What Does A VAR Look Like To You?

Robert_Himanshu_Bill_Pascal @ Sage Summit 2011

What Do You Think A VAR Looks like?

Do they have integrity, passion, & honesty? Or do you have to check and re-check every invoice they send you knowing that you’re going to have a less than pleasant conversation with them about the “Holy Cow” additional costs that you hadn’t anticipated?

 Do you hear from them regularly to tell you about new updates, versions or maybe just an offer to go to lunch? Or, do they call just to remind you that your annual maintenance and support fees are due?

Is This What Your Re-Seller Looks Like?

 Do you recommend them to friends or business associates who are looking for ERP software? 

Or are they like your drunk Uncle Charley who shows up for every holiday, drinks too much, starts swearing like, well a drunken uncle. He then proceeds to pass out on your new couch which is when he chooses flatulence as his primary language. Upon awakening to the smell of something burning in the kitchen and the shrieking of the fire alarm do you realize that Drunken Uncle Charley has plans to stay the entire Holiday weekend at your place, which is when you whip out the plastic and book him a room at the furthest hotel from you with promises that he’ll pay you back.

If your “VAR” isn’t providing you with quality service like the ones that have been mentioned above then maybe what you have is a Re-Seller, not a VAR.

I was just reading  a social media post from a new Sage partner who wrote the following (paraphrased)

They wanted input from other partners because they wanted to know why Sage is better than Quick Books & another solution but they weren’t really sure as they have no experience in the usage of Sage or any other accounting program. Okay, fair enough we all have to learn sometime about the software that we represent but here’s where I was just dumbfounded. I went to their website, wait for it, and wait for it
This was what I read (paraphrased again)

At ____________ we specialize in the use of, and training in, Sage accounts, Payroll and HR programs. We offer good value and great service during training and, if you require it, maintenance.

Okay, so is there something that I’m missing?  So which classification does this partner fall into? They don’t appear to me to offer much beyond the ability to sell software so I’m going with Re-Seller. A Re-Seller doesn’t offer additional services, usually doesn’t have the resources to provide those services and generally has to charge you more because they have to pay an outside resource to provide those services.

I know what the Re-Seller looks like because I worked for one for a short period of time. Not only did they not have the in house resources to help their clients but they hadn’t bothered to have their IT person certified, why by the way is a requirement by Sage. What that means that even if we had a sale we couldn’t process it because our online Sage access had been shut off.  That’s called a red flag and a reason to find a real VAR who could provide those services.

Our clients deserve the best service that’s available. They trust that they’re getting the best service. It’s incumbent upon us to provide an extraordinary customer experience each and every time that we have a dialogue with them.  It’s time that our clients are treated as something other than a quick buck. If you’re losing more than your fair share of clients for “undetermined” reasons then it’s time to re-examine your business practices.  Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate why you’re in business & if it’s just to make money then you’re probably doing in business for the wrong reasons. However if providing an extraordinary customer experience for your clients is your number one goal, congratulations. You “get it” and not surprisingly so do your clients. Welcome to the World of VARs