One crazy summer

I think the summer of 2005 will be one to remember. It’s one during which the IT industry has been particularly working hard. Usually the channel takes the summer off. You end up playing more rounds of golf than building solutions for clients. For the vendors and distributors, delivering new products, programs and promotions were efforts that started in the autumn.
But this summer Canon, Lenovo and others made major announcements. Xerox Canada alone released an unprecedented 24 new office printers.
This summer has been so different I have only played four or five rounds of golf, finally taking a mini-vacation near the end of August. I can’t figure out why it has been so busy.
At CDN, we have been planning a major event called the Channel Elite Awards (CEA). It is the fourth annual CEA and they will be presented this Sept. 22 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. We revamped the awards this year to emphasize the team contributions.
I believe this will be the event of the summer and you should all try to attend the evening festivity.
But while this event has taken up a lot of my time, I have also noticed that other top executives have been pulling double duty at the office instead of the links or at the cottage. It’s a good sign that the market for IT products and services is about to or in the midst of a spike.
Forecasters haven’t really indicated this in their studies. The research companies are indicating low single digit growth. However, you get a sense of things when you have been hanging around the industry for as long as I have.
Sure the summer has been tough for some people. I can think of Alan Schweitzer, Murray Wright and Dave Walsh, to name three. I’ll bet they are still wondering why their summer vacations were extended.
But for the most part a busy summer is a great indicator of prosperous times ahead.
And, I believe solution providers for the first time since Y2K preparations are poised for a big year. I also believe that VARs have finally stopped emphasizing box pushing and are experienced enough to really deliver the IT solutions customers require today.

Bell in play
Another indicator is what Bell Business Solutions (BBS) has been doing this summer: Buying up really good solution providers such as CSB Systems.
In an exclusive interview, Robert Courteau, the new president of BBS is anticipating something big (see page six). He even believes the market will have more opportunities than even BBS can take care of and so the firm wants to partner with other VARs to fill the need.
I know that summers are meant for fun and frivolity, but in the IT channel buckling down this season will hopefully ensure a bright horizon.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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