ScanSource-owned Intelisys announced earlier this week that it will buy the channel assets of Kingcom, a master agent known for its exclusive relationship with Verizon. ScanSource CEO Mike Baur says the plan to acquire Kingcom has been developing since announcing the acquisition of Intelisys last August. Baur says he made Kingcom an acquisition target when he learned about its connection to Verizon. Kingcom is a platinum member in the Verizon Partner Program.
"The challenge was, it was a really small acquisition, and sometimes the smaller ones take a little more time than the bigger ones," he told Channel Partners. “In this case, that probably was the one thing that we wish had happened sooner – closer to the Intelisys acquisition – but we're excited about it."
The deal will give ScanSource a direct supplier relationship, and according to Baur, “capacity to help this channel grow to meet Verizon’s plans."
Janet Schijns, vice president of solutions and sales channels for Verizon Business Markets, says ScanSource does a good job of making their VARs effective with their customers’ network connectivity, security and communication demands. She called the purchase the sign of the channel’s next evolution.
"The real news story is that the pace of change in B2B is really ramped up. The face of the decision makers is really changing," she said. “What Scanscource is doing is saying, 'We are going to continue to invest to keep the channel relevant, to keep the channel selling, to keep the channel servicing those communities that most need technology.’"
Schijns and Baur were speaking at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, where Schijns gave the Tuesday morning keynote speech. Her talk, which climaxed with country singer Jimmy Wayne sharing a story about his rise from the foster care system, focused on developing and investing in community. She said 50 percent of the S&P 500 will turn over in the next four years.
“Who will replace them? A local business that just now, just today, is starting to do the thing that's going to make them a little bigger," Schijns said.
She warned that the channel can’t afford to not embrace millennials — in terms of employees, leadership and buyers. Just as the S&P 500 will have turnover in the following years, so will channel leadership.
"If they don't have a talent chain behind them to take that business over, then that business will either close or just fade away over time as people who aren't as dedicated as that owner was come in," she said.
Specializing your business and embracing philanthropy are two good ways to court millennials, she said.
"People want to work with people that do good. People want to work with companies that don't just do good technology – which our partners do – but also do good things for the community. I think you have to appeal to both sets of that before you're going to be successful in this new millennial-led world," she said.