2012 BCTPW: Who Fell Off And Who Emerged

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

For the second year in a row, CRN asked VARs what vendors were their must-have partners for our Best Companies to Partner With study. Our overall results, released yesterday, were based on the vendor's brand strength, market breadth and depth, and of course, profitability for solution providers.

As with any study, there are expected winners, and others that fell from grace. Here's who dropped off our list and who made their debut.


CEO: Roger Kao

D-Link was No. 18 on the Best Companies to Partner With in 2011 but fell off the list this year. It should come as no surprise, actually, based on the sheer number of people who recently left the networking firm. At the end of 2011, D-Link North America President Nick Tidd, Pat Piwowarczyk, Vice President of channel sales, Michael Walsh, CIO, and 8 members of the 10-person development staff, among others, all left the company.


CEO: Patrick C.S. Lo

Netgear made the list in 2011 but is noticeably absent this year. Known for its products in the SOHO and pro-sumer market, the company only recently tried to move into small and midsize enterprises. This year Netgear launched its first unified storage array and is gunning for EMC and its VNXe line. Unfortunately, the channel seems to be more focused on EMC. EMC ranked No. 15, whereas Netgear went from No. 16 in 2011 to a no-show in 2012.


CEOs: Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe

SAP is slowly building its channel with the hopes of bringing its enterprise software downstream and to the masses. Last year it ranked No. 24 but did not make the list in 2012. The company is hoping to change that in 2013 with a major brand-awareness campaign, targeted at sub-Fortune 100, and a partner incubator program to help new SAP solution providers get up to speed quickly and get leads as soon as they are ready to sell.


CEO: Stephen J. Luczo

While Seagate has been positioning itself for a cloud world with the acquisition of LaCie and a Cloud Builder Storage Alliance program, the company had quite a precipitous fall on the Best Companies to Partner With list in 2012 as it went from No. 10 in 2011 to a no-show. Time will tell whether 2013 will be a comeback year for the storage king.

Western Digital

CEO: John Coyne

Western Digital was on the bottom half of the list in 2011 at No. 20 but did not show up at all in 2012. The company is betting on new technologies such as helium-filled hard drives to keep its storage business chugging along and offering opportunities to the solution provider market.


CEO: Ursula Burns

Xerox has been a channel advocate with a strong brand, earning itself the 23rd spot on the Best Companies to Partner With list in 2011. This year, it did not make the list and has been quietly working on broadening its channel base beyond the managed print services market. With the acquisition of ACS, Xerox can now offer other services such as cloud and leverage new partnerships like the ones it has with Cisco.


CEO: Tim Cook

Apple was not on the list in 2011 but had a strong showing in 2012, makings its debut at No. 12. A robust product line, a loyal user base and a channel strategy have all helped the company do so well.


CEO: Joe Tucci

EMC has built its channel cred with a small but highly engaged group of solution providers selling its enterprise storage solutions. But, the company changed course last year and decided to broaden its reach and enter the small and midsize market. Products, like VNXe, are tailored for this segment, and this approach earned the newcomer the No. 15 spot on 2012's Best Companies to Partner With list.


CEO: Mark B. Templeton

The popularity around desktop virtualization earned Citrix a spot of the list in 2012. At No. 18, the company offers significant opportunities for VARs helping customers harness the BYOD craze.

Juniper Networks

CEO: Kevin Johnson

Juniper was absent from the overall list in 2011 but earned a spot this year at No. 21. The reason: it offers cutting-edge technology and works hard to enable its solution provider base with tools to grow their Juniper business.


CEO: Brad Smith

Intuit did not make the Best Companies to Partner With list in 2011 but came in at No. 23 this year. Its QuickBooks applications help VARs run their business. What's more Intuit's software suite helps any small company keep a business up and running.