Business is booming for tech advisory partners. But they, just like their customers, must navigate a changing world.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 2, 2022

4 Min Read
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Hybrid work has presented both opportunities and challenges for channel partners.

Tech advisory partners, sometimes known as agents, are experiencing more growth than ever. Many of the have successfully made the leap to selling cloud-based services, and their revenue numbers show that. One can point to the pandemic as a key accelerator of cloud migration, as customers have turned to cloud services to keep their distributed employees connected.

However, hybrid work has also presented agents with challenges, especially as they try to envision the future of their own staff. Some of these partners will weigh in on their experiences at the upcoming Channel Partners Conference & Expo in a session titled “The Secrets of Agents.” That’s on the keynote stage Wednesday afternoon, April 13.

The panel will feature Dave Dyson, chief communication strategist at Eclipse; Lucas Salvage, chief revenue officer at Kairos Data Communications; Kathleen Waters, founder and CEO at Creekview Group; David Wright, founder and CEO of Disruptive Innovations; and Mark Venuto, chief operating officer at US Network.

In this session preview, Venuto and Dyson share their thoughts about where they see the industry moving.

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US Network’s Mark Venuto

Channel Futures: What is one of the biggest opportunities facing you as the leader of a consultancy/agency? Where are you seeing growth?

Mark Venuto: We have experienced solid month-over-month growth with (security services, cloud VoIP services, SD-WAN, and TEM services) and believe we will continue to see sound growth throughout the next several years. I fully believe 5G is going to have a huge impact on overall growth and will truly impact/drive additional products and services utilizing this technology will provide a significant opportunity for big growth.

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Eclipse’s Dave Dyson

Dave Dyson: The biggest opportunity I see right now is the large enterprise buyer is ready to work with and buy from the indirect channel. Big companies are looking to us for our expertise and experience, and acknowledging the fact that we are able to deliver far more care and attention than the huge companies that they have traditionally purchased from. We are seeing a lot of growth in advanced intelligent networking and customer experience tech right now.

Mark Venuto and Dave Dyson are among the more than 100 top speakers at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo/MSP Summit. Register now to join 6,500 fellow attendees, April 11-14. You can also interact with more than 300 key suppliers and technology service distributors.

CF: What is one of the biggest challenges you face?

DD: We have had a tough time maintaining our world-class culture during the COVID-19 era. We were an in-person office culture that thrived on togetherness and collaboration, and much of that magic has been tough to replicate during the last two years. We will be a hybrid workforce going forward, so this will continue to be a focus and priority for us.

MV: One of our critical concerns is the ever-changing world environment with COVID-19 over the last two years, where everyone had to quickly react and adapt to a “work at home” environment, setting up cloud services and network security for our work-at-home employees, coupled with the current turmoil overseas. Cybersecurity and the threat of data breaches have to be top of mind for segments of the business regardless of the size of the business. These are all common trends that truly challenge our industry daily and the raw demand for better security options in all verticals will continue at a rapid scale. We continue to develop and train our employees to become resident experts in security options for all of our existing customers and newly acquired customers.

CF: What’s one thing you wish other people in the channel (particularly TSBs and vendors) understood about their agent partners?

DD: That our customer relationships are not transactional to us, as they may be to the TSB and vendor. Most of us work for years or even decades cultivating these relationships and earning trust by always being accountable to the customer. When a vendor we introduce doesn’t deliver as we and they promised, it hurts the entire ecosystem and puts future opportunities with those customers in jeopardy.

CF: Is there anything else you would like to add?

DD: This is the best time to be in this business in all of the years I have been in it. Yes, there is a lot of tumult right now, but with the accelerating pace of change, clients of all sizes need our help more than ever. The opportunity is enormous.

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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