How To Choose Software Solutions: Implementation Services Providers vs. Value-Added Resellers

Imagine that your company is growing fast and you’re in need of a robust software solution. Let’s say that you decide to purchase CRM Software, now all you need to do is decide on a provider and determine the best method of implementation. Don’t fret — you’ve got plenty of options!

If you purchase software directly from the manufacturer, you can use an in-house team for installation and implementation, or hire an implementation services provider. If you choose to purchase software through a value-added reseller (VAR), it can be implemented through the VAR, an implementation specialist or in-house.

Keep in mind that if you choose not to manage the software implementation in-house, you will need to hire a third-party consultant, often referred to as a ‘partner’ of the software manufacturer. Partners are VARs, implementation specialists or a combination of the two. Let’s break it down a bit.


Implementation service providers assist with software installation, setup, training and support, enabling businesses to get the most out of their software. Consultants work closely with the the business to understand their software needs; they then plan the implementation, set goals and train employees.

Implementation services can be performed virtually or in person. Keep in mind that implementation service providers do not sell software, but rather they offer implementation, support and training services. Check out G2 Crowd’s buying considerations for implementation service providers to determine if implementation service providers are right for you.

We have compiled a list of relevant items to consider before you buy, including the level of partnership, diversity of portfolio and selling capabilities.


>Choosing the right software is as important as choosing the right VAR, and many companies choose the software and VAR at the same time. VARs help companies optimize their resources by adding value to software. Customers should consider purchasing software from a VAR if they need specific features within individual software products. Beyond offering software solutions, VARs often offer implementation services and support.

VARs are specialists that often develop industry-specific programming and assist in adapting key functions of the software to your business. They also work with the software manufacturer to add functionality to future releases, eliminating the need for customizations. Check out G2 Crowd’s best VARs to determine if they are the right fit for you.


Software implementation service providers and VARs often partner with software manufacturers. VARs’ partnerships with software companies are classified by their level of expertise, skill and proven investment. Partners are classified by their level of expertise, skill, proven investment in the software products and the extent of support they are qualified to offer. A partner will typically display its level of partnership on its website.


If you’re researching business services or software, you know how helpful reviews from real people can be. The G2 Crowd community is a place for professionals to help one another find the best business solutions. Real-time and unbiased user reviews help businesses objectively assess the best options for solving their problems. Let’s take a look at a few CRM and ERP System reviews from users who hired a partner to assist in the implementation process.

Salesforce CRM:

“It’s an incredibly powerful tool that can accommodate businesses in any industry. Our company is unusual in it’s [sic] relationships between the various players (accounts, contacts, leads, etc), and Salesforce was capable of helping us. … Engage professional services or a third party to implement. Trying to figure it out on your own is a nightmare.

—A reviewer from Forrester Research

Netsuite ERP:

“I love the ease in making reports to pull whatever data I might need. The search capabilities are robust and everything can be exported into excel for more intense analysis. I can access it from anywhere I have an internet connection and never have to worry about the safety of my data. …  Implement today! You won’t regret it.

A reviewer from EZ Own Auto Source Automotive

“I like the ability to extend the functionality using Workflows and Scripts … Make sure you have a good partner to help identify your business needs and implement the software properly.”

A reviewer from Peterson Enterprises

“Updates twice a year with forward thinking features. Excellent tech support … Find a good developer that puts a sincere effort in understanding your business. Don’t be afraid to incorporate third party apps.

A reviewer from Duvac Electronics

Check out G2 Crowd’s real-time and unbiased user reviews today. We can guide you to customer insights, like the reviewer examples above, to find the right software, implementation service provider or VAR for your needs. And while you’re at it, please let us know what you think about the software and services you currently use — join the crowd and write a review of your own!