Stories by Tamara Plakalo

  • Projecting into the noughties

    Aggressive pricing and competition is going to make it a tough year for projector vendors and their channel partners, but rising demand in the consumer market and the promise of smaller and portable models means there's still plenty of opportunity out there.

  • Editorial: New chase is on

    This is my last edit­orial as editor-in-chief of ARN. Coincidentally (or if Hegel philosophising up in Heaven has it his way, perhaps not so coincidentally after all!), my last big assignment in my current role was to give a presentation on the state of the IT channel at an Adaptec partner conference last week. How fitting, I thought, that after following, recording and analysing the channel’s ups and downs for quite a while now, I would complete the journey by sharing my observations with some of the best amongst you. And how reassuring that despite (or perhaps because of?) the IT slump, the consolidation, and spending the last couple of years on the ‘maturation’ rollercoaster, what I see is that the channel has never been more important than it is today!

  • Editorial: New chase is on

    This is my last edit­orial as editor-in-chief of ARN. Coincidentally (or if Hegel philosophising up in Heaven has it his way, perhaps not so coincidentally after all!), my last big assignment in my current role was to give a presentation on the state of the IT channel at an Adaptec partner conference last week. How fitting, I thought, that after following, recording and analysing the channel’s ups and downs for quite a while now, I would complete the journey by sharing my observations with some of the best amongst you. And how reassuring that despite (or perhaps because of?) the IT slump, the consolidation, and spending the last couple of years on the ‘maturation’ rollercoaster, what I see is that the channel has never been more important than it is today!

  • Passing the buck

    The dollar up/dollar down game is a bit confusing for me. Over the last few years, every time our national currency appreciated or depreciated in value, the channel barely batted a lid. Yet on the analytically-inclined side of town, doomsayers and channel Anthony Robins-ites alike scream attention, tolling their respective bells like there is no tomorrow.

  • Editorial: Trapped in the warranty minefield

    Microsoft has launched Office 2003, Digiland and Exeed have ended their short-lived romance on what can, without a doubt, be described as a messy note, and a US class action against Fujitsu bore fruit for a number of North American resellers. But the story you seem to be following with most interest is the day-to-day warranty wrangles I wrote about in this space a couple of weeks ago.

  • Editorial: Are you game?

    The founder of MOUS Business Systems, Peter Hickey, has unleashed a new venture on the IT channel that aims to combine growth-driven business competitiveness with charitable work in a competition ambitiously named the Business Olympics.

  • Growth and satisfaction the future keys

    Like technology itself, the supply chain for its goods and services has undergone a massive evolution. While the route to market has become essential to a product’s success, there is still no definitive answer to what constitutes the best channel. On the one hand, the industry is facing the reality of high commoditisation and a changing set of customer needs, on the other, there is shareholder pressure to keep operational costs at a bare minimum. In this chain, the channel is the vital link expected to deliver value to both ends. ARN’s inaugural Round Table asked six industry figures to discuss whether the traditional value-added distribution channel was set up for the higher economic efficiency/higher value paradigm. And the answer is ... yes!

  • Editorial: What’s it worth, then?

    Value is intangible and revenue is king, but for the value-added distributors and their partners, the future is always a blank page to be written on. Thus spoke the ARN Round Table participants when asked to define the notion of value and its delivery in an environment where adversity of change and its psychological impact are rapidly rewriting the definitions of key supply chain concepts and relationships.

  • Cisco chops Tech Pacific

    “Call me in 10 years,” said Cisco Systems’ director of channel operations, Kip Cole, having just completed the first and, if he has it his way, the last Cisco distribution restructure of the decade.

  • Editorial: Table talk

    Value-added distribution is alive, well and growing. That was the consensus of the inaugural ARN Round Table attended by several prominent industry figures in Sydney last week. We will bring you more on the content of the discussion in next week’s issue, when we reveal what top executives from distributors Avnet and Ingram Micro, vendors IBM and Enterasys, and resellers Computer Merchants and MBS, said to each other when they sat down for an industry heart-to-heart.

  • Editorial: Changing channels

    For some people in the channel, that old Chinese adage “May you live in interesting times” must seem more like a curse than the promise of an exciting business journey. And the channel times surely are interesting right now.

  • Editorial: Some like it hot

    In case you haven’t noticed, life is hotting up in distieland and vendorland alike. Yep, the good ol’ days of public slugging matches are back! And ain’t it grand!

  • Editorial: Rules of engagement

    Every now and then you write a column that you know is going to come back and bite you on the bum. Well, this one is it. I can’t help it. And, frankly, I don’t want to, for since what I’m about to say is dying to come out of my mouth, it may as well be ON the record. So here it is: Thank God for the PR people!

  • Editorial: Winner takes all

    If the unconfirmed speculation about Ross Fowler’s appointment as the new local MD of Cisco proves correct, the choice is not only going to be an ‘inspired’ one, but also good news for the channel. Fowler’s reputation as a committed channel operator may precede him, but make no mistake — it’s not the traditional but telecommunications channels that Cisco has been focusing on for a while — and this space is Fowler’s forte.