Are you familiar with Value Added Resellers (VARs)? If not, then your knowledge about this particular segment of the global market could be quite limited. In fact, VARs are one of the most important and influential segments within the IT landscape today.
The VAR sector has been growing at an exponential rate over the past few years. The value of the total worldwide sales for VAR companies was estimated to reach $100 billion by the end of 2012. It seems that there's no stopping these players from dominating their respective markets. And while some might argue that they're just another player on the block, others will say otherwise.
In this article, we'll take a look at what exactly a VAR is all about. We also discuss how different types of VARs exist and why they're so popular. Hopefully our exploration will help you understand more about where VARs fit into the overall picture of the IT world.
CDW stands for Computer Distributors Warehouse Inc., a large US-based IT equipment distributor based out of Dallas, Texas. But before we go any further, let us first define what a "vendor" means here. A vendor is essentially someone who sells items. So when we talk about CDW being a vendor, it doesn't necessarily mean that they only deal with computer parts -- although they do. Rather, they provide various solutions to problems faced by customers such as data storage, networking, security, backup systems, etc. They are basically experts in helping businesses solve their IT needs.
So if CDW isn't technically considered a vendor, then can it still be called a VAR? Yes, because it provides its own brand of products and services that fall under the category of "value added." This means that they add something extra to standard IT offerings. For example, if you buy a Windows server from Dell, you get a bunch of pre-installed tools like Active Directory, Remote Desktop Services, Hyper-V Server Manager, System Center Configuration Manager, etc. However, if you instead purchase those same devices through CDW, you'd receive a whole host of additional features including remote management capabilities, disaster recovery options, and advanced monitoring tools among much more.
While CDW is a fairly well known name within the tech community, it's often confused with Tech Data Corporation (TDC), which is actually a completely separate entity. What makes TDC confusing though is that they both use similar names and logos. Both companies were founded back in 1973 but they've since gone their separate ways. While CDW is primarily focused on selling computers, servers, peripherals, network gear, and software, TDC operates mainly as an online marketplace for buying electronic components.
It should also be noted that neither CDW nor TDC is classified as a traditional reseller. Instead, they operate as a combination of both distributors and manufacturers. That said, they don't really offer anything new in terms of technology. Their primary focus lies solely in connecting buyers and sellers. As far as technical expertise goes, they simply act as middlemen between two parties.
However, despite having almost nothing to do with actual product development or manufacturing, they do make money off each sale. To put things in perspective, CDW made $1.3 billion in revenue last year alone.
Unlike other major IT suppliers like HPE, IBM, Lenovo, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, Asus, Samsung, Acer, etc., CDW does not disclose exact numbers regarding its customer base. However, it's safe to assume that it works with thousands upon thousands of clients across hundreds of industries including finance, healthcare, retail, education, government agencies, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications, travel, automotive, energy & utilities, real estate, construction, insurance, gaming, media, publishing, and even non-profit organizations.
As mentioned earlier, CDW is mostly known for distributing hardware and software. However, it does not exclusively specialize in either. In fact, the majority of its revenues come from servicing third party hardware makers' requirements. These include original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners, system integrators, consultants, independent repair technicians, and professional users. Additionally, CDW offers several software solutions covering everything from basic office productivity suites, operating systems, antivirus/antimalware applications, web hosting packages, domain registration, cloud computing, and mobile device management.
For instance, if you need to replace a faulty hard drive in your PC, you can easily contact CDW to order replacement disks. Then you'll pay them a small fee once they ship the drives to your location. Once the job gets done, you would send the old hard disk back to CDW for recycling.
When dealing with CDW, you won't find yourself getting stuck with a lot of useless junk. Aside from offering great deals, they also strive hard to maintain high standards throughout their entire operations. You can rest assured knowing that every single piece of equipment sold comes with full warranties. Moreover, they always ensure that every transaction is 100% secure. All transactions are protected by SSL encryption protocols.
You may also want to check out the following articles which cover topics similar to this one:
Top 10 IT Vendors
Best Online Shopping Sites for Electronics
Best Hardware Retailer Companies
A Hardware Reseller
The term "hardware" refers to any item that can be used for computing purposes such as servers, PCs, monitors, printers, routers, network devices, storage systems, etc.
Let us take an example of a typical business situation where a computer needs to be configured for use by employees of a company. The organization may decide to outsource these tasks to a third party called a system integrator who will handle all aspects of configuration from purchase through delivery.
