Channelling 2006: Your predictions for what lies ahead

Channelling 2006: Your predictions for what lies ahead

Technology convergence and consolidation proved the catchcries of 2005, as the industry attempted to make the most of linkages between the IT and CE, and IT and telco markets.

But getting a solid financial return will be the key to channel success in 2006.

This year, an array of suppliers directed their attention towards the digital home, looking towards Microsoft's Media Center Edition (MCE) and related consumer convergence products as a way to improve lagging profit margins on IT hardware.

Industry pundits predict the impending launch of Intel's Viiv platform for the home media network, expected in January, combined with rising broadband penetration across the country, should catalyse a leap in sales over the course of next year.

IDC has highlighted new application technologies, such as video on demand and IPTV, as becoming more transparent in 2006, further promoting digital home connectivity.

The convergence message has also been two-fold, as the higher end of town branched into developing integrated data and telco solutions, such as VoIP, across the network.

In a recent IDC report, one in seven businesses across Australia were found to have already deployed a VoIP system.

Plus Corporation managing director, Nigel Fernandes, said the reseller's strategy for 2006 would remain relatively similar to this year's focus: 64-bit computing and high-end gaming machines.

While notebooks proved increasingly popular in both the corporate and consumer space, retail pricing would continue to fall as their functionality grew, less profitable for resellers, he said.

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