Nitro takes a venture on value services

At Nitro, the employees try to stress the value-add aspect of value-added reseller.

The Ottawa-based VAR focuses on services such as IT infrastructure design, network migration planning, IT procurement, and complete network rollout. “”We can truly deliver an end-to-end value-added solution for

our clients. In effect, our clients save costs by outsourcing much of their logistics and services requirements to us, instead of bearing the costs internally,”” said CEO Larry Poirier.

But this message is sometimes difficult to get across to Nitro’s clients, Poirier said.

“”In truth, some clients who wish to do all services internally and bear the expense shouldn’t deal with us. We understand not everybody is going to be a Nitro customer. Although I feel that outsourcing many tasks to us would save them tons of money and prevent them from making costly bad decisions.””

But not all his clients use Nitro’s services wisely, he said.

“”To think, some clients who have ‘saved’ money by buying Dell actually pay me to wait on hold to order Dell spare parts for them and pay me to repair their Dell systems because on-site services from Dell takes too long.””

Those that do take advantage of what Nitro truly has to offer get the benefit of 10 account managers, and a technical services team of 18 people and 10 professional services engineers who are certified in database exchange, Cisco, storage, Linux and Web development to deliver value-added services.

The economy has really driven the need for resellers such as Nitro to be able to provide those services, Poirier said.

“”Once upon a time, we could make money off the product — people didn’t need to sell services.””

That’s all changed, he said.

There are some companies who think they can win by offering cheaper prices, but clients can always find a cheaper price somewhere, he said. “”That builds no loyalty, and it’s not a long-term strategy. Too many of our competitors have no value-add.””

Some offer no more value add apart from helping with purchases and managing returns and 30 day financing. But such resellers will find their business threatened as vendors ramp up their direct capabilities.

“”These VARs serve no practical purpose,”” Poirier said.

Nitro works hard to make its suppliers understand its value, he said.

“”The ones who do get it and work with us are rewarded with loyalty and new opportunities. The ones who can’t seem to understand the VAR channel or switch business strategies quarterly will never build a good business.””

The company is a part of the Venture Tech Network. It allows Nitro to services clients across Canada without having to bear the actual cost of keeping service people in remote locations.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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