Half of Solution Providers Regret Joining Vendor Partner Programs

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Posted 2009-04-24 Print this article Print

Partnership is the foundation of the channel, but more than one-half of solution providers say they regret joining a vendor's channel program. Channel Insider and Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions teamed up to produce this set of best practices for evaluating and establishing productive, profitable and enduring relationships between the suppliers of technology goods and the solution providers that maintain customer relationships in the marketplace.

More than $500 billion in IT goods and services is sold and delivered through North America channel partners-solution providers, managed service providers, systems integrators, custom systems builders, ISVs and VARs. Most vendors are dependent upon solution provider and reseller partners to reach and manage segments of the IT marketplace that they simply can't reach with a direct sales organization. For many of them, increasing channel revenue is a product of both increasing existing partners' sales and expanding the size of the partner base to increase volume of sales. The latter half of that statement is the reason why nearly every vendor is perpetually recruiting new partners.

The perpetual vendor recruitment machine presents a daunting problem for solution providers. Vendors are constantly calling and looking for meetings. Vendors sponsor industry and media trade shows to meet new solution providers for inclusion in their portfolios. And solution providers are often asked by customers for new technologies that necessitate exploring new partner and supplier relationships.

Solution providers, on average, will join two to three vendor programs over the next 12 months. Amazingly, they will regret that decision more than half the time. In most cases, it can take up to a year or longer for a new partner-solution provider relationship to take root and pay benefits.

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Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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