Buckle your seatbelts and grab your popcorn, kids. The channel as we know it is changing dramatically.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

December 15, 2021

24 Slides

The indirect technology sales channel experienced an unprecedented number of mergers and acquisitions in 2021.

Although the channel has witnessed consolidation in the past, M&A has predominantly occurred on the vendor/carrier side. However, a wide balance of vendors, distributors and customer-facing partners turned to consolidation in the last year. Two of the largest distributors came together, multiple brokerages accepted private equity, and several UCaaS providers found buyers.

A mix of factors helped drive consolidation in the past year. In some cases, like that of the UCaaS space, competitors made bold moves to keep up with the pace of their largest rivals. At the same time, the pandemic put many companies in a position where they needed to sell their business. Furthermore, private equity firms saw the perfect opportunity to make investments.

Indeed, private equity courted the channel in a massive way in 2021. It led to one of the largest investments an agent partner has ever received, and MSPs have also faced a stampede of prospective investor. Moreover, partners have expressed concerns about how private equity will impact the channel, particular several years from now when investors are seeking a return.

We decided to cover two dozen of the biggest mergers and acquisitions that occurred in the business technology indirect channel this year. The list, as you can imagine, is not exhaustive. For example, we must give an honorable mention to Zoom, whose $14.7 billion proposed purchase of Five9 fell by the wayside. We based this list off the size of the deal and the involved companies’ proximity to channel partners.

Scroll through the 24 images above to see the biggest channel-impacting consolidation stories of 2021.

Check out our October M&A wrap if you missed it.

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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