Partner's Review of "ScanSource Intelisys Channel Connect" 2019

Industry Top Partners Trek to Monterey to See what ScanSource Intelisys is Mapping Out for 2020 

Few will argue that the ICT (information & communications technology) managed services industry has quite a few "master agency" distributors ... and then there's "Intelisys" - the 800 pound guerilla of the space that A) through luck or genious became B) the largest master agency in the network services industry that C) all other master agencies are measured against, and D) got acquired by ScanSource several years ago because ScanSource thought, "Hey, we've got a zillion technology equipment distributors who are experiencing declining margins ... we should synergize them up with these Intelisys network service sales savants that seem to be able to generate cash from thin air..." (or something like that).

Anyway, I'm at the 2019 annual "Intelisys Channel Connect" event that historically has been where the biggest & most successful network & managed services sales partners and their vendors get together to review the best practices that worked over the past year, autopsy that which didn't work and to plan out tactics & strategies to help their multi-location business clients solve next year's growth challenges with a heavy dose of new cloud technologies.

The big difference over previous years when Intelisys was independent (and somewhat rogue) is that now Intelisys is "owned" by ScanSource (a public company - and all that comes with that) and their most recent "front man with the hat" Andrew Pryfogle has been replaced by people who seem like they start every work day having breakfast with lawyers (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

So What's Mike Baur's Vision?

So having ScanSource CEO Mike Baur open the show instead of Andrew is a fine idea because the Intelisys sales partners in the audience are "owners" of their businesses and Mike Baur is most likely at least a minor owner of ScanSource. (Andrew was an awesome speaker but I don't  believe he was an Intelisys owner - which is not a bad thing but business owners like to take advice from other business owners).

So I was very eager to hear what Mike had to say to me, an ICT consulting business owner about what ScanSource is doing to help me grow my business in 2020 and beyond.

Click the following video to hear Mike tell you what he told me and the other 1000+ people in the room. (The video starts about a minute after he was introduced)

I gotta admit I really liked what he had to say because, maybe it was just me, but he seemed to admit what a lot of us network services consultants have suspected for over 10 years (since we met out first equipment VAR and telco interconnect before the VARs) is that you can "hope all you want" but sometimes network service people and equipment people simply don't mix all that well becasue they see each other as competitors and taking care of mutual business customers as a zero sum game.

But that doesn't really matter because ScanSource now owns the largest network services master agency on the planet and so they've got to fight like hell to ensure that the deal doesn't end up looking like a huge mistake. (Desperation to avoid catastrophe tends to sharpen one's focus.)

Other master agencies are thinking really hard and investing scarce dollars to catch up with Intelisys. ScanSource however seems to have unlimited resources (As Mike Baur says in the video, "we've invested 100 million dollars in acquisitions") and they appear very focused on making sure their $100 million dollar bet doesn't go south.

I don't know if it's going to work out as well as they initially hoped, but I'm certainly happy to engage with ScanSource Intelisys now as they appear to have "doubled down" to do what's needed to guarantee success.

If you watch the whole Mike Baur video though, Mike reveals his post acquisition opinion of the ScanSource Intelisys purchase at 19:25 in the video when he states, "We're not sure partnering has worked real well either (between hardware VARs and circuit partners because the hardware VARs with the leads want too high a split of the commission for network service leads from network service partners when network service partners do all the work). 

(Personally, I don't think "equipment first" VARs are going to survive the long run unless they start leading with network services and managed equipment first using a Chartec/HaaS-like model. Network "as-a-service" providers will win out over equipment providers in the not too distant future so ScanSource's acquisition of Intelisis will in retrospect look like a genious move because they were able to reposition themselves as the biggest network services distributor in the market ... that also sells alot of equipment.)

