Author: Nick Farrell

100 Gbps is growing like crazy

network-switch-ethernetThe networking channel is finding it harder to shift 40 gbps Ethernet gear, according to beancounters at IDC.

IDC’s network tracker has revealed that 100 Gbps and software-defined kit use is increasing.

Analyst firm IDC reckons the world’s Ethernet switch market laid on 3.3 percent growth year-on-year for the first quarter of 2017, up to US$5.66 billion.

At the same time, however the world is ignoring Cisco gear it slipped by 3.7 percent year-on-year to $3.35 billion. Its Ethernet switch market share lost 3.9 percent year-on-year to 55.1 percent, with Juniper and Arista increasing their presence in the space to 4.3 percent (up from 3.2 percent in Q1 2016) and 5.1 percent (up from 3.9 percent) respectively.

Juniper also expanded its share of the service provider routing business to 15.6 percent, up year-on-year from 14.5 percent.

Huawei also took share in the router business from Cisco, growing from 18.8 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2016 to 19.8 percent in 2017.

Its slice of Ethernet switching also rose from 3.9 percent to 6.3 percent in the same period, with an aberration in Q4 2016, when big deliveries got the Chinese vendor close to 10 percent of the segment.

IDC seems to think that those who are doing well are shipping more and faster ports. Once again this is driven by the cloud and data centre markets.

The market has lost interest in 1, 10 and 40 Gbps gear which saw small slumps in sales. However 100 Gbps gear increased by 323.5 percent.

Appian gets a slice of a Swiss bank roll

CCRAB109_swiss-roll_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462Appian has been selected by the Swiss Bank Vontobel, to sort out its “digital transformation strategy” across all business divisions.

Vontobel is using Appian’s low-code application platform to improve customer’s experiences and make its business methods to more efficient and agile.

Appian claims it can accelerate the development of powerful enterprise applications with virtually no coding. The platform combines process management, data management, native mobility (online and offline), collaboration, content management and other flash techniques.

The platform is being used by 1,000 of Vontobel’s 1,700 employees, across the company’s European offices, as well as in North America. Vontobel’s three main business areas – asset management, private banking and investment banking – are actively using the Appian platform.

Appian’s low-code platform will streamline Vontobel’s customer onboarding/client configuration processes, contribute to an automated risk analysis process, and manage compliance while also assessing the suitability of a product based on a specific customer investment contract/strategy. Founder and chief executive officer at Appian Matt Calkins said that Vontobel will showcasing the power of digital transformation in the banking and finance industry.

“With the Appian Platform, the company is empowering its employees to create unique enterprise applications that can improve customer experiences, streamline business processes, and increase efficiencies. Customers like Vontobel continue to validate the value our platform brings as companies transition into digital businesses.”

US outfits controls a third of European IT distribution

Beancounters at Bain and Company have discovered that US distributors Iuseurope-1024x640 control a third of IT distribution.

The study conducted on behalf of the Technology Channels Alliance (TCA), said the IT distribution was worth €69 billion 2015/2016 in the eight biggest European economies. US-based giants have a 35 percent share across these markets.

TCA chief executive Robert Norum said that the findings pour cold water on expectations given recent market consolidation and the perception that distribution is becoming a global game.

He said that 60 to 65 percent of all distribution is actually carried out by local and regional players which would concern the big three who think they have everything sewn up when the market is a lot more fragmented than most people would think.

Total European IT and CE distribution revenues across the eight markets rose two per cent to €69bn in 2015/16, with growth driven by mobility, printing, and the IT value segment, the study found.

That figure accounts for 37 percent of end-user spending of €189bn in those countries, or 42 percent when reseller margins are factored in, which would mean that over two-fifths of IT and CE revenue travels through the two-tier channel in Europe.

The percentage share of the end-user market intermediated by distributors in the UK leapt from 40 to 43 percent year-on-year last year, the research found, thanks in part to Apple’s decision to shift some sales to distribution here.

The percentage shares for Italy, Spain and Switzerland also rose, from 48 to 49 percent, 47 to 48 percent and 42 to 44 percent, respectively.

Wholesalers’ share for desktops and notebooks, for instance, rose from 57 to 59 percent and 65 to 69 percent, respectively. This was attributed partly to Lenovo, and potentially also Dell, shifting more sales to a two-tier model.

Bain said that the channels help in the new key technology drivers – cyber-security, hyperconverged infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Vendors need help working out how to get these products to market, and resellers need help working out how to sell them. Distribution is less of a box-shifter model and more of a value-add one.”

