Innovation... a wonderful word that gets a lot of use these days. As the prices of technological products drop, companies need to make use of innovation to help differentiate their offerings. At the vendor end of the market, innovation and invention is helping to deliver lowerprice, reliable product to market, which is great news for the overall uptake of new technology. But, it does nothing for marginstheirs or the channel. Thats where the channel has to be clever and apply thought to developing value-added propositions for their customers. How trite, but true!

I am fairly sure that there are many channel companies whos customer-facing and product development staff are pulling their hair out trying to develop solutions that are different. But, if youre not a hair puller, youll  need to continue chasing the lowhanging fruit. But, theres a limit to the supply of easy pickings and theres loads of other people chasing these too. And, that brings you back to pondering innovation.

Regardless of what type of IT business youre in, you are faced with the above dilemmathat goes for our media team too. Everyone wants to provide great service, add more value to their offerings and keep customers happy.

And then there is a need for integritythe essential element that helps to build trust. Innovation and integrity are a pretty powerful combination, I think youll agree.

And, there in lies a challenge: do you or dont you agree? Let me know.

Have a truly fantastic 2005.

Iestyn Armstrong-Smith

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