This process usually involves several steps like selecting the correct type of server/PC, installing applications on it, configuring it according to user requirements, testing whether everything works as expected, and finally delivering it to the end users.
"Hardware" also includes peripherals such as keyboards, mice, headsets, speakers, projectors, scanners, fax machines, printers, security cameras, firewalls, wireless access points, etc. These items are required for smooth functioning of computers.
In short, there are two types of companies involved in this chain - those which supply components to others and those which sell them. This article focuses on the latter group, i.e., the hardware reseller.
There are various ways to define what exactly constitutes a hardware reseller. One common definition states that they are businesses whose primary activity is to buy equipment from manufacturers, install, configure, test, maintain, repair, dispose of or recycle it, and then resell it at a profit to their clients. Another way of defining a hardware reseller is to say that they are businesses that specialize in designing, building, selling or distributing electronic parts and accessories.
However, both definitions make clear that hardware reselling is more than just reselling electronics - it's much broader than that. A hardware reseller buys equipment from suppliers, installs it, tests it, maintains it, repairs it, disposes of it, recycles it, remanufactures it, sells it, leases it, rents it, provides technical assistance to its clients, etc. It is basically a jack of all trades when
CDW stands for Computer Distributors Warehouse Inc., one of the largest computer distributors in North America with over $6 billion dollars in annual sales and more than 1,000 employees. Founded in 1981 by Robert Gassman, the company was started from scratch in an office on West Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio. It has since grown into the world's second largest distributor of computers and peripherals behind only Ingram Micro.
In 2001, it acquired the assets of another large computer distribution firm called Tech Data Corporation. With its acquisition of Compaq Computers and HP Enterprise Solutions & Services, it became the third largest PC manufacturer worldwide. In 2005, it acquired The Software Group which included its subsidiaries like CDW Technical Resources, CDW Network Technology, and CDW Business Products. Today, CDW operates through three segments - Retail, Wholesale Distribution, and Professional Services.
The retail segment sells PCs, laptops, servers, workstations, printers, scanners, projectors, fax machines, modems, networking equipment, security systems, storage devices, and accessories under the brand name CDW. It also offers a wide range of technical services including training, repair, design, consultation, testing, and data recovery services. The wholesale division provides inventory management solutions, warehouse logistics, transportation, order fulfillment, and product delivery services. Finally, the professional services segment includes IT infrastructure deployment, network architecture, managed hosting, application development, outsourcing, disaster recovery, and compliance services. These are all offered at affordable rates that make them popular among small businesses.
Cisco Systems' first line of attack was Cisco's own Internet Protocol Suite. This suite consisted of two routers, a server, and several switches. This was followed by a router, server, switch, wireless access point, and firewall. Then came the next generation of IP phones, video conference equipment, and unified communications applications. And finally, we arrived at cloud computing. All these were made possible because of the underlying technology - the internet protocol suite. So while it may not be obvious now, the CDW logo represents something quite profound. It signifies the fact that this company is deeply rooted within the global community of technology professionals. And it's no surprise why they're so successful!
CDW's primary focus lies in delivering high quality products and services to their clients at very competitive prices. Their main strategy revolves around selling direct to end users rather than wholesalers. This helps them get better margins compared to those who sell directly to consumers. Apart from being cost effective, it allows them to provide excellent customer care. For example, if you need help setting up your new Windows 10 laptop, CDW will send someone out to show you how to do it yourself without any extra charge. That's just one way in which they differentiate themselves from other VAR companies.
Another area where CDW excels is in offering flexible payment plans. You can sign up for a 12 month plan, pay monthly installments, split payments, or even pay upfront depending upon your needs. If you've got some money lying idle, then investing it would surely be a wise decision. After all, there's nothing like saving money when times are tough. CDW's online portal lets you choose between different types of financing options based on your financial situation. So whether you want to invest in a new laptop today or tomorrow, CDW will take care of everything for you.
A CDW is basically a Value Added Reseller (VAR). A VAR refers to a supplier who purchases goods from manufacturers and then resells them. They usually specialize in niche markets such as home entertainment, medical device manufacturing, industrial machinery, etc. However, unlike most VARS, CDW focuses primarily on supplying end user electronics products instead of buying from OEMs and rebranding them. As a result, it enjoys much higher profit margins compared to traditional VARs.
