For the VAR it's going to typically be better access to resources, whether those are sales resources or technical resources. There are typically financial benefits as well -- maybe a bigger margin if you reach a certain level of certification. You may get access to [vendor loan] funds if you reach a certain level of certification.
What I always look at as most important is [whether] a given certification gives me better access to the resources we need to support our clients. If it doesn't, it's not very attractive. My fundamental concern running my business is [that] we need to support the technologies we recommend, and if we run into issues that exceed our expertise or we're feeling like we're just not being as efficient as we could [be] in addressing the issue, we need to be able to get back to the vendor at the appropriate level, without going through the very basic Q&A when you call in to a tier-1 help desk. We need to get right to the [support] level we need access to to solve the customer's problem.
To the end user, to the VAR's customers, the benefit is very much the same -- most specifically, on the support side. If the VAR has a more direct line to the vendor to support the customer, that works in the customer's favor. And that provides for a better, more efficient working relationship. The VAR's able to be more efficient, [and] therefore the client gets better service.
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