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Putting our Partners on the Fast Track

During ScanSource’s recent 2019 Partner Summit in Indianapolis, our team held several Fast Track Sessions, each highlighting a different trending channel topic presented by industry experts. In case you missed it, we wanted to share highlights from a few of these sessions.

Kyle DeWitt, ScanSource’s Vice President of Technical Services, moderated “Digital Transformation and the Effect on Our Partners,” a two-session breakout, which focused on the concept of digital transformation within the industry and identifying areas of opportunity where partners could get involved. He was joined by Dr. Andy Coats, Senior Data Scientist for Cisco, and Ted Wilkinson, National Sales Director with Axis Communication.

Both sessions – which drew about 50 partners each – were filled with valuable insight, as Kyle and his guests discussed topics centered around the use of technology to improve a customer’s experience through products, services, or surroundings. Several real-world examples – such as the transformation of the retail experience, use of artificial intelligence to create unique experiences, or the rise of the smart city – were cited to give more context to what became a very engaging discussion. By the end of the panel, several rising business practices were identified as areas of opportunity for ScanSource’s partners to continue to capitalize on, including video surveillance, data analytics, communication and storage, cybersecurity, and education.

Another interactive panel discussion, “Transition to a Recurring Revenue Model,” was moderated by Chris Marlar, ScanSource’s Vice President of Supplier Services, Communications. The panel focused on the adoption of monthly recurring revenue (MRR), including the financial benefits, common hurdles, and how ScanSource can help partners migrate with ease. Attendees heard from Cleve McBeth, Vice President of Worldwide Finance at ScanSource; Dan Sterling, Senior Partner Manager at ScanSource; and two partners who have successfully made the move – Katie Wyckoff, Vice President of Sales with Shamrock Communications, and Jeff Sumner, CEO/Co-Founder of Corporate Technologies Group.

The session was very engaging, as partners had the opportunity to submit questions through the ScanSource Partner Summit app. Many partners were interested in the financial impact of moving to the MRR model and the MRR-based offerings available through ScanSource today. Having Katie and Jeff’s participation was an invaluable asset to the discussion, as they were able to speak directly to the obstacles and challenges related to moving to MRR, and how they overcame these to make a successful transition with ScanSource’s support. Partners really gravitated towards them, as both have had success selling MRR-based solutions. Overall, the panel was a great opportunity for ScanSource to take a deep dive into MRR with our partners, and reinforce the fact that we have the right teams in place to help our partners make their switch to MRR a successful one.

Wendy Thacker, ScanSource’s Vice President of Channel Marketing, moderated another insightful panel called “Finding Great People,” all focused on the evolution of the recruitment and interview processes, as well as what companies are doing to discover and retain talented employees. Wendy was joined by ScanSource’s Betsy Hipp, Global Director of Corporate Communications; Cody Fritz, Senior Director of Account Development at ScanSource; Christina Smith, Director of Human Resources at Indianapolis Marriott; and Vicki Peek, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Find Great People, a leading staffing agency in Greenville, SC.

All four panelists agreed that company culture plays a very important role in the recruitment process, as prospective employees want to know they are joining a company that not only provides a solid work/life balance, but respects workplace diversity, values the opinions and ideas of each employee, and encourages innovation. Christina Smith shared about Marriott’s “Wow” passes, which the company uses to recognize achievements big and small. She explained the importance that workplace recognition plays in keeping team members motivated – that showing appreciation in simple ways can make a big difference. The conversation included ideas on how companies can engage effectively with remote employees to make sure all team members feel included in the company’s latest initiatives and changes.

Another cornerstone of the discussion was centered on community involvement. The group talked about the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, corporate giving, and community initiatives that engage employees and enable them to give back their time, talent, and resources to the communities in which they live and work. The point was made that today, more than ever, college graduates are expecting companies to have some sort of CSR component, and organizations that aren’t active in their local communities are left at a significant recruitment disadvantage.

Overall, these sessions delivered valuable takeaways for partners, as they look to grow and enhance their businesses, be it with their people or their technology offerings.