CAMPBELL, Calif., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It's no secret that for most of us, we rarely read the fine print. We trust that what we are agreeing to when it comes to registering a software product or signing up for a service is fair for both parties and simply a matter of legalese that will not impact our use of the product or service. While in the majority of cases, this is true, when it comes to vendor relationships, there is tremendous value in thoroughly reviewing the end-user license agreement before clicking "I approve" or signing your name.
MspPortal.net is a Value Add Distributor for security products. We service more than 1,500 MSPs, VARs, Resellers and Integrators worldwide. We only carry products that we believe in and use, and that we can support rapidly. New customers are surprised to find out that we are a no contract company. Our customers pay us a monthly fee for our products and services… simple and easy. We have operated this way for nearly 18 years and for most of our customers, it works. If they like our service, they stick around, and for the most part they do. That said, we do have contracts with our vendors and partners, which leads us to a recent experience with a new vendor.
Recently, MspPortal.net had the opportunity to review Kerio Connect, a new cross-platform email, calendar and contact solution, which according to the company is an award-winning alternative to Microsoft Exchange for small and medium businesses. We actually really liked the product and took the next step to pursue a vendor relationship. This is where the trouble began. The company had three different agreements that seemingly contradicted themselves, but had to be executed before we could continue.
The contracts would inevitably subject our business and our customers to random price fluctuations; shut downs in a very short space and time; and the most concerning clause, "Termination without Cause." To us, we never like a relationship to start out telling us that our partner can break it off at any time simply because they feel like it.
I approached the CEO with my concerns, and he seemed amicable and interested in his clients' perception of his business. The trouble came from a corporate attorney who came across as condescending, making jokes about people never reading the agreements, which brings me to the purpose of this post.
Read your agreements. If they are too one-sided, talk to your vendors about them and find out what can be done to make sure they are fair to you and provide some insurance against random pricing changes or cushion in case something happens to their business.
At MspPortal.net, our clients rely upon us to provide the right service without interruption and without unreasonable price increases. We all help manufacturers grow their business, but on occasion they feel it justifiable to change pricing structures, include "Terminate without Cause" clauses, or as MSPs, decide you are only worthy of one-year agreements.
As you are transitioning to the MSP world, be conscientious. Protect your income and your relationship with the clients and manufacturers. If you are not happy, and can't come to a resolution with your vendors or service providers, there has never been an easier time to change.
Over the next several weeks, we will also review agreements from Edgewave/RedCondor AntiSpam, Kaspersky Antivirus, Trend Micro AntiVirus, Symantec, Mcafee, Cisco, and WatchGuard. Stay tuned.
Additional information about MspPortal.net and the products and services are available at MspPortal.net. This MspPortal.net news release and other announcements are available by RSS feed at http://www.mspportal.net/rss/mspportal.xml
CONTACT: Roy Miehe, +1-408-374-8000, [email protected]