Bob Farbak Of Intelisys, a ScanSource company On How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Strengthen Security and Compliance — Leverage advanced cybersecurity technologies to protect company data and comply with regulatory requirements.

Digital transformation has become a crucial component for businesses striving to stay competitive and relevant in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. As technology continues to shape industries and redefine business models, companies must adapt and leverage digital tools and strategies to unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation. In this interview series, we aim to explore various aspects of digital transformation, including best practices, challenges, success stories, and expert insights. We are talking to thought leaders, industry experts, entrepreneurs, technology innovators, and executives who have firsthand experience in driving digital transformation initiatives within their organizations. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Bob Farbak.

Bob Farbak has been with Intelisys, a ScanSource Company since 2014 and he has been in the Telecommunications and Cloud Industry for even longer, with vast experience leading direct and indirect sales channels. Bob’s track record working with the channel partners includes supporting their business development efforts and helping them grow their revenue opportunities. Bob credits his longevity in the industry to his passion for helping partners exceed new milestones in their business.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Chuck Mache was my Executive Coach when I first started my career at Intelisys. I met Chuck during my interview process more than ten years ago. After only speaking with him for 15 minutes, I asked him if he researched me, because he knew me so well. The answer was no, but I quickly learned Chuck was gifted in reaching a person’s soul and truly getting the best out of them. I worked with Chuck monthly until he passed away in 2017 from an aggressive form of cancer. I still live and work by the lessons Chuck would drive into me every month: “Stay focused on the vision; Act like an executive; Eat humble pie; Always be the bigger person.” Thank you, Chuck.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

After sitting on my desk for some time, I recently read the book, Who Not How, about the formula to achieve bigger goals through accelerated teamwork. I was meeting with one of our partners in Dallas, who told me I should take the time to read this book as a leader who is working to balance work and family life. Last year, I started making the transition from a regional leader to a national leader and another partner recommended the book. I finally decided to read it during my travels.

The book challenges readers to stop asking the question, “How can I accomplish this?” but to consider asking “Who can help me achieve this?”. As a Chicago native, I resonated with the book’s story of Michael Jordan’s career in the NBA. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time but was not able to succeed in winning a championship in his first six years in the NBA. Jordan needed a “who” and this was Scottie Pippen. Pippen became a perfect collaborator and allowed Jordan to evolve from a one-man show to a team player. Jordan and Pippen made it past the first-round playoffs for the first time and they were knocked out in round two back-to-back years by the Pistons. The Bulls needed another “who;” this time it was Phil Jackson, the head Coach who created a team-based strategy where the Bulls went on to win six championships, becoming one of the greatest dynasties in sports history.

I’m not Michael Jordan, but this was a great reminder for me that even the greatest basketball player of all time needed the right people on his team to accomplish the goal of winning a championship. I have implemented this concept into my day-to-day life. Instead of asking myself how I can find time to get this done, I am now asking who can be involved in helping me accomplish this goal. The collaboration allows for significant impact that could not be made on my own. The “who” is allowing me to expand my vision to accomplish bigger goals. The most important takeaway for me is to consider what’s in this for your “who,” not what’s in it for yourself. That, I believe, is true leadership.

Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

Currently, we’re focused on our AMP’d education and enablement events series. The educational series will run throughout the year and offer sessions around cybersecurity, CX, AI, IoT and Cloud. The events are designed to provide actionable education and marketing opportunities to produce real results and increase revenue for our Intelisys sales partners.

The series was created with our sales partners in mind, by leaning into the education, enablement and capabilities that set them up for success. This year, we’re excited to dig deeper into these technologies and support our partners by elevating their knowledge and expanding their network.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about Digital Transformation. Digital transformation can mean many things to many people, from your perspective, how do you define digital transformation in your industry?

Digital transformation in any industry, including sectors like manufacturing, healthcare or retail, involves integrating digital technology into all areas of a business, changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and become comfortable with the possibility of failure. This might mean adopting new technologies, such as AI, IoT or cloud computing, to improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experience, or innovate product offerings.

Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?

Most companies can benefit from digital transformation, but there are certain initiatives where digital transformation can be particularly significant. Companies that have high levels of interaction with customers through digital channels can enhance their customer experience through digital transformation. Additionally, large amounts of data that can be leveraged for insights, manual processes that could be automated, or operations needing to be scaled rapidly without scaling up human resources or physical infrastructure can benefit from digital transformation.

Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?

Integrating digital transformation has been challenging for many companies. Cultural resistance can occur as employees and management might not be receptive to familiar routines and workflows changing. There could also be significant skill gaps between the digital skills needed and the skills currently retained by the workforce. It’s important that company or department-wide conversations happen to discuss new processes and concerns. Education around the benefits of the new technologies can help employees understand the value of adoption, the return on investment, and the benefit to them. This can empower employees to own the new technologies.

Data integration issues can also occur as siloed data and outdated IT systems can complicate integration of new technologies. Initial investment costs for digital transformation can be high, deterring some businesses. Lastly, moving into a digital platform can add another layer of security concerns, specifically around governance and risk management. With digital transformation comes the need to have procedures in place to make the initiative successful. It’s not purely about the technology but involves a cultural initiative within the company. New processes, training, risk assessment and company-wide discussion on the process change are critical to combat any challenges.

Based on your experience and success, what are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”?

1 . Enhance the Customer Experience — There can be value in having automation in customer experience. Data analytics and AI can be used to understand customer preferences and behaviors, offering personalized experiences and services. Customer service issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently.

2 . Optimize Operations — Implement IoT and automation technologies to streamline operations, reduce errors, and lower costs.

3 . Innovate Products and Services — Use emerging technologies to develop new products or enhance existing ones, tapping into new revenue streams.

4 . Empower Employees — Deploy collaborative tools and AI-driven solutions to free employees from mundane tasks. This can empower employees by freeing up time and giving them the ability to focus on more strategic initiatives.

. Strengthen Security and Compliance — Leverage advanced cybersecurity technologies to protect company data and comply with regulatory requirements.

In your opinion, how can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?

I look at developing a “culture of innovation” as a three-step process. The first step is overcommunication across the company, from the top down and the bottom up. It’s critical that employees’ voices are heard, and it’s understood that we are all working together, striving for the same common goal, which is always the good of the company. This step builds trust and creates transparency.

The second step is collaboration and best practice sharing. This allows the team to put their minds together, to think outside of the box, and to share what’s working and what’s not. Most importantly, it’s the opportunity to talk through any challenges in the market and strategies that can be implemented to overcome those challenges.

The final step is the execution, turning the communication and collaboration into action. The action and the follow up are what create the results.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Do simple things great.” I try to not overlook the obvious or beyond the answer, both personally and professionally. What you’re looking for is usually right in front of you the entire time.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can find me on LinkedIn and find out more about Intelisys on our website:

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.