Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Word on the Street

I'm glad to see that everyone has an opinion on the Jericho Forum. Even if some of you are completely wrong! Obviously I won't be proven right until the last firewall and IDS box is disconnected and Richard Stiennon is carted off to the asylum, but it's closer than you think.

Mostly though, your opinions have little effect on what the market actually decides, which is, of course, why I'm right. I'm selling what I'm selling (Ingrian Networks), because of what I believe in, not the other way around. It just so happens that business in the UK is absolutely flying at the moment. I'm only on day 3 of official activities and I've got a list of "to dos" as long as your arm. Most of them learning more about the stuff I love and can't stop talking about.

I like to keep myself informed however, and having been away for a few months, I wasn't sure of how the market in the UK was looking. When I left for Spain, the economy was strong, load balancers were selling like hot cakes, SIEM/SIM was the exciting new thing on the block and at least 3 vendors (Bluecoat, F5 and Juniper) were converging on devices which did pretty much the same thing, but from different angles. I was waiting to see which would sell best.

Despite knowing lovely ladies in each (Lucy at Bluecoat, Louise at F5 and Sarah at Juniper), I haven't stayed in touch with the market movements, and would probably get biased reports anyway. So, what's the solution? My old friends in distribution, they NEVER lie.

I spoke to Bruce, the Business Development Manager at Equip/Horizon just this evening, and he seemed downcast. Apparently, since the economy's taken a hit, the business has started to dry up. Then he perked up a bit, seeming to enjoy the challenge, saying that he needed to find a way to differentiate better and drive business forwards. Knowing Bruce, he will do it.

But why has our economy taken a hit? Well, when the subprime mortgage crisis hit the US, the banks in the UK stopped borrowing off each other, imagining each other to own some of the US debt, and clamming up, like a clam. When the borrowing stopped, the cash stopped flowing, banks which relied on interbank dealing to make their profits threatened to disappear overnight (Northern Rock), until the government stepped in to rescue them.

The economy is looking shaky as a result, manufacturing has obviously taken a hit as no-one has faith in the high street, which in turn means no-one has faith in anything else you can buy. Thus, no-one is buying what I like to call "stuff".

I blame the Americans.

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