Author: Nick Farrell

Infosys shake-up shakes company up

web-chocolate-shake-maltInfosys’s board of directors meeting saw the resignation of Dr. Vishal Sikka as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Dr. Vishal Sikka was  appointed the Executive Vice-Chairman, Mr. U B Pravin Rao as the Interim-Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

A press release for the succession plan for appointment of a new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer has been operationalised by the Board and a search for a new CEO has started.

The company’s stock tanked nearly 10 percent down on the back of the news.

An Infosys statement said in his new role Sikka would continue to focus on strategic initiatives, key customer relationships and technology development. He will report to the company’s board and receive an annual salary of $1 during his tenure.

In a filing to BSE, the company said: “Sikka reiterated his belief in the great potential of Infosys, but cited among his reasons for leaving a continuous stream of distractions and disruptions over the recent months and quarters, increasingly personal and negative as of late, as preventing the management’s ability to accelerate the company’s transformation.”

Differences were simmering between NR Narayana Murthy, one of the Infosys founders, and Sikka for some time, with the former repeatedly criticising the latter’s policies in the organisation.

In an interview with a business daily published on Friday, Murthy had revived his diatribe against Sikka, saying some of the board members felt the Silicon Valley import was more of a CTO material and not fit for the CEO position.

Worldwide Supply expands into Northern Europe

vikingGlobal networking hardware and services outfit,Worldwide Supply, the leader in  has announced an expansion of its network infrastructure hardware supply, network maintenance and field services business into Northern Europe.

The expansion into Northern Europe was driven by the growing demand from network operators across Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to save significant costs on networking equipment and services.

Jay VanOrden, CEO of Worldwide Supply, said that the Northern European market wasbeen experiencing tremendous growth as a result of operators trying to keep up with the demands of today’s high speed data needs.

“We’re excited about expanding our business reach into this region. We’ve been included on Inc. Magazine’s fasting-growing private companies list for several years now in the United States, and we’re looking forward to continuing our success overseas. We save companies a tremendous amount of money; that’s the bottom line. Whether it’s hardware or services we are confident that we’ll provide a solution with a significant cost savings; while providing 7×24 network support from one of our 400 global service centres.”

Cisco keeps losing

Cisco Kid Cisco posted a seventh consecutive quarter of declining revenue, which is unwelcome news for its partners, but many analysts are seeing the glass as half-full.

The computer networking company avoided any big downgrades from Wall Street analysts after reporting a four percent decline for its fiscal fourth quarter revenue and serving up a weak financial forecast.

Most analysts think Cisco’s business will not improve in the next few quarters, but do expect to see change in the long run. And both said they see Cisco’s pivot toward software and subscription revenues — and away from its long-held hardware approach — as a major indication of its future success.

Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, said that there currently is a pause due to some new switching products where enterprises are waiting for the new products.

Then there is the strategic shift where the majority of their business becomes the newer, ‘cloud-native’ products. This complete transformation could take one to two years, Moorhead said. Security, the internet of things, and intent-based networking are the best bets for the company moving forward, he said.

Cisco’s revenues for products were down five percent in the fourth quarter, while services were up a percent. Security was up three percent, while wireless offerings were up five percent. Every other revenue source was in decline, including routing and switching, which both were down nine percent year-over-year.

Cisco’s product revamp, the Network Intuitive was announced in June but is still being rolled out. The new system applies machine learning to traditional networking. Cisco claims the new network can “recognise intent, mitigate threats, and learn over time.” It’s the first major overhaul Cisco has made to its products in 15 years.

Microsoft buys a new Cycle

7e319356549d95d0190f09ecdfee237eMicrosoft has written a cheque for the cloud firm Cycle Computing in the hope that it will make it easier for its customers to use high-performance computing in the cloud.

Formed in 2012, Cycle Computing uses cloud resources to make big computing possible in the cloud on a large scale.

Its software works with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform.

Writing in his bog, Azure corporate vice president Jason Zander said: “Combining the most specialised big compute infrastructure available in the public cloud with Cycle Computing’s technology and years of experience with the world’s largest supercomputers, we open up many new possibilities.

As customers continue to look for faster, more efficient ways to run their workloads, Cycle Computing’s depth and expertise is centred on massively scalable applications make them a great fit to join Vole, he said.

