ARTICLES BY JIM RODDY
From RSPA INSPIRE: Much Ado About Millennials
I’ve attended several RSPA INSPIRE winter conferences, so most of the topics discussed this year didn’t surprise me. The most important challenges facing the retail IT channel — shrinking hardware margins, the transition to the as-a-Service business model, the convergence of POS and payment, the rise of mobility — have been top of mind for at least a couple years now. But I am a little taken back by how much the nearly 100 channel executive attendees at this year’s INSPIRE have talked about Millennials. (If you’re not familiar with the term, Millennials are typically considered to be people born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, which covers everyone between the ages of 17-29.)
From RSPA INSPIRE: Many Resellers Devoid Of Ownership, Leadership Abilities
A frequent complaint I’ve heard from channel vendors — including a few times this week at the RSPA INSPIRE Thought Leadership Summit in Puerto Rico — is that many resellers lack fundamental business management knowledge and skills. For example, when talking about the need to shift to the as-a-Service business model, the owner of the small reseller business isn’t familiar with business models in general and doesn’t track his company’s financial performance.
From RSPA INSPIRE: Change Now To Become A Next Generation Partner
Arlin Sorensen, the founder and CEO of the channel-focused HTG Peer Groups, gave a keynote presentation at the INSPIRE Thought Leadership Summit, hosted by the RSPA (Retail Solutions Providers Association) Feb. 2-5 at the Gran Melia Golf Resort outside San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Are Retail VARs Missing The Customer Experience Bandwagon?
BSM's Jim Roddy reports two trends from Retail’s BIG Show, hosted by the NRF in New York City last week: one, the top issue retailers care about today is enhancing the customer experience, and two, channel executives told me they believe more than 90 percent of retail resellers aren’t helping their clients enhance the customer experience.
Recommended VAR Reading: The Challenger Sale
I read The Challenger Sale about a year ago and have been testing its principles and techniques whenever I can. I think the business-to-business sales methods taught in this book are the real deal and could have a significant impact on VAR organizations as they strive to be trusted advisors.
Business Solutions Exclusive: ScanSource’s Dixon Talks Everything Channel
One of the chief lessons I’ve learned from smart channel executives the past 15 years is this: sometimes you need to stop working on the day-to-day of your business and get educated on the most important trends that could affect your business.
Challenges Still Exist For As-a-Service Adoption
During Monday night’s Welcome Reception/Solutions Expo at the 2013 ScanSource Partner Conference, I had a conversation with a solutions provider and a vendor executive about financing the as-a-Service model. The VAR said selling Software-as-a-Service is a no-brainer, but hardware is a completely different story because financing that part of the deal still hasn’t taken shape. The VAR was hopeful because he felt distributors are positioned to partner with a third party to finance Hardware-as-a-Service. The vendor concurred, adding: “We [vendors] are not bankers.”
First Thoughts From (And On The Way To) ScanSource’s Partner Conference
The obvious benefits of channel conferences are the networking, education, and new product information. Another more subtle upside is you’re typically trapped on a plane for hours, affording the opportunity to read and reflect without the typical business interruptions.
8 Channel Threats, 6 Opportunities For Solutions Providers
The panel discussion “Future Channel Opportunities & Threats” at the ASCII Success Summit in Austin, TX featured several excellent points and lots of give-and-take. Here are some highlights from the discussion.
From ASCII Austin: Win Customers Without Showing Technology
For a couple reasons, I was intrigued to listen to sales coach Gil Cargill’s presentation titled “Winning Customers Without Showing Technology” at the ASCII Success Summit in Austin, TX, on Sept. 19. First, as the president of Jameson Publishing, I’m on the receiving end of sales calls and the account exec calling me often speaks in their industry lingo and not mine. Second, as VARs transition from break-fix to the “as a Service” business model, they will need to sell outcomes to customers, not technology functions and features, to convince them to pay a monthly fee for IT services.