I'm filing this editorial from Las Vegas on day four of Comdex. This is the third Comdex I've been to and it's certainly been the best. I actually put that down to the fact that I'm covering Comdex this year for Australian Reseller News. On the two previous occasions I've been here it was as a ComputerWorld journalist.
As a journalist on an end-user publication like ComputerWorld, I tended to have a very different outlook on technology than I do now that I'm working on a channel title. That's because a journalist's point of view has to reflect that of their readers. When I was being shown whiz-bang new technology as a ComputerWorld reporter, the questions raised in my mind were things like: is this really a stable and mature solution? Can it be trusted in a mission-critical situation? How much does it cost? Unfortunately one ends up with a somewhat sceptical and negative approach to technology.
The channel, on the other hand, has a much more positive and enthusiastic outlook on technology. It's all about opportunity. Which new products are going to be the next big emerging market you can get a jump on? How can I use them to improve my customer's business?
This year I've felt very tapped into the buzz that makes Comdex unique. There are an amazing number of very smart and enthusiastic people here. Put them all together in the same place with the very latest technologies and it creates an amazing atmosphere.
If I had to pick the strongest Comdex theme this year I would definitely say "mass connectivity". A lot of the interest has surrounded the use of the Internet to tap into customers and business partners. Comdex organisers claimed there were 2000 new Internet software products at the show. Networking equipment designed to connect small business and homes were everywhere you looked.
Judging by this show, we are on the verge of the networked world. The business community has been networked for a long time, but the consumer community hasn't. That looks set to change very quickly. And when that happens, when we are all connected electronically, it is going to change the technology landscape forever. For resellers, that's going to mean massive opportunities and that's something worth getting positive and enthusiastic about.
Australian Reseller News' coverage of Comdex extends over six pages this week, starting on page 16. We've also had a bit of fun with a parody of Hunter S. Thompson's classic novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (page 78). We've poked a bit of fun at Comdex, at the industry and at ourselves. Working in the technology channel can be the greatest place in the world to work, just as long as we don't take it all too seriously.
E-mail your comments to Philip_Sim@idg.com.au.