Now Presenting: The Most Popular Channel Content from the Least Popular Year

By: Jim Roddy, VP of Sales & Marketing at the RSPA

These are a few of my favorite things:

Much to my delight, and hopefully to yours, this final RSPA Blog post of 2020 will combine those three aspects – we’ll do the best we can; nobody’s as funny as Letterman. Using web analytics, we learned what was the most popular thought leadership content (in the least popular year) published on

We divided the results into four content categories: Blog, Community IQ, Podcast, and COVID-19 Crisis content. Had we not created those categories and simply listed the overall most clicked-on content, you’d be reading a long list of COVID-focused stories. While page views of RSPA content are typically strong, our pandemic-related blog posts generated between 2x to 4x the normal number of page views. Categories will help readers like you better understand what content resonated the most with our VAR and ISV members.

For each category, we’ll list the 10 most popular pieces of content and then I’ll offer some analysis.


  1. 2020 RSPA POS Channel KPI Study
  2. 2020 RSPA VAR Sales Compensation Study
  3. 29 Salient Statements from the 2020 RSPA Academy Education Symposium
  4. “Who are the New Solution Providers?” and More from RSPA Inspire 2020
  5. 2020 RSPA POS Channel KPI Study Addendum
  6. Cannabis Tech Conference Reveals Vertical’s Possibilities (and High Hurdles) for POS VARs
  7. Roddy’s Recommended Reading for Channel Executives – 2020 Edition
  8. ScanSource’s Virtual Partner Conference: “Bullish About the Future” of the Channel
  9. Channel Traveler’s Notebook: NCC Conference, RSPA Canada – and Coronavirus
  10. Winning Recruiting Strategies for 2020 – and Beyond

VARs and ISVs love their data, don’t they? Ranking 1, 2, and 5 on this list were studies commissioned by the RSPA. We hope to produce additional reports in 2021, some of them in-depth like the KPI Study and others shorter snap polls. We actually intended to execute that plan this year, but COVID derailed us. (I’m sure you can relate.) Event-focused content was popular with our readers as well, logging in at 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9 on our list. The RSPA Academy Education Symposium (#3 on our list) was the biggest hit among all the events. Stay tuned for more online events from the RSPA in 2021 – plus RetailNOW in person July 25-27 in Nashville.

RSPA Community IQ Resource Center

  1. COVID-19 Crisis: A VAR’s Guide to Canada’s Economic Response Plan by Paul Leduc, Globe POS Systems
  2. An ISV’s Guide to Growing Revenue with Integrated Payments by Kenny Thompson, BASYS Processing
  3. Stitching Banking and Payments Together – A New Frontier by Solvent
  4. The Past, Present and Future of Contactless Technology by Josh Shultz, Revel Systems

Visit the RSPA Solution Center – a web platform designed to connect VARs and ISVs to providers of innovative solutions

  1. Get to Know the COVID Five: Five Ways AI Boosts Your Business Immunity by Octopi
  2. The Petro Industry: A New Opportunity for VARs by Bill Pittman, Sound Payments
  3. Rethinking Tomorrow’s Grocery Store by Mark Delaney, Zebra Technologies
  4. Three Strategies For Rebuilding Retail Post-COVID by Tim Kane, Zebra Technologies
  5. Customer Service by Bill Fultz, Heartland
  6. How Brick and Mortar Retailers can Adapt During COVID-19 by Pointy by Google

The Community IQ section of the RSPA website features thought leadership content authored by our members, and its popularity really blossomed in 2020. The top 10 IQ articles feature a variety of vertical markets (retail, grocery, petro) with the two dominant topics being COVID (1, 5, 8, 10) and payments (2, 3, 4; articles authored by payments executives #6 and #9). I’m not sure what Community IQ content will be submitted to us in 2021, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see payments and grappling with COVID fallout topping next year’s list. To submit your content or learn more about the Community IQ Resource Center, email RSPA Marketing Manager Chris Arnold at

RSPA Trusted Advisor Podcast

  1. Cannabis and CBD Vertical Opportunities for VARs and ISVs
  2. What Will Retailers and Restaurants Look Like After COVID-19?
  3. How Canadian Retail IT VARs are Navigating Through COVID-19
  4. The Future of ISVs with RMH’s Jeff Riley and RPOWER’s Jami Interdonato
  5. Growing During COVID-19 with Kevin Spencer of VAR Rod Plus Solutions
  6. Cannabis Vertical Deep Dive with 420MSP’s Harry Brelsford
  7. Reseller Innovations with Heartland’s Bill Fultz
  8. Special W2W Episode on Work/Life Balance
  9. Intel’s Vanessa Foden on Post-COVID Retail Technology Trends
  10. ISV Keys to Success with BlueStar’s Mark Fraker

What jumped out to me on this list is cannabis. That fast-growth niche vertical shows up at #1 and #6 among most popular pods and sixth on the blog list. Shortly before we recorded the “Cannabis and CBD Vertical Opportunities for VARs and ISVs” pod back in February, guest Brian Meyer of Solvent predicted it would be our most listened to episode of the year. He was spot on! Also, if you haven’t listened to our second most popular pod, “What Will Retailers and Restaurants Look Like After COVID-19?” with Advanced Hospitality Systems VP Dave Kasinetz and Vend founder Vaughan Fergusson, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of wisdom. (But if you watch the video of that episode, please ignore my pandemic hair fail. Ugh.)

RSPA Blog – COVID-19 Crisis Content

  1. VARs Adjust Sales Approach During Pandemic
  2. Leading VARs and ISVs are Taking Action – Today
  3. CARES Act Section-by-Section Overview
  4. 7 Striking Attributes of Today’s Top-Performing VARs and ISVs
  5. How VARs are Communicating with Employees, Merchants
  6. FAQs and Legal Updates Channel Executives Need To Know
  7. Restaurant VARs, ISVs Serve on Pandemic Front Lines
  8. Pandemic Causes VARs to Rethink, Reformulate “Personal Service”
  9. ISVs Focus on Rescuing Merchants, Protecting Staff, Stimulating Creativity
  10. COVID-Weary VARs and ISVs: Embrace These 4 Guiding Principles

Team RSPA received an avalanche of appreciation from the retail IT community about the COVID-related content we produced this year. Well, right back at you. We are so grateful for our community and your willingness to share your struggles, ideas, and lessons learned during the height of a crisis. Nearly 100 RSPA VAR and ISV members, plus RSPA General Counsel Bob Goldberg, provided their insights and guidance to generate these ten top stories. A truly phenomenal community effort when it was needed the most.

Thanks for your support of the RSPA in 2020 and Happy New Year!

Don’t forget to visit the RSPA Solution Center – a web platform designed to connect VARs and ISVs to providers of innovative solutions

Jim Roddy is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as an RSPA board member, one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board, and several years as a business coach for VARs, ISVs, and MSPs. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of The Walk-On Method To Career & Business Success and Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer. For more information, contact