SP500: Predictions For 2013

What's In Store For 2013?

From fast growth in bring your own device (BYOD) and big data market segments to continued consolidation in the channel, SP500 top executives see a new year filled with big opportunities and big challenges. Here are 2013 predictions from 16 of the best and brightest SP500 executives.

Rick Chernick

Camera Corner/Connecting Point (No. 293)

We predict an explosion in AV (audio visual) business -- yes, AV IT. No longer is your typical AV reseller surviving without IT expertise, and we have both. It's like the analog phone resellers who didn't have IT engineers to associate with VOIP products and we did. You must adapt and be ready for the ongoing change. Value add has never meant so much to customers. Selling product but not understanding how it all works together is like the plumber not knowing how to connect the sewer pipe; you are all of a sudden up to your knees. We take great pride in being able to find the right technology moving forward whether it's in VoIP, AV, IT or cloud services. The vendors we trust have some great products, and we are excited to sell them for them. We are ready for the technology cliff -- bring it on.

Harry Zarek

Compugen (No. 51)

Solutions Providers are beginning the journey of moving beyond IT. Who among us has not had the experience of getting a call from a customer's sales or marketing leader saying they need our help to implement a sales force or customer service application and the internal IT department is not able to help? Or, they need assistance in evaluating an application for a part of the business, but IT can't support it? Welcome to the world of the business solutions provider, a world where purchase decisions are no longer made by our traditional customers within IT or even procurement. They're made by the line of business -- with a very different approach to time to market. They can't afford to wait in the queue for IT's time. Our vendors can't deal with this, as they are product fixated. This is the new world of business IT.

Sam Haffar

Computex, a Stratos company (No. 186)

2013 will be an exciting year for Computex. This will be the first year of operations as part of Stratos Management Systems. The IT landscape continues to get more complex, and that spells great opportunity for firms like us that are very well positioned to advise their clients and shield them from that complexity. With complexity, we see the VAR landscape rapidly changing as the need for large investments in top talent and facilities will drive more consolidations. Cloud and mobility will continue to be a big force of change for the near future.

Jere Brown

Dimension Data Americas (No. 11)

In 2013, I expect the adoption of cloud solutions to accelerate across all market segments. In addition, the convergence of cloud solutions and IT outsourcing (ITO) will grow as enterprises continue to operate under financial pressure, and they seek to reduce costs and provide business agility for new business initiatives. This will put more pressure on traditional VARs to rapidly transform their business models, fueling increased industry consolidation as multiples become more attractive to buyers. Additionally, mobility will become an increasingly attractive market opportunity as mobile devices surpass PCs and laptops as primary computing platforms and clients are forced to sort out BYOD, mobile device management and data security concerns. New vendors will drive the mobility market.

Michael Rapp

En Pointe Technologies (No. 48)

Distribution has been struggling to move beyond product shipments, so in 2013 we can expect to see increased adoption of managed services and subscription-based pricing models. Consequently, we'll start seeing business models slowly changing as fewer companies buy hardware and more move to the cloud. It won't change overnight, but the data center and/or service provider will be the larger customer in the coming years.

Mark Melvin

ePlus (No. 38)

Big data is the technology to watch in 2013. Many firms are trying to figure out what this means to them. Is it the competitive advantage and differentiator that they have been looking to for? Might big data also be the technology that solves security issues, providing new options for data storage, archiving and backup? Big data also has the opportunity to create issues that many IT shops are not ready to tackle, or have any idea where to start. ePlus thinks big data presents as many opportunities as it does challenges.

Bob Venero

Future Tech Enterprises Inc. (No. 237)

My view of 2013 is going to be a myriad of true mobile integration and BYOD (bring your own device). With the continuing battle between Microsoft and Apple, organizations are going to be forced to allow some type of BYOD. It's not a matter of if anymore, it's more the how and when. Employees are expecting and demanding this type of approach, and if enterprise organizations are going to compete for talent, they will need to succumb to some level of support in the BYOD/Mobility era.

Ron Dupler

GreenPages Technology Solutions (No. 153)

Our team at GreenPages Technology Solutions is extremely excited about the market opportunity ahead in 2013. We see accelerating customer demand for guidance in designing and operationalizing hybrid cloud architectures. We continue to focus on driving the evolution of our organization from the old solution provider paradigm -- one driven by architecting and integrating physical technologies -- to the new paradigm -- one driven by architecting and integrating service platforms. In 2013, we will increase our focus on what we see as the next big phase in the cloud computing revolution, affordable and effective hybrid cloud management solutions. Our CMaaS (cloud-management-as-a-service) initiative is a direct response to this market opportunity and will be a major focus for our organization in the coming year.

