Dell gives up on Android tablets

tabletDell has stopped selling Android devices as it moves to Windows 2-in-1 devices.

It has said that it is giving up on its Venue line of Android tablets, and will no longer offer the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a thumb-size computer that can turn a display into a PC.

Dell has long said that the slate tablet market is over-saturated and declining. They appear to be being replaced by  2-in-1s which provide a more spiritual  blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility.

Dell won’t be offering OS upgrades to Android-based Venue tablets already being used by customers.

Customers who own Android-based Venue products, Dell will continue to support currently active warranty and service contracts until they expire, but will not be pushing out future OS upgrades.

Dell now mostly has laptops and 2-in-1s with Windows on its books with a smattering of Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS. These can run Android apps through access to the Google Play Store but not Android.

If you don’t want Windows, Dell also sells XPS and Precision laptops with Ubuntu to developers, and thin clients with Linux, Windows Embedded and Wyse’s ThinOS operating systems.

Venue is a brand often placed on the chopping block by Dell.  It killed off Venue smartphones in 2012, but reintroduced the brand through the tablets. You can find Venue tablets with Windows but the product has not been upgraded in a while.

HP is also doing something similar. It now offers just a handful of Android tablets, mainly for businesses. Lenovo is offering fewer Android tablets and has expanded its Windows-based, 2-in-1 lineup.  So much for Steve Job’s “game changing” technology which was going to change the world.

Dixon Carphone plays down Brexit worries

carphone-warehouseDixon Carphone attempted to play down the personal impact of market volatility that a post-Brexit vote will “inevitably” cause.

Dixon Carphone CEO Seb James talked bullishly about the business and its prospects but noted that things could get a bit edgy since Friday’s EU referendum.

“The nation has spoken and there has been a vote to exit the EU in due course. As you can imagine, we have been giving some thought to this,” he said.

“Our view is that, as the strongest player in our market and despite the volatility that is the inevitable consequence of such change, we expect to find opportunities for additional growth and further consolidate our position as the leader in the UK market,” said James.

Dixon Carphone said group sales edged up three per cent year-on-year to £9.78bn for the year ended 30 April. Sales in its UK heartland went up one per cent to £6.4bn, reflecting stores closure.

Demand for white box goods offset weaker trade in computing, TV sales benefited from the Rugby World Cup last year it said. The mobile element saw market share gains helped by the store within a store concept, the launch of a 4G network branded iD and lasting benefits of Phones4You going pop in the prior financial year, the company said.

Connected World Services jumped to £152m from £121m. Dixon has a deal to roll out CWS in Sprint stores across the pond.

Profit for the year was £337m, up from £285m in the prior financial year.

 

Cisco writes a cheque for cloud-lock

Cisco Kid Networking Tsar Cisco has written a $293 million cheque for cloudy security outfit CloudLock.

CloudLock provides cloud access security tech, and analytics on user behaviour and sensitive data for cloud services.  Cisco said that the acquisition will close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 and the  CloudLock team will join Cisco’s Networking and Security Business Group.

It will be ruled by Senior VP and general manager David Goeckeler.

Cisco Corporate Development’s Rob Salvagno said the acquisition will boost security for companies seeking to migrate to the cloud. In fact Cisco is buying rather a lot of cloudy security outfits lately.

It bought Lancope for $452 million, the Portcullis Computer Security for an undisclosed sum, and OpenDNS for $635 million.

 

 

Intel culls sales and marketing staff

Bent AxeIntel is ordering its sales and marketing staff to clean out their desks as part of its glorious campaign on restructuring.

In April, Chipzilla announced it would lay off 12,000 employees worldwide saying that there was no more money in this PC lark. It also stopped work on its Atom chip and those working on it were the first to be escorted from the building with their belongings in an old photocopy paper box.

But now sales and marketing in Intel’s distribution channel operation are having to face the music. Ironically a corporate PR person who has not been sacked yet issued a statement saying:

“To support our transformation, we are restructuring our sales organization to drive tighter alignment with Intel’s business units and fuel our growth engines. Customers can expect to see more specialized technical support, faster decision making, and streamlined processes with a strong focus on enabling a consistent and personalized customer experience.”

Still it is early days yet. The cuts are not being completed until the end of the month, so maybe the person who wrote the above comment is still blissfully unaware that there is a corporate axeman waiting in the corridor waiting to pounce.

