Cisco announced a partnership with Intelisys last summer.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

February 2, 2022

4 Min Read
Business handshake

Cisco is venturing further into the agent channel by making its Webex UCaaS offering available to Telarus partners.

Partners subcontracting through Telarus can sell Webex to U.S. customers for a commission. Telarus joins Intelisys as Cisco’s two technology solutions brokerage partners. The Webex collaboration offering includes messaging, contact center, calling and video meetings.


Cisco’s Julia Chen

“As technology becomes more sophisticated, customers are looking to buy outcomes and experiences in a flexible way. The market shift toward as-a-service (aaS) and managed services is creating several new opportunities for Cisco and our partners,” Julia Chen, vice president of global partner transformation, and Kristyn Hogan, vice president of collaboration partner sales, wrote in a blog. “With success via Cisco’s channel and our recently launched agent route to market, we are excited to announce that we are expanding our agent model.”


Telarus’ Shane Speakman

Cisco lands in Telarus’ supplier portfolio; specifically, it will slot into the company’s UCaaS practice. Telarus will leverage “amazing” internal resources from Cisco, including a regional channel manager team and shared internal engineering resources.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

“This agreement highlights the value of our channel to Cisco and Telarus’ prominence as a leader in the brokerage community,” Telarus vice president of UCaaS Shane Speakman said. “Together, we are dedicating resources to assist partners in offering more value to customers. We look forward to a prosperous relationship and complementing the Cisco partner program.”

Cisco said its reseller and broker partners can both sell Webex in the agent model.

The Cisco Agent Channel

Cisco last summer signed its first TSB (formerly known as master agent) partnership with Intelisys. Cisco had been partnering with Intelisys’ parent company, ScanSource, for 14 years. However, the development of the Cisco agent channel dates further back.


Cisco’s Geoff Works

Cisco in 2019 tapped Geoff Works, a former sales leader at Mitel, ShoreTel and Five9, as the leader of its global agency program for collaboration. Speakman said Cisco views the agent channel as essential helping the company shift to cloud software and services.

“Cisco is a behemoth, but this seems to be a big focus of theirs,” Speakman told Channel Futures. “They’re just not seeing the cloud adoption from some of their traditional channels, and they really see this channel as the future of cloud sales.”

Speakman said Cisco reached out to Telarus about six months ago. They engaged in a lengthy negotiation for a contract.

Now Cisco can enlist the sales footprint of “thousands of agents” who contract with Telarus.

“We are excited to join forces with them. With Telarus’ focus on partner and customer success, we believe they are the right partner to help us accelerate our expansion in this critically important route to market,” Hogan and Chen wrote.

A Direct Option

Options previously existed for agents to sell Cisco. Speakman pointed to CBTS, which wraps managed services around Cisco products.

“We find a lot of success in that. This [new partnership] augments that and also brings Cisco direct support which had been lacking,” Speakman said.

In addition, he said any enterprise customers prefer to engage directly with the Cisco brand.

The Future


Cisco’s Kristyn Hogan

For now the deal only entails Webex, but Speakman said Telarus hopes to expand the product set it offers. For example, it hopes to expand into contact center by the middle of the year. Agents are also interested in selling other Cisco offerings.

We’re looking at you, Meraki.

“As you can imagine, we have a large appetite for more than just the Webex platform,” Speakman said. “That’s our goal: to prove success within this realm and expand into others.”


Telarus’ Dan Foster

Telarus chief revenue officer Dan Foster cited the work-from-anywhere movement that has taken over the world.

“This agreement begins an incredible chapter for both organizations, and we are excited to get started. Our combined acumen in driving go-to-market strategies fueled by intuitive and easy-to-use technology in the communication and collaboration space will be powerful assets for partners,” Foster said.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Read more about:


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.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like