Buying Benefits: VAR Versus OEM Vendors

Buying Benefits: VAR Versus OEM Vendors

Most Business Intelligence vendors have a number of distribution channels.  They sell direct, thru Value Added Resellers (VARs), and thru Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).  We will discuss VAR versus OEM vendors in this blog.

OEM is a misleading term for a company that has a special relationship with the Business Intelligence Vendor. OEMs are manufacturers of hardware or software who resell another company's product under their own name and branding.


Oftentimes, an OEM can sell the licenses cheaper than a VAR or the Business Intelligence vendor themselves.  But there’s a catch!  The majority of the time the OEM is selling a “restricted use license” and that’s why they sell it cheaper.  The restrictions are not always communicated to the purchaser.  For example, IBM Cognos has OEM relations where the client that purchases the Cognos licenses from the OEM are restricted to using ONLY the data from the OEM’s system in Cognos.


Typically, the client will have to call the OEM for support and not the manufacturer of the software.  For example, clients that buy IBM Cognos from an OEM are usually only allowed to call the OEM – not IBM Cognos to solve their issues.  This can cause delayed responses as the OEM will not have the latest bug and patch fix information.   Additionally, OEM’s do not usually support the latest version of the software and sometimes restrict some of the functionality. So, if you buy from an OEM be educated on the restrictions.

When purchasing software from a Premier reselling partner, you purchase a full use license that allows you to access data from any subsystems.  A successful Business Intelligence / Dashboarding implementation will require data from multiple sources like your POS, GL, Inventory systems….  By investing in the full use license, you will be able to include data from a company you acquire or merge with very rapidly without having to migrate them to your GL or other subsystem.  This will provide you with rapid reporting on the merged or acquired organization.

When you purchase software from Lodestar Solutions, we can usually sell the software cheaper than the software manufacturer.  I know that sounds odd, but as a reseller we are given a small margin for our efforts.  We have the option to pass on some of our margin to the customer allowing us to sell it cheaper than the manufacturer.    Lodestar Solutions will also guide you so you can ask the correct questions about sales tax.  Many states don’t tax business intelligence software or annual support.  Knowing the sales tax rules could save you up to 10%.

By purchasing from us, you will still get direct access to the software support of the manufacturer and you will also have access to our team of certified consultants.

So, be the educated consumer when it comes to Business Intelligence software.  Purchasing from a reseller like Lodestar Solutions can save you a lot of money in the long run.  You can read more about this topic in another blog article.

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