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Telarus CEO On Channel Evolution, The Burgeoning Cisco Relationship And Opportunity Amid Macro Pressures

Gina Narcisi

The telecom service broker’s CEO, Adam Edwards, talks with CRN about selling through hard times, the push for inclusive language in the industry, and emerging security opportunities for partners.

Moving And Shaking

The telecom service broker industry has been on a high-growth path that’s not unlike a rocket ship trajectory. There are a few contributing factors. Recent macro events that have reshaped the economy, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have had an undeniably positive effect on the technology industry as businesses make necessary investments in the digital workplace. Another major factor for all the growth? Recurring revenue mandates that most channel partners are employing, according to Adam Edwards, CEO and co-founder of Telarus.

Telecom service brokers like Sandy, Utah-based Telarus are no longer serving only agent partners. There’s a good blend of MSPs and traditional VARS in the mix now as these firms realize the importance of building a recurring revenue stream. And if they’re not ready? Telarus is there to help partners with financing plans to help them get the commissions they need while growing their businesses, Edwards said. And it’s not just channel partners that are getting into the telecom space. Vendors that have historically partnered with hardware VARs are now realizing the power of the telecom channel and are creating business models to target these partners, including Cisco, who Telarus added to its supplier portfolio earlier this year.

The kinds of partners are changing and so is the technology. Just six years ago, Telarus was generating 90 percent of its sales from networking. Now, that mix is closer to 60 percent networking and 40 percent strategic services, such as cloud, security, and IoT. Another recent change is the term “telecom service broker” itself. Telarus and its peers, who have historically referred to themselves as “master agents,” are now coming together to prioritize inclusive language.

There’s been quite a bit of change for one portion of the tech industry as of late, but one major factor that never changes: the channel is a relationship business and customers will always lean on the partner they trust to help them make new buying decisions and weather major changes.

Telarus’ Edwards sat down with CRN to catch up on the evolution the firm is seeing in partner types and revenue mix, the company’s nascent but flourishing relationship with Cisco, and the emerging technology opportunities for partners.

Here’s what Edwards had to say.

 
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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