Intelisys To Roll Out Robust Program For Top 50 ScanSource Partners

Intelisys plans to introduce roughly 50 ScanSource partners to carrier and cloud services in January through an intensive program focused on building up their sales capabilities.

The Petaluma, California-based master agent will provide their first 50 ScanSource partners with sufficient "hand holding" to ensure their success so that there's an "avalanche effect" of legacy ScanSource VARs interested in giving cloud and carrier services a try, according to Greg Dixon, chief technology officer of ScanSource.

Intelisys plans to carefully vet its first batch of ScanSource partners around their willingness to dedicate sales resources to building a new practice, either by retraining existing employees or by hiring qualified workers from outside, said Andrew Pryfogle, Intelisys's senior vice president of cloud transformation. ScanSource acquired Intelisys in August for $83.6 million, plus earn-outs.

[RELATED: ScanSource Revamps Sales Organization To Better Support Top Point-Of-Sale Partners]

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"We're going to be very, very selective, and make sure we're focusing all of our energies behind ScanSource customers who are willing to make the kind of financial commitment they need to be set up for success," Pryfogle told CRN.

Intelisys has historically been really successful in recruiting VARs, Pryfogle said, but has often struggled to get them selling in volume. Specifically, VARs that add Intelisys's capabilities as another item on their hardware line card aren't going to be successful, Pryfogle said; instead, they must commit and dedicate salespeople to exclusively selling recurring revenue services.

Pryfogle said the first wave of Intelisys's program for ScanSource partners will go really deep in order to prove out the master agent's business model.

"We'll learn a ton together through the process, and we'll find things we can scale to other partners," Pryfogle said. "They're hungry to see what this means for their business."

Intelisys will begin by initially focusing on the highest-quality ScanSource partners, but will gradually bring its program down to much of the rest of ScanSource's channel community, Dixon said.

Intelisys may need a different message as it works its way down the pyramid, Dixon said, and might end up in many cases needing to establish partnerships between ScanSource VARs and Intelisys agents rather than leaning on the VAR to create a full-time carrier and cloud services practice.

"We wouldn't be happy with just those top 50 guys [working with Intelisys]," Dixon said. "We're going to go down into this marketplace, and successful transition these guys."

From the outset, Dixon said both ScanSource and Intelisys will put a huge effort into helping legacy ScanSource partners repurpose some of their existing employees to sell and support cloud and carrier services. Intelisys's program for ScanSource partners is expected to have teeth to it by January, he said.

"If that person fails, then the whole VAR is a lost cause," Dixon said. "They're soured on it."

Intelisys's offering will be a particularly good fit for ScanSource's base of video conferencing and physical security partners, Dixon told CRN. In the video conferencing space, Dixon recommended that partners get into managing the bandwidth to ensure that there's a high-quality connection between the two endpoints.

"The worst thing in the world is a bad video conference, especially because the guys who use it – usually executives – won't put up with it," Dixon said.

And the physical security space has shifted from relying on an on-premise network video recorder with a disk drive to storing security camera footage in the cloud, Dixon said. Therefore, Dixon said physical security VARs must adapt from just selling the endpoints to taking care of the connection between them.

"It's a no-brainer," Dixon said. "We're just scratching the surface here."

Getting into carrier services will be way simpler for ScanSource's legacy point-of-sale and communications partners than getting into managed services, Dixson said. That's because a carrier practice can be brought along incrementally on the side, Dixon said, while managed services requires a more dramatic shift in a partner's business model in order to create an annuity stream.

AmpThink sees a lot of value in the Intelisys acquisition since communications-oriented ScanSource partners will no longer have to go somewhere else to procure carrier services, according to director of operations Adam Sijanksy.

The deal will give legacy ScanSource partners such as Garland, Texas-based AmpThink a lot more choice in the telecom and cloud services space, Sijansky said.

Atlanta-based NuRol Point of Sale plans to look carefully at what Intelisys has to offer, since it is interested in growing its recurring revenue base and capturing a larger share of its existing clients' wallets, according to Gary Levitan, president of NuRol Point of Sale, a ScanSource partner.