The most revealing "tell" of the video though is at 19:50 when Mike says, "We want to be wherever the customer is..." You can interpret that however you want but the way I interpret it is that any network service sales partner is in a great position so long as the customer sees the partner as providing value to a managed services solution. If, however, business technology customers follow an "Amazon-like model" where the acquisition of any business technolgy solution is expected to be executed in as frictionless an environment as possible, partners who are not engaging master agents to distribute solutions in a "software/click to buy" method (think intY or AppSmart) are going to be sidestepped (by both their customers and their vendors) in favor of solution providers that offer their clients a "direct connect" that enables a "click to buy" experience on some level.

(In my humble opinion though, ScanSource Intelisys & all other master agencies should feel ill-at-ease unless they adapt what multi-location businesses really seek which is NOT acquiring services through a "trusted partner" but through a "all-in-one" "carrier MSP" like what is offered by companies like Spectrotel who offer the "foundational platform" of a managed firewall with VPN consulting paired with a managed switch with VLAN consulting upon which all other business technology solutions are hung like ornaments and lights on a Christmas tree.

Clients only buy from 3rd party "trusted partners" because they don't know they can simply buy from a Spectrotel-like all-in-one solution provider who can offer a single invoice AND a single source for all MSP/managed service provider needs from a single carrier source. If ScanSource and the others really want to "acquire their way to safety" they need to start buying the biggest & best Spectrotel-like "carrier MSPs" they can find because when the multi-location end-users learn that carrier MSPs exist - and work - their need for "trusted partners", all the people at this conference, will dissolve.)

A Lot of People Seem to Think ScanSource is on the Right Path

Because as you can see from the following video (taken during the first day vendor fair) though, about a zillion people (partners & vendor employees) all showed up in Monterey, California to be where the 2020 success stories are being conceived. By the way, Monterey, California is nice and all but it's not on the way to anywhere else - you really gotta want to be here - which I suppose is a testament to how much all these people either believe in or hope for ScanSource to deliver on their $100 million dollar bet!

My personal opinion though is that these people are all "whistling past the graveyard" because the intYs or AppSmarts and Spectrotel's of the industry are preparing for what multi-location businesses really want - frictionless (fewer people not more people) transactions of business technology solutions whenever possible. End-users only buy from "trusted partners" because they think that's the "least friction path" - but it's not going to be in 2020 and beyond. 

Bottom Line From This Show (and the others from 2019)...

My review of this show (and several others this year) is that the age of the labor intensive "trusted partner" is setting and the age of the "all-in-one carrier" "shortest path to technology acquisition" has dawning.

Partners, master agents and providers who want to still be in business five years from now need to be able to provide a near zero friction aquisition experience from a "foundational platform solution carrier" (that includes managed firewalls & managed switches) upon which all the other "ornamental" business technology solutions (yes, I'm talking about UCaaS, CCaaS, managed security and all the other "aaS"es) hang.

*** Click the link below to read a transcript of Mike's talk. ***

What are your Thoughts About 2020?

I don't know if my thoughts written above about the direction of our industry are right or wrong but I'm happy to respond to anyone with similar or differing opinions via the comment section below.

The first person I'm inviting to respond is Dan Sterling (whom I've known for many years and bumped into at the event) who was "in the room" when the ScanSource Intelisys acquisition was being conceived. As you can well imagine I'm keenly interested in whether he believes the acquisition over or under performed expectations.

Your thoughts Mr. Sterling...? 



Mike Baur's Transcript from the 9/25/19 Show Opening:

00:01  In the community at large about what would happen next, and what would change, and what wouldn't change, and I can tell you, our strategy could not be more clear. And this slide that's up now is talking about that. Jay mentioned how big this company was three years ago. We believe today we are by far the market leader as a master agent going after a much bigger total addressable market than we ever thought possible. So the fact that we're participating in a market that says 600 billion, when we did our initial research in 2015 that number was 200 billion. So, the opportunity is growing even faster than this community is. So, hang on, we're ready to keep pressing the metal. We are not done yet. We're just getting started. And part of that is, we've found this community.