Cycle Computing known to be an influential AWS partner so nicking them is a bit of coup in Vole’s greater war with the other providers.

Gartner sees opportunities in security services

funny-security-guardBeancounters at Gartner have had a quick look at the security market for the rest of this year and decided that there are opportunities on the services side.

It in its report, Big G said that the security market is set for a strong end to the year and a positive outlook for 2018, with those in the channel providing services in the best position.

Gartner is forecasting a seven percent year-on-year increase in global security spending in 2017 with the sector generating $86.4 billion in sales. That growth should continue into 2018, with the market hitting a value of $93 billion.

Punters apparently want infrastructure protection and security testing is popular area. DevOps will also drive a greater need for applications to be checked more closely, the Big G report said.

The fastest growing segment was security services, with those in the channel able to offer outsourcing consulting and implementation support the best placed to reap the rewards.

Managed security services will also become more blended with the offerings provided by MSPs over the next few years.

However the hardware is still pretty disappointing. Gartner claims that area coming under challenge from the growth of virtual appliances and the shift towards public cloud.

The security market is usually a strong segment given the need for customers to protect their data but the recent high profile breaches and ransomware attacks had also helped raise the levels of awareness.

Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner said that rising awareness among CEOs and boards of directors about the business impact of security incidents and an evolving regulatory landscape have led to continued spending on security products and services.

He said the channel also has a role to play in continuing to educate customers about the basics of security to prevent further breaches.

“Improving security is not just about spending on new technologies. As seen in the recent spate of global security incidents, doing the basics right has never been more important. Organisations can improve their security posture significantly just by addressing basic security and risk related hygiene elements like threat centric vulnerability management, centralised log management, internal network segmentation, backups and system hardening,” said Deshpande.

Amazon builds a new distribution centre in Bristol

 

amazonAmazon has just built a new fulfilment centre in Bristol that will create over 1,000 jobs.

The online retailer now has 13 fulfilment centres in the country.

The company said that these newly created jobs in Bristol are in addition to the 5,000 jobs that it is creating this year. Those new roles that were announced in July are to be based across three others new fulfillment centres in Tilbury, Doncaster and Daventry, in addition to being based at its offices in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London.

There will also be several full-time jobs created at Amazon’s fashion photography studio in Shoreditch. In total, Amazon will have a UK workforce of 24,000 by the year’s end.

The announcement might be sending a statement to the government about the company’s tax bill that saw it paying just £7.4 million in spite of UK profits of in excess of £7 billion.  It is also a sign that Brexit has not changed Amazon’s relationship with the UK or its ability to hire staff.

Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager, said in a statement: “We are creating thousands of new UK jobs including hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities as we continue to innovate for our customers and provide them with even faster delivery, more selection and better value.”

 

 

Supplier discovers a quarter of Brits have been scammed

nigeria1A quarter of UK adults have been scammed online in the past, according to research conducted by the supplier Misco.

Apparently only a third can tell if an email is real or not, which might be the main problem.

In light of recent high-profile cyberattacks, Misco tested the nation’s ability to spot whether an email is real or fake. The research used screenshots of both real and fake emails and texts from banks, online money transfer services and Apple’s iCloud.

When asked to identify which of two near-identical emails – one real, one fake – was a genuine online account statement update from a bank account, 12 percent were fooled by the phishing email, believing it to be legitimate.

Those aged 16 to 24 were twice as likely to be duped, with 25 percent of this age group believing the fake email was genuine. Sixty-one per cent believed both to be fake, even though one was authentic.

Only 60 per cent of those surveyed could correctly identify another fake phishing email, this time a supposed security update from a bank. Sixteen percent believed the email to be authentic, while 24 percent admitted they were unsure as to whether it was real.

Afsar Chaudhury, Misco practice lead for network and security at Misco said: “We live in a digital age, where everything from our boarding passes to our bank accounts are accessed online. This makes it easier for hackers to gain access to our details, and this is shown in the increasing level of sophistication that goes into phishing emails.”

Chaudhury advised people to look out for certain clues, such as poor spelling or grammar, and high levels of impersonalisation to prevent phishing attempts.

