The new class of best technology consultants who sell IT and telecom solutions through the agent model has arrived.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 4, 2024

50 Slides

Channel Futures is honoring the newest class of best technology consultants in the agent channel with the 2024 Technology Advisor 101.

The Technology Advisor 101 shines a light on top performers in the tech advisory space, which continues to grow its market share in technologies such as connectivity, communications, customer experience and cybersecurity. The 101 individuals – highlighted in our A-K and L-Z lists – represent the best of the best in technology consulting companies.

Many of these standouts have been running their own agencies for years, laboring hard to help their business customers navigate a complex vendor world. And many of these channel partners, such as Tricia Ward of Onward Communications, have paved the way for new technology advisors to follow after them.

“I'm honored to be recognized among the top leaders in the agent channel who have demonstrated a commitment to business success, customer advocacy and thought leadership,” Ward told Channel Futures. "As a 22-year veteran in the industry, I have seen the value of the technology advisor become increasingly vital in shaping customer experience in a way that has benefited the overall growth and health of the channel. It's wonderful to be honored alongside my peers who I admire and who continue to inspire me.”

Related:Best Technology Consultants 2024: Top 101 Agents & Advisors Ranked (L-Z)

Award Methodology for Best Technology Consultants

Channel Futures selected the 2024 Technology Advisor 101 through a peer nomination process. Partners, distributors and suppliers in the channel vouched for the agents that they feel best represent the industry. The Channel Futures editorial team also participated in the selection process, nominating and vetting candidates. Furthermore, members of last year's inaugural Technology Advisor 101 made nominations to ensure that the award functions as a program for partners and by partners.

“It's great to see Channel Futures and other organizations providing opportunities for TAs to collaborate with peers and recognize each other for their leadership. I believe these opportunities will be increasingly important for the TA owners and organizations as the channel continues to evolve,” said TruPoint Communications Solutions president John Berardi, who we are honoring alongside TruPoint vice president of sales Cyndie Briggs.

All honorees work at a company that operates at least part of its business in an agent model. In this model, the supplier manages the technology solution sourced by the partner, bills the end customer, and provides a monthly commission to the partner. The Technology Advisor 101 does not include distributors or vendors, but only customer-facing partners.

The honorees stood out for their client-centricity, peer leadership, industry advocacy and business performance.

“Being recognized in the TA 101 alongside outstanding individuals in our channel ecosystem is truly an honor, and I am deeply grateful for it,” said Aram Bolduc, president of TopSpin Tech. “I extend my sincere thanks to Channel Futures, and congratulations to my fellow technology advisors.”

In addition, a special jury of channel veterans vetted a list of nominees for Lifetime Achievement and Rising Star awards. We will unveil those winners on Wednesday, March 12, on the keynote stage at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

What Are Technology Advisors?

The technology advisor model has roots in telecom. Sales leaders at wireline carriers increasingly left the corporate world following significant events like the breakup of AT&T and the dot-com bubble. They went independent knowing that they would serve their customers better by offering multiple service providers. The providers saw the value agents offered and began offering evergreen residual commissions for deals sold.

All of the business technology consultants in the TA 101 operate at least part of their business in an agent model.

But while technology advisors historically dabbled in voice and data – the stuff of telecom – many now consider themselves IT partners. While internet connectivity and voice remain bedrocks of their portfolios, agents have moved into cloud-based unified communications, contact center, data center colocation and cybersecurity.

A New Type of Technology Consultant

Moreover, many technology advisors now identify less as agents or brokers of vendors, but as trusted technology consulting companies that help their clients build long-term IT road maps. Many partners have established robust tech consulting practices that enterprise CIOs are increasingly noticing. Advisors' vendor compensation allows them to offer more cost-effective technology auditing and professional services than what large firms in the traditional business consulting space can offer.

“Customers are increasingly turning to advisors for their technology road maps, especially as they embrace as-a-service software and infrastructure,” said Keith Hatley, partner at Cloud Communications Group and a Technology Advisor 101 honoree. "We’re excited for the advisory model to gain more notoriety in the larger indirect sales channel and among IT vendors.”

A Celebration

Channel Futures held a reception to honor the first generation of TA 101ers in May 2023. The first generation of best technology consultants will join the new class at a reception at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Once you've reviewed our slideshow above highlighting these top technology advisor firms, download our free digital edition, "2024 Channel Futures Technology Advisor 101."

Read more about:

AgentsCP ExpoTA 101

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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