Author: Mike Magee

Barracuda makes new channel appointments

eyetry.jpgSecurity firm Barracuda Networks has poached Ezra Hookano as its vice president of channels and also poached Hatem Naguib from VM Ware.

Barracuda said that Hookano was its vice president of sales for its first six years and grew it to turnover $100 million in revenue.

Since Barracuda he was VP of channels for Exablox and VP of worldwide channels for Fusion-Io.

He’s also worked at Drobo, Clyde Digital, Dana and SonicWall.
Both individuals have been hired continue building its channel organisation, said B Jenkins, president and CEO of Barracuda.
Barracuda specialises in cloud enabled applications and its expertise is used in 150,000 organisations worldwide, said Jenkins.

Security firm Barracuda Networks has poached Ezra Hookano as its vice president of channels and also poached Hatem Naguib from VM Ware.

Barracuda said that Hookano was its vice president of sales for its first six years and grew it to turnover $100 million in revenue.

Since Barracuda he was VP of channels for Exablox and VP of worldwide channels for Fusion-Io.

He’s also worked at Drobo, Clyde Digital, Dana and SonicWall.
Both individuals have been hired continue building its channel organisation, said B Jenkins, president and CEO of Barracuda.
Barracuda specialises in cloud enabled applications and its expertise is used in 150,000 organisations worldwide, said Jenkins.

Unlicensed software still causes a stink in the UK

shut-up-and-take-my-moneyA report from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) said that although unlicensed software in the UK has dropped by two percentage points in the last couple of years, it’s still costing the industry a fortune.

The BSA canvassed a number of IT managers, enterprises and ordinary people and claimed “an alarming number” of people still use unlicensed software.

The industry in the UK is losing out to the tine of £1.3 billion a year, the BSA claimed.

But the UK is not the worst offender – in Europe the amount is £1.4 billion.

The BSA claimed that 39 percent of software worldwide is still unlicensed and some of the sectors including banking, insurance and security are the biggest of offenders.

Asia Pacific figures dwarf those for the UK and France, with an estimated 61 percent using unlicensed software, while Central and Eastern Europe amounted to 58 percent and the Middle East and Africa at 57 percent.

The good boys and girls are in North America, where the figure is only 17 percent even though the net commercial value amounts to $10 billion.

Dell, EMC prepare for channel merger

Sarah Shields, DellEMC and Dell have gone into overdrive in the expectation that the two companies will merge.

Sarah Shields, general manager of Dell UK, said that both companies had put senior members in place to work on the integration plans. She said that EMC products are complementary to Dell’s.

“The integration is a bit of a no-brainer,” she said. She said there are some obvious synergies and she herself was looking at the EMC programmes already in place.

“From our point of view it’s business as usual and so far it’s looking very positive,” she said.

She said that Dell shifted its business model to include the channel eight years ago, and although she declined to give figures, said channel business accounted for 40 percent of the company’s revenues.

She said that while business worldwide had been challenging last years, Dell had continued to grow. She said that both channel revenues and units were both positive.

Cloud Distribution ticks Check Point box

Cloud DistributionValue added distributor Cloud Distribution said it has signed a deal with Check Point Software to sell its products.

The deal means Cloud Distribution will expand Check Point’s market and create relationships with mobile security partners and creating a relationship with existing Check Point customers.

Adam Davison, product and marketing director at Cloud said that while the mobile market is continuing to grow, it’s not as secure it should be.

He said: “We’re seeing many enterprises looking beyond mobile device management (MDM solutions to gain additional mobile secure functionality.”

He said that Check Point’s mobile threat prevention package is a good fit for enterprises.

“Unlike traditional distributors, we are passionate about raising awareness of new technology and are proactive in creating new markets and revenue streams by offering resellers access to our partner sales enablement services and marketing resources,” Davison said.

The deal with Check Point means Cloud Distribution will also have access to the complete Check Point range of products.

Cloud Distribution includes Aerohive, Cisco Meraki, OpenDNS, Netskope and Blackberry as part of its mobile security portfolio.