“Services will never ask you to enter your details through a message, so avoid clicking those links or sending personal information in a message. We recommend using a different, secure password for each account you hold and changing them regularly, as this makes it harder for your accounts to be hacked. Regularly updating the security software on your computer can also stop any malware in its tracks, in case you do accidentally click through on a phishing link.”

Disloyal punters ignore brands claims Salmon

Salmon-of-Knowledge-Irish-Stamp-from-An-PostBeancounters at global ecommerce consultancy Salmon have discovered that the era of the ‘disloyal consumer’ is upon us.

Apparently, brand loyalty is tumbling as consumers increasingly prioritise speed, innovation and convenience when they shop.

A new study of over 6,000 consumers across the UK, US and Benelux conducted, showed that 88 percent of consumers believe speed of delivery is more important to them than the brand being ordered (78 percent).

The study also found that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with new and innovative ways to shop, with 45 percent using or likely to use digital assistants such as Amazon Echo’s Alexa or Google Home in the next 12 months. They are more likely to use these devices than smart lighting (42 percent), smart fridges and other white goods (42 percent), Virtual Reality (40 percent) and Apple Home (37 percent). As these services look to control the products shoppers buy, brand loyalty looks set to decline even more.

Nearly 60 percent say they can see the personal benefit of Programmatic Commerce – allowing technology to automatically purchase goods for them based on their set of product preferences – compared to 53 percent the year before.

Consumer hunger for new retail technology is growing with 23 percent identified as “digitally obsessed”, making almost all of their purchases online.

This need for speed and convenience plays into a wider shift in consumer shopping behaviour, as they value the variety of digital services on offer and experience that they receive overall: 60 percent say that if a retailer was more digitally innovative, they would be more likely to shop there – emphasising the lucrative potential retailers could be tapping into, especially as 73 percent say they plan to spend more in the future.

Two thirds of consumers in fact feel all online retailers should offer same-day delivery, compared to 2016’s research showing that the average expected delivery time was 2.6 days – no doubt fuelled by services such as Amazon Prime.

Consumers are preparing for the next generation of retail technology – reflected in the fact that on average, there are four devices per household (increasing to five in the US) and over half (51 percent) of all surveyed also said they could not comfortably live one day without connected devices.

What is holding everything back is that retailers are failing to provide these elevated digital and innovative experiences for customers.

More than 57 percent believe the technology, apps and services they use in their own life are more sophisticated than that provided by digital retailers. Almost 70 percent said they want to see greater innovation to improve the customer experience, showing a desire to shop with only the most forward-thinking stores.

Hugh Fletcher, global head of Consultancy and Innovation at Salmon, said: “Loyalty is a complex thing. Across all sectors, we’re seeing fewer people favouring and remaining strongly aligned to certain brands and companies. This is especially prevalent in digital commerce – where the consumer focus on finding the lowest prices and fastest delivery doesn’t lend itself to being loyal to a certain product.

“However, as the study shows, loyalty is still there to be captured. Consumers are increasingly loyal to services over retailers – this is largely because the likes of Amazon is seen to be innovating and delivering the best overall experience to the consumer.

“It is this ‘experience’ that drives loyalty and will be the difference between being a leader in digital commerce and being left behind,” continued Fletcher. “What this means, however, is that retailers need to offer consumers a host of convenient services and harness innovative technologies in the process if they are going to attract and retain customers’ attention. As consumers are becoming more open to trying new technologies – or expect to in the coming months –retailers need to put in the ground work from now if they are to meet high expectations.”

Government framework already a week late

article-0-05073D31000005DC-953_634x400Suppliers wanting into the multibillion-pound government framework have been left hanging, with intention-to-award notices already a week late and no sign of them coming.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) schedule for the Technology Services 2 framework promised that intention-to-award notices were due to be sent to suppliers on 7 August, triggering a 10 day standstill period before the framework is awarded on 21 August.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson has promised the award notices are now on course to be sent this week but so far no one has received anything.

Technology Services 2 is the successor to the original Technology Services framework, which expired in May, and is estimated to be worth between £1 billion and £3 billion.

The framework will look after central and local government organisations and covers a range of IT services including hardware and software support, enterprise security and data management.

The four Lots included in the framework are: Technology Strategy and Services Design; Transition and Transformation; Operational Services; and Programmes and Large Projects.

The Cabinet Office spokesperson said the framework will go live this month.

