Brainstorming session

What is a Value Added Reseller (VAR)?

What is a Value Added Reseller (VAR)?


If I had a penny for every customer who asks me at some stage in a meeting, “why shouldn’t I deal with the manufacturer directly? What profit do you make? What do Tyrell bring to the table as a Value Added Reseller?” I’d be a very rich man!

VAR’s have been around for a long time. For lots of manufacturers, it allows them to scale in market much more quickly than having to hire a sales and support team themselves. It makes perfect sense (to me anyway) to use an already established reseller to sell your solution along with the other products, that are very often required to offer a complete solution. Selecting a good reseller ensures that your products are being presented to prospective customers to make their working lives easier, save them time and maybe even save them some money.

Good Resellers are also quite picky about the products they take on. (See what I did there? Positive reinforcement – I’m making sure you subliminally think we’re a good reseller!) There would be no point in Tyrell taking on a product that didn’t solve or help streamline a customer’s pipeline in some way. Personally, having to tell a supplier month after month that there are no takers for their product is a soul-destroying experience for both them and us.

We apply several simple questions when deciding to whether to add another brand to our partner portfolio. These include:

  • Is there a need in the market?
    A good example for this is storage, there are so many solutions nowadays and we need to be very sure that a market exists for another variant.
  • Does it solve a problem?
    This may seem obvious but there are products out there where you would have to create a market for them- they are Field of Dreams products. You know the ‘If I build it, they will buy it’ train of thought. Generally, it is too big a risk or just not financially viable, as the revenue returned would be small compared to the amount of effort that would have to be put in.
  • Does it have scale?
    In other words, if it is a start-up is the technology compelling enough to ensure that they will reach the size required to ensure the company is around for a long time. We all at some stage have ended up with products that were the great white hope at the time and then the supplier went out of business.
  • Do we have the technical capability to sell it?
    This again is very important we must understand the tech so we can sell it. There is no surer way to annoy your client than to not understand the tech, as invariably misunderstandings will occur as to what it can and can’t do. I don’t want to be reminded of this every time I walk through the door of a client!
  • Do I have three or four customers for this product straight away?
    An obvious one for a salesperson, can I make some money by selling a good product at a fair price?

Satisfying these questions will generally result in us onboarding a product.

What’s the Tyrell approach?

It’s all about the people, we are very careful about who we employ and we’re lucky to have a top-class team. If you look at our website, you will see that many of us worked in either broadcast or post production and so really do understand your workflows and pipelines not to mention the pressures of the industry. You cannot train people in this. It must be experienced.  This means that we are immediately talking about the real issues, without you having to explain to us what you do. Enabling us to offer you the correct solution.

I often explain it to prospective clients like this, we are like free consultants, we will work with you building the best solution and offer the benefit of our experience to design what you need. This is where the value in Value Added Reseller comes from.

We love helping people, we love this business and will talk to people for hours about the smallest item because of that interest. We all love a science project be it big or small.

We are seeing a big shift in the way business is done and for everyone margins are being squeezed all the time and everyone is looking to the future and asking where are we going to end up? Companies operating on high volume and low margins cannot and will not survive in the long term as the old phrase “there’s nothing worse than being a busy fool” has never been more relevant.

Tyrell are part of a dying breed, committed resellers who must understand multiple manufacturers products, where they sit, what they do and see the whole picture. To keep doing that we need customers and that’s where you come in.

Stephen Murnane


To help support the cause, please call Stephen or any member of the Tyrell team

Click here to read our latest case study to find out how Tyrell partnered with Fulwell73 to help them with recent growth.