By Neal Bradbury, Senior Director of Business Development, Barracuda MSP
Competition and customer demand are forcing many VARs to become more specialized
With competition increasing and pricing pressures cutting into margins, many of you have opted to target vertical markets and applications in order to differentiate yourselves and tap into more lucrative lines of business.
According to CompTIA’s 7th State of the Channel Trends in the Technology Ecosystem report, customer demand for providers with vertical industry skills and applications knowledge is on the rise. In fact, two-thirds of channel firms say that they embarked on a vertical specialty to satisfy customer demand and to become more competitive.
Having a vertical industry focus allows you to become more focused and granular, building your reputation as a go-to resource in specific markets. Customers also appreciate that type of insider knowledge when they’re shopping for solutions.
Making the transition isn’t necessarily easy, and will require more than just having a set of customers in one particular market. According to the report, “Embracing a niche specialty in retail, healthcare, or other sector will deliver a proven competitive advantage. But again, the challenge lies in having the right skills and training. And it’s important to distinguish ‘real’ vertical application specialization from the more horizontal type of infrastructure sales to customers that just happen to be in the same industry.”