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The only two of the 18 criteria that EMC did not capture were quality and compatibility; both of those went to Intel. In past surveys, though, EMC was not always the channel's darling. The company has embarked upon a serious channel feedback initiative, and many VARs have noticed significant changes.
As Keith Norbie, director of the storage/VMware division of Nexus Information Systems, notes in "Managing Channel Conflict" (pg. 38), to be successful in the channel companies must be willing to have steely determination to make necessary changes. EMC asked for feedback, received it and then paid their VARs more than just lip service. The vendor's top-notch scores are proof of that: EMC racked up the highest overall score in the survey: 87.
5. Vendors Aren't Shocked When They Do Poorly
Several big-name vendors received bad report cards in 2008. Companies with unhappy VARs generally know they have a problem or two.
Julie Parrish, Symantec Corp.'s former vice president of global channels, says in "Symantec Stalls Out" (p. 36), that the low scores were no surprise. However, moving forward, she notes that Symantec has a handle on where the biggest issues are, and is addressing them by revamping support, simplifying its licensing programs, reducing the number of product offering price curves, and changing processes for its customer care and support lines.
Hewlett-Packard Co., too, has a tough row to hoe. In the Workgroup Printers category, it earned the lowest marks in half of the criterion, including ones VARs consider among the most important, such as return on investment, partnership, and revenue profit potential.
6. The Lowest Score Was Acer's
Despite HP's and Symantec's poor performances, neither earned the lowest score in the entire ARC. That dubious distinction was claimed by Acer Inc. in Notebooks and Mobile Computers. It scored a 36 in the training criterion of the support subcategory.