Author: Nick Farrell

RFID Market to Reach $11.2 Billion this year

RFID_BlueThe Tarot Card readers at DTechEx Research have been shuffling their decks and reached the conclusion that the RFID market will be worth $11.2 Billion by the end of the year.

Based on the new report “RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2017-2027”, IDTechEx Research finds that in 2017, the total RFID market will be worth $11.2 billion, up from $10.52 billion in 2016 and $9.95 billion in 2015. This includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID labels, cards, fobs and other form factors, for passive and active RFID.

In retail, RFID continues to be rolled-out for apparel tagging predominately – that application alone will demand 8.7 Billion RFID labels in 2017 – which still has plenty of room for growth since this is less than 20 percent penetration of the total addressable market for apparel in 2017. In other areas, RFID in the form of tickets used for transit will demand 825 million tags in 2017 and the tagging of animals is substantial as it continues to be a legal requirement in many more territories, with 480 million tags being used for this sector in 2017.

In total, IDTechEx expects that 18.2 billion tags will be sold in 2017 versus 15.2 billion in 2016. Most of that growth is from passive UHF (RAIN) RFID labels. However, in 2017 UHF RFID tag sales by value will be 25 percent of the value of HF tag sales, mainly because HF tags where used for security have a higher price point versus the cheaper, usually disposable labels used for tagging things.

IDTechEx Research has analyzed the RFID market for over 18 years. This report provides detailed data and analysis of the entire sector based on our extensive research including interviews with RFID adopters and solution providers in the various applicational RFID markets, giving an unprecedented level of insight into the total RFID industry and what is really happening. Predominately, IDTechEx conducts research through interviews with companies across the value chain, site visits and conference visits followed by secondary research.

For UHF, HF and LF data provided includes numbers of tags, average sales price and total tag value for 24 application categories. Interrogator forecasts are broken down by frequency. The total RFID value is given for the eleven largest RFID markets.

This comprehensive report from IDTechEx gives the complete picture covering passive RFID, battery assisted passive and active RFID. It provides detailed forecasts and depth unmatched by any other.

ThetaRay launches in London

AAEAAQAAAAAAAARkAAAAJDM5ZTA1NWEyLTFmOTgtNDcyZC05ZGVmLTcxMWM0ZWFmMzdiMwThetaRay, a provider of big data analytics solutions for financial institutions and manufacturers, today announced that it has opened its first UK office in London.

It will be led by Richard Biss, who comes to ThetaRay with more than twenty years of industry experience. Biss said:

“ThetaRay is poised to totally disrupt the financial services security industry; their proprietary solutions solve challenges that I’ve encountered throughout my entire career. I’m honoured to help expand the company’s presence and customer base in the UK financial services market.”

Biss previously served as director for a number of anomaly detection service providers. Prior to that, he spent 17 years at Sybase, where he was Director of UK Financial Services. When Sybase was acquired by SAP in 2010, Biss stayed on as Director of Financial Services, Databases, and Technology.

The UK office is the latest in a steady stream of company milestones for ThetaRay.  In the past year, the company has doubled the size of its workforce, bringing on executives such as NICE Systems veteran James Heinzman and others from HP and PayPal. It has also completed installations with several leading US retail banks and large European banking institutions.

“As our track record shows, we are dedicated to protecting financial institutions against fraud, money laundering and other operational threats,” stated ThetaRay CEO Mark Gazit. “We are excited that Richard will be leading these efforts in one of the world’s key finance centers. His extensive experience with both financial services and anomaly detection technology makes him the ideal candidate to help ThetaRay expand its UK footprint.”

ThetaRay’s technology enables financial institutions to uncover the earliest signs of illicit behavior and threats, including multichannel fraud, money laundering, and ATM security breaches. The company’s patented mathematical algorithms can process tens of thousands of parameters simultaneously, helping to automatically identify unknown threats across multiple environments, systems and sources in real-time.

Genesys’s PureCloud offering has a million interactions daily

English singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel performing in costume with rock group Genesis, Newcastle City Hall, 1st October 1972. GENESIS: SUM OF THE PARTS. Copyright: Michael Putland/SHOWTIME 2014. Photo ID: GENESIS_SUMOFTHEPARTS_010.jpg

Genesys’s cloud-based customer engagement and employee collaboration offering PureCloud is getting a million interactions daily.

Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts that hosted/cloud contact centre solutions will increase from 24 percent of the total seats base in 2015 to 40 percent by 2020.1 However Genesys is exceeding this pace by adding more than 500 PureCloud customers in the last 12 months alone —. Moreover, there has been a 300 percent increase in customer usage in the first half of 2017.

PureCloud is also infusing its partner channel with new revenue opportunities. The solution’s partner base has expanded by 43 percent so far in 2017, resulting in a 72 percent increase in customers gained via the channel.

Since last year, PureCloud’s accelerated momentum has gained industry recognition. According to principal analyst for Frost & Sullivan Nancy Jamison, “PureCloud by Genesys earned our 2016 Growth Excellence Leadership Award for Cloud Customer Contact Applications because of its industry-leading growth in the cloud contact centre applications market, competitive and feature rich capabilities, and excellent customer support.”

Today, the solution handles more than 1 million interactions per day across phone, email, chat and social channels to seamlessly and securely support the customer journeys for hundreds of companies across the world, including Al Romansiah, Deakin University, Feros Care, Gestcom, Grupo Monge, MyBudget, Quicken Inc., Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Smollan, among many others. New, simplified application bundles also mean customers can add digital channels at no additional cost – allowing them to grow seamlessly from dozens to hundreds of agents in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

To support this expansive global growth, PureCloud offers user interfaces in 15 languages, more than any other SaaS customer experience cloud provider in the market. Furthermore, over 63 million customer API calls are processed per month on the solution, revealing an appetite and willingness by IT professionals and partners to move from SaaS to platform-as-a-service (PaaS) providers.

In addition to deploying the solution’s customer engagement functionality, nearly one-third of customers add PureCloud Communicate, which uniquely and natively combines traditional IP PBX (private branch exchange) functionality with employee collaboration tools like video conferencing, screen sharing, dynamic team chat, rich employee profiles and document management.

“PureCloud is quite simply the fastest growing customer experience solution on the planet! Market traction has far exceeded industry predictions with active users climbing to the same level as our first-generation cloud solution – but in less than half the time,” said Brian Bischoff, senior vice president for PureCloud by Genesys. “And, we’ve upped our customer success model by doubling our Care Team for global 24-hour coverage and making new deployments even faster, with an average deployment taking less than 40 days.”

PureCloud has  demonstrated strong momentum in its roll-out of new features and functionality, with nearly 160 major enhancements released in the last year.

Tony Brooker becomes XMA’s UK corporate sales director

TonyBrooker-580x358XMA has appointed former Insight and Misco vice president Tony Brooker as its new UK corporate sales director.

Brooker left Misco in February and will be a key part of  XMA’s moves to bolster its corporate sector business as it tried to expand beyond its traditional public sector clients.

Before working for Misco Brooker worked for Insight,  then SCC and then back to Insight.

XMA has always been renowned in the public sector, mostly in education. However it has been quietly developing its corporate space profile and the plan is to grow that in the next six to 12 months across the four locations.

XMA’s corporate team currently accounts for just over 20 percent of XMA’s total business, according to sales and marketing director Ian Cunningham, who harbours ambitions to have a 50/50 profit split between public and private business in three years’ time.

Brooker said the size of the corporate team will be expanded, but it is unclear if the team will be dispersed across the reseller’s offices in Glasgow, Halifax, Nottingham and St Albans – or based in one location. He also didn’t rule out opening “a fifth or sixth” office down the line.

XMA also recently head-hunted Andy Wright from SCC and Kelvin Lee from the Crown Commercial Service,

In its most recent financial report XMA recorded a year-on-year revenue jump of 52.6 percent for the 12 months ending 31 December 2016, up to £358.5 million.

Security firm hit by hackers

FireEye’s fail-sleeping-security-guards12consultancy firm has been hit by hackers.

A note purported to be from the hacker spread on social media while a FireEye analyst’s LinkedIn appeared to have also been hacked, with the perpetrator posting numerous expletive-laden messages.

The employee’s bio was changed to state: “I’ve been hacked, all my data, all your chats, all my contacts, your numbers, your emails along with my credentials have been leaked. My devices are also nuked [sic].”

At the same time Twitters users began sharing a link to a document that appeared to show details of the attack – claiming the hacker first gained access to Mandiant in 2016.

The document contained a link and password to a file which it claimed contains details of the information obtained from the hack – as well as a link to the hacked employee’s LinkedIn page. The LinkedIn profile has since been taken down.

The document contained the hashtag ‘#Leaktheanalyst’ which has since been used by numerous Twitter users speculating on the incident.

