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2014 ­ The year of economic uncertainty

Posted in Uncategorized por Dagoberto Hajjar em 28 de janeiro de 2014

É com orgulho que tenho mais um artigo publicado no web-site CHANNEL EMEA, dedicado aos canais da Europa, Oriente Médio e África.

2014 – The year of economic uncertainty

In the last week of 2013, I participated in an event in Brazil in which we had discussion panels featuring several economists and business leaders. They agreed on one point only: no one can precisely predict what will happen to Brazil in 2014. Business leaders concur that the economic and financial uncertainty and insecurity will have serious, long-lasting consequences for the country.

Everyone knows that the government achieved some of its goals for 2013 simply because they made adjustments to calculations and used ‘creative’ methods in measuring outcomes.

Everyone knows that in 2014 there will be an increase in the tax burden, inflation, exchange rates, defaults, and unemployment. Everyone knows that we will face a low GDP and a trade imbalance and that the FIFA World Cup and presidential election will have a heavy, long-term impact as never seen in the country’s history. The greatest difficulty and the disagreement point among economists and business leaders is to determine precisely what these figures will be for 2014.
The international community looks at this scenario and believes that Brazil will face bankruptcy, but Brazilians know that this won’t happen. We have lived through worse times, and we have survived. Brazilians have an impressive creativity, which arises in times of crisis, transforming threats into opportunities.
Proof of this is that 28% of the Brazilian ICT businesses had a very good year in 2013, while another 28% had a very poor year. The ‘pie’ is not increasing, but better structured and more creative companies are stealing market share from those that aren’t well prepared. This is what we call the ‘Brazilian way’ of doing things.

Those who are familiar with the ‘Brazilian way’ of doing things know how to transform threats into opportunities and search for new products, new markets, and new ways to negotiate. They creatively adapt their strategic plan and are disciplined when putting it into action.

From the ICT point of view, 2014 will be a fantastic year. The government will require companies to automate their processes as a way to increase tax collection and reduce tax evasion. In 2013, businesses learned that Brazil is facing a long-term crisis. In a long-term crisis it’s no use adopting palliative measures but rather use technology as an instrument to increase operational efficiency and sales.
In this scenario, cloud solutions will play a key role with lower costs for businesses. The demand for cloud solutions, combined with the boom in mobile phone and tablet sales, will force telecom operators to improve their infrastructure and high-speed services. Therefore, the fact that we will soon be facing a challenging economic outlook will bring good sales results for the ICT sector.

Today, the ICT sales and distribution channel is generally focused on basic hardware and software, which is not what clients will be looking for in 2014. The channel will have to search, either on the domestic or on the international market, for ICT intelligence solutions. Basic hardware and software products generate benefits related to the reduction of operational costs. IT intelligence solutions are those that generate benefits related to an increase in sales, margins, and quality with a reduction in time between new offer releases on the market, as well as a reduction in operational costs.
Intelligence solutions include: ECM and workflow solutions; decision support systems, such as executive information systems, executive cockpits, and business intelligence; and IT systems that offer a great competitive advantage for the company and business.

Many channels have already understood that this is the right direction to take, so much so that year after year the Brazilian market has been purchasing more and more software and services, rather than hardware. Most of the channels will still have to adapt to survive.

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