Intelisys: Cloud Services Coalition Buy 'Jump Starts' Cloud Strategy For Channel Partners

Master agent Intelisys Communications has completed its acquisition of the Cloud Services Coalition and created a new business unit, Intelisys Cloud Services and Complex Bids.

The CSC deal, which Intelisys originally announced in late March, will allow Intelisys to offer full support to partners throughout the entire cloud services sales process, as well as business and application discovery, project management, solution design and turn-key onsite installation and training.

"This jump-starts our cloud practice," said Jay Bradley, Intelisys' president, in an interview with CRN. "There's no time like the present to go ahead and do something that will put additional benefits in our partners' pockets, and with cloud services, we can compensate them at an even higher rate. This is a win for everybody."

[Related: Intelisys Channel Connect: Carriers and VARs Talk Channel Convergence ]

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The CSC is a group of integrators, based all over the country, that specialize in cloud services deployments. It was originally formed in May 2010 as the Cloud Roundtable, a joint project of two integrators, Terrapin Solutions and Concierge Communications. Terrapin became its sole owner a year later.

Intelisys is acquiring the CSC and its seven-person staff, including owner Andrew Pryfogle, who is now Intelisys' senior vice president and general manager, cloud services and complex bids, reporting to Bradley. Pryfogle remains the owner of Terrapin, which is not part of the assets now owned by Intelisys, but he has ceded day-to-day operations of Terrapin's integrator business to other employees. Terrapin will continue to be a partner of Intelisys'.

Intelisys' scope made the CSC deal a "perfect marriage" for the CSC, Pryfogle said.

"What we love about this is that it gets us access to a tremendous marketing engine. We see the Intelisys sales partner community as the best and brightest out there," he said. "To migrate to cloud solutions, they need a lot of help shepherding that process. Intelisys needs cloud solutions -- we fill the gap of the technical engineering expertise -- and we needed marketing horsepower."

NEXT: Intelisys' Plans For CSC And Partners

More than 150 of Intelisys' roughly 600 sales partners have already been through training with the CSC, according to Bradley and Pryfogle. Intelisys has stepped-up emphasis on recruiting traditional IT VARs and integrators makes what the CSC is doing particularly attractive. Intelisys' new Cloud Services University will be a training program for Intelisys' channel community to ramp up their expertise.

Bradley said Intelisys had been working with the CSC for the past year, and that over the last eight months in particular, their collaboration had built a $1 million funnel of channel business.

"This is a whole new segment of the industry for a lot of these [solution providers]," Bradley said.

Several VARs leverage the CSC's resources already. FusionStorm, the San Francisco-based integrator and Intelisys partner, worked with the CSC to close a 1,100-seat cloud telephony solution, for example, that "could have been a premise-based UC solution," Pryfogle explained.

"But this was a customer who said they didn't want to keep buying in that model,’ asking if they could design a cloud solution, said Pryfogle. ’CSC was an integral part of that kind of win,’ he added.

"There is a very unique fit between the Intelisys supplier portfolio and our support processes, people and philosophies, and that's going to be big for VARs making this pivot toward recurring revenue."