Channel Champions: The Methodology

The process behind picking the 2008 CRN Channel Champions

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Throughout the 18-year history of the Channel Champions project, the categories, vendors and ratings criteria may have changed, but the methodology behind the survey has remained constant: Solution providers are asked to rate their satisfaction with vendors in particular product categories. In the 2008 survey, solution provider respondents rated 116 vendors in 26 categories.

The vendors for each category were chosen based on market share data and a pretest conducted by CRN to determine which vendors solution providers were most frequently working with in each category.

The solution provider respondents were carefully screened. Before being allowed to rate a vendor, solution providers needed to affirm that they worked with the products in question and had a significant business relationship with the vendor.

Most respondents were qualified to rate more than one vendor, and CRN received more than 10,000 individual ratings across all the criteria in all the categories. Solution providers rated vendors on 13 to 19 criteria, depending on the category. The vendor with the highest overall average rating in each category was named the Channel Champion.

The criteria were expanded this year to three groups: Technical Criteria, Channel Program and Support Criteria and Financial Criteria. CRN recognized vendors with the highest average ratings in each criteria grouping in each product category.

The scores were weighted, and to determine the weighting factor, solution providers were asked to rate the importance of each criterion on a scale of 1 to 7, and the results were normalized to a scale where 1 was deemed to be "average" importance. The raw rating scores for each vendor were then multiplied by the weighting factor, which yielded higher scores on criteria that solution providers deemed more important.

Solution provider ratings were based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 meaning "very dissatisfied" and 7 meaning "very satisfied" among the satisfaction criteria. The meanings attached to the scale of 1 through 7 were different for each of the objective performance criteria, such as the number of dollars of services revenue attached to each dollar of product sold.

Those raw ratings, as indicated above, were then weighted and converted to a scale of 1 to 100.

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