It looks like regional head offices will be the target. Intel offices will now report direct to the US headquarters rather than to their nearest regional head office. Big processor buyers, such as China-based Lenovo and Taiwan’s Acer, will also deal direct with teams in California from now on

 

UK’s tech channel bewildered over Brexit

euThe UK’s tech channel is in a panic this morning as its managers try to get their head around Friday’s Brexit decision.

Gartner has forecast that Britain’s tech buyers will now stop spending in 2016 and 2017, turning earlier growth numbers negative and the industry will fall into recession. There is also a fear of the cost of hiring EU workers, taxes and tariffs which is enough to send the industry into a tail spin.

Still at least we won’t have those nasty foreigners telling us what to do, we can just sit around muttering there will always be an England as the French start turning off the power.

Most of the tech companies have said that they needed Brexit like a hole in the head and are wondering how they can recover their position.  Basically the issue is that global business value chains are more integrated, while Brexit envisages a market which was out of date 40 years ago with Britannia ruling the waves.

SAP has said that things might be alright if the country pulls finger quick and makes its escape as fast as possible.

However, outfits like Alfresco Software moan about the huge uncertainties which gets more than half its business from the EU.

 

 

Government likely to water down EU data regulations

ukflagNow that the UK has voted for Brexit the government is almost certain to water down the EU’s proposed tough data regulations to allow US companies to snoop on UK citizens.

The EU alarmed the US tech companies by drawing up rules, which would insist that European data stay in Europe. The US government wanted its companies operating in Europe to be able to hand over data with a court order. Essentially this meant that any Euro cloud data could end up in the hands of Uncle Sam.

While the Germans and French thing this is a bad idea, the British are less keen. Not only are they closer to the US intelligence communities, but they are also chummier with big US tech.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was due to come into place by 2018 and have been should be a huge shake-up of EU data protection laws. It included tougher penalties for companies in breach of EU data protection law. The UK government had wanted to water down the legislation, but it was not sure if it could get the EU to agree.

With Brexit that has all gone by the wayside. With the UK is out, the government can ignore bringing the laws in completely and can push ahead with its own data sharing plans. These could give data to whoever it likes and spy on whoever it wants. From a supplier perspective it means it will be easier to house data in the UK, but UK customers might have to be happy to have their data snuffled by US spooks.

Suppliers could also be forced to hand over data to US courts, if the UK really does need to suck up to the US government.

Nutanix shows a different sort of channel plan

Nutanix-Product-Shot-3US outfit Nutanix has decided to take on an unusual approach to the channel which has got vendors across the pond sitting up and taking notice.

The outfit does not have a three tier program with clip levels and does not pay back end rebates. What it does is sort out an investment strategy with channel partners that will see the company work in lock-step with 40 solution providers globally.

It still has a channel of more than 4,000 solution providers, but these are served through distribution.

Nutanix channel chief of Chris Morgan told  CDN that the company practices the 80/20 rule; it’s just applied mostly to the 20.

“The investment strategy with partners are based on which partners are ready on what we are doing and take it to the customer. Partners can still be transactional with distributors but we are focused on a small number and we want to help them transition their business. What has to happen is they need to break from the past and go to the future,” he said.

Incentives for the 40 partners include a strict deal registration program that ensures price protection. Morgan added that these partners also have the freedom to sell anything else.

The cunning plan appears to be working and putting the fear of god into outfits like Cisco.

Paypal dumps cloud supplier for not spying

paypal-logoGermany’s Seafile cloud suppler  claims it was forced to stop using PayPal because it refused the payment company’s illegal demands to spy on its users’ data.

Seafile is a Dropbox rival and it told its customers that they would no longer be able to pay for the service using PayPal—the only payment method that the company had in place.

CEO Silja Jackson said the outfit was looking into alternative payment services, but currently it was running a cloud service and not being paid.

Seafile was founded in 2009 by students at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and has gained enough traction in Germany to form a subsidiary there. It offers an open-source file-synchronization system that organisations can install on their own servers—for a fee, if they want enterprise features—and last October the firm decided to also start offering a paid version that’s hosted on Seafile’s German servers, for individuals and small businesses.

Jackson said PayPal contacted Seafile in early June with a questionnaire about its service, and by posting a notice on Seafile’s PayPal account to say it was violating an unspecified part of PayPal’s terms of use.

