The New “VAR”

November 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

By Diane Krakora, CEO

You are probably thinking “Diane, the ‘VAR’ label, is so passé – get with the times, girl.” And you’re right. We transitioned off the ‘VAR’ label to ‘Solution Provider’ years ago, as reselling took a back seat to providing the customer with a full solution to their business needs. If you’ve been paying attention to our briefs and blogs over the last couple of years, you’ve seen us postulate completely moving off labels as ‘nouns’ to the use of ‘verbs’ for the indirect channels. What do the partners do – resell, refer, influence, bundle, service?  Instead of Reseller – they resell. Instead of MSP –they provide managed services. Instead of Consultant – they refer business.  So why am I now promoting a new “VAR?”

In the world of the cloud, the value of the indirect channel to the customer is in their relationship – the services they provide outside of the purchase of the “product” (which is likely also purchased as a ‘service’).  The product evaluation and selection is still an important role for the partner – however their new services are cloud integration, orchestration and management. Thus it is the relationship with the customer that matters in the cloud world. The partners’ future role will be consulting, advice, suggestions, business process recommendations, transition planning and immediate response when something goes amiss (and it does!).

The vendor side of this equation also values the relationship the partner has with their customer. In a SaaS or cloud model, the vendor isn’t looking for partners to install and configure a solution. They need partners that can sell the solution, drive customer satisfaction and ensure the renewal.  Thus we see the “traditional” VARs – focused on adding value to the reselling motions with design, installation and configuration services – transitioning to a new “VAR” – one focused on the value they foster in their relationships.

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Entry filed under: Industry Perspective. Tags: , , , , .

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