00:56    The big surprise for me personally, was getting to know many of you over the last three years, understanding what an agent's business model is, how different is that from what frankly the ScanSource traditional VAR printers telecom reseller model was. But wow, if you put together what we've learned at ScanSource for now, 27 years. I was there 27 years ago when there were six of us, now we are this massive company in this huge community. And I get it when I see companies like yours out here who are... some of you have been around for 28, 30 years, and some of you are just getting started. Those of you who are new and this is your first time, and maybe because you're just now entering this world that we're in from the cloud perspective, but $600 billion is a huge market opportunity. Who wants to play in that? We certainly do, and we want everyone in this room, whether you're a sales partner or supplier to understand that we're still investing for the future.

02:00   This business grew. You can look at this chart. This business grew 26% compounded annually for the last five years, that's massive growth. That is growth that's hard to believe when you think about a company like Intelisys that's been around a long time, and a company like ScanSource has been around a long time, you don't typically hear the founders talk about this is a place that there can be best practices learned. You don't hear about what Jay Bradley says on the video about this river of opportunity, and we're just a stone. Well, let me tell you, we want to be a boulder. We want to divert more of that revenue, that river down this channel.

02:41   This is the channel that when I speak to suppliers anywhere in the country, whether they're in this room today, or whether they're in other parts of our business, they are still asking me, "What is it about this channel that is so special? Why is this channel growing at rates no one else is?" And it's real easy because if you're here, and you get a chance to talk to many of you like I get a chance to do the next couple of days, the answers are easy, the execution is hard.

03:09   This is the business that we said from the beginning, "We are 100% committed to the channel." It doesn't mean that as we do business together, we don't take on different roles. And I think that's what this morning's about. It's educating you on some of the things that we're investing in as a company, and how you can play. And everything we do, whether it's an acquisition, or developing a new tool or technology is not for everyone. And again, that's okay. Some of your businesses are fine growing at 5%, some want to grow at 55%. We want to work with all of you, We want to work with all of you.

03:44    And as Jay said, and Dana, and Rick Sheldon, and Rick Dellar, this is an amazing community. There's these two sandboxes that as they come together can bring more than just one plus one. And I'll never forget the first time I met Rick, Rick and Dana, we had that conversation. The very first meeting about what do we want to do? And when we said, what does one plus one equal, it certainly wasn't two, it had a zero after it. So we're still targeting this idea that this community, with everything else that we're doing and the investments that we're making can get us to a 20 multiple. That would be a fantastic partnership and not an acquisition.

04:23    So, I've got a lot to tell you about, but let me share with you another slide. We have invested since the acquisition $100 million, and you got us in this business. No one else is doing it, no other master agent has invested $100 million after paying for the Intelisys business. And that's because we've been working with a vision and a strategy. And the vision was how do we put ScanSource in the middle of this solution delivery channel? And to do that, we have to add more capabilities. There were some things that you needed whether you're a supplier, or a sales partner, that you needed, but you could not justify investing in on your own. We bring scale. We bring scale to help you differentiate your business, so that you don't have to just add more people. Maybe you can rent some of our talent, use some of our people, use some of our technologies.

05:22    So, $100 million in investments. Jay talked about how big the company has grown. It is continuing to grow, and let me talk about an example of the 100 million in four different areas.

05:35    One is head counters, which we'll talk about last. The first is about processes and efficiency, another one is around services, and then another one is around platform. Let me start with this idea of what RPM software really is doing for you, and for our company. This is a piece of software which is a lot more than that, that was frankly developed by the Intelisys team many years ago. And we found that one of the biggest challenges, and this was the biggest surprise for me, was that everyone was worried about getting paid. This was a business that was about fear, about everyone wanting to know if they sold something because they, the Asian community, doesn't build the customer when they get paid. A lot of fear around that, and Intelisys was brilliant at creating a system that could track all of these deals, all of the orders, all the processes, and make sure it was done completely accurately and on time.

