Telecom-IT Partnerships Deliver Strong Financial Returns when Done Right, CompTIA-Channel Partners Study Finds

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Research unveiled at Channel Partners Conference & Expo

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Agents reap the benefit of having more feet on the street selling their services, while solution providers enjoy an additional source of recurring revenue.

The convergence of traditional information technology (IT) and telecom-based network services is creating new business partnership opportunities for players on both sides of the voice-data equation that, when properly executed, deliver strong financial performance, a new study released by CompTIA and Channel Partners reveals.

The study, “Partnering Trends between Telecom Agents and IT Channels”, was presented here this week at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Partnering activity is on the rise between telecom agents and traditional IT solution providers. Half of both telecom agents and IT solution providers surveyed currently participate in between one and five active partnerships together.

“These partnerships range from formal revenue-sharing agreements to informal lead-swapping arrangements; with many looking to expand even more in the year ahead,” said Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “In many cases these partnerships are strategic for both parties, generating a considerable portion of overall revenue.”

Nearly 70 percent of IT solution providers derive between 10 and 49 percent of their annual income via their partnerships with telecom agents, the study finds. Slightly less than half of agents reap between 25 percent and 99 percent of their business through partnerships with IT solution providers.

Factors critical to a successful partnership include clear communications between partners, a robust suite of products and services; and a company’s reputation and reliability. Three-quarters of IT solution providers and 90 percent of telecom agents said effective communications between partners contributed most to the success of their partnerships over the last year.

The ramp-up in partnering dovetails with optimism from both groups about continued growth in the telecom services market. More than 80 percent of both groups said they feel the telecom services market will grow or grow rapidly in the next 12 months.

“If that holds true, agents will need to make more use of indirect channel partners to keep up with the expanding sales footprint and capacity,” April said. “Agents reap the benefit of having more feet on the street selling their services, while solution providers enjoy an additional source of recurring revenue.”

Indeed, 72 percent of telecom agents said they plan to increase business with existing partners in the next 12 months, while 69 percent intend to add new partners. On the flip side, 62 percent of IT solution providers will boost business with their current agent partners. More than a third plan to add new partners.

CompTIA and Channel Partners surveyed 200 telecom agents and IT solution providers to get a better understanding of the nature of their partnerships – the extent to which telecom agents and IT solution providers are partnering today; what these relationships look like; keys to success; and future plans. The complete report is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the file at or by contacting research(at)comptia(dot)org.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit or follow CompTIA on Twitter at

About Channel Partners
For more than two decades, Channel Partners has been the leader in providing news and analysis to indirect sales channels serving the communications industry. It is the unrivaled resource for resellers, aggregators, agents, brokers, VARs, systems integrators, interconnects and dealers that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications as well as managed and professional services. Channel Partners is the official media of the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Steven Ostrowski
Director, Corporate Communications


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