Understanding the Value of a
Value Added Reseller (VAR)

used with permission from the HP Site


VARs have a variety of perceptions about them. Some of these perceptions are right on. Some of them completely miss the mark. The truth is the right VAR can help most businesses more than they realize. Can the right VAR help you?

Technology is critical to run almost every business today, and in most cases, can offer both competitive and strategic value to your business. The problem is many businesses don't think about their PCs, printers or servers as providing a competitive advantage or as strategic business tools. Even as a fundamental business tool, many think that there is little difference in the basic capabilities across the huge variety of technology devices on the market today. Having been in the industry for almost 20 years now, I can tell you that there are many differences worth noting when comparing computing products. I can also tell you that when used appropriately, there are both competitive and strategic advantages to be gained from technology.

This is where your local VAR steps in. They are experts in technology; it's what they do. They can help you navigate the basic task of ensuring you get the right technology tools to support your business and then show you how to drive business success from that technology.

Consider these areas of expertise and guidance VARs can offer and think about how they could help your business:

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Buyer Beware
Don't Expect Consumer-Grade Technology to Meet Your
Business-Class Needs
used with permission from the Cisco Small Business Website
  • When you walk into a business meeting, do you wear pajamas?

  • Do you let your children manage the accounts receivable for your office?

  • When you buy business technology, do you choose products designed for home use?

The pricing on consumer-grade technology is tempting. But the lower price can end up costing your business dearly, in both productivity and cash.

Ways to Save Time and Money, by Not Going Home
"While you may be saving money now, you're spending more in the long run," says Austin Smith, founder of Digital Son, a Cisco Registered Partner. "One of the worst things that a small business could do would be to go to a retail establishment and purchase home gear for their business. Home equipment is just not designed to provide feature sets that businesses need."

Cisco customers report that products that are designed for doing business are worth the price premium in at least four ways, because they enable them to:

1. Integrate Business Technologies
Combining the technologies that a business uses makes processes more efficient. Work gets done better, and faster.

"Our jobs are far easier now that we have the Cisco integrated system, which connects our reservation system and our CRM [customer relationship management] system," says the sales account manager at a restaurant-resort business with 37 employees.

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The Customer Comes Second
by Craig Kitch    www.CraigKitch.Com

In September of 1990, I was in the final stages of my application process to join one of the world's most renowned hotel companies, Marriott. My challenge would be to take the helm of a problematic hotel with service issues and put it back on track for Marriott's standards of excellence. The final interview was with a Vice President at the corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland and I was on pins and needles, to say the least. As the interview came to a close, the VP had one final question: "Craig, who would you say are the most important people in your hotel?" "The customers", I announced with enthusiasm, thinking that I had slam-dunked that one. My interrogator leaned forward on his elbows, looked me straight in the eye and informed me that I would never be successful with their company if that was my attitude. I got the job anyway but I have never forgotten that conversation or what I learned about my "true" customers during the ensuing years.

One of the secrets of truly great managers is that they understand that their role is to take care of the employees first and then the employees will take better care of the customer. Think about it. When staff members have needs that are not being met by management, discontent and complacency set in and lower morale. Unhappy employees very seldom go above and beyond the call of duty to give the customer a stellar experience. When service complaints arise, management typically finds the person "at fault" and verbally coaches them about the importance of working harder and making sure the customer is always right; then documenting their personnel file in case it happens again. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out where this scenario is headed.

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December 2010
In this issue:

The Value of a VAR
Buyer Beware
The Customer Comes Second
Better Holiday Photos
Business Continuity Tip
Cartoon & Quote
Great Tips for Better Holiday Photos
By Greg Holden
Reprinted with permission from the  Microsoft Small Business Center


What's the problem with holiday photos? All too often, they fail to capture the feeling of the season. Most holiday pictures look interchangeable. Your photos of family members lined up and smiling look the same as those of every other family.

So why not turn routine holiday photos into unique works of art with just a few simple techniques?

1. Plan ahead
The classic problem with holiday photos is that they have to be taken weeks in advance so you can send out cards and mailings beforehand.

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Business Continuity Tip
Build a team.

It's a tall order to expect one person to efficiently develop a comprehensive recovery plan by themselves. After all, they have to account for every reasonable interruption across the entire business. There are just too many moving pieces. There is power in numbers and at worst, two heads are better than one. Assembling a team will give you the ability to share information, brainstorm, and create a natural sounding board to bounce off ideas.

During an actual recovery, having a team provides additional advantages. If the team leader is not available, others will be familiar with the plan and can execute it. This built-in redundancy to your recovery response helps ensure a quick and efficient return to business as usual.


Quote of the Month

Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree.

Charlotte Carpenter

Just for Laughs

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