… from what was being done for years at Intelisys, is that what you present in terms of content, training, education, and information for agents is different for VARs. That was a big aha moment for us — it was obvious for the folks that worked in the ScanSource business but less obvious for the folks in the master-agent business, including the suppliers. We had to create new tools and new programs.
That’s something Mark and Constantine will be more focused on, tailoring existing agency program and tools for VARs.
CP: What are you seeing in the way of convergence of agents and VARs?
MM: We came into the acquisition believing that we could build a bridge. One of my ideas five years ago was, how can we invest in tools and resources to enable our core VAR partners to transition to a recurring revenue model. We realized that some of the complexities of some of the transactions were impeding them.
If you look at our acquisitions – RPM and the intY Cascade platform – it’s all about putting tools in the hands of our partners that truly enable them to cross that bridge to a recurring revenue practice. Now that we have those tools in place, we’re seeing a lot of our hardware guys start to make that transition.
I think it’s going to happen.
MB: I think the end-user convergence has happened. Now what’s happening is that you have different types of partners in that same user account, both of them, say, a traditional telecom agent and a traditional telecom premise-based agent such as an Avaya partner. That’s what’s happening; those two partners both in there and they’re both able to offer this new cloud offering, which is still fairly new.
What we said on our earnings call last quarter was that we saw an acceleration of premises to cloud faster than we had expected. The end users are ready. They want to understand how to buy telecom in this new world of subscription and cloud, and they want better information and to talk to as many partners as they can.
We don’t believe that the partners have to converge. They have to both do what they do to offer solutions.
CF: How about some insight into 2020?
MB: What we’re working on is looking at the go-to-market tools that partners need. We have more suppliers than ever, 40-50 more now than when we acquired Intelisys. One of the challenges, as a partner, is to know when you offer a new supplier that is in SD-WAN or unified communications, or data recovery or security? We’re having to add more technology to assist our partners to make sure they’re offering the best solutions to the end user. That’s where you’re going to see changes in 2020 and 2021.
You’ll see us offer new tools and enhancements to help partners grow their business faster and offer their customers the best solutions.
The fastest growing part of ScanSource is Intelisys, exceeding our expectations.