The Channel's Weekly Top 7: WTG Integration, AT&T Ethernet, More

An all-around positive week for our space.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 15, 2019

4 Min Read
Days of the week, calendar

The channel enjoyed a peaceful seven days.

We’ve come a long way since last week’s absolutely brutal stretch for two large carriers. Legal drama and financial fiascoes drew the biggest headlines for purveyors of telecommunications and IT services. We can almost always rely on the age old mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads,” even in the technology business.

But nostalgia, not controversy, drove the conversation this time around. An assemblage of master agents reflected fondly on their first gathering together, and our top story was a human interest piece on a leading channel figure.

We’ve compiled our top seven traffic-generating stories of the week for you – our esteemed readers – to devour.

7. Tech Data Teams with Automation Anywhere for Robotics

The distributor partnered with Automation Anywhere to bring robotic process automation (RPA) into its portfolio.

Tech Data’s vice president of analytics and IoT solutions for the Americas told us that RPA will help partners take on new verticals and offer existing customers a “highly demanded and lucrative solution.” The solution essentially creates a workforce of software bots that automates tasks for a company.

Read about the agreement.

6. AppDirect’s Saks Addresses Post-WTG Acquisition Needs, Successes

We got some juicy details of how WTG’s integration with AppDirect is going.

The positive is that the master agent’s sales partners are killing it in security and cloud, adopting new services like Google Apps and IBM MaaS360. But AppDirect is giving subagents additional support as they try to bring an IT-focused into their arsenals.

AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks recently shared his vision for partners and statistics for digital transformation. A key takeaway is that that each industry has demonstrably different motivations and obstacles with regard to adopting to new technologies.

I visited WTG’s event in Scottsdale, Arizona, a week ago and watched Saks address partners.

5. Telecom Leads Dubious List of Complaints

Phone scams are the top pet peeve for the people of Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Justice named telecommunications as the top source of consumer complaints. The agency fielded 1,728 phone-related written gripes out of about 7,000 in total.

Scammers peddling faux travel packages and fake investment opportunities led the way in the telecom category. That’s distinct from telemarketing, which was ninth on the list.

There’s more to the study than that, so read about the naughty list.

4. Jabra Parent Completes Altia Systems Acquisition

GN Audio, which owns Jabra, finished purchasing video collaboration provider Altia Systems.

The $125 million acquisition cements GN’s unified communications position, as it already owns Jabra’s headphone and speakerphone lines. Altia offers integrated audiovisual communications. The company has been partnering with Intel to offer an AI-driven collaboration tool called PanaCast Whiteboard.

Edward Gately wrote a little ditty about the transaction.

3. WTG, MicroCorp, TBI, PlanetOne Reflect on Channel Partners’ History

Industry legends spilled some major tea this week talking about the first ever Channel Partners conference.

We caught up with WTG CEO Vince Bradley, MicroCorp CEO Karin Fields, PlanetOne CEO Ted Schuman and TBI president Geoffrey Shepstone, who will be panelists in our upcoming Founder’s Forum.

Those four master agent executives, along with Intelisys co-founder Rick Dellar, helped form the first-ever Channel Partners Las Vegas show (although it went by a different name originally). The panel will shed light on how the show – not to mention the channel – has changed in the last 22 years.

Oh, and Schuman shared …

… one of his rather memorable anecdotes.

Take a look at the Q&A we ran on Monday.

2. AT&T Leads Latest Global Ethernet Rankings Shake-Up

CenturyLink and AT&T moved up in the latest Ethernet scoreboard.

AT&T claimed the top spot for Vertical Systems Group’s (VSG) year-end 2018 Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard, just ahead of Colt and CenturyLink.

CenturyLink can attribute much of its advancement to its acquisition of Level 3, but it’s worth noting that Orange Business, a long-time leader in the category, dropped to fifth place. Orange had scored first in every such leaderboard from 2009 to 2017.

Check out our recap.

1. Channel Influencer of the Year: Janet Schijns

Influential figures in the channel described in detail what we might call the “Janet Schijns effect.”

Telarus co-founder Patrick Oborn shared a deeply personal story about how the former Verizon channel chief resurrected the telco’s relationship with the master agent. Schijns has since moved on to Office Depot and now back to her consultancy business, but she tells Channel Partners that she’s fully invested in the channel.

“I’ve seen and heard too much now the last few years about the channel not surviving, about 50 percent of [partners] going out of business or retiring. I’ve seen too much consolidation. I’ve seen too much of all of it,” she told our Kris Blackmon. “I will not allow the channel to go away. It’s just not going to happen”

Read Blackmon’s lengthy profile of this industry titan.

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