Gambling on New Vendors

The IT industry sees many new vendors come and go. There are great ideas and must have solutions, but taking a chance on a new industry vendor can sometimes be a gamble.

If you are like me you love a good story. Company sees a need, builds a solution, fixes a problem, sees an opportunity to help others, and launches a channel solution. We have seen this scenario take place over and over in IT.

This spurs innovation and can drive new solutions to our customers allowing us to fix those same problems that said vendor had. The biggest issue that IT companies generally face with new vendors is support infrastructure and communication.

These two issues can make or break a new vendor in our industry. Complex solutions can require time, effort, and expertise to bring partners up to speed and unexpected complications can eat into precious resources and profits.

The flip side of working with new vendors can be personal attention, product input, grandfathered pricing, and a sense of accomplishment that isn’t always felt with seasoned vendors.

These positives may be enough for IT companies to take a chance on a new vendor. The key to giving new vendors a shot is to always have a backup plan. Try not to choose unproven vendors for mission critical products or services and avoid upfront significant investments.

If a new vendor program requires an upfront signup fee, make sure that there is equal value provided in return for the upfront fee. An example of this may be included hardware, software, or products that equal the signup fee requested.

Taking a gamble on new vendors can sometimes pay off big time. Make sure you do as much homework as possible before starting any new program, and definitely ask lots of questions. Go with your gut, as most of the time it’s right, and don’t let a previous bad experience leave you jaded, just be smart about the vendors you choose.


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