More definition

Ive joined the IT Reseller publishing team at a very exciting time. After being involved in publishing within the automatic data capture market for about a decadeand following a two-year detour into marketing and communications for a range of technology and manufacturing companiesI now get to see a broader range of ICT. It is a privilege for me and I am looking forward to what the future holds. My challenge is to make this magazine more personal to you and encourage you to get involved with what gets printed. Your editorial challenge is to pick up the phone and tell me what is happening in your particular channel business. Im keen to get feedback on the current trend of verticalisation.

Current issueThe vertical organisation of the channel clearly is gaining momentum with support from major vendors and their distributors. So its a hot topic and will remain high on the agenda for business strategies for some time to come.

I had the opportunity to discuss verticalisation with several distributors in preparing this issue of IT Resellerin particular Phil Boyd of Europdata Connect and Barry Garrison of Scansource both of whom are pro vertical. And, why shouldnt they be? The logic is clear and in Phils words the mixed model will go as the channels take on more definition. Whereas in the past it was down to SIs and resellers to define the applications for vertical niches, the biggest difference is now we can see the vendors getting behind this focus.

One thing that wont change is that those who deal with users and help them to understand what they need and how to use their prescribed solutions will be those who will succeed with repeat sales and further opportunities to help them. So not only is the mixed models time running out, but also the hit-and-run sales method is out of time. All good news for the channel. At least thats my observation; you may feel otherwise.

I am really interested in hearing how you feel about this. Is it good or is it just restrictive? Your reaction now is going to be quite different than it will be in three years. Do you think well have overload in some market segments; and; what about some of the least lucrative or difficult areas, will these be overlooked? It would be interesting to chart your attitude and business direction beginning with what you do this year and follow it through year by year.

New products seem to have more thought put into them too, whereas in the past there were technologies appearing without any real applications. I clearly remember reviewing a rugged mobile computer that received rave reviews (or reviews from the raving) from well-known consumer IT publications. For the industrial market it was about as much use as the chocolate fireguard. The obvious faux pas was the diminutive keyboard was useless for anyone wearing protective gloves. Im sure you have similar experiences and if you have a tale to tell I am ready to hear it.

Iestyn Armstrong-Smith

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