06:35    Since we've owned Intelisys, we decided that, that software, that business process needed more investment. And we decided to double down and buy the company, so that we can make sure that this system works for you in the future as you grow, because we're planning on growing a whole lot bigger than we are now, and we need great systems. We need to make sure whether you're a sales partner or a supplier, because both of you utilize this system as well as our Intelisys team. We want to make sure there's no concern about once you spent a lot of time and effort and closing a deal, how are we going to get paid? And we're going to make sure that we don't miss out on that. And we think that's been one of the barriers in the past to success for this industry. And I'm not saying we were unsuccessful, but when you look at 600 billion, there's a whole lot more we can do.

07:27    There are suppliers in the room today who still do not use the channel as their primary go-to-market delivery channel. They still do it direct because they want to have control, and they want to have control because they want to make sure that the end customer has a great experience. If we can insure through our channel that the end customer has the best experience, then more of the 600 billion will flow our way. It's that easy. We saw this happen at ScanSource in the early days of our company, where 20% of the business went through channels, 80% was sold direct. It changed over about five to seven years because the fear went away and trust developed between suppliers, and sales partners, and distributors. And it's key that all three of us had this trust element. We think having the best tool, the best software like RPM will help us do that.

08:23    So that takes us to another investment that we felt like it was a mandatory. If we want to be the dominant player as a channel in contact center, there's some services that are required to deploy contact centers. And these professional services they're not easy to manage. It's a body shell, right? And the only way they work is if those bodies are building. And maybe if you don't want to hire people who are not always billable, it's a different business, different business for ScanSource. So we acquired a company, a successful salesforce and limitation partner, one of the best in the world, one of a handful of gold partners for salesforce, and these guys they campaign go. These are the guys that can help you close deals, and this will help on the supplier side too.

09:08    We heard last year, there are deals out in the marketplace not getting closed because of the professional services aren't available through the ploy to train, to install, to make sure that the CRM, all our salesforce can talk to the contact center software. So this is why we invested in a company to do this on your behalf. We need scale for this business up to a certain point, we don't expect everyone to use it, but if you're selling contact centers today, and you're not providing this service, then you're letting someone else get in between you and the end customer, and why would you want to do that?

09:47     The next thing we're going to talk about, and you're going to have a separate presentation on this, this morning from Mark Morgan, but this is about our software strategy. We said in 2015, and Mark Morgan, he was one of the guys that designed the strategy that led to the Intelisys acquisition, led to this acquisition of NT. And the idea is that we want to put our partners in a position to sell software. Well, that sounds pretty simple, everybody can sell software. Well, in the old days it was pretty simple when you shift out a DVD, a CD, whatever that might be, today everybody is moving to a subscription model, while moving away from perpetual licenses. We didn't have a platform to do that. We have a great big expensive SAP system, okay? And it does not do this. And so we went out to the marketplace and identified the best companies that we could acquire because as you heard from the video, we buy the best, we don't like to buy or won't buy fixer uppers.

10:51   This company was one of the best Microsoft partners based in anyone who understood clearly how to process orders on a subscription basis as Microsoft moved to the cloud. So we now have a proven system that will be adding lots of suppliers onto, and you'll hear Mark talk about how that's going to work, and why you should want this to be very successful and part of your strategy too. So more to come on NT and Cascade.

11:18    So here's the just amazing slide. Look at these numbers. So after 2017, so for ScanSource we're on a fiscal year that starts July 1. So this was ending June 30th, 17. We started with Intelisys at 120 when we acquired the company. Less than a year later, 150. We're projecting by June 30 of next year, 240 people. These are dedicated Intelisys people. This doesn't count the 700 people in Greenville that support this business, and the hundreds of people around the world that support this business. So, we have added a tremendous amount of people as well as systems. Because, listen, this is a relationship business, you got to have relationship people. But it's also a business that requires us to support you wherever you are. And many of our best partners, they operate across the country. They're not just based in a narrow geography, those of you who are fantastic. But some of you sell the enterprise clients who need you on the West coast and East coast, and we need to make sure we have a coverage model that supports that.

