A large number of UK VARs are sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to services, according to IT market research firm Context.
The firm polled about 500 VARs across Europe, including about 100 in the UK, and found that just under half intended to increase their services business next year.
About a quarter of those polled were "heavily engaged" in providing services-based offerings to customers and plan to increase these "dramatically" over the next 12 months.
"It is this group that will be surviving the consolidation taking place in the reseller channel today," said Jeremy Davies senior partner at Context.
Davies said that so many vendors have been trying to get onto the SME bandwagon this year, and they are all pushing packaged services to channel partners.
"At the moment, local players have an edge, but with firms such as Dell moving into services, end-users will start taking their business elsewhere," he said.
Rob Norris, operations director at VAR Vistorm, said only the fittest would survive.
"We are expanding our services offering. Customers are becoming more demanding about who they partner with to get the best all-round service," he said.
"Margins are constantly being squeezed as a lot of people go direct, and if resellers are just tin shifting, size definitely matters.
"With the likes of Dell also pushing into services, those that ignore the necessary changes will struggle to survive."
Will Morey, group marketing manager at distributor Crane, said: "Services have always been quite strong in the voice sector and maintenance plays a key role in all our resellers' business models. Customers are demanding the overall solution."
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