Distributors’ profitability, however, is on the decrease, the research found, with the average margin of a ‘traditional’ broad liner getting just one percent and the value player getting three-to-four percent.

Number of Non-EU IT professionals rising

1046922917The number of non-EU IT professionals coming to the UK to fill skills shortages has increased by more than half.

More than 36,015 non-EU IT professionals entered the UK last year, up from 23,960 in 2012.

SJD Accountancy, which obtained the data from the Home Office, warned that the UK is becoming increasingly reliant on overseas talent to bridge the skills gap, even as the country prepares to leave the EU.

This is the fifth straight year the number of work permits issued to non-EU IT professionals has risen, and represents the highest level since 2008, when 35,430 were handed out, SJD found.

The most in-demand roles include IT business analysts, architects and systems designers, web design and development specialists, according to the findings.

SJD warned that the UK will become more reliant on non-EU IT professionals unless it can boost the number of computer science and ICT apprenticeships.

Undergraduate and postgraduate computer science degree levels have fallen 14 percent to 21,250 since 2011/12 and ICT apprenticeships – although on the rise now – have also slipped 13.5 percent to 16,020 since 2011/12, the firm said.

SJD Accountancy CEO Derek Kelly said: “Despite attempts to rectify the UK’s historic underproduction of IT skills, we are more reliant on foreign talent than we were before the recession. These numbers show that the expansion of the UK tech sector is at risk if we are unable to keep up with demand for IT skills. Skill shortages can delay projects and push up costs for businesses.”

Storm boss threatened Labour-voting employees

Storm-Technologies-Watford-company-logoStorm Technologies boss John Brooker is in hot water with the press after he warned any of his staff that voted Labour that they would be made redundant first if Jeremy Corbyn won the General Election.

Brooker warned his employees in an email that job losses would be on the cards in case of a Labour victory. Post-election, one of his staff thought it was better that the world knew that was what he did.

The email said:  “If by any chance Labour win, we’ll have to re-think a few things here at the company so if you value your job and want to hold onto your hard-earned money vote Conservative. Labour voters will be made redundant first if Labour do win and things slow down.”

Brooker said that the email was “internal banter” taken out of context and in hindsight, he regretted any offence caused.

The Independent  said that the email began well enough with the hope staff had exercised their right to elect a chosen candidate or party.

But then it explicitly told them to vote Conservative if they believed in free enterprise and progression without being taxed out of the game.

“Just a heads up though, VOTE CONSERVATIVE if you believe in free enterprise and progression without being taxed out of the game.

“Theresa May is not the perfect PM but a far better option for dealing with the challenges this country faces ahead than Corbyn.

“Brexit negotations start in less than two weeks which will affect us all, Security and the ECONOMY needs a strong hand and Corbyn will be a nightmare.

“He resents those making good money, wants to hike corporation tax up by 7 per cent immediately, hike higher rate taxpayers by another five percent, bring far more people into the 40 per cent tax bracket (and there are a lot of you here at Storm) borrow billions which at some point has to be paid back and will generally send us backwards.

“If by any chance Labour win, we’ll have to re-think a few things here at the company so if you value your job and want to hold onto your hard earned money vote Conservative.

“Labour voters will be made redundant first if Labour do win and things slow down……….

“Anyway, just sharing my personal thoughts with you.

“Feel free to vote for whoever you want but I have said my piece. JB”

Storm Technologies has recently been accepted as IT suppliers of Hardware, Software and Technology Services under the new Crown Commercial Services Agreement enabling them to be a Public Services IT reseller.

Brooker insisted to The Independent: “The email was a ‘tongue in cheek’ note sent immediately after a large group of my staff and I were having a joke in the company canteen on the day of the election and was totally meant in jest.

“We have a very open culture in the office here, where people are free to express their opinions and share a joke or two. No offence was intended, nor was there any threat whatsoever levelled at staff.”

It seems that one of his staff did not see the joke.

AV market heading back to the 2000s

back-to-the-futureIn the 2000s McAfee and Symantec ruled the AV market, and now the latest figures suggest they could be back again.

Symantec and McAfee lost ground in the IT security market when they were outevolved by next-generation technology and more agile start-ups. Now the pair think they are ready to rule again.

