We're in it together

This year?s TCA Conference hosted a range of presentations, from the largely product-focused, such as Kingston Technology?s, to a managed services overview from lead sponsor Kaseya.
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Other speakers highlighted various trends and opportunities. It was great to receive comments such as: “It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about and network with other resellers”, and “it was a great day for meeting vendors and distributors”.

David Thornton of reseller DRT summed it up pretty well: "It is only through working together that things can move forward; the aims of indies, vendors and disties are the same – to improve sales.” The vendors were equally delighted. Amy Roberts of Symantec said: “Fantastic content. Amazing insight into our industry.”

In conjunction with the conference and Reseller Forum (run jointly by CompTIA and the TCA), there was a dinner and breakfast meeting sponsored by Kaseya. The 30 or so resellers who attended were “excited, energised and delighted” and took away with them many new ides for business development.

But enough of banging the TCA drum for now. What did you think about the ruling in the legal case between Electronic Data Systems and BSkyB? I had missed it, believe it or not, and it was CompTIA’s Matthew Poyiadgi who drew my attention to it (another benefit of the co-operation between the TCA and CompTIA).

The judgement ran to over 400 pages and the bottom line seems to be roughly this: EDS’s business proposal to BSkyB for developing a customer relationship management system fraudulently misrepresented EDS’s capabilities. Legal fees on both sides are reported to be in the region of £40 million, never mind any settlement awarded.

It has to be admitted that few, if any, of the TCA’s resellers are in EDS’s league when it comes to their client base. But this judgement should send a shiver down the spine of any reseller that might have, at some time, stretched the truth a little bit when it came to defining their skills and experience to their customers and prospects.

Unprofessional salesmen will make promises that they don’t know they’ll be able to keep. Good salesmen will only promise that which they can be sure of delivering and will make great efforts to ensure that the customer does not misunderstand the capabilities of the product or service.

Unprofessional resellers will usually not have in place effective terms and conditions that outline the relationship between them and their customers. Professional resellers will have professional indemnity insurance to cover them if things do go wrong. This is why the TCA offers its members a free review of their terms and conditions from one of the UK’s leading IT legal companies, and why we have organised professional indemnity insurance for our members. Gosh! Did I just bang our drum again?


The sharp end of the industry

I was recently asked by the organisers of the TCA Conference if I would like to give a ten minute ?pitch and bitch? presentation about the life of a small indie. Feeling very passionate about the retail business, I gave it a shot.


Rock stars

We?ve been talking to the winners of this year?s PCR Awards to find out what each company has been up to since collecting their prestigious prize. This month, Stone Group CEO James Bird discusses winning the Value Added Reseller Award.

Banging the drum

Normally in this column I cover a variety of quite cleverly crafted topics. Well, I think they are cleverly crafted. I seldom beat the TCA drum too loudly, preferring to cover industry issues.

Radio free Europe

My mention of the EMC regulations a couple of months ago elicited a response claiming that interference from what is variously known as Power Line Technology/ Power Line/ Communications/ Power Line Telecommunications equipment (let?s call it PLT) was a widespread problem that was only going to get bigger, and was a major breach of the EMC regulations.

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The way forward

For the second month running, I managed to almost finish my column, all apart from the usual niceties of checking spelling and grammar ? and then something happened to make me scrap the whole thing and start again from scratch.