Strategic Business Acquisition Brings Together the IT and Telecom Industry’s Best People, Practices and Platforms; Sets the Stage for the Channel to Achieve Greater Success at Scale
May 11, 2022 — CHICAGO — SCOTTSDALE — With a shared vision for excellence on every level, IT and telecom industry leaders AVANT and PlanetOne are coming together as one company under the AVANT brand. More details are disclosed in this video.
“The synergies gained from merging the sales excellence and technical talent of AVANT with the back-office, operational efficiencies and partner enablement energy of PlanetOne were undeniable – it was the right deal at the right time and for the right reasons,” says Ted Schuman, Founder and former CEO of PlanetOne, and AVANT’s new Customer eXperience Officer (CXO).
As CXO, Schuman is focused on enhancing the AVANT experience for the Trusted Advisor community, provider community and internal AVANT team. He is also tasked with finding new and better ways to achieve mutual success at scale by making it easier for channel partners to engage and do business with AVANT and AVANT’s ecosystem of providers.
The acquisition was announced by Kieninger and Schuman this morning from the PlanetOne offices. Schuman toasted the partnership, “This is history in the making! Cheers to combining the industry’s best into a single business-building powerhouse for our partners and providers—let’s go!”
“Our two companies have always shared a mutual respect and healthy obsession for excellence and the employee and partner experience,” notes Kieninger. “Putting our work hard, play hard teams together under the AVANT brand and further innovating around our intelligent tech platforms—
Pathfinder and SENTIENT—will bring unmatched business value to our Trusted Advisors and clearly set AVANT and our partners apart in the market. Our team has always been incredible and now we are unstoppable.”
Executing to Plan with a Relentless Focus on Growth and Innovation
Last year, AVANT announced a strategic growth investment from Pamlico Capital to drive further expansion and scale of its business. The purchase of PlanetOne, adoption of its proprietary platform, SENTIENT, and integration of the PlanetOne team—including Hall of Fame luminary, and one of the original pioneers of the agency business model, Ted Schuman, and 2022 Channel Influencer of the Year, Chris Werpy—shows the importance and long-term vision of the acquisition.
AVANT President and Co-Founder Drew Lydecker says, “PlanetOne’s relentless focus on partner success and satisfaction, combined with AVANT’s reputation for being a true growth partner in powering the next-generation technology decisions made for CIOs and IT leaders, sets the stage for achieving even greater success together and at scale for our partners and providers.”
With presence in the US and the UK, AVANT is leading the rapid acceleration and growth of the emerging technology market. Powered by Pathfinder, the industry leading platform for IT decision making, and its World Class Engineering and Customer Support teams with consistently 90+ NPS scores, AVANT’s Trusted Advisors have accelerated year-over-year growth in sales by 165% with CCaaS, 44% with cloud and data centers and an amazing 185% growth in Security, while also outpacing in UCaaS sales in the same years. AVANT is known for its channel sales enablement with its highly acclaimed Special Forces Summits and Bootcamps and more than 1,000 certified Trusted Advisors in the first twelve months of its new Trusted Advisor Academy.
In 2021, PlanetOne eclipsed all previous years in sales and income records, as well as new partner recruitment and share with existing partners and providers. Taking its sales and back-office support to new levels, PlanetOne invested in and introduced SENTIENT, a disruptive, AI-powered, intelligent enterprise-grade sales engagement and partner enablement platform. Additionally, PlanetOne’s provider portfolio also increased by 60% across key technology categories including advanced security, unified collaboration and voice, contact center, connectivity, cloud and mobility.
“One of the best aspects of this move is where there are synergies and separations in the AVANT and PlanetOne models there are incredible and immediate opportunities for our people, partners and providers to grow the business together,” says former PlanetOne President and COO Chris Werpy, who now serves as AVANT’s first Chief Innovation Officer (CIO)—leading the company’s growth and development of strategic initiatives, alliances and potential mergers and acquisition targets. In the CIO role, Werpy also reports to Kieninger.
“We are pumped to have Ted, Werpy and the entire PlanetOne team join AVANT and share in the explosive growth opportunity that lies ahead for us, our Trusted Advisors and our providers,” concludes Kieninger. “The role of the Trusted Advisor has never been more important, and our top priority is to help them navigate the landscape, identify more opportunities and win big now and in the future!”
For more information about becoming an AVANT Trusted Advisor click here.
AVANT is a platform for IT decision-making and the nation’s premier distributor for next-generation technologies. AVANT provides unique value to its extensive network of Trusted Advisors with original research, channel sales assistance, training, and tools to guide decision-making around IT services that promote business growth. From complex cloud designs to global wide-area network deployments to the latest in security services, AVANT sets the industry standard in enabling its partners and clients to make intelligent, data-driven decisions about services, technology and cost-effective communications. For more information, visit www.goavant.net, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Founded in 1992, PlanetOne served as a preferred business and technology sourcing partner to Trusted Advisors in the IT and telecom industry for 30 years prior to joining forces with AVANT in May 2022. Under the leadership of Founder and former-CEO Ted Schuman, PlanetOne became one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies (Inc. Magazine) and earned a reputation for excellence as a top-performing growth partner for hundreds of telecom agents, channel partners and providers nationwide. PlanetOne’s Partner Program, which is anchored by its proprietary SENTIENT AI-powered, partner engagement platform, was the only master agent program to earn 5-Stars in the 2022 CRN Partner Program Guide. The program has also been celebrated in CRN’s Connectivity Solutions Partner Program Guide and Cloud Partner Program Guides. Over the years, PlanetOne’s leadership team earned many accolades including welcoming Ted Schuman into the Hall of Fame in 2022 and simultaneously recognizing PlanetOne’s former COO Chris Werpy as one of 2022’s Most Influential Channel Leaders.
Walker Sands (for AVANT)