5 Intriguing Quotes from AireSpring Tech Services Distributor Panel

Intelisys is internally piloting an AI tool. AppDirect revealed what it did after buying ADcom. That and much more came out of a recent forum.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

June 7, 2024

5 Slides

Tech services distributor (TSD) leaders shared bullish views of the future in an industry discussion on Thursday.

Five TSD execs gathered for a virtual panel in AireSpring's fourth annual Industry Roundtable. They fielded questions about how they are using artificial intelligence, lead generation strategies and, of course, private equity.

The technology advisor channel, known by many as the trusted advisor channel, has grown leaps and bounds over the last three decades. Known once as telecom agents, these channel partners and the TSDs that support them have diversified well beyond voice and data services and into advanced categories like cybersecurity and contact center. And TSDs, who bear responsibility for courting new suppliers into the channel, minimizing risk for advisors and equipping advisors to scale their businesses, say they are helping to build a rising tide.

PE Questions Raised Again to Tech Services Distributor Leaders

The impact of private equity – and, more broadly, institutional investors – on TSDs and technology advisors (TAs) continues to generate buzz in the market.

Many TSD leaders – be they private-equity backed or not – view the mass entrance of private-equity firms into the space as cause for celebration.

"If private equity weren't a part of this industry, all you would be asking about is, 'Why are the private investors not interested in our lifestyle business?'" said Avant president Drew Lydecker, whose company received an investment from Pamlico Capital. "And the bottom line is, it's not a lifestyle business anymore. This is a multi-, multibillion-dollar business, and I think everybody should be cheering that. Because there are so few times in our lives in any industry where there's smart money entering into it and there is not a tremendous amount of success for everyone involved."

Related:Partners Share How They're Using Tech Services Distributors

Asked what they thought about a large private equity-backed technology advisor attempting to find a buyer, Sandler Partners chief revenue officer Justin Marano wished them well.

"I'm rooting for them. We saw what happened after ScanSource bought Intelisys and the opportunity it created. For this super agency, we want to see them hit a home run, or at least a stand-up triple, because then it'll make those other companies that aren't as big hit singles and doubles," Marano said.

While much of the conversation focused on the impact private equity is having on TAs and TSDs, the executives also revealed fascinating snippets about how they are preparing for the future.

The Channel Advisors' CEO Eric Brooker moderated the discussion, which featured:

See the slideshow above for five nuggets that came out of the panel.

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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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