12:26   So when you look at our partner base, our channel partners, and most of you in this room would be the same split about 65% of you are on the East coast, and about 35% on the West coast. And so we have to make sure we can support you. So we continue to add not only channel managers, but solution engineers. And I know you guys want us to add more. These are smart guys who are very much in demand, but we will continue to add because we're adding partners, we're growing the business, and we believe in relationships. So are we going to continue to add people? Of course we are. Again, this is a company that was at six people in December of 1992, and now we're 3000. So we don't hesitate to bring people on.

13:08   And again, just like with an acquisition, we only want to hire the best, or we hire young people, and I say this very carefully, young people, because I'm 62, who are just leaving university and have no idea what a real company is like. And so it's hard to get that first year person because they're always looking, well somebody's got to be better than you guys. So you generally want to hire them after that second gig. Maybe not the first one, but we recruit heavily to find people who can join us early in their career, so they can see a progression. Because a big part of the strategy to have 240 people from 120, and Jay knows this, Carol knows this, Reavis knows this, Catcher knows this, is now we got to add managers. And we've got to have people who help these young people learn the business and progress as an individual.

14:00    So, we spent a lot of ScanSource time on managing our talent. It's probably one of the... probably the place I spend more of my time than anything, is talent management at our company. It's the biggest thing, biggest responsibility I have as CEO is to make sure the company can survive if we had bad times, and can prosper and take advantage of opportunities like this. So, again, tremendous number of people. This is a staggering desistance. We now have 50 people who just made sure commissions get paid. Obviously, we want to add some automation to that, but we have not hesitated to add people. And now we have 159 people in the back office who are supporting you.

14:46   So this is a company that believes in having great people and have great systems, because we want to make sure we don't slow down your growth if you want to grow faster. By the way, we want all your businesses. We don't want you dating some of these other master agents, we want you committed, all right? We want you committed. We want all your business just in case there is something a little bit over here, because we don't know what's going to happen with the ScanSource thing, come on. We're the only guys out here putting our money where our mouth is. We want all your business, and then it can all flow through RPM, and now you're going to have a more efficient business. You're going to make more money if you give us all your business. So that's my sales pitch, you're welcome Jay.

15:37   So, we've done some things just like Intelisys started, with something called the bank of Intelisys, now ScanSource. And Jeff Sumner, who I didn't meet until this morning, so Jeff, thank you wherever you are for letting us use this example. But literally a year ago this time, Jeff had this great idea about buying a Toshiba VAR, Toshiba phone systems. And we helped him do that. He didn't have to go and get a bank loan. We used to look at his stream of commissions coming in and we lent him money so that he could go buy that company. This is another example of us using our balance sheet as ScanSource creatively to help fund growth. We're about growth. We're a public company, we need growth, and we love ideas like this, and we will do them all day long. So, Jeff congratulations on a great use of additional resources from Intelisys' ScanSource. This is what really we're trying to tee up today.

16:36   Our company has evolved over time. From back in the day, you look back to this chart in '92 to 2010, we were a company acquiring other hardware distribution companies to either expand our relationships with suppliers. Because back then if you wanted to sell Avaya premise equipment, you had to be exclusive, in 1997 you had to be exclusive. So we set up an Avaya only team, it was called [Catless 00:17:03] . Cisco, they wanted exclusivity, but they would pay you to be exclusive. But nonetheless, we set up a Cisco team, [inaudible 00:17:12] come to call KDG. We had a barcode team where we sold everything. They didn't pay you to be exclusive, so we had that third business unit. We had a fourth business unit that was based on the non Avaya business. That was everything but Avaya was in our fourth business unit. And then we had this fifth business unit for physical security. So, during this growth period where we were growing at huge rates, we were putting together five different companies within ScanSource.

