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peelman

Reseller roundup...

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Anybody want to share any good or bad reseller experiences?

I have had mixed luck with SHI (some account mgrs were great, others not so much), and spotty luck with Great Lakes Computing. Limited experience with Service Express Inc (mostly buying replacement hard drives) Thus far I've primarily worked with SHI for Dell, Eaton, and Juniper gear. Great Lakes we never actually got to submit a PO to; just got a bunch of quotes that SHI kept beating handily.

Not looking for flame wars on how your vendor is better or whatever; just wanting to see if there are any major players in various regions that others might not be aware of or might need to be weary of.

Thoughts?

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The EMC guys I know in our area use RoundTower and are generally happy. We've also worked pretty closely with DataLink...in fact one of their guys is going to contribute a content series to the site. As our annual spend is $0 though, we don't have a lot of direct experience ;)

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The EMC guys I know in our area use RoundTower and are generally happy. We've also worked pretty closely with DataLink...in fact one of their guys is going to contribute a content series to the site. As our annual spend is $0 though, we don't have a lot of direct experience ;)

Two vendors I didn't know existed...nice! That's the kinda thing I'm talking about :)

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There's tons... VPLS is one constantly bugging us, I forget the others (probably a half-dozen of them).

Computer 1 Products and Anacapa Micro are two others that come to mind; the former is a tiny, tiny setup, the latter is bigger but we've had not so great experiences with both of them. The former because they're so damned small they don't have the volume, the latter because they're just big enough they've got a bureaucracy and royally screwed up an order or three...

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Food for thought...

There are 3 kinds of resellers in my eye...

1. National - CDW, SHI, Softchoice. They are happy selling you mice to software to servers and storage. Their engineering teams for infrastructure are pretty weak IMO. But they are the cheapest (least amount of markup) but you'll have to do some heavy lifting on the architectural side of things when talking networking, storage, security.

2. Regional VAR's - Every place varies by state and region. Often, the highest of markups. Sometimes justified, often not. I've met people that have said, and I quote.. "I don't get out of bed for less than 20 points." Meaning no matter what he's adding 20% markup to all sales, if not more.

3. Global resellers - There are a few of these, I despise them. Let's say you're an international company and looking for a sole source reseller. The sales teams are not in communication, often fight over ownership of an account, and the only person that gets hurt is the customer. Sometimes one sales team in one country sets a price, and the other country sales team won't honor that.

At the end of the day... Try to talk to your manufacturer directly. Try to not allow "deal registrations," to take place on your large purchases, and above all shop around for the best deal, factoring in what kind of local technical talent made available to you and what you think it's worth...

Your manufacturer usually has some recommendations for a reseller. Take a few from them, ask them to come over and give their pitch of why them. Don't take just 1, take a few! Do some technical whiteboards, see how that story lines up with your business and goals. See if it jives with what the manufacturer has said... If you feel comfortable, do the deal. If not, look elsewhere.

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How have you been able to avoid registration? That issue specifically is one the smaller vendors tout as a key advantage as they build out distributors. Good deal reg vs. Wild West deal reg is something we hear regularly.

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You can in writing, tell the manufacturer, to bugger off. That you will only do business with XYZ computing, that resellers are not allowed to deal-reg the opp; that you must follow a competitive bid process.

My favorite, State that "the reseller ABC Computers smells funny and looks shady, as such I will not do business with them. Please move the deal reg to XYZ."

Really the manufacturer just wants your money. He/she doesn't care in the end. They'll say sorry to the reseller, and tell them, "we'll get you next time." Sometimes there's even a backend rebate that the original reseller may get (1-5%).

Of course this all varies by manufacturer. But usually it works in 95% of cases.

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