Adam Edwards, Richard Murray, Patrick Oborn | December 30, 2022
As Telarus puts a bow on its 20th year, what a privilege it’s been for us to do what we love for a living. Helping our partners and their clients navigate and thrive in the exciting but unpredictable world of technology and innovation.
As we were beginning to adjust to the post-pandemic “new normal” of remote work and virtual everything, nearly every industry faced unexpected challenges: the Great Resignation, rising inflation, interest rates, and gas prices, supply chain disruptions, and the first major military conflict in Europe since World War II, to name a few. Suddenly, businesses were forced to shift priorities from growth to profitability.
Together, Telarus and our sales partners rose to the challenge.
We armed our partners with an enhanced suite of services, solutions, and tools so they could become technology advisors – not just agents – to guide their customers and their own firms to unprecedented levels of success. Not only were our partners able to achieve extraordinary growth during incredibly uncertain times, but we laid the groundwork for a new era of digital transformation in the year ahead (think AI-powered CX, the IoT, and next-level cybersecurity).
Invest in Top Talent to Drive Innovation Across Swim Lanes
While internet access pipes are still very much in demand, the growing opportunity in the Channel is helping businesses formulate a customer experience plan to stay competitive in a new era of digital transformation. Successful client interactions are the key to successful customer acquisition and retention. Equally important are the support and education Telarus provides to help partners have confident and meaningful conversations about new technology.
Here at Telarus, we see the technology universe through the lens of six core technology “swim lanes”:
- Advanced Networking / Connectivity
- Unified Communications / Customer Engagement
- Contact Center / Customer Experience
- Cloud Infrastructure / Software Applications as a Service
- Mobile Infrastructure & IoT / Business Intelligence
For context, a Practice Leader (VP of Advanced Solutions) oversees each swim lane to ensure Telarus is working with best-in-class suppliers. They also act as instructors at Telarus Academies, where our partner community learns how to engage customers and optimize revenue through proven talk-track techniques that introduce the right technology at the right time and in the right way.
Download here: https://www.telarus.com/checklist/
Game-Changing Practice Leaders
In 2022, we welcomed respected subject matter experts to help Telarus and our partners continue to lead the industry in all technology swim lanes.
Samantha (Sam) Nelson, VP of Contact Center
A veteran of Pax8, Talkdesk, and Observe.AI, Sam has been instrumental in helping partners increase their knowledge of new opportunities through her instruction at Telarus Academies, authoring new courses found in Telarus University, and by identifying and sourcing cutting-edge CCaaS suppliers. Today the name of the game is helping end-users self-service through an immersive digital-only experience, and Sam has done an amazing job bringing those products to our advisors.
Sam joins our all-star team of Advanced Solutions Vice Presidents (left-to-right): Josh Lupresto (SVP of Sales – Acting head of Advanced Networking), Koby Phillips (VP of Cloud), Shane Speakman (VP of Unified Communications and Customer Engagement), Chris Whitaker (VP of Mobile Solutions & IoT), and Jason Stein (VP of Cybersecurity).
Inside each technology swim lane, we have built a team of solution architects and field sales engineers specializing in one or more segments. We continued reinforcing our incredible solution architect team by adding qualified and highly credentialed Sales Engineers and Solution Architects. Not only did we seek out the best talent in the industry, but we also challenged our team to continue learning, evolving, and earning new industry certifications so that they can architect best-in-class, multi-vendor technology solutions that meet customers’ needs now and into the future.
We’re so proud of our engineering team’s commitment to taking their education to an increasingly higher level each year.
CISSP: Three for the win
Did you know that there are only 10,000 CISP-certified engineers in the US? What’s even more impressive is that Telarus has 3 of those engineers on staff working to help partners develop solutions that pay off for them in a very real way. That’s two more than the closest competitors.
