Intelisys’ New President Ken Mills Is A Dell And Cisco Veteran

‘We want to make sure partners know we are the best place to invest as a partner with their dollars and their trust that we’re going to be here for the long haul, that we’re going to be able to protect their business and help them grow and really be a partner they can rely on for years to come,’ says Ken Mills, new president of Intelisys.

Intelisys, a technology services distributor bringing voice, data, access, cable, collaboration, wireless, and cloud technologies to the channel, has brought on Ken Mills as its new president.

Intelisys, which is owned by IT distributor ScanSource, has been without a president since its former president, John DeLozier, left last September to become the chief revenue officer of C1, formerly known as ConvergeOne, a Bloomington, Minn.-based solution provider.

Intelisys since September has been run by Greenville, S.C.-based ScanSource Chairman and CEO Mike Baur.

[Related: ScanSource Cuts 2024 Fiscal Outlook On Hardware Drag]

Mills most recently served for over four years as CEO of Epic IO Technologies. Prior to that, he spent over six years at Dell Technologies including a stint as chief technology officer, and also served as global sales manager at Cisco.

Baur told CRN that ScanSource did a nationwide search for a new president for Intelisys, looking for someone who understood the Intelisys community and ecosystem and had experience to bring to the company to help its channel and its channel partners grow.

“And I think Ken brings all of that background and experience that we were looking for,” he said. “And we're thrilled to have him. He lives not far from here from Greenville, so we're lucky to have him in South Carolina.”

For ScanSource, it was also important to find someone to help with Intelisys’ next stage of growth, which Baur said comes three years after ScanSource moved to bring its own executives to manage Intelisys.

“As we look back now, what has changed from three years ago has been the consolidation in the TSD (technology services distributor) channel and in the partner community, and a lot of that has been led by private equity investors seeing the opportunity in this channel to make investments,” he said. “And that’s changed the dynamic between the suppliers, the TSDs, and the channel partners and agency partners. We're seeing that impact our business. And we decided that as we look forward, we need a leader who could come in and understand where this business has been born and more importantly where can it go from here. So this is about growth for Intelisys going forward.”

Mills (pictured above) told CRN that he joined Intelisys because of the culture that Baur built at ScanSource.

“Mike [Baur] has built a phenomenal culture over the last 30-plus at ScanSource,” he said. “It’s amazing how many people have been part of the organization for 20-plus years. And that culture, that commitment, that willingness to build a company and build an industry together is very aligned with my values and what I look for in a long-term opportunity. And when I heard Mike was looking for a president and we started talking about it, the opportunity just really clicked for me personally and professionally.”

Mills said he first worked with ScanSource about 20 years ago when the distributor first entered the security business and he was a manufacturer’s rep pitching the company. He later pitched Cisco security offerings to ScanSource as well. He later also worked with Intelisys while he was CEO at Epic IO which acquired a supplier that worked with the distributor, he said.

“I then got reintroduced to the ScanSource team and the broader Intelisys team, and here we are today,” he said.

Mill’s first priority is to make sure channel partners and suppliers both know that Intelisys is their safest bet.

“We want to make sure partners know we are the best place to invest as a partner with their dollars and their trust that we're going to be here for the long haul, that we're going to be able to protect their business and help them grow and really be a partner they can rely on for years to come,” he said. “Same with the suppliers. We want to really ensure suppliers have a stable, committed, growing partner that is helping grow the ecosystem for both sides and really making a win-win for all parties.”

Intelisys will also help build new opportunities for the partner ecosystem by expanding the convergence between traditional IT data center ecosystems and the strategic products and services that Intelisys provides, Mills said.

“We are hoping to be a unique driver of that opportunity with the long-term relationships we have with ScanSource and with a lot of its vendors, and some new relationships that we hope to build and bring to the market,” he said.

For now, Mills said he will be spending a lot of time to understand the opportunity even better than he does today.

“I want to really make sure I spend time with partners and suppliers and the rest of the team to really learn what I don't know,” he said. “Although I have been in this space and similar spaces, there's still a lot of nuances to a business that's been around like Intelisys, which was the creator of this market. I want to make sure I learn what I don't know, and really take the time to validate with my assumptions are correct.”

Mills wants to start at Intelisys with an open mind to make sure the company is on the right path, and at the same time build a strong culture that attracts and retains the best talent.

Mills said that he is taking over a company that is a market leader.

“It's not often that the company that starts an industry is the company that's best suited to lead it forward 20 years later,” he said. “It’s a unique situation. It's one of the reasons I came. It’s one of the big reasons I'm excited about the opportunity. And I think it's one of the reasons that we will continue to be the leader in this space.”