17:38   So we're very comfortable with the idea of the way Intelisys is organized. Having specific conferences, having a separate channel, having experts within our company who understand the lingo, the technology that makes sure that we have the right resources dedicated to these people, and this what we've done for many, many years. A big change happened here in 2015. It's as digital, it's also cloud. And it really changed the way we looked at organizing our company. So the last 18 months we've taken the five hardware businesses in the US, and moved them into one sales team. That's a big change. We've gone from five hardware to one, and we still have the Intelisys also. So we have two business units now, not six. Six was crazy. We couldn't get leverage across our business the way we wanted to. And frankly, the differentiation in the hardware offerings were less and less over time.

18:40    So we love the way we're now organized, where we have a president driving this business, Jay Bradley. And we've got a president driving the other hardware business, that's Tony Sorrentino who is here, and is somebody you have already met. This led us to be able to now add all these other tools that we need, so either channel, the VAR channel or the agent channel can win big. [inaudible 00:19:02] on the video, two sandboxes. We're not trying to have just one sandbox, we're trying to make sure we put the two sandboxes right next to each other. And then we have a third sand box and that's ScanSource. And you pull from ScanSource what you need to be successful. There is something you want to buy each other, maybe some of VAR, maybe wants to buy an agent. We certainly have seen agents buying VARs. We're not sure partnering has worked real well either.

19:29    I talked to one of our partners yesterday, he's like, "Mike, the VARs they want too much money on the split." And I say, " That's because we don't make any money selling hardware. You've got to understand that it's a really hard business to make money at." So it's not obvious where those channels are going to end up, but we know very clearly that where we want to be, is we want to be wherever the end user is. And we want to make sure we understand what does the end user want? How does the end user want to acquire technology? Whether that's cloud, premise, there's this big hybrid world we're in, we're not all going to everything in the cloud tomorrow. We all know that. Thank goodness, this gives us opportunity. This gives everyone here a chance to differentiate your offer, and we believe that we're uniquely positioned as ScanSource to take advantage of that. And that's why we made the investments.

20:22   We made the investment so that we have this offering, I guess I'll call it offering. If you looked at it, it was based on the idea that eventually people might want to buy something called a solution as a service. And to do that, and this was something we came up with in 2015, here were the pieces that needed to be developed, built and prior bought. These were the pieces. Not all of them are things that you would want to be involved in. None of you may be involved in payments, but we have a huge payment business. And by the way, that's a huge channel called ISOS, that are very, very smart about how to make money selling payment terminals. And so this marketplace, whether it's software cloud or IOT, which we just announced with our cloud university offering an IOT certification. So we are investing in these places.

21:21    This is the roadmap. This is the blueprint. When people ask me, what are you guys doing? We've been showing this to investors for four years now. We've not been shy, our investors know about it, our competitors all know about it. Very few of them for various reasons have been able to pull off what we've done. We're at this place where we believe, when you look at this slide here, to invest in specific areas. And these areas to drive our growth for next year and beyond. So when we talk to investors, we say to them, "For this year, for FYI 2020, these are the places we're going to make our bets. These are our big bets.' You see Intelisys on there, you see POS portal, that's the payment business that we learned a lot about devices and lifecycle management which will help some of you.

22:10   You're going to hear about Cascade, the cloud platform, more from Mark in a few minutes. I want to thank Rick Dellar for helping me in Brazil. Recently he was down in Sao Paulo, and Brazil is this fascinating market. It's at an early stage. I don't know how close it is to when Intelisys started, but there's already a channel of hundreds of agents now. There are in no master agent, and there's hundreds of millions of dollars in commissions being paid. So that's exciting, so Rick and I are excited about that. Video surveillance is the hottest part of our hardware business, and if just Tony can talk to you a lot about it, but it's just one of those that we're still stunned that every year and every quarter, man, we sell more cameras. So if you're not in the camera business and you're interested, check it out because that is the fastest growing part of our hardware business.

