Channel Connect 2016 In the News

Channel Connect 2016, held October 12-14, was a much anticipated event this year, due in no small part to the news of the ScanSource acquisition of Intelisys in August. The 17th Channel Connect broke multiple records, as reported by Telecom Reseller, welcoming more than 1,000 Sales Partners, Supplier Partners and guests to the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, CA.

Now that things are finally wrapped up from the event, we’re taking the time to catch up on all of the media coverage here for interested channel sales professionals, VARs, MSPs, telecom agents, our Sales Partners and Supplier Partners.
The Bank of Intelisys is Ready to Lend

One week prior to Channel Connect 2016, Intelisys announced the expansion of the Partner Investment and Advanced Commissions Programs, supported by ScanSource’s strong balance sheet.
Craig Galbraith, Online Executive Editor for Channel Partners, reported, “Intelisys says its sales partners now have the opportunity to tap into ScanSource’s balance sheet, which includes borrowings under a $300 million committed credit facility.” Read the full Channel Partners article HERE.
T.C. Doyle, the the Senior Director of Content at Penton Technology Group, also wrote about the expansion of the Partner Investment and Advanced Commissions programs for MSPMentor.
“Many partners, Dellar noted, want to make a transition to cloud sales, recurring revenue and op-ex based financials. But they struggle to convert their legacy, transaction-oriented hardware sales, which are dependent on cap-ex spending.
“That’s why Intelisys’ Partner Investment and Advanced Commissions programs, which provide solution providers up-front commissions on long-term deals and other assistance, are so important.” The full MSPMentor article is available HERE.
Channel E2E and Telecom Reseller also publicized the news, and the articles can be found HERE and HERE.
Acquisition Anticipation . . .

CRN‘s Senior Associate Editor – Telecom, Gina Narcisi, wrote about the anticipation felt by many Sales Partners and ScanSource VARs before Channel Connect, as they awaited word on the new sales opportunities made possible by the acquisition.
Narcisi reported, “Many Intelisys partners are eager to hear how the change of ownership — from a privately-held master agency to a global IT product provider — will help accelerate their growth, and what opportunities will be available to agent partners that weren’t possible before, Pryfogle said.” The full article is available HERE.
Jessica Meek, U.S. Editor for Channelnomics, also wrote about the acquisition plans. Quoting Buck Baker, Worldwide President of Barcode and Security at ScanSource, Meek said:
“Acknowledging that there is clearly still the need for hardware suppliers, Baker pointed out that those products require delivery, and that’s where the merger’s benefits come into play for the distie’s partners.
“There’s opportunity for both sides of the spectrum, whether it’s the VAR community or the sales partner community, to look and decide for the VAR community, for example, do they want to do what Intelisys has to offer around carrier services and cloud, and then for the Intelisys sales partners, do they want to start looking and saying for themselves, ‘I should have a hardware practice’ and what those offerings may mean?'”
Read the full MSPMentor article HERE.
. . . and Assurance
Covering the opening speech given by Andrew Pryfogle, SVP Cloud Transformation, contributing Editor at Channel Partners, Edward Gately, reported:
“Andrew Pryfogle, Intelisys’ senior vice president of cloud transformation, said this community is ‘uniquely positioned to take advantage of change.’
“‘Their customers look to them for leadership when it comes to change and their colleagues do, and our partner community is in a position where they’re going to be able to leverage the opportunities that come to them from change,’ he said. ‘One of those changes, of course, is the acquisition of Intelisys that we think changes our industry. That’s presented already massive new opportunities for our partner community.'” Read the full Channel Partners article HERE.
ScanSource CEO Mike Baur delivered a keynote speech to a crowded, standing-room only house, and affirmed our unwavering commitment to supporting the success of the Intelisys Sales Partner Community.
CRN’s Narcisi quoted Baur as saying, “‘If you look at what Intelisys does, and what ScanSource is, it’s really simple,'” Baur said. “‘Over time, the channel is the only way to grow efficiently, and customers want that trusted advisor … I love seeing independent business owners that are really successful. We live to serve you.'” The article from CRN can be read HERE.
Convergence Draws Strong Interest