As mentioned earlier, CDW specializes in selling to end users via its retail outlets. But apart from that, it also supplies thousands of independent dealers across the country. To ensure that every single dealer gets the right mix of products and services tailored specifically to his/her requirements, each CDW location consists of a dedicated expert team consisting of Sales Engineers, Account Managers, Service Technicians, Design Specialists, Application Developers, Solution Architects, Project Managers, Marketing Executives, Customer Care Representatives, and others.
So what sets CDW apart from other VAR companies? Well, aside from having low overhead costs due to economies of scale, CDW uses proprietary technologies and processes to optimize its operations. Some of these include automated workflow management system, advanced order entry tools, real time stock updates, integrated accounting tool, comprehensive billing platform, and many more.
Finally, let me share one last thing about CDW. I'm sure you must already know this but here goes anyway. CDW is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. It currently employs approximately 3,500 people spread across 120 locations throughout 15 countries. Its major competitors are IBM Global Financing, Intel Capital, Dell Financial Services, Ingram Micro, and Avnet Worldwide.
When you think of CDW, you probably associate it with big brands like Apple Macintosh, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft Windows, Toshiba, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG Optimus Vu, Google Nexus 7 2013, Acer Chromebook 14, Asus Zenbook Flip UX31E, and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. But did you know that it actually manufactures many of these products itself? Yes, it turns out that CDW runs its own manufacturing facilities in China, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, South Korea, India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Romania, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Turkey, Israel, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Nigeria, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Nauru, Fiji, Kirghizia, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome e Principe, Niger, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Gambia, Guinea, Sudan, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe, Western Sahara, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Mayotte, French Guiana, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Réunion, Guyane Désirée Française, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands British, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saba, St Eustatius, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antilles, Bahamas, Barbados, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republick, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Dutch Caribbean, Aruba, Bonaire, Cura
The term "value added" has been used for many years by businesses that want to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The concept of value-adding something to a product or service was first introduced to describe a process where one can add more features and functionality to a product without having to redesign it completely. Since then, this idea has evolved into adding extra benefits and services to enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales revenue. Value-added resellers (VARs), also known as VAMs, are those who provide these value-add services while acting on behalf of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
A value-added reseller typically makes use of its own brand name instead of the OEM's logo when marketing its products to clients. This allows them to charge higher prices than the OEM would normally be willing to pay for similar solutions. Therefore, they benefit from economies of scale since the cost per unit decreases with increased volumes. In return, they need to invest in training and resources so that they can better serve their clients. For instance, if you work at Dell but your employer doesn't know anything about computers, chances are you will not get the same degree of attention from a Dell technician compared to someone who works at a third party PC manufacturer like HP or Lenovo.
In order to become a successful VAR, there are certain requirements that must be met. First and foremost, you should already possess some experience working with computers or networking devices. You could start off selling computer accessories such as keyboards, mice, monitors, speakers, etc., which aren't necessarily part of the actual device itself. However, if you're planning on becoming a full-fledged VAR, you'll probably require more knowledge regarding computer architecture and operating systems. Some of the skills required include basic programming languages, network management tools, server administration, and technical documentation. It may take time before you feel comfortable enough to sell hardware devices due to the level of expertise needed.
VARs do not only deal with devices, but also with applications and services. Examples of application value-added services provided by a VAR include web hosting, domain registration, email accounts, eCommerce websites, cloud computing, mobile apps development, etc. Services offered by VARs often come in the form of monthly subscription plans like storage space or bandwidth usage. Others might make use of white label technologies or proprietary software developed by the VAR.
This article covers everything you need to know about how a VAR operates and provides advice on how to become one yourself.
There are different types of VARs depending on whether you specialize in desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, servers, printers, peripherals, routers, switches, firewalls, security cameras, projectors, or any kind of electronic device. These devices are all sold through various channels including brick & mortar retailers, online stores, direct mailers, catalogs, phone orders, distributors, wholesalers, or even directly to consumers via retail outlets.
Some VARs focus mainly on small business users whereas others cater primarily to enterprise customers. Smaller organizations tend to buy individual components rather than entire systems. For example, you wouldn't find a large number of people buying an Xbox 360 console because it's too expensive. Instead, most gamers prefer to purchase games individually instead of paying the whole price up front for an entire system. On the flip side, larger corporations usually opt to go with preconfigured systems that have been tailored specifically for their needs. There are three main categories of VARs -- distribution, managed services, and integration partners.
