Thursday, September 25, 2008

Are You a VAR?

The question is: Are you a Value Added Reseller? Or are you just a reseller? What's the difference?

  1. The VAR gets good margin.
  2. The VAR is viewed as an expert in his field.
  3. The VAR can become a Trusted Advisor.
  4. The VAR isn't selling a commodity; he is offering a Solution.

From a Phone+ article:

Nearly half (46%) of small and medium businesses said they turn to VARs or systems integrators for help in determining IT needs and/or selecting specific technology solutions, according to new data from the Technology Practice at Chadwick Martin Bailey.
The research firm surveyed 417 IT decision makers from U.S.-based SMBs (with 1-499 employees) about their attitudes toward VARs, systems integrators and IT solution providers. One hundred nineteen SMBs said they use VARs and systems integrators.

If you are a just a reseller, you are in the commodity business, selling on thin margins - and scraping out a business. I have said this before: Technology has far surpassed the mind of the average person. The laptop is more powerful by a factor of 1000 than the IBM mainframe I worked on at RPI in 1983. And that mainframe had a team of folks around the clock running it. Today, computing and Internet Access are a business utility. There's an opportunity there for at least 40% of the Small Business space to be the maintenance guy for that utility.

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