Intelisys and ScanSource created two breakout educational sessions focused on the fundamentals of building a hardware practice, hosted by Mark Morgan, ScanSource Vice President of Sales. Gina Narcisi at CRN wrote:
“At the Intelisys Channel Connect partner event in Napa, California last week, ScanSource’s Buck Baker, president of worldwide communications and services, said that the concept of building a hardware practice has been surprisingly well-received by the Intelisys agent partner community, who primarily have been selling only services-based solutions.
“‘We weren’t expecting this interest level on Intelisys side as we’ve seen here at [Channel Connect], and we think that’s a great thing, but to be frank, we were a bit taken aback by it,'” Baker told CRN.
“The level of interest in hardware also came as a ‘pleasant surprise’ to Intelisys, according to Jay Bradley, president of Petaluma, California-based Intelisys. For the first time during its annual partner event, the master agent held two crowded sessions for agents on how to get started building a hardware practice last week.”
The CRN article is HERE.
The Future of Cloud Sales Training
As reported by the Cloud Communications Alliance HERE and Telecom Reseller HERE, Intelisys debuted the new Super9 cloud training program, a three-day intensive cloud training program provides cloud business development skills, education, coaching and resources at a standard never before offered in the channel.
CRN‘s Gina Narcisi, interviewed Tricia Ward, a Super9 graduate, at Channel Connect. “‘Get there first and go apply, because this is going to be very popular,’ Tricia Ward, founder and managing director of Onward Communications, a Portland, Oregon-based telecom and cloud consulting firm and an Intelisys Platinum Partner, told CRN.
“Ward, an original Super9 member, said that the combination of the three-day training, coupled with the continued communication with the group through monthly calls help keep each group member accountable. She believes that the training helped Onward Communications secure cloud deals that it wouldn’t have won before Super9,” wrote Narcisi.
The level of success realized by the nine inaugural Sales Partners hand-picked for Super9 has been groundbreaking, and in 2017 the program will be offered to 162 additional Partners.
“‘We know this can be transformative for your business,’ Pryfogle told partners.”
CRN’s full article can be read HERE.
New Cloud and Telecom CRM Tool: Audex 360
Edward Gately, Contributing Editor at Channel Partners, covered the “sneak peak” presentation of the new Audex 360 platform that Intelisys will be rolling out in the coming months. “‘This one’s pretty amazing,” said Brian Leonard, Intelisys’ director of marketing. ‘It’s like a Salesforce.com, but it focuses entirely on the channel,'” Gately wrote.
Audex 360’s fields and workflows are preconfigured for telecom or cloud businesses, and integrated with RPM to help Intelisys Sales Partners effortlessly manage leads, opportunities, orders, installations, customer inventory, service inquiries, contracts and suppliers.
Quoting Leonard, Gately reported, “‘Audex 360 is pre-built for you. This plugs right into RPM and they can download all their information, it comes into this and it’s all there.'”
Read the full Channel Partners article HERE.
The “Evolution of the Datacenter”

During Channel Connect 2016, one panel of cloud industry experts discussed how the needs of customers are shifting. Channelnomics’ Jessica Meek reported, “According to Craig Sandman, senior director of cloud alliances and channel program at NaviSite, what NaviSite is seeing is an evolution of the extension of the datacenter.
“‘We don’t even talk as much about public cloud versus private cloud anymore, we talk about extending client datacenters into our own fabric of compute,’ he said.”
What are the truly critical customer needs? Meek reported, “In fact the real ‘battleground’ is around support, Pryfogle noted, which is where smaller cloud players are able to differentiate themselves from big public cloud providers, the SVP said.”
The articles from Channelnomics are available HERE and HERE.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Channel Partners recapped its Channel Connect 2016 coverage with a photo gallery of some memorable moments, which can be viewed HERE.
The End . . . And a New Beginning
We were thankful for the opportunity to answer any lingering acquisition concerns from our Sales Partners during the Executive Leadership Town Hall meeting. Channel Partners‘ Edward Gately reported, “If Intelisys partners came to this week’s Channel Connect 2016 with angst and concerns about the ScanSource acquisition, ‘it’s gone, it doesn’t exist.’ That’s what Intelisys President Jay Bradley said during an interview with Channel Partners as the conference drew to a close.”
“‘We’re proud to be first, we’re proud of the partner that we chose in ScanSource and I know they feel the same about us, and it represents a next step,’ [Bradley] said.”
Read the full Channel Partners article HERE.
Thank you, Supplier Partners, for your exceptional commitment to Channel Connect. And a HUGE thank you to our phenomenal Sales Partners–Channel Connect is truly all about YOU. We are incredibly grateful and honored to be your partner.