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Of course there is, however consumer PC hardware sales in the UK seem to be continuing on their slow decline, according to analysts Gartner, and have been since 2012 when HP SVP and EMEA GM Eric Cador told his audience at a sales conference that the PC industry [has] “been building PCs based on computing… it’s the same form factor two times faster.”[i]

Gartner have reported a decline of just under 4% year on year, to which IDC concurred (albeit with a lower drop in sales at 1.5%). If you want to see the numbers El Reg have a report on it here.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, to anyone, ever. The customer drives success at all times. Whilst we tailor and redesign hardware, the move to EYCEWaaS[ii] continues at a frightening pace. Frightening that is to everyone except the end user.

Terminal access to cloud based services has been available to the end user for so long now the average consumer is oblivious to the seismic shift that it has created in the market place. No longer the purview of the early adopter it has moved into the mainstream.

Success in this market depends entirely on your business model. Are you providing complete end to end solutions to your customer, or are you selling hardware and locking the them into your ecosystem?

Some manufacturers control this by restricted access to new apps and services to the newer iterations of their hardware (Apple, I’m looking at you,) others exist entirely online or in the cloud and then improve, flex and tailor the end user experience accordingly. Both work and some enjoy more commercial success than others. The question however should be, which is likely to be around in 10 years’ time?

If value add telecom resellers are looking to the big companies and benchmarking their approach to define their own business approach the question is the same. The obvious parallel is big expensive hardware installations against VaaS solutions such as cloud based call management or VoIP products. Both hardware and cloud models work, many times complimenting each other, but which is likely to be around for longer as the end user behaviour changes?

The next wave that should be on everyone’s radar in the channel is within connected premises. Whilst we might talk about internet capable rice cookers and laugh up our sleeves a little, connectivity is now the indisputable bed rock of telecom solutions. You cannot have a conversation with any prospective client without referring to how they get information in and out of their building. If you’re not including these technologies as part of your overall solution you need to partnering with someone who does.

So, customer behaviour is driving an increase in demand to access to cloud based solutions? Check. Similarly, a decreased desire to commit large capital expenditure on in-house systems? Check. Complete overhaul of commercial and product portfolio needed by those who are just getting the hang of this? Check.

[i] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/09/hp_windows_8/

[ii] Everything You Could Ever Want as a Service