Author: Mike Magee

Ignition to bring security vendors, dealers and disties together

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 21.08.08An event on Thursday at the Shard in the City of London [pictured, left] will bring 160 resellers and their “favourite” distributor, Ignition Technology together with vendors to explore sales opportunities.

Ignition specialises in security. There’s a lot of money in security, especially considering the failures large corporations have suffered for a while.

The show will have McMafia star Misha Glenny, the author of a popular but a rather scary TV show – to kick off the event.

One of the vendors will be represented by JASK’s Greg Fitzgerald, a member of the firm’s advisory board who personally has a long history of security startups and for established companies too. He told ChannelEye today that the firm’s offering uses artificial intelligence (AI) – which he defined as a combination of mathematics and other algorithms – to pick up problems at medium to large corporations more or less immediately.

Corporations, he said, were picking up the pieces after security alerts and those alerts demanded many human beings to decide which were real threats that needed acting on now rather than later. JASK’s answer, he said was to pick up threats in real time, picking up and doing menial tasks, leaving it to “SWAT” squads to concentrate on the deeper aspects of a case.

Fitzgerald said that just as soon corporations recruited and trained humans to pick up the problems, the demand for security advisors was so great in government, in health and in other sectors that problems piled up. Storage is a problem too.

Corporations and security specialists within those firms were suffering from “alert fatigue” because there is an overload of such alerts from data sources, multiple devices, users, and networks.

[Image of the Shard courtesy of Colin on Wikipedia Commons.]

Nuvias buys Benelux

Three-Musketeers-The-1973-1605x903The acquisition mad distribution brand that’s backed by Rigby Group has made another purchase.

Nuvias has acquired security VAD DCB to bolster its presence in the Benelux, where it already operates advanced networking and unified communications practices.

With offices in Veldhoven in the Netherlands and Zaventem in Belgium, DCB shares several vendor franchises in common with Nuvias, including WatchGuard and Kaspersky Lab. It also works with the likes of Trustwave and Centrify.

Nuvias is the recently created distribution brand of Rigby Private Equity, and is based on a trio of acquisitions in the form of security VAD Wick Hill, in July 2015, networking and storage VAD Zycko in December 2015, and unified comms VAD SIPHON the following October. It has since expanded organically into various countries, including Switzerland.

Successful MSPs need to add more services

Workers are pictured beneath clocks displaying time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in BangaloreMSPs who want to be successful will have to add a lot more services to their portfolios.

Beancounters at 451 Research have penned a report which says that the managed services market is continually evolving and the appetite from customers for more services is rising as they roll out more changes across their organisations.

As more users take steps to increase digital transformation they are looking for MSPs that can take more of the burden out of running their infrastructure, the report said.

The research firm is pointing to “Everthing-as-a-Service” as the next big cloud opportunity with those able to offer automated technology with high-touch delivery the most likely to succeed.

MSPs that want to take advantage of the next wave of growth will be expected to deliver a range of services – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS – and go beyond that to deliver emerging options, like managed cyber disaster recovery and networking services.

The report, with the catchy title, “Voice of the Enterprise: Hosting and Cloud Managed Services study “showed that managed and security services were attached to roughly half of the total hosting and cloud opportunity, and that is set to increase year-on-year.

There is also an indication that those service providers that decide to concentrate on a specific geography or vertical market will also be more successful because customers are looking for high-touch delivery. The market is moving away from cloud construction to cloud consumption and those channel players that recognise that shift and emphasise services rather than tin will be in a stronger position.

The report said that there was a significant opportunity for technology vendors to partner with service providers to offer higher-value, niche and vertical offerings as these services rapidly emerge.

Security vendor Symantec has inked a distribution deal with Exclusive Network

symanteclogoSecurity company Symantec has confirmed that its products will be distributed through Tech Data, Arrow, Exclusive Networks and Ingram for the “high volume, low revenue” business.

What this means is that Symantec’s deal with Westcon, which distributes its Blue Coat line of products, might be history.

