Profit From The Success Of VAR Channel Innovators
The number of solutions we see and write about each year continues to grow, and every new article demonstrates that creativity is alive and well in the channel. When you consider the customer benefits that result from the implementation of these applications, it has become more difficult to select just eight VARs each year to receive our coveted Channel Innovator Awards. With solutions providers merging multiple technologies into their integration projects, it makes the selection process even more challenging. But we're not complaining — in fact we enjoy seeing how complex or innovative systems address the diverse needs of your customers. In fact, VARs may profit by adopting some of the ingenuity and lessons provided by the channel partners we profile in each issue of Business Solutions.
On the following pages you'll see the solutions providers that have earned the title Channel Innovator for 2007. These VARs collectively demonstrated design excellence with their offerings, success with implementation and other services, and collaboration with other partners. The award-winning companies designed and implemented technology offerings that address their customers' multifaceted business problems. The Channel Innovator Awards for 2007 were presented in eight categories: content management, data collection, network security, POS (point of sale), RFID (radio frequency identification), storage, wireless, and VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol).
Services Make The Difference In Solutions Sales
There are many business lessons to be learned from the channel innovators, such as Postec. This VAR provides POS hardware and software to its customers, but really separates itself from the pack with a multitude of services. The company provides consultation, database management, systems integration and installation, training, and 24/7 customer care services. Postec's unique use of a remote monitoring and management tool allowed the VAR to reduce employee theft at one of its restaurant clients. By creatively employing a network monitoring system (designing cash drawer alerts for POS systems), this VAR solved a unique problem and generated additional service revenue.
Develop Advanced Technologies For Verticals
Many successful VARs provide solutions that are industry-specific (e.g. education, hospitality) or target the SMB segment. Windsor Management Group (WMG), winner of the storage Channel Innovator Award, develops software that helps to manage financial, HR, and payroll data for school districts. Focusing on specific markets may not guarantee that you win a Channel Innovator Award, but crossing technologies to add business continuity services as WMG did, will improve your chances.
Another Channel Innovator (for content management), Document ATM, won for developing a secure, mobile document scanning platform for use with sensitive government documents. The VAR tag-teamed with Katek Solutions to provide a self-contained (mobile unit) production scanning application. The platform was deployed to registrars' offices (on-site) to enter absentee ballots, meeting the legal and budget requirements of their customer. Partnerships often originate with the needs of a single customer and develop into long-term success and relationships. While there isn't a Channel Innovator Award for partnering, there is a tremendous value in collaborating to meet vertical market needs. Consider the wealth of experience and industry knowledge two complementary VARs could offer your clients.
Our readers implement new and creative solutions every day, and we will continue to share their stories with you each month in Business Solutions magazine. We hope you enjoy celebrating the success of the channel partners in this issue and pick up some tips to improve your business. We're looking forward to seeing your submissions for the 2008 Channel Innovator Awards.