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India's Most Valued Principals

By ChannelWorld Bureau on Dec 24, 2009

Perception is reality. And that is more so when it is held by the vendors’ feet on the street, or in other words, the channel partners. So, what do the partners feel? Who are the best vendors to work with? What makes them better? What differentiates them from the competition?

To find out answers to these questions and more, we bring you India’s Most Valued Principals, as rated by the channel partners on critical parameters that drive business growth (see methodology for more details).

In the largest survey of its kind, a total of 296 unique respondents from across the country participated and rated 45 different vendors across 12 categories on six key parameters. Though in the accompanying tables the number of vendors is restricted only to the top five, there were, on an average, seven to eight vendors in each category. And categories in which the vendor concentration is low (essentially monopolies or oligopolies) were not included. Hence, there is no microprocessor, or mainframe, or virtualization category.

Since many solution providers deal in multiple categories and engage with multiple vendors, on an average, each respondent rated vendors in four different categories and rated about two vendors in each category.

Though the scores varied depending on the category, at an aggregate level, partners rated the technology solutions of vendors considerably higher than other parameters like marketing assistance or customer support. At the same time, training and certification was identified by the partners as the weakest parameter for all the vendors.

Looking at the aggregate scores, another interesting observation is the fact that partners in certain categories have rated their principals higher across parameters compared to other categories. For instance, vendors in categories like storage management software, network storage, and network security appliances received higher average scores across parameters, while vendors in categories like desktops & notebooks, servers, wireless networking, and workgroup printers & MFDs, received low average scores.

Going through the responses also highlighted the issue of how some unscrupulous elements try to manipulate these surveys. For instance, MAIA Intelligence was excluded from the survey results when investigations revealed that a total of 37 respondents claiming to represent 37 different partners of MAIA with unique names, telephone numbers, and e-mail ids, and rating MAIA between 8 and 10 on all parameters, were an attempt to manipulate the results in the Business Intelligence category in favor of the company.

As suspected, all these 37 responses came within a span of five hours on Nov 3 from the same IP address! A simple check traced the IP address to Navi Mumbai and a quick conversation with some of those 37 people who were said to have participated confirmed that they had indeed not participated. As the saying goes, there is always one bad apple.

The survey has, however, thrown up some interesting results along with some predictable ones. The top three ranked players in each category are being awarded the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards respectively. Read on to check out this year’s winners.


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