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Do You Expect Enough From Your VAR?

Most enterprises today expect their VAR partners to provide experienced and Expectationsvendor-certified sales and technical resources, to represent the best technologies, and to do all this at a competitive price. These are all “givens,” the price of admission for a VAR to be considered as a provider of IT products and services. However, given the economics of the data center today, is that enough?

Most companies have become very sophisticated in their procurement departments. They have experienced personnel and advanced software tools that let them shave the hair off of a gnat’s head when it comes to maximizing discount. As far as it goes, that’s a great thing. The customer has a responsibility to stakeholders to acquire all assets at the most cost-effective price.

However, what happens when the real opportunity to impact cost-reduction in the data center is not about reducing margin, but reducing and managing ever increasing operating expenses? How does shaving margin assist with that?

In fact, in many cases, it induces the VAR provider to do the exact opposite of what would most benefit the client. As the customer drives margins ever lower, the tendency is to reduce the value provided to the customer in order to keep costs in line with profits. Fewer sophisticated technical resources, fewer face-to-face meetings with the client’s IT staff to really understand the nature of the problems faced in the data center, more incentive to just flip product and move on. This is the inexorable trend of commoditization.

Is the answer to build margin back into the product sale? No, as this will lead to price distortion on the assets acquired and does not reward specific value-added behavior.

The solution is to look for VAR partners who have capability, experience and knowledge in technologies, services and methodologies that can specifically help the enterprise manage and reduce operating expense as a component of the IT budget. If your VAR only cares about your hardware spend, you are dealing with the wrong partner.

- Jef Allen

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.