ARC 2014: Top 10 Vendors That Are Easiest To Do Business With

ARC 2014: The Easiest Vendors To Work With

Let's face it, some IT vendors are just easier to work with. They have effective partner account managers who serve as vendor-solution provider liaisons. They approve deals quickly. And they don't bury partners in reams of paperwork or hinder them with corporate bureaucracy.

Others…not so much.

Each year the CRN Annual Report Card survey asks solution providers to score their IT vendors on "ease of doing business," a component of the "partnership" criteria. Here are the 10 companies with the best ratings, counting down to the vendor that partners consider to be the easiest to work with.

10. NEC Corp. of America: Flat Panel Displays

CEO: Shinsuke Takahashi

NEC made the top 10 list with an ease-of-doing-business score of 92.0. But that wasn't the highest score in this product category -- unlike last year when its ease-of-doing-business score was 92.3, topping all of its competitors.

9. Sophos: Client Security Software

CEO: Kris Hagerman

This was one of the more competitive product categories, from an ease-of-doing-business perspective. Solution providers gave Sophos a score of 92.5 for ease of doing business. But that wasn't the highest score among client security software developers.

8. Trend Micro: Network Security Software

CEO: Eva Chen

This was also a very competitive product category in terms of ease of doing business. Trend Micro received a grade of 93.0 here, but that wasn't the highest ease-of-doing-business score among network security software vendors.

7. Hewlett-Packard: Converged Infrastructure Systems

CEO: Meg Whitman

Solution providers gave HP an ease-of-doing-business score of 93.3 in this product category. While impressive, it wasn't the highest grade among converged infrastructure system suppliers.

6. Sophos: Network Security Appliances

CEO: Kris Hagerman

Sophos also broke into the top 10 with its 94.0 score for ease of doing business in network security appliances. And this time it was the highest score in the product category, beating competitors Fortinet (ease-of-doing-business score 89.8) and Trend Micro (89.0).

5. Cisco: Converged Infrastructure Systems

CEO: John Chambers

Cisco garnered a 94.7 grade for ease of doing business in this product category, outscoring HP (No. 7 on our list with a 93.3 score), Dell (85.8) and IBM. Solution providers gave the latter an ease-of-doing-business score of 49.6 -- one of the lowest scores in the entire Annual Report Card survey.

4. Kaspersky Lab: Network Security Software

CEO: Eugene Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab received an ease-of-doing-business grade of 94.9, outscoring rivals Trend Micro (No. 8 on our list with a 93.0 score), Dell (89.4) and RSA (75.9).

3. Kaspersky Lab: Client Security Software

CEO: Eugene Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab pulled back-to-back wins here, scoring 96.2 for ease of doing business in this product category to come out ahead of Sophos (No. 9 on our list at 92.5), Trend Micro (87.4), McAfee (80.8) and Symantec (71.9).

2. D-Link: Network Storage SMB

CEO: Roger Kao

This was perhaps the most competitive product category, from an ease-of-doing-business perspective. That made D-Link's score of 96.3 all the more impressive, given the scores of competitors EMC (91.2) and Buffalo Technology (90.9) -- both of whom just missed making our top 10 list.

1. ViewSonic: Flat Panel Displays

CEO: James Chu

Solution providers gave ViewSonic the highest ease-of-doing-business score (96.6) among all vendors in all product categories in this year's Annual Report Card survey. The vendor outscored rival NEC, which just made our top 10 list (No. 10) with its ease-of-doing-business grade of 92.0.