Daniel Serpico (pictured in the middle)

President and CEO
FusionStorm (No. 58)

For 2013, I'm looking forward to continued growth, albeit a modest recovery. Solutions providers will have to continue their move toward services (cloud, professional, design, integration, support, etc.) as a means of solving customer challenges in an increasingly complex world.

The key technologies will be BYOD, big data, collaboration and virtualization. The leaders in the SP space will have to have initiatives that solve all of these challenges. Finally, I think we will also see continued consolidation, amongst OEMs and solution providers, as the demand for complete solutions puts pressure on companies with limited focus.

Vince DeLuca

Logicalis US (No. 28)

Business markets -- and the technologies that serve them -- are changing the way customers consume technology, via traditional models of on-premises delivery to 'as a service' models delivered via the cloud, and increasingly through hybrid models. In 2013 and beyond, technology solution providers must be committed to delivering solutions that meet specific business requirements while also providing scalability, flexibility and efficiency. This means focusing on the client's business goals and addressing their organizational challenges, and not on selling technology for technology's sake. ... The efficiencies customers gain both from a financial perspective and productivity perspective will be exponential. Customers will be applying this hybrid approach to consuming technology in four key areas in 2013. These are business goal-related trends for IT spending in the coming year and include the consumerization of IT, cloud consumption, big data initiatives and application modernization.

Mont Phelps

President and CEO
NWN Corp. (No. 78)

After years of modest innovation in end-point computing (except for Apple) we expect to see the first full year with new tablets and other form factors gaining significant traction.

NWN is expecting more customers adopting "technology as a service" and evolving buying patterns to more of a usage model. Managed Services will be our fastest growing offering.

From a channel view, we expect 2013 will be a strong business year with higher growth than [2012]. Major technology manufacturers will look to partner with strong solution providers to increase market reach and leverage costs. More business will flow through the channel. Consolidation will accelerate within the channel with "boomer VAR's" looking to exit rather than transition to the new market realities. Scale of solution providers increases the gap in capabilities and potential to grow.

Bob Cagnazzi

Presidio (No. 27)

2013 will be the year many over-hyped buzzwords become more practical. Private clouds won't be achieved en masse, but converged infrastructure including CI (converged infrastructure) management solutions will become the "new normal" for compute/network/storage. Clients will view this as the path to many of the attributes of private cloud without the organizational and technological disruption. Outages affecting SaaS players and the rationalization of the true TCO (total cost of ownership) of cloud solutions will attenuate much of the rush to SaaS adoption, and clients will favor hybrid going forward. Lastly, the industry will understand SDN (software-defined networking) and realize that it will not be overly disruptive in the short term and warrants more evolution before adoption.

Chris Case

President and CEO
Sequel Data Systems (No. 424)

In 2012, we saw the explosion of the mobile device market across all verticals (BYOD). I believe this trend will continue in 2013, and as a result, app virtualization and security will continue to be a top priority for IT organizations. Users will expect applications to be delivered anytime, anywhere, regardless of device or platform. VMware has positioned themselves well for this market with products like Horizon, and we look forward going to market with them 2013.

Joe Mertens

President and CEO
Sirius Computer Solutions (No. 29)

In 2013, solution providers like Sirius need to widen the definition of an "IT strategy" to include the realities our clients face to be competitive in today's market. First, the individual wields much more power than ever before. We need creative thinkers who understand the social, technical and psychological world we live in and want the tools to exploit what they know for the company. Our challenge is to efficiently, securely and reliably give thought leaders the resources and data they need to work any place in the world with any device they choose.

Second, Sirius needs to help clients embrace a new golden rule: Do not spend money or time that doesn't add value to your core offerings.

Bruce Geier

Technology Integration Group (TIG) (No. 68)

I think the U.S. economy will show only slight improvement over this past year, so it's important to seek out markets that will expand. Obamacare will open opportunities in healthcare. Cloud will continue to grow. Print management will also expand as business seeks to control cost of print. U.S. business will invest cautiously as new taxes and increasing capital gains tax rates will slow investment. The China markets will continue to escalate as more Chinese business will look to automate and U.S. business continues to invest abroad.

Bob Olwig

Vice President of Business Strategy and Marketing
World Wide Technology Inc. (No. 17)

Innovative enterprises, service providers and federal agencies will begin architecting and building the core IT foundation to support the explosion of traffic and information related to the Internet of everything. The massive amount of information generated from these billions of "things" will also fuel big data applications.

Solution providers will need to stop talking about technology and start being business relevant by architecting and demonstrating innovative solutions for customers.