The report goes on to list “potential” targets, including the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, LinkedIn contacts and third-party contractors.

“Mandiant Internal networks and its clients data has been compromised (might be leaked separately),” it added.

However there is no sign that FireEye or Mandiant systems have been compromised and it appears it was just a social media hack.

The hacker ranted that their actions were not financially driven.

“For a long time, we – the 31337 hackers – tried to avoid these fancy a** “analysts” whom trying to trace our attack footprints back to us and prove they are better than us. In the #LeakTheAnalyst operation we say f**k the consequence let’s track them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tweeter , etc.

“Let’s go after everything they’ve got, let’s go after their countries, let’s trash their reputation in the field. If during your stealth operation you pwned an analyst, target him and leak his personal and professional data, as a side job of course ;).”

Exertis buy out was all about Samsung

Samsung Logo GrillworkExertis has strengthen its ties with vendor partner Samsung by writing a cheque for refurbishment firm MTR.

MTR has 60 staff and partners with retailers, mobile handset manufacturers and insurance firms to source and refurbish mobile phones and tablets for resale in the UK and abroad.

It has been doing rather well. In six years since its creation it has generated revenues of close to £11 million in its fiscal 2016.

Exertis has been buying a lot in the UK, last year it took over Siracom, Hammer and Medium.

MTR’s tight partnership with Samsung will enable Exertis to “deepen its entanglement” with what is one of its key vendors, and bolster its refurbishment and reverse logistics prowess more generally, Exertis said.

Gerry O’Keeffe, Exertis UK & Ireland managing director, said: “MTR has enjoyed considerable success in providing refurbishment capabilities in the mobile and tablet device market. The recent impressive growth in revenue and profitability is a testament to the reputation that it has earned in the channel, borne out of years of refurbishment experience, a sophisticated IT infrastructure and also continued investment in its impressive high-tech and scalable refurbishment facility. We are very excited to add this success story to the Exertis family and are looking forward to continued growth and providing further added value for our suppliers and customers.”

Steve Healy, MTR managing director, said: “As Exertis and MTR’s core values are so well aligned, this acquisition made complete sense. The benefits and opportunities of this exciting new chapter will extend to our existing and new customers and vendors alike, further enhancing the range of services and products offered. By leveraging the complementary strengths of both companies, we can only add to what is already an exciting proposition for the relationships currently held. We look forward to working with the Exertis management teams and building on the success of both companies.”

Cisco controls video conferencing market

996416657aa0f05d9d2fffc1cedf9b35Cisco  leads the global video conferencing market and has been instrumental in the development and promotion of video conferencing technology, says a new report by Transparency Market Research.

Apparently, Cisco offers a spectrum of newer video conferencing products that integrate voice, video, data, and software apps. These offerings have enhanced its brand image across the world.

Besides innovation, strategic acquisitions is the focus of the company to expand its outreach. For example, Cisco bought Acano to expand dynamically in the video conferencing market.

The report identifies other prominent companies in the global video conferencing market such as Huawei Technologies, West Unified Communications Services, ZTE , Polycom., Vidyo., Adobe , Microsoft, Arkadin SAS, Logitech, Orange Business Services, and JOYCE.

Transparency Market Researchers say that the global video conferencing market is expected to be worth $8,958.7 million by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 8.3 percent during the forecast period between 2017 and 2025.

Amongst deployment type segments, on-premise dominates the video conferencing market in terms of revenue. However, cloud-based video conferencing is anticipated to surpass on-premise segment in terms of growth rate over the forecast period.

North America held supremacy in terms of revenue in the video conferencing market in 2016. The widespread popularity of telepresence and high adoption of managed video conferencing solutions are the key factors for the dominance of the region. The region is expected to display a significant growth rate over the forecast period.

The foremost factor driving the global video conferencing market is the increasing trend of virtual meetings with rising globalisation across industries. Video conferencing allows real-time communication over long distances that benefits in the form of enhanced productivity and faster decision making. Additionally, it saves travel expenses and addresses customer queries.

In the corporate sector, video conferencing is a major communication tool used by enterprises for enhanced collaboration. It is because it allows two-way audio and video communication at minimal cost, especially in present times when organizations are focused on curtailing costs related to their means of communication. This has extended widespread opportunities for the video conferencing market.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly adopting video conferencing solutions for communication with clients at distant locations. SMEs generally rely on managed video conferencing solutions for which only peripherals such as cameras, speakers, and microphones are need to be provided by subscriber of the service. Video conferencing infrastructure including multipoint control units (MCUs), video conferencing systems, and other advanced applications and features are provided and managed by the video conferencing service provider.

