22 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2018 3:44 PM by Dan Golthing

    Picking a Var?

    David Matula

      Finding the value added resellers is easy.  Getting the contact information is not that difficult either.

      I know that when I attend a rollout my var tells me about all the test and certifications that their techs go threw to be able to work for them.  So my big question is where can a user or potential customer verify any of this information.  Where can I lay claim to how good my var is and give them either great reviews on their service that they are to supply us with or let others know how bad they are doing for me so that when I recommend them to others they can do some research for themselves and make an educated informed decision on who the best for them will be.

          I know that in the past I have done lots of surveys for the level of support that we have revived at the various companies that I have worked for.  99% of the time things are good.  The 1% of the time when things go bad it could be the one time that you really are in desperate need of help.  Also after asking for help sometimes we will get a survey to fill out on how well things went.  That evidently goes back to the var for evaluation of the tech.

      So if I move half way across the world to work and would like to find out who the best most certified reseller there is in a given area how would I find the information that would best help me.

        • Re: Picking a Var?
          Tony Cantrell

          Name a location and ask the people here on the forum. The certifications should be on the SW website.

          • Re: Picking a Var?
            David Matula

            The only thing I see for a unknown location on the web sight is a alpha listing not even the best is first unless they happen to be the best.

            • Re: Picking a Var?
              M. D.

              If you are really concerned about it you can get a list of the tech's names and check what certifications they have.  In my limited experience either a VAR has lots of goodies and pushes the most expensive options, or they tend to be more barebones and have lower prices/options.

              • Re: Picking a Var?
                Roland Schwarz

                Look at their training schedule. Whoever's got the most on  the docket.

                  • Re: Picking a Var?
                    David Matula

                    would that mean that all the techs are teaching and not available for support till they get around to it?

                      • Re: Picking a Var?
                        Roland Schwarz

                        Teach a man to fish...

                         

                        Or you can just be a boy

                        • Re: Picking a Var?
                          Tracy Wettig

                          VAR Application Engineer here. That depends on the VAR's resource structure. Some VARs have dedicated pre-sales or post-sales or teaching or tech support AEs (commonly, varying combos of each).  Sometimes pure geography forces you to choose a particular reseller (is the nearest office 30 min away or 2.5 hours away?  Do they offer online training?  Are they responsive via email/phone?  What is a dealbreaker quality?).  If the service is unsatisfactory, let them know!  Sometimes change may take longer than you're professionally willing to commit to and you can pursue an Account Change Request (ACR) to another reseller.

                            • Re: Picking a Var?
                              David Matula

                              Looking for info to pick the right company to partner up with.  I know some car sales guys and they could sell me a red rider wagon and tell me it is street legal and not worry about a thing and sell someone another one even after I just got run over leaving his shop.  As a potential consumer of the products and services offered I should be able to verify and get reviews.  That is all that I am looking for.  To become the best informed consumer of a product.  Why have to take time doing account change request from building a business when you have all the info that you would want and need to make the best informed decision from the beginning. 

                        • Re: Picking a Var?
                          Steve Calvert

                          David, you're in Texas, right?  Can't go wrong with either MLC-CAD (my company's VAR) or GoEngineer.

                           

                          Steve C

                            • Re: Picking a Var?
                              David Matula

                              Recommendations I am not looking for.  I want the cold hard facts.  I want to see what certs each var has and build my decision from there... I may not always be in Texas. If I was staying here I would already know which VAR I would go with.  The recent political situation has me questioning and working on fact finding.  Any one tells me that they have a cswp or E I know where to go to look that up.  The var tell me they got this cert that cert where do I go to verify it?

                            • Re: Picking a Var?
                              Dan Golthing

                              Is this just for a personal seat you have or for a company you work for that has multiple seats???  Details man!

                               

                              For my personal seat, I go with the VAR that has the obvious strongest local presence.  Where I'm at there is no question.

                               

                              On the company side, I use however many VAR's I want up to the number of licenses we run.  Why use only one?   That doesn't make any sense.

                               

                              Once I had an installation problem.  The first VAR I called was less than helpful, in fact, disrespectful when it came to this certain small issue.  I called the next and had the problem solved.  Then I called the original VAR back and let them know what happened and that I would remember it next time we ordered another seat.

                               

                              VAR's have strengths and weaknesses like any other business competitors and by using multiples you can leverage them to your advantage. 