They have a long way to climb in 2005, Symantec held the top spot with 32.2 percent of the worldwide security software market by revenue, and McAfee held 12.4 percent at No. 2, with both seeing double-digit year-over-year growth, according to Gartner. Ten years later, Symantec and McAfee still owned the top two spots in the security software, but their share of the market had dropped dramatically.

After three consecutive years of revenue decline, Symantec held 15.2 percent of the worldwide security software market in 2015, while McAfee was at 7.9 percent after a year-over-year revenue dip.

The pair carried out some major restructuring spinouts, acquisitions and senior management changes.

The security market is growing at a rapid pace, expected to hit $202.4 billion by 2021, up from $122.5 billion in 2016, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

Symantec and McAfee are returning in force into the market with a platform security strategy and are targeting the core of a company’s security infrastructure.

Both claim single, integrated platform bases with their own broad set of products with those of third-party vendors. They want to drive analytics and automation, while reducing complexity.

They both have a different cunning plan as to what part of the security set-up they want to control.

McAfee is looking to drive focus on what it calls the “threat defence life cycle”, including endpoint, data centre, data protection and cloud security, as well as investments around overarching analytics and automation. The idea is to integrate with the company’s Data Exchange Layer (DXL) offering.

Symantec is looking to own more of the pieces including secure web gateways to email to data loss prevention to multifactor authentication. This will allow customers to choose a single, fully integrated platform, as well as the possibility to integrate with third-party solutions.

Software defined WAN market growing

Networking resellers are seeing a surge in sales for software defined-WANs.

Software defined networking has hit the WAN market and IDC is reporting that demand will grow over the next few years.

IDC reports a gathering momentum around SD-WAN with established vendors and a growing number of start-ups providing options.

It said that there were a growing number of service providers “jumping on the bandwagon” to take a slice of a market that it expects to grow at an average pace of 92 percent a year to hit $2.1 billion by 2021.

Jan Hein Bakkers, senior research manager at IDC said that SD-WAN had emerged as one of the hottest topics in the WAN industry.

“It will become one of the key building blocks of network evolution, driving the flexibility, manageability, scalability, and cost effectiveness that organizations require in their balancing act between rapidly growing requirements and much flatter budgets,” he added.

SD-WAN also got a mention as one of the top things to look for as a major trend from Cisco in its Visual Networking Index.

It expects SD-WAN traffic to grow at a CAGR of 44 percent increase six-fold by 2021 and represent a quarter of WAN traffic.

Internet of Fings ain’t going to be what they used to be

fings-ain-t-wot-they-used-t-be-all-star-studio-cast-recordingMarketsandMarkets analysts think that the IoT Node and Gateway Market will grow like topsy.

In its latest market research report with the punchy title “IoT Node and Gateway Market by Hardware (Processor, Connectivity IC, Sensor, Memory Device, Logic Device), by End-Use (Wearable Devices, Healthcare, Consumer Electronics, Building Automation, Industrial, Retail), and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023” MarketsandMarkets said the market will register a shipment of 17.18 Billion units by 2023.

This means that it will grow 30.9 percent between 2017 and 2023.

The market has an enormous potential of growth in various end-use applications such as retail, BFSI, and aerospace and defence, the report said.

The major factor driving the growth of the IoT node and gateway market are improved internet connectivity in technologically advanced countries and increased IP address space and better security provided by IPv6.

Emerging economies such as India, China, and Brazil, the improving IT infrastructure, along with business-friendly initiatives by government organisations is driving the growth of the IoT node and gateway market.

The IoT node and gateway market for connectivity IC, by hardware, held the largest share in 2016. The increasing demand for better edge devices connectivity and significant developments in low-power connectivity technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) are the key contributing factors leading to the largest market share of connectivity ICs in 2016.

BFSI end-use application is expected to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period.

The mass adoption of online banking, contactless payment, and mobile banking apps has increased significantly. Banks are trying to create intelligent and personalized customer cross-selling opportunities. The shipment of the BFSI end-use application in the IoT node and gateway market would largely be driven by the increasing adoption of mPOS, the report said.

In 2016, North America held the largest share of the IoT node and gateway market, in terms of volume. North America is one of the fastest-growing markets in terms of technological advancement, manufacturing operations, and infrastructure.

The wide-scale adoption of IoT technologies in several industries such as retail, automotive and transportation, and healthcare is the key factor supporting the growth of the IoT node and gateway market in this region.

UK business world not looking strong and stable

Screen shot 2012-05-24 at 7.16.48 AMThe channel is looking at a financial mess in Theresa May’s “strong and stable” UK this week.

