Agnosticism was once described by arch-atheist Richard Dawkins as "fence-sitting, intellectual cowardice".
And it's also a dirty word as far as the new boss of VAR Ultima is concerned, as we discovered in our recent interview with him.
Out of the VARs and consultancies I've encountered down the years, perhaps as many as half would describe themselves as ‘vendor-agnostic'. They will argue that competitors who are in thrall to one particular manufacturer cannot be impartial when it comes to serving their customers' needs.
On the other side of the divide stand those who are happy to be labelled specialists in one or two technologies. This has obvious benefits in terms of not only vendor rebates but also expertise. You cannot be brilliant at everything.
According to Ultima's Dodds, the market is shifting towards the latter, with customers now wanting partners to get off the fence and take a strong view on which technologies they should deploy.
Incidentally, Dodds' viewpoint is backed up by research CRN conducted in September 2014, which found the average (adjusted mean) number of vendors UK resellers work with fell from 18 to 14 over the previous two years.
If Dodds is right, and the days of being able to remain completely agnostic are numbered, this makes the business of deciding which vendors to back more crucial than ever. Putting too much faith in just one or two manufacturers carries obvious commercial risks. The danger of cutting too far also puts resellers at risk of compromising their status as trusted advisors.
Why not get in touch with your views on whether customers want you to take a strong lead on the vendor technologies they deploy, or remain agnostic?
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