Dell-EMC deal will rock the channel boat

Dell logo* DELL has confirmed it will take over EMC for $67 billion.  VM Ware will continue as a publicly traded company.

It now looks almost certain that Dell will announce it is taking over EMC today – a move that will cause ripples right throughout their respective channels.

The deal, said to be worth over $50 billion, is expected to be concluded either today or tomorrow, although EMC, being a listed company, will have to be offered to other prospective suitors.

A prospective suitor this time last year was HP, but HP Inc and HP Enterprise aren’t that interested any more.

For Dell, there are clear advantages to the acquisition. It has been building up its channel portfolio for several years now and at last week’s Canalys Channels Forum, senior executives said that at least 70 percent of its business was now going through two tier distribution. The acquisition will also put Dell into the top league, along with IBM and HP one and two.

Dell has also had a pretty smooth path when it’s taken over other countries, managing to successfully integrate them in a comparatively short period.

Obviously, there will be some consolidation involved and doubtless some people will be made redundant as part of the proposed takeover. But sorting out the channel implications will require some deft and delicate moves on Dell’s behalf. Reports suggest that EMC’s VM Ware division may itself be subject to either a sale or some equity investment.

How to shrink your datacentre

datacenterBy 2018 each person will transmit one gigabyte of data every day, said Jason Dodier, director of sales at APC Schneider Electric. By 2018 there will be 8.6 zettabytes of data. There are two billion internet users, 21 billion network devices, 1.3 million video views per minute.

The data network worldwide use the industrial internet of things, the internet of things itself and social and internet data sources.

Speaking at the Canalys Channel Forum, in Barcelona, the company set out its pitch to the resellers and distributors in the audience. So, APC has something it calls a micro data centre but he said many customers wanted less latency than 100ms, so his company is using edge, which provides less than 10ms latency.

Edge technology is required for medical applications, machine to machine, smart cities, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and speech/image recognition.

Edge computing architectures include gateway, 1 to 10 racks or micro data centres, and regional data centres.

He said localised data centres will be an important part of the market – it;s fast to deploy and provides low latency and high bandwidth.

Schneider APC customers include banks, automotive, oil and gas, government and military and colocation banks.

Micro data centres include storage, processing and networking, ships in a single enclosure and includes power, cooling, security and management tools.

A micro datacentre costs $5/watt for a one rack system compared to $10.8/watt for a 1MW tier one data centre.

Schneider APC sells through a large partner network. Customers can self install, or use system integrator install.

Distributors take aim at services market

truckThe CEO of Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) pitched services as a key element of distributors profitability.

Speaking at the Canalys Channels Forum, Curran said the GTDC has 19 members totally $135 billion in global sales and covering 95 percent of the planet.
He said: “We asked the GTDC executives how big the channel opportunity for the internet of things was, and they think it’s a good thing.Distributors will enable partners to understand the internet of things.”

Distributors will be able to provide a geographic reach, scale things with a variable cost infrastructure, and be able to look at things with multiple vendors.

But distribution as a service is taking off, he said. Distribution isn’t just about packing boxes and sending them off, he claimed and produced a long list of services disties offer. Distribution has been good at doing “the smelly things” like credit checks, credit cards and compliance checks.

The group collects information on distribution covering a billion dollars of data a week. He said sales in all major Western European countries are improving.

GDTC trains vendors how to learn about distribution and how to avoid common mistakes.

Curran led five executives onto the stage from disties inluding Azlan, Tarsus, Logicom, Arrow, and Avnet.

A chap from Logicom said it was important for both the channel and the vendors align themselves to bring IoT stuff to market. The Arrow chap said vendors create the room but won’t relinquish their services. Azlan’s Simon England said vendors want to keep control but we (distributors) should be considered as service providers.

Graeme Watt from Avnet said disties were sales, marketing and service companies too.

Services is extreme;y important, said Watt, but it is difficult to persuade vendors and resellers how it can help them.

He said Avnet had been in channel conflicts over services, but that wasn’t the company’s intent. Resellers don’t have to take Avnet’s services. “Where we’ve encountered conflict we’ve either stepped aside or developed “teaming arrangements.””

