Weak Consumers Drive Weak Convergence Markets

It's a simple game of economics, one of supply and demand. With the news of telecommunications-giant Nortel still in our minds, it's important to understand what drives the overall technology marketplace, and how large of a role the individual purchaser or consumer has in the larger economic community. In the last few days and weeks, we've discussed the rocky start to the new year, which has affected more than just the convergence and technology markets. What's most important to realize, however, is the significant impact on market change that each end-user, purchaser, and consumer has on the resulting market. In an ideal market scenario, the amount of technical competition should be extremely high. High enough, that the most technically-innovative solutions are selected, and ultimately survive. Technical inefficiencies of companies and their products are naturally eliminated from the market. Why is this important? If customers invest in technically deficient, proprietary, or simply inadequate companies or solutions, they literally 'promote' such solutions, and create an imbalance. This truly, and unfairly affects the solutions that are indeed innovative. We as consumers have a responsibility. It is our morality-to-market responsibility, our mission, as technology decision makers to implement the most efficient, cost-effective, and business-integrated solutions into our environments. We should reject pressure from name-recognition ploys and encouragement and focus on the actual overall "fit" of the solution. Vendor loyalty is becoming an aging concept, and rightfully so. If a certain organization continuously develops innovative and technically efficient solutions, it should survive. The companies that must ultimately be eliminated from the market are those that have become complacent, and expected customer contracts based on previous name-recognition. Ultimately, consumers have the ultimate power of reforming entire markets. For the most part, in the convergence markets, we have failed. Buying into 20-year-old solutions and technology doesn't drive technical efficiency or strength - it drives weakness. Instead of focusing on the most innovative solutions, we are stuck in the past, in our ultimate "comfort zones."

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