The Office for National Statistics released inflation figures for May. This should be good news as there are signs that  inflation does not appear to be rising as highly as expected with recent PMIs pointing to falling cost pressures.

By the end of this week, we will have a much better idea. Last month, UK inflation stood at 2.7 per cent, the highest level since 2013, but it was not clear if that continued into May.

In the three months to March, UK employment grew by 122,000 on the previous three month period. Unemployment fell to just 4.6 percent, its lowest level since 1975.

But average wages without bonuses by just 2.1 percent. This means that wages will be outstripped by inflation which could hurt the UK domestic economy.

There is a possibility of an increase in UK interest rates in the next year or so seem to be diminishing now that the Conservatives did not get their majority.

Economists think UK inflation is close to peaking, the UK economy is not growing as fast as many forecasts at the end of last year, and the yield on UK government bonds has fallen, with the yield on ten-year treasuries below 1 per cent for the first time since last autumn.

British business confidence has fallen sharply since last Thursday’s inconclusive election.

The survey of nearly 700 members of the business group also exposed deep concern over the political uncertainty and its impact on Britain’s economy.

The IoD found a negative swing of 34 points in confidence in the UK economy from its last survey in May.

While 20 percent of members were optimistic about the economy over the next 12 months, some 57 percent were either quite or very pessimistic – a -37 “net confidence” score. That compares with a -3 percent score in May.

Broadridge strikes deal with Spence Johnson

1471411231Fintech outfit Broadridge Financial Solutions has announced an agreement with global institutional data and intelligence collector Spence Johnson.

The big idea is to bring together retail and institutional data, benchmarking and analytics. The joint capabilities will generate a unique global view of the global asset management market.

This strategic alliance uses Broadridge’s Global Market Intelligence and Spence Johnson’s institutional Money in Motion dataset that offers detailed analytics on institutional assets, flows and sales, tracking over $7 trillion in institutional flow.

Dan Cwenar, president of Broadridge’s data and analytics business said that: “this alliance with Spence Johnson furthers Broadridge’s commitment to helping asset managers identify growth opportunities – providing them with broad data and analytics for both retail and institutional channels globally.”

Nigel Birch, managing director, Spence Johnsons said his outfit was excited to form an alliance with Broadridge and continue our mission to put data and intelligence at the heart of successful asset management businesses.

Dell hit by increasing component costs

Dell logoGrey box shifter Dell said it is pleased with its maiden results under its new go-to-market structure, even if it was kicked in the nadgers by rising component costs.

The Texas-based giant posted an operating loss of $1.5 billion on revenues of $17.8 billion.

Dell’s Client Solutions Group saw revenue rise six per cent year on year to $9.1 billion and operating income of $374 million.

Dells Infrastructure Solutions Group made $6.9 billion revenue, made up of $3.2 billion from servers and networking. This was a five per cent annual rise. It also made $3.7 billion from storage.

ISG’s profitability was hit by a spike in the cost of components such as memory, some spot prices for which Dell said have doubled over the last year. Operating income for this division fell to $323 million, with operating margin tumbling to five per cent, down steeply from 12 percent the previous quarter.

Dell Technologies CFO Tom Sweet said he was happy with the overall results in the first quarter of our new go-to-market structure

On a first quarter conference call, Dell Technologies president David Goulden said that although the vendor had tried to make the cost increases stick in the channel and its rate prices, this had not always been possible.

“Customers don’t like paying more [than] what they paid last quarter – that typically not being the case in IT. Typically, in the IT industry, there are expected price decreases on a sequential basis, not price increases.”

Memory spot prices had doubled year on year, with SSD component costs also up 20 percent or more.

Goulden added that the component cost hikes have been most acute in servers, where he said that Dell had gained on its closest competitor.

“A certain amount of the pricing increase will actually stick and yield the incremental return, others will not, because the customer either won’t go there, or somebody else in the market hasn’t increased their price and you wind up in a competitive environment.”

 

Cold calling king wants to shake up channel

article-2162940-13B7EF1A000005DC-317_634x427The founder of Vohkus has a cunning plan to “shake up the whole channel” with a new reseller operation.

David Manners became part owner and CEO of start-up reseller Sumillion which he wants to reach £50 million revenue within five to eight years.

He wants to create a “Google-like” experience for staff at the Basingstoke firm, which partners with HP, Dell, Microsoft and Lenovo and targets customers with between 300 and 3,000 users.

