Author: Nick Farrell

Queen’s Speech features new UK data protection law and digital charter

Parliament 2017Her Majesty the Queen, crowned in her best blue hat, mentioned a few things for the tech industry in her speech including promises of a new UK data protection law and digital charter.

Brexit dominated the speech and observers noted the fact that a few of the key Tory’s manifesto pledges such as a return to fox torture and expanding grammar schools had been removed. However, technology was also a recurring theme in the speech.

“A new law will ensure that the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data, and proposals for a new digital charter will be brought forward to ensure that the United Kingdom is the safest place to be online”, the Queen said.

This means that a UK-specific GDPR is on the way and this could have a significant impact on the Channel who will welcome it the same way as they would a rabid dog.

Theresa May wanted to establish an international framework which is similar to those for banking and trade is expected to include proposals for closer scrutiny and regulation of certain activities online, chiefly of extremist material or content that is abusive or harmful to children.

This means that despite government claims to want a free and open internet, these proposals will drown tech companies in red tape.

The Queen also said that her government will bring forward proposals to ensure that critical national infrastructure is protected to safeguard national security.

“A commission for countering extremism will be established to support the government in stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms, both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to spread,” she said.

This might be more welcome as cyber security breaches cost businesses almost £30bn last year and small firms, are accelerating investment in security technologies to protect themselves and their customers from threats online.

Periscope teams up with dscout

IMG_5062Periscope By McKinsey has announced an alliance with research platform dscout, to develop a rapid and flexible delivery of qualitative research for both B2B and B2C businesses.

Dscout’s is known for its research capabilities into customers’ thoughts and behaviours in the form of video, images and text as they happen.

Combined with Periscope’s Insight Solutions, the new offering will enable Periscope’s clients to have meaningful C-Suite ready decision support available within days.

Periscope Managing Partner Brian Elliott said: “This is an exciting alliance, with both partners committed to answering our client’s key marketing questions through the lens of the customer by integrating dscout’s agile research capabilities into our insights creation.”

This will also allow the capability to expand from the traditional consumer segments into B2B scenarios and into different geographic regions, he said.

“Using dscout’s digital platform further enables us to understand how customers use products and services in a few days and integrate these ‘in the moment’ and evocative insights into our recommendations.”

Dscout’s digital platform enables clients to commission and complete qualitative research rapidly. Its core assets are its Software as a Service (SaaS) research and analysis platform and a pool of “scouts”—people who capture key moments in their everyday lives through short videos, photos and text entries captured on their mobile phones.

Periscope’s Insight Solutions Offering provides clients with a one-stop shop for cutting-edge outside-in consumer and buyer insights via agile market research techniques and proven approaches with a network of global research partners.

Dscout CEO Michael Winnick said: “Our relationship with Periscope will accelerate our ability to provide in-the- moment insight from people around the world to our global clients.”

AMD returns to servers

AMD-Technician-Poses-With-Chip-WaferAMD was given a good kicking in the server front and left Intel as the king of the chicken coup. However, that is starting to change with AMD providing new competitive products which will give its partners something serious to offer customers.

AMD’s launch of the EPYC data centre processor is a case in point and should give the channel to talk about with its partners.

AMD supremo Lisa Su claimed: “EPYC processors provided uncompromising performance for single-socket systems while scaling dual-socket server performance to new heights, outperforming the competition at every price point.”

“We are proud to bring choice and innovation back to the datacenter with the strong support of our global ecosystem partners,” she said.

The company has the backing of some key server players including HPE, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, Gigabyte, Supermicro and Tyan.

It also has a pile of paperwork with shedloads of benchmark studies that indicate the processors deliver speed and reliability. They are being pitched to support cloud, machine intelligence and critical enterprise workloads.

HPE is using the Cloudline CL3150 and expanding into other product lines later this year. Dell claims that its PowerEdge servers combined with the AMD technology would provide performance and security improvements. Lenovo is telling its customers that AMD based gear can reduce TCO as a result of the processor and server performance improvements.

AMD has sauced up the offering by adding its Radeon Instinct accelerators that are targeting the high-powered computing market.

Either way, Intel does not have the field to itself, and that can only be good for the channel.


