Pete Peterson, vice president of systems product marketing at Tech Data, spoke with CRN Distribution editor Scott Campbell about expected trends in the small-business space for 2006.
CRN: What new strategies are vendors unveiling to attract small-business VARs?
PETERSON: First, manufacturers are developing everyday low-pricing strategies … HP&'s Smart Buy Program, IBM&'s Systems Seller Program and Lenovo&'s Express Models all offer resellers products aimed at the SMB market with competitive price points, avoiding the added cost and administrative complexity of special bid pricing. Second, we&'re seeing vendors like HP, through its Partner One program, establish a variety of discounts, exclusive offers and services specifically tailored to the SMB reseller. Still other vendors are earmarking funds to help SMB resellers develop demand-generating end-user marketing programs through [Tech Data&'s in-house marketing agency for VARs].
CRN: What advice do you have for VARs looking to grow attach rates for services and other products for small businesses?
PETERSON: The key for VARs when it comes to attach rates is awareness. They need to make sure they are leveraging all the programs available to them through the top-tier systems vendors … Tech Data is working closely with our vendors to develop total solutions bundles that help resellers take advantage of manufacturer discounts and rebates already in place.
CRN: Is Acer&'s everyday low pricing gaining ground with SMB customers?
PETERSON: Absolutely, but it&'s not just Acer that is making inroads … [HP, IBM, Lenovo,] all these vendors have seen growth amongst SMB resellers. When one considers the time and resources required to execute unique special pricing bids, these programs are effectively reducing costs for vendors, distributors and VARs. Resellers are responding favorably.