Jackson thought that PayPal classified Seafile as a service for illegal file sharing. She told them that since it did not offer free accounts and that customers needed to disclose their address when signing up.

PayPal then demanded that Seafile monitor its customers’ data traffic and files for illegal content, and send the payment firm detailed statistics about the types of files synchronised over the service.

Jackson said that would violate privacy laws as giving PayPal statistical information would violate customers’ privacy rights.”

Legal experts have confirmed that had Seafile done as it was told it would have been taken to the cleaners under EU and German privacy laws. When Jackson told PayPal that Seafile was being required to break EU privacy laws, the outfit dropped them like a hot potato.

Dell flogs his software arm to the House of Elliott

elliotTin box-shifter Michael Dell is about to flog his software division to buyout firm Francisco and the private equity arm of activist hedge fund Elliott Management.

Dell needs to get rid of its software assets so that it can buy data storage company EMC for $67 billion. EMC owns a controlling stake in VMware and other software assets, so Dell does not need its own.

One of the things that Dell wants to off-load is Quest Software, which helps with information technology management and SonicWall, an e-mail encryption and data security provider. It is keeping Boomi, which is cloud-based software integration software.

The deal is expected to be formally announced this week, although it is possible that the whole thing could go tits up and never happen. Neither Dell nor Francisco are commenting.

Dell’s software division is not particularly profitable and Dell needs as much cash as he can get his paws on to reduce the debt he took on when took the outfit private.

 

Ellison believes SaaS market is a key to the cloud

Larry EllisonAlthough he is not backward about coming forward at the best of times, Oracle Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison has been talking up his outfit’s Cloud business lately, claiming it is doing rather well because if its SaaS presence.

Ellison claims Oracle’s cloud business is “defying conventional wisdom” by accelerating while it expands and this is because of its presence in the SaaS market where rivals are not competing.

“We think we have a fighting chance to be the first SaaS company to make it to $10 billion in annual revenue,” Ellison said.

Oracle is a number two SaaS vendor and had a total SaaS and PaaS revenue of $2.2 billion during fiscal 2016, up 49 percent from the year before. The top SaaS vendor, Salesforce made $6.67 billion in 2016 and expects its 2017 revenue to be $8.08 billion.

Public cloud IaaS leader Amazon Web Services said in April that it’s on track to hit $10 billion in revenue this year.

The cloud accounted for around eight percent of Oracle’s quarterly revenue, but this business to continue growing even faster in Oracle’s fiscal 2017.

Ellison also said Oracle is seeing “a huge amount of demand” for IaaS from its existing SaaS and database customers, which wish to avoid the data migration costs associated with AWS and other cloud vendors.

Oracle has made significant data centre efficiency advancements and can now offer lower costs, better security and superior reliability than any other provider in the market, he added.

 

Government procurement system is just the old system in drag

_68879492_3164103The UK government’s new procurement process, G-Cloud, is failing to cut through enough red tape to be of any use at all.

The government hit on the idea of G-Cloud to encourage small vendors to pitch against the larger IT companies by using an online “App Store”.

But Memset founder Kate Craig-Wood – who became involved in 2009 – said the plan is falling short.

Writing in her bog she said: “We passionately believed in the dream of G-Cloud and kept doing so despite the goalposts being repeatedly moved, the marketplace continuing not to function properly and buyers continuing to behave in the same old ways.”

Since 2011, the G-Cloud has totalled more than £1 billion in sales, which is more than enough to get the government spinners claiming it is a success.  But it would appear that some

However, the Infrastructure-as-a-service sector in which Craig-Wood operates has been tricky than other areas of the framework, which don’t need so much supplier investment.

Memset has had to make huge investments to job through the government’s hoops on security. It has had to invest £2 million on a high-security data centre.

But if you invest you should get more money back right?  Memset only saw  a return of £100,000 per year and no new business since 2013.

Now it is getting too late for small business.  Microsoft and Amazon cloud services will knock all the small providers out of the market because they can produce economies of scale. The government is not really interested in propping up the small businesses, it wants to reduce the costs. It also is not moving much stuff to the cloud as it originally thought.

Craig-Wood  thinks that the old procurement practices are still at work and this requires armies of sales teams to tackle.  This was exactly the sort of thing that G-Cloud was supposed to bring to an end.

