Page 3 of 3
Caveat VenditorThe level of disaffection apparent in the ARC scores is dangerous in this age of waning loyalty. The Institute for Partner Education & Development (IPED) recently completed market research showing not only that loyalty is disappearing in the channel, but also that it's the fastest-growing VARs that have the highest propensity to be vendor-agnostic. IPED is a division of CMP Channel, which is also the parent of VARBusiness.
"If a vendor really lets you down, I think there are enough choices out there that you can build a relationship with somebody else. And everybody's hungry for the business," Deeley said.
For example, Deeley vowed never again to work with D-Link after what he described as D-Link failing to hold up its end while working customer deals. D-Link took last place of 10 vendors in the Network Infrastructure category and tied for last in Wireless Infrastructure, but came in second out of six in Voice Networking Hardware.
In Deeley's view, while most resellers do focus on one vendor per technology, they also tend to diversify a little bit. Doing so, he agreed, better positions a solution provider to quickly change their main vendor if they need to.
Still, VARs seem willing to forgive a lot if they feel the product is superior. As Jorgensen said, "In my opinion, HP still does make the best printers, so even though they have horrid support from my perspective, I still go back to them." HP came in fourth out of six in the Workgroup Color Printers category with an overall score of 69, but had the second-highest score in product innovation, behind Xerox's 77, with a 75.
Spots Of Excellence
Despite the general tenor of the channel, partners are also extremely happy with other vendors besides Intel, albeit in limited ways. While Intel comes out on top in 12 of the 18 ARC criteria, it does share the spotlight a bit.
Several companies tied with Intel for top score in communication: Xerox (Workgroup Color Printers), Sophos (Security Software) and Adtran (Network Infrastructure). IBM System i (Mainstream Business Servers) tied Intel in quality and reliability, and in maintenance support. (Note: It wasn't until after the ARC was conducted that IBM announced the restructuring of its System i division, which placed some of the System i series under the same group with System p servers.)
Also, in six of the criteria, other vendors took the highest score. The best score for product compatibility and ease of integration went to HP Proliant (Mainstream Business Servers). The top scorer for services opportunity was Sage (Business Software/Strategic). The best training score went to EMC (Storage Management Software). Xerox took honors for best partner portal (Workgroup Color Printers). AMD (Client or Server Processors) had the high score in revenue and profit potential. AMD also won out for best return on investment, tied with EMC (Storage Management Software). Except for return on investment, with a high score of 73, all other high scores were at least 75, inside the range that indicates partners are satisfied. n
For more about the VARBusiness Annual Report Card winners and their scores, go to www.varbusiness.com/extra.
<< Previous | 1 | 2 | 3