A New Voice for a Vibrant Channel

The channel has gone through many changes over the years, but there has been one constant: Resellers are struggling to make a buck. This site hopes to help channel partners accomplish that

February 19, 2008

Al Senia

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For more than two decades, resellers and other channel partners have played a dominant role in the IT industry, developing and delivering increasingly sophisticated solutions to a diverse and growing audience. During that time, the business has suffered and survived a stunning number of challenges and changes. These include recessions, economic slowdowns, the bursting of the technology bubble, Y2K, the rise of the direct sales model, relentless margin pressure, gray market challenges, Web 2.0 and many, many more.

Some of us can remember in the industry’s early days when an IBM store medallion meant the difference between life and death for many channel players. Or the times Apple drifted away from its resellers. Or the period when Dell’s direct sales efforts seemed to threaten oblivion for all channel middlemen. Or the period when Microsoft’s Bill Gates failed to initially grasp the reality-changing consequences of the Web.

Through it all, industry events kept changing and the channel thrived, often evolving in ways no one predicted.

IBM and other retailer medallions disappeared as resellers and VARs embraced multiple vendors. (In fact, IBM eventually sold its PC business to the Chinese.)  The direct sales threat receded; now Dell strives to become a major channel force. Mighty vendors like Compaq and AST came and went; sales models constantly evolved; new technologies created unexpected dangers and opportunities.

However, one thing stayed the same: VARs and integrators still struggle to make a buck. And they still complain about pressure on margins.

That’s where this Web site comes in. ITchannelplanet enters the arena at a time when the channel can benefit from new voices and fresh perspectives. We intend to focus on how resellers can grow their businesses and profit from the new technologies and new opportunities that are coming their way. Which vertical markets are thriving?  Which vendor programs are worth joining? Which new technologies can’t be ignored? What techniques are successful resellers using to operate their businesses? Those are all topics we intend to explore on this site.

Ultimately, the most important voice of the channel is the channel itself. We certainly encourage resellers to weigh in with their own tips, comments and suggestions on how their business processes – and our own Web site – can be improved. Feel free to drop me a line with your thoughts as asenia@jupitermedia.com. Here’s to the channel and the future road ahead.

TAGS: Microsoft,IBM,IT,Dell,SAP,Web 2.0,CA,media,voice,VAR

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