Dell kisses and makes up to the channel

Dell logoDell’s chief commercial officer, Marius Haas, tipped up at the Canalys Channel Forum today to talk about how it’s vastly extended its channel programmes worldwide.He faced the channel audience like Lenovo’s executives did before.

Haas said that 70 percent of enterprise customers prefer to work through the channel. Of course, at one time, practically all sales were direct. Forty percent of its share is now through the channel and it’s invested $125 million in programmes.

In some countries 100 percent of its business is through the channel, Haas said.

Dell going private has been a catalyst for change, Haas said. It doesn’t have to bother thinking about shareholders now, just customers. Dell now has five and 10 year plans and is thinking long term.

Haas said Dell had made great progress with enterprise customers and talking to distributors about how to win more customers.

Dell now has a two tier distribution model because it gives an opportunity to be more aggressive in terms of customer wins.

Customers he said, aren’t looking for more vendors and would like one vendor to supply software, services and hardware, Haas said. “It’s a holistic conversation,” he said. “In the thin client business it starts with end user experience but very quickly moves to the apps the customer would be running, and what’s the storage system, and what’s the software to manage it.”

Haas said that he wants both direct and indirect business to grow. Channel business is growing faster than direct sales, he said.

Dell has hired senior executives who have channel in their bloodstreams. “Dell is committed to the channel,” he said. Dell will create more opportunities and generate demand for the channel.

Lenovo faces a channel grilling

lenovo2This afternoon, two senior Lenovo European executives faced questions from the channel audience here at the Canalys Channels Forum in Barcelona. Gianfranco Lanci and Eric Cador, both big suits in the European market were put through their paces.

Lenovo’s Lanci said the acquisition of Intel servers has gone quite well.”I think it’s maybe another quarter but it’s nearly done.” Lenovo has started making money.

He said the PC market is not going to decline but it’s not going to hit double digit growth. He said the economical situation meant sales were suffering in the emerging market.

Lanci said Windows 10, in terms of performance isn’t comparable to Windows 8 or Vista. It will help the market to recover “a bit”. A number of commercial customers are considering moves to Windows 10 in 2016.

Lenovo is working on converging storage and computing but Lanci declined to comment on whether it would buy into the storage business.

He said consolidation in the PC area is inevitable and the smaller players will disappear. He’s prepared to play a waiting game and thinks that in two years time there will only be four or five PC companies.

Lenovo thinks it’s special because it’s got PCs, phablets, phones, tablets and enterprise products.

Lenovo doesn’t understand why Microsoft has launched a new Surface. Microsoft is both a partner and a competitor. Microsoft asked Lenovo a year ago if it would resell its products and said no.

Lenovo thinks Android will continue to take share. Lenovo ships more Android than Wintel products by a factor of two.

Asked why many Lenovo products were cheaper in retail than through distribution, Lenovo said most of the products sold in retail were different from machines pushed through the channel. Lenovo has to deal with multiple channels.

Lenovo said that when it bought the IBM server business it thought there was room to grow. There’s room for it to take business from HP. It has a great opportunity in Europe and the USA.

Channel complaints about overstock at distribution leading to big cash problems don’t seem to be a problem, according to Lenovo’s Lanci. When there’s overstock it’s usually Lenovo which pays the bill and isn’t paying the bill on overstocking. Lenovo has invested money to solve the problem.

Lenovo will concentrate on going the commercial or enterprise channels. It believes the integration of IBM System x channel partners went pretty well. Lenovo needs value added channel partners and needs to grow volume too. W0

Meg Whitman describes HP’s amicable divorce

Meg Whitman, photo by Mike MageeMeg Whitman was quizzed by the audience at the Canalys Channels Forum in Barcelona, today.

She said that the reason for splitting the company was to be more focused. She said it was remarkably complex on all fronts whether it was the IT or the supply chains HP used.

On August 1st HP started operating as two separate companies she said, and on November 2nd there will be two separate Fortune 50 companies.

