One in three VARs and retailers could close within five years due to key skills and knowledge shortages

Reseller’s risks highlighted in report

A report has highlighted the threats to UK VARs, stating that one in three could go bust within the next five years unless skills and product knowledge issues are resolved.

The report by global IT trade association Comptia, said that lack of various key skills and the failure to understand new technology is resulting in loss of business and could see many previously success businesses struggling in the near term and ultimately going out of business.

Comptia’s EMEA vice president, Matthew Poyiadgi said: "Vendors must be more sympathetic to resellers’ needs. They need to come together with their partners to face the challenge. Resellers are too often seen as nothing more than box-shifters [by end users] when they are increasingly required to be trusted technical advisers."

However, resellers are arguing that not all aspects of the threat are down to poor decisions or management. Many are blaming the skills shortage on a failing education system and vendors having too much influence over the channel.

"Vendors are squeezing the channel, forcing firms to stock their products exclusively. They are dictating the market more and more and it is the mid-sized reseller that will lose out," argued Cisco VAR, Signature Network’s director, Howard Russell.

"Education has a role to play, too. People are taught just basic PC skills and there is no focus on the broader aspects of technology," he added.

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