Author: Nick Farrell

Sage CEO exits

banner_220x220Sage CEO Stephen Kelly has stepped down from his role at the accountancy software vendor, Sage despite apparently turning the outfit around.

Sage’s numbers had been pretty dire this year, but showed signs of recovery during an update to the London Stock Exchange at the start of August.

On his resignation Kelly said: “I joined Sage four years ago and am immensely proud of the extraordinary change that I have had the privilege to lead. I joined a fragmented organisation with minimal presence in the cloud. The major cultural transformation has created Sage Business Cloud which has now grown to £386 million of annualised recurring revenue from a standing start and has driven total shareholder return for Sage of over twice that of the FTSE100 during my tenure.”

Chairman Donald Brydon said: “Stephen has much to be proud of in the very heavy lifting he has led as the group is transformed.

“He energised the group, drove change with relentless focus on customers, and under his leadership the strategy to become a leading SaaS business has been defined. The board remains fully supportive of the overall strategy. We wish Stephen well in the next phase of his life.”




Computacenter goes dutch and swallows Misco’s EU subsidiary

Computacenter has snapped up Misco’s last-remaining European subsidiary in Amstelveen in Holland.

Misco Solutions employs around 200 staff and booked revenues of €134 million last year.

Computacenter claiming to have covered the cost of the transaction using existing cash resources, which presumably means breaking into the piggy bank and looking down the back of the sofa.

The sale went through three months of negotiations and Centralpoint and Bechtle were in the frame to buy the outfit before Computacenter.

The deal marks Computacenter’s first direct presence in the Holland and should give a boost to its Benelux business.

Computacenter CEO Mike Norris said: “While we mainly focus on organic growth, we are interested in acquisition opportunities which either enable us to enter new markets or enhance our services and solutions for our customers. The Netherlands is an adjacent European market for us and we are excited by the opportunity to build the long-term trust of government organisations and some of Europe’s largest companies headquartered there. Our direct local presence in the Netherlands will also allow us to enhance our support to a number of Computacenter’s largest international clients for whom this is a key location.”

Misco’s Dutch arm is the company’s last-standing subsidiary on the continent following the collapse of Misco UK in October 2017, which preceded subsequent closures across Europe.



Tomlin replaces Shields at Dell

Tech Data’s Advanced Solutions boss Rob Tomlin is set to join Dell EMC as UK channel VP, replacing Sarah Shields who is headed off to greener pastures in a more European role.

Shields announced in June that she would become VP of enterprise channels but said she would stay on in Blighty until a suitable replacement had been found.

Tech Data has announced to staff that Rob Tomlin will be leaving to join Dell EMC as VP of channels.

“Rob has been a key player in the integration of both SDG and Avnet into the Tech Data business and we thank him for the work he has done in setting up the Advanced Solutions division. “He leaves a very strong management team behind him in which we have every confidence. The leadership of the Advanced Solutions management team will be picked up by [UK MD] David Watts and we have total belief that the division will continue to grow and build upon the value it is bringing to the channel.”

Tomlin is expected to set up in Shield’s office early in Q4.

Kicking Pat leans on the Channel

banner_220x220Kicking Pat Gelsinger claims his Cloud Provider Program has established a “meaningful” area of revenue for VMware.

The VMware Cloud Provider Programme attributed more than 30 percent to the vendor’s revenue stream, which rose 12.5 percent to US$2.17 billion.

Gelsinger, who is the CEO of VMware, said that there has been a consistency to that area of VMware’s that “shocked” everyone.

“There was a prevailing view in the industry that the big cloud guys – AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform will eat up everybody. The result has been an area of consistent and steady growth for us, and increasingly, we’re being seen as the technology source for all other clouds. Clearly the mega guys are building much of their own technology, but all of the other cloud providers are increasingly relying on VMware’s technologies as the base for building off their cloud”.