She believes that HP will demonstrate the success of the separation. The two companies will be called HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She said HP wanted to avoid inventing a new brand name and wanted both companies to be linked to the HP heritage.

HPE will have a green rectangular logo. HPE will include HP financial services. On November the 2nd, both companies will probably still be in the same buildings. She said that there’s a joint venture between HP Inc and HPE to work together on the supply chain to leverage the size.

Whitman said the biggest challenge was the IT separation. She said the company had to change emails, URLs, servers, and the rest. She said HPE will be a much faster and agile company but one thing that won’t change is partner focus. “Channel is in our DNA,” she said.

Whitman said she has rooted out the “nay sayers” in the company. She said the separation means both companies will have something of a rebirth. Everyone in both companies is going to be “fully engaged”.

She said HP has increased R&D spending every year for the last four years. She said in a software defined world infrastructure matters more than ever. She thinks configuration of infrastructure to apps will be an important part of HPE’s strategy.

Software is only seven percent of revenue but HPE is about providing answers for the new type of IT.

She said that the slimming down of headcount in the services business recenrly was intended to make that business unit leaner and meaner and HPE expected revenues in that sector to grow.

She said the Safe Harbour provision that the EU court ruled was invalid yesterday wouldn’t affect the two companies too much, because data was generally held locally. There may be changes but she believed HP set that process going four years ago.

One question from the audience that was asked, but wasn’t aired,  was whether Whitman would vote for Winsome Carly Fiorina as president of the USA.

Channel looks like it’s onto a winner

onedollarSteve Brazier, CEO of Canalys opened the Channel Forum conference here in Barcelona by ourlining how he and his company of analysts view the tech industry.

He said PC makers have been cheating on benchmarks for years but without the consequences Volkswagen is experiencing.

He said the industry is much more complex than it used to be.  It’s hard for everyone to keep up with everything. Complexity, he said, is good news for channel people.

He said that the crash in oil prices is good news for European countries. But countries producing oil and commodities are going to have some difficult times including Brazil, and Australia.

But the strength of the dollar means prices have gone up in 2015. Putting prices up has clearly reduced demand.

He said there’s been a massive shift in spending into service providers and datacentre growth. Close to 50 percent of all servers that ship this year will go into datacentres. This slim margins. investment is driven by consumer companies.

Datacentres are building white box systems and even if the big brands win big server orders it’s at extremely slim margins.

But more datacentres means networking and security sectors are growing. Bringing compute and storage in a single console benefits a certain kind of customer.

Nutanix and Simplivity would like to be bought but the price may be too high.

The client computing market is only 13 percent for the first half of this year. The smartphone industry is moving away from operators. Large smartphones in the first half of this year showed 110 percent growth.

The tablet and notebook PC markets are disappointing. The industry has had too much inventory and negative scales, declining by nine percent in the first half of this year.

Microsoft invented the hper converged notebook category while Apple and Google are following suit. Microsoft is now competing directly with their OEM partners.

There’s a shift for Apple to to an all Apple microprocessor model. Microsoft hasn’t helped the channel or the OEMs with its free Windows 10 upgrade. Google products could make real headway. Google will put pressure on Microsoft and Intel.

When companies are struggling they become defensive.

Cisco has been through dramatic personnel changes in the last four months but Canalys expects it to exit some businesses but the new “vision” is still to come. A CEO change is likely at EMC.

Dell is now committed to two tier distribution through the channel. IBM lacks agility and it lacks growth. Microsoft’s new CEO has done a much better job than the previous CEO and has shifted to services and apps rather than Windows. Azure is only behind Amazon in terms of cloud services.

Cloud computing still has its challenges but the industry has moved so far to the model that it can’t go back.  Software as a service is the primary model everyone will have to deal with.

The channel is doing very well and some good things are happening.  We’re expecting a major UK channel partner to do a public flotation this year.  He said that the channel has had to bolt on different services including managed services, cloud security and co-location.  Creating a channel mix can be very lucrative.

