Local Area Network (Lan) vendors must align their sales strategy with their product strategy to maximise sales, according to technology research firm In-Stat/MDR.
In its latest report, Channels for Lan Equipment, In-Stat/MDR asked decision-makers and purchasers within businesses to describe their preferred method of purchasing Lan equipment.
After-sales service and support, as well as quality products, were the main advantages cited in the research for businesses choosing value-added resellers (Vars) for their equipment. Price was the main influence for those buying retail.
Sam Lucero, an analyst at In-Stat/MDR, said in a statement: "The [survey] results simply reflect the nature of the types of products that are sold in each of the channels, and manufacturers need to make sure their distribution strategy is aligned with their product strategy."
Mark O'Hara, managing director at networking reseller Hydra, said resellers had to keep up-to-date with the industry to ensure they could provide appropriate after-sales consultation to customers.
This would differentiate them from the threat of direct sellers and retail resulting from the simplification of networking components.
"A lot of enterprises now have the expertise in changing routers and integrating switches, but resellers can make money in areas such as acceleration and security," he said.
According to the survey, Vars are the most popular source of Lan products, with 54 per cent of respondents preferring to buy such equipment through this channel.
O'Hara said that, with the basic components of a Lan becoming commoditised, resellers could make margins by winning ongoing service and support contracts.
"If a reseller installs the network it is more likely to win the maintenance contract and if it does a good job it will be less likely to get called out," he said.
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