Authentic Texas BBQ — complete with a pistol shootout competition and Armadillo races — were served up at the closing event of ScanSource’s Partner Conference. ScanSource brought the planned outdoor entertainment indoors due to stormy weather in the Austin area. Photo by SDM Staff

When heavy rains and massive flooding near Austin, Texas, in October threatened to cause ScanSource Inc. to cancel its partner conference outing to The Salt Lick, an open-pit venue, ScanSource brought The Salt Lick’s BBQ to the conference instead. A big Texas BBQ spread, games, a pistol shootout — even Armadillo races — were set up in the Hilton Austin Hotel’s ballroom for conference attendees to enjoy on the conference’s last evening. Given the flooding situation, it was more than anyone expected — but that’s just the way ScanSource does things.

The company’s annual Partner Conference, themed “Fuel” this year, traditionally has supported its Point of Sale (POS) and Barcode business unit resellers. However, this year it was opened up to include physical security resellers. “This is really the first time a lot of our security partners have gotten exposure to the bigger ScanSource Inc., and so it’s great for them to see the size and scale and resources [of ScanSource] — and all of the different opportunities, services and tools,  and the potential partnerships that are available to them,” described Tony Sorrentino, president of ScanSource Security. As one example, Sorrentino mentioned that some of ScanSource’s security customers and POS customers had met at the conference and agreed to swap leads or get involved with each others’ projects in the retail space. (See Editor Laura Stepanek’s live interview with Tony Sorrentino at

“What makes us unique in this industry are centralized distribution, our knowledgeable sales reps, all of the resources that we have available, and the sheer size and scale of our company and the partnership opportunities,” he said. “We’re far more than just taking an order and shipping a box, and so we want people to know all the different ways we can help them grow their business — that’s why we do this event.”

Throughout the day-long conference, the approximately 500 attendees got to hear about many of these services, including two big ones: marketing and financial support. “A lot of people think, I can’t do this deal because it’s too big, or my credit is bad. Well, we have a lot of different vehicles to help them close opportunities,” Sorrentino explained.

As another example of available support tools, during the conference the distributor introduced All-Access ScanSource, a program that includes a series of electronic interface opportunities that help enhance communications and integration between ScanSource and its reseller partners. This program opens new channels of access for real-time data integration, such as price and availability, the ability to create an order, and access to order status. 

Other conference highlights:

Christy Thompson, vice president of Worldwide Marketing at ScanSource, described how the company has reorganized to take advantage of worldwide opportunities that are being driven by trends such as mobility/bring-your-own-device and managed services. (See related article at

Greg Dixon, CTO of ScanSource, spoke about how today’s economic pressures are changing the reseller’s business model: “The response to the reality is to sell more services,” Dixon emphasized. He mentioned that ScanSource recently signed a new vendor, Intelisys, whose dozens of cloud-based offerings such as video surveillance management and wireless network management, security integrators could resell to their customers for RMR.

Keynote speaker Jeremy Gutsche, author of Exploiting the Chaos – 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Changeand founder of, stimulated the integrators to look inward and consider what they do and then outwardly describe it in seven words. Gutsche said that when someone asked Steve Jobs what it is Apple does, he said, “We make buttons on a screen look  so good, you’ll want to lick them.” Gutsche’s presentation provided fuel for the mind at a conference packed with intelligent insight.

For more information about the conference, including a photo gallery, visit