ScanSource To Intelisys Partners: 'We Live To Serve You'

Master agent Intelisys kicked off its largest partner event of the year in Napa, California by reassuring partners that its recent acquisition by IT distributor ScanSource will only help both VAR and agent partners "go bigger."

ScanSource's CEO Mike Baur took the stage at Channel Connect on Wednesday and told partners why the 24-year-old IT distributor made its most expensive acquisition to date. With 24 acquisitions under its belt, ScanSource sees that services and solution selling are becoming the most lucrative businesses and the VAR and agent partner channel models are converging.

Greenville, South Carolina-based ScanSource has a community of over 500 supplier partners and over 3,600 reseller partners, but the company saw an opportunity to get into recurring connectivity and telecom solution selling. That's where Intelisys and its partner community come in, Baur said.

"We feel confident this is going to be successful. This is a big bet for ScanSource," he said.

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[Related: CRN Exclusive: Intelisys To Address Impact Of ScanSource Acquisition, New Opportunities For Partners At Channel Connect 2016]

VARs are pivoting to recurring revenue quickly, and agent partners see opportunities in selling hardware. In a few years, there won't be a difference between VARs or telecom agents, according to Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for Petaluma, California-based Intelisys, who spoke first on the keynote stage Wednesday.

"It's two people eating from opposite sides of the same apple. This is creating enormous opportunities for partners," Pryfogle said.

The partnership between the distributor and the master agent will be particularly useful in closing this gap. The ScanSource-Intelisys deal will let partners talk about solutions with their customers, instead of focusing on one area of technology, according to Joe Monaco, CEO of The Monaco Group, a Boca Raton, Florida-based solution provider and Intelisys partner.

"Having that breadth of products and scale will be a big addition to our portfolio of products, and much more impactful to put in front of a customer. It's a great marriage," Monaco said.

The acquisition means more credibility for Intelisys, too, he added.

Intelisys' Andrew Pryfogle said that Intelisys plans to "protect what it has built," and ScanSource's Baur assured partners that the Intelisys brand isn't going away. Combined, the two companies will have more scale, and Intelisys partners will have access to ScanSource's scale and financial resources, Baur said.

"[Baur] is a lot like us. He loves to win, hates to lose … and is also compassionate," Rick Dellar, co-founder for Intelisys told the standing room audience of channel partners.

Baur also guaranteed partners that ScanSource, like Intelisys, has no interest in working directly with end customers, or "stealing accounts." The carrier contracts and payment schedules that Intelisys has in place today also won't be changing.

"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."

Businesses will continue to lean on their partners to help them manage the changing IT landscape, and solution providers are the perfect "agents of change," Pryfogle said.

"We are really good at this," he said. "[With ScanSource], we'll be able to go bigger, and accomplish things we've never accomplished before."