Did you ever try to log in a support request with your vendor and they refused to provide it because it seems your product did not belong to the right region? They said your device or software was not purchased through the channel. Hence, they cannot provide the necessary support. You know the product is genuine you know it is the right one; so why are they not providing you with the support? Well, this is because you did not buy through the channel.
What is the Channel?
Imagine you were Cisco or HPE with millions of customers around the world. These customers each have specific requirements, different standards and regulations, and all of them must benefit from the highest possible level of support and care. Would you scale your company to manage all these customers individually? That would mean having offices in almost every country and it would also be a nightmare to provide support, services, presentations, customer meetings, regulation, compliance, etc. and all that at a competitive cost.
Instead of doing what I just described, companies create a channel. A channel consists of the Vendor (Cisco, Dell, HPE, Veeam, Microsoft, etc.), then comes the distributor (just a few per country), then the partner (also called the reseller), and then the end customer (the final user of the product). This means the Vendor gets to work with only a handful of distributors and that’s it. It enables them to be agile and respond rapidly to our needs as customers.
The distributors belong to a region (North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, etc.) which consist of countries. Representation is given to these distributors to sell to partners in those regions. Apotica is a partner that is authorized to sell in the Africa region typically.
Why customers may buy outside the channel
Any product purchased outside the channel is called “grey”. This means it is not procured for the intended region. Let’s look at what seems so attractive about grey products.
Different regions mean different pricing. A product that is listed for $500 in the United States may be listed at $700 for sub-Sahara Africa. It is the same product, manufactured by the same company yet the price differs from one region to another and that price difference may look attractive to customers trying to cut cost.
The main reasons pricing differs is the sales volumes. Certain regions are simply not able to generate enough revenue, which results in a higher cost of doing business for the vendor.
Another reason is lead time. When you buy through the channel, it may take several weeks before the product arrives. Yet if you go online and just buy it off Amazon, you may get it way quicker.
Don’t be lured
Even though you may get the product at a cheaper price, the vendor will refuse to support you or replace failed components when you need it. No partner will be willing to support you lest they get their license to sell revoked. You will be on your own with a product without necessary support. Besides, we are always ready to give you the best possible discount; talk to your account manager. For early delivery, commit early and get the order booked.
Even though it may be more expensive sometimes (on the short run) to buy through the channel, the long-term benefits (full product support, extended services and warranties, vendor buy-back options, etc.) outweigh that fact. Delivery could take longer because your products get manufactured specifically and tailored to your needs at the time the order is placed (to reduce manufacturing costs). Try your best to get workable realistic timelines and release purchase orders in time for projects.
In order to fully benefit for your brand-new equipment, it is paramount you purchase it through the channel. Place your orders with Apotica, who will in turn book the order with the Vendor through an authorized distributor for your region. This will ensure you are able to take advantage of all additional services that come with the product. Remember, the channel exists to protect your investment.
Apotica is 100% committed to selling only through the channel. Our sales team is always available to provide you with timely quotations and our delivery team will bring the equipment right to your doorstep. To inquire about any equipment or software, call us on +233.54.431.5710 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apotica, headquartered in Accra, Ghana brings together the best information and communications technologies to help clients grow, compete and serve their customers better.