European resellers are more buoyant than their US counterparts and are backing managed services and virtualisation to help them conquer the downturn.
These are among the findings of joint research conducted by US market intelligence firm Crimson and UK partner bChannels.
Resellers on both sides of the Atlantic were asked how confident they were on a five-point scale. The average score among European participants was 3.5, while US respondents polled an average of 2.6. Future confidence was slightly lower - 2.7 in Europe and 2.3 in the US. European respondents were located in the UK, France, Benelux and Finland.
Matt Rowland-Jones, general manager of bChannels, said that resellers were more buoyant than media reports might show.
“The level of confidence is slightly higher than expected in both markets,” he said.
“But we tend to expect the US market to lead Europe. If that is the case it is slightly depressing because future confidence is significantly lower in the US.”
Shaune Parsons, managing director of VAR Computer World Wales, agreed with the findings.
“We have had a phenomenal month in March and we did 30 per cent more than last year,” he said. “But I suspect April to August will be very difficult months for a lot of people. March set us up nicely and as long as we can break even for the rest of the year I will be happy.”
Peter Titmus, managing director of support services firm Networks First, said: “We have had a buoyant few months. Mid-sized projects are still going ahead, but we have noticed some slowdown in both smaller and large deals.”
Resellers were also asked which areas were surviving well. A third mentioned managed services, while more than a quarter (26 per cent) earmarked virtualisation. Security and mobility were also seen as resilient.
“There are some technology markets where business is potentially quite strong. You cannot make generalisations,” said Rowland-Jones.
Two-thirds said that they would change their business model in response to the downturn, with demand generation and value add among the areas primed for expansion. Resellers were asked how vendors should be responding to the challenging economy. Lead generation and finance were major themes, but there were also calls for vendors to reduce conflict between partners and minimise over-distribution.
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