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How will the economic stimulus package help resellers?

Are you really asking yourself that question? Then you are about ready to go out of business. I find that most businesses that are waiting for the winds of Washington to determine their future, even government-focused resellers, are in serious trouble.


What is in this spending bill that will really help resellers? Most channel people that I know have bills to pay right now, not in two years when most of these programs will kick in. Ignoring some of the “special” projects (I don’t think we are allowed to call them pork), most of these initiatives are going to take a long time to help anyone in IT.


Rebuilding schools, bridges and roads, all good ideas, but other than some engineering design work, do not require a lot of IT power. Then there is the national archive of medical images. That should create a ton of storage demand and a large compute farm. It may also require the biggest security project ever conceived. I don’t want my medical information becoming as publicly available as A Rod’s just did. There is also the increased Internet bandwidth funding idea, which is a little vague but seems like it could amount to something. Of course, if the stimulus package works and all these jobs are created, there is the ripple effect: an uptick in the overall economy.


Or, we could decide to live in a place called the real world and look at the facts. Even if we reach 10% unemployment, 90% of the people will still be working. That 90% is going to need IT services. While the situation we’re facing is serious, it may not be as catastrophic as we are being told. In fact, in Symantec’s “2008 State of the Data Center Survey,” 84% of respondents said their budgets were set to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months.


Your customers have money to spend, and they’re focused on projects that I’ve discussed in the past (storage optimization and increasing efficiency) and one that I haven’t discussed: training.


In my next blog entry, I’ll discuss how EVERY reseller should offer training to their customers.


George Crump is president and founder of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation’s largest storage integrators.

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