Microsoft insists Surface laptop can be repaired

Microsoft campusSoftware king of the world Microsoft is in hot water after an iFixit report said that its Surface Pro was impossible to fix.

A tear-down of the product showed that since most of it was glued down it would be impossible to even change the battery without scrapping the entire computer.

The review said: “The Surface Laptop is not a laptop. It’s a glue-filled monstrosity. There is nothing about it that is upgradable or long-lasting, and it literally can’t be opened without destroying it. Show us the procedure, Microsoft, we’d love to be wrong.”

However, Microsoft has hit back, saying its Surface products are “intended to be serviced by professionals” after being criticised for making its Surface Laptop difficult to take apart for repairs.

After using a variety of tools to prise open the case, iFixit then used an “ultra-dangerous” heat gun to burn the keyboard casing off the chassis, melting several keys in the process.

“As is the case with many products, Surface is built by professionals and is intended to be serviced by professionals,” a Vole representative said.

Most top vendors suffering

220px-Dramaten_mask_2008aNumber crunchers from Gartner group claim that four of the top five IT vendors suffered a fall in sales last year.

Out of Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and IBM, only Google grew its revenues.

In its Gartner, Global Top 100: IT Vendors report, the number crunchers attempted to rank the top 100 largest tech companies based on estimates for their revenue across IT and component market segments.

Despite seeing estimated IT revenue fall from $235 billion to $218 billion year on year, Apple topped the rankings, well ahead of Samsung, which saw its haul shrink from $142 billion to $1391 billion.

Google grew its revenues from $74.9 billion to $90.1 billion, while Microsoft shrank from $88.1 billion to $85.7 billion and IBM fell from $79.6 billion to $77.8 billion.

Gartner said its figures will help illustrate the shift in the industry from the ‘Nexus of Forces’ to digital business as the driver of IT purchasing.

For those who came in late, or find it difficult to care, the Nexus of Forces, Gartner’s term for the convergence of social, mobility, cloud and information. It believes it has propped up many of the IT market’s leading players – including Apple and Google – in recent years.

Gartner vice president John-David Lovelock said that the needs of IT buyers are shifting. CEOs were focused on growth and are more focused on realising business outcomes from their IT spend, Big G said.

We are not sure about this, people have been saying that sort of thing since the 1990s when we started reporting on the IT market. In fact, it was the reason so many companies moved to outsourcing.

Digital giants, like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent will leave their mark in 2017, Gartner said.

These seven companies will be involved in 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in by 2020, Gartner predicted.

“Digital giants effectively become gatekeepers for any business that delivers digital content and services to consumers. Any company that wants to engage consumers in, or through, their digital world will have to consider engaging with one or more of these digital giants,” Lovelock said.

Cisco using intuitive switches in compute space push

Cisco Kid Networking giant Cisco is having a crack at pushing itself into the compute space with “intuitive” boxes which can analyse and control network traffic.

The new Catalyst 9000 series switches are shipping with a management platform called “DNA Centre”, and the aim is to make the switches better able to apply security policies and controls for devices on a network.

The control centre can manage access policies and privileges for devices and apply specific security controls via the Talos security tools.

According to Cisco, the tools can analyse traffic and recognize things like malware infections based on the way they move packets over the network.

Meanwhile, Cisco claims machine learning components in DNA Centre will let the switches change policies to recognize devices and users.

All this means is that Cisco partners can push its gear deeper into IT management, letting the network hardware handle things like managing cloud apps and keeping access policies for mobile devices and guest connections.

CEO Chuck Robbins said that the gear can translate their business intent into the network.

The switches are based on custom ASICs from Cisco that will be customisable and reprogrammable to use with private clouds or specific applications and stacks. The 9000 series comes in three models for enterprises: the 9300, 9400, and 9500. The smaller 9300 and 9500 switches are shipping this month, while the larger 9400 switches will be making their way to customers in July.

The 9000 series uses subscription services. Cisco says that from now on, customers will have to agree to a package of either pre-bundled Cisco ONE software tools or as packages with the DNA Centre software.

This is all part of Cisco’s long-term goal to turn from a network hardware outfit into an IT management vendor.