Freight as a Service fated to be the next big thing

DHLFreight as a Service (FaaS) could be the next key transformative technology trend, according to a recent B2B technology survey.

The survey of 455 companies across nine verticals, was conducted by ABI Research and has the catchy title of “ABI Research’s Industry Survey: Transformative Technology Adoption and Attitude – Logistics report”.

It found that 41 percent of logistics respondents view Freight as a Service (FaaS) as a key transformative technology trend.

The rapid growth of e-commerce requires new transport modes such as delivery drones and robots, direct-to-car, and direct-to-home deliveries. FaaS will represent 30 percent or more than $900 billion of total goods transportation revenues by 2030.

Turning freight transport into a service allows cargo capacity to be ordered seamlessly and spontaneously in open marketplaces which will optimise capacity use and reduce costs.

Susan Beardslee, Senior Analyst at ABI Research said that only two per cent of logistics respondents appear to comprehend the disruptive capabilities of ETE Supply Chain Visibility.

“However transparency across multiple modes and suppliers drive material ROI through reduced inventory, lead-time, and losses, as well as enhanced service levels through responses to demand surges and external variables.”

ABI Research found logistics firms are adding wearable technologies such as Apple watches, GoPro’s and Google Glasses, with 61 per cent adopting as part of their technology innovation strategy.

AI platforms are beginning to enjoy growing adoption rates. Data analytics is starting to “cross the chasm” along with the traditional role of monitoring with both leveraging the emerging capabilities of AI.

Real time analytics of vast, evolving, and unstructured data are beginning to transform the supply chain.

WWT spends more cash in UK

20150226_fortune_getty_worldwidetechnologylogo1483World Wide Technology (WWT) continues to spend cash in the UK.

The outfit has opened a new software development arm, Asynchrony Labs, in London.

The move comes four years after WWT set up shop in the UK bringing its tech integration approach that has worked well in the US for a quarter of a century over this side of the Atlantic.

Kelly White, WWT Asynchrony Labs London general manager, said that London had been on the company radar for a long time and now the company was expanding the tech community into Canary Wharf.

“Canary Wharf represents the real strength of London – as a meeting place between fantastic tech innovation and longstanding financial services expertise. Even after Brexit, we think that London is where technology will increasingly impact enterprise,” said White.

Ben Boswell, who has been running WWT in Europe, said that many customers were finding that they needed more than a one size fits all approach and were working with channel players that could help them solve technical problems.

“Companies that did not previously consider themselves technology firms are finding that they need to integrate new technology at great speed. Innovation is linked to profitability but all too often the link is not fully made between business outcome and technology delivery. Frankly, the emerging technology market is proliferated by immature solutions and undisciplined agile development practices, which do not lend themselves to immediate at scale deployment. At enterprise level, this simply doesn’t fly,” he said.

Westcoast and HP don’t need no education

tumblr_mcexe0a4MI1rcf9cjo1_500HP is building customised PCs for the education sector which will be delivered by Westcoast.

The move is part of a cunning plan for HP to take a more vertical market approach to life. Westcoast has already been offering customised PC design, imaging and building with a promise of pulling it all together in 48 hours.

IDC has said that HP its channel could pick up £35 million for itself and its channel partners from the education sector. It expects resellers to benefit from the chance to deliver something that is different from other rival offerings that educational customers might be considering.

HP UKI channel director Neil Sawyer said that the education sector had wide and varied computing needs. The CTO initiative empowers these institutions and their users to request specific computing requirements at a speed and scale which was previously impossible, rather than limiting them to a ‘one-size fits all’ plan

The distributor’s immediate task will be to build a network of resellers that can take advantage of the CTO. The scheme starts with PCs but there are plans to include laptops at some point in the future.

HP might consider extending the CTO approach to other vertical markets to try and help smaller customers get the same customisation that larger firms have been able to command for years.

 

42Gears Mobility Systems sets up shop in Manchester

imageEnterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution provider, 42Gears Mobility Systems, has expanded into the UK by setting up its third worldwide office in Manchester.

42Gears is headquartered in Bangalore, India and has a US office in Fremont, California. 42Gears has a global customer base and bulk of its business comes from US and UK. UK was the natural choice for setting up the next 42Gears office after the US. The company said that the strategic move will help 42Gears to serve UK and EU customers better and tap into new business opportunities in these markets.

