Our friends at Paramount Workplace have written this blog to discuss:
Ten ways a strategic VAR boosts your organisation’s success over the long term.
Most business software publishers—like Microsoft—sell their ERP solutions through a value-added reseller (VAR) network. It’s a sales model that makes sense for everyone involved. A publisher’s resources are better spent on research and development while their VARs make personal connections with real-world businesses that can benefit from the solution. What benefits can a VAR provide your organisation as the end user? Here we offer up 10 often overlooked ways that a strategic VAR relationship boosts your organisation’s success over the long term.
1. Pre-sale support
VARs are skilled at offering proof of concepts and providing presales engineering and sales support to help you identify the right ERP solution for your business. A VAR can provide value to decision makers by giving more in-depth financial justification for an ERP solution. They are in a position to compare competitor pricing and give a side-by-side analysis, and they can accurately project the total cost of ownership with the extra services they offer.
2. Training and onboarding
A vital service provided by your VAR will be training and onboarding services for your teams. By engaging staff members with the software and empowering them with the tools and information they need to use it well, you can boost user adoption rates and begin recouping your return on investment more quickly.
3. Personalisation and single point of contact
ERP software is complex and turning the software into a true solution requires an understanding of how an individual business operates, its particular challenges, and its current and future goals. Software publishers are simply not able to provide the level of personalisation that VARs can. In fact, one of the most significant advantages of a VAR is the ability to work with a local company with an onsite presence, versus working directly, and most likely remotely, with a national or international software vendor. And, when something goes wrong, your VAR serves as a single point of contact for troubleshooting. Your VAR can coordinate between the software publishers, hardware vendors, and other third-party application vendors to triage a problem and find a solution.
4. Industry and product expertise
Many VARs possess in-depth knowledge about specific industries, enabling them to better understand your organisation’s unique needs, and how to strategically deploy technology to address those needs. In order to represent a particular ERP application, your VAR will almost certainly have completed a rigorous technical certification process through the ERP publisher. Many VARs go much further, obtaining other industry training and certifications in related, relevant areas including project management, software development, and systems architecture.
5. Tactical configuration
Today’s cloud ERP systems are powerful, complex applications, with a vast array of settings and configuration options. With a keen awareness of your company’s needs combined with an expert knowledge of the software, your VAR is uniquely qualified to help configure the application to maximise the benefit to your organisation.
6. Strategic planning
As your company grows and changes, it is wise to involve your VAR in your strategic planning. Your VAR can help identify gaps in your current ERP and suggest ways to adapt the software—or migrate to a more robust solution—that can help you achieve your long-term goals
The chances are that you are running a large number of software applications. The average enterprise company has 508 applications deployed. Even small businesses with fewer than 10 employees have an average of 26 applications deployed. Your VAR can work with you and the software publishers to maximise integration opportunities to enable more of those applications to communicate, saving you time and money.
8. Extension of your internal resources
Many organisations do not have a large internal IT department and your VAR can serve as an extension of your internal resources, often providing hardware, networking, security, back up, and operating system support in addition to support of your ERP application.
9. Software asset management services
VARs can help you minimise your software spend and reduce risk by streamlining your software asset management (SAM) processes and performing administrative tasks such as updating license entitlement records, so you are only paying for what you need.
10. Introduction to new products and services
VARs are immersed in the world of business software and are constantly evaluating new products and services that could be of value to their customers. The best VARs are actively looking for new products that can help you grow, cut costs, and increase efficiencies. Your VAR makes it their business to remain on the leading edge of technology, filtering new innovations to identify the ones that offer real value to their clients.
Written by Foy Mainor.
Foy leads Software Sales and Sales Channel Relations at Paramount. With over 25 years of experience in developing and executing software sales and worldwide sales channel development, he is well known and respected within the channel partner community and teams, with whom he collaborates for cultivating strong channel and customer relationships.