Why Jeff Yelton Returned To The Channel
For nearly three years, Jeff Yelton has been out of the POS & data collection industry. Once president of ScanSource’s POS & Barcoding division, Yelton left ScanSource in December of 2011 and has spent the time since as the president of Wired Fox Technologies. About a month ago, Yelton returned to the distribution side of the channel when he joined Ingram Micro as Executive Director and General Manager of the distributor’s DC/POS division.
I spoke with Yelton about his return and was pleased to hear why he’s back and what he has planned. Yelton points to five major technology trends that prompted his return. They are:
- The Internet of things
- Virtualization of applications (SaaS, cloud, etc.)
- Data analytics – finding valuable information in the data collected from above 3 items
His mission is to educate VARs and ISVs on not just the trends, but how those trends affect their business and are driving change. He doesn’t want VARs to stick their head in the sand, but rather think about how they’re going to change their business models to succeed.
One key for success is to think beyond edge devices. Or, as we’ve written about here at Business Solutions, look beyond the POS sitting a few feet from the door. When you look beyond the POS, a wealth of opportunities present themselves.
Yelton went on to list some of the areas he believes Ingram Micro can help DC/POS solutions providers:
- Payments, security, and EMV — Yelton says Ingram will help educate the channel on the latest PCI requirements and the impact of security. He also says that EMV will be a big focus as there’s a good opportunity for upgrading hardware. Additionally, Yelton is already at work on payment processor partnerships to bring consistent and fair contracts to Ingram’s VARs. “In the past, smaller VARs might not have had best deals because they weren’t in a good negotiation position,” he explains.
- Networking – Yelton wants Ingram and its VARs to be leading the charge in upgrading wireless infrastructure to the latest 802.11 standards. As more the world goes mobile, the need for reliable security wireless only increases.
- Mobile device management – Again, as the world goes mobile, the need to monitor and manage the devices, and software running on them, increases. This is a great recurring revenue opportunity for VARs.
- SaaS, HaaS – Yelton admits the as-a-Service model might not be for everybody, but he also wants DC/POS VARs to be properly educated on the topic and understand that Ingram has experts from its other divisions that understand the issues and have answers to many of the common problems. “We have education on the financial impact, having the right people, compensation programs, and more,” he says. “Then, we have programs to back those up and help VARs make the transition a reality.”
- ISV program — Software makes a solution, so it makes sense that Ingram would have a goal of helping its ISV partners as much as possible. He’s got plans to help with marketing, revenue sharing, and more.
No doubt, Yelton is going to be busy with all of the above and more. I'll be sitting down with him at Ingram's upcoming IMOne event, where I'm sure he'll share more on his vision and focus for the DC/POS division.