'Reseller' description losing value in the channel

Consultants and total solution providers are the labels that channel players prefer to use as they move away from using the well worn phrase 'reseller'

The word reseller could be losing its currency among those it is meant to describe with the channel now preferring to label themselves as consultants and service providers.

The shift towards solution selling has been taking place over the last few years but, according to MicroScope research into the state of the channel, it is having an impact on the language used to describe their activities by those at the coal face.

When asked how they described themselves in a question that was part of the MicroScope UK Channel Direction Survey 2012 a quarter of respondents said IT consultants, followed by the description of VARS/total solution providers and then managed services providers.

Only 5% of respondents were happy calling themselves 'resellers' placing that description well done the charts.

As well as describing themselves as consultants the main focus for the channel is on the mid-market with 69% of those quizzed focusing on customers with more than 250 employees.

There are healthy numbers of channel players aiming at the 5,000 staff or above categories indicating that the messages about moving up the value chain have been recieved and understood by solution providers.

One vendor source said that the shift towards consultancy and services was having an impact on the way partner accreditation schemes were formulated with partnerships becoming more crucial.

"We have consultants that want to offer services but not sell the product and so we are teaming them up with more traditional partners to make sure that they can both work together to make the sale and gain the services revenue," he said.

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Vendor comments toward the end of this article are quite telling...