Recovering from the excesses of the festive season, resellers in the network business now realise that the in-word is thin.
Thin clients have arrived with the network computer. Thinner margins are here with lower prices. That means thinner profits for resellers turning over hardware.
The clear message for resellers that like to have fat in the business is to add value to the hardware or get out of the hardware side of the business all together.
If you go back to the early days of the PC business, a handful of large companies set out to dominate the market as resellers.
The problem was that for a plain box like the PC, there was a very low entry barrier for anybody wanting to get into the business.
All you needed was an agreement with the supplier of your choice on discount levels plus a phone and a letterhead. You didn't even need a shopfront on the street.
Well, folks, it looks like we've just about reached the same level with networks. Small users - the SOHO market - can buy the hardware and software off the shelf at the local super store.
Large organisations will continue to rely on the large system integrators to hang all that spaghetti together.
That leaves a lot of middle ground for resellers to tackle. But to tackle it effect-ively, resellers will have to raise their skills.
For resellers prepared to make the investment, the rewards are there - ongoing relationships with organisations that translate into a steady revenue and profit stream.
For resellers not prepared to make the investment and add value to network hardware - can you remember the names of the companies that wanted to be the biggest resellers in the early days of the PC business?
We can. But they are only memories.