Editorial: Building communities

Editorial: Building communities

Putting the spotlight on channel strengths online

ARN has had a long heritage – 18 years this year in fact – building and supporting the Australian channel community through our weekly print publication. And as online became an integral part of our offering, we’ve used our website,, as a way to extend our reach to ARN readers and take a leadership position on channel issues in the Internet age.

I’d like to use this column to provide a heads-up on some of the online-based initiatives we’re plotting this year to deliver more services. We hope these will not only help support businesses, but also strengthen the ICT community we’re all a part of.

ARN’s mantra has always been to help make the channel successful. As a way of demonstrating this online, we’ve launched a new section called Fight Back ’09.

The aim of Fight Back ’09 is to recognise organisations that are winning business and achieving positive outcomes in the face of the gloomy global economic environment. So we’ll be giving a “thumbs up” on a range of stories, within our Market Watch section, to put those winners in the spotlight.

In this week’s edition, you’ll also find examples of organisations showing smart business skills and market strength, despite the broader financial battles being fought. One clear fighter in this issue is JB Hi-Fi, who chalked up record profits despite slower retail spending. Another is Distribution Central, which will be bringing on more staff to support its new unified communications business practice, Unity Systems.

It’s all too easy to talk yourself into a recession. While there are inevitably going to be stories reflecting the tighter climate, and some about organisations who didn’t make it through (Red Ant being a case in point), I’m a firm believer in opportunity for smart businesses. So ARN will be striving to also highlight the successes and good news this year.

ARN is also crafting a brand new website dedicated to fostering a stronger channel community and identity. The first phase of Community includes forums, a weekly quiz, a multimedia gallery to highlight industry events, the channel’s own Hall of Fame and our blog, yARN.

We hope to expand Community throughout the year and welcome any feedback or tips on look-and-feel, as well as content. So login online and have your say!

While we’re on the subject of community, I’d like to flag those organisations providing assistance, in one form or another, to the victims of the Victorian bushfires. It’s wonderful to see so many chipping in with such generous donations.

At ARN,, we’re supportive of any industry initiatives that will help rebuild communities in Victoria, and we are working with the Australian Information Industry Association from an ICT industry perspective.

Communities are an integral part of our personal and work lives, and there’s no better example than what’s going on nationally in support of bushfire victims. Here’s hoping our industry can do its bit and help rebuild those embattled communities in Victoria.

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