 

Daily Internet merges with Sys-Pro for cloudy future

Every silver has a cloudy liningDaily Internet  has snapped up Sys-Pro for £3.9 million.

London-based Sys-Pro has been around since 2003 as a traditional reseller however it has been moving towards   managed services for a while now. It has partnerships with Cisco, HP and Microsoft.  It has 39 staff.

The conditional agreement states the £3.9m price will be satisfied by £3.3m in cash and the issue of 975,000 extra shares. The new entity will be known as SysGroup.

Daily Internet’s CEO Chris Evans said the move will help his company “better exploit the ongoing market shift towards cloud-delivered services”.

The new firm does not plan to reduce its headcount and the deal is expected to give both firms a new customer list.

Daily Internet will get Sys-Pro’s datacentre hosting accreditation and compliance. Not many have Sys-Pro’s PCI-compliant hosting platforms, which gives them the capability to provide cloud services to those who would not normally consider it.

This means that both parts of the group to move up the value chain and approach larger customers.

Amazon is the Queen of Retail

amazonBeancounters at Nielson have identified Amazon as the e-commerce supremo.

According to Nielsen, E-commerce is approaching two percent of total global retail sales and Amazon continues to dominate.

Amazon followed by Flipkart and Snapdeal were the most preferred e-commerce websites among sellers, with highest top of the mind recall, a recent study has revealed.

The findings came as a result of a study by Nielsen for the January-March quarter, which surveyed 1,184 online sellers. It revealed that 39 percent of online sellers “explore two or more e-commerce websites as an option to sell products on and grow their business.”

A high level of familiarity along with in-depth knowledge of an e-commerce website is the most important factor that drives brand equity, the report said. While Amazon had the highest top of the mind recall (25 percent), Flipkart stood second (21 percent) and Snapdeal (20 percent), it added.

“With the e-commerce industry growing in double digits, there is surge in demand by customers, and an evolving online seller category that is fuelling supply on portals To ensure the equilibrium of demand and supply, it is essential for e-commerce portals to focus on developing an inviting platform for online sellers in the country. Sellers are also increasingly discerning when it comes to reaching their customer and meeting business needs,” the Nielsen report added.

UK needs more tech immigration

immigration_2280507bImmigration policies need to be changed to address the “digital skills crisis” in the UK, a government select committee has said.

The Science and Technology Committee has published a report stating that it needs to be easier for SMEs to employ people from outside the EU, while claiming that the skills gap currently costs the UK £63 billion annually in lost GDP.

The report report called for the requirements for immigrants to be changed so that IT jobs can be obtained using Tier 2 visas. This allows SMEs to more easily employ people from abroad.

The government recently made changes to help SMEs recruit specialists from outside the EU, but the report says that the new rules exclude companies with 20 or fewer employees.

Science and technology committee chairwoman Nicola Blackwood said: “The UK leads Europe on tech, but we need to take concerted action to avoid falling behind.

“The government deserves credit for action taken so far but it needs to go much further and faster. We need action on visas, vocational training and putting digital skills at the heart of modern apprenticeships.”

Also unable to take advantage of Tier 2 visas, along with smaller companies, are firms that are more than 25 per cent owned by a larger company and those with “significant investment” from FTSE 100 companies.

The committee wants digital skills to be made one of the “core components” in all apprenticeships, not just digital apprenticeships.

 

Dell returns to PC World

michael-dell-2Dell is back flogging its grey boxes at PC World after a three year hiatus.

Apparently Dell has reformed its relationship with Dixons Carphone, owner of the Currys and PC World.

Dell has been  ramping up its retail presence and signed a deal with John Lewis to give it more of a presence on the high street. IT also improved its  distribution links to Ensure.

What this means is that Curry PC world will flog the Dell XPS, Inspiron and Alienware ranges as well as some monitors. These are normally sold online using Dell’s famous direct model.  It looks like the PC World move is designed to maximise the back to school buying period.

Alienware is already well known in gaming circles and it will now be given a chance to grow the brand in the largest high-street computing retailer.

Dell UK general manager, retail, consumer and small business, Jamil Nathoo said that having a significant player in the retail industry this relationship is key in giving customers the choice that they’re asking for.

“We’re excited to continue bringing innovative and high-performing technology to consumers on the high street,”  he said.