Reporting live from ScanSource IMPACT NOW Conference
John Lennon used to have a worn-out Victorian settee shipped with him when he traveled. A portion of the backrest was torn out, leaving room for his arm to go through so he could lounge while playing his guitar. Today, the settee is located in the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios in Orlando, and about 500 people – myself included – got the opportunity to see it at a party last night that was part of the festivities for the ScanSource IMPACT Now conference.
Scan Source is best known as a distributor of bar code, point-of-sale and communications equipment, but more recently the company has begun to distribute physical security products through ScanSource Security; more and more of the firm’s customers have begun to move into that area.
The two-day IMPACT NOW event brought key customers and suppliers together, lured by the opportunity to network with one another, pick up a few ideas from seminars on loyalty and leadership presented by the Disney Institute, and maybe see Lennon’s settee or get a snapshot of themselves with a Tina Turner or Gene Simmons look-alike at the Hard Rock bash.
I spoke to several people from ScanSource customer companies that traditionally have focused on point-of-sale but are now considering moving into physical security. Interestingly, they’re not looking at security as just another revenue source. Instead, they all said they’re finding themselves drawn into it by their customers, who are asking about IP cameras and video surveillance.
IMPACT NOW wasn’t the sort of event where manufacturers would typically announce new products. But Digimerge executive vice president of sales and marketing, Wayne Hurd, said he wouldn’t mind if I broke the news about the new Blade product his company plans to launch soon. The product is a DVR about the size of a laptop computer that supports the H.264 standard, can connect up to 128 cameras, includes 2 terabits of storage, and has built-in video management software. “The footprint is what makes it magical,” Hurd said — and the $900 target price isn’t too shabby either.
My souvenir of IMPACT NOW is a miniature Minnie Mouse statuette, which I received as a reward for volunteering a comment during the loyalty seminar. Disney Institute facilitator, Jeff Noel, used Minnie and other Disney character miniatures as an incentive to ensure audience participation, which was one of several useful ideas I picked up at the seminar.
Noel informed us that DisneyWorld’s No. 1 performance metric is repeat visitors and that, by focusing on making visitors happy, Disney has obtained an impressive $50,000 average lifetime value per customer. Although the dynamics aren’t exactly the same, the Disney focus isn’t wildly different from the recurring revenue model that has been the cornerstone of some of the most successful security companies.
One concept from the seminar I’ll remember that could definitely apply to the security business: Many factors contribute to customer loyalty, but emotion trumps everything.
In his keynote address this morning, ScanSource CEO Mike Baur said ScanSource’s value lies “where we can do more than ship a box.” IMPACT NOW is a good example of how ScanSource provides customer value well beyond the box.