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Is 'Internet' still a buzzword?

Is 'Internet' still a buzzword?

I read it in a newspaper, so it must be true! The Internet is so popular, it's about to grind to a halt through congestion. Yet . . . interest has peaked, and Internet use will fall dramatically in popularity this year. And . . . if you aren't selling on the Internet, you aren't in the race. But . . . the only people expected to make money out of the Internet are those taking paid ads.

I know senior people in this industry who spit bile at the mention of the Internet. They say it's not only a load of hype, but if any of their people are caught using it, they'd better have a good reason for wasting company time.

Faced with so many mixed messages about the Internet, some resellers could be excused for putting the next level of use in the too-hard basket. After all, I hear some of you saying, "If I can't sell a PC when I'm looking the customer in the face, how on earth could anything as impersonal as the Internet help?"

Around six months ago, relatively few of you had experience on the Net. A telephone poll conducted by Australian Reseller News this month revealed that now about half of you have an account. What we'll ask in a future poll is: how many of you regularly use your accounts?

What would I use it for?

For those of you who haven't tried it yet: as a user of the Internet you get electronic mail to just about everyone in the industry (well, half the resellers, anyway); quick access to marketing and support materials from most vendors; and an unbelievably wide source of information. But most of all, you get experience with a technology that your customers will undoubtedly want to know about, even if you aren't so sure.

Two issues from now, Australian Reseller News will feature "Selling the Internet". We'll be looking at the opportunities available for both retailers and VARs, and the trends as well. For instance, there may be good opportunity for selling high speed modems today, but what will happen when there's a fibre-optic cable running past most houses and offices in the country? What will happen to your modem market then?

A compelling reason

In case you still don't think the Internet affects you, by next year the most common way for resellers to order from distributors will be via the Internet, or other on-line services. Similar systems have been tried in the past, but until now there was no suitable, widely available carrier available. Ordering from your distributor on the Internet will revolutionise the way you do business.

Who knows, one day you might be able to haggle over buy-prices at two in the morning. With an expert system on your distributor's Internet server, that is!


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