“Mr. Watson, I Want to See You!”

Building on Alexander Graham Bell’s Moment of Inspiration

On March 10, 1876, three days after his patent was issued, Alexander Graham Bell succeeded in getting his telephone to work. Vibration of the diaphragm caused a needle to vibrate in the water, varying the electrical resistance in the circuit. When Bell spoke the sentence, “Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you” into the liquid transmitter, Watson, listening at the receiving end in an adjoining room, heard the words clearly. [Read More…]

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The ScanSource Global Partner Conference, or GPC as it was affectionately called, was three full days in beautiful Greenville, S.C., from November 7-9. From incredible evening entertainment, to informative keynote sessions that invoked tears, to a newly unveiled plan for ScanSource in 2018, GPC was a major success that included more than 1,400 attendees from 26 different countries.

Tuesday

Tuesday evening, ScanSource kicked off the event at the Westin Poinsett hotel with a welcome reception for first-time attendees. The evening expo at the Greenville Hyatt featured 113 different manufacturing suppliers from most of ScanSource’s deep line card. This high-energy networking opportunity gave attendees a hands-on chance to interact and see many of the total solutions ScanSource offers, while mingling with approximately 316 representatives from the ScanSource extended family.

Wednesday

As attendees descended to the TD Center Wednesday morning, it was apparent this was a truly global affair. Translation services offered guests the opportunity to hear the message in their native tongue, while the breakfast buffet featured a variety of accents and languages adjacent to the croissants and quiches.

ScanSource CEO Mike Baur welcomed everyone and wasted no time getting down to “new” business. With ScanSource’s 25th anniversary approaching, Baur spoke to a packed house about the evolution of the company he founded with five others in 1992. What was once a traditional distributor/reseller business, Baur explained how ScanSource is becoming more customer-centric by focusing on the demands of the end user.

“It’s our job to help you create a better customer experience,” Baur said.

Knowing that end users are moving toward recurring revenue models and everything-as-a-service, Baur said, “We’re embracing new market opportunities that reflect what your customers want most.” He then invited executive leaders from recent acquisitions — Intelisys, POS Portal, Network1, and CDC Brazil — to share how they became part of the ScanSource family. As major players in the payments, networking, carrier and cloud services spaces, these relationships pave the way for a true customer-focused partnership between distributor, reseller, and end user. This is not a total departure from their tried-and-true model, but rather an opportunity to ask, “What can ScanSource do for you?” In short, the answer was, just about anything.

To conclude, Baur asked the audience, “Are you ready to grow?” Without hesitation, it was apparent this new paradigm shift is welcome among ScanSource partners.

To finish out the morning, keynote speaker Phil Hansen showcased his incredible artistic talent by way of learning to overcome a shaky hand that almost destroyed his will to create. Translating perfectly to a corporate setting, Hansen’s “embrace the shake,” message reminded us all that limitations are only obstacles. Asking, “What happens when resources become scarce,” he challenged the crowd to think and do more with less in an often resource-strapped, office environment.

After a full morning, Latin American attendees spent the afternoon hearing from leaders across their region while other GPC attendees spent the day taking in the surrounding area through a variety of ScanSource-sponsored activities. Guests traveled to Clemson University’s Death Valley stadium (home of the reigning National Champions), local breweries, golf courses, enjoyed a walking tour of downtown Greenville (one man dubbed it, “Mayberry on steroids”) and participated in the always-popular BMW Driving Experience.

Although the weather was unseasonably cold and gloomy, the evening party at the Old Cigar Warehouse later that night offered a Tour of the World, and included food and beverages from many locations ScanSource has offices. Feeling like a miniature Epcot, it was easy to travel the world in just a few steps. Guests could walk to “Mexico” and enjoy a mariachi band, churros, and salsa dancing; and with a quick turn, venture to “California,” with stone-fired pizzas, s’mores, and comfortable seating in a warm ambience. The “Upstate” tent felt like home to many who are headquartered at ScanSource’s Greenville office, and offered shrimp and grits, biscuits with bacon jam, chicken and waffles, and a live bluegrass band to reflect the Southern hospitality. Other locations included a downstairs European pub complete with fish and chips, and Kansas City, with traditional barbecue and brisket dishes.

