CRN From the Coal Face

CRN From the Coal Face

01.5.2015 Growing Pains: CRN May 2015


Businesses typically don’t start as multinational organisations with tens of thousands of employees. Most businesses are started by one or two people with a passion. Think of some of the best-known in our industry. Paul Allen and Bill Gates loved programming way back in 1975 and that passion has grown to 128,000 employees at Microsoft today. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started selling personal computer kits in 1976 and now Apple has 98,000 employees. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were si ..

01.3.2015 Don't put training on the backburner: CRN March 2015


I recently went through airport security for the umpteenth time. It almost becomes second nature now. Remove the notebook from my computer case. Drop it in a tray. Remove my wallet and phone from my pockets. Put them on a tray. Smile nicely. Walk through. Maybe I have a look about me as I then seem to be stopped for the explosives check more often than not. This time was different though. Rather than a nod and a quick swipe with a wand the security officer asked me in a polite manner to move ..

01.11.2014 Networking is not a dirty word: CRN November 2014


Networking: it's a scary concept. I'm not talking about the layered protocol stack of TCP/IP. I'm talking about something dramatically more difficult: the social skill. You probably know someone who claims to be the world's best networker. He or she has a ready supply of business cards in their top pocket; they move from group to group at a business function with the greatest of ease, injecting themselves into every conversation just long enough to hand over a business card, and will la ..

01.9.2014 Ever wonder why clients leave? CRN September 2014


Wouldn’t it be nice to get inside the heads of your clients and work out just why they make the decisions they make? I am always fascinated as to what the trigger was for a client to make contact with a supplier today. Why not yesterday or last week or next month? I haven’t got an easy answer, but one item that I can help you with is why people go the other way and stop dealing with you. Not every trigger is preventable, but the majority are. The number one reason that c ..

31.7.2014 Why all the carry-on about customer service?


Whether operating an airline or reselling IT, keep your clients happy. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have had to stand in the aisle while boarding a plane as people in front of me try and do the impossible in some misconstrued belief of the size of their bar-fridge-sized ‘carry-on’ luggage. Do they really think it will magically squeeze, TARDIS-like, into the overhead locker? You can sense the frustration in the few people who, like me, can legitimately ca ..

31.5.2014 To diversify or not to diversify, that is the question


You can’t be everything to everyone, every day. I walked into a large whitegoods retailer before Easter to buy a new DVD player. We still had a player at home that needed updating because it didn’t have Blu-ray capabilities. What should have been a relatively easy process turned into a major shopping expedition. I did what 86 percent of consumers in Australia do and participated in some ‘webrooming’ before I ventured out of my house. I researched various models online  ..

24.3.2014 Resellers, excuses just don't cut it


No matter how good your excuses, most customers don’t want to hear them. My children are going against the Aussie trend and are not yet convinced that they need to eat, sleep and breathe cricket for the entire summer. Through a series of compulsory incremental exposure dosages, I am going to make sure they grow up to be well-balanced Aussie kids (plus what better excuse for Dad to watch the cricket). I like to take them to an occasional game so last year I took them down to game fo ..

26.2.2014 February 2014: Training.


I recently went through airport security for the umpteenth time. It almost becomes second nature now. Remove the notebook from my computer case. Drop it in a tray. Remove my wallet and phone from my pockets. Put them on a tray. Smile nicely. Walk through. Maybe I have a look about me as I then seem to be stopped for the explosives check more often than not. This time was different though. Rather than a nod and a quick swipe with a wand the security officer asked me in a polite manner to move ove ..

10.2.2014 The Internet of Things will offer shelter from the storm


The traditional channel is being squeezed but new tech means new opportunities. Several years ago during one of my regular radio programs on technology I spoke to the host about an umbrella that had some amazing technology built-in. The host joked that there are probably lots of crazy umbrellas out there with some amazing technology built-in and, in a brief moment of live on-air madness, I promised to deliver a new umbrella technology story to him each fortnight when I did the segment. L ..

12.1.2014 Winning the hearts and minds of the platform-agnostic


Under-30s do things their own way. The rest of us can either work out how to do business with them – or miss out Regular readers of my column will know that I spurn the concept of creating a list of resolutions for the New Year, with statistics revealing that 92 percent of people will be unsuccessful with their resolution. I also believe that business change should be continual and gradual rather than a binary experience. On the other hand, the holiday season in Australia gives yo ..