The Pay-Off: More Business For Our Partners
In 2022, our Solution Architects and Sales Engineers engaged in:
65% average close rate
75% project expansions
New Executives Join Our Team
As Telarus continues to grow, it is imperative that we continue to recruit and attract top talent at the highest levels of our organization. In 2022, we were excited to announce the arrival of:
- Jennifer Pockell Dimas – Chief Marketing & Experience Officer
- Kelly Johnson – Chief Legal Officer
- Tim Basa – SVP of Sales
Other high-level new hires in 2022 included:
- Julie Dzubay – VP of Commissions Experience
- Sean Kane – Area VP of Sales – East
- Matt Heron – Regional Vice President – Canada
- Heather Bielecki– VP, Marketing Operations & Digital Marketing
- Shannon McFadden – Sr. Director of Partner Development
- Erika McDowell – Director of Partner Development Manager, Southern California
- Melissa Rowe – Sr. Partner Development Manager, Mid-Atlantic & Boston
In 2022, we were excited to launch SolutionVue™, a three-part platform comprising a guided sales tool (Quick Solution Assessment), a solution matrix, and a new product we will unveil at the Telarus Partner Summit in 2023. Cybersecurity is the first of six Quick Solution Assessment tools that we launched, which covers four key categories:
- Protecting the network
- Protecting employees
- Protecting data
- Corporate governance & compliance
Now every Telarus partner has a private-labeled talk track that takes user input and generates a complete Microsoft Word assessment in just five seconds that includes:
- Full supplier recommendations from our Sales Engineering team
- Detailed action plans in order of priority
- A complete dossier that can be given to an eventual supplier to save time in the next step of the sales process
With this platform firmly in place, we look forward to launching more modules of SolutionVue in 2023, helping you plug into the ‘brains’ of our subject matter experts from the convenience of your laptop or tablet.
Accurate and on-time monthly payments have always been a foundational value offered by Telarus. Staying organized can be challenging, with over 400 suppliers paying commissions to over 10,000 customer accounts. That’s why we formed a Commissions Advisory Board and asked some of our top partners what we could do to help them save time and effort from chasing down unpaid commissions and locating current supplier SPIFFs.
With their assistance, we created CommissionVue™, a graphical interface that gives partners a 360-degree view of their money. Now partners can click through payment lists from the chart on the platform and initiate commission inquiries. With CommissionVue’s intuitive, user-friendly interface, partners can access the critical information they need quickly and in real-time.
Introducing: Revenue Assurance Audits
Building an intuitive front-end commission interface is just half of the equation. The other half happens in the trenches with our Commissions Experience team, who finds, tracks down, and battles for unpaid commissions on our partners’ behalf. This team is led by highly regarded industry veteran and our first-ever VP of Commission Experience, Julie Dzubay.
With the goal of becoming the #1 technology service broker for commission accuracy, our team audited over 95% of commission line items and helped our partners recover significant commissions in 2022.
Revamp of The Telarus Capital Program
While we’ve been lending money to our technology advisors for years, 2022 was a year in which we focused on providing liquidity and accelerating growth. We did this by creating new programs that are as diverse as the financial needs of our partners. Some partners are in the latter stages of their development while others are new and needing liquidity to expand their business. If you would like to pour some gas on your growth in 2023, we would love to talk to you.
Amplify our Multi-Modal Education Offerings
In 2022, we launched Telarus University 2.0. Our multi-modal education offerings are built to keep our partners out in front of a constantly changing digital landscape. Telarus University is a three-pronged educational resource that meets partners where they are. Whether they prefer in-depth and on-demand interactive technical training and certification through our online courses, live, instructor-led training through Telarus TICs, Bootcamps and Academies, or by watching videos we’ve produced in conjunction with our top-tier suppliers, the education available to partners through Telarus University is unparalleled.
In 2022 we dramatically expanded our technology and sales training offerings for our partners.
Here’s the math.
In 2022 we dramatically expanded our technology and sales training offerings for our partners
1000+ partners trained in over 50 cities in the US and abroad
1,600 completed online classes
58 new courses added in 2022
The trainings Included 15 two-day deep-dive Academies with our VPs of Advanced Solutions and a select group of our top suppliers in each category. We discussed the specific challenges customers are facing TODAY and we learned about how new products can help provide customers with key competitive advantages. Most importantly, we offered sales training to maximize the success rate our partners have in their conversations.
This highly successful initiative would not have been possible without diligent effort from the members of our Learning and Development team. They worked tirelessly to make Telarus University 2.0 one of the most popular learning tools in our education ecosystem.