Pure Storage says that Flash space is now mature

flash_gordon (1)Flash space outfit Pure Storage says it has growth plans thanks to a new product set that it says reflects that the market is mature.

The vendor used its second customer and partner event, Pure Accelerate 2017, to highlight concepts like deep learning, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how they are driving customers’ data requirements.

VP EMEA, Pure Storage James Petter said that the message has changed and matured, particularly around his outfit’s data platform.

“We don’t want to be a storage company; we’re a data company, we’re an innovation company.”

The vendor has released a new NVMe array, FlashArray//X, its FlashBlade storage platform, plus 25 new software features during Accelerate.

Other announcements included a new AI engine offering predictive intelligence, Meta, as well as enhancements to its flash array FlashBlade – now with 75-blades so it is faster to process big data and “unlock iterative real-time analytics, advanced AI and machine learning (ML), and rich simulation for data of any size”.

This will be good news to its UK partners who have been finding it difficult to position FlashBlade because it has been flogged as an object storage platform, even if it is costlier.

It is not clear yet if customer demand for AI, ML and other areas that demand high-performance storage is there yet.

Millennials will go for sustainable IT

millieniansHP managing director George Brasher thinks that moving to sustainable IT will be a money spinner for the channel.

Brasher recently spoke to the Sustainability Summit where he said that more socially aware millennials will begin to exert dominance over IT decision making and he thinks that partners to get on board with device-as-a-service and other sustainable IT initiatives.

HP has pledged over the years leading up to 2025 to reduce its supply chain-related greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent and involve at least 500,000 of its factory workers in worker skills development.

Brasher said this is because HP is responding not only to global “mega-trends”, such as the growth of the global middle class and rise of the sharing economy, but also increased pull from customers.

Those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s, the millennials, are typically more socially and environmentally conscious than those who came before them and – crucially – will soon make up the majority of IT decision makers, he pointed out.

Environmental requirements were starting to show up as part of tenders and customers are calling for it.

Millennials will be more than half of the IT decision makers in a decade, and they really value it. Employees are also calling for it. They really value it as part of being prideful of the place they work, and, again, this is especially true of millennials, Brasher said.

Rocco names the World’s Leading A2P SMS Messaging Vendors.

0833-ROCCO-181116Beancounters at Rocco Research have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and named the Tier One Vendors in A2P SMS Messaging for 2017.

Rocco requested Mobile Network Operators to rate their A2P SMS Messaging Vendors. More than 326 Mobile Network Operators in 147 countries gave their opinions on 46 International A2P SMS Messaging Vendors.

CEO of Rocco Jason Bryan said that A2P SMS was a highly competitive and high revenue market, but not all vendors operate with the best interest of Mobile Operators.

“Mobile Operators are opinionated about their Vendors. It is an accolade to be recognised as a Tier One Vendor in our reports because we provide an Independent and completely neutral outlook on the market.”

The leading Vendors as rated by the MNOs were (in alphabetical order):

1.CLX Communications
2. Infobip
3. Nexmo (The Vonage API Platform)
4. Route Mobile Ltd
5. Twilio

The detailed analysis of more than 20 vendors from a pool of 46 Vendors selected by Mobile Operators can be found in the Rocco Research A2P SMS Messaging Vendor Performance Report 2017 here. 

Former EasyJet CIO joins Futurice

TrevorDidcock_slideshow2Digital consultancy Futurice has appointed former EasyJet CIO Trevor Didcock as its first UK non-executive director.

Didcock, who was named number one in CIO UK’s CIO 100 and who has also held the top CIO position at the AA, HomeServe and RAC, will play a vital role in building the UK business.

Futurice works with multinationals on digital strategy and clever ideas. The company offers a complete end-to-end service from board level consultancy through to co-creating and building digital solutions.

Clients include BMW, Nordea and Wärtsilä. Its recent projects include working on Nordea Open Banking, a pioneering initiative inviting software developers to test their apps and companies to create new business opportunities using Nordea’s APIs (application programming interfaces). There is also Samsung Kick, an award-winning global football app which uses live data allowing fans to compare players and analyse matches in real time.

Futurice’s London office has 20 staff and a local client list including Ford, Tesco, Samsung and Moneycorp.

