From OrderCounter Partner Training Conference: New Generation of Resellers

By: Travis Hare, Director of Hospitality Solutions at DCR

When I tell people my favorite thing about the RSPA, it’s that twice a year competitors drop their gloves and talk shop. We share strategies and information with each other that help the collective intelligence of the members. When I decided to run for the RSPA Board of Directors, I made a commitment to all of the VARs that I would provide open and honest feedback, be readily available for communication, and not position myself as a representative of the best interests of a single company, but of the VAR collective of the RSPA as a whole. My goal is to report on the health and growth of the entire channel by letting you know of some really good things going on in our industry right now.

I had the pleasure of attending the OrderCounter Partner Training Conference last weekend. CEO Thomas Barrineau invited a few members of my team down to Pensacola to visit with him and his crew to see some of the exciting things going on in their business and learn about not only what they do, but where they see themselves in the future. What I expected to see and what I saw were two very different things.

A Different Approach:
In the time of unichannel systems, OrderCounter is advertising that they are completely processor agnostic. They encourage their partners to bring their existing relationships into the ecosystem. Rather than trying to scrape pennies from their end-users, they’re actually offering a completely different model. If you are an established reseller who has a full open to close sales/support/service team, that’s great, and they want to partner with you as a full deployment partner. But, if you’re like many resellers who have trouble finding talent, learning complex software, or you’ve positioned yourself as a sales organization, they offer a solution called a relationship partner. Having both of these options helps to break down the barrier to entry for new resellers. And guess what? The room was full of young people! I swear we were at the bar after the first day and I didn’t think one of the partners was going to be old enough to drink. This is certainly different from what we normally see in the industry, and it’s exciting to see.

(Multiple generations of POS resellers in the same picture?)

When I first started at DCR, the first place I went was Rhode Island to “Posi School.” This was a service provided by Restaurant Data Concepts as a way to educate the front-line technicians where you would spend a week learning all about Positouch and everything it could do, as well as some tips and tricks to get out of sticky situations. 13 years later, I got an email from Thomas that enough people were excited about OrderCounter that he was going to provide an introductory class to get people familiar with the product and able to more intelligently answer questions when they’re trying to close their first (or second) deal. From simple conversation, I was able to ascertain that most of the people in the room had one or two installs (at most), and that they were actively seeking something to fill a void in their product offering created by the consolidation of the reseller channels for a lot of the mature POS systems in the market.

(Scott Dickens, CTO – teaching new resellers some of the features of their product)

In A World Full of Coca Cola, There’s Still Room for Pepsi:
If you’re a VAR in 2023, you may not even want to say the “T” word – a company that makes bread puns. But Thomas has a unique perspective when it comes to Toast. “It’s an exciting time” he says, “with the momentum Toast has built, it has people excited about Restaurant Technology.” As a VAR, and as someone who interacts heavily with other VARs, we’ve all been so afraid of Toast, that we’ve allowed them to beat us in every way. Every conference I attend, every call I have, every sales meeting I attend – they all ask the same question “How do I beat Toast?” And I believe that Toast is not the competition, they’re just a benchmark. You don’t have to win every deal, you don’t even have to win 5% of them. Just get the right ones who invest in you while you invest in them.

(Keeping it intimate, real questions and real answers about go-to-market strategies)

Wrap It Up:
In conclusion, if you had asked me 6 months ago whether I thought the VAR channel was alive and well, I would have said it was a buggy whip industry where we all needed to find the best way to make the most money from as few customers as possible, or that we go do support for Toast. Now, I feel like not only OrderCounter, but other companies are seeing the void left behind and wishing to capitalize on the resellers who have the knowledge and experience, but are lacking the product. Perhaps we can finally have a place at the table for the Next Generation of Resellers.