Avant Cloud Channel Survey Shows Upside for UCaaS, Security, SD-WAN

Data and voice are the two most common services, but they aren't the most profitable.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

April 17, 2018

3 Min Read
Cloud Questions

CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — Channel partners on average sell four key cloud services, according to a new study by Avant Communications (a Premier Sponsor).

And the cloud services they don’t sell could put them at risk.

The report surveyed more than 200 cloud sales professionals who accounted for more than 14,518 cloud deals last year. Of those respondents, 61 percent have had cloud services in their portfolio for more than 10 years. The survey profiled the different types of cloud services and the risk partners face for not offering those particular services.


Courtesy of Avant

Data network and voice are by far the most common types of services that these companies are selling, with 3,675 and 3,246 sales in 2017, respectively. The next most sold service was office productivity, followed by unified communications as a service (UCaaS).

The study predicted that SD-WAN, UCaaS and security will see the fastest sales growth over the next two years. Moreover, colocation, security and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) are producing more monthly recurring revenue than data, voice and office productivity.

The study also listed a “channel risk score” which describes the chance of a seller being displaced by a company that offers a larger number of services. Sellers averaged four main services and could be at risk from a channel competitor with a deeper portfolio.


Courtesy of Avant

For example, partners selling data services are not selling cloud services as frequently as cloud-service sellers are selling data services, according to the study. Those data-services specialists run the risk of being displaced if they don’t enhance their cloud portfolios. Neglecting security as a service tended to lead to more risk, which suggests that buyers often see security services as a prerequisite.

Ian Kieninger, Avant’s chief executive officer and co-founder, says a “clear, expanding gap” is widening between “winners and losers” in the channel.


Avant’s Ian Kieninger

“The key findings in the survey are quite telling about what it takes to win in this market as a channel sales professional,” Kieninger said. “The survey looked at 51 different success criteria and the secret sauce of success became very clear. It’s time for sellers to make a hard assessment of their business and how they are selling today’s IT services.”

The winners category, which Avant titled the “Lean Forward Group,” prioritized vendor responsiveness and sales training, while the “Lean Back Group” valued vendor deal protection and email-based lead generation. The declining category also reported that customers “make decisions based on total cost of ownership.”

The study concluded that channel partners are on average planning to move from four key services to six within the next two years, with the help of presale support.

“Since most sellers differentiate themselves with presales consulting and customer support, and over half add extra value with implementation, professional and managed services, it’s key to understand the quality of a vendor’s technical acumen and follow-through quality,” said George Just, Talari’s vice president of channels,

Edge Strategies compiled the survey for Avant, which partnered with Talari Networks, Hosting, Navisite-Spectrum Enterprise, Masergy and Channel Partners.

Avant recently announced an expansion into the Texas region, hiring Rick Reed as senior channel director of channel sales for the South Central U.S. Reed featured on our most recent podcast, helping to preview the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this week.

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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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