The increasing trend of mobile workforce and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has positively impacted cloud-based video conferencing services.

Maintel buys Intrinsic for a “song”

funny_singing_catsMaintel has written a cheque for £5.25 million to buy Intrinsic in a deal which appears surprisingly good.

Maintel said buying Intrinsic will create a £160 million company and it appears to have been a bargain, even if the two companies will find integration a little difficult.

In a filing posted to the AIM stock exchange, Maintel said that for the 12 months ending May 2017 Intrinsic reported an adjusted loss before tax of around £550,000.

In its most recent filing on Companies House, Intrinsic reported revenue of £48 million for the extended 18 month period ending 31 May 2016, but Buxton said that the business is not currently trading at this level.

Intrinsic’s Merseyside office is set to remain open for the foreseeable future and its London staff will be moved into Maintel’s nearby Blackfriars office. The Intrinsic name, meanwhile, is set to be retired at the beginning of Maintel’s financial year on 1 January 2018.

Intrinsic has had a pretty unhappy life of late. It has undergone as series of management changes since it was the subject of a management buyout in 2011.

From a technology point of view, the main draw for Maintel was Intrinsic’s Cisco Gold status which it has not had in its portfolio.

iRobot sweeps up its distributor

The makers of the robot vacuum cleaner which is famous for people sitting their cats and children on and filming it for cat1YouTube has just closed a deal to acquire its European distributor, Robopolis.

The Roomba maker iRobot is believed to have paid about $141 million in cash for Robopolis.

Robopolis acts as iRobot’s key distributor across seven European markets, with the distributor saying that the acquisition “will allow iRobot to create a powerful organisation in Europe, helping it get closer to retail partners and consumers, maintain its leadership position and accelerate the growth of its business in Europe”.

iRobot has bought its distributor before. Last year it acquired its Japanese distributor – SODC. It means that the outfit will have greater control over its distribution network and continued growth  “through a consistent approach to all market activities including sales, marketing, branding, channel relationships and customer service”.

Colin Angle, iRobot chairmen and CEO said: “At this stage in the Western European market evolution, and the growth opportunity it presents, we feel a more direct go-to-market strategy is necessary to continue driving adoption of robots for the home. The Robopolis team has been instrumental in establishing iRobot as the leading consumer robotics brand in Western Europe. We look forward to them formally joining iRobot and working together to ensure continued growth.”

Robopolis has been iRobot’s exclusive distributor in Europe since 2006, with the distributor making up nearly half of iRobot’s EMEA revenue for 2016. The region is “key” for the vendor as it represented around a quarter of the company’s 2016 total revenue.

iRobot has confirmed that the distributor will be absorbed into the vendor’s EMEA operations, though Robopolis’ Lyon office will remain open, a spokesperson has stated. “No relocations are planned. All office locations will remain open.”

Robopolis’ management team will join iRobot, with the combined operations being spearheaded by iRobot VP and general manager overseas Jean-Jacques Blanc, who reports to iRobot’s COO, Christian Cerda.


French data outfit OVH opens in London

bhs_second_8French cloud computing mega-firm OVH has opened its first UK-based data centre in London.

OVH, has a million customers around the world, 22 data centres worldwide and a bandwidth capacity of 11Tbps.

The new London facility comes as part of OVH’s €1.5 billion five-year global expansion plan. The plan involves increasing the company’s European  operations while building up global presence.

In the last year it has built new data centres in Australia, Singapore, Poland and most recently Germany.

Hiren Parekh, director cloud for EMEA at OVH, commented: “This marks a significant step forward for OVH in supporting UK customers with a local dedicated gateway into our worldwide network.”

The new €1.5 billion investment plan received a €250 million capital increase from the two investment funds KKR and TowerBrook in 2016.

The data centre in south-east London provides increased speed, reliability and security for its UK customer base, reinforcing its commitment to the country despite all the controversy surrounding Brexit.

“We are offering low latency, guaranteed bandwidth and enhanced DDoS protection for all of our customers. It is particularly beneficial for those working in the finance sector or public services, where hosting data in-country is a key requirement in order to be compliant with data protection and governance, and the protection standards of their customers,” added Parekh.

