When it comes to purchasing security systems, enterprises are always faced with the choice of buying direct from a manufacturer or turning to a security distributor to meet their needs. Being able to have a discussion about the advantages of using a distributor can help VARs to emphasize the insight, product range, knowledge, and customer service that elevate the strategy.
For potential customers, the products might seem the same, just obtained through a different route. But there are advantages to highlight when it comes to choosing security distributors versus buying direct. Here's a quick shakedown of the factors involved in the decision:
1. Customer Service
Many manufacturers offer technical support services for their products. If an enterprise chooses to go with one security technology provider for every single product and service, then they might believe that buying direct make sense. But technical support isn’t always the same as customer support. As a VAR, you can draw on security distributor expertise and add another layer of customer service that bring more value to any security system.
Also, what happens when a security product includes components from other manufacturers? Most, if not all, technology implementations involve items from multiple tech developers. Even a smaller enterprise might have technology from Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, and Lenovo, all trying to play well together. Tapping into expertise that can address interoperability issues and configuration challenges can not only eliminate headaches, but also lower costs through reduced downtime and better security.
2. Product Bundling
Just as security distributors and VARs have an advantage in customer service because they can support multiple product types and manufacturers, they also show an advantage with putting multiple vendors together into tailored solutions for customers.
No two enterprises are the same, and that's why security requires a cross-vendor approach. A diversified distributor can address specific customer concerns, as well as allow for upselling as those customers grow. Emphasizing bundles when talking to customers is another way that VARs can set themselves apart from the “buying direct” approach.
3. Pricing Considerations
In today's marketplace, some customers may lean toward buying direct because they believe VARs might appear more expensive in their price estimates. Having those conversations with customers is crucial for understanding their concerns and perceptions. In those cases, VARs can highlight how one-stop sourcing and better deal terms can help enterprises yield higher margins.
4. Security Shifts
Security is a complex, constantly changing environment, and customers rely on experts to guide them past the newest threats. With data breaches and insider leaks happening nearly every day, security requires purpose-built solutions that don't take a one-size-fits-all approach. Although some manufacturers can help with putting together hardware and services that aid with today's security challenges, that doesn't mean they'll keep up with customers to provide protection as threats change.
In contrast, security distributors and VARs stay on top of vendor changes and potential issues that can come up in multi-manufacturer environments. Specialized support is available to address numerous threats to a range of device and technology types, including mobile devices and cloud computing. Also, security distributors can consider what types of security dangers affect larger corporations versus SMBs. With that breadth of knowledge and insight, security distributors are able to help resellers make the most of the security solutions they sell in a way that keeps customers loyal.
With strong technology support, knowledge of a customer's industry, product bundles that can scale and expand, and deep knowledge of security changes, distributors often have the ability to provide a wider range of security solutions, and VARs can emphasize all of those factors when customers are pondering whether they should buy direct from a manufacturer.
What have you heard customers say about buying direct compared to using VARs? Tell us in the comments.