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Marching Orders 2013: Be Ready for a Big Year

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Harry Brelsford, President, SMB Nation.

Who ordered this tepid recovery, anyway? Several years ago, when the economy was "resetting," I made forward-looking statements that the downturn was going to align closer to a normal recession, not the "Great Recession" others predicted. Bottom line is that they were closer to right than I was.

While the slowly improving economic data inspires optimism in me and others, a common current refrain is that we've never worked so hard for so little. True -- the past few years have made us all more focused and efficient. But you're not alone if you're getting tired of this recession too!

Our predictions at SMB Nation are:

  • Positive hardware growth. While major research entities and some hardware manufacturers are predicting flat PC/laptop/server sales at best (some forecasts even predict a slight decline), we believe there will be net-net positive growth for hardware for several reasons:

    • The U.S. elections are completed, leading to certainty in the business community.
    • Expectations that fundamental growth is sound in the economy.
    • The Windows 8 launch should yield growth benefits in the second half of 2013 (even though we're not seeing an order backlog today).

  • Deferred refresh cycle. Many SMBs have extended the useful life of their IT assets and must now refresh. They have the fiscal confidence to refresh. This will exceed expectations.

  • Innovation excitement. There's a natural excitement with new technologies and with the mainstream acceptance of cloud computing (finally) in 2013 that will create both budgeted and impulse buys in the SMB community.

Check out the full Marching Orders 2013 feature here.

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 8:50 AM