A government OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) sells manufactured equipment to the government. OEM is a broad term used across many different industries, but in the US government IT procurement space, it refers to software and hardware manufacturers. Some common OEMs are Cisco, HPE, Microsoft, and Dell.

Most IT OEMs do not sell directly to the federal government. Instead OEMs sell through a partnership network of resellers and distributors. Resellers are sometimes referred to as “VARs” (Value Added Resellers) and their role in the partnership arrangement is to re-sell the software/hardware that was manufactured by the OEM. These VARs usually work with a distributor who keep the supply of software/hardware on hand to meet the needs of various VARs who sell the software/hardware that they carry.

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