The Difference Between a Partner and a Vendor

What is the difference between a Partner and a Vendor?

When choosing a new software system, often it is thought that you are simply purchasing a product. Therefore, buying directly from the publisher is better than working with a full-service partner. This misconception of the understanding of a partner versus a vendor can lead to choosing the wrong product and a painful implementation.

As technology evolves and the business landscape expands software systems must change to keep up. There are extensive software systems to choose from and hundreds of vendors offering similar products. While this is advantageous to the organization seeking to improve its internal systems, selecting the right product can be a time-consuming and daunting task.

Software Publishers – also known as vendors, are the developer of the software. (e.g., Acumatica, NetSuite, Sage, and more). These publishers have staff who know their system but may not have a deep understanding of your industry.

Publishers are focused on their system and have a broad knowledge of how their system works.

Software Reseller – also known as a partner, or Value-Added Reseller (VAR), are independent professional service providers that specialize in implementing and supporting software and have specialists in specific industries.

A reseller often has several systems to choose from, focusing on the right solution for your wants and needs.

Here is a guide that explains the differences between a Partner and a Vendor.

Let’s clear up some misconceptions that will help you avoid common pitfalls.

Misconception #1: Software publishers know their product better than a partner.

Reality: Software publishers employ a team of experts in their system that may have limited industry knowledge. Therefore, you may find yourself working with individuals who do not understand your organization and cannot customize workflows specific to your needs.

Misconception #2: Buying software from a partner is more expensive.

Reality: Both the publisher and partner have the same price lists, discounts, and promotions.

Publishers can offer steeper discounts beyond promotional pricing to land the deal. Understandably, a vendor wants to sell their product, however, charges frequently increase for customizations as they may not perform a thorough review which leads to additional costs in the long run.

Often, in buying directly from the publisher it is a salesperson performing the evaluation. The sales staff do not spend the time to familiarize themselves with a business’s processes. Therefore, missing critical business details that are crucial to operations. These late discoveries result in business disruptions and increased costs.

A publisher’s focus is on selling software. Rightly so, as development, engineering and marketing are costly.

If buying software from a partner is not any more expensive than buying direct, how do resellers make a profit?

Software sales are a portion of a reseller’s business model, but most of a partner’s income is based on the value-added services they provide. Partners focus on delivering services like business process reviews, implementations, customizations, education, and support.

A partner’s focus is on providing consulting and client retention.

How we can help

To determine if teaming with Kernutt Stokes is the right approach for your business, feel free to reach out to us. With over thirty years of experience and our passion for helping businesses succeed, Kernutt Stokes Business Solutions has a track record you can trust.