'You'd be mad to sell their technology in 2019': How Vendor Report's 'Big Four' are faring so far

Doug Woodburn
clock • 3 min read

Microsoft, Cisco, Dell and HPE have had more responses than anyone else so far in the CRN 2019 Vendor Report. We take a snapshot of how they are polling mid-way through the research

Microsoft, Cisco, Dell EMC and HPE are leading the way when it comes to responses to our 2019 CRN Vendor Report as we reach the half-way point in the research.

So far, this quartet has been rated by at least 60 of their partners apiece.

You can join the project yourself by giving COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS feedback on your top vendor partners here. In return you will receive a free Executive Summary of the report, as well as £3 Amazon vouchers.

Prevalence doesn't appear to guarantee popularity, if the scores awarded to the foursome so far across the four core service categories are anything to go by.

Dell/Dell EMC

Newly public company Dell garnered some glowing comment around its technology, but - so far - has a lower average score on Channel Strategy than its peers.

One respondent declared it a "clear visionary", while several others characterised its technology as "reliable and "reasonably priced".

However, others grumbled about poor support levels and direct-selling tactics. "Good products, awful service on their side - the support team are slow and their Premier page glitchy," said one.

"They fight against you when you try and get a deal reg… saying they were aware of the opportunity when you know they [weren't]. [They] go behind your back to get customers to go direct."

Microsoft

Microsoft has also received a mixed response from the 80-plus partners that have rated it so far.

While one respondent said the software and cloud giant "is back from a technology point of view" and another dubbed it a "visionary", not all were fans of its technology, with one grumbling about "copycat products"  and another saying the software giant was "totally arrogant and convinced that they'll be around forever".

"There is apparently marketing monies, but we have not been able to access any", complained another, while another whinged that "leads are old and margins are tight".

All that said, Microsoft hasn't scored badly overall with respondents, particularly around Accreditation and Training, where it was variously branded "brilliant", "comprehensive" and "easy to navigate".

HPE

HPE has got off to a flying start in the 2019 Vendor Report, generally scoring slightly higher than its peers across the four categories.

Channel Strategy and Account Managed is emerging as a particularly strong area - at least among the 60 partners that have scored HPE so far - with one respondent praising their HPE account manager for being "engaging and on our side". "Their channel strategy seems to work and margins are reliable," said another.

Not all partners are equally enamoured with the infrastructure vendor, however, with one rebuking HPE for putting "too much focus on the big boys". "Dell are going to eat their lunch," they added.

Cisco

Cisco has so far received more responses than any other vendor, but its technology and channel strategy are far from universally lauded by its partners (see below for a summary of how it's doing so far).

Although one partner branded its technology "innovative, yet functional and consistent" and another said it was "among the market leaders", Cisco was marked down on margin opportunity, with one respondent lamenting its "appalling margins" and another labelling its channel "a bun fight for bread crumbs".

"You would be mad to start selling this vendor in 2019," they added.

Clearly, not everyone feels this way, with on respondent lauding its "great partner programme" and another saying it is "really clear and easy to earn" with Cisco.

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