It's Time To Take Off The Blinders


Place your bets on some new horses


The one way to guarantee failure when things are going downhill is to continue to do the same thing. That's what's happening with many solution providers in the current economic downturn.

Many solution providers have gone into the bunker and put on blinders: refusing to bring on new emerging vendors or switch vendors based on the market conditions, tying themselves to the same old, same old even when those vendors have dramatically slashed channel programs. It's just plain maddening and it fits the thinking businessman's definition of insane: continue to do the same thing and expect a different outcome.

Many solution providers are missing out on products and vendors that could effectively help them pull out of a tailspin with some groundbreaking solutions. One problem, of course, is cutting through the market noise and clutter. That's where Everything Channel comes in with content like our Emerging Vendor blog and list, conferences, NetSeminars, etc. We take our role as channel advocates seriously and are constantly on the prowl for the products and companies that pass our channel litmus test.

There are many new horses to ride that could turn the tide for you. Here are five of the best that have come to my attention in the past few months.

Panasonic: A life saver. A 100 percent channel-focused company in a hot horizontal (rugged notebooks) that has just launched a slam dunk: the new H1 Mobile Medical Assistant. The H1 is a breakthrough product in a market that badly needs it.

Oki Data Americas: A 100 percent channel-focused company that is taking managed services to new heights and is also deep into helping partners crack into vertical markets like health care and education. Add a channel-savvy exec like Oki Data President and CEO Stewart Krentzman and you have a bona fide recession-busting partner.

eFolder: Once again, a 100 percent channel-focused company, this time with a brandable online backup and e-mail archiving product. A breakthrough technology and product with best-in-class terms and conditions. And a company that gets it: it's all about helping their partners make money and satisfy customers.

ORSYP: A Paris-based company that has a market-leading product in France and is moving into the U.S. channel with a hot new product, UniJob (an IT system task automation and consolidation tool) that has cost savings potential like VMware.

XIV: IBM bought this storage crown jewel 18 months ago and has been shining it up with a huge amount of field resources and a first-class channel program. XIV brings revolutionary simplicity to the too often complex and arcane market.

Solution providers that are able to take off the blinders and bring on products and business models from vendors like these will find themselves at the head of the pack. Those that don't are doomed to finish dead last.