Not all VARs share CyberManor's background. In fact, the term "VAR" is often loosely applied, and therefore, somewhat confusing. It can be used to describe a number of different kinds of electronics resellers, from a high-end security installer, freelance corporate IT professionals and small business VARs (known as SMB VARs). This is partly why Avi Rosenthal, national programs manager for OnQ technologies, believes the proper name for the VAR that is branching out is "digital integrator."
Rosenthal knows this business well. He was an IT professional for many years before joining OnQ, a company that sells home networking infrastructures. But he prefers the term digital integrator, because he feels it better describes what VARs are truly doing in the home, integrating audio, video and PC devices.
He started to see the transition after the crash in the economy a few years ago."When the dotcom era pretty much ended, about a year later [VARs] started showing up at places like EH Expo [the trade show that focuses on home networking products and services]." This makes sense, says Rosenthal.