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Specialize in one or generalize in many products

Expert Kenneth Milberg describes the benefits of specializing in one vendor's products over generalizing in many products.

Is it better to focus on selling many vendors' products or should we specialize in one particular area?

I strongly believe in specializing in a certain area. While the school of thought is not to put all your eggs in one basket, as a systems integrator I want to show the client that I fully back the products and services I'm trying to sell them.

By specializing in certain areas, you are also making a commitment to your hardware partner, demonstrating that you've bought into their solutions and technologies. IBM appreciates business partners that believe in their product offerings and will treat you differently then if you sell Hewlett-Packard and Sun servers as well. That's just the way it is. At the same time, unless you are a huge value-added reseller (VAR), it will be difficult to train your engineers in eight different solutions. If you do, they will become generalists. Companies don't like to pay $150 per hour for generalists. They want specialists that know their products inside and out. If your engineers focus exclusively on IBM pSeries technology, you better believe that they will be better at what they do than if they had to understand how to implement virtualization on two other platforms.

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