Australian resellers stand proud. IT decision makers have voted you the most influential strategists and informants, in Quadrant Research's 1998 industry report into IT decision making.
The report, which surveyed 175 top IT business executives, revealed resellers are the dominant influence on the IT industry's top decision makers when it comes to formulating product and service strategies. Consultants and software suppliers were also high on the list, giving different channel segments three of the top five slots.
Resellers and integrators contacted by ARN last week nonchalantly accepted the plaudits, claiming it didn't surprise them.
"I'm not surprised by these results at all," Frank Borcherdt, managing director of Effective Computer Solutions, said.
"We [Australian resellers] take a long-term approach to our customers' needs that gives us clarity and scope of vision over the IT industry."
Other resellers were adamant that the survey contained nothing unexpected and in fact validated what John Fisk, managing director of Senteq, described as "standing up to the channel challenge to provide the breadth and scale of information required".
They cited the confidence that industry leaders have expressed in their ability to read the market and the unique position resellers occupy in facilitating a line of communication between the disparate sectors of the IT channel.
Tim Shambrook, a spokesperson for Autotech Computing, suggested that resellers accomplish this by "knowing what our target audiences want to know and providing that information."
Gil Averenain, national marketing manager of Todaytech, asserted that "vendors may advertise on TV or Web sites, but if customers have any questions they would not run to vendors, they would call their local reseller".
For Loretta Jackson, marketing services manager of EPL Computer Services, most resellers live by the motto "business can only be won by service, because the price is often quite similar. So resellers need to be on top of the situation with the services they offer all the time."
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Sources of influence
Software Suppliers 70%
Technical Books 56%
IT publications 50%
Manufacturer's publications 46%
IT sections in newspapers 35%
Business magazines 33%
Direct Mail 19%
* Percentage of IT decision makers who rated influences as important or very important. Source: Quadrant Research 1998.