Healthy debate at PCA AGM

Constitution and FixITlocal discussed, while a member resigns in protest
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There was an extra edge to the rescheduled annual general meeting of the Professional Computing Association as long-time member, and co-founder of indie trade body ITACS, Kevin Meader resigned in protest at the AGM voting procedure.

The AGM was in fact preceded by an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) - a procedural necessity to legitimise the rescheduling of the AGM, having had insufficient voting members to commence with the originally scheduled AGM a month or so ago.

It seems Meader's complaint was with what he considered to be the undemocratic nature of the voting process and the consequent lack of representation for the majority of members. However, it must be noted that only Meader and one other, of the 15 who voted, opposed the constitutional amendments proposed.

PCA chairman Derek Jones told PC Retail that the changes to the constitution were merely a "quick fix to buy some time for the board of directors to conduct a full and proper review of the rules that govern the association." Meader, however, told PC Retail that he resigned over a number of what he considered to be fundamental changes to the constitution, that he felt the board was attempting to 'smuggle through' in its date change formality.

Later on DMSL, a BT reseller that has launched an indie service and repair lead referral scheme called FixITlocal to take on TechGuys and co, bravely asked the assembled resellers for their thoughts on how best to develop the scheme.

The feedback was mainly negative – with pricing, marketing, quality assurance, trust and DMSL's motives all being questioned. What was agreed, however, was the need for indies to get organised in order to prevent the likes of DSGi from stealing the service market from them as they have products.

Other presentations included Formjet, who bizarrely attempted to woo indies by talking about how much business it does with Tesco. Netgear spoke about its Powershift reseller scheme, which seemed to have some enticing features.

Market research outfit GfK confirmed that the desktop market is in terminal decline, while the laptop market continues to grow at around 50 per cent YOY. However that's a volume measurement - in terms of value growth is much lower as laptops are now being given away when you buy a four-pack of beans. They also revealed that around 80 per cent of consumer PCs are now Vista, while only a quarter of business ones are.

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