The channel is tipped to make a comeback this year, according to Meta Group, with even Dell recognising the value of a human intermediary to increase the value of a sale.
Outlining the trends for 2002 at its sixth annual conference last week, Meta said businesses will make discrete purchases of CRM and business intelligence tools in an effort to manage inventory, cut costs out of the supply chain and gauge the "lifetime" value of customers. They will not go for big-bang rollouts but buy specific modules.
The murky waters of knowledge management are attracting a great deal of interest, although analyst Aaron Zornes said the channel is struggling to make a buck out of it.
In terms of verticals, government is showing some vigour and manufacturing is robust. Return on investment is contracting dramatically with the acceptable period for return now set at six months or less.