Author: Nick Farrell

Boston Networks swallows 2020 Vision Systems

Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider Boston Networks has written a cheque for Newcastle-based 2020 Vision Systems.

The Glasgow-based VAR has undertaken a strategy to establish itself as the UK in “network-enabled smart integrated technologies to improve the performance safety and security of buildings, campuses, and cities.”

2020 Vision specialises in IP-enabled security technology and video surveillance and has a strong presence across the North-East, including an office in Birmingham.

The deal brings the headcount of the Boston Group to 170 after it previously acquired London-based audiovisual solutions provider PEL Services in April.

Scott McEwan, Boston Networks CEO, said: “We look forward to using 2020’s many years of experience of working in key areas of critical physical security, which will help us to drive towards the next phase of our growth as we continue to focus on applying technology to improve the performance, safety, and security of people, buildings and assets. In particular, this acquisition further deepens our services in the further education sector, enhances our existing security offering through the cloud platform and significantly spreads our geographic coverage.”

Greig Brown chairman of Boston Networks said that the latest acquisition is a strong fit for the VAR.

“In addition to the complementary solutions offering and strong management team, it is a significant step forward in our plan to create a national provider of integrated life safety, security and networking services, in key sectors, specifically targeting mid-market UK-based Blue-Chip companies.”


Dixons Carphone reports £440 million loss

The slump in the mobile phone industry has hit Dixon Carphone  particularly hard with the outfit reporting a £440 million loss.

Dixons Carphone has blamed its slumping sales on a lack of demand within its smartphone unit over the last six months, and its £440 million loss was because of changing market conditions. Mobile revenues in UK & Ireland were down four percent.

Although Carphone’s electricals market share was up over the half-year period across all of the company’s territories and like-for-like revenues were up two percent, with the second quarter of the year performing best, with revenues up by four percent. Group sales were up one percent year-on-year.

Dell rulez servers

Tin box shifter Michael Dell took the number one position in the worldwide vendor server market for the third quarter of 2018, according to beancounters at IDC.

It had 17.5 percent of market share, followed by HPE at 16.3 percent. HPE had held top position for the same period in 2017.

Overall revenue in the global server market increased 37.7 percent year-on-year to $23.4 billion in the third quarter, marking its highest total revenue in a single quarter.

Midwich shuffles the management cards

AV distributor Midwich has promoted Lee Harris and Ross Floyd to Divisional Director, following the planned retirement of long-serving Commercial Director, Lee Baker.

Lee Harris will become Divisional Director focusing on AV (Midwich Ltd) and Ross Floyd will assume a wider role as Divisional Director covering AV, Document Solutions and further technologies.

Lee Baker will be passing over his responsibilities to Lee Harris and Ross Floyd in January following an extensive handover period.

Channel partners add more security

Untangles’ inaugural “Voice of the Channel” survey has found that channel partners are moving towards adding more diverse and comprehensive security solutions to their portfolios.

However the survey found that that limited solutions knowledge and budget constraints are top barriers the channel faces in deploying cybersecurity solutions to small-to-medium businesses (SMBs).

Channel partners play a key role in providing network security solutions to SMBs with limited resources and budget. With cyberattacks expected to continue to increase in 2019,

Dell back on the stock market on 28 December

Grey tin box shifter Michael Dell is about to list his company back on the New York Stock Exchange on 28 December, bringing to a close a restructuring process that started at the beginning of the year.

The deal will see Dell float by buying back shares of DVMT, which is a tracking stock linked to its VMware subsidiary. Buying the stocks will make Dell a public company.

Canon is one of the few printer makers to see growth

Canon was the only vendor in the print device market to see unit shipment growth in Q3, according to beancounters at IDC.

The top five vendors in the space were HP , Canon, Epson, Brother and Kyocera. HP held its position at the leader of the pack, with 40.8 per cent of the market share.

However Canon retained second place on the list, with 21 per cent and experienced year-on-year shipment growth of 7.7 per cent to 5.3 million units, the only vendor in the top five to report growth for the quarter.

IDC stated that the US market was a “key contributor” to Canon’s growth, delivering a 41 per cent expansion in the laser market.

Approximately 25 million printer device units were shipped in the third quarter of 2018, representing a 1.2 per cent decline year on year.

2019 brings plenty of MSP opportunities says Barracuda

Jason Howells, Director EMEA, Barracuda MSP has said that cybersecurity and industry consolidation will continue to be hot topics for the EMEA IT channel next year.

This year saw European data regulation and companies buying each other up left, right and centre, and he does not expect much to change in 2019.

“While it’s not a very controversial prediction, I do not expect this to change in the next year or so. But what does bring potential is the way channel partners adapt to and address these challenges. That could make all the difference,” Howells said.

Project success rates rising but still pretty poor

Project success rates are rising. Organisations today are wasting an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested — that’s a significant 20 percent decline from last year’s Pulse of the Profession  findings.

Organisations are experiencing more success implementing strategic initiatives and, for the first time in five years, more projects are meeting original goals and business intent and being completed within budget.

The report said that even with ITIL and ITSM resources readily available, the odds of sucess are still 50/50. Launching in early 2019, BMC says ITIL 4 will allow ITSM platforms to better align with current trends like DevOps and Agile.

The 2017 Pulse findings continue to show  that when proven project, program, and portfolio management practices are implemented, projects are more successful. At the same time, the definition of success is evolving.

The traditional measures of scope, time, and cost are no longer sufficient. Projects must deliver what they set out to do — the expected benefits. So, for the first time, when determining project success, we looked at levels of benefits realization maturity as well as the traditional measures.


CloudHealth and Softcat team up on cloud

CloudHealth and Softcat have announced a new partnership.

The pair say that Softcat’s Cloud Intelligence Service, powered by CloudHealth, will bring enhanced visibility into public cloud environments, offering greater insight into spend, usage, and identifying efficiencies across all cloud platforms.

CloudHealth and Softcat will generate automated reports on all of an organisation’s public cloud usage, in Microsoft Azure

Retailers cannot spot their loyal customers

A Forrester Consulting report found that the majority of retailers do not know who their most loyal customers are and cannot know if their loyalty strategies are inspiring prolonged customer advocacy.

The report was commissioned by customer benefits and loyalty outfit Collinson, and it found nearly two-thirds of retailers are not actively using their loyalty programmes to know which customers were brand advocates.

Nutanix spruces up channel charter

Cloud outfit Nutanix announced today that it is enhancing its channel charter which it calls Power to the Partner.

The idea is to extend opportunities to value-added distributors (VAD) and global systems integrators (GSI) along with additional opportunities for resellers. The new updates provide benefits to partners across the industry.

Ransomware clean-up causes MSPs headaches

Datto research has found that MSPs are reporting attacks on their customer base with 84 percent being hit causing a major clean-up problem.

The Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report found that the impact of an attack was often ten times more costly than the ransom demanded by the criminals, with businesses losing $46,800 on average against payments of $4,300.

Tablet sales come back from the dead

While most of us have written off tablets as a marketing fad which went no-where, it appears that they are going to end up in someone’s Christmas stocking, where they will be as useful as a bright green jumper with Santa on the front.

Figures from Context indicated that across Western Europe volume sales of tablets were up by 21 percent in October year-on-year challenging those that have argued the form factor is out of

Security is the reason for SW-WAN interest

While the channel thinks cost saving is the primary sales point for SD-WAN it might be better off pitching sales on security issues.

TechTarget research suggests that improving security posture and reducing risk is the number one driver for firms looking at the SD-WAN.

Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research, said the findings of the research showed that the WAN had not fundamentally changed in decades and SD-WAN came with the promise of lower cost and more agility.