The biggest figures in the channel were in Monterey, California, this week.
Channel chiefs from companies such as CenturyLink, AT&T and 8×8 were on hand at the 2018 Channel Connect Conference, not to mention the largest master agent in the industry. Intelisys hosts the partner event every year.
ScanSource shared the stage with the company it purchased in 2016. According to CEO Mike Baur and ScanSource filings, the growth numbers are positive for both companies. But there’s still room to grow, particularly in the area of customer experience.
Intelisys’ Andrew Pryfogle and Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova both outlined what it will look like to truly build your business around serving your customers.
Read our Day 1 and Day 2 recaps and scroll through the gallery below to see what went down at Channel Connect.
Also check out our gallery from the 2017 event.
Intelisys hosted the annual partner event in beautiful Monterey, California. Attendees met in the Monterey Convention Center, which straddles the Marriott and Portola hotels.
Intelisys historically ran the conference in Napa Valley
, but the event is in the middle of a three-year run in Monterey. Intelisys executives announced that Channel Connect will return to Napa in 2020.
ScanSource's CEO spoke Wednesday morning about the growth of his company and Intelisys, which the distributor acquired
in 2016. The numbers showed that ScanSource
grew 14 percent in fiscal year 2018 and Intelisys has added 25 supplier partners since 2016.
Baur said buying Intelisys allows his company more solution-based selling opportunities, while ScanSource offers Intelisys more resources and speed to market.
"We knew that together if we had the same vision, we could go faster," Baur said.Read more of Baur's comments from our Day 1 recap.
Intelisys' largest supplier partner made its presence known Wednesday, as president and CEO Jeff Storey gave a keynote speech. He shared news about the increasingly diversified CenturyLink portfolio.
“I would hope that five years from now, you’d invite me back, and the message that you want to tell me is you love working with CenturyLink, that we have delivered, that we have transformed our business, that you trust our business because you know that we’re going to deliver for you,” Storey said.
Storey was the CEO of Level 3 Communications before CenturyLink bought the company. He became
CenturyLink's chief executive a little more than a year ago.
English Indy 500 driver Stefan Wilson
spoke at the keynote and showed his car to attendees.
Intelisys, Onward Communications, ROI Communications, Global Communication Networks, CenturyLink and Comcast Business are co-sponsoring Wilson's car for the upcoming Indy 500.
Intelisys subagents chose the software-defined networking provider
as their favorite vendor in 2018. Intelisys honored its suppliers and their channel managers Thursday morning. While Masergy took home the popular vote, another vendor took home the award for biggest revenue growth.Read more about the supplier awards.
Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for the master agent, served as a quarterback of sorts for the morning keynotes. But he gave his own talk about customer experience — an area Intelisys and ScanSource are pushing.
“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,” he told partners.Read about the remarks he made in the Day 1 keynote.
Tiffani Bova, Salesforce
's global customer growth and innovation evangelist, continued the conversation on customer experience. Her repeated message was that price means very little compared to how customers feel they are treated. According to Bova, 57 percent of businesses have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience.Learn more about what Bova said by reading our Day 2 recap.
Hey, Mr. DJ
Resident Intelisys DJ Michael Toast kept the atmosphere lively in the expo hall Thursday afternoon. Toast has been working Intelisys events for years.
A massive congregation of imbibed telco agents flooded the Convention Center for the Thursday cocktail party. Partners later ate a big dinner and had a late night party.
There was plenty of recreation at Channel Connect, with attendees' spouses taking a tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Thursday, and everyone going on various excursions on Friday.