What is a VAR?

December 13, 2021
March 8, 2023
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When shopping for software, hardware, procurement will inevitably run into the question of whether or not to engage with a VAR, or Value Added Reseller. 

A Value Added Reseller is a company that sells a vendor or manufacturer’s products while providing additional goods, services or benefits for the end-user. There are several advantages to working with a VAR for your technology needs. 

This article aims to break down: 

  • How value added distributors work
  • Key advantages for end-users in a value added distributor business model
  • Potential drawbacks to not using a VAR

You will walk away with a better understanding of how a VAR partnership could work for your business.

Value-Added Reseller Business Model

The VAR business model begins with the vendor or creator and a given product, for instance, Microsoft 365. Microsoft is the vendor, and organizations are able to buy products like 365 directly from Microsoft. 

A company might procure a Microsoft product from a trusted distributor or reseller who is selling the product “as is.” A traditional reseller is a third-party that sells a vendor’s product to an end user without modifications. 

However, more common in the tech world are hardware and software Value Added Resellers. Sometimes organizations need more assistance in choosing and implementing what programs and tech will work best for their unique business. This is the difference between a distributor and Value Added Resellers. 

A VAR partner not only resells vendor products. They create a personalized experience that often includes: 

  • Testing
  • Technical support
  • System solutions
  • System assessments 
  • Implementation services

Advantages to Partnering with a Value Added Reseller for Software

1. Personalization

One major benefit of working with a Value Added Reseller is that although they benefit from selling a vendor’s product, it may not be the only product they sell that can solve your particular challenge. 

VAR partnerships are just that – a partnership. An IT reseller’s success depends on your company’s success, so they are more interested in providing an unbiased approach. Getting to know and assess your business needs allows a VAR to make customized recommendations. 

This means you invest in products and services that make sense for your business case, not just in one vendor’s latest offerings.

2. Experience and Expertise

An established VAR company can offer guidance and services during product implementation. Whether it be hardware, software, or both, a reseller who has sold to similar companies in similar industries brings value in the form of industry expertise. 

Switching or adding systems and software within an organization can be complex. Vendors don’t always know the best methods of implementing the technology they sell. Enterprise VARs often help with every aspect of software and systems planning and implementation including: 

  • Industry partnerships
  • Technology experts
  • Business consulting
  • Configuration services
  • Stock access and economies of scale
  • Logistics and shipping
  • Flexibility in pricing and sourcing
  • Dedicated account management
  • Insights on productivity and workflow
  • Bundled services and products
  • Training

Because VARs know the benefits and drawbacks of the products they are selling, they can also advocate for fixes and upgrades with vendors on behalf of the end user.

3. Financial Justification

Value added resellers have partnerships with vendors that provide them with additional product knowledge and training. A VAR is often able to explain how a product or software solution can or cannot meet your needs beyond what you may research on a vendor’s website.

In addition to insider product knowledge, VARs also take the time to get to know your business. This can mean in-depth financial analysis of how a solution will provide you return on investment.  

A good IT Value Added Reseller can also map out the potential costs your company may face if it keeps its existing products instead of investing in a new solution.

4. Reduced Internal IT Burden

VAR businesses are able to take on the workload of shopping for, justifying and configuring new software systems from your in-house IT.  Their extensive industry knowledge saves time and can cut costs both due to labor and lack of knowledge. 

Large projects and purchases often require this additional help to keep your business running efficiently.

Additionally, VARs can offer professional and managed services, which helps to remove the burden from your internal IT department.

5. Increased Security

Value Added Resellers understand the importance of cyber security. Even if the VAR isn’t selling security software, they tend to have cybersecurity experts in-house. A security analysis of your current and future-state systems and insider knowledge of the latest threat intelligence is some of the best value a VAR can provide.

Partner With a Leading Value Added Reseller

Bring the latest technology to your business with help from Quadbridge.

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Drawbacks to Not Using a Value Added Reseller for IT

While it may seem smart to get rid of the “middle-man” and buy software and hardware directly from a vendor, there are two drawbacks to consider.

1. Your Software Will Not Upgrade Itself

Software often requires upgrades, patches and other maintenance before, during and after implementation. VARs often take care of this for customers. Make sure you have the technical knowledge and resources in-house if you will be implementing without any outside help.

2. You May Not Receive Better Pricing

While it may be tempting to assume that VARs are just marking up products to net a profit, the opposite is often true. Value added distribution is often able to purchase in economies of scale and pass on the savings to their customers. They are able to do this because the values they add in additional services are often where their margins come from.

What is a VAR for Common Enterprise Systems?

If you’re looking to set up or upgrade common enterprise software and hardware provided by Cisco, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Lenovo and more, Quadbridge may be the Value Added Reseller for you. 

Our sister company, DTM Systems, provides companies with managed and professional services that help IT departments adapt to the ever-changing digital environment with the latest technology and with advice from their expert team. 

Contact Quadbridge, one of the U.S. and Canada’s top VARs, to learn more about how we can deliver customized hardware/software needs for your business.

Quadbridge outperforms with end-to-end IT solutions and managed services

Client profile

Industry: Environmental
Employees: 25-50

✓ Managed IT

✓ Managed M365

✓ Managed Backup

✓ Professional Service

✓ Managed Endpoint

After supporting Waterloo Biofilter with an office move, they quickly switched fromtheir current Managed Services Provider to Quadbridge. We now manage their entireIT environment and support their end-to-end IT needs.

The challenge

  • The client was un happy with their MSP
  • The client needed a partner who was responsive, proactive, and would implement IT best practices for their organization
  • They needed onsite and report support for ongoing IT management activities as well as complex, specialized projects

Our solution

• Quadbridge worked with the client to implement our Elite IT service thatprovides ongoing IT monitoring and management, responsive help desk,proactive service, and vCIO consulting

• We’ve become a fully trusted partner and have proactively led a number ofinitiatives to improve performance and advance their IT, including thefollowing services:

• Managed Cloud Backup: we optimized their backup strategy with anaccessible, cost-efficient cloud-based backup solution that our teamcontinuously monitors and assists with restore requests.

• Infrastructure Architecture: we upgraded their server infrastructure toimprove redundancy and performance – especially for employees workingremotely.

• Ad Hoc Requests: as the clients’ IT support, our team uses our range ofexpertise and onsite support capabilities to deliver on a range of simple andcomplex IT projects. These have included upgrading their conference roomsystems and completing a functional and aesthetic clean up of their cabling

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