Most of that revenue in the past has been driven from vSphere, Gelsinger said and the offering was now gaining more traction for NSX, vSAN and vCloud Director.

“We’re also working to make that program, a great channel for other services. CloudHealth and VMC on AWS will be resold through those channels as well. We’ll be putting more of our products focus through that business relationship. That I believe will be the biggest aspect of our long term growth.”

Gelsinger highlighted many areas of growth opportunities within network with NSX and storage with vSAN, saying VMware was just getting started.

Coppers put New Signature on public cloud

New Signature has signed a two-year deal with the Metropolitan Police to support its public cloud.

The contract was awarded through the G-Cloud framework and is part of the Met’s three-year digital policing strategy.  For those who came in late, the strategy seeks to modernise technology for users in the force and improve the general public’s digital access to the police.

New Signature said the deal is “one of the largest” G-Cloud procurements to date was not saying how much cash was involved.

New Signature founder Dan Scarfe said that the deal was an important momement for the Met in terms of moving their digital work to the cloud and in moving away from their traditional global system integrator (GSI) partners who would normally have scored the project.

He claimed the Met’s move to the public cloud comes from a desire to address the lack of speed and agility it experienced using traditional datacentres and GSIs.

Scarfe added the deal is transformational for New Signature, opening up a range of new markets and customers for the cloud service provider.

Angus McCallum, CIO for the Metropolitan Police, said: “We are very pleased to have selected New Signature to help us as we start to develop and implement our ‘Cloud-First Strategy’ transition.

“The Met is committed to ensuring all our people have the right technology to do their jobs with excellence and New Signature’s involvement is a critical part of building our capability and achieving fast results.”

SOS teams up with FONtevo

banner_220x220SOS Communications is teaming up with FONtevo to deliver  SME based telephony services and solutions for resellers.

This partnership has been developed over the past year for the UK&I market. The partnership is to be launched at the Channel Live event on 11-12 September 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham – where SOS Communications will be looking to recruit new resellers.

At the launch, SOS Communications and FONtevo are focused on bringing something special to the current way of working with distributors in the UK&I. We would encourage resellers to come along to the Channel Live event and see how the new partnership will help drive growth and profitability in their business.

Colin Hepher, CEO SOS Communications said: “This is a great opportunity for UK&I resellers to have access to first class solutions from what we see as the Mercedes of the telecoms world, manufacturer in Germany. With FONtevo solutions, SOS’s track record and 25 years in the industry we will become synonymous with excellent service and solutions that are built to last

FONtevo/ Auerswald CEO, Christian Auerswald welcomes this exciting partnership and said: “As part of our programme to be seen as a global manufacturer with quality at the heart of everything we do, we are proud to be able to partner with SOS Communications to offer a different type of service and solutions to the UK reseller market.

Dell sets up an IoT partner programme

banner_220x220Tin box shifter Dell has launched an IoT partner programme alongside its very close chum VMworld.

A spokesDell said the programme will provide pre-tested and pre-validated hardware and software packages from Dell and technology partners.

Ken Mills, general manager of IoT surveillance and security at Dell, said during an online press conference before VMworld opened that IoT is rapidly expanding and the amount of infrastructure needed to support it is growing.

“There is a definite shift in the amount of storage and compute power needed to support this transition.”

The number of connected devices worldwide is expected by some industry observers to be as high as 30 billion by 2020 and to continue to grow from there.

The wide array of devices, systems and sensors and the rapid growth of IoT are challenges for businesses looking to embrace IoT, according to Chris Wolff, who took over as head of global OEM and IoT partnerships at Dell in October 2017.

Wolff said companies often understand there are a lot of things they can do with automation and IoT technologies to help them gain insights into their data and make better business decisions, but they can struggle to take the first step.

She said that getting started wasso daunting because there are so many things IoT theoretically can do at at work.  It is difficult for people to know what to do and have a conversation with the techies to find out what’s possible or feasible for my organisation.

