Channel Champs: 10 Best Vendors For Support Satisfaction5:52 PM EST Thu. Apr. 29, 2010
Satisfying products lead to a sale, but satisfying service leads to long-term customer relationships.
As part of the 2010 Channel Champs survey, solution providers were asked to rate their vendors in terms of how well they work with channel partners.
One of those areas in which they were rated as part of the survey was support satisfaction, which included such factors as education and enablement, evaluation and demo equipment policies, general availability of technical training, and pre-sales and post-sales support.
Vendors of storage software and networking products must be doing something right for their partners, as between them they captured eight of the top 10 spots.
Cisco received the top support satisfaction score in the enterprise networking hardware category, and just happened to get the overall top score among all the product categories for satisfaction.
Cisco's products are a critical part of nearly every midrange and larger customers' IT infrastructures, a feat that would not have been possible with providing top-notch support to its VARs, on whom it completely relies for sales.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 78.9 (1st place, Enterprise Networking Hardware)
EMC in its early days took the storage world by storm with the industry's most aggressive direct sales force, but has since turned into one of the storage market's most channel-friendly vendors.
That shift comes through in its second-place showing in terms of support satisfaction, which it won on the merits of the support it shows its storage management software partners.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 78.1 (1st place, Storage Management Software)
IBM has managed to turn its strength as a vendor in the midrange server market into a vehicle for support satisfaction, receiving from its partners the third-highest overall rating.
That is no mean feat, given the extremely competitive nature of the midrange server market.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 77.5 (1st place, Midrange Servers, more than $25,000 in price)
Juniper was ranked by solution providers as the fourth best vendor in terms of support satisfaction, a significant showing given that enterprise networking hardware rival Cisco was ranked first.
Cisco first-place score and Juniper's fourth-place score leads one to think that enterprise networking hardware solution providers are among the most satisfied VARs around.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 77.1 (2nd place, Enterprise Networking Hardware)
Cisco's strong first-place showing in the network security appliances category also resulted in the vendor getting the fifth highest overall score for support satisfaction, an honor it shares with VMware.
Two places in the top 10? Cisco must have a lot of partners who are satisfied with the support it provides.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 76.6 (1st place, Network Security Appliances)
VMware tied with Cisco as the vendor ranked fifth overall in terms of support satisfaction.
VMware got the high score for its work with solution providers in the server/application virtualization category. Its high support satisfaction score mirrors its 80-plus share of the server virtualization market.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 76.6 (1st place, Server/Application Virtualization)
Coincidence? Probably not.
IBM has one of the IT industry's most loyal partner bases, and it shows in its seventh-place ranking in terms of overall support satisfaction, this time coming from its storage management software partners.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 76.4 (2nd place, Storage Management Software)
Solution providers also like support they receive from Microsoft for its storage management software, giving it almost as high a score as IBM/Tivoli.
Microsoft's score makes it the third vendor of storage management software to be in the top 10 vendors in terms of support satisfaction.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 76.2 (3rd place, Storage Management Software)
Juniper Networks, like rival Cisco, received two of the top 10 ranks in terms of support satisfaction, this time in the network security appliances category.
The strength of the support provided to solution providers by both Juniper and Cisco is likely to keep the two competing strongly for the favor of their VARs for years to come.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 75.9 (2nd place, Network Security Appliances)
Solution providers ranked Symantec as the tenth-best company in terms of overall support satisfaction based on the strength of its storage management software business.
That is a significant feat given that storage management software vendors accounted for four of the top 10 vendors in terms of overall support satisfaction.
Overall Support Satisfaction Score: 75.6 (4th place, Storage Management Software)