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Value Partnerships Start with the Master Agent

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Value Partnerships Start with the Master Agent

December 10, 2012

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Quality collaboration partners can lend significant value to a business. The challenge is identifying those partners and then creating relationships that are mutually beneficial. The benefits are especially crucial in the services industry, yet the rapidly changing needs of the customer demand more comprehensive solutions. Developing a partnership where both companies are evolving at the same rate is nearly impossible. Unless, that is, one of the partners is a master agent

A recent Channel Partners Online blog highlighted the benefits associated when working alongside a master agent, including the network of partners one brings to the table. As markets continue to expand, the wide ranging demands of increasingly complex business clients become more difficult to address. At the same time, technologies continue to advance, converge and unify, creating a sharper learning curve at every turn. This dynamic is creating opportunities, while also making it more difficult for service providers to learn and support everything on their own. 

Fortunately, the benefits go both ways. Communications experts can leverage the changes and opportunities emerging in the market to broaden their portfolios as well as their client base. IT service providers, based on consumer demand, are integrating phones, e-mail, voice and video messaging, instant messaging and wireless connectivity into their UC systems. The networking infrastructure necessary to support this technology is readily handled by the service provider, but the master agent is needed to supply the critical carrier services. 

When the master agent works alongside the IT service provider, a complete unified communications solution is possible, delivering the necessary benefits to both sides of the partnership. Plus, as cloud services continue to grow, the interdependence will also increase, allowing both communities to demand improved efficiencies in service delivery and the integration and customization of extensive opportunities.

To truly implement and benefit from the master agent partnership, both sides must go through a process that begins with identifying needs. Once needs and goals are clearly established potential master agents can enter into a conversation with the provider, addressing the rules of engagement, determining the ownership of the customer relationship, forming an agreement on a revenue and compensation formula, understanding the business model and formalizing the partnership. 

The convergence of telecommunications and IT is creating new opportunities for the master agent to demonstrate the value they bring to the table. As captured in this TMCnet post, what was once a clear separation between the two departments or elements has now become an integrated approach to doing business. 

For the IT service provider seeking to make the most of the opportunities in this market, the master agent can serve as the perfect go-between with telecommunications technologies. In the end, this partnership can help identify revenue opportunities and create an ultimately profitable relationship.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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