CRN Exclusive: Consolidation Strikes Again As Telarus Acquires CarrierSales To Boost Cloud, Mobility Sales

Telarus is on a mission to become one of the largest and well-rounded master agents in the country. To help achieve that goal, the company said Monday it is acquiring cloud and mobility-focused master agent CarrierSales.

Consolidation among carriers is causing some of them to "squeeze" their channels, often by dialing back the number of partners they work with who have direct contacts. At the same time, partners must prove themselves to the carriers with larger sales volumes and those that don't make the cut will have to run their business through a larger partner that can meet the increasing requirements.

Once combined, Telarus and CarrierSales will be a top-tier partner with each of the "Big 5" -- AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Spectrum and Verizon -- among other large service providers. Telarus also will be gaining strength in the cloud and wireless arenas, Telarus co-founder Patrick Oborn told CRN.

"This allows us to provide security and stability to our partners' residual commission streams long term, which is our primary goal," Oborn said of the deal.

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[Related: Telarus Nabs Former Zayo Channel Chief Scott Forbush As SVP Of Sales]

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the companies did say that Richard Murray, president of CarrierSales, will join Telarus co-founders Adam Edwards and Oborn as an equal partner and COO of the merged company, which will retain the Telarus name.

Once combined, Telarus will have 125 employees in 15 states and a vast network of more than 4,000 sales partners, which includes MSPs and telecom agent partners.

The two companies expect the all-stock deal to close during fourth-quarter 2017.

The combination of the two Utah-based master agents, with Telarus based in Sandy and CarrierSales based in Draper, will deepen Telarus' expertise in hot markets in which the master agent has been looking to invest and grow, such as Unified Communications as a Service, contact center and wireless, according to Oborn and Edwards.

CarrierSales is a Diamond CenturyLink partner with a heavy focus on the carrier's managed IT and cloud services. It also has strong hosted contact center and wireless practices through its close partnerships with InContact and Vonage.

’This deal helps us further strengthen our back office and adds new areas of technical expertise,’ Oborn said. ’To help our partners close complex UCaaS, hosted contact center and mobility deals, we now have a deeper bench of industry experts who will increase their batting average for sure.’

CarrierSales itself has grown inorganically, buying CMS Communications in 2013 and Concierge Communications in 2016.

The acquisition will also mean increased support for sales partners, Murray said.

Telarus today has six regional vice presidents, five partner development managers, and one senior vice president of sales located throughout the country.

Master agents that lose direct contracts with service providers often face a reduction in commission percentages, market development fund dollars and support resources. The combined company will now be able to scale quickly to meet partner requirements of tomorrow, Oborn and Murray said.

Specifically, the deal will help Telarus deliver more than $1.5 million each month in new service contracts to vendors and annual commission revenue that exceeds $81 million, according to the company.

The need for scale will continue to drive the consolidation trend, Oborn said.

"Master agents have to scale organically, by acquisition, or both, in order to retain their top rankings, especially with the Big 5 network providers."