The traditional value-added reseller (VAR) business—comprised of companies that add features or services to an existing product and then resell it as an integrated product or complete solution—has become more challenging, with declining product margins, increasing competition, and lower-cost alternatives to proprietary products. The pressures are causing many VARs to grow their businesses from simply selling products to offering more comprehensive solutions built on a richer set of services and recurring revenue models.
For decades, VARs have been an important channel for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), like computer manufacturers and software vendors, to reach customers. The “value-add” can simply be to provide local implementation and hands-on support or it can involve adding other hardware, software, and services to tailor the OEM’s product to a specific industry, problem, or use. In many markets, customers prefer buying from VARs instead of directly from OEMs, as VARs are closer to the customer, offer local support, and are in a better position to develop long-term relationships.
The VAR business model has been attractive in the past, as it was profitable to resell OEM products. Over the past decade, however, product margins have been shrinking as the result of several long-term trends. In this report, learn about five strategies for making the transformation from VAR to solution provider. The changes needed require a new view of the business and a new mindset, to move from a deal mindset to long-term customer relationships, become invested in customer success, and transition from cash up front to realizing revenue over the life of a contract.
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VAR, value-added reseller, OEM, original equipment manufacturer, Computer Economics