Comcast Business Class Services Recruits VARs For The Cloud

Speaking to about 20 VARs at a roundtable Tuesday at the Intelisys IT Solution Provider Business Transformation Executive Symposium in Sunnyvale, Calif., Schlagbaum said solution providers can be natural partners with telecoms and cable companies.

"We think the notion of solution providers acting as agents [for telecoms and cable companies] will become more standard than selling as a reseller,” he said.

Channel partners can conduct integration services for their customers -- leaving infrastructure considerations to the telecoms and cable companies -- and generate recurring revenue. In the long run, solution providers can earn more money through these arrangements vs. more traditional IT services, according to Schlagbaum.

“Solution providers can do what they do best and provide their services and we provide cloud services,” he said.

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Schlagbaum said one model for this type of partnership is the master agent model, in which solution providers team with one provider that can make arrangements with several telecoms and cable companies. Intelisys is one company that follows that model, he said.

Andrew Pryfogle, Intelisys senior vice president and general manager for cloud services and complex bids, said solution providers that team with master agents get the “fastest path to market” in the cloud business.

Solution providers can rely on master agents such as Intelisys to add cloud services expertise they might not have. “My example is, “To get to your destination, do you want to build a plane or get a seat on a plane?’” Pryfogle said.

Chris Gerhardt, president of solution provider Denali Advanced Integration, said that although Denali is offering some cloud services, teaming with others to more easily achieve them is a sound idea. “I agree with them. This is where the market is going,” he said.

Jason Kraft, district manager of telecom sales at solution provider FusionStorm, said his company has partnered with Intelisys for several years, with good results. “Intelisys give you one throat to choke around cloud services,” he said.