The growth of the VAR in today's industry

| By: Craig Fulton

We are kicking off our VAR monthly blog series, where we’ll be talking about aspects of the VAR business model and highlighting opportunities for growth. Before we get to the good stuff, let’s take a look at the backstory and how the traditional VAR was born.

Then and now

With the introduction of personal computing kits in 1975, the need for VARs arose. End consumers had the desire, but not often the skills or expertise, to bring their computing goals to fruition. With MITS’ Altair 8800 the personal computer swept the commercial world, and technical expertise became a sought-after commodity. 1990 brought the age of the internet, and again, the need for VARs was strengthened, as the partnership between traditional hardware manufacturers and software companies became more apparent.

Fast forward to today, where consumer knowledge of technology has skyrocketed while the cost of computer hardware has gone down narrowing profit margins. In order to thrive in this very competitive IT market, VARs need to start looking for additional growth opportunities.

Where are the growth opportunities?

While VARs realize the value in offering professional services like installation and configuration, these services tend to be transactional and short term in nature. To remain competitive, VARs should start thinking more long term by offering services on an ongoing basis. For example, providing hardware maintenance and technical support options and tying them to annual service agreements. They can also capitalize on the cloud rage by offering migration plans, deployment packages, and training to help customers through this often difficult transition.

Stay tuned

As we expand upon our monthly VAR series, we will explore ways to optimize processes, improve efficiencies and explore areas for business growth for IT VARs.