It seems vendors are laying off people right and left. The opposite is true at channel firms.

February 23, 2023

8 Min Read

By Bob Violino

Recent layoffs in the technology sector, including significant workforce cutbacks at some of the biggest vendors in the industry, likely have many professionals in the field feeling discouraged.

It’s by no means all gloom and doom for people who want to work in technology, however. Many channel companies are not laying off staff; in fact, they’re planning to hire personnel over the coming months as they look to take advantage of growth opportunities.


Adaptiv Advisors’ Ashley Rowland

“It may feel like layoffs are [the] new norm in the channel. If you look further, they are not,” said Ashley Rowland, partner and co-founder at Adaptiv Advisors, a technology strategy company for telecom, cloud services and advanced technologies.

“Despite all of the big layoffs making headlines, we can easily find even more companies in the channel adding positions and headcount,” Rowland said. “When you look at which companies are making layoffs, it seems to be the same companies that are sponsoring football games, $50,000 movie nights, and other examples of wasteful spending.”

Keep up with our telecom-IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and the ensuing channel impact.

The Technology Advisor Alliance, a vendor-free private online community for technology advisors (agents) of which Rowland is a co-founder, is seeing most of its members’ advisory firms adding headcount, she said.

Acquisitions = Hiring

One company planning to hire this year is Meriplex, a managed technology solutions provider that is rapidly growing through MSP acquisitions throughout the nation.


Meriplex’s Neil Medwed

“To support our business transformation efforts in 2023, we are planning on hiring best-in-class technical, sales and corporate talent in our markets to take us to the next level,” said Neil Medwed, vice president of corporate development and mergers and acquisitions at Meriplex.

“From a sales talent perspective, we look to bring on sellers that can work with our clients and potential new clients from a consultative approach,” Medwed said. “We value employees that can strategically analyze [a] client’s technology road map, current challenges, and determine how Meriplex can best fit their business needs.”

On the technical side, the company is looking to bring on generalists who have a breadth of knowledge in every facet of IT. Meriplex also wants experts in particular technologies, or vendors such as Juniper or Cisco.

“Deep-focused skill sets bring significant value and expertise directly to our clients,” Medwed said. “The new talent we bring on this year will make a direct impact to our clients, as we strive to constantly improve service delivery, customer support and expand across the nation.”

This year will be a big one for Meriplex in terms of executing its acquisition and organic growth strategy, enhancing its processes and improving its technology offerings, all while building a culture of service excellence, Medwed said.

“Our continual goal is to create a more efficient and competitive organization to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of our clients in a rapidly evolving market and business landscape,” Medwed added. “The new talent we bring on this year will be a key driver in our success.”

Although Meriplex is looking for new talent, the company makes it a priority to evaluate its current staff and provide real-time feedback to employees. Evaluations are coupled with an emphasis on providing opportunities for employees to have exposure to new projects or lateral/promotional opportunities, Medwed said.

“We feel strongly about looking inside our organization for talent first,” Medwed noted. “We do look externally for talent, even when others might be looking to downsize their organization. Meriplex leans into new talent to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that can help us adapt to our ever-changing economy. At Meriplex, we leverage both options to really amplify the talent we can have in our organization to enhance our service delivery to our clients.”

Help Wanted

Another company looking to hire in 2023 is IT service provider Opkalla. The business wants to hire two to three account executives and an account manager. It’s also looking to fill several positions on its operations team, said Brice Ulrey, managing partner.


Opkalla’s Brice Ulrey

“We have seen substantial growth and plan on doubling down on investment in our sales team to continue the momentum,” Ulrey said. “Our goal is to grow, and we need a strong sales team and back office team to do that.”

When it comes to sales, Ulrey says businesses should always look for solid talent that fits the company culture.

“Every company’s situation is different. But yes, I think you should consider hiring someone that is a great fit, especially in sales,” he said.

Communications services provider Triton Networks is constantly looking for inside sales representatives and service delivery technicians, said Ron Lovern, executive vice president.


Triton Networks’ Ron Lovern

“This year we are looking specifically for an accounts payable person and a sales engineer to add to the mix,” he said.

Connecting with University Talent

Triton Networks is working with local colleges to support internships and entry level opportunities in sales and technical support, to try to keep its costs down, Lovern said. “We are also starting to outsource more of our larger network services projects and managed security services that we have done primarily internally in the past.”

It’s important for companies to consider hiring new talent, even in the midst of economic uncertainty, Lovern said.

“In our business, things move very fast,” he noted. “Either you have projects and not enough support, or you have …

… individuals on staff with too little work to do. By introducing more internships and entry-level opportunities, we can build a pool of candidates to pull from as we grow.”

Growth Opportunities

Some smaller companies are looking to bring in more talent as they look to leverage growth opportunities.


Profit Advisory Group’s Barry Bazen

“As a small business, we all wear multiple hats,” said Barry Bazen, president of Profit Advisory Group, an IT and communications service provider. He describes the firm as a hybrid company, providing consulting on projects, cost-reduction audits, ongoing expense management projects and traditional agent-focused sales.

“What is growing for us is literally everything, across the board,” Bazen said. “We are hiring salespeople to sell whatever the prospects need, which is typically a mix of all that we continue to offer.”

In addition to sales representatives, the company plans to hire data analysts and auditors, and client success managers.

“Our business plan continues to call for growth, and to achieve that we need more salespeople, which [dictates] the need for additional support staff,” Bazen said. “The staff growth predicates the business growth.”

Due to economic uncertainty, Bazen acknowledges that some businesses might be more sensitive to recessionary pressure and hold off on hiring.

“The burden of additional overhead during prolonged periods of falling income could be more than some businesses could survive,” Bazen said. “Conversely, if demand remains unimpacted and your plans are for growth, additional hiring is required to continue to meet your goals. [If] you are focused on growth and can withstand the increased costs, now is a perfect time to expand your team.”

One of the biggest reasons channel companies are hiring this year – in addition to supporting growth and bolstering sales – is to enhance customer experience.

Multiple Open Positions

Stronghold Data, a provider of managed IT and consulting services, plans to build out its team this year after adding 12 new employees in 2022. So says Jason Rincker, director of revenue at the company.


Stronghold Data’s Jason Rincker

“We anticipate hiring high-level engineers to help us develop and improve our service delivery, client success managers to ensure our customers are well taken care of, and expanding our sales team to increase our market share,” Rincker said. “As we continue to grow, it is important to ensure that we have the right people in place to help us achieve our objectives.”

The company takes a proactive approach to hiring, Rincker said, anticipating the need for new talent as it scales up its operations.

“At the same time, we also remain flexible and responsive to any unexpected changes or challenges that may arise, which may require us to hire additional staff to address specific needs.”

It’s important for companies to consider hiring new talent even during times of economic uncertainty, Rincker added.

“While there may be some risks associated with expanding your team in uncertain times, there are also opportunities to gain a competitive advantage by securing top talent that might be available due to economic conditions,” he said.

In addition, investing in human capital can position a company for long-term growth and success.

“By bringing on new employees who can contribute fresh ideas, skills and perspectives, companies can strengthen their teams and increase their chances of success in the long run,” Rincker said.

Bob Violino is a business and technology freelance writer.

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