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April 05, 2013



Hi Chuck,

You hit the nail right on the head. VARS get angry when you shop them but when you ask them the question "what value do you add", you never get a good answer.

Truthfully unless the VARS change business models and start really adding value, then their business model long term is doomed. Today if I want a presentation from a VAR on EMC's new gear, EMC reps will show up and do the presentation and the VAR folks will be like bumps on a log !!

Then when we buy they want to add their percentage--for what ??? It's better and cheaper buying direct from the vendor than going through a VAR.

Now if they came in and had real IN-HOUSE (NOT VENDOR) expertise on setting up private clouds, building a large VDI environment, etc then THAT has value---like you said.

Laurence Armiger

Hi Chuck,

Great blog and you are absolutely right of course but the facts have still not changed in selling for a long time. If you want customer loyalty and high profits you have to add value to what you’re offering over and above the competition. If not then all that is left is price!

Rob Lyle

Hi Chuck,
In a relatively depressed market, it is very hard to demonstrate the value of "extra stuff" when core product price differentiation is huge, and the "extra stuff" doesn't have a requirement in the procurement business case. The trust is almost gone at the outset given the high entry price of commodity storage to many RFPs of a storage refresh, as an example close to our hearts.

Perhaps that trust would grow if VARs took a more no-nonsense, straight-talking, "very close to the best possible" price as a starter, approach? This would reduce their sales effort and increase volume and consequentially profit, if their numbers were right. A far less volatile way of conducting business. Of course, they wouldn't have the opportunity to charge $1000 for apples that sell routinely around the corner for $100. This kind if pricing disparity undermines the trust you discuss in your article and is unfortunately still rife in the IT market place. The IT market has a ways to go, but it may be coming around to more sensible pricing models, with fewer hooligans selling pigs wearing lipstick. This can only be a good thing for those vendors and VARs with real, quantifiable value to add. Clearly demarcating where that value resides, VAR and vendor, is a key differentiator that is often not highlighted by the VAR when you speak to them. Makes for a short conversation.

You have a refreshing and open viewpoint, that is likely somewhat ahead of the current VAR market ecosystem capability. We look forward to change!

Thanks for sharing.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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