It is not very often that the channel is given the chance to really vent about vendors without fear of repercussion.
But the 2016 CRN Vendor Report allows channel players of all persuasions - be they resellers, VARs, MSPs, integrators or solution providers - to really let rip on how they are feeling about channel programmes and the products/services themselves.
We really need you, our audience, to engage with this survey and let us know how vendors are preforming in key areas such as channel engagement, channel support, service provision and product quality.
Otherwise it is to be assumed that everything is perfect and vendors are doing everything right.
Of course that could be the case, and we want to hear the good reviews as well. It is not all about being negative.
In recent CRN research, 14 per cent of our respondents said they were concerned with vendors taking more business direct. So we know the worry is definitely there, and it is only by telling the vendors how it really is that things can change.
We all know competition in our market is cut-throat and there is always someone in the queue waiting to pick up any slack. So it is often easier not to rock the boat too much and keep allowing things to tick along as they are. This can mean that vendors get away with too much.
That is why CRN originally launched the Vendor Report five years ago: to give channel partners a voice without fear of reprisals.
At the time we benchmarked 40 vendors on key areas of channel performance including support, margin retention, and reliability. It was the first time such a report had been carried out and we had a fantastic response.
It actually shook up quite a few vendors and gave some a much-needed wake-up call. This time our report will focus on not only channel programmes, but also on products in terms of quality and reliability, and the services aspect of the channel relationship.
Do vendors help their partners generate services revenue through their products or are they actually taking business away from their channel?
The number of vendors covered this year remains at 40, although due to the constant consolidation and changes in the industry, the list may differ slightly from previous versions. Plus the focus is very heavily on security, cloud and infrastructure, and services.
We are hoping as many resellers/VARs/MSPs as possible will take part in this survey to give us a true understanding of how vendors are performing in 2016. If you work with one or more of the listed vendors, we need to know what you think.
Responses are fully anonymous so there is no risk of repercussions, and it means you can say exactly what you are thinking rather than beating around the bush. Rest assured, your thoughts will be very much viewed by the vendors in question.
Sara Yirrell, editorial director of CRN, said: "We need the support of the channel to make this report as successful and comprehensive as it can be and hope that you can spare 20 minutes to fill in the questions on your chosen vendor/vendors.
"I should stress that this is for resellers ONLY and we will only use the results from resellers, so if you are a vendor or distributor, please don't complete the survey as it would be a complete waste of your time and you will be removed from the results.
"Everybody who takes part in the survey will qualify for a free executive summary of the report once it is completed in Q4, and you will be able to see exactly what your peers think of the top 40 channel vendors."
To take part and qualify for your free report, please click here and answer every question as thoroughly and honestly as you can.