The end of an era

This next print issue of MicroScope (out on 18 April) marks the end of an era but not the end of the MicroScope story.

After this issue the magazine will cease to be a print publication with our coverage of the channel being available online and in the form of a digital magazine only.

This ends almost thirty years of printing, mainly weekly and at periods fortnightly, of a newspaper that has never stopped serving a channel audience.

During that time there have been some highs and some lows. Three recessions, including the most recent, have stood out as particularly painful times but there have also been many reasons to celebrate.

Some of the promises that technology would change our lives and deliver improvements are finally starting to happen as we all start to take advantage of the flexibility and wealth of information at our fingertips.

Most importantly over the last decade the question: will the channel die? seems to have finally been killed off. After Dell moved to re-engage with the channel a couple of years ago any doubts that using a nationwide network of local specialists with high levels of skills was the way to deliver products and services was snuffed out.

But the channel is facing yet another stage of its development with the cloud becoming more mainstream and the requirement for services and specialist skills higher than ever.

Over the past thirty years the channel has changed dramatically in some ways and the same is also true of publishing. Technology has played its part in making the days of the hot metal presses redundant and the desktop publishing explosion changed the rules of the game.

But for the decade or two following the dark days of Wapping back in 1986 the most dramatic change had been the introduction of colour.

But then came the internet and the world changed again and this time permanently with quite widespread and dramatic consequences for publishing. The decision by MicroScope's new owners Tech Target to deliver channel content only in a digital form is an indication of where the world has reached.

Most resellers now interact with supplier portals to get information they would have traditionally received via the post or through emails and the speed of information has gathered pace with social media, instant messaging and RSS feeds.

Most resellers are familiar and regular users of smart phones and understand and exploit the flexibility offered by 'always on' devices.

Most resellers will appreciate that the next evolution in MicroScope's history is one that will see them getting their information from us differently.

Thanks for the support and sharing those highs and lows over the last thirty years and as we all enter a new chapter I look forward to covering the next stage of the channel's development with you.

I never take it for granted but hope we can earn and continue to benefit from your readership as we all move into the future.

Onwards and upwards.

Simon Quicke

This was first published in April 2011

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