Continuity is something humans tend to gravitate towards. The notion of a popular royal family in the UK was a concept created by a mad king to give subjects the notion of continuance and stability.
Until then, there was more fear and loathing of our monarchy than flag-waving and bunting.
When it comes to technology provision many companies don't like change either. As long as the technology supplier is doing a good job the supplier can almost have a job for life.
For me this demonstrates the true value of the channel over direct players. Companies don't want fly-by-night suppliers to slip in under the radar and offer what looks like a fantastic deal on paper and then vanish into thin air when there is a problem to fix.
Companies want a trusted partner that knows their business inside out and can not only offer hardware at a competitive price but appropriate consultancy, support and maintenance.
Even the daddy of the direct model, Dell, has acknowledged that it has to engage the channel if it wants its services business to fly.
It all comes back to continuity. As I was judging some of the reseller entries for the Channel Awards recently I read with interest some of the testimonials from end-users.
Often the most revealing information they gave about their reseller was that they had been dealing with the same supplier for a long time.
One company was still dealing with the engineer that put in its IT system 10 years before. This relationship of trust is key to the end-user.
The retention of good account managers was just as crucial to the resellers that entered.
The issue is how to deal with change when it inevitably comes. The solution is to engage the person you trust the most, and this is achieved through a consistent, reliable partnership.
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