"I've turned down multiple offers. I get approached almost daily and have been for the last three or four years," Ted Schuman said.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

May 11, 2022

9 Slides

Social media is on fire with reaction to Avant‘s acquisition of PlanetOne.

Avant announced the deal on Wednesday in a move that brings longtime channel fixture Ted Schuman and the PlanetOne team to Avant. The two sides didn’t reveal terms of the transaction.

“We’re dropping a nuke. This isn’t one-plus-one-equals-three; this is one-plus-one-equals-ten. Today, the channel has changed. We just created a new monster in the channel,” said Schuman, who will serve as chief experience officer (CXO).


PlanetOne’s Ted Schuman

Partners have praised the deal for the geographical and project management gaps Arizona-based PlanetOne helps fill for Chicago-based Avant. Executives from both companies say their respective Sentient and Pathfinder platforms are complementary to one another.

Moreover, the transaction brings together one of the oldest sourcing firms in the industry with a 12-year-old upstart.


Avant’s Ian Kieninger

“It’s really cool to see 30 years of institutional knowledge and success combined with one of the younger firms to create a really special organization, which can cover anything from the front end of pre-sales support to the backend of project management,” Avant CEO Ian Kieninger told Channel Futures. “There are zero gaps here. This is undeniably the most valuable organization to work with, because the amount of value we offer from soup to nuts. There are no gaps in the strategy. There are no gaps in the value chain.”

A New Value Proposition

Schuman said he has turned down multiple acquisition offers. He said Avant brought a value proposition that he had not yet seen.

“I’ve turned down multiple offers. I get approached almost daily and have been for the last three or four years. And it’s just the nature of the world we live in. The [private equity] community has descended onto our channel, validating what we’ve known for years. We have something very special here; it only gets stronger month over month,” Schuman said. “But for me, I never had found the right fit culturally, for employees and for partners.”

At the same time, partners expressed curiosity about how private equity investment in the agent channel and TSB consolidation will look three years from now. More eyes are turning to the remaining independent brokerages and distributors, including TBI, TCG and Sandler Partners. Others questioned if any traditional IT distributors will get into the action or if they already have.

Scroll through the images above to see instant reactions from partners, as well as pictures of the Avant and PlanetOne teams together.

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.


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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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