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Opportunities Abound for the IT Channel Master Agent

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Opportunities Abound for the IT Channel Master Agent

January 26, 2012

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In order to be successful, the typical master agent must remain at the forefront of technologies in his or her respective markets and industries. And agents’ interests have recently been captured by the activities taking place in network services channels as recruiting efforts have been focused on solutions providers, VARs and IT consultants. 

Why this interesting mix? According to this Channel Partners Online piece, obvious synergies exist within these three areas. Cloud service delivery and the availability of managed services are finally working together to enable the seamless convergence of telecom services and IT. Carrier services tended to scare away VARs, and carrier channel programs have in the past been slow to embrace the power of IT channels. 

The master agent can benefit from this new development as the IT community has finally started to realize the importance of carrier services expertise in their overall strategy. Likewise, network services agents and carriers are recognizing the untapped opportunities in this space. As a result, it’s critical the master agent understand the positioning and power of the IT channels in the telecom services arena. 

According to Gartner (News - Alert), 2011 spending in the worldwide IT market exceeded $3.6 trillion. Of that amount, $1.7 trillion was spent in the purchase of enterprise software, computing hardware, telecom equipment, IT services and telecom services. This spending is expected to increase 3.7 percent overall in 2012, reaching $4.4 trillion by 2015. 

When solely focusing on the United States, the Business Monitor International estimates that business IT spending exceeded $534 billion in 2011, and will continue to grow to reach $659 billion by 2015. For the master agent who is concentrating on the U.S. market, telecom spending settled just under $150 billion, with roughly $85 billion of that in wireline. Accenture (News - Alert) estimates that roughly 67 percent of all sales in business technology will take place through indirect channels. 

These statistics suggest that IT spending within channel-influenced areas dwarfs the business telecom services market. Only a small fraction of the overall telecom business spending is directly associated with indirect channels. Those considered master agents, IT consultants, VARs and systems integrators are in a position to influence hundreds of billions of IT dollars spent in the U.S. alone, demonstrating the power of influence the IT channel has in the sale of complimentary carrier services. 

The opportunities available for master agents are significant, and those seeking to benefit from their knowledge will gain a competitive edge in the long-run. Those providers seeking the best market positioning will do well when continuing to cultivate the IT channel to support the increased sale of carrier services. 

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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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