While everyone is open to admitting that the market is far from easy, there is a general feeling that actually things aren’t too bad, especially considering we should have started the summer slowdown by now.
But it feels more like spring in the channel. Not only is business ticking along nicely for most VARs (we’re never going to be able to use the word ‘booming’ again, but at least business now is at a sustainable level), but also some of the major players are having a strategic spring clean.
Over the past month or so, Morse, Computacenter and SCC have all reviewed their business models and made some quite important changes. Morse has split its business into three units, Computacenter is refocusing on technology, and SCC is looking to build around a utility model of IT.
They are all realigning and spring-cleaning their businesses in the hope of finding a services utopia. But they are not alone – the channel has been searching for this since the mid-90s. By their sheer size, the VAR giants are feeling the pain first. All three made redundancies earlier this year, but does this mean the rest of the channel will be feeling it later? Not necessarily. It is the difference between changing direction in a Sunseeker and changing direction in a supertanker.
And while the supertankers slog it out between themselves, the more nimble Sunseekers are able to realign and refocus with much more agility.
In addition, a new breed of cruise liner is expanding its size on the scene. The Super VARs – Logicalis, Matrix, Azzurri and the like – are not going through this realignment pain. Their businesses have grown through the acquisition of many smaller companies which, being more agile, are already on the path to services, allowing their new owners to continue their rise and rise, avoiding the need for a summer spring clean altogether.
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