Blog | February 3, 2014

RSPA INSPIRE DAY 1: A Foundation For Profitability & Prosperity

By The Business Solutions Network

Top Federal IT Initiatives Include Security, Disaster Recovery, Digitizing Records

Day 1 of RSPA INSPIRE Thought Leadership Summit education kicked off today with a unique twist for those in attendance. Typically, the RSPA brings in a speaker or author to lead the three days of thought leadership education. This year, the keynote and education (sponsored by Discover) is being handled by the HTG Peer Groups, led by Arlin Sorensen. If you aren’t aware, HTG Group leads successful peer groups in the general IT/managed services providers space.  The goal of INSPIRE this year, is to bring some of that peer group experience to the dealer and vendor members to raise the collective IQ of those in attendance.

Sorensen, the founder and CEO HTG, took the stage this morning to speak about some hard trends the IT industry is facing. Generalized for the purposes of this column, he talked a lot about the influence the Millennial generation is and will continue to have on our businesses both as consumers and employees.  Sorensen also talked about a handful of other “shifts” taking place — technology (of course), increasing amounts of data, shift to the cloud, the many and varied ways we communicate today, and so on.

The purpose of his keynote, he admitted, was to get attendees thinking — even fearing — all the changes taking place. The next step is to lean on the collective intelligence of one another to solve the problems we face. In breakouts, dealers were asked to list the top challenges they face. Here’s the list from my group and some other common ones from other groups. See if any of this resonates with you:

  • Competing against “free”
  • Addressing multigenerational clients
  • The consumerization of POS (i.e. consumer tablets)
  • Transitioning to a recurring revenue model
  • The commoditization of credit cards and lower residuals
  • Declining margins
  • New competition
  • Fighting a lack of perceived value
  • Having to offer a wider solution set

I can imagine many of those threats or challenges are ones you face. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to help you find your way to resolution? That’s what peer groups are all about, and that’s what the INSPIRE attendees are going to be doing the next few days, helping each other uncover new paths to profitability and prosperity.

The Gran Melia Golf Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico hosted the RSPA INSPIRE Thought Leadership Summit Feb. 2-5, 2014. For complete coverage of RSPA INSPIRE, go to and