The availability of convergence technologies that make the deployment of voice, video and data over an IP network a reality today are changing the IT landscape at speed, signaling new opportunities and challenges for the channel according to expert industry speakers at COMPUTERLINKS' first University event Convergence 2008-2010: the new business opportunities.
COMPUTERLINKS, a leading distributor of IT security and Internet technology solutions in the UK and Ireland, hosted the event, addressing an audience of resellers from across the UK. Attendees heard first hand from vendors, analysts and channel players who concluded that resellers early to understand the potential of converged technologies will be able to take advantage of significant new markets. For resellers that are not wanting to support early adopters the message was clear; at the very least have a business plan that supports convergence in the long-term.
"Ubiquitous broadband, Web 2.0 and VOIP applications, together with advancements in deployment technologies, are accelerating the transformation of business and consumer communication systems," commented David Ellis, director of e-Security, training and professional services, COMPUTERLINKS. "As we enter into this new phase of Internet communications, the opportunities for resellers with the right expertise and technology portfolio will be substantial. Our University event was designed to help the UK channel understand more about the opportunities involved in convergence and how it can be incorporated into their own long-term business strategies."
Graham Whitehead, Principal Consultant for BT, speaking at the event, said, "There will be more changes in the next ten years than have occurred over the last 150. Technology is forcing businesses to reinvent their business models and the transformation that is occurring is happening at speed. We wanted to highlight the risk to channel organisations if convergence isnt embraced. Organisations that are not able to innovate will find it hard to compete."
"We have seen tremendous growth in technology spend in 2007. Our Titans Index of the financial performance of the leading lights of the IT industry are the healthiest they have been since the millennium. We predict that this growth will continue, even with the uncertainty in the world markets over the credit crunch, green taxes and the price of oil," commented Andy Buss, Principal Analyst at Canalys, a keynote speaker. "The PC, networking and security industries have developed separately and in parallel. This is adding additional complexity to IT solutions. Customers are slowly changing their buying behaviour, bringing IT under a single authority, often in the name of compliance or governance. These customers will look to their trusted channel partners to follow them in this journey of convergence as voice, video, applications, storage and data all come together"
COMPUTERLINKS plans to follow-up the University event will further initiatives to provide education and guidance on convergence opportunities for the channel.