Distribution - Distribution services include both physical and virtual delivery methods. Physical deliveries involve shipping items to end users either by express courier or regular postal mail. Virtual deliveries refer to making available goods and services over digital platforms using remote access techniques. An example of a distribution channel is Amazon Prime Now.
Managed services - Managed services providers manage client assets during operation. If a component fails, a VAR takes responsibility for repairs and replacements. A typical example of managed services is AppleCare+.
Integration partners - Integration partners integrate existing hardware and/or software into new configurations. Typically, this involves integrating custom software onto standard hardware components (e.g., Microsoft Office 365 running on Windows 10).
As mentioned earlier, a VAR sells products manufactured by another entity. While the majority of VARs outsource manufacturing activities, some still produce their own branded devices. Regardless of this distinction, a VAR always acts as an intermediary between a vendor and a buyer.
When choosing a supplier, you should consider things like quality, reliability, reputation, costs, speed of shipment, availability, and overall convenience. Although the latter two factors depend largely on personal preferences, the rest are important considerations that every potential buyer should keep in mind regardless of their business size.
To put it simply, a VAR is a middleman who buys from an external source and then sells back to his customer. A few terms commonly associated with VARs are agent, broker, distributor, representative, subdistributor, agent, representative, independent contractor, and franchisee. All of these words essentially mean the same thing.
If you've ever bought a car, you've likely experienced the value-added aspect of purchasing a vehicle. Here's how it works: the dealer pays a fee called a commission to the seller based on the total amount of money received by the dealership. Since this payment comes straight out of the sale, it reduces the profit margin for the seller. By contrast, if the buyer purchases a car from a private owner, he does not incur a commission fee. He receives all of the profits earned by the seller.
Another way a VAR adds value to the transaction is by offering financing options. It helps lower the total cost of ownership since buyers don't have to worry about paying interest upfront. Furthermore, VARs can negotiate deals with lenders that offer attractive rates and flexible repayment schedules. Finally, a VAR can help secure loans for borrowers who otherwise lack credit histories.
Examples of value-added services
Here are just some of the ways a VAR can improve the performance of your home theater setup:
1. Installation and set-up
Most TVs are relatively easy to install although some high-end models may feature complex wiring harnesses requiring professional assistance. Even though DIY TV installations are possible, they require specialized equipment and advanced knowledge. To minimize headaches down the line, hire a reputable VAR to handle the job.
2. Troubleshoot problems remotely
Sometimes, the problem cannot be resolved immediately. When this happens, a VAR can remotely connect the affected machine to a diagnostic tool and perform diagnostics to identify the root cause of the issue.
Many VARs offer maintenance contracts under which the provider agrees to fix issues automatically whenever they arise. Customers save money by avoiding costly repair bills and downtime caused by breakdowns.
4. Warranty coverage
Although warranties vary greatly among different brands, most manufacturers agree to cover parts and labor for several years following the initial purchase date. Many VARs extend warranty periods beyond the official expiration dates. Also, VARs sometimes offer extended protection against accidental damage claims.
5. Customer care
After-sale customer service is vital to ensure repeat business. If you encounter difficulties, reach out to a VAR first before contacting the manufacturer directly. Often times, an authorized VAR will offer faster response times than the original equipment manufacturer.
6. Technical support
Depending on the type of product being purchased, you may receive limited or no technical support once the item leaves the factory. Hiring a VAR ensures that you get 24/7 tech support no matter what happens.
Below are some common value-added services that VARs provide:
- Web Hosting
Web hosts create and maintain websites for their clients. As opposed to traditional website builders that allow anyone to build sites, web hosts control the look, content, and navigation. They also guarantee uptime, meaning that visitors won't see any errors or glitches in the site.
- Email Accounts
Email addresses create unique logins for each user account. Users must remember complicated passwords and frequently update details in case of changes in address or password. Having multiple email accounts creates chaos especially when trying to organize emails sent to multiple inboxes. Companies who rely heavily on email communication (such as banks and insurance agencies) employ VARs to reduce stress associated with managing numerous email accounts.
- Domain Registration
Domain names act as identifiers for Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Once registered, domains can be transferred to owners if necessary. Domain registrars register domains for their clients.
- Cloud Storage
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