In an era when many solution providers have lost a little (or a lot) of their mojo or are still feeling the effects of a poor economy, Carousel Industries is a powerhouse: strong and getting stronger. The Exeter, R.I., solution provider is perhaps best known as an Avaya-centric UC, collaboration and voice player, but through a series of acquisitions and strategic growth decisions, it is continuing to expand its footprint into security, virtualization, video, wireless networking and managed services.
Another growth area for Carousel is carrier services--traditionally a tough nut to crack for IT solution providers but, to Carousel, a multifaceted opportunity. The company provides a wide range of services and has 30-plus carrier partnerships, including with AT&T, Verizon, Qwest and Paetec.
"We have had success by acting as a carrier-agnostic consulting adviser to our clients," said
Stephen Forest, Carousel's director of carrier solutions. "They know that we have a vested interest in the success of all of their communications technologies and are not simply pushing a carrier agency."
Carousel's carrier services business has doubled over the past year, according to Forest. MPLS and SIP services are selling best, he said, because they let clients lower total cost of ownership by using a single network for their voice, video and data needs.
"Our biggest growth is going to come from guiding our clients from traditional TDM network architecture to a fully converged SIP-enabled architecture," he said. "We are uniquely positioned to deliver all of the elements required to realize the TCO benefits of the next generation of networking technologies."
With all the talk about the convergence of the telco agent and IT reseller channels, Forest said the biggest thing Carousel has seen is carriers acquiring VARs to build their services capabilities--a move fraught with difficulty because it means carriers end up competing with their VAR agents, Forest said.
"There is still significant divide between channel and direct carrier sales teams," said Forest.
By Chad Berndtson
NEXT: Champion Solutions Group