As this Partner Spotlight column moves around our local states, it has found challenges wherever it has stopped. But the story from Melbourne is probably the most optimistic so far.
ARN quizzed Melbourne-based IT service providers on the main issues impacting business in 2016, but partners had plenty to say but it was mostly of the opportunities available and the movement and trends within the marketplace.
Craig Stones - Citrix National Practice Manager, Teba
"One of the challenges that most resellers are having at the moment is getting good quality staff in sales and engineering. What we're seeing is that people who have been in the industry for a while, are now moving on into different areas, so getting new staff is increasingly harder.
"From our perspective, we are expanding and looking for new staff as we're building up the company. In the Citrix networking and virtualisation space, we've been advertising a position for a while now and there's still not a lot of people out there with the skills you want to see these days. It's a unique area.
"It's a very small community and we all know each other fairly well, so it's not just us that's facing this problem in the market. There are masses of opportunities in the Melbourne market, some people are saying it's slowing down, but I disagree.
"It's a really good time to be going after new business, and there's a lot of opportunities out there up for grabs in the networking, virtualisation and mobility areas, all of which are picking up healthily."
Mark Kalmus - Executive director, Southern Cross Computer Systems
"A good guide for me on how the market is shaping up is by looking into our pre-sales areas. Whether that turns into real dollars and how quickly, is another matter, but we've seen a real upswing in activity in the pre-sales area and getting requests for RFTs, meetings, and so on.
"On the other side to that, we are seeing more levels of approval that are required from large to medium organisations. They are being much more careful about getting a return on investment in a much shorter time frame.
"With developments in the hybrid Cloud space, some organisations still aren't sure what that means for them depending on their size and type of organisation. If it's something like moving their exchange to Office365 or developing a testing environment, it's a simple decision for them, but when it's mainstream applications, there is still a lot of discussion on whether that's better off in the Cloud or sitting on their premises in a private Cloud environment.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.