Have you ever wondered about the benefits you get with working with an ABBYY Value-Added-Reseller (VAR)? In this post we will point out some of the benefits that we have discovered over the past decade of being an ABBYY VAR.
“What is a VAR?”
First, you may ask, “What is a VAR and what do they do?” The acronym “VAR” stands for value-added reseller. VARs are companies that are devoted to reselling a product and/or service for a vendor of a larger corporation. Sometimes VARs are referred to as “partners” because of their close relationship with the vendor. They may also add supplemental elements to the vendor’s product or service. These additional elements can come in many forms such as creating additional products to help enrich the functionality and usability of the vendor’s offering or it can even be focusing on improving the customer’s experience by providing specialized services for the product.
As an ABBYY VAR, UFC has been able to understand and experience firsthand how a customer’s experience with the product is enriched when customers choose to use a VAR for both the sale and services of a project.
Benefits involved in choosing a VAR
There are five primary benefits of using a VAR that we have discovered.
The first benefit is a VAR’s ability to focus on providing high quality services to their customers. Because the VAR does not have to create new products themselves but resell for a vendor, they are able to make assisting their customers their highest priority. We have seen this characteristic play out within our company, as interacting and providing assistance to our customers is a major part of our day. If we were focused on creating new products and upgrades, our business efforts may not be as concentrated on providing excellent customer service as what they need to be. As a VAR, we are able to not only provide the customer with the product, but we are also able to provide assistance to them in a manner that will allow them to maximize the benefits that the product was designed to provide. “UFC puts the ‘value added’ in the VAR acronym by making the best experience for our clients both throughout the sales process and the implementation process,” says Travis Spangler, Director of Sales and Operations for UFC.
The next benefit is the high qualification levels of the VAR personnel. The personnel of a VAR are actually required to be trained in their field before they begin assisting customers with the product. So, when a customer contacts a member of the VAR’s service team, they are not just contacting a person who has experience with assisting customers, but they are contacting a trained professional. When you’re choosing a VAR, make sure you ask this question: “Is your personnel certified in the vendor’s software and what levels of certification do they have?”
Customers are able to be provided with the highest level of assistance as a VAR’s service personnel tend to be experts in multiple areas. A UFC team member, James Hill, comments on the greater level of service that we can provide because of our service personnel’s experience and diverse knowledge as he states, “[W]e are better able to serve these customers because we have a wide level of experience with ERP software including development of connectors, export processes, and sync tools with SAP and Microsoft NAV.”
A VAR’s high qualifications are not only based upon the knowledge and experience of its personnel, but the VAR is also greatly impacted by its solid relationship with the vendor. A VAR must have a close connection with the vendor to stay up to date on frequent updates, new features, new products, and new pricing. Close communication between the VAR and vendor are necessary to prevent the VAR from potentially missing out on important updated product information that could impact their ability to accurately relay this to their customer base.
Another benefit that can be observed in a VAR is their high level of accessibility to the customer. It is frustrating when you have a problem, but it is even more frustrating to have a problem that may not be corrected for weeks. When working with a VAR, you will not have to wait weeks to receive assistance. A VAR’s flexible scheduling and knowledgeable personnel allow you to receive quality assistance at rapid speed. Our Technical Support team would even go to say that they reach out to our customers’ requests for support on the same day or within the next couple days as many of the issues can be solved by one phone call. Think of a car dealership. If a customer is looking to find a particular car, they are not going to schedule an appointment for weeks out and travel all the way to the manufacturing plant to purchase that car. They most likely will go to their local car dealership and purchase that exact car through them in a relatively shorter length of time. A VAR functions similar to that of a car dealership.
In addition to a VAR being highly accessible, they also tend to interact with the customer in a nurturing manner. Because one of the primary goals of a VAR is to help the customer to maximize the potential of the product, service personnel will walk alongside the customer throughout the process. They will provide one on one support potentially even customizing the product to fit the customer’s specific needs, as emphasized by one of our Senior Developers, Phillip Cormier, by saying a VAR can “…analyze the customers unique needs and relate them to the product so that the product fits into their environment perfectly.” VARs also allow customers to purchase what is necessary for them.
The final primary benefit is the ability to integrate with other products. Even though VARs resell other vendors’ products, they do also create supplemental products that add to or assist the vendor’s pre-existing product. We have been able to integrate with other products as we have created some connectors to work with QuickBooks (Desktop, Pro, Enterprise, Online), Sage 50, and Microsoft Navision, and many more. Being a VAR that creates additional products to assist a vendor’s pre-existing product places a little deeper meaning into the words “Value Added Reseller”.
When faced with the option of choosing a VAR or a vendor, it is important to evaluate what you value the most. If you value receiving quality, rapid, and nurturing service in addition to the product, consider pursuing assistance through a VAR.