08/19/2013 - The Perennial Channel Question: Why Should I Do Business With You?

By Robert Faletra, CRN

Why should I do business with you is a question solution providers have been asking suppliers for many years. The reverse also has often been the case. But the times they are a changin', as Bob Dylan said. In the future, partners need to think more about what they bring to the table. I address this because as we move more toward managed services, off-premises private cloud and, ultimately, to public cloud, the criteria vendors will use to choose channel partners will change.

The vendor community traditionally has looked for partners that have a host of characteristics, including customer base that fits its target market, technical expertise, certifications, dedicated engineers, and so on. The old world largely centered around technical capabilities, and the ability to build out and deliver the technology. While those criteria remain important for the time being and, to some degree, will so for the future, it's not enough. The checklist many vendors will be using to evaluate partnerships in the coming months will include things that historically have been less of a consideration, or not a consideration at all.

Like everything in this industry, it will take time. Being forewarned is being forearmed as they say. An example of this is that in the past, vendors were concerned about the financial health of a partner largely to the degree that it could meet its payment obligations. This hasn't been a major issue, however, because the credit in the system either comes through distribution or the partner's ability to manage receivables vs. payables or, for that matter, sells its receivables to manage cash flow.

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Arbitech, LLC, founded in August 2000, is the nation's leading independent distributor of server, storage, networking, mobility, telephony and point-of-sale products. By offering creative, cost-effective solutions, Arbitech enables its customers to win net-new business and earn greater profits. Recognized locally by industry associations and business publications for company culture and growth, Arbitech strives to be a total solutions provider with its extensive product offerings and value added services.

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