The ChannelWorld Most Valued Principal survey was conducted online during March 2011. Channel partners were invited to rate the performance of vendors in 15 different categories across six key parameters — Technology Solutions, Marketing Assistance, Training & Certification, Customer Support, Financial Terms, and Management Styles.
Solution providers were asked to rate the performance of vendors in only those categories that they operated in and rate only those vendors that they worked with. Partners who did not deal in a particular category were not allowed to rate any vendor in that category.
The ratings for all the parameters across categories were on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest.
For the overall analysis and to arrive at the final ranking, the ratings of only those respondents were taken who disclosed some basic information about themselves like name of the company, their name, designation, e-mail id, etc. All the ratings of partners who did not disclose their identities were ignored for the overall analysis. Besides, on a random basis about 10 percent of the respondents were contacted to verify and validate their ratings.
Weightage & Calculation
Since some parameters are more important than others, to objectively calculate the final scores weightages have been assigned for each of the parameters. The weightages for the various parameters were arrived at by conducting a sample survey of our past Premier 100 awards winners. The weightages remain the same for all the categories.
A final weighted average score has been calculated for each vendor in every category by multiplying the average score that a vendor received for each of the parameters by its respective weightage and then adding them up. This weighted average score was later converted to a base of 100.
The ranking of the vendors in all the categories is based on the final weighted average score. Though the accompanying tables show the rounded off scores in whole numbers (for easy readability), decimals, however, have been taken into account for ranking purposes.
In one of the largest surveys of its kind, a total of 520 respondents from across the country participated and rated 85 different vendors across 15 categories. Since most solution providers deal in multiple categories and engage with multiple vendors, many respondents rated vendors in multiple categories and rated more than one vendor in each category. While the maximum number of respondents were from the western part of the country, the lowest number of respondents were unsurprisingly from the east. Also about 50 percent of the respondents were from the tier 1 cities.
Apart from the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, Bangalore & Hyderabad have been classified as tier 1 cities. Besides, suburbs that are outside the city limits of these metros have been included as being part of them. So, Gurgaon, Noida, & Faridabad are considered as part of Delhi and Navi Mumbai, Thane are considered as part of Mumbai.
Vendor & Category Selection
Though in the accompanying tables the number of vendors is restricted only to the top five, there were, on an average, between nine and ten vendors in each category. All vendors who have at least one product or solution in a category were included in that category.
Of the 85 unique vendors, 34 of them were present in more than one category with 14 of them being present in three or more categories. Hewlett-Packard was present in the maximum number categories at eight, followed by IBM, which was present in six categories.
The systems & network management software category had the lowest number of vendors at seven, while client security software had the highest number of vendors at 13.
Categories were included based on the number of vendors present. Categories in which there were fewer than five vendors (which essentially makes them monopolies or oligopolies) were not included as part of the survey. Hence, there are no categories for microprocessor, or mainframe, or virtualization, which have very few vendors.
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.
Training & certification came across as a sore point for solution providers with the parameter receiving the lowest average score across all categories.
Looking at the aggregate scores, another interesting observation is the fact that partners in certain categories have rated their principals higher across all parameters compared to other categories.
For instance, vendors in categories like storage management software, network storage, network security appliances, and systems & network management software received the higher average scores across parameters.
On the other hand, vendors in categories like desktops & notebooks, client security software, and structured cabling, received low average scores across all parameters. Perhaps, there is a hidden message here for the principals present these categories.