Last year ended with some VARs questioning if the channel could survive. This year, reseller recruiting continues to pick up, with Exact the latest company to cast its pole into the reseller waters, which is interesting since the company spent the prior few years buying its top VARs and encouraging others to get together. That, executives say, has come to a stop.

One of the most interesting analyses from Exact officials was that a channel is necessary to reach smaller prospects. That boils down to the fact that there are only so many large end user organizations and it is too costly to use a direct sales force to reach the smaller ones; sort of the reason that indirect distribution exists at all.

And so the channel goes on. It's clear from the noise at SAP that the push to launch the second version of BusinessByDesign (whose first version was only nominally on the market) is ramping up, along with channel recruitment. Infor is supposed to be in the market looking for VARs, although we are still waiting for the company to drop the first shoe, since hiring Taylor Macdonald to lead the effort. Australian Pronto, coming into the U.S. market, online vendor Acumatica, and Epicor, with new channel leadership, are there also. Syspro also says it has a new channel program, although it hasn't given more detail than to issue two press releases saying that it has a new channel program.

I continue to think that the fuel for this development is the belief that as Sage and Microsoft emphasize fewer, larger VARs, that smaller, quality players will become available for the other vendors. Given the new Microsoft dealer agreement going into effect this year, there's no reason to change that thinking.

Of course, that word quality is key. Those whose are simply smaller, but can't perform, are likely to find themselves outside looking in, regardless of how many vendors are looking for new dealers.

Last modified on Saturday, 29 June 2013
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Bob Scott

Bob Scott has been informing and entertaining the mid-market financial software community with his email newsletters for 10 years. And he has been covering this market through print publications for 18 years, first as technology editor of Accounting Today and then as the Editor of Accounting Technology from 1997 through 2009. He has covered the traditional tax and accounting profession during the same time and continues to address that as executive editor of the Progressive Accountant.

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