New research from Deloitte has shockingly claimed that within the next 20 years, a whopping 33 per cent of the UK's workforce could be at risk, as automated computers and robots - yes, robots - will be sophisticated enough to take over from humans.
Those working in computing are at "low or no risk" of being taken over by robots, as well those working in the media (hooray!), financial
services, engineering, education and legal industries.
But while Team CRN and channel techies may still have a job in 2024, those working in sales may not be so lucky, as the report claims they are at "high risk" of being taken over by soulless machines which are programmed to sell, sell, sell. Only 20 years, you say?
The battered Canadian device maker was in an uncharacteristically upbeat mood recently when CEO John Chen announced that "BlackBerry has survived - now we have to start looking at growth".
The chief also vowed that when the firm has cause once again to reach for the black inkpot, "I will do everything I can never to lose money ever again". We're no business bigwigs, but "trying not to lose money" sounds to us like just the kind of blue-sky, outside-the-box paradigm-shifting that's needed here.
Peter Ogden and Philip Hulme are like that bloke from the Skittles advert - only everything they touch turns into cash rather than confectionery.
Apparently not satisfied with their success building the UK's largest reseller, the duo split off in 1983 to found Dealogic, which makes software for investment banks. Dealogic was sold earlier this month for a cool $700m, making Ogden and Hulme one of the few tech pairings to have raked in nine-figure sums from two separate ventures.
Unfortunately, they can't sit down to enjoy their wealth, lest their sofas turn into ￡50 notes.
As CRN Channel Awards revellers will attest, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The 21st edition of the main event of the UK channel calendar was bigger and boozier than ever as record numbers flocked to Battersea Park.
But there is no escaping Newton's third law of physics as the UK channel woke up the following morning to a collective hangover that would have put Oliver Reed to shame. Well done to all the winners, a list of which can be found on p23, and catch our full write-up of the event in the next issue of CRN.
Juniper's (ex) CEO
We've all had jobs that didn't quite work out for one reason or another. For most of us that role might involve pulling pints, processing invoices, or hawking insurance. But spare a thought for Shaygan Kheradpir, whose jobus horribilis happened to be CEO of a multibillion-dollar company.
After less than a year the hapless head honcho was ousted from the Juniper hotseat following "a review by the board of directors of his leadership and conduct in connection with a particular negotiation with a customer".
Reports that the departing boss tried to seal a deal with the old "pull my finger" gag remained completely made up as we went to press.
Public sector suppliers
When we heard about the mysterious phenomenon of "purdah" striking fear into the hearts of public sector suppliers, we were intrigued.
The phrase refers to the one- or two-month period before a general election in which government bodies and public sector authorities are advised to hold off on making important decisions in light of a potential change in leadership. Channel firms expressed concerns that the period could halt big frameworks and see the public sector put their wallets away for months on end.
Of course, we knew exactly what the word "purdah" meant, and didn't have to Google it at all. Honest.
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