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This is a new Channel Insider series with a mission: To share the insights of the most innovative insiders in the channel, and also those from the many  communities that serve the channel.

Each new article will highlight either someone who has made significant contributions to the growth and health of our channel, or one of the communities that serves many channel partners in many wonderful ways.

We’ll list the articles here as they get published:

Why a Series on Channel Innovation?

Speaking plainly, I’m an old-timer in the channel. I entered at about the same time IBM named us their “reseller channel” because nobody but IBM could sell IBM. But we were allowed to RE-sell it. That was 1981, forty-one years ago.

This channel has been my home and the source of so many great friendships across the decades. It has nurtured me and enabled me to build my success. It has given me the opportunity to do all the things I ever really wanted to do in my life, culminating with this freelance-writer stage that I’m absolutely honored and thrilled to be in. [Editor’s note: We’re just as honored to share Howard’s insights with our readers.]

So, I feel it’s necessary to share as much of this channel knowledge with as many of you as I can so that you too can derive even greater benefits from being part of it.

There are some amazing, great people in our channel community, and getting to know them will always help propel your career. Consider the articles I write about them to be my way of making personal introductions for you. Follow them up and learn as much from them as you can. Soak it all in.

See our picks for the The Top 22 IT Channel Partners of 2022

The Two-Way Channel: We Want Your Feedback

Most important to this mission is to develop it as a two-way street. A conversation. If anything I write encourages you to join the many who are constantly making great contributions to our channel community, please feel free to start making your first contributions here. Email me personally at to share your reactions to what you read, or to offer your own insights. Suggest new ideas for new topics we should explore. Point me at organizations that are helping you grow and prosper. Become part of the process. I’ll share as many of your emails as I can and always try to include a plan to follow up on your ideas.

Digital Transformation & Innovation

Part of our community is the amazing inventors and software developers who bring fantastic new products to us, and improvements upon older ones.

I’ve never been one of those. In fact, I was thrilled when someone came up with a name for what I’ve done throughout my career and it caught on.

The definition of “Digital Transformation” that I’m most comfortable with is the process of coming up with new and better ways to apply technology to improve upon the way in which we do things, and the ways in which we live, work, and play. It’s not so much the technology that’s transforming. It’s us. We’re transforming people, not technology stuff.

Think of this as you would think of regulatory compliance. It’s not enough to assure that the technology is in compliance. You must also assure that the processes and procedures that people execute manually are also being kept up consistently. Tech AND people.

To create digital transformation through innovation requires imagination and inspiration. It’s an incredible process that is thoroughly enjoyable and should always be shared.

More to Come

I’ll be coming back to you very shortly with our initial stories. We’ve spoken with people at every level of the channel, from senior executives to field personnel, and each has stories to tell. Find those stories here. Meet those people. Share your thoughts.

For now, here’s a look at some of our coverage of the changing channel and business advice for navigating it. We hope you find it inspiring.