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Intelisys: ‘Massive Pivot’ Coming in UCaaS

Cloud UC

INTELISYS CHANNEL CONNECT — The financial numbers show that ScanSource and Intelisys are hitting their strides together.

ScanSource CEO Mike Baur says that his company grew profit by 14 percent in fiscal year 2018. Meantime, Intelisys has increased to 137 supplier partners, from 112 in 2016.

ScanSource's Mike Baur

ScanSource’s Mike Baur

ScanSource bought the master agent for $83.5 million in 2016.

Baur, speaking at Intelisys’ annual Channel Connect event in Monterey, California, on Wednesday, said the growth reflects the fact that ScanSource is “more in a solution business” as a result of the acquisition. And on the Intelisys side, ScanSource brought new resources, but more importantly for Baur, “speed to market.”

“[Intelisys has] done a fantastic job of not only building a business to a certain point, but continuing to do that,” Baur said. “And our vision at ScanSource was, how do we build that faster? ScanSource could have done that without buying this company, but we knew that together if we had the same vision, we could go faster.”

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.
Intelisys' Andrew Pryfogle

Intelisys’ Andrew Pryfogle

Andrew Pryfogle, Intelisys’ senior vice president of cloud transformation, proclaimed that his company’s senior leadership remains entirely intact two years after the acquisition. He told the audience of sales and supplier partners that he anticipates Intelisys to grow its head count 21 percent by 2020.

‘Partner-Driven’

Pryfogle, whom Intelisys President Jay Bradley said is adding a strategic role to his job, gave a keynote on customer experience.

A couple of statistics show the huge consequences for complicating your customers’ lives. Customer-service interactions are four times more likely to lead to disloyalty than loyalty, meaning that the stakes are high. And for customers “who exert high effort to resolve issues,” Pryfogle said 96 percent become disloyal.

It’s a “really screwed up,” dynamic, Pryfogle said.

“[Customers] are challenged with fixing this problem, and they need new innovative ideas about how they can leverage technology to solve for this problem,” he said. “Because the odds are they are going to fail at it, which is why they need people like us.”

There’s a shift taking place. Pryfogle said Intelisys is bucking the historical trend of vendors driving customer experience.

“Vendors dictate to a distributor, ‘You need to do this, this and this in order to support our products and services.’ And that’s worked for a long time, but there’s a big change that’s going on in that world right now,” he said.

Pryfogle said ScanSource wanted to initiate a partner-driven strategy instead. For that reason, intelisys has been investing in resources like Cloud Services University and the Super9 training event to improve partners’ conversations with customers.

But this needs to go a step further.

“We’re going to start investing a tremendous amount of energy in helping you get smarter about having that conversation with your customers about their customers,” Pryfogle said. “Think about that for a moment.”

Two foundations are an agile network that affords the connectivity and bandwidth to enable new workloads in the first place, and agile security that keeps pace with “bad actors.”

The Big Opportunity

Intelisys gave UCaaS quite a bit of airtime Wednesday. Pryfogle and Intelisys estimate that the market is worth $150 billion.

But here’s the catch: They say it’s less than 10 percent penetrated; meantime, the largest manufacturers of unified communications (including Mitel, Avaya and Cisco) have rebranded themselves as cloud-first

Get ready for the gigantic rush to fill that gap.

“This illustrates to you that there’s going to be this massive, massive pivot,” Pryfogle said. “A massive shift in spend, literally, just in the next couple of years. How positioned are you to do that?”

Although revenue per seat is decreasing, Pryfogle said automation and artificial intelligence will …

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