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The convergence of IT and telecom technologies – accelerated by cloud computing – and customers' desire for a single source for all of their communications and technology needs are among the notable factors bringing agents and solution providers closer together.
This marks the third consecutive year that Channel Partners and CompTIA have collaborated on the study,
Partnering Trends between Telecom and IT Channels.
This year's study finds that telecom-IT relationships are maturing, moving beyond opportunistic handshake deals to a more formalized, accountable approach. IT firms said joint marketing more than doubled year over year, from 4 percent to 10 percent. Telecom agents reported a nearly double increase in joint selling – from 10 percent to 18 percent.
"Firms have figured out that for these pairings to succeed long-term, the rules of engagement and responsibilities must elevate beyond a handshake agreement," said
Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA. "Setting sales strategy together, determining revenue goals and targets and establishing account ownership are all critical factors that contribute to success."
A majority of IT firms – two in five – reported that half to three-quarters of their annual revenue comes from partnerships with telecom agents. A similar percentage of telecom agents (42 percent) said one-quarter to one-half of their annual revenue came from partnerships.
Most telecom agents (66 percent) and IT companies (61 percent) said that new partnerships have arisen from emerging technologies, such as cloud computing. It's also resulted in winning more deals and realizing more revenue.