**Editor's Note: Register now for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, the gathering place for the technology services community, April 10-13, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.**
Like the vendors and partners they serve, the business of being a distributor or master agent is evolving and partners need to understand what those changes are, how they’re impacted, why they should care, and what to expect in this part of the partner ecosystem in 2017.
Distributors and master agents pave the way for partners to bring the newest, most innovative technologies to bear on the customer’s transformation journey. To get more thoughts on what distis and masters are up to in 2017, we caught up with several speakers from the keynote, "Distis & Masters Look Ahead," at the upcoming Channel Partners Conference & Expo.
The complete list of panelists includes: Tim Curran, CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), moderator; and panelists Adam Edwards, president and co-founder, Telarus; Jeff Newton, vice president, sales and engineering, TBI; Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president, cloud transformation, Intelisys; and Tim Acker, vice president, mobility and connected solutions, Synnex.
Channel Partners: As the moderator, Tim, let’s hear your thoughts about this session.
Tim Curran: These are two powerful industries – the telecom industry and the technology industry – and they are beginning to merge. There are some conflicts, but more importantly, there are more areas of potential collaboration and opportunities to integrate and deliver complete technology and telecom solutions to customers.
One of the goals of this panel for me is to educate the audience – many who are telecom-related – so I’d like to open people’s minds to consider talking to some of the technology distributors. Technology distributors can deliver any software or hardware product from any manufacturer – HP, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, for example – all of those companies work with the tech distributors and they can deliver products overnight to anybody.
The point is that telecom is becoming a big issue so … the IT and the telecom worlds are beginning to merge and solutions do require technology products and also connectivity products and services.
CP: Perhaps one of the biggest stories in 2016 was the acquisition of Intelisys by ScanSource — the marriage between compute and connectivity distributors. What do partners need to know about their distribution/master agent partners in 2017?
Andrew Pryfogle: Our acquisition by ScanSource was the first real acquisition of a master agent by a large distributor. It was very telling and it’s evidence that the distribution world is recognizing the power of ...