the commitment of those suppliers' partner programs. A new track is emerging at Telarus for suppliers to onboard more quickly if they agree to all of the TSD's standard agreement without any negotiation of terms, sources said. This mechanism, reflective of the power TSDs have gained in the contracting process, looks like a way forward for TSDs to move quickly while ensuring partner contract protections.

Building Efficiencies Into Vendor Vetting

Telarus' guided sales tools have served to automate and multiply the efforts of its sales engineers, who lend their technical knowledge to partners in research and actual customer calls. Many technology advisor (agent) firms can't afford to employ their own sales engineers, let alone sales engineers for the various next-generation technologies partners are attempting to sell. While Telarus sales engineers are still giving hands-on help to partners, Telarus has said that it hopes these automated assessment tools will reduce their overall workload by up to 30%. The QSAs help determine if there is a qualified opportunity before bringing in a Telarus sales engineer.

Sales engineers have spun their wheels quite a bit on generative AI since the technology captured the world'' attention in the last year-and-a-half. But much of their work has been to vet innumerable claims by vendors of possessing generative AI capabilities.

“Every supplier in the portfolio says they have the best AI. And you kind of cringe. You dig into it and say, ‘No, you don’t,’ or, ‘You’ve just relabeled, rebranded or redone what you’ve always done,’” Select Communications CEO Jerry Goldman said last year.

About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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