Wolff said there was a fear that a company could “choose the Betamax instead of the VHS”

Dell claimed that it can give customers a complete package by bringing together technologies from its partners and the vendors under its umbrella.

The bundles will be sold entirely through the channel, giving partners not only another solution to offer their customers, but also a new revenue stream to take advantage of as IoT continues to grow in the enterprise.

Wolff said the programme will focus on “enabling reseller partners, who are very good at deploying IT infrastructure and managing that infrastructure to provide that same level of management and security across non-traditional devices such as refrigerator coolers”.

DataDirect Networks steps in to save Tintri

banner_220x220DataDirect Networks (DDN) is expecting to complete its acquisition of troubled storage vendor Tintri “within the next few days”.

Tintri ran out of cash, axed most of its staff and saw its finances dry up. The US storage vendor stepped in last month to acquire its assets and plans to bring support and product continuity to Tintri’s customers while using its capabilities to boost its portfolio.

Alex Bouzari, co-founder and CEO of DDN, said he is looking forward to bringing Tintri’s virtualisation and analytics products into the fold.

“Our first order of business is to deliver immediate world-class support to the more than 1,000 Tintri customers worldwide”, he said.

“Beyond that, we are thrilled to help businesses achieve significant value and transformational simplicity for their server virtualisation, DevOps and VDI needs.”

Tintri will operate as a separate division within DDN and will have its own sales, support and engineering resources. The vendor has been hiring staff to support Tintri’s existing customers.

Getronics encourages women to break its glass ceiling

banner_220x220Getronics will be encouraging women, which are still a minority within the company, to pursue their ambitions and break its glass ceiling.

Deborah Exell, Global Head of Human Capital and Change at Getronics said that human capital was at the core of business success, and that diverse talent is the heart of innovation.

“Diversity is not just a buzz word. Differing perspectives and unique points of view are a vital force for growth. And, for our employees to truly represent the communities in which they live and work around the world, this means embracing difference.”

She said that Getronics’ culture was founded on respect, integrity and transparency.

“Our diversity is visible. We foster challenges and differences and are looking to ensure that, wherever possible, we break down old barriers and hurdles to success.  Everyone has a voice. We protect what is our harassment-free / bullying-free work environment and discrimination-free workplace; and ensure equal opportunities in hiring, training, promotions, benefits and compensation.”

The outfit  has already outlined some practical measures, some of which are presently in place and some of which will be launched shortly. They will have an impact on the development of women within the enterprise in the short-, medium- and long-term.

Among other activities, Getronics has put together a working group composed of role models within leadership to drive the initiative. Moreover, Regional Round Tables will be organised to get input into strategy and identify talent, develop a coaching program, emphasise women’s successes, participate in external events, engage with universities as well as organisations that value women, and produce a Women in Technology strategy to 2020.

Caroline Montgomery, Global Head of Engineering & Solutions at Getronics said: “We won’t stop there. Women in Technology must be seen as the first step in a broader frame aiming to promote inclusiveness for all genders, ages, ethnicities and beliefs,” explains  “We see diversity as a strength and believe our company can only benefit from the richness that is inevitably connected to it.”

Cancom’s CEO resigns

banner_220x220Cancom CEO Klaus Weinmann has resigned after 26 years at the helm of the business. Thomas Volk will take over when Weinmann steps down on 30 September.

Weinmann will remain on Cancom’s supervisory board to provide “advice and support” and will continue as CEO of Primepulse Group – a German venture capital firm that is Cancom’s largest single shareholder.

In a statement  Weinman said: “I need not emphasise that Cancom is very important to me. But the growth of the Primepulse Group and the increasing tasks that this entails for me will no longer allow for a dual function as a member of the management board in the future.

“However, I would like to continue supporting the transformation of Cancom in the direction of its cloud and managed services business. I will therefore ask the shareholders to allow me to join the supervisory board.”

Volk is promoted from being Cancom’s president and general manager, which he has held since 1 November 2017.

