The IT channel has long been considered one of those very rare industries where stuffy old men hold a disproportionate amount of power. Now, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, dear reader, that I'm one of the enlightened few who isn't afraid of admitting they're partial to the pleasures of Frappuccino, exfoliation and the Femail supplement.
But, sadly, our Gordon is very much of the old school. I was aghast at a recent industry get-together when his unreconstructed ways reared their ugly head.
During a refreshments break, I spotted a (female) channel pal of mine and was just about to greet her as my business equal (with a professional double-cheek kiss and pat-on-the-bum combo). But my right-hand man stepped in front of me and spoke first.
"'Scuse me, sweetheart, you couldn't fetch us a coffee, could yer?," he leered.
I apologised profusely to my chum and even took the time to talk her through Dodgi's recent A Gender Agenda equal opportunities recruitment drive.
I'm proud to report I've now hired a couple of top-notch birds to the high-level roles of executive director of tea-making solutions and services, and senior global VP of ditzy admin girls.
At the same shindig I bumped into a journo pal of mine and, as we were chatting, we found ourselves meandering into a partner briefing hosted by a well-known vendor.
Ten minutes in, the hack's phone went off asking if they were popping in to a press conference nearby but my buddy opted to stay put (no doubt enjoying my company too much to leave).
But a few minutes later, a rather frantic media relations professional appeared, wildly gesticulating at the reporter, imploring them to kindly get the hell out of there and into the prearranged press bunfight. It seems that the channel media were strictly prohibited from attending the channel briefing.
Fair enough - I suppose the vendor didn't want them uncovering sordid details of the top-secret controversial plan to increase partners' customer stickiness by helping them deliver holistic turnkey solutions. Keep that one on the QT, dear reader.
Call on me
We may style ourselves as bleeding-edge IT solution thought leaders, but when presented with a shiny new wowbox, the executives of the channel all too often look like a dog that's been asked to play the trombone. This was evidenced by an exchange I witnessed, with one channel face attempting to dial into a conference call using his smartphone, as a colleague looked on.
After several failed attempts, the conference caller asked his mate if he could advise on what the problem might be, and how best to fix it. The colleague furrowed his brow, stroked his chin and pondered a while.
"Have you tried turning it off and on again?," he offered, eventually. I'd love to see these two in front of an irate CIO with a problem with his virtualised server estate.
Counting the cost
Imagine my deep intrigue to read research revealing that stuff which costs less than other stuff is more popular than the other stuff which costs more than the original stuff. (That was the gist anyway.) According to Gartner's calculator caressers, free apps make up almost 90 per cent of the market, with another nine per cent accounted for by those that don't cost very much.
One research bod drew exciting parallels between things that are cheaper than other things and things that are even cheaper than the things that are cheaper than other things.
"Similar to free apps, lower-priced apps will drive the majority of downloads," they screamed. Another number enthusiast pointed to a shocking link between the volume of items sold and the amount of stuff retailed.
"The number of apps available is driven by an increasing number of stores in the market today," they exploded.
Well, they say you get what you pay for. I wonder if this full research document is available for download?
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