A lot of this stuff used to make much more sense in the on-prem / pre-SaaS world.
Even better than buying a reseller was buying a company that provided support and services for on-prem software … the cash cow annuity.
There were many wars here:
Oracle, SAP settle long-running TomorrowNow lawsuit
But in SaaS, first, lower margin support & services is a cost center, not a profit center. So most SaaS companies prefer to outsource as much of this as they can anyway (e.g., Salesforce helping to start Appirio).
And resellers have a very diminished role in SaaS where software is not installed and delivered straight to the browser. Instead, “Cloud Consultants”, the Next-Gen SIs, have been reborn as the new VARs. Delivering Worday or Salesforce is simple. Deploying it remains very complex.
So we are seeing a lot of SaaS SI M&A and consolidation now, e.g. IBM just buying Salesforce SI Bluewolf for $200m+ IBM to Acquire Cloud Consulting Firm Bluewolf for About $200 Million