3Com VP criticises large-scale partner programmes

Says they don't benefit anyone ? the reseller, nor the vendor ? calls for smaller, more profitable channels
Publish date:

3Com EMEA boss has slammed the channel's move towards large-scale partner programmes, and has called it to move back the industry of the early 90s.

Vice president EMEA, Mike Ansley said that moves towards large reseller programmes had spread resources out too thinly and made it difficult to tell if they were making profits.

"In the early 1990s, you would not have seen anyone selling multiple vendors," he told CRN. "As manufacturers have broadened their VAR base and vice vers, neither of them has won." He added that he believes it is impossible to carry multiple vendors and do a good job.

He made the criticism as 3Com prepares to launch its high end networking solution, H3C. Ansley said that the company would be taking a fundamentally different approach, preferring to work with a small number of resellers to create a "narrow and profitable" channel.

"This is a fundemental change in how we go to market," he said, adding that the vendor would be taking a key role in any solution being sold by partners. He believes that is crucial to not only being able to provide a good service to both the vendor and the reseller, but also how to make a fair margin on the product.

"Partners used to make money on the resale of products. All these programmatics have been institutionalised and no one can tell if they are making money any more. We have a very straightforward programme where partners make money for the business they do."



Economies of scale

With netbook sales on the up, it's not surprising that more and more vendors are getting in on the act ?but what will this flood of machines offering miniscule margins mean for retail? Andrew Wooden reports?