I’ve spoken to some distinctly impressive individuals this month. In preparing for our Fast50 edition, I had the good fortune to speak to all kinds of dynamic and interesting entrepreneurs, from industry veterans and midmarket powerhouses to disruptive young players who will be the next big thing. You can read about them all in our Fast50 supplement, which starts on page 34. I’m sure you’ll be reading much, much more about them in the months and years to come.
Behind the Fast50 resellers are the vendors and disties that have been integral to their success. They should all be praised too. I’d especially like to thank those who generously supported the CRN Fast50.
But there’s one group who is more important than any of the above. I’m sure you’ll agree. Customers. All that fantastic revenue growth couldn’t happen without the clients who ultimately pay for the technology and services that drive our sector.
As you look through the Fast50 lists, think about the customers who have benefitted from the work of these channel players. Whether a new user of some cutting-edge piece of infrastructure or the continued recipient of sterling managed services, I’d like to think that they’re the real winners.
Elsewhere in the issue, we look at customers in more depth. There’s the big news that Microsoft has loosened the ties around Office 365 (page 26). It means integrators will no longer need to go via the intermediary of Telstra, which should allow them to get closer to their clients.
We also look at the importance of good customer service – and the impact of poor service. This is doubly important in the age of social media, where a few rotten reviews can tarnish even the best businesses. Meanwhile, we’ve got a cracking guest piece by Adelaide-based solutions provider Michael Jenkin. He writes about his company’s experience trying to save a customer’s files after being frozen out by Cryptolocker. Unfortunately, human failings are to blame for the malware’s spread. There’s a place here for IT providers to help their customers by continuing to warn about suspicious attachments.
As this is our final issue for 2013, I’d also like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas, a safe holiday season and a prosperous start to 2014.