Channel News

2023 Annual Report Card Winners: Solution Providers Give Top Grades To Key Vendors

Rick Whiting

For the 38th year, solution providers scored vendors across 25 technology categories based on their performance in product innovation, support, partnership, and managed and cloud services. Here’s a roundup of the companies with the highest overall scores.

Annual Report Card Criteria And Scoring

Solution providers graded IT vendors according to 21 criteria spanning:

Product innovation: Includes product quality and reliability, richness of product features and functionality, product technical innovation, product compatibility and ease of integration, marketability and services opportunity.

Support: Includes presales support, post-sales support, training, quality of field management and marketing support.

Partnership: Includes solution provider programs, communication, managing channel conflict, revenue and profit potential, and ease of doing business.

Managed and cloud services: Includes consumption-based and subscription pricing, integration with services management tools, cloud-readiness of channel program, field teaming and channel compensation alignment, and profit margins and profit potential.

In some technology categories a single vendor dominated the scoring, winning not just the top overall score, but also the average grades across all four criteria and, in some cases, even sweeping all 21 criteria.

In other technology categories two or more vendors split the results with different vendors earning the highest average scores for different criteria—and in some cases even splitting the highest scores for specific criteria.

In the highly competitive cloud security technology segment, for example, one vendor had the highest average scores for product innovation and partnership while another company had the highest average scores for support and managed/cloud services.

Even within each of those broader criteria in the above example, vendors that did not have the highest average did win one or more higher scores in specific criteria. In the partnership category, for example, one company had the overall highest average score while another vendor had higher scores for communication and ease of doing business while a third company had the highest score for managing channel conflict.

The following slides provide a summary of this year’s ARC results. The complete scores will be published on on Oct. 2 and in the October print issue of CRN

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at

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