Avant Special Forces Summit: Channel Partners Eye the Enterprise – Channel Futures
Channel partners are landing a larger and larger piece of the enterprise pie.
So says Avant co-founder and CEO Ian Kieninger, who encouraged agents and VARs to move up market. In 2019, 23% of Avant’s top 50 agents had sold a deal to a $1 billion company. This year, 45% of the top 50 have sold to a $1 billion company.
“There’s an absolute trend that larger customers are now willing to buy from and work with smaller, laser-focused trusted advisers,” Kieninger told Channel Futures. “As we continue to move forward in the evolution of this channel and the evolution of technology, we’re seeing that our trusted advisers are getting engaged in larger deals than they ever have been.”
Avant’s Ian Kieninger
And a new customer demographic may lead to a different engagement model. For example, Kieninger said partners should consider charging for their time. That’s due to a couple of reasons. One is the increased risks that come with selling to larger customers.
“There’s more time being spent working on deals [and more] investment of resources. And if those deals don’t come to fruition, it could be a long time for the next one to come around, or to get paid,” he said.
In addition, charging for time helps brokers earn upfront cash flow as they build residual revenue. Kieninger also said enterprise buyers will appreciate partners charging for their time. It shows the customer that the partner is motivate to maintain a relationship beyond a one-time transaction.
“I think the enterprise account absolutely wants to see that,” Kieninger said. “Small business maybe not so much, but as you go up market there’s an expectation that you need to put a value on your time so they put a value on you as well.”
Kieninger and fellow Avant executives frequently asked vendor keynote speakers and panelists about how they are dealing with Microsoft. Evolve IP, 8×8 and Zoom, in particular, fielded questions about whether they will partner or compete against Microsoft.
“A lot of people are saying, ‘Wow, they’re so large, and they’re everywhere, and everybody has some version of their software. Do they have an advantage to go own the UCaaS space?’ I probed that question to the UCaaS providers to see if they’re afraid of that. The audience wants to know too, because if it all went in that direction, [the UCaaS opportunities] would dry up, because there could be a monopoly,” Kieninger told Channel Futures.
However, Kieninger noted that Microsoft specializes in software, not services
“Companies like Evolve IP, RingCentral and 8×8 are all plugging into their platform and providing an enterprise end-user customer experience that Microsoft’s not doing at this time,” he said. “That gives them a window of opportunity to go capitalize where Microsoft’s not focusing.”
Opkalla’s Jim Campbell
Jim Campbell, founder and managing partner of Opkalla, said his firm has aligned with Microsoft. Opkalla is a Microsoft gold CSP that supports about 60,000 Microsoft licenses.
“It’s part of our business and will continue to be, because Microsoft’s not going anywhere,” Campbell told Channel Futures.
In addition, Opkalla teams with Avant vendors that integrate with Teams. As a result, Microsoft represents an opportunity – not a threat – for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm.
“When we talk about COVID-19 and moving people to cloud telephony, Microsoft Teams has been our largest area of cloud communications. I’d say two out of three customers wanted to talk about Teams since they had such a large Microsoft investment,” Campbell said.
See pictures of the final day at Avant Special Forces Summit in the gallery above.
Log in with your Channel Futures account
Alternatively, post a comment by completing the form below:
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Our Latest #Cybersecurity Roundup includes Congress demanding answers from the @FBI on withholding @KaseyaCorp… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Check out our latest set of “Top 10” highlight teasers for @channel_expo in November. dlvr.it/S8hJHz https://t.co/jJuA4dymxj
The @CorelSoftware Partner Program was developed with #channelpartners in mind. #reseller #channel #productivity… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
.@Avant_CCC closed out its Special Forces Summit in style. We’ve got the pics. dlvr.it/S8h9Ft https://t.co/jncVqH11rP
.@WintaskCo says pick from #RPA or #RDA for the best data automation mode for your company. dlvr.it/S8gx7m https://t.co/SSmroVE1Q0
.@Kyndryl set to expand partner base once @IBM separation is complete. #cloud dlvr.it/S8gx3D https://t.co/Z8zhsDFvU2
#Conti ransomware targets backups. Here’s help for #MSSPs to better understand. @ClumioInc @StorOne_Inc… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
.@upstackhq continues #acquisition spree with Legacy Solutions, Open Communications. #UCaaS #CCaaS… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Business advice for MSSPs and news from the broader security channel.
Sign up for The Channel Report, Channel Futures Update, MSP 501 Newsletter and more.
Get the latest information on the next industry-leading Channel Partners event.
Educational slide shows and images from live events.
Want to reach our audience? Access our media kit.