Distribution has shown year on year growth in the European sector. The operating marin in Q2 amounted to 1.1 percent.  European distributors have grown over the last three years.



Disties lose their rag with Lenovo

lenovo_hqThere’s a dynamic in the channel between vendors, distributors and what we used to call dealers but are now forced to call resellers for politically correct reasons.

The basis of that dynamic is the cold fact that they all hate each other. The vendors hate the disties, the disties hate the vendors, the dealers hate the disties and the vendors, the disties hate the dealers. The consumers just, hopefully, buy stuff.

So here at the Canalys Channel Forum (CCF) we were pleased to observe quite a degree of upset at Lenovo for, in the 1990s jargon, “stuffing the channel”.

What that means is several distributors I have talked to here have clearly indicated that they have piles of Lenovo products in their warehouses that not only aren’t selling that well but continue to be delivered to their distributors, willy-nilly.

These sources from various distributors decline to be named, for obvious reasons, but have clearly indicated that they suspect the same thing is going to happen on the X86 server front too.

Lenovo could not be contacted at press time because it’s 05:42 in the morning here in Barcelona and we’re just waiting for breakfast to start.

We’re sure we’ll have our share of nibbles later in the day.

HP backs AMD to the hilt

AMD in BarcelonaDespite rumours of private equity money, and takeovers by people as diverse as Microsoft and even HP, it appears that AMD is still getting the kind of support it needs from partners in its egosystem (sic).

Here at the Canalys Channel Forum (CCF) conference in Barcelona, HP went out of its way to give AMD express backing and even exclusivity in the way of product launches.

Of course, there is nothing particularly new about this. I am staying at the Princesa Sofia hotel in Barcelona and it was here, now more than 20 years ago, that Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer lit out at Intel for messing with its customers’ minds. Wasn’t this also the venue for ex CEO Jerry Sanders III to declare that “with Microsoft and Intel we make the Holy Trinity?”  I think it was.

Compaq was eventually swallowed up by the HP body corporate in the shape of Winsome Carly Fiorina but it has always given AMD a fair crack of the product whip.

AMD showed off two devices that will be sold into the channel worldwide – a highly dense little jobbie that seems to have more specs than you can shake a fist at and will hang on the back of your HD monitor – and a rather light notebook that is also highly specced and soon to be released as part of the Elite family.

Of course, getting the spinners or the suits to talk about acquisitions and the like is like trying to get a spider out of its web. But, nevertheless, it seems clear that quite a few AMD suits now appear to be HP people out of Grenoble.

An HP source, who declined to be named, suggested to Channel Eye that Intel doesn’t mind these kind of exclusive deals because it will be in deep hot water if it has to go it alone.

More, if it transpires.

Business process management. Who needs it?

snake oilMarket research company Gartner appears to believe that every company in the known cosmos is gagging for business process management (BPM).

To that end, it is going to tell people between September the 9th and September the 11th all about how BPM works at the Gaylord convention centre in National Harbor, MD.

So what is BPM? Gartner believes it is all about improving things for your business to bring high performance results. Gartner thinks its four tracks that feature sessions from analysts, problem solving workshops and “peer interaction” will help businesswomen and businessmen that much better.

But a keynote about “Digital Humanism” delivered by Brian Prentice, catches our attention, if only because its sub title is “Swinging the pendulum of digital business”. This sounds more like Kant than cant.

Gartner is also pulling in Michael Massimino, a NASA astronaut, to give “views from space” about obstacles and challenges that business faces.

Keith Ferrazzi, the author of Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone will probably be joining you for lunch so you never eat alone.

It’s all very compelling stuff.

John Byrne joins Dell

AMD's John ByrneDell has appointed a vice president of sales strategy and operations – and it’s charismatic Scotsman, John Byrne,  who has bagged the job.

John Byrne could well be described as an industry veteran and is well known to practically everyone in the UK channel business.

After a long stint at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), John decided to take some time off with his family.

But you can’t keep a John Byrne down for long, and he said: “Great to work at a company led by an industry legend like Michael Dell.”

ChannelEye sends our best wishes to him.