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Nine ways to beat the economic blues

Hafizah Osman | Oct. 23, 2012
Let’s face it, in the past few weeks economic indicators haven’t exactly been cheery. But it in't all doom and gloom. Channel experts and analysts came up with nine ways to get ahead despite all the rumblings.

Let's face it, in the past few weeks economic indicators haven't exactly been cheery. The Reserve Bank cut interest rates again because of tightening global economic conditions, worldwide stock markets tumbled on the face of global uncertainty, HP slashed its earnings forecast again, Nokia had another shocker, PC shipments declined 8.3 per cent according to Gartner, analysts forecast that US Mac computer sales - and, indeed, global sales - will be down 6-7 per cent in Q3, the biggest decline since the Great Recession, and, to cap it all off, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) all had poor quarterly financial results. On top of all this, a report by Computerworld US, which merged forecasts by JPMorgan, Forrester and IDC, said overall global IT spending is being adjusted downward.

However, despite the bleak outlook, some channel businesses have managed to thrive. But for those wondering what to do next, it isn't quite as easy.

Industry experts say businesses do need to take some necessary steps outside of what would be considered normal to survive. The good news is some companies have already begun to formulate creative variations on their offerings to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Recent examples include Ingram Micro, which announced it will configure Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) solutions in its Configuration Centre at its Advanced Logistics Centre in Eastern Creek.

Ingram Micro enterprise technology group, senior director, David Lenz, said the new arrangement was an indication of its long-term commitment to the local market and to providing a platform for further expanding its service capabilities to support the local channel.

"This is not about putting a new coat of paint on a room and moving some tables around - Ingram has made a real, tangible investment in meeting the short-term and long-term needs of the Australian market," he said.

CA Technologies also identified a niche and is offering network performance management via the Cloud together with Westcon Group.

CA Technologies A/NZ senior channel director, Klasie Holtzhausen, said the move is a result of the vendor looking to expand its growth in the market and discovering the best way to do that is by accelerating its business through the channel.

Here are the best tips for getting ahead.

The 9 top tips

1. Pursue IT for business productivity Express Data sales director, David Peach, said the first step the channel needs to take is to look at decreasing input costs or increasing output to improve productivity.

"The opportunity exists for them to refine and sharpen their focus in terms of having conversations with their customers on productivity," he said. Then comes down to resellers identifying where their skillsets lie.


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