Resellers: be afraid. Be very afraid.

Resellers: be afraid. Be very afraid.

The Wounded Vulture thinks he has the whole distribution marketplace sussed out. You see, first, you've got your hardware-based "margin massacring" distributors which are all looking to network and PC integration to keep their heads above water. Then you've got your software-based "box-moving" distributors, which are eyeing the lucrative online shopping experience.

So what's the state of play? Tech Pac's got dollar signs spinning in its eyes as it beta tests a whiz-bang online shopping Web site that's sure to rival that of Sydney reseller Harris Technology (which incidentally is still going berserk on the online sales front). The Vulture also suspects Express Data is toying with the idea of an online shopping site and suggests some movements might not be too far away.

On the hardware front, "it's all happening" as Bill Lawry would say. CHA, Prion and Digiland (and that's just for starters) have all expressed their intentions to establish PC or network integration or consulting businesses in order to start raking in serious margins.

This all makes sense from both sides of the fence. But, The Vulture can't help but wonder what impact these strategic decisions will have on resellers! Are we seeing the beginning of the end for the reseller as it exists today? Are these distributors secretly plotting to move in on territory that has been the reseller's bread and butter?

Maybe so. After all, today's distributor is just as vulnerable as its reseller counterpart, what with competition from global players, falling margins and the intentions of some vendors to deal direct with end users. Watch this space!

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