CRN Exclusive: TBI Taps 35-Year Telecom Veteran To Lead Engineering Efforts

Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI) wants to make things more "cloudy" for its community of channel partners, in the best way possible. The master agent is adding Steve Roos as its new vice president of engineering to help get partners up to speed with the latest technologies and start earning more revenue.

Roos, in his brand-new role, will work to make Chicago-based TBI an efficient partner for solution providers looking for emerging selling opportunities, and will help boost the master agent's technical prowess. The all-encompassing role will allow Roos to serve as a "floating manager" who will touch on both engineering and operations, Roos said.

"Some days, I'll be working with training and marketing teams to develop new content, and the next day, I could be assisting channel managers on new technology," he told CRN.

[Related: Master Agent TBI 'Going Big' With Its Partners On SD-WAN]

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Roos' 35-year telecom career includes a myriad of hands-on training experience with some of the country's largest carriers, as well as management roles within solution provider organizations. His unique background in the telecom industry includes a 20-year stint in the U.S. Air Force where he tested and evaluated Department of Defense communications systems throughout the world.

After spending two decades with the Air Force, Roos went on to work for Austin-based technology consulting firm Spohn Consulting, where he served as a solutions engineer, as well as consultant and trainer. During his time with Spohn, Roos spent a great deal of time training AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon and Accenture staff on voice and network services and how to sell specific voice and data solutions, as well as managed services.

Roos will use his experience working with carriers to help TBI vet suppliers, or vendor partners, by evaluating their infrastructure, change control process, and product refresh rates.

"We want to make sure we're putting customers and agents on the best possible solution there is, not the one that's the shiniest from a commission or spiff perspective," he said.

Roos is no stranger to the channel. Prior to his new role with TBI, Roos was the vice president of technical services for telecom solution provider Wired Networks. Roos also served as director of technical services for solution provider organization Liquid Networx for five years.

Above all, TBI, now with the help of Roos, wants to help solution providers understand newer technologies, such as SD-WAN and other cloud-based, as-a-service solutions, that are letting partners build more cohesive, end-to-end solutions for their end customers.

In an effort to get TBI partners "cloudy," and knowledgeable on emerging technologies, the master agent is building out a lab environment for testing different solutions. Partners can bring customers to the lab to show them the technology and real-life results, Roos said.

"Partners have to be ready to walk a customer through how these newer technologies will actually be better and outperform their existing technologies," Roos said. "Through the lab, we want to bring an element of realism of new technology to partners and agents."