My days as the boss of one of the Dagenham area's top seven IT dealers are clearly numbered, if a recent spate of CRN headlines are anything to go by.
The winds of change are blowing through the channel, with a number of big cheeses being replaced at the top of their organisations by fresher faces in recent weeks.
New names have seized the reins at Computacenter, Comparex and Redcentric, with another of the industry's best-known chiefs - Softcat CEO Martin Hellawell - to step back into the chairman role before Christmas.
Mark Adams, the MD of Galtec, another Leeds-based reseller that has moved to empower the next generation of leaders at his firm through an MBO, said the new board "have youth and vibrancy on their side". Adams is staying on as boss, but admitted he is starting to "think about the future of the business".
All this has made me feel my age. As a man whose formative years were spent listening to Steely Dan and drinking Babycham, and who has been avoiding lift mirrors since 1998, I can feel my younger colleagues picturing what they would look like behind the cocobolo desk and Jersey High Back executive chair I've occupied for over two decades.
Which would certainly explain the two-year cruise brochures they have been leaving on my desk lately.
Artificial intelligence is a sizzling-hot topic for the IT industry right now, with both Google and Microsoft putting it at the heart of their agendas this year.
But thankfully, there's one AI device that won't see the light of day after an outcry from consumer groups and politicians forced the firm behind it to abandon the idea.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Aristotle. It may look like Amazon's Echo smart speaker, but it is in fact basically a robot babysitter.
The device was designed to interact directly with babies and children, reinforcing good manners, soothing them when they cry and helping them learn a foreign language, for instance.
Consumer groups gave Aristotle short shrift - with one accusing it of attempting to replace the role parents play with a faceless robot - and the hullabaloo forced its maker Mattel to shelve the product before it saw the light of day, according to The Guardian.
"The decision was made not to bring Aristotle to the marketplace as part of an effort to deliver the best possible connected product experience to the consumer," Mattel said in a statement, possibly understating the dystopian nightmare the last-minute intervention by its critics narrowly prevented.
Having said that, part of me wonders how much I would have been able to lower my golf handicap by if only I'd had access to Aristotle when Dave Junior was a babe in arms.
From clicks to bricks
Microsoft has delivered a smackdown to those who thought the bricks ‘n' mortar retail model was dead, by confirming long-awaited plans to open its first UK store.
The software giant already has 75 stores globally, but is to open up shop in central London, just a stone's throw from Apple's Regent Street flagship - the cheeky devils. It isn't yet clear what the outlet will stock, but the press release made it clear that "Microsoft Store is a place to have fun!"
"Our stores are hubs for local gaming communities, where fans gather to play their favorite games like FIFA or Forza during events or in one of the tournaments in our Mixer NYC Studio. We are excited to extend similar experiences to our customers in London," read the release, which puzzlingly for a firm trying to court UK punters hadn't changed spellings into British English.
With Amazon recently buying Whole Foods, physical retail stores are all the rage now. This is a bonus for Dodgi, as it means our cash-and-carry-based model is so out of date that it's starting to come back into fashion.
We could've been contenders...
I've always said the success I've enjoyed at Dodgi is largely on the back of the pent-up anger and burning sense of injustice I felt from being rejected in my Leyton Orient under-15s trial in the mid-70s.
But it's heartening to learn that I'm not alone, and that there are former elite sportsmen and women everywhere you look in the channel.
I've bumped into my fair share of fellow wannabe footballers who, like me, fell at the last hurdle, as well as a real tennis player who had a UK ranking. But I recently discovered that the channel is also home to Namibia's former number-one squash player.
It turns out he only settled here after making the trip north to take part in the British Open.
I won't embarrass the chap by calling him out by name, but if you want a clue, the Namibian racquet swisher named his managed services provider after the national animal of his country.
■ Dave Diamond-Geezer, director of Digital Online Deals and Global Integration (Dodgi) of Dagenham Ltd
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