The Cheltenham National Hunt Festival has a special place in the diary each year, for me and I know many thousands of others. It is great news that it will take place this year, although for the town the loss of 100,000 visitors during the week will be huge. For many local retailers and hospitality venues, the week has traditionally been more significant than their sales at Christmas. I remember one luxury television brand retailer telling me how they always hoped the Irish would win big. When the Irish horses won during The Festival, the shop would get lots of walk in customers asking them to ship TVs and sound systems back to Ireland.
It was sad to see Prince Philip back in hospital this week. Over the past few years the media has not always been kind to him. But for many people who have benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, which he founded in 1956, Prince Philip will hold a special place in their memories.
Our industry is experiencing unprecedented pressure to change, driven by new demands from across industry, healthcare and governments.
Our industry increasingly finds itself in the spotlight. On the one hand we are the salvation army, providing the wherewithal for businesses to transform and enable a remotely working world that has kept economies afloat and continues to provide customers with the means to survive.
February already and, for various reasons, the Ecosystem team has seen a significant increase in businesses wanting to partner with Tech Data since the turn of the year.
Last week felt like the industry had pressed the accelerator. With no skiing trips taking people away and businesses looking for a fast start, there has been plenty of activity within the market.
Discussing New Year planning with partners over the past couple of weeks has been really interesting.
IBM is probably undergoing the most significant change to its business since Lou Gerstner joined as CEO back in April 1993. Mr Gerstner is often quoted as “the man who saved IBM”. Changing the organisation; focussing back on customers and growing partnerships was key to revitalising the company then. They were exciting times, although the excitement varied depending on where you were within the IBM ecosystem at the time!
Every year, certain words seem to define the year. If we look back over 2020, there were few contenders. I think most people would agree Covid won hands down! Looking closer to home in the IT industry, the word of the year was almost certainly ecosystems. But it wasn’t just the IT industry that saw these develop.
I was recently asked for a summary of the IBM business unit at Tech Data. When pulling this together I realised that many of the other 7000 partners we work with each day at Tech Data probably don’t know how much we cover either.