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VAR Roundtable: Small VARs Doing More Business With Lenovo, Sophos

Small VARs see Sophos and Lenovo as vendors that are keeping the channel in the spotlight.

Thanks to reliability, accessibility and old-fashioned service, Sophos and Lenovo are making a big splash in the market with small VARs.

"Lenovo has the notebook market pretty much wrapped up," said Lou Giovanetti, co-founder of Woburn, Mass.-based CPU Sales & Service. "Sophos has a great enterprise product; those guys have done good work down there."

Small solution providers participating in a CRN roundtable discussion at D&H Distributing's New England Technology Show in Quincy, Mass., said both Sophos and Lenovo are gaining market share this year with reliable solutions and good customer service.

[Related: D&H Breaks From Pack, Delivers Huge PC Growth In Post-XP World]

Giovanetti said he has seen Sophos grow over the past year by bringing over partners of companies like WatchGuard and McAfee. "They are a great company," he said.

Robert Lloyd, founder of Haddam, Conn.-based TechNet Computing, said he believes that Sophos' support and reliability have helped the company gain both momentum and market share from its competitors. "I have been replacing a lot of the SonicWall stuff," he said.

According to Giovanetti, SonicWall is known to have issues with its wireless access points. However, he said the vendor is going to soon release a fix to those issues.

For now, however, Lloyd said, he has decided to move his clients toward Sophos solutions. and even Giovanetti, a self-proclaimed "SonicWall defender" agreed, saying, "Those guys [at Sophos] have really done good work down there. … They are a great company."

But Sophos isn’t the only vendor getting a little more attention from the small-business-focused solution providers.

David Dion, chief technology officer of Brick Computer in Rowley, Mass., said Lenovo has been a large part of his company's success this past year. "The services are second to nobody in terms of their service, staff, replacement parts and warranty services," he said.

Dion added that most replacement parts he orders come the next day, requiring a phone conversation of less than five minutes.
"They know us, we get the parts; it's simple," he said.

Dion said Lenovo does well keeping its product in the channel. He said Lenovo products are consistently there when solution providers need them.

Likewise, Lloyd praised Lenovo for their continued focus on the channel, as demonstrated by how easy the vendor makes it to take advantage of its incentives.


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