A year after acquiring Intelisys, ScanSource Communications is looking to stay abreast of evolving technologies in the distributor market.
South Carolina-based ScanSource recently capped off its Global Partner Conference, where it reviewed its three business units: networking and security, communications, and POS and barcode. ScanSource’s CEO told partners that the company is seeing success in “traditional business,” but is positioning itself to take advantage of the next generation of technologies.
Rich Long, president of ScanSource Communications for North America, answered questions from Channel Partners about the year in review and the year ahead. We have edited the transcript for clarity.
Channel Partners: What were the two biggest trends we saw in the distributor market in 2017?
Rich Long: We continued to see software and solutions moving from CapEx to OpEx via cloud delivery. We believe the value of solution selling versus product selling is finally taking root more and more. By offering the total solution to their end users, our customers are able to further solidify their relationship with their partners and become a more valuable resource for them.
CP: What goals did ScanSource set for itself in 2017, and how did it do with those goals?
RL: To continue to deliver the solutions our partners need — including products, services, software and connectivity. Our full breadth of solutions ensures our partners can fulfill the needs of their end users in most any market.
CP: How do you see your partners and their skill sets changing or adapting?
RL: In support of the comments above, we believe partners will continue the move to a complete solutions sale, along with wrapping more and more managed services into the solutions. By providing all components of the solution, our customers are able to enhance their relationship with their end-user customers. Serving as a trusted adviser on all aspects of the technology solution enables the customer to deeply entrench themselves in the end-users’ business. The more solutions they are able to provide to the end user, the more likely their customer will come back to them when new opportunities arise. In order to do this, we believe our customers will strive to learn more about their end-users’ business, as well as the holes their customers may need to fill with potential new solutions — be it adding a security solution to the network, providing the connectivity for the solution, adding software, moving to an as-a-service model. The opportunities are endless.
CP: What are your predictions for the channel in 2018?
RL: We believe we will see the continued adoption of SaaS and platform as a service, along with traditional resellers shifting to monthly recurring revenue sales and operations models. This migration to include a focus on services will enable partners to see long-term growth and opportunity with their end-user customers.