Thursday

Armed with new connections and rest from the day before, GPC attendees began Thursday morning at the TD center, ready for a day of mind sharing. A packed agenda offered a full day of information and expertise from ScanSource leadership across the traditional business units. The morning agenda featured executives speaking as well as mini-educational sessions from their best-of-breed suppliers. Avoiding typical sessions aimed at showing off the latest and greatest products, these 20-minute sessions highlighted trends in industries like point of sale, telecommunications, cloud, and physical security. Common themes emerged among the sessions, including mobility, IoT, collaboration, and heavily, customer experience.

Echoing the sentiment from the day before, the biggest takeaway from Thursday’s sessions were how the customer experience has changed. While many brick and mortar stores still exist and thrive, they are seeing a shift to more e-commerce options and complete solutions that move away from a hard-top desk register.

In the security space, guest speaker Alissa Parker shared her heartbreaking story of losing her six-year-old daughter in the Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012. Out of her loss, Parker, and another mother of a Sandy Hook victim, founded Safe and Sound Schools, which offers resources around school safety and security. At GPC, Parker shared her story with first-hand observations of security measures and equipment that were absent from the elementary school, while providing resellers with new ideas to take back to their customers.

To close out the GPC, the final party of the night was another taste of the South and featured live performances by Southern rock greats, The Marshall Tucker Band and Three Dog Night. While enjoying the concert, guests were again treated to food from around the globe and décor that encompassed everything from the Greenville Liberty Bridge to a Ferris wheel reminiscent of the London Eye.

On Friday, as attendees made their way back home to places near and far, one thing was certain: ScanSource is truly a global enterprise ready for the main stage. To experience the GPC for yourself, check out a fun video here.

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Mitel Unveils 2018 UCaaS Portfolio at ScanSource 25th Anniversary

by Jessica Duvall November 13, 2017 ScanSource Communications

Last week’s Global Partner Conference has now come to a close, and I can’t help but think about all of the exciting times we had last week. It started off with a Meet and Greet that provided the perfect opportunity for reseller partners to network with Mitel and ScanSource executives. In the 1COMM general session, Mitel’s President and […]

IoT. How the revolution is changing the enterprise workspace.

by Jill Kremer November 1, 2017 Business

Tagging substandard food while it’s in transit, so it can be removed from the supply chain before it causes illness. Pushing buttons to restock your pantry. Pickup, packaging, and shipping without a trip to the post office. Complete all of these tasks, and more, thanks to the IoT (Internet of Things). But, is your company […]

Don’t Worry. Be Happy. Avaya Utilizes Blockchain Technology for Its Happiness Index

by Amanda Williams October 23, 2017 ScanSource Catalyst
Avaya

The benefit to revolutionary technology is that it changes the way we think. It disrupts old patterns and creates new opportunities to the way things get done. Of course, these same attributes can be seen—by some—as a threat. And, in fact, they are a threat to established patterns and accepted protocols. However, if one is […]

Join us at the ONLY UCaaS Panel Discussion at GPC!

by LaVonda Huskey October 18, 2017 Business
Intelisys Nectar Plantronics

ScanSource’s Global Partner Conference is almost here, and we are hard at work getting ready for our customers and manufacturer partners to join us in our hometown of Greenville, SC!

Introducing the New Mitel Connect Mobile App Designed with the Customer in Mind

by Jessica Duvall October 13, 2017 ScanSource Communications
Mitel

Where we work and how we conduct business has never been more flexible. Nearly half of all workers say they put in time off the clock and more than half answer emails outside the office, according to new research by CareerBuilder. On the commute to work, we might join a regular conference call while stuck […]

SATO helps you minimize operating costs to maximize ROI

by Jill Kremer September 29, 2017 Business

Sticker shock is a nasty surprise, but what about post-sticker shock? That can happen when you only look at the price of the equipment you plan to buy, but not at the cost to operate and maintain it. While it’s never been easier to compare products and prices, don’t forget to ask questions about cost […]

Contact centers call for change. You better answer.

by Terri Potter September 26, 2017 ScanSource Catalyst

The more things change, the more some things remain the same. In our ever-changing, fast-paced, competitive communications industry, the value of customers and the customer experience continues to reign supreme. To that point, contact centers (used to interact with customers) are absolutely critical to the success of businesses in today’s marketplace.

Technology that Improves the Customer Experience (CX)

by Tim O'Neill September 18, 2017 Business
Avaya

The first rule in hospitality, whether we’re talking about hotels, restaurants, or even food trucks, is to remember that this is a people business. It’s about the host’s team (people) serving customers (more people) in a manner that will get them to return and share their recommendations to family and friends (other people). However, even […]