As we all know downsizing, or 'rightsizing', has been rife over the past couple of years. Thousands of IT jobs have been shed in order to cut costs and many firms are operating on skeleton crews.
While this has probably saved many companies, some channel players are worried about the lack of skills in the market.
The knock-on effect of this, one channel chief suggested, will be longer lead times for projects, resulting in a slower recovery curve.
One reseller, albeit tongue-in-cheek, said that some value-added resellers may take on jobs because they have to, but will work like the sort of builders that have several jobs on the go at once; builders who might turn up to build your wall, stay for a couple of days and then not return for weeks.
The truth is, there will be less people. So what should the channel do? To a certain extent, distributors seem likely to fill the gap left by vendors for essentials such as training and technical expertise.
Increasingly, distributors will add value by going out with resellers during a sales pitch to show end-users not only a show of strength but that they have the skills of the distributors at their disposal.
Another solution could be the creation of special teams with a broad range of skills that can be hired out, perhaps along with IT equipment, to aid resellers when they are pitching for business.
This service, which could be run by the vendor or the distributor, could be especially fruitful for projects that require non-traditional skill sets, such as the implementation of voice onto data networks.
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