In this article, you’ll learn:
- The benefits you get from working with a value-added reseller (VAR)
- Why a VAR is often a better option than dealing with the manufacturer
- What to look for when choosing a VAR
- Why you should buy from a VAR
You’ve done your research and think you’ve landed upon a software solution — one that you think will solve your company’s struggles with managing its financials and accounting.
But there’s another decision to make: Should you buy directly from the vendor or from a value-added reseller (VAR)?
You could buy the software direct, but then you’d have to deal with a number of new problems:
- How will you implement it across your company?
- How will you do it effectively so that it doesn’t disrupt operations or make a mess of your current processes?
Let’s look at some of the qualities to look for in a VAR and why they can be a much better option than buying direct from a vendor.
What is a value-added reseller (VAR)?
A value-added reseller adds features or services to a product and then sells that enhanced solution to its ideal customers. The value comes from their ability to combine the core product with additional benefits that are customized to the buyer.
The best VARs deeply understand the environment in which the solution is expected to work. That’s why companies will often work with them instead of the manufacturer.
And because the best VARs provide a great experience to the end user, vendors will give VARs product discounts that encourage them to increase sales. This gives VARs the incentive to specialize in the solution. You then use that knowledge to make the most of the product.
Reasons to work with a VAR
While great software vendors often create products that improve the experience for their customers, those vendors are limited in what they can do or want to do.
Buying software from a VAR can offer several advantages. They can address issues like:
- Training your team to use the solution effectively.
- Supporting your software from a single point of contact.
- Integrating it with your complex network of systems.
- Understanding your challenges, how your business works, how you define success, and your goals.
That kind of understanding takes time. A vendor may end up selling you software that isn’t the right for your company.
Software vendors aren’t usually set up to address these issues. They often don’t know how to best integrate their solution into the client’s processes.
Even if the solution is technically the right one, the lack of support can lead to a poor experience. Instead of solving their customer’s problems, they’ve disrupted their operations.
You can guess what comes next: The customer has to start over to find a solution to their problem. And they’ll never work with that software vendor again.
Vendors are aware of this. It’s why they often rely on VARs to provide those services and make sure their customers get the maximum value from their purchase.
A quality VAR will offer higher value in the services they provide – services shaped by their expertise in the various problems that affect your finance and accounting processes.
What to look for when choosing a VAR
Let’s say you’ve narrowed your choices for an accounting software solution. Here are some traits to look for from a VAR that delivers the solution:
- Thorough understanding of the product. The reseller needs to know the product inside and out.
- Responsiveness. The VAR may have all the answers, but it doesn’t do you much good if they can’t answer your questions within a business day.
- Personal connection. A great VAR is going to be there with you for the long haul. You want to feel comfortable working with them and know that they hear you and give you their full attention during meetings and calls.
- The value-adds are valuable to you. The best VAR for you is the one that understands how you work, what you need, and the system of other solutions you already rely on. That’s why you work with them and not someone else.
- Everything after the sale. Everyone’s on their best behavior while dating. But all that can change after the commitment. Look for a VAR that’s there to address and fix any problems after the implementation. One who will make sure the solution is delivering the benefits you expected.
Software Selection: A Multi-Part Series
In this series, we’ll guide you from an overview of the process through gathering requirements, choosing the software, and closing the project.
Why buy from a VAR?
With that in mind, here are some of the best reasons you should consider working with a VAR when you’re considering a new finance and accounting solution for your company.
Expertise and Guidance
VARs specialize in software sales and have in-depth knowledge about various software products and their applications. They can provide expert advice, guidance, and recommendations based on your specific needs.
VARs often have a deep understanding of the software landscape, including different versions, licensing models, and integration possibilities, all of which can help you make an informed software selection.
VARs can tailor software solutions to your unique requirements.
By working closely with you, VARs ensure that the software solution meets your specific business needs, maximizing its value and effectiveness.
Competitive Pricing and Licensing
VARs may have established relationships with software publishers, allowing them to negotiate better pricing and licensing terms on your behalf.
They can help you navigate complex licensing models and find the most cost-effective options for your organization. VARs often bundle software licenses with additional services, offering more value for your investment.
VARs simplify the procurement process by acting as a single point of contact for multiple software vendors.
Instead of dealing with various publishers individually, you can consolidate your purchases and manage licenses more efficiently through a VAR. They can handle the paperwork, licensing agreements, and renewals, saving you time and effort.
VARs often provide additional services beyond software sales, such as implementation, training, and ongoing support. They can assist with software installation and configuration, and ensure a smooth transition to the new software.
VARs may also offer training programs to help your staff get up to speed quickly and offer ongoing technical support to address any issues that may arise.
Building a long-term relationship with a trusted VAR can be beneficial. They can become familiar with your organization’s needs, goals, and challenges, allowing them to provide ongoing support and guidance as your software requirements evolve.
VARs can keep you informed about software updates, new features, and industry trends that may impact your business.
While buying software directly from the publisher is also an option, working with a software VAR offers additional expertise, personalized solutions, competitive pricing, streamlined procurement, and ongoing support. It’s worth considering a VAR to ensure you get the most out of your software investment.
Are you struggling to track costs like time and expense? Is executive leadership pressuring you to explain why margins are down and revenue goals are being missed?
You need deep insight into your numbers, and the ability to automatically turn that insight into reports.
Talk to us to see if Sage Intacct could be the solution to all your accounting headaches.