MONTREAL — Calling 2001 a “real space odyssey” in the tech world, CompTIA Canada national manager Ron Cohen said despite a sluggish economy there are bright spots on the horizon for resellers, particularly in the areas of security and storage.
Cohen gave his “State of the Industry” address to a crowd of resellers and vendor partners at the annual Solution Provider Breakaway event held here in the Mont Royal district of Montreal. He said another hot area for resellers is the realm of data and voice convergence.
“Resellers need to take advantage of the manufacturers’ products coming out in this area that will focus on the corporate community.”
Joining Cohen on stage were a host of industry players who also highlighted industry trends and pinpointed where some of the business opportunities lie for resellers trying to make ends meet in today’s economy.
Nick Tidd, president of 3Com Canada, said profitable areas include wireless, network telephony, LAN switching, Bluetooth and security. The world of wireless, in particular, is set to explode, he said, indicating the opportunity lies in its horizontal application rather than its vertical potential, which is where it’s at today.
“Today, wireless is viewed as a niche market,” he said, noting it’s in warehouses, it’s used a lot as barcoding and other specific business or manufacturing applications. But, he said, it needs to move into the areas of education, into the realm of hospitality, and much heavier into the world of corporate Canada.
Building-to-building wireless is going to get more complex and will require reseller support, he added.
Meanwhile, John Roam, marketing analyst of AMD’s reseller channel in the U.S., said he sees huge opportunities in the area of mobile computing. He said the reseller and system builder community make up 40 per cent of AMD’s marketshare, and the company is in the midst of working with its resellers and vendors partners in a bid to capture new vertical markets.
Vertical markets are key, and VARs should stick to what they know, said NEC/Mitsubishi’s Bruno Pupo. He said there’s been enormous change by way of consolidation in the display monitor market over the last three to four years. And while the technology has become a commoditized product, there are benefits to peddling LCDs versus CRTs. He said resellers can push the concept that LCD technology offers lower cost of ownership, lower prices, enhanced ease of use, and ergonomic benefits.
The solution provider event continues until tomorrow.