There is a bright side
No, really, the Irish channel is a lot more upbeat than one might expect
Blogs | 22 Aug 2012 :
One of the highlights of the recent Olympics closing ceremony in London had to be watching athletes from all over the world, and thousands of spectators, cheerily whistling along to Eric Idle's masterwork, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. The response to the song showed how widely it has travelled from its original home of the crucifixion scene in Monty Python's "Life Of Brian". Tongue-in-cheek cheery optimism is something we all enjoy.
The reason I bring up the song is that despite the fairly gloomy economic situation in Ireland, it appears Irish resellers are also taking Eric Idle's advice to heart. According to a comprehensive survey of 2,500 reseller contacts by Mediateam, the publisher of Irish Computer magazine, just under half of all respondents believe their business prospects over the coming 12 months will be better than last year and another 33% predict they will be "slightly better". Only 8% think their business prospects will be the same, 9% say they will be slightly worse and a measly 3% expect them to be worse.
It seems that even if a lot of resellers are chewing on life's gristle right now, they're not grumbling but giving a whistle because they know it'll help things turn out for the best.
When asked how they would increase revenues over the coming 12 months, the biggest area of priority was increasing marketing and PR activity, followed by developing their online presence and forging new vendor relationships. I was also struck by the very significant number who stated that partnering with other resellers would be an important means to increase their revenues. This chimes with anecdotal evidence from a number of conversations with distributors and resellers that channel partners are collaborating together to boost each other's skills and expand their technological and geographical coverage.
Another highlight of the survey is just how happy resellers are with their distribution and vendor partners. Asked for their level of satisfaction with distributors, 57% said they were satisfied, 29% were somewhat satisfied and 10% were completely satisfied. Only 4% were dissatisfied. Those are very impressive figures. When the same question was asked of resellers' satisfaction with their vendor partners, 52% said they were satisfied, 38% were somewhat satisfied and 8% were completely satisfied with a miniscule 2% in the dissatisfied camp.
To digress briefly, why do so many surveys use "somewhat" when defining levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction? It's not as if you or I would ever use the word so it seems to be a strange choice for calibrating our levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with something.
Returning to the survey, one of the things Mediateam was trying to ascertain was how enthusiastic resellers would be about a dedicated event for the Irish channel, TechTrade which takes place on 23 October. The answer was "very" with 84% interested in attending. Top of their reasons for going was the opportunity to meet new and existing vendors. They were also interested in a short keynote session that could help their business, briefing sessions from vendors, the chance to meet new and existing distributors and, lastly, the opportunity to network with fellow resellers and share best practice (is that a euphemism for "a couple of pints"?). Let's hope they get to do all those things and have a very successful day. Perhaps they could end the occasion with a chorus of Always Look On the Bright Side Of Life from the massed whistles of the Irish IT channel.