What's the future of the PC desktop market?
SD: The data I have seen from IDC and other analyst groups shows the desktop market is growing slowly globally - it's not retracting. It won't achieve the double-digit growth we have seen in some areas like mobility but it's going to keep growing.
Markets in APAC seem to have a strong desktop base that continues to grow, while in some of the mature markets like North America uptake is a little bit less. The vast majority of growth in those markets was around servers and desktop.
An interesting point is that out of all the desktop areas that are declining, consumer is the one that has slowed down the most. Enterprise is still growing a little bit and small business is growing a lot and I think that is phenomenal. Small form factor will be a real opportunity for the channel especially in small business.
What advice would you give channel partners trying to penetrate those markets?
SD: Firstly they need to learn how to integrate with small form factor, know the suppliers and build on that. It is one of the things we are training partners on. Around the server space, we will also be doing some technical solution training on servers and bringing them up to speed on that.
One of the things I find discouraging is that while the channel keeps thriving and going forward, it's not always the same partners succeeding long-term. In any year, a large percentage of them go out of business while a whole new percentage of them come into business.
As the world changes, the channel tends to morph and change with it, but we do it in such a way that those partners that fail to adopt are eliminated. Instead, new players come in and fulfil that niche where the channel can provide value.
I keep emphasising to partners that they need to look a little bit beyond what they are doing today and be willing to move into complementary business areas. If they invest their intellectual equity in understanding these new areas, it will open up an opportunity to succeed because they're the ones with experience.