Vendors make VARs dazed and confused

Well 2003 has finally arrived.

For the last few years, we have all been waiting for the next purchasing bubble, get those holiday trips ready this will be the year we all eat steak again.

Yet in the last few weeks, some of the largest companies we all hate and love have all made predictions

with forward looking statements that imply they aren’t so sure 2003 will be a great year.

Interestingly, many of those same companies salespeople who partner and come to see us on a regular basis are telling us a totally different story in those meetings.

Talk about being confused, do any of these companies know what they are doing let alone what we want from them.If they are wrong, no big deal, so are a lot of other folks.

The only good thing about all this confusion is that someone will eventually be right about something, and those folks will have bragging rights for a while.

Facing reality, this industry has done it to itself. We have been playing these games with technology, pricing, availability and worst of all, our customer’s budgets and psyches for far too long.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that our customers have little faith in us, our industry or our commitment to them.

Many of the clients we have dealings with, are now “”agnostic”” to which technology or company.

They need technology to deliver business value and generate return on investment for their company initiatives. I had one customer tell me it was a tool, little different than a hammer or screwdriver, they just had to be able to reach it when it was needed, and it didn’t matter any longer who made the tools for them.

How, why and who delivered those tools, that “”added value””, and that was something they were willing to discuss.It is our roles as enablers and suppliers to instill confidence in our customers. That is something this industry must accomplish again if we want to succeed.

Frank Abate is the founder and president of Mississauga, Ont.-based VAR Infinity Technologies Inc.

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