The new office is being headed by Kaushik Sindhu, Associate Vice President, 42Gears.

42Gears’ CFO, Ashok Poojari, said on the announcement: “We are excited to expand our business. Best yet, our growth is coming from both new and existing clients. We have successfully set up a wholly-owned subsidiary of 42Gears in Manchester and are now looking forward to integrate with Manchester’s thriving business community.”

“UK is a huge and important market for us. It has helped us enrich our product offerings through the innovative use cases that businesses demand. We have benefitted from the learnings in the UK. Setting up base in Manchester will accelerate our product development and company growth,” said Kaushik Sindhu, Associate Vice President, 42Gears.

Manchester Investment and Development Agency Service (MIDAS) helped 42Gears to set up operations in the UK, after 42Gears won the TechFast 50 organized by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (DTTILLP). Manchester will serve as a strategic base to explore business development opportunities in the European market and will also help acquiring the right talent. The focus will be on growing the company’s market presence and strengthening business relationships with existing OEMs, resellers, partners and customers in the United Kingdom and Europe.

42Gears Mobility Systems provides SaaS and an on-premise EMM solution. It offers enterprise-ready products to help companies secure, check and manage enterprise mobile devices.

More than 7000 customers across 106 countries use 42Gears for BYOD and Company Owned Device deployment scenarios. 42Gears products are used in verticals like healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, education and retail.

Microsoft strikes back on Surface claims

fightSoftware King of the World, Microsoft, has hit back at Consumer Report claims that its Surface tablets are so badly made that they cannot last longer than a couple of years.

Consumer report said that it refuses to endorse any of Microsoft’s laptops due to ‘two-year breakage rates of 25 percent’.

Consumer Reports said in an article that it was removing its ‘recommended’ status from four of Microsoft’s Surface devices – Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB) and Surface Book (128GB and 256GB) – after its research found that 25 percent of owners will experience problems in the first two years.

It said it would not be recommending any of Microsoft’s Surface devices because the estimated breakage rate for its laptops and tablets was higher than most other brands.

“The differences were statistically significant, which is why Microsoft doesn’t meet CR’s standards for recommended products.”

Consumer Reports tested and scored the devices on a range of factors including display quality, battery life, speed and ergonomics. The data came from the assessment of over 90,000 devices purchased between 2014 and the beginning of 2017.

It also applies to the Surface Pro, although Consumer Reports did praise the gear for its performance.

Microsoft was cross and claimed that the products’ fail rates are far lower than CR’s estimates.

Writing in his bog, the Volish corporate vice president of devices Panos Panay said: “While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings. Surface has had quite a journey over the last few years, and we have learned a lot.

“In the Surface team we track quality constantly, using metrics that include failure and return rates. Both our predicted one-to-two-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25 percent.

“Additionally, we track other indicators of quality such as incidents per unit, which have improved from generation to generation and are now at record lows of well below one percent.”

The Surface family hit the headlines in June when Greenpeace and iFixit scored both Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 5 one out of 10 for reparability mostly because it was glued together and impossible to fix without destroying.

Bedlock offers high margin CloudView channel programme.

cloud1RedLock has been telling its partners about its CloudView channel programme, which, it claims, offers high margins and support.

The programme seeks to discuss end user concerns of data stored in the public cloud being accessible to hackers, specifically in the public sector while giving partners the resources they need.

The company said recent breaches involving information hosted in the public cloud have heightened security concerns among enterprises. RedLock’s own research found that 82 percent of public cloud databases are unencrypted.

The theory is that the adoption of public cloud infrastructure will grow exponentially in the coming years, organisations need a cloud-native approach to protect an environment that’s constantly changing.

RedLock believes helping the channel take advantage of this opportunity is vital to at least abating the threat of public cloud infrastructure hacks, and as a result, it will focus on the channel for its business rather than direct sales.

David McCaw, RedLock director of sales for its west division said: “We’re excited to launch the CloudView channel programme and work with leading partners to enable organisations across the globe to holistically secure their public cloud environments.”

“With companies adopting resources from multiple pubic cloud providers, and as the adoption of cloud infrastructure by the business is outpacing the security organisation’s ability to keep up, it has never been more important to gain a complete view of security and compliance risks,” he added.