Master Agent Intelisys Further Supports Partners with Financing Programs

By Rory Lidstone April 29, 2016

The telecommunications space is more interesting now than it has ever been, whether on the technological side because of developments like NFV and SDN, the service side with tech movements like the IoT on the rise, or even on the sales side. That last one might not be as glamorous as the others but, when you consider the newly revitalized importance of a master agent channel strategy lately, telecom sales can be just as interesting as its services.

Take the case of Intelisys, for example. The master agent was recently showcased by Gina Narcisi over at CRN for its ability to help its partners pivot their businesses and clear financial hurdles. The company accomplishes this with its Partner Investment Program and Advanced Commissions Program. These programs aim to put money in the hands of partners so they can grow their businesses faster. So far, Intelisys has loaned just shy of $5 million to partners, according to the company’s vice president of finance, Michael Ketchum.

Master agents like Intelisys exist because getting a solution provider business up and running successfully is quite a challenge. This is because commissions on telecom services often take months to be seen as revenue for the company. Meanwhile, traditional value-added resellers (VARs) that have built up their businesses around large, one-time payments from hardware sales aren’t accustomed to the smaller, monthly recurring revenue model of selling cloud services.

Intelisys distributes business telecommunications offerings and cloud-based services through its channel of supplier and sales partners. The Partner Investment Program was launched to provide financing to partners that have an existing base of business with Intelisys, rather than having those partners go through a bank.

This is crucial since banks tend to be unfamiliar with the commission model, making it hard for solution providers to have the collateral needed for a loan. The Partner Investment Program bypasses this, requiring only that partners bill at least $25,000 or more in monthly deals through Intelisys. Eligible partners can then apply for a $25,000 term loan and when their business grows to $50,000 a month, they are then eligible for an additional $25,000 loan. Intelisys takes the money back over three years by withholding some commissions each month.

The Advanced Commissions Program, meanwhile, lets qualifying partners choose how they receive commission payments, including one-time, up-front payments based on full contract value, traditional monthly recurring payouts, or a combination of both. The program lets partners secure up-front financing before moving to a recurring revenue model.

Intelisys’ financing programs for partners were first when they were introduced a few years ago, but they aren’t the only such programs available today. In other words, the master agent model is evolving right alongside the telecommunications and service provider industries.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

Contributing Writer

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