Government sees channel in new light

Government sees channel in new light

The channel looks set to profit from Government spending as departments move to mop up the last of their IT budgets for the financial year.

What's more, fallout from the Federal Government's outsourcing strategy has seen a mindset shift towards using local channels.

The result, according to the most recent Canberra Report, a performance monitoring survey from East and Partners, is that agencies have begun to recognise the key to successful use of technology involves the kind of partnerships in which the channel excels - delivering advice, account management and being proactive in customer relationships.

"One of the things we are seeing [in the Government] is a growing interest in doing business with channels, primarily because these agencies have been locked out of doing business with them in the past," said Paul Dowling, principal analyst at East and Partners.

"It has only been in the last 12 to 15 months that the channel has been able to get a hearing. There is a dam of goodwill built up on the demand side of the fence. That, combined with activity up to June 30, should make it an extremely exciting time."

Resellers point out that spending patterns have changed considerably in the last few years, but there are still opportunities in the lead-up to June 30.

Dowling believes the time is right for channels to carefully start re-investing in the Government sector, as agencies come to understand the complexities of IT spending. Many of the smaller resellers that have been ousted by multinational companies will find it a lot easier to get a foot in the door.

"One of the frustrations is the tendency to buy on price," he said. "That makes it problematic for the channel to compete, because very simplistic buying decisions are being made. That's going to change. That sort of buying behaviour is often just a proxy for buyers who aren't equipped to make sophisticated buying decisions."

For the channel's view, read this week's ARN, out now.

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