The start of new fiscal year is the perfect moment in time to gauge the performance of vendor companies and the expectations of channel partners. As partners implement their new business plans, the vendors leave no stone unturned to accomplish their targets in the new fiscal year.
The third edition of ChannelWorld ‘Most Valued Principal – 2012’ survey provided a neutral platform to partners to rate the vendors they work with, in
According to A Krishnakumar, CEO, Gemini Communication, “Customers today are highly intelligent and they are ready with their requirements and expectations, even before a technical proposal is given. Only vendors with good technology offerings will be able to win deals.”
Saurin Shah, Managing Director, Ashtech Infotech says, “The stability of a vendor company in terms of its longetivity and empowerment to the channel community is extremely significant for today’s enterprise solution providers. The vendor’s customer support is crucial as it is often the parameter to ‘make or break’ a deal,” he says.
What should the solution providers expect from the vendors they work with? “From a long term perspective and for profitable business, vendors should have key attributes including high level of QoS and responsiveness, long standing market presence, good customer acceptance and financial viability,” says Krishnakumar.
A competent vendor needs to have the right mix of technology and partner base. “Over-distribution by most vendors in
Ashtech Infotech prefers to be a neutral systems integrator though it has alliances with many vendors, both niche and multi technology. “Most of the niche vendors (in a specific domain) encompass an ahead-of-the-curve technology roadmap and they tend to be more SMB focused. With multi - technology vendors, the attach ratio between different technologies becomes mandatory and has to be coupled with good incentives for partners. One has to create a fine balance between the two sets of vendors,” he comments.
With rapid changes in technology landscape, a vendor with future - ready roadmap is likely to score over others.
Did the principals get acknowledged for exceptional service or thrashed for dismal performance by the channel partners? What’s the report card of vendor companies in 2012? Read on...
Weightage & Calculation
The ChannelWorld Most Valued Principal — 2012 survey was conducted online during March 2012. Channel partners were invited to rate the performance of vendors in 14 different categories across six key parameters - Technology Solutions, Marketing Assistance, Training and Certification, Customer Support, Financial Terms, and Management Styles. Solution providers were asked to rate the vendor performance 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 were on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest.
For the overall analysis and ranking, the ratings of only those respondents who disclosed their basic information was taken. Ratings of partners who did not disclose their identities were ignored. On a random basis about 10 percent of the respondents were contacted to verify and validate their ratings.
Since some parameters are more important than others, each of the parameters were assigned weightages for calculating the final scores objectively. The weightage for 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. (Check ‘Relative Importance’ table).
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 vendors were ranked based on the final weighted average score. The tables with final scores for 14 categories show the rounded off scores in whole numbers (for easy readability).Decimals have been taken into account for ranking.
Vendor & Category Selection
The 14 vendor categories were included based on the number of vendors present in Indian marketplace. All vendors who have at least one product or solution in a category were included in that category. 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.
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.
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 and network management software category had the lowest number of vendors at seven, while client security software and structured cabling had the highest number of vendors at 13.
Though the number of vendors in the tables for the fourteen categories is restricted only to the top five, there were, on an average, between nine and ten vendors in each category.
ESET was eliminated from the final calculation of winners in ‘Client Security Software’ category. About 25% of the total responses received for ESET were filled in by their distributor, ESS Distribution. Out of these 50% responses were sent from the same IP address. Most entries gave extremely high ratings for ESET across all parameters and no ratings for other vendors in the category. As these multiple entries from a single organization is likely to skew the results, ESET was excluded from the survey. Read on to know more about your principals.