What is networking about if it is not about communications? Whether they be between PCs, workgroups, divisions, companies, or continents, the networks that tie vast numbers of people together are there to provide a flow of information - be that data, voice or whatever. In short - they are there to enable communication.
It is interesting, therefore, to hear so many resellers say that it is this very notion of communication that is fundamental to the success of their business. So what's the secret? It's not ATM, gigabit Ethernet, Frame Relay or fibre.
A reseller said to me last week, after having recently won a modest 200 seat network implementation contract, that the client told him some of the bidders didn't really listen to what the client wanted. While many came in preaching the benefits of the latest technology, only a handful actually stopped to listen to what the business needed. The reseller believes he won the contract not because he could provide the best technology, but because he could provide a solution to the business problem. And in the end the solution he proposed was not particularly fast or versatile. However, it would do the job well and not cost the earth.
Lyle Potgieter, director of sales and marketing at Melbourne-based network integrator CNI, tells a similar story (See page 42). Starcom managing director Gary Dickinson echoed this sentiment in the previous edition of Network Reseller.
Vendors are probably the best at selling the hype that comes with new technology and journalists are often all too keen to help them. Resellers traditionally have sold solutions. For the sake of the users, long may they keep doing so.