If there’s a theme running through this issue, it is that we live in a heterogeneous, diverse, multifarious, plural world. As we report on page 22, Microsoft made this point forcefully at the recent Microsoft Decoded event at ExCeL, London, where it unveiled new Surface devices and demonstrated some of the advances it is making in mixed reality computing. At the event, Panos Panay, Microsoft Vice President for Surface, said: “Innovation is when devices disappear and ideas come to the fore.” What he meant by this is that we are getting to the stage where we can interact with our devices using a variety of input methods, from keyboards, mice and pens to eyeballs, voice and touch, switching seamlessly between them all without a second thought and without interrupting our creative flw.
This is an argument that could also be made by Oblong Industries, creator of the immersive, interactive, gesturecontrolled, multi-screen collaboration solution used by Tom Cruise in the 2002 fim Minority Report. It was futuristic then. Today, the technology can be found in boardrooms across the globe and, with the launch of the Mezzanine 200 series (see page 26), in smaller huddle rooms as well. Instead of the serial, one-to-many presentations endured by so many for so long, this solution lets everyone join the discussion, pass control back and forth, add notes and comments to each other’s documents and bring in content from dozens of sources with the wave of a wand. Best of all, it only takes minutes to get up and running and for the technology ‘to disappear’.
Technology is disappearing in a more literal way, or at least moving off-site, with the rise of cloud computing. This is already having a big effect on channel businesses and its inflence will only increase. For the time being, resellers are having to meet the diverse needs of a heterogeneous customer base by keeping one foot in the past as they place the other down in the future, still selling hardware but also offering cloud services on a subscription model. This is something NexStor is doing very successfully (see page 36) and which Daisy Wholesale is inviting other IT resellers to emulate with its new hosted IP platform (see page 23). Services create new challenges for resellers, and in the Q&A on page 33, Mark Banfild explains how Autotask, now merged with Datto, can help channel businesses overcome them – using software-asa-service, of course.
Technology Reseller Magazine – Issue 7 – Free Download