The Power of One is a phrase that has been used by many vendors, the most recent Sage Software when it was promoting its Sage Elite program, which is designed to encourage accounting software resellers to carry only Sage financial products.

Recently, that has been changing as loyal Sage resellers signed up for the financial software for project-based companies that is marketed by Deltek Software. On the low-end of the market, some key Sage VARs picked up QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, the mid-market entry from Intuit.

One of the actors, Kevin Cumley, a partner in Forepoint, explained why his organization added both Deltek Vision and QBES to his company’s line. One of the more interesting rationales was that the QuickBooks line would serve as a feeder system for the Sage line.

Whatever the arguments, many of the vendors involved, Sage, Deltek and Intuit, wanted to talk about this development. So far, my schedule has only been able to work in Deltek.

Taylor Macdonald, the former Sage executive who is leading the Deltek channel program as a vice president, gave his view that these VARs “didn’t pick up a competitive product they picked up a complementary product.”

There’s a logic here I tend to agree with. But if that logic is valid, then programs such as Sage Elite are not good for the reseller and that’s a view I’ve long held, that loyalty programs benefit the vendor, not the VAR.

When times turn tough, having all your eggs in one vendor's basket is not a good a strategy. I’ve always believed that in the past slowdowns, the dealers that carried only one vendor’s product lines did not do as well as those that carried multiple lines.

Since the economy is not getting better, it’s time for those who carry one product to decide just how they want to place their bets—on one number, or hedge their bets on multiple numbers on the board.  

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