OnForce Launches Version 5.0 of VAR Marketplace
When it comes to coping with the US economic storm, VARs can run and hide — or they can strive to line up new IT projects even faster. If you’re the type who keeps pressing forward, spend a few minutes checking out the newly revamped OnForce marketplace, which allows VARs to outsource projects to each other across the US and Canada.
Version 5.0 of the marketplace, The VAR Guy hears, launched on Sept. 21. An official announcement is expected sometime Sept. 22. According to a draft press release viewed by our resident blogger:
This new version of the OnForce marketplace features a number of enhancements, including the ability for companies to send request-for-quotes (RFQs) to IT service pros anywhere in the US or Canada. RFQs greatly simplify the process of finding service pros through OnForce because:
- It’s free to send an RFQ in the OnForce marketplace; money is uploaded only after a buyer accepts a quote from a service pro.
- Companies who send an RFQ no longer have to pre-price their service requests; the pros will respond to the request with price quotes.
- The company who sends the request makes the final decision about which quote to accept, putting them in control of which service pro wins the work.
- The average response time for work order acceptance is 15 minutes.
Still, online marketplaces require a critical mass of trusted buyers (and sellers) to succeed. When the IT channel was getting started, many VARs didn’t outsource work to one another because there was no reliable way to maintain account control, nor could VARs determine which potential partners were trustworthy.
OnForce addresses those concerns in several ways. According to the draft press release:
The new site also enables users to find service pros with the precise skills and experience to meet their specific IT needs. OnForce buyers can now search for pros by location, skill set and by using several new filters, including:
- Specific certifications
- Safety filters like background checks and drug tests
- High-volume pros with exceptional performance ratings
- Language speaking skills
The VAR Guy has spoken to several solutions providers who are already buzzing about the newly revamped marketplace.
Aubre’ L. Cyriaque, president and CEO of Qsurf USA, a solutions provider in Colorado, plans to use the new marketplace for “Growth, Growth, Growth… To acquire several more business support contracts.”
Good to hear VARs talking about growth, even during challenging economic times.