Should You Buy Technology Directly From a Vendor? The Value of Channel Relationships

About two years ago, one of our long time customers approached us and mentioned that they were developing a procurement strategy that mandated all technology purchases are to be executed directly through the manufacturer.   They felt that when they purchase software or hardware, it would simplify their internal process by dealing directly with the vendor.  It was stated, that while the professional services provided by our firm were still needed, purchasing of technology was going to take place directly with the manufacturer.  We were a bit surprised by this decision.  While we did not agree that this was the best route for them to take, we respected the customer’s directive.

Recently, we received a call from them asking us to come in and meet.  The conversation was interesting.  The customer proceeded to tell me, how over the past twenty-four months, they felt that they had actually lost leverage negotiating with the vendor by dealing with them directly.  They stated that they were missing the objective perspective that our firm brought to bear during purchasing cycles.   They felt this guidance helped them  ensure they were getting the right technology at the right price.  The customer also referenced the fact that doing business directly with a vendor, specifically if they are a large company, proved to be difficult due to the internal processes necessary to structure contracts and get deals done.  Often, channel partners have the flexibility to work with the vendor on the customer’s behalf to make executing transactions much simpler (flexible contracts, payment terms, additional incentives, etc.)

However, they made another comment that really resonated with me.  The customer missed the continuity an organization like ours brings to the table.  In NES’ case we have been in business for 34 years and don’t have much employee turnover.   In the course of two years, this vendor the customer was dealing with turned over account managers about every six months.  Whenever a new sales rep or technical person was brought on, they had to learn the customer’s business all over again.  With all of that said, the customer asked if we would be interested in helping them from a procurement perspective moving forward.

In my opinion, when purchasing technology, having a trusted relationship with a channel partner (skilled in the technology you’re acquiring) can only help you in the long run.  Outside of technical expertise that the channel may bring, if the firm is well established, they will provide you with continuity from a sales and technical perspective.  The channel partner can act in a consultative capacity, advising you on what technology acquisitions might work best for your organization and the channel can help to ensure that you get a competitive price on your infrastructure (software/hardware) purchases.

To learn more about how your organization might benefit from data management, “big data”  and analytics, please visit our website at, or contact me using the information listed below.

NES is a data and analytics consulting firm. We have been focusing on data centric technology for 34 years. Our solutions and services are designed to fit organizations of all sizes. For more information regarding NES, please visit our website at, or contact me using the information below.

Liam O’Heir

Vice President



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