The hottest topic by far at last week's WTG gathering of agents and vendors was the cloud, with nearly every presentation and demonstration focused on integrating the technology that is remaking the landscape of the telecom and IT business.
The 125 agents and resellers attending WTG’s 12th annual Tee & Sea event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, Calif., were inundated over three days with instructions and advice on how to leverage cloud technologies, and secure the recurring revenues that those services provide.
The agents heard presentations by the event's telecom sponsors, most touting their cloud-based service offerings, and the event culminated with a State of the Cloud panel on Friday.
WTG CEO Vince Bradley repeatedly told partner agents they needed to start adapting to the new way of doing business, and that WTG, as their master agent, would help them evolve.
"Cloud is much more than a buzzword du jour," Bradley told CRN.
WTG put so much emphasis this year on educating its partner agents to the rapidly changing service and revenue models because they need to understand "it's the future of our industry and technology as we know it," he said.
The shift to a residual revenue model, and away from a one-time spiff, is rooted in the "growth and maturity of the indirect channel, in general," Bradley said.
Business-savvy VARS and solution providers "have opened their minds to the fact that a balance of the one-time payments on products is perfectly married to the steady cash of the residual model," Bradley said, adding, "the real quantum leap in mindset has been the embracing of the annuity-style payments."
WTG, as a master agent, has seen 10 percent growth in its recurring revenue in 2014, which now constitutes 90 percent of total revenue.
Driving that growth is the cloud, Bradley said, specifically hosted voice services, as well as infrastructure-, software- and data recovery-as-a-service.
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