AWS, VMware, Microsoft and Symantec are among the lowest-scoring vendors in a channel management survey by research firm Canalys.
The survey, called the Canalys Leadership Matrix, is based on more than 2,700 responses from EMEA channel partners who were asked to rate their vendor partners across 10 areas of channel management.
Split into four quadrants: "Champions", "Growers", "Contenders" and "Stragglers", the survey also judges vendors on how their standing in the Leadership Matrix has changed year over year.
Nine companies were placed in Canalys' "Stragglers" quadrant, reserved for vendors that "have shown significant weakness in areas of channel management" or "have seen a deterioration in partner relationships, either by choice or mistake".
AWS, APC, Citrix, Huawei, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, Veritas and VMware were all named as channel Stragglers in the survey.
Canalys drew particular attention to Microsoft and VMware, two firms which have "highly successful businesses built on sales via partners".
The firm noticed "a growing wave of channel dissatisfaction with both brands". Dell EMC's appointment as an "official distributor" of VMware licences last year dealt a blow to its resellers and distributors and likely prompted a fall from grace among partners.
Canalys claimed that Microsoft, meanwhile, has been "accused of squeezing channel margins" through its Cloud Solution Provider partner programme.
The top-scoring vendors in the survey included Fujitsu, Cisco, Lenovo, Palo Alto Networks and Veeam.
The market watcher claims that Cisco's quality of technical support for partners remains unparalleled when compared with its competitors, while Lenovo's "Channel 2.0" initiative, which sought to simplify partner incentives, was well received by the channel.
Apple saw the greatest ratings improvement out of all vendors in the survey, according to Canalys. Apple's overall rating was still relatively low compared with its peers and its resellers still suffer from "low margin potential" and "rigid terms and conditions" from the vendor.
But Canalys claims Apple is "recognising the importance of the chanel to help it deliver solutions, particularly as it builds relationships with vendors such as Cisco".
See Canalys' Leadership Matrix below:
Managed services project involving Dounreay nuclear site thought to be worth as much as £15m over five years
In a boon for the channel, shares in UK publicly listed resellers and MSPs are on the rise. Here we count down the five stocks that have performed the best so far this year
Amazon Web Services holds pole position in all territories, Synergy Research Group claims
Comms giant picks up Portsmouth-based Cisco and Apple partner