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The True Influencers

As a longtime admirer of CRN, it is my great privilege to become its new Editor in Chief in the year that marks its 20th anniversary. In addition to leading CRN's intrepid band of editors, I am looking forward to living up to the exacting requirements of its readers.

I have been an editor in this industry for more than 18 years. Most recently, I was Editor in Chief of InfoWorld, and prior to that I held editorial positions at PC Week, ComputerWorld, Digital Review and Electronics Buyers' News. From that bit of history, you may glean that I have a pretty serious addiction to technology and how it is applied in corporate computing environments. It's that addiction that brings me to CRN.

Far and away, the most knowledgeable people in this industry are those who apply technology to solve challenging problems. Technology is only a tool in search of a solution. It's the intellectual capital brought to bear by the solution partner that makes all the difference. When you think about it, solution providers are really the single most influential constituency in the industry. Customers rely on them as trusted arbiters of industry trends, and most vendors could not sell anything if it were not for the diligent efforts of the people who create the solutions.

We already know that about 70 percent of all IT product and service revenue moves through the channel. And as the economy falters, leaner IT organizations are becoming even more dependent on solution providers, while vendors scramble to reduce their cost of sales by leveraging the channel even more.

CRN reaches more than 100,000 solution providers who interact with more than 10 million businesses that purchase in excess of $300 billion worth of IT products and services per year. When you put it in those terms, the real titans of the industry are the leaders of the channel.

The rest of the world is about to discover what you and I already know, and I'm counting on your active participation to help us help you keep vendors in line and earn you the rewards and recognition you deserve. The reality is that solution providers do most of the work and are the most business-savvy, technically elite people in the industry. It's really only a matter of perception finally catching up with reality.

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