Blog | September 15, 2016

Rapidly Shifting Channel On Display At VARTECH 2016

Jim Roddy

By Jim Roddy, Vantiv

VARTECH 2016

It’s easy to focus on the fun aspects of VARTECH 2016, BlueStar’s annual conference for its partners, held Sept. 12-13 at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. For example, I bet that just now the word in the previous sentence that jumped out to you was either “Bahamas” or “Resort,” right?

Besides an exotic getaway, the event also offers excellent insights into our channel, specifically the POS and data collection markets. Following are some of my top takeaways from VARTECH this year:

  • My favorite quote from VARTECH keynoter Jeff Havens, who talked about generational differences and similarities, was, “None of the older people you work with got where they are overnight. We do everything slowly – that’s the way our planet works. Appreciate the fact that advancement is a process.”
  • Steve Cuntz, the President and CEO of BlueStar, encouraged resellers to go beyond hardware and to embrace digitization. “How aggressively is your company pursuing strategies for the digitization of your business? We aren’t just in the hardware business or the software business. We are in the business of empowerment for enterprise.”
  • I used to never – and I mean never – hear “MSP” at point of sale/data collection conferences. However, this year there were solutions providers at VARTECH who described themselves foremost as managed services providers. The resellers who increase their recurring revenue via payment processing and managed services will be the happy resellers in tomorrow’s channel.
  • In my panel that focused on payment processing, we discussed EMV adoption delays. All the panelists agreed that many merchants are holding off on purchasing EMV-enabled tech until the next time they refresh their POS hardware.

That was just my brief overview of the event. For an in-depth look at VARTECH 2016, see my blog post at the Vantiv PaymentsEdge Advisory Services resource center On the Edge with Jim Roddy.