In the Microsoft world, the network of partner companies who sell Microsoft Dynamics software are known as VARs (Value Added Resellers). But some, perhaps many, take issue with that nomenclature. As a VAR, I don’t appreciate that acronym either. Here’s why.
First of all, no one outside of the Microsoft Dynamics community even knows what VAR means. That in and of itself is a problem. In a world where potential clients, like you, will search the Internet to find a company that sells
But the frustration with the term goes much deeper than that. Because the notion of a VAR is far too limiting. Microsoft Dynamics partners like Altico Advisors don’t just sell software and say good-bye and good luck. No sir. We’re in for the long haul. We’re trusted advisors. The sale is just the beginning of our relationship with our clients.
What do so-called VARs do after the sale? Pretty much everything. To give you an idea, I’ve made a quick list, which I’m calling “The Sweet Sixteen”:
1) Draw a project plan for the implementation of the new software
2) Assign a project manager (also known as an engagement manager)
3) Learn about everyone’s role in the company by speaking with them!
4) Configure the Chart of Accounts
5) Configure the software to the client’s specs
6) Use a test environment to make sure that everything is working before the go live
7) Launch the new software system and break out a bottle of champagne!
8) Train all of the personnel in the varied roles they play
9) Provide ongoing support
10) Offer ongoing training classes
11) Communicate on a regular basis with our clients
12) Celebrate their successes
13) Help them grow
14) Add new features to their system as needed
15) Host them at educational and entertaining events
16) Establish a long-term relationship as a trusted advisor
That’s the VA in VAR – Value Added. All the R means is that we place the order with Microsoft. It’s almost incidental.
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by Marcia Nita Doron,