To my mind, you'd have to be exceptionally lazy and/or stupid to pick your IT reseller of choice by using an online vendor partner locator. But that doesn't mean that we don't all secretly want a snazzy listing right at the top of the pile.
So I couldn't help but feel for a reseller chum of mine, who's a top-level HP partner. The world's largest IT firm may make some of the whizziest technology on the planet, but unfortunately getting this firm's three-letter acronym the right way round is seemingly too tall an order.
I emailed the MD to check whether a startlingly similarly named company had set up shop next to his own.
"Not only is our name wrong," he harrumphed, "but all those office addresses are well out of date."
Mind you, I dare say there might be some supposedly Gold partners who might actually be quite glad that HP hasn't checked up on the accuracy of its listings for, say, about seven and a half years. Ahem.
Imagine my ecstaticness to discover this week that understanding of the concept of cloud is significantly higher in the UK than the US. YES! GET IN!!! Take that, world's last true superpower!
According to massively authoritative research from Webfusion (no, I don't know either) "cloud is no longer a nebulous buzzword in the US" (no, I don't know either). Just a quarter of Americanians have a clear understanding of cloud, with 31.8 per cent having no idea at all what it is. This compares with the 34 per cent of Brits who feel they have a good handle on the cloud.
Even more stupefyingly, 91 per cent of US respondents "do not recognise scalable hosting as cloud". And about 90.9 per cent do not recognise the words "scalable" and "hosting" when used in unison.
Thomas Vollrath, CEO of Webfusion parent company Host Europe Group, admitted: "Perhaps the use of the term [cloud] should be restricted."
Too right, Tommy! How about we start with eradicating it completely from all self-serving bits of pseudo-research?
Trouble and strife
Given the poor understanding of cloud Stateside, how serendipitous it was to see a blog from IBM software bod Erik Anderson this week attempting to explain the concept in a way that even a lovely, ditzy woman could understand.
"My wife is an elementary school counselor with a Master's degree," he said, not at all emasculated by his better half's career success or intellect. "Yet when it comes time for me to talk about my day or what I work on for a living, her patience and listening skills suddenly diminish," he adds, surprisingly.
He goes on to explain how he likes to simplify complex ideas via the medium of analogy, and outlines why the cloud is a bit like renting a car. For some reason.
I think this could really catch on. Especially since studies have found that Martha Lane Fox is officially the only woman anywhere ever who understands the internet.
Us Honest-Joe resellers often find ourselves helping out customers who've got caught up in costly, legally suspect contracts with cowboy operators.
But, according to one channel chum of mine, some people just don't seem to want to help themselves. The VAR boss, let's call him Ricky Resale, has been working with a client to try and get some money refunded on a misleading contract proffered by another reseller. But it seems Ricky is losing patience.
"I told the customer to send a strongly worded email to the MD, but he won't even do that," bemoaned my channel buddy. "Mind you, if someone had stitched me up like this, I wouldn't be emailing him either. I'd go round there with a machete, grab him by the family jewels and tell him I was leaving with my money or his pride and joy."
Strangely enough I was about to go head-to-head with my pal, bidding on a big infrastructure refresh project. But I've had a wee rethink of the strategic importance of the customer relationship going forward on an ongoing basis. Long story short - it's all yours, Ricky!
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