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BlueStar is no stranger to striving for improvement, and every year we look for new, unexpected and creative ways to take Vartech to the next level; to out-do what we’ve done in past years. Whether it’s finding the next groundbreaking keynote speaker who can impart unique and innovative wisdom on our group, or planning the next step in providing value to partners and resellers in the channel, we never truly stop planning Vartech. This year, we knew we needed to shake things up – take Vartech into the next chapter of channel development, and show our attendees what we think is just around the corner.
For those of you who aren’t aware, BlueStar launched a new initiative last year to bridge the gap between hardware resellers or manufacturers, and software vendors. As the Channel grows and changes, we’re constantly adapting our methods for effectively selling, bundling, and serving the best solutions to our customers and to end-users around the world. Today, it’s important to recognize the significance that software plays in driving hardware sales across every industry. Partnering with software creators can diversify the appeal of hardware in almost every instance, and allow a stronger reach with better sales and satisfaction.
At BlueStar, we’ve embraced this in the form of our new program, ISV Connect. ISV Connect is our independent software vendor database – a carefully compiled list of the top software vendors around the world who are seeking partnerships with resellers interested in selling their products, and hardware manufacturers whose technology complements their innovative designs.
To follow through on this initiative and educate our partners on the importance of software vendors across all verticals, we decided to mix things up a bit at this year’s Vartech. For the first year, but likely not the last, we presented the very first ISV Connect Live! event.[quote cite='ISV Connect Live presenter' align='left']I LOVED ISV Connect LIVE, and it was by far the most positive experience for me at the show!…ISV Connect Live is definitely a booth traffic catalyst.[/quote]
Kicking off day two of Vartech, we took to the stage at the Hard Rock Resort to bring ISV presentations to our reseller and vendor communities, displaying their software and partnership potential for all attendees.
Armed only with a single slide displayed on-screen, and 90 seconds to express why they were at Vartech and what kinds of partnerships they’re looking for, 24 ISVs took the stage to appeal to hundreds of Vartech attendees.
Throughout the second day opening event, each ISV had their time in the spotlight, to highlight their solutions and their opportunities for growth within the channel.
A diverse group, the ISV companies presenting represented a variety of verticals, from POS and mPOS software solutions, to digital signage display software, to warehousing management software, and more. Retail, healthcare, hospitality, inventory management, labeling and print solutions, and even a POS software designed specifically for cannabis dispensary businesses were all featured and represented on stage.
It was our hope that, after this event concluded, attendees would seek out ISVs that interested them, and connect to drive mutual business for both parties.
After presentations concluded, everyone embarked on the trek back through The Hard Rock Resort, and flooded into the CodeZone floor for another day of networking opportunities and connections. The ISV Pavilion, visible on the stage from all of CodeZone, was packed full of both ISVs looking to present and highlight their solutions, and VARs and vendors searching for partnerships and new opportunities.
Ultimately, with the creation of this new program, BlueStar hoped to create unparalleled value for both sides of the fence: software vendors, and the value-added resellers searching for new, innovative products to pair with their hardware solutions. With the creation of ISV Connect, we have already been working with hardware vendors to partner them with relevant and creative software vendors, creating bundled solutions that feature and show off the best of both sides. However, Vartech was an opportunity to bring this new idea straight to resellers looking to expand their opportunities, growth, and solutions.
[quote cite='ISV Connect Live presenter']This was my first Vartech and it was a great experience. I was really impressed by the fact that BlueStar put as much emphasis on the ISV group as it did.
[ISV Connect Live] was well managed – the format and timing was just about perfect. [/quote]Because Vartech is all about bringing members of the channel together, and providing opportunities to everyone involved, we saw this new program as a potential forum for expanding this idea. Providing a space for ISVs to present an elevator pitch to attendees was important to us, as we saw this as a crucial way of truly showing off what software vendors in the channel can do for resellers, and vice versa. By creating an opportunity for these ISVs to tell attendees, in their own words, about the creative solutions they’re developing, we hoped to, quite literally, shine a light on the opportunities available at resellers fingertips while they’re at Vartech.[quote cite='ISV Connect Live presenter' align='right']It was a great experience to present our products, solutions, use cases and success stories at Vartech. We are looking forward to next year already.[/quote]
Software development has come leaps and bounds in the last several decades, and it’s now as imperative to selling to end-users as the hardware. With so many software developers in the mix, it’s important to be able to connect and engage with channel-driven solutions and vendors who can create new and exciting ways to solve end-user challenges and problems on a daily basis.
Creating bundled, or software-driven solutions drives up hardware sales, and provides unique differentiators for resellers looking to close a sale. If your software solutions aren’t quite up to par for a certain vertical, or are paired poorly with a hardware solution, end-users will struggle to see the value in buying from you. But a carefully crafted, and expertly selected software solution paired with new, and innovative hardware solutions will create a perfect harmony of function and form that end-users will love to see and implement.
We set out to create a new, exciting program for Vartech 2018, that would create value for all attendees, from hardware vendors to resellers to software vendors. While we knew that our idea had value, we had no idea just how impactful and well-received this new program would be among attendees. After ISV Connect Live! debuted, the ISV Pavilion was packed beyond our wildest dreams, and to date, the feedback has been amazing.
We are now fired up and ready to continue finding new and value-driven programs and opportunities to bring to the table for our attendees in the coming year. Vartech 2019 certainly won’t be the year to miss.
A special thanks to all the ISV partners who exhibited at Vartech, and to those who presented onstage and made ISV Connect Live a great success. For those who missed out on the fun, you can find the slides of the presenters below.