Volk is already responsible for the group’s go-to-market strategy and marketing and he lead the company back into the UK market with two UK acquisitions, including London-based MSP Ocean Intelligent Communications and £80 million revenue UK reseller OCSL.


Hybrid services pays off for HPE

banner_220x220The former maker of expensive printer ink, HPE, is doing rather well on the back of its shiny new hybrid services cunning plan which is channel dependent.

With its PointnextHPE services business, the vendor has stated an ambition to make it an area that delivers revenue through the channel.

The plan, which emerged in March last year, was to give the channel the services support that they can scale to meet customer needs, with a large amount of flexibility built into the offering.

Pointnext was supposed to give users the support needed to accelerate their digital transformation.  It rolled out Greenlake Flex Capacity, which was designed to make life easier for partners with pre-packaged options that would speed up quote times.

HPE also made a couple of acquisitions, with RedPixie this April and Cloud Technology Partners last September, to add more support for those customers looking at moving to the cloud.

During the outfit’s third-quarter announcement CEO Antonio Neri said that Pointext delivered a  per cent decline in revenue year-on-year, although orders grew by four per cent.

“We continue to strengthen our HPE Pointnext services business, and we see significant opportunity as we execute our services-led go-to-market strategy”, he said.

The firm is looking to put the focus of the services business on the most profitable areas and in that space, revenue increased by one percent in Q3 and orders improved by eight per cent.

“This growth is largely due to the strong improvement of services intensity as we shift our focus in more value-added offerings, high-growth in HPE GreenLake and some larger deals. Advisory and professional services revenue was down 10 per cent, largely due to our intentional exit of more than 40 companies as part of our HPE Next plan,” said Neri.

He signalled that the current focus was on hybrid cloud solutions and it had been investing in that area.

“Overall, our Hybrid IT portfolio of products and services is stronger than it has ever been, and continues to help our customers manage and simplify their IT in a hybrid world,” he said.

HPE reported a fairly flat quarter revenue wise with Q3 turnover up just a per cent year-on-year to $7.8 billion. The vendor also continues to deliver on Meg Whitman’s last big plan before she stepped down, the Next initiative, which is right-sizing the business for the future.

ScienceLogic teams up with HCL

ScienceLogic announced a partnership with HCL Technologies to provide automated IT Operations among HCL’s enterprise customers as they embark on digital transformation initiatives.

Applying machine learning to IT operations has remained elusive due to the challenges of collecting, organizing and acting on fragmented, disparate IT operational data, particularly amid the highly dynamic and ephemeral nature of modern cloud-based and hybrid infrastructure and services.

The partnership allows DRYiCE, a division of HCL Technologies and focused on building AI-powered products and platforms, to use the ScienceLogic SL1 Automation Engine to provide a consistent source of clean, contextualised operational data in real-time. Clean, consistent data enables machine learning engines to power AIOps and drive automation of key IT processes for HCL’s enterprise customers.

Kalyan Kumar, CVP & Chief Technology Officer at HCL Technologies said: “Our customers are increasingly relying on HCL Technologies for guidance and support in their digital transformation journeys. DRYiCE products and platforms have traditionally helped our customers to transform and simplify their IT operations. By leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation we intend to consistently deliver quality services and insights to our customers. SL1 will help accelerate those capabilities so that we and our customers alike remain competitive today and well into the future.”

ScienceLogic SL1 provides automated real-time discovery and synchronisation across both application and infrastructure topology, integrating with new and existing ecosystem components and populating CMDBs with timely and accurate data from a clean data lake. This drives higher quality machine learning and enables AIOps processes to greatly alleviate the burden on IT operations personnel.

Dave Link, CEO and Founder of ScienceLogic said: “DRYiCE has deep capability in AI and related technologies that is being enhanced by tie-ups with academia and a strong partner ecosystem. The adoption of AIOps has grown rapidly and HCL’s adoption of SL1 validates the importance of this market segment.”