Exclusive Networks has put together a team in advance of the Symantec appointment and will start making a strong marketing push in the pipeline.

It also says it will set about “demystifying the confusion” around Symantec and Blue Coat products in the wake of last year’s acquisition.

Westcon is not saying anything about the deal or its future relationship with Symantec and the security outfit is only talking about its new deal with Exclusive Networks.

A spokesman said that Exclusive has a proven track record of taking technologies to market with an in depth understanding of a broad mix of channel partners.

There’s money where there’s immunity

creditcrunchcoinsmoneyvicewatersmay2014-580x358UK cybersecurity vendor Darktrace has raised $75m in funding, taking its valuation to $825 million.

The Cambridge-based seller is subsidised by Autonomy founder Mike Lynch and is based around its Enterprise Immune System product, which uses AI to identify cyber-threats.

The funding more than doubles Darktrace’s formerly suggested valuation of $400m from the time of its fundraising final year.
Insight Venture Partners, which has formerly invested in Cylance, Mimecast and Veeam apparently came to the party.

Nicole Eagan, CEO at Darktrace, said that Insight Venture Partners has a tested record of partnering with tech-centered firms. Its Darktrace backing is a validation of the fundamental and differentiated era that the Enterprise Immune System represents.

Businesses were turning to Darktrace’s AI method to make themselves more resilient to cyber-attackers.

Darktrace has raised around $180 million in funding, and claims its general contract cost has reached $200 million which is a 140 per cent growth in a year. Jeff Horing, handling director at Insight Venture Partners stated: “In just four years, Darktrace has established itself as an international leader in AI-powered safety.

HyTrust writes cheque for DataGravity

shut-up-and-take-my-moneyData management outfit DataGravity has been bought by HyTrust.

HyTrust focuses on VMware/cloud security, compliance and control. Its backers include Cisco, VMware, Intel and Intel Capital.

Terms of the DataGravity acquisition were not disclosed, but some DataGravity team people will be joining HyTrust. Using DataGravity for Virtualisation, HyTrust expects to identify and classify data, and tag workloads to ensure policy enforcement for data access, encryption and key management and applying boundary controls.

Eric Chiu, HyTrust’s co-founder and president said: “The acquisition will accelerate the expansion of HyTrust’s platform capabilities and capitalise on the high-growth cloud security market. DataGravity’s data discovery and classification capabilities support HyTrust’s mission to deliver a security policy framework that provides customers with full visibility, insight and enforcement of policy across workloads.

Castel kicks competitors into touch

Detail showing fleeing Persians (King Darius centre) from an AncGreat Notley based Castel said it has installed audio-video interconnections at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais – a sports stadium that cost 415 million euro.

The stadium is pretty fan friendly.

Castel said Orange has installed a wi-fi network using 500 routers that lets 20,000 people be connected at the same time. The network also includes 350 IPTVs so people can watch replays and choose incidents that thrill and excite them.

Castel’s contribution to the network is ninety audio-video intercom stations from its CAP IP suite. They use colour cameras which generate high res images using H.264 compression.

Security is provided by Genetec and Castel, which have a strategic relationship with each other.

Atmane Bensghir, Castel’s business development manager, said: “IT and intercom no longer need to be separated.”

Intel is now “female friendly”

wintel_blimp_featureFormer chip giant Intel claims that it’s moving to redress its attitude to women by spending $100 million worldwide to support businesses they run.

Barbara Whyte, who is Intel’s diversity and inclusion office, told an audience in Hamburg: “Diversity and inclusion are critical underpinnings to our constantly evolving culture at Intel.”

She added: “They [women] accelerate our ability to consistently innovate and drive the business forward.”

Intel has made efforts to hire women and minorities and has pledged to reach full representation by 2020.

The company said that IBM and Pfizer have also jumped on the bandwagon and have committed to making similar efforts.

It’s widely known that women executives in Silicon Valley routinely earn less than their male counterparts.

But Intel’s Whyte stayed mum on the matter at the conference.

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.””