Stories by Philip Sim

  • Channel 100 cover story: Changing channels

    Services and e-tail, more than ever before, have become the new channel buzzwords, and those that ignore them will surely be left behind. This feature analyses what has been a remarkable year for the Australian IT channel

  • Losing IT: The tale of how ISPs became SPs

    The tradtional Internet service provider market is slowly changing shape to accommodate the influence of competition, and it appears that the once well-defined roles of vedor and reseller, ISP and distributor are becoming more and more blurred. Phillip Sim reccounts how this new direction in service providers has created a market encommpassing both the old and the new . . .

  • Sexless but profitable

    Storage may not be the sexiest market in the industry, but it just might be one of the most profitable for resellers

  • Time for handhelds to stop having their hands held

    With sales hampered by poor connectivity, handheld devices are largely yuppie toys that provide little more than a nice supplementary income for resellers . . . or are they? Philip Sim reports that the rise of wireless connectivity may finally bring handheld devices into the corporate mainstream

  • Becoming sticky e-tailers

    Like regular street retailers, e-tailers must find ways of getting customers to keep walking through their `doors'

  • Building a virtual community

    The Net was supposed to be the great equaliser. It would rip down global boundaries and let every business around the world compete on an equal footing. The little corner shops would be able to `virtually' match it with the global conglomerates, if not outmatch them, because of their nimbleness and ability to react quickly to market changes. The vision was looking good there for a while as startup operations began to take on and beat the big boys. Amazon.com started walloping Barnes & Noble. Yahoo beat off the big media companies to establish itself as the preferred entry point to the Internet. The prophets of egalitarian trading rejoiced.

  • Telcos charge into integration

    Systems integrators watch out. Here come the telcos! In what could be a sign of things to come, up-and-com-ing network integrator FTA Solutions has been snapped up by Nomad Telecommunications.

  • Changing times

    There is only one thing you can count on in this industry. It's going to change. It's around 18 months since I signed on as editor of Australian Reseller News and in that time the channel has changed dramatically. Faced with both enormous opportunities and challenges, resellers have been asked to clearly define the value that they bring to the IT supply chain. For most, that has meant a move towards services. Consolidation has charged ahead with larger players getting even larger by snapping up smaller fish. And the roles of vendors, distributors and resellers have continuously blurred and contorted.

  • Distribution in the new millennium

    Distributors will increasingly provide value-add through the Internet, there will be further consolidation and greater competition as well as the very real possibility that distributors may be forced to go direct to end-user customers.

  • Customers provide technical support

    IT Facilitators' John O'Meara says he is so dissatisfied with the level of support he receives from both distributors and vendors that he often turns to his customers to help support each other!

  • All's fair in love and channels

    What did Com Tech's David Shein do when in 1996 he forecast there would be a limited future for his value-added distribution business? He went direct to end-user customers.

  • Agate shoots for the stars

    Siltek, the distribution group best known in Australia for its Agate subsidiary, is set to be catapulted into the distribution big league with a series of acquisitions aimed at making it a top-three, $500 million plus organisation within the next 18 months.