Since MIS Group closed it’s doors last week there has been alot of conversation given to how does something like this happen to a VAR that was just the Overall Partner of The Year. While it leaves me shaking my head in wonderment I’m going to leave that question to be answered by those who are more capable.
No one has called me to find out what I believe did or didn’t happen. I had no financial interests in the MIS Group. I’m just an observer to the parade as it goes by.
I’m looking at Google.com & see 8 entries for other VAR’s to “help” customers who have been left in the lurch by the sudden closure. I’ve gotten off my high horse & determined that these orphans are going to need the help that a VAR can bring. Initially I thought that it seemed like a pack of buzzards were circling ready to move in. Business is business & someone is going to have to make some tough business decisions.
So, how do you pick a VAR after losing yours? Do you go to Google.com & call each VAR who is listing themselves as ready, willing & able to help? How much transparency should a VAR provide a customer without giving up proprietary information?
What questions does a potential customer ask of a VAR? What warning signs should he/she be on the look out for? This is going to be a decision that MIS past customers are to going to deliberate long into the night prior to making a final decision.
While this certainly is a business decision, it’s also one about trust. A customer should be able to trust that their VAR is in good financial condition & able to perform the duties that are required. I’ll step out on a ledge to say that there probably were warning signs prior to the closure, but who wants to believe that their VAR might be in financial straits? What employee is eagerly heading out to the job market as a result of a job loss?
As Lee Hagen used to teach, there should be Rules of Engagement that each side should agree to in the sales process. I think that there should be Rules of Engagement for the Customer / VAR relationship that each party should agree to. I would suggest that potential customers ask the questions that most people don’t. Now is not the time to tip toe timidly into a relationship with a new VAR. Now is the time to get answers to your questions & if you believe that someone isn’t being forthcoming, then move on until you are comfortable.
As I’ve been writing this I’ve been looking at the entries on google.com & found one that gave me a sense of trust. Just one. I won’t tell you who it is but I will tell you that I used to work for them.
I wish the MIS Group ex-employees the best especially my friend Lee Hagen.
As I started this out, it’s a business decision & also one of trust.