Mike Pickett, the former head of US distributor Merisel, has issued a plea to vendors to support their resellers because they are best positioned to capitalise on the cyber selling shift of power.
Talking at the CyberChannels conference, Pickett illustrated that five years ago, there was a battle between WinTel and Novell over who was going to come out on top, with Vars purely focusing on supplying hardware and software.
This year, the power is shifting from integration to entire systems with back-up services. Pickett said systems integration would become a commodity as all businesses and homes would be pre-wired.
'If you have a channel built around Vars, you need to reassess it,' he added, arguing Vars will be able to take advantage of the internet as they can move quickly and adapt to changes in buying trends.
But Pickett warned unless resellers were given support by vendors then channel partners would not be able to make this change.
'This is a strong message to vendors - Vars can succeed but they need your help,' he stated.
Pickett highlighted four ways in which resellers should change their business models:
- Do more face-to-face selling.
- Increase pre-sales technical skills.
- Focus on post-sale, support and training.
Use technology to increase efficiencies, such as remote LAN management and back-up.
Pickett insisted that the internet allows small businesses to behave as large businesses as the Web means all companies are the same size.
But he warned Vars not to be complacent about the state of the economy, which has meant companies are getting more business than they can handle, as he believed the trend would change and investments must be made in businesses.
Pickett predicted the end for internet service providers (ISPs) as there will be a move to offering net access for free.
He also said software upgrades would be phased out as vendors would be able to send smaller upgrades via the Web to customers.
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