HP reassures partners that Apogee will not get special treatment

banner_220x220HP has moved to calm its partners that Apogee will not receive any preferential treatment after the vendor gets its paws on the managed print outfit.

HP has plans that it would acquire the Maidstone-based partner earlier this month sparking fears that the maker of expensive printer ink would favour Apogee over its other channel chums.

However the outfit has issued a statement saying it would be business as usual for the channel and HP staff will not be running Apogee.

HP print president Enrique Lores said it was important that Apogee will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of HP and the reporting line for that business will sit outside the HP UK and Ireland operation.

“None of our partners receive preferential treatment and in the same way that we manage all our partners regardless of product type, we have the same commercial relationships as any other partner and they will have the same access to tools and partner programmes that are offered today.”


Trend Micro warns of a return to secret attacks

banner_220x220Vendor Trend has warned that the days of mass ransomware attacks are over and hackers are taking a more discrete approach.

The biggest change is a shift from large scale ransomware attacks to more covert attacks that are aimed at stealing both money and computing resources.

The computing power is in demand by those hijacking PCs to use the machines as part of digital currency mining efforts.

Bharat Mistry, principal security strategist for Trend Micro said that the recent change in the threat landscape shows that cybercriminals will constantly shift their tools, tactics and procedures (TTPs) to improve their infection rates.

“Standard spray and pray ransomware attacks and data breaches had become the norm, so attackers changed their tactics to be more covert, using entry vectors not previously seen or used extensively. This means once again, business leaders must evaluate their defenses to ensure sufficient protection is in place to stop the latest and most pressing threats”, added Mistry.

One of the proposed answers that gets pitched to customers is to increase automation to help with the heavy lifting but research from Skybox Security indicates that much more work needs to be done on that front.

The firm found that APAC is ahead of the US and EMEA in using automation for processes involved in firewall rules and security policy. AI and machine learning is also something that so far appears to be more a concept than a reality for many users.


Home security market worth $74.75 Billion by 2023

banner_220x220There is going to be shedloads of cash in the home security market, according to a new report.

The MarketsandMarkets report with the punchy title “Home Security System Market by Home Type (Independent Homes, Apartments), System Type (Professionally Installed & Monitored, Self-Installed & Professionally Monitored, Do-It-Yourself), Offering (Products, Services), and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023” said the market will reach $74.75 billion by 2023 from $45.58 billion in 2018.

This means that it will grow at an annual rate of 10.40 percent during the forecast period. The growth of the home security system market is attributed to the emergence of IoT and wireless technologies, and increasing customer awareness . Moreover, the integration of AI and deep learning in home security systems and worldwide proliferation of “smart cities” initiatives are creating huge growth opportunities for players in the market.

There is an increasing concern about security among the independent homeowners. The number of independent households is high in the economically developed countries, such as the US, Canada, Germany, etc. Also, those who own the induvial homes usually have a high total household income. The independent homes are more frequently built in isolated locations, and in case of the medical emergencies or the emergencies like burglary/theft, the necessary help may not be available in the area nearby these homes. Considering these factors, the adoption of home security systems among independent homeowners is high, the report said.

Home security system market for do-it-yourself security systems to grow at highest CAGR during the forecast period

One of the major factors contributing to the projected high growth of the market for DIY security systems is the cost optimization ensured by these systems. Some of the products offer integrated alarm triggers and other smart features during a break-in or security cameras for the monitoring purposes.

The penetration of home security systems is still low, and the customers from economically developing countries prefer deploying DIY systems for the security within their budgets. Also, some companies help the customers with user manuals and guidance tools for the system installation and integration. Although the systems do not provide a connection with a professional monitoring station, the customers can remotely monitor the home using their smartphones. Therefore, with the growing adoption of home security systems, the DIY systems become an attractive alternative for the newer customers with average disposable incomes, the report said.