In the throes of our research into the country's top 250 VARs, we have uncovered three particularly impressive online presences from channel players.
The criteria for selection was based on the aesthetic qualities of the site, the ease of navigation and the quality of the content. Another important aspect was clarity and how well the VAR clearly demonstrated what it does and how it does it.
There were some howlers in our research too. While we will not name names, some sites had incomplete sections with gibberish holding copy where a vital case study should reside. On other sites it was unclear what the company even does.
So here, in no particular order, were three websites which stood out for the right reasons.
Kettering-based PCS has a well-structured and easy to navigate site which uses cartoon-style illustrations to underpin its clear messaging. A friendly looking robot heads up the various pages and gives the site a playful (but not juvenile) feel. The homepage tagline of ‘IT solutions from the IT superheroes' is next to a simple ‘Find out how we can help you' call-to-action.
We particularly liked 'The Team' page, where employees are each given a slick illustration and the rundown moves well beyond just the company big wigs. It was also a refreshing touch to see who is modestly listed last: Stuart Knott, managing director. The website subsections are clearly displayed and give you an instant impression of what PCS does, with a managed services and public sector focus emphasised.
Strong case studies matter on a business' website and GBM has some excellent video insights into their work. This is particularly true on the education side, where case studies on a sixth form and a primary school have well-produced video insights and testimonies. For example, GBM's focus on iPad in schools is well highlighted by a page explaining its offering, with ‘key features' and ‘nut and bolts' sections pulling out the vital information. This all links back into those impressive video testimonies plotting a primary school's journey with the iPad. It also has a resources section with lesson plans so teachers know how to utilise the iPad in schools.
A modern looking site with a clear message, this is another VAR with a strong case studies focus online. The home page is clean and engaging, with a simple message and pictures zooming into the page from either side. To the top of this it has simple explainer sections such as ‘who we are', ‘what we do' and ‘how we do it', while at the bottom the focus areas of voice, connectivity, cloud and security are openly displayed. In terms of case studies, the ‘our customers' section has 15 sub-sections for various firms. Text background on the customers is supported by a video interview at the top with a relevant representative from the firm. It also has a blog which is updated monthly with pieces which offer easily digestible nuggets of information on the likes of cyber security and GDPR.
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