Four Myths of Growth, Myth 3: The More Vendor Partners, the Merrier


Mont Phelps is president and CEO at NWN, and Jane Linder is Managing Director at NWN, a CRN Fast Growth IT solution provider.

Alternatively, this blog could have been entitled, "Myth 3: An IT company can only support one major vendor partner effectively." Over five consecutive years, NWN Corp., has been on CRN’s Fast Growth 100 list, but growth is not our goal. It's the byproduct of how we conduct business. One major facet of how we run NWN is how we interact with vendors.

Some companies in the IT industry offer every product from almost any vendor. Customers soon realize that their so-called trusted advisor has lobbed the responsibility of choosing the best technologies to them. They have neither the time nor the expertise to sift through every brand and model to figure out what they need. Their market impact is diluted.

Other companies support only one vendor—no matter what the customer needs, that vendor’s product is the answer. No single vendor partner offers the best products in every category, so customers end up with incomplete or suboptimal solutions.

NWN has a different approach. We choose vendor partners very carefully. Our first commitment is to the customer—to provide them a solution that is just right for them… and one we can support at the highest level. To do that, we need to evaluate vendors and partner with those that offer the best technologies. Our second commitment is to those vendor partners—to understand their offerings deeply so what we bring our customers is just right.

Because of those two commitments, our customers trust our judgment and rely on our advice. And our vendor partners respect our integrity, deep technical capabilities and eagerly support our mutual growth.

Next Wednesday: Dealing with myths involving sales growth