RSPA By the Numbers: ISVs and Retail Rise, VARs Hold Strong

By: Jim Roddy, President & CEO at the RSPA

The RSPA team just completed our annual review of member company profiles and we noticed some interesting trends I wanted to share with you. Consider this a “behind the scenes” view of RSPA By The Numbers.

ISVs Rising
The percent of ISVs in our community increased from 18% to 22% year-over-year. The leading factor for that is an influx of niche-focused startup DISDs (Direct Independent Software Developers) who sell direct now but are excellent candidates for a reseller channel in the future. A secondary trend is VARs converting to the ISV business model.

VARs Hold Strong
Many VARs were acquired or retired over the past 18 months – leading to lots of hand wringing – but the mass exodus of resellers some predicted appears to be overstated. The VAR/Reseller/MSP member category did drop in terms of overall percent of RSPA membership (from 65% to 61%), but when you factor in that membership as a whole grew to 730+ companies, the number of VAR orgs in the RSPA Community remains right around 450.

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Retail > Hospitality
The most notable trend is the solution provider shift from hospitality to retail. A year ago, 80% of RSPA members played in the hospitality market; that has dropped to 67% today. They are focusing now more on retail which jumped from 66% a year ago to 78% today. We think there are two factors behind this. First, most of the VARs who were acquired focused on restaurants. Second, some VARs are trying to avoid the large, well-funded, marketing-savvy, direct POS providers that have grabbed mindshare and market share in the restaurant space.

RSPA Continues to Grow
As I referenced earlier, the percentages are based upon an ever-growing RSPA Community. As of today, the RSPA has 730+ member organizations ranging from Fortune 500 vendors to niche ISVs to local resellers. Many companies have been members for decades and we frequently add startup tech companies because being part of the RSPA Community accelerates their growth.

See the full updated RSPA By The Numbers here.

Don’t forget to register for RSPA Inspire, the retail IT channel’s premier leadership conference. Experience Networking Nirvana!

Jim Roddy is the President and CEO of the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). He has been active in the retail IT 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 has been recognized as one of the world’s Top Retail Influencers by RETHINK Retail, a Leading CannaTech Influencer by The CannaTech Group, and is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences on SMB best practices. He is author of two books – The Walk-On Method To Career & Business Success and Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer – and is host of the award-winning RSPA Trusted Advisor podcast. For more information, contact