Vohkus rose from zero to just under £50 million revenues before selling his shares three years ago, and wants to repeat the same trick at Sumillion, which he said will turn over just a million pounds in its current financial year.

He said that the company was “ethical” and had a policy of donating 10 percent of its pre-tax profits to charity each year.

Manners is seen as a cold calling expert and likes to train new business teams. Part of his plan is to give Sumillion a reputation for being the “hardest-working company in the country”.

He said all his teams will all be experts in the art of cold calling and winning new business, he said.

Manners wants Sumillion to be a utopia of a place to work. This includes offering morning yoga sessions to giving staff the opportunity to take extended lunch breaks as long as they are going to the gym or doing some form of exercise.

Logicalis nearshores IT worker roles to South Africa

Proudly-South-African-Flags-600x400Logicalis is nearshoring 65 IT support roles to South Africa and getting rid of the first and second-line support roles, which are currently based in South Wales and Slough.

The move is part of a wider, global managed services growth push by the integrator.

A consultation period with affected staff, which basically is telling the staff they have no job is complete and 50 of the staff affected will be made redundant as a result.

Logicalis UK managing director Bob Swallow said that there are internal vacancies and some roles that have already been lined up for some of those people.

However others will leave the business – particularly in Wales where the company is working with the  Welsh government to make sure those people are looked after.

Despite the nearshoring strategy, the UK business will soon house a new managed services practice set to serve as a centre of excellence for the rest of Europe.

This will be headed up by an Accenture executive who cannot yet be named because he is still working out his notice.

Logicalis wants to use more of its global capability, and it will develop centres of excellence. The South African operation  will provide services to the other Logicalis entities. The goal is to increase managed services revenues.

Dell EMC takes over from HPE as server king

michael-dell-2Beancounters at Gartner have added up some numbers and divided them by their shoe size and reached the conclusion that Dell EMC has taken over from HPE as the king of the server market.

HPE still makes more money holding 24.1 percent of the market share – down from 25.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016. But it would seem that Dell EMC is catching up in that  too, with its market share increasing by 4.8 percent to over the same period to take 19 per cent market share in the latest quarter.

Gartner research director Adrian O’Connell said that the first quarter of the year tends to be relatively strong for Dell, but the acquisition of EMC was proving positive for the server business at the moment.

“HPE’s size means it is subject to the moves of the wider market more than some other vendors. Weakness in the business segment and sourcing changes in the service provider space have reduced its revenue significantly.”

Worldwide server sales continue to decline with the growth of cloud computing, Gartner’s figures show. Companies are also opting to move to hyperscale infrastructures, buying lower cost servers from ODMs too, meaning total worldwide server revenue declined 4.5 per cent year-on-year, with shipments falling by 4.2 percent.

EMEA was impacted more than the rest of the world, with the region’s revenues reducing by 12.2 percent year-on-year to $2.8 billion in the first quarter of 2017 and shipments totaling 503,000 – a reduction of eight percent year-on-year.

IBM and Lenovo most felt the squeeze, with revenues reducing by 34 percent year-on-year and 16 percent year-on-year respectively. Lenovo’s shipments also shrank by 26 percent.

 

Nvidia gives Elite Partner status to OCF

datacenter_server_678_678x452OCF has been awarded lite Partner status with Nvidia for its Accelerated Computing antics.

This makes the outfit only the second business partner in Northern Europe to achieve this level.

Nvidia’s Elite Partner level is only awarded to partners that have the knowledge and skills to support the integration of GPUs, as well as the industry reach to support and attract the right companies and customers using accelerators.

OCF has been a business partner with Nvidia for over a decade and has designed, built, installed and supported a number of systems throughout the UK that include GPUs. Most recently, OCF designed, integrated and configured ‘Blue Crystal 4’, an HPC system at the University of Bristol, which includes 32 nodes with two Nvidia Tesla P100 GPUs accelerators each.

OCF has supplied two IBM Power Systems S822LC for HPC systems, codenamed ‘Minsky’, to Queen Mary University of London.

The two systems, which pair a POWER8 CPU with four Nvidia Tesla P100 GPU accelerators, are being used to aid world-leading scientific research projects as well as teaching, making QMUL one of the first universities in Britain to use these powerful deep learning machines. The university was also the first in Europe to deploy an Nvidia DGX-1 system, described as the world’s first AI supercomputer in a box.