                               

                              I wouldn't get too hung up on the certification thing, though.  Some of the worst SolidWorks users I've run into were certified.

                                • Re: Picking a Var?
                                  David Matula

                                  It should not matter how many seats one had if it is for a company or personal....I have been asking where I can find info on the value added resellers.  I would like to see reviews what certifications they have and all the good and bad dirt that one could have.  This is not a short term relationship one gets into.  I believe that taking the time to review all relevant information at one time is better than trying one and deciding that no this was not a good choice, then having to spend time to jump threw the hoops to change. 

                                    • Re: Picking a Var?
                                      Dan Golthing

                                      Maybe you missed the point of my post.  If you have multiple licenses, you can have more than one VAR.  Then your chances of getting quality support goes up as you have options to get help.  Simple as that.  You can still do your homework when choosing, but there is no way to cover all the bases.  I had one var that had served me well for over a decade let me down pretty bad, as I mentioned.  This was due to one a-hole customer support engineer that didn't want to help.  Maybe had a different person answered my call, I wouldn't have this great example of being let down by one var and calling the other and having the issue resolved in minutes.

                                       

                                      There is a wise saying, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket..."

                                       

                                      Also, the big guys have more resources.  Hawk, Go, and others that are national or international simply have more people that can help you. 

                                       

                                      I've rarely ever had an issue with either of the two VAR's mentioned above.  Maybe part of your research is simply other customer experiences and recommendations.

                                       

                                      And one nice thing about HR is that they have HawkWare, which is custom software to enhance your SWX experience if you want, sometimes free and sometimes costing a fee.  This is something that most VARs don't offer.  Now I'm just waiting for the first VAR to come out with 24-7 tech support, because I'm probably the only one that has problems after 6:00 PM or on the weekends when that big project is overdue.

                                       

                                      If you are stuck in a situation where you are in a foreign country that only has one small VAR in your language, then you might have a problem. 

                                       

                                      You didn't mention if you need local support.  That adds another issue.  If you need a VAR that can come by your facility and set up PDM, or whatever, then you are instantly limited.

                                       

                                      Also, Alin Vargatu represents a VAR, and if he's any indication of how that VAR runs, why not use them?

                                       

                                      Maybe a thread on VAR ranking if there isn't already one.  Other than that, you're going to just have to rely on Yelp.

                                  • Re: Picking a Var?
                                    Glenn Schroeder

                                    Tony Cantrell gave what I think was an excellent response.

                                    • Re: Picking a Var?
                                      David Matula

                                      I take it picking a var can be a crap shoot..  I can gets lots of recommendations but no place to find the  cold hard facts that one would like to find.

                                      One could try to Sheldon Cooper a heck of a roommate or relationship  agreement with the var... thanks for all the recommendations everyone.

                                      • Re: Picking a Var?
                                        Todd Blacksher

                                        Most VAR's are proud of the awards that they win, and share them on their websites.

                                        Just find the VAR's in your area (Find a SOLIDWORKS Reseller | How To Buy | SOLIDWORKS ), and look at their websites.

                                         

                                        I know that you are in Texas, and MLC-CAD is an incredible VAR, but what if you move to California?

                                        The VAR's for Beverly Hills are:

                                        Awards | Hawk Ridge Systems

                                        Industry Recognition - GoEngineer

                                        For Certifications, just hit the Certification Center and look for VAR employees - SOLIDWORKS® Certification Center

                                        todd

                                          • Re: Picking a Var?
                                            David Matula

                                            WOW....Id prefer some third party review sight also then.  Would I really put up a review from a customer that was dissatisfied with my service cause they where the .01% that fell threw the crack?   I would like to see reviews on SolidWorks from some of the surveys that customers fill out. 

                                                 Cause picking a VAR is more important than Picking a spouse.  It almost takes an act of congress to get out of the service contract and switch over to someone new or different.  All it really takes is that one time someone drops the ball and lets one person down and your reputation with that company can got to heck.  Then subscriptions got lax., upgrades and training don't happen, you get so far behind using a broken program that you drop from the user group attendance cause everyone is up to date or just a year back instead of  5.

                                                  So I need to look at spending a good 6 months picking a VAR if I move out of the area where I know the people I would be working with.  Or if I move could I just keep them if I already had them?