As a Var business, sometimes your options can seem limited. Addressing one market, as many Vars do, can seem like ploughing a monotonous furrow, especially when returns from that market are not quite what they were in days gone by. Slowing sales can leave you with a dilemma. Jumping ship to a totally different market is not necessarily an option, and opening up new fronts to fight on can spread you too thin. One option is bringing exciting and novel technology to an existing market. This can unleash a new lease of life and create multiple ways of adding value.
We look here at three fairly new sales opportunities that can apply to a variety of markets. They are all ideas that are in relative infancy so they still retain decent margins, they all have considerable value added opportunity, and they are all topical and much talked about. In other words, potential customers will not think you are trying sell them a flash in the pan. No Var is too old to learn new tricks.
The PC industry is often referred to as a marketplace but this has never seemed more appropriate than it is now with the developing trade in components. As environments like Delphi and languages like Java threaten to make everyone a developer, a market for the software equivalent of the flatpack kitchen unit has sprung up.
There's doubt as to where this will lead. On one side, many developers can be seen enthusing about the inevitable and imminent arrival of object-oriented programming. It has long been an article of faith for O-O devotees that they will see an 'object mart' arrive, whereby developers will not only develop discrete components but then sell them on to other developers.
A truly O-O environment may still be a way off but the market for components is thriving - enough to make Var ComponentSource able to base its business entirely on reselling Visual Basic components to other developers. Marketing manager Chris Sayer explains that by collecting more than 100 components together - they all fit on two CD-ROMs - he can offer a broad-based service that more targeted component vendors like Grey Matter could not.
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