There is only one thing you can count on in this industry. It's going to change. It's around 18 months since I signed on as editor of Australian Reseller News and in that time the channel has changed dramatically.
Faced with both enormous opportunities and challenges, resellers have been asked to clearly define the value that they bring to the IT supply chain. For most, that has meant a move towards services. Consolidation has charged ahead with larger players getting even larger by snapping up smaller fish. And the roles of vendors, distributors and resellers have continuously blurred and contorted.
Technology continues to change at a pace never seen before. There will be no relief. Think how far we've come, then consider that there are more engineers, developers and scientists working in research and development today than in all other times combined.
And then of course there's the Internet, which more than anything is responsible for the enormous amount of change everyone in the industry is experiencing today. You can quite rightly blame everything from vendor's direct strategies to changing consumer buyer patterns on the Internet.
And as I've stated before, I think it is almost impossible to truly appreciate the ramifications that the Internet is going to have on both our professional and personal lives. As IDC says in one of this week's articles, e-commerce activity today will be looked back on as 'primordial ooze' (page 14). Elsewhere, Larry Ellison describes the Internet as the 'last great paradigm shift' (page 17).
I think this realisation is finally starting to sink into the channel and more and more resellers and integrators are beginning to hitch their wagons to the Internet gravy train. Logical's declaration (page 1) that it sees itself as an e-business company is a perfect example of that. If you still see yourself as a PC dealer then might I suggest you're going to be left behind pretty quickly. Certainly, in the US channel 'Internet integration' is the buzzword of the moment.
Even I'm jumping onto the bandwagon. As I mentioned about a month ago, I'm about to take a new position in IDG Communications, the publisher of ARN, whereby I will be developing portals for both the corporate IT and channel communities. As such, this is my last week at ARN and my last editorial.
While I'm tremendously excited about my new opportunities, I'm very sad to be leaving ARN. The last 18 months have certainly been the high point of my professional career and will be very hard to top by any work I do in the future.
It really is an exceptional bunch of people who work in the Australian channel and I feel very fortunate to have had this experience. And if you'll excuse the indulgence, I'd like to extend a very special thank you to all the ARN crew - an incredibly special and talented team of people.
One of those people, Mark Jones, will be stepping into the role of editor and his picture will replace my grinning mug at the top of this page from next week.
In all these times of change, though, I can assure you one thing will remain the same. Australian Reseller News will continue to be the voice of the channel and will continue to champion the role of the reseller.
Philip Sim is editor-in-chief of Australian Reseller News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org