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The Yin and Yang of Open Source Commerce, Part 3 - page 5

Chewing Over the Numbers

  • November 3, 2005
  • By John Terpstra

Retail outlets do not actively offer a Linux desktop or server solution. The key to changing that is to gain a toehold on the SMB market. The means to getting the SMB market is the VAR, the consultant, and the contractor.

In this part of the series we have drilled deeper into the nature of the IT market, and while it is large, it is also complex. It will take time and effort to convert the SMB market to focus on Linux- and OSS-based business. Above all, if we want to enlighten the minds of the VAR and to remotivate him to do more profitable business, we must help him to see the future with glowing and compelling demonstrations. It will be necessary to nurture the VAR until he is self sufficient, and above all, we must build trust--the sole basis of customer loyalty.

Lastly, we must recognize that channel conflict is the kiss of death on trust.

Channel conflict results in loss of business for VARs. When this happens the VAR understandably becomes irritated because the supplier to the VAR has effectively declared war on business relationships that took time and effort to build. In effect then, channel competition undermines trust between the supplier and the VAR and also between the VAR and the customer. In the end, both the VAR and the supplier lose credibility.

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