Acquisitions, Events and More
In addition to growing our core business by double-digits for the 20th year in a row, 2022 was also a very active year for mergers and acquisitions. In June, we announced the acquisition of TCG (Telecom Consulting Group), followed by the acquisition of TelAdvocate in August.
TCG, headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was one of the fastest-growing TSBs in the industry. Their sales Leadership team is full of passionate leaders who have done an amazing job bringing new people from many different industries into the Channel.
TelAdvocate, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, was an up-and-coming TSB that experienced tremendous growth in the Southeast over the past three years. Their focus and personal touch made them a popular choice for new agents coming into the Channel.
Both companies will add valued members to our teams, create more scale within each of our supplier agreements, and boost our momentum heading into 2023. On the flip side, all of their 2,000 sales partners now have access to our award-winning tools: GeoQuote, SolutionVue™, and CommissionVue™, as well as our entire bench of Sales Engineers and Solution Architects.
Telarus Partner Summit
In August 2022, we were thrilled to gather in person for our Partner Summit, hosting over 1,000 advisor and supplier partners at the beautiful Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. We were joined by several members of the U.S. Olympic team, including gold medalists Derrek Parra and Mallory Weggemann. We heard from Telarus leaders about the status of the industry, new opportunities hidden in plain sight, and new technologies coming just around the corner. We also showcased the customer perspective, including strategies for adding even more value and engaging with customers at a higher level as a business advisor.
NEW HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
During the Partner Summit, we had the privilege of welcoming Eric Ryan Corporation and Elite Solutions into the Telarus Hall of Fame. They join an elite group of partners who have contributed in ways that set them apart: their belief, loyalty, and years of dedicated partnership. All of our Hall of Fame inductees were nominated by our executive team and voted for by us owners based on, who’s coming to events, who’s performing, and who’s contributing to our growth.
New Rewards Trip For Our Top Producers
In 2022, we added a second rewards trip called the “Chairman’s Club”, reserved ONLY for our top ten producers in 2021. During the seven day all-expenses paid trip to Bora Bora , they were treated like royalty and had the opportunity to network with the best of the best in the industry while they strategized in private with our C-level executives.
In 2023, the Chairman’s Club will take place on a cruise ship in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Greece. Qualifying partners will be notified next month—it promises to be another once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In 2022, we continued to vet and sign new vendors that add new capabilities and services partners can recommend to their customers. During our first eight all-partner Tuesday Calls in 2023, we’ll review each category by category.
This past year, we also saw movement in the number of suppliers that ONLY work with Telarus. Here is an updated list for your reference:
Top TSB Awards From Suppliers
Comcast Business: #1 Overall (2021)
Spectrum Enterprise: #1 Overall (2021)
Lumen: Diamond Partner (2021)
AT&T: Platinum Elite Partner (2021)
Nextiva: #1 Overall (2021)
NICE CXOne: #1 Overall (2021) – New Channel Record
Five9: #1 Overall (2021)
Zoom: Fastest Growing TSB (2022)
RingCentral: All-Star TSB (2022)
Dialpad: #1 Overall (2021)
Observe.ai: #1 Overall (2021)
GoTo: #1 Overall (2021)
Cox Business / Rapidscale: #1 Overall (2021)
Nitel: #1 Overall (2021)
AireSpring: #1 Overall (2021)
With change comes massive opportunities. This year we all felt it; new TSBs joined our ranks, new leaders chose to make the move to Telarus, and new partners chose Telarus to support their businesses in new and unique ways. But some things will never change: Our commitment to always do right by our partners, to continue to improve by upgrading our talent, capabilities, and tools, to fight for your commissions, and to be there for you when you need us most.
We believe that 2023 is going to be the “Year of the Technology Advisor.” Customers are going to choose to purchase their mission-critical technology through our Channel, they’ll involve you in strategy, they’ll seek your advice in all aspects of their business and not just the specific technology that you initially sold them.
In fact, that is how we’ll know when our industry has truly matured: When technology buyers demand to purchase through a technology advisor. When that becomes the norm, and not the exception, THAT is when we’ll know that we’re getting even closer to our goal.
To our collective success in 2023!