23:01   Then collaboration. This is where we have got the most experience than any other distributor and master agent in the world. We have had a historic relationship going back to 1997 when it was loosen on Avaya. We developed a telecom channel, we provided support, we made a lot of money doing that, and our partners did too. We've now moved to this whole thing of UC, CC, got all of the acronyms. What is important is we have the best suppliers that you will ever need. We have all the suppliers that you'll ever need to be successful in UC contact center collaboration in cloud. We have the best team to help sell them. We have the best team as Jay said that educates you on them. We can help you be successful. This is a huge market, more to come. If you're not playing in that, get ready.

23:57   If your business has not grown in the last three years, then you're falling behind. If you're always staying flat, you're falling behind. Someone else is out there taking business from you, more than likely. So we want to help you grow.

24:12   My last slide. We believe that we've got all the pieces you need, and we do believe that we got to figure out this hardware piece. RAT is trying to change our words a little bit, call them devices, but here at the event we've got a session number if it's on main stage or breakout, I can't remember, on something as simple as this. If you sell UC today, and your customers need to buy headsets, let us help you sell headsets. Let's start there. How hard can it be for you to sell headsets. Instead of sending your customer to CDW who is competing with you guys, and if they're not now they will. Or if you send them to Amazon, who will compete with you guys, if not now in the future. Why would you give that up? Why would you give up a headset sale? It doesn't require certification. We've got... we're the biggest distributor in the world for headsets, in the world.

25:06   So we've got a lot of people who know how to help you sell them, and we even now have a system with Cascade that we're going to be able to build the end user on your behalf. So you won't have to build it. You don't have to be certified, you don't have to build it. We just send you a commission check. Does that sound familiar?

25:26   So let us help you start playing in the solution game. Because we believe if you're not selling some hardware, where your customer expects you to at least give them an offer, you're giving someone else an opportunity to get in between you and your customer. Don't let that happen. Let us help you do it. So we are going to start simple. This isn't about selling Cisco data centers, we get that. That's hard, that's heavy lifting. Don't start there, start with something easy. So I think my kicky is going to be at a breakout session, and make sure you check that out while we're here.

25:55  So, in conclusion, we love you guys. This business for ScanSource has been the best acquisition we've ever made. However, we've invested a lot of money. We invested more money in the last four years than we did in the previous 25, and we've acquired 29 companies. So we have not only doubled them but quadruple them. This is a massive bet. And the bet is that this business will prosper at unbelievable rates. Other people think it might, some people don't think it will. Other people have kind of tried this and it hasn't worked. So this is not for the faint of heart. You've got to be willing to write the big checks. And yes, Della did cash his first check, I think. I don't think he's holding it somewhere, but I know Sheldon did, Dana did. But we want to write big checks to you guys.

26:59  We want our suppliers that we're working closely with to prefer us, we want you to prefer us. We want our partners, one of our suppliers here just closed with one of our partners the biggest deal in all of UKs. We believe, the biggest deal, right? $340,000 monthly, biggest deal. So this is the kind of stuff that can happen. People didn't believe that channel could deliver this, or the channel was not going to do this, it's the enterprise stuff, or this makes them a direct salesforce.

27:33  This stuff is real, it's happening. If you're not excited about the future, then man, you better leave because we are excited, and we want you guys to benefit from this. You are here early in the process. You're not late. And if you're here for the first time, you're definitely on time. We want to help you be there. We want to be the dominant company to help channel partner succeed. We can only do it if you trust us. So if you walk out of here with one word, it's said, "We want you to trust us in everything we do." We're going to tell you the way it is, even if it's bad news. But we want you to trust us, and if you do, we think we'll all win. Thank you very much.

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