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editorial

Pull up a comfy chair because the Edge saga is far from over. Strangely enough, I just read a story in which Steve Ballmer uttered those same words about the ridiculous legal case involving Microsoft.

Maybe a team of lawyers will front up against Edge's creditors seeking compensation for what the company has done to the reseller industry and begin citing anti-competitive practices etc, etc . . . but I digress.

Resellers have continued to e-mail me about their experiences with Edge Technology and, in particular, its dodgy KTX brand.

As a reseller you have every right to be angry about the warranty and support mess Edge has left behind.

No doubt Edge has not returned some of your customer's products sent to the Sydney HQ under warranty. I'm sorry to say I don't think you will ever see those products again. Hope you've got a good insurance company.

Comments from several resellers this week hardened my belief it's a great thing Edge has gone belly up.

One reseller observed: "Sometime during 1998 we noticed a significant shift in its business emphasis [to the Internet]. Edge no longer seemed very interested in supporting its traditional dealer base. We stopped receiving price lists and product information, and hence the obvious thing happened - we stopped buying from it." Another reseller commented that resellers flocked to Edge because it offered "cheap" products, despite its poor quality, support and service.

"You can't run a business on no margin [or very little] and expect to survive," the reseller wrote. "Do resellers learn from this and now look to replace this supplier with a more "expensive" yet properly run wholesaler? Answer: NO!"Of course, it's easy for us to revel in the wonders of hindsight. The message here clearly demonstrates the benefit of choosing an ethical company to support your value-added services business - a message that's been one of ARN's favourite editorial subjects for quite some time.

However, naval gazing isn't going to help fix your customers' immediate concerns. Turn to page 8 where we have compiled a list of vendor contacts to help you in the warranty chase.

Meanwhile, the latest twist in Johnson Wang's other company was of course Austar's $24 million takeover bid of eisa.

Our report on ARN Daily (arn.idg.com.au) stated eisa executives had admitted the company was undecided about its future strategic direction.

I don't know about you, but alarm bells are ringing for me. Just what is Austar buying except for unhappy customers and shareholders? Given Edge's appalling management practices at the hand of Johnson Wang, who has also washed his hands of eisa, you've got to wonder if Austar knows it's buying a dud. To quote Monty Python: "Run away, run away!"Farewell DataflowFinally, the last sad chapter in Dataflow's exit has unfolded after a buyer failed to materialise, sending the 17-year-old distributor into liquidation. As with eisa, I suspect there was not much left for an investor to buy.

What are your thoughts on Edge/eisa or Dataflow? Are "bargain-chasing" resellers just as much at fault for the failure of these companies? e-mail me at mark_jones@idg.com.au


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