October 29, 2008, 9:25 PM — While some industries like housing or the automotive industry were hit immediately and very hard, VARs in the IT industry have proven to be resilient. Seven high-profile VARs share some of their secrets to success and speculate on the economy.
Joe Brown is president of Accelera Solutions, a VAR focused on the virtualization space. Accelera, the fifth-fastest growing company in the Washington, D.C. region, is on the Inc. 500 this year, and has enjoyed three-year sales growth of 777 percent. Not only has Joe not been negatively impacted, he says, "this past quarter we had two of the biggest months in our history, revenue-wise." Joe recalls that his company was born "just after the tech bubble burst" in 2001, and "we just launched off like a rocket right away. It's really due to the fact that we're tightly focused on the virtualization space. One of the things we're going to be doing is limiting the number of manufacturers we're going to represent and stay focused on existing core relationships we have, versus trying to expand that. I think when you have challenging economic times, the best thing to do is circle the wagons, stay true to your name, and stick with what you have and what you know versus trying to extend yourself too far."