What Perks Do Other Channel Companies Offer?

By Alison Diana  |  Print this article Print

So your VAR or MSP business doesn't have the resources to offer gourmet cafeteria food, free Coke and Mountain Dew or other Google/Facebook-style employee benefits? Here's a look at why employee benefits matter and how you can provide them even if your company bank account is tight.


Channel organizations recognize the importance of providing employees with competitive benefits.

"To differentiate itself in the marketplace, as well as to attract and retain top talent, Tech Data believes it’s imperative to provide an engaging environment that includes a holistic offering of high-value employee programs," Caryl Lucarelli, vice president of human resources at the distributor told Channel Insider. Tech Data recently achieved a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index 2012, which means it is a "Best Place to Work" for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

For example, Tech Data provides up to 16 hours of paid time-off per year for employees to volunteer to the non-profit of their choice; gives adoption assistance; reduced gym membership, and a commitment to career development through professional development, membership in professional associations, ongoing certifications and access to emerging technologies, eLearning, career planning, peer networks, job shadowing, stretch assignments and mentorship programs, Lucarelli said.

Career development plays a big role at smaller channel organizations, too.

"We have things like mentoring programs to bring new people in," said Asynchrony Solutions’ Elfanbaum, noting that the company also proactively seeks-out feedback from all employees—and acts on it.

Because Dimension Data is a multi-national organization, it provides some employees with the chance to work abroad for a while. The solution provider also reviews human resource practices and holidays from all its locations in an effort to standardize across the world when possible.

"There is the ability and opportunity, depending on your particular skill, to work in foreign countries for short periods of time for those who want it. Working in a multi-national company, there is that opportunity," said Messineo. "What we try to do is take some of the best practices from each of the companies where we operate and do what we can, from a budgetary standpoint, and match those up."

Outside Assistance

To ensure it provides high-quality benefits that it could not achieve alone, 11-employee Sage ERP VAR xkzero uses a third-party Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Through PEO Insperity, xkzero gives its employees health insurance, along with consumer product discounts, free professional training (in applications such as Office, SQL, and Crystal Reports), and 401k plans, company founder Paul Ziliak said in an interview. Since being founded in 2005, none of the VAR’s staff members have quit, he said, and the company has not lost a client in two years.