ARC 2010: Best, Worst IT Vendors For ROI

ARC: Best And Worst At ROI

Every VAR knows that some IT vendors are better than others at providing healthy returns on investments. In CRN's Annual Report Card, the ROI criteria factors into the Partnership subcategory score.

Our Annual Report Card research determined how VARs felt about the ROI they were getting from vendors' products, and the results might surprise you. Here are the best -- and worst -- of the bunch.

Top ROI: #5 EMC

EMC's Enterprise Network Storage (SAN or NAS) VARs awarded the vendor an 84.8 in ROI. The score was tops in the product category for ROI, roundly beating competitors Dell, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, NetApp and Oracle. The criteria helped EMC win the partnership subcategory, as well as the Enterprise Network Storage category overall. In 2009, EMC also earned the highest marks in this category for ROI.

Top ROI: #4 SonicWall

This vendor's ROI work in the Network Security Appliances category earned it an overall score of 87.1. SonicWall came in second in the Network Security Appliances category overall, just behind Fortinet, but well ahead of Cisco, Juniper, Trend Micro and WatchGuard. The company improved measurably, moving up from last year's 80.8.

Top ROI: #3 NetApp

NetApp's 88.2 in the Data Protection Software category placed them at third overall for the ROI criteria. NetApp was not included as a vendor in last year's ARC.

Top ROI: #2 Fortinet

This manufacturer's products in the Network Security Appliances category came in at second place for return on investment for VARs. Fortinet took first place in the ROI criteria in the category for the second year in a row. It also won the highest marks for the Partnership subcategory. Fortinet came in tops overall in Network Security Appliances.

Top ROI #1: EMC

At 88.2, EMC snapped up the top marks for the return on investment criteria. The score came for EMC's performance in the Data Protection Software category. The vendor finished first in the product category as well as in the partnership subcategory. Last year, EMC also took first place in the subcategory and overall Data Protection category.

Worst ROI: #5 Dell

As they were last year, VARs were again critical of Dell's ROI in the ARC. This year's 58.0 in ROI in the Notebook category was worse than last year's 63.3. Dell also fared poorly in product quality, which influences a VAR's perception of ROI. Last year, too, Dell earned the dubious "Five Worst ROI" vendor list.

Worst ROI: #4 Fujitsu

This notebook maker earned a 57.1 for return on investment from solution providers, down significantly from 2009's 65.7. Fujitsu finished last in the subcategory of partnership within the Notebook category.

Worst ROI: #3 Sun/Oracle and Toshiba (Tie)

The notebook category had three of the worst ROI marks in the survey, with Dell, Fujitsu and Toshiba finishing with poor marks. Toshiba comes in at a dismal 54.8, a score well below this year's category average of 60.5 for ROI.

Sun/Oracle in the Midrange Servers product category tied with Toshiba for the dubious distinction of third worst ROI in the ARC. Its 54.8 is 14.4 points behind the category average score for ROI. Last year, Sun earned a 68.4 in the ROI criteria in Midrange Servers, ahead of BM but behind Dell and HP.

Worst ROI: #2 Sun/Oracle

Enterprise Network Storage VARs gave Sun/Oracle products the second lowest rankings in ROI in the entire Annual Report Card. This is in stark contrast to EMC, which, in the Enterprise Network Storage category, earned the fifth highest ROI scores in the survey. Sun/Oracle's 54.2 is far below the ROI average for the category of 72.7. Sun/Oracle did not participate in this category in 2009.

Worst ROI: #1 Oracle

In the Volume Mainstream Business Servers category, Oracle managed to earn a 49.7 in ROI, 17.6 points shy of the criteria average in that category. Oracle was not a vendor in the 2009 ARC for Volume Mainstream Business Servers.