The WISP industry has created some interesting issues with the traditional VAR/Distributor definitions. In reality the lines have been blurred considerably. There are folks like us (Electro-Comm) and Tessco that think of ourselves as traditional 2 tier distributors. Typically we would sell to resellers, dealers and such as we do with the Motorola Canopy model. However in the wireless industry it is typical for the distributors to sell direct to wireless service providers like cellular carriers, paging carriers and such. The WISP is much like these other carriers, only typically smaller. So therefore we have been selling direct to the WISP market when the manufacturers channel model allows, like Tranzeo and Smartbridges. Also, most WISPs are quite savvy when it comes to integrating wireless gear, often as knowledgeable, or more, than the VARs. So the ultimate question is, How much help do you think you need? There are some very good VARs that deal with the WISP industry that can provide on-site RF surveys, do the installations, train your engineers and be available for after-sale support. If you believe yourself to be self sufficient and already knowledgeable in the IP and wireless area and just look for a little additional help and/or recommendations from someone, then the distributors can typically fulfill that roll perfectly well. At Electro-comm we often go a bit beyond the very basics of support, but since we're talking about distributors as a whole I'll leave the definition as is. Now on the VAR side there are 2 types, those that look like distributors and those that focus primarily on services. There are a few resellers that actually inventory product and provide services. Other resellers will drop ship product from the distributor (us) and do the integration and support work themselves. There are many resellers in this business that provide no other service than to simply burn up the phone lines dialing for dollars, looking for WISPs to sell something to. While others can provide considerable support and training. I hope this thread gets some action as I'd like to see other's perceptions of the industry and it's channels. Being an old-timer in this business I've seen it change a lot. We were supplying pigtails, LMR cable, amps and antennas for the systems based on Lucent cards back in the early days. I have to say I like the technological advances. But concerned as it's attracted some people interested in getting a piece of the latest fad.

Mike B

Jeffrey Thomas wrote:

Hey everyone.

Just curious- who on this list uses var / vs Distributors like tessco?

If you do use VAR/VAD/SI'S do they really provide a value add for you?

What Var's are your favorite for purchasing hardware / services from?

Thanks for your help,

Jeff Booher

Mike Brownson
Electro-comm Distributing
5015 Paris St
Denver, CO 80239
(303) 371-8182 x112,   (800) 525-0173

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