Tom McQueen, MD of Futurice UK said: “We are delighted to have Trevor join our board. Trevor brings extensive experience of delivering successful large-scale digital transformation at organisations such as easyJet and the AA. Trevor is a real advocate of Futurice’s culture and is already helping us on our journey to enable UK enterprises to build future capability.”

Futurice CEO Tuomas Syrjänen said: “Trevor’s decision to join the Futurice board is a huge endorsement of our human-centred approach to business change. His experience as the CIO of major public listed companies means he brings invaluable insight into the challenges faced by big corporates as they seek to use emerging technologies to improve operational efficiencies and deliver the best possible customer experience.”

Didcock added that he met Futurice on a project we both worked on involving product development and agile engineering in the airline sector and he was impressed by the quality of its consultants and practices.

“Businesses seeking to become digitally driven face a difficult journey when it comes to re-engineering their business model, processes, and culture. Futurice has the breadth and expertise to empower and enable senior management and innovation teams so that they can survive and thrive in a constantly evolving digital landscape.

“I’m looking forward to working with the board on the UK and international level as we guide the business to the next stage of growth.”

As CIO of easyJet, Trevor led the airline’s “Turn Europe Orange” initiative which created new products and channels and introduced allocated seating as part of a programme of renewal across the airline, helping to quadruple profits.

He was also responsible for developing a long-term IT strategy for easyJet aimed at future-proofing its technology offering.

“Turn Europe Orange” was nothing to do with Teresa May’s deal with the DUP on Brexit.

Basware does deal with Thames Valley coppers


51b578849b99130bd76244b70eef654cThames Valley Police is one of several police forces that have signed up for Basware Marketplace under the G-Cloud 8 framework.

In case you don’t know, Thames Valley Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Richard Fowles, Head of Procurement for Thames Valley Police says, “Our procurement of Basware Marketplace is part of our long-term commitment to improve efficiency around the sourcing of goods and services within the police force and will help us to strengthen supplier relationships.”

Basware is the global leader in providing networked purchase-to-pay solutions, e-invoicing and innovative financing services. Its commerce and investment network connects businesses in over 100 countries and territories around the globe.



End-Point security market expected to reach $27.8 billion by 2025.

securityThe divination team at PMR have been consulting the directions of a flying flock of swallows and reached the conclusion that End-Point Security Market Expected to Reach at $27.8 Billion by 2025

The report, with the punchy title “Global Market Study on Endpoint Security: Japan to Lag Behind China and India regarding CAGR in the APAC Endpoint Security Market” projects that telecommunication, healthcare and banking will remain highly attractive industrial verticals for end-point security solution during the forecast period.

Apparently global end-point security market will bring in a little over $ 11,900 Million in revenues by the end of 2017. During the forecast period, i.e. between 2017 and 2025, the global market for end-point security is expected to expand robustly at a CAGR of 11.2 percent.

Increasing adoption of cloud technologies and growing demand for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business models are documented in the report as key drivers for the growth of global end-point security market.

The need to update security solutions on a regular basis continues to drive the demand for end-point security, the report said.

Rising awareness regarding ransomware attacks also fuels the need to buy adequate endpoint security in business. Persistence Market Research’s latest report on the global end-point security market reveals that the market will reach an estimated value of $ 27,830.3 million by the end of 2025.

European countries such as the UK are progressively adopting end-point security solutions to eliminate spills of critical information. Europe continues to be a lucrative region for end-point security businesses as governments and private organisations in this region are regularly updating and upgrading their IT infrastructure.

Towards the end of 2025, North America is projected to dominate the global endpoint security market, revenues from which are expected to surpass $ 12,300 million. Europe and Asia-Pacific are likely to remain attractive regions for the growth of global end-point security market. Europe’s end-point security market is expected to represent the incremental opportunity of $ 3,151.3 million, while sales of endpoint security solutions in Asia-Pacific countries will reflect highest revenue growth at 7.8 per cent CAGR during the forecast period.

Tintri lays out IPO plans

work_at_tintriTintri has moved to stress importance of its channel after setting out plans for its imminent initial public offering (IPO)

The storage virtualisation outfit is looking to raise $100 million by offering 8.7 million shares priced between $10.50 and $12.50.

