Fightback '09: IT hits new highs

Fightback '09: IT hits new highs

The good news in the channel, this and every week

The ICT industry is definitely showing shades of a new cool as the market hit new highs with another week of strong movements.

ICT careers are becoming the number one choice for teenagers, according to an Australian Computer Society (ACS) survey.

The majority of respondents aged 12 to 18 [Generation Z] considered careers in ICT as “being on the edge of new technological developments” with 21 per cent saying it was “pretty cool” and 15 per cent thinking it was a career that earns a lot of money.

Also cool is news PC sales have bounced back from a weak Q1 in 2009 to achieve positive sequential growth for the April to June period, according to IDC.

“Overall, in the more mature economies, we were forecasting single digit positive growth from the first quarter to the second and we are in line with that number,” IDC PC analyst, Felipe Rego said.

Growth has also been recorded in Australia’s export of computer and information services. Figures show exports of these services outgrew imports by 4.8 per cent during 2008, according to a new report released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Exports of computer and information services hit $1.67 billion in 2008, up 9.3 per cent from $1.53 billion in 2007. Australia’s overall international trade in services showed an overall increase of 12.7 per cent to $107 billion in 2008.

ASX-listed distributor, itX (ASX:ITX), has also seen growth with record after tax profits of $7.6 million for the year to June 30 for an increase of 5.7 per cent.

In a statement to the ASX, the distributor said it finished the year debt-free with $10.02 million of cash on hand. Revenues increased by 35.8 per cent to $146.6 million, up from $107.9 million in the previous financial year.

There is good news for the ICT labour market as news the acute skills shortage haunting the ICT industry has abated. But sadly it is expected to return in the next few months, according to the latest figures from the Clarius Skills Index.

With data sourced from various government departments, the Index gauges labour supply and demand through a points system. A score of 100 indicates equal tension and anything greater than 105 on skills shortages is regarded as extreme. A score of 95-98 is considered moderate.

Good market vibrations have also been felt by IT solutions provider, Datacom, after winning a multi-million dollar contract to provide mining group, Xstrata, with an ICT support desk for two years.

The around-the-clock support desk will assist more than 2000 users in nine locations. Xstrata has an option to extend the contract for two more years when the current period ends.

Meanwhile, online payment service provider, PayPal, has launched its new three-tier global partner program in Australia.

The bottom level is called the Member tier and can be joined by any partner with volumes under $300,000. Partners with an annual revenue share of $300,000 to $3 million are awarded Gold partnership status. Anything above that figure gains Platinum status.

Networking vendor, Blue Coat, has streamlined its distribution line-up, bringing in changes to its Australian and New Zealand strategy.

The tweak will see Westcon Group become the vendor’s sole representative in New Zealand with the Australian partnership terminated.

And the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) opened a tender seeking a user interface designer and creator for its electronic document records management system (EDRMS), TRIM.

The new TRIM interface will play an integral role in the ACCC’s existing plan – outlined in a separate tender – to migrate away from fat clients to virtual desktops and a centralised platform with all data and systems located in Canberra and a passive disaster recovery site in Melbourne.

That’s it for this week’s good news. Tune in daily to ARN’s Fight Back ’09 for the latest dose of optimism.

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