In documents filed with the American Securities and Exchange Commission, Tintri said its own success relies heavily on its partner community.

Tintri said that channel sales accounted for 89 percent of all revenue in its last fiscal year, in which the vendor reported losses of $105.8 million.

“If our third-party channel partners fail to perform, our ability to sell and distribute our solution will be limited, and our operating results will be adversely affected,” the document stated.

“We depend on channel partners and distributors for a substantial majority of our sales. We also depend on our channel partners to manage the customer sales process and to generate sales opportunities.

“If our channel partners are unsuccessful in fulfilling our sales, managing the sales process or selling our solution, or we can’t enter into arrangements with or retain a sufficient high-quality, motivated partners in each of our sales regions, our ability to sell our solution will be adversely affected.”

Tintri has had a series of significant funding rounds since its inception in 2008, the largest being a $125 million Series F round in 2015.

Multifunctional technologies set to enjoy huge growth

Resellers and channel partners with their claws in the sensor market are going to experience a wide range of business opportunities, according to a new report.
cc1TechVision team have been shuffling their tarot cards and have decided that the sensor industry is pushing the boundaries of innovation by using a host of technologies that were previously considered unsuitable for the development of disruptive devices.

The steady rise in technology convergence in the electronics industry underlines a market shift toward personalisation and cost reduction, the report said.

Some of the new sensor technologies, such as advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and electronic skin, have resulted in novel business models and marketing strategies, accelerating the evolution of the electronics industry.

Frost & Sullivan TechVision Research Analyst Varun Babu said that trends such as miniaturisation, sensitivity, selectivity, self-diagnostics and interoperability are prompting advances in sensing systems across a wide range of industrial applications.

“The Internet of Things, too, will be a key enabler of advancements in sensor technologies, particularly in the sectors of healthcare, military and defence, automotive, consumer electronics, robotics and environmental monitoring. These technologies will aid early security threat detection, point-of-care diagnostics, reduced road collisions, continuous environmental monitoring, and building smart cities.”

The technologies in the sensors and instrumentation space have eased the entry barriers for new market players as well as opened up several growth opportunities for the existing ones. In addition to the disruptions, various funding options have brightened the prospects of existing players and encouraged greater R&D, Babu said

Frost & Sullivan TechVision Research Analyst Arjun Mehta said that various research institutes were working on developing sensors with multiple functionalities.

“In the near future, with the advancement of Internet of Things and its associated smart applications, demand for sensors is expected to increase, where these sensors can be integrated with flexible wearables and support energy harvesting applications.”

Flash seeing strong demand

flash_gordon (1)Figures out from IDC show a strong demand for Flash Drives in the first part of the year.

Customers are embracing the technology, and the result was a doubling of sales compared to last year.

An IDC analysis of what happened in Q1 would have made great reading for storage vendors that have backed flash with sales growing by 100 percent  year-on-year in EMEA.

That contrasted with a 34.5 percent drop in the traditional hard disk drive market as a number of factors took their toll on the demand for that tech.

IDC research manager, European Storage and Datacenter Research, Silvia Cosso said that Brexit uncertainty, unfavourable exchange rates, major vendors’ internal reorganisations, and increased component costs for SSD have weighed down on EMEA performance once again, making 1Q17 the ninth quarter of uninterrupted decline for the region.

“However, as enterprises progress in their digital transformation paths, sales of all-flash array systems, standalone or converged, see no crisis in sight, doubling their sales compared to the same period a year ago and reaching a quarter of total sales,” he added.

That growth of flash could not happen unless it became a genuine option for the SME community and technology that is now a strong channel play.

IDC Europe research manager Archana Venkatraman the accelerated growth in all-flash arrays this quarter shows that flash storage has entered not just large enterprise data centres but even medium-sized and small businesses in Western Europe.

“With flash storage solutions evolving to support mixed workload consolidation and offer rich data services, many more businesses are exploring the use of flash for their primary storage needs,” Venkatraman said.

Dell remains the market leader in the external disk storage systems market in EMEA, but it suffered a 21 percent drop in growth in the first quarter. It’s rival NetApp had a better start to the year with a 9.2 percent climb, and IBM was also enjoying demand with a 16.2 percent growth year-on-year.