The site of the new London facility was previously owned by a telco and it is near two substations. It is also close to OVH’s point of presence and is directly connected to the company’s global network of data centres. It houses 40,000 servers as well as custom engineered components such as a water-cooling system.


Apple says “we don’t need no education”

PinkFloydTheWall1Fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple has just staged a night-of-the-long knives on its education partners culling them down to just 14.

Word on the street is that between  24 and 26 Apple Solution Experts – Education (ASE) previously, with Softcat, Insight and Misco are off the books.

All that are  left are Academia, MCC, GBM, Trams, Albion, KRCS, Western Computer, Toucan, Jigsaw24, XMA, BT Direct Business, JTRS and for Ireland Wiggle and Compu b.

The theory is that Jobs’ Mon wants to push more through a smaller number of harder working channel partners in the education sector.  Apple wants more sustainable services which wrap-around either the iPad or the Mac, apparently.

Apple’s relationship with the channel is fraught  due to  it being a little inflexible and always wanting things its way. It has been slowly reducing its resellers over the years as it leant on its own retail channel. This way it can have greater control over how its products are presented and with Apple, presentation is everything.

This being the case, the recent cull will probably do more to lesson Apple’s influence instead of promoting it.

Cooler Master gets VIP treatment

Melting-ice-polar-bearDistributor VIP UK has announced that it has scored a partnership with Cooler Master.

Cooler Master is one of the big names in computer case, cooling, gaming and power manufacturing. VIP UK, will distribute targeting the gaming industry.

Cooler Master’s portfolio consists of product developments that includes the first ever heat pipe heatsink and aluminium PC case; through to cutting-edge cases and gaming peripherals to make sure that gamers do not lose their cool.

Nathan Proudfoot, gaming business manager at VIP UK, commented: “I am excited to begin our journey with Cooler Master as they provide a fantastic gaming offering which both bolsters VIP UK’s product portfolio as well as Cooler Master’s presence within the gaming sector.”

Katie Pinnock, UK country manager at Cooler Master said: “This is the perfect time for Cooler Master to bring on VIP as a key distributor, as we broaden our horizon, to bring back the market share we truly deserve and we trust VIP to deliver this.”

Cooler Master’s full range of products is now available from VIP UK.

Sumeru Equity Partners Acquires MDSL

Woodridge, IL, USA --- Great White Shark Opening Mouth --- Image by © Denis Scott/Corbis

Sumeru Equity Partners (“SEP”) has just written a check for MDSL which make of Technology Expense Management products.

SEP said that the move will help provide MDSL with the cash it needs to growth, strengthening its position as a global TEM leader.

SEP also owns TEM provider Telesoft, has acquired MDSL based on its explosive growth rate, global reach, advanced technology platform, market leading customer service and high quality of employees.

SEP will combine its Telesoft investment into MDSL.  SEP has owned Telesoft for nearly a year and has experienced strong success in growing the business and scaling operations.  The combination of the MDSL and Telesoft organizations will increase scale and global delivery capability while continuing to emphasize the core value of outstanding customer service.

The two companies will be coming together under the MDSL brand.  MDSL’s management team will be comprised of Chairman Ben Mendoza, CEO Charles Layne, CTO Simon Mendoza, CFO Tamara Saunders, COO Daman Wood and Chief Architect Thierry Zerbib.

MDSL Chairman Ben Mendoza said that “MDSL has been succeeding in winning world-class enterprise customers.

“We are surpassing significantly the growth rate of the TEM market, based on our outstanding customer service, advanced software platform and unique global capabilities.  We have recognized that our new business growth would soon outpace our organic capabilities,” he said.

The company will operate under a single, global operational model and will offer two distinct software platforms targeted for two separate market segments-one serving global enterprises with a pure SaaS model and the other serving US-based organisations with a hybrid, on-premise license or managed services model.  MDSL intends to maintain a commitment to both platforms with a distinct product roadmap that will last over 10 years, he said.

The transaction closed in July 2017 and financial details were not disclosed.

SteelEye Joins UnaVista’s Partner Programme

rmg-Location_The-City_1-hrCompliance tech and data analytics firm SteelEye has joined UnaVista’s Partner Programme.

The partnership agreement with the London Stock Exchange Group’s UnaVista aims to come up with a “cohesive, end-to-end technology-based solution” to help firms meet their regulatory obligations.

UnaVista is the regulatory reporting and data integrity platform that offers a range of business services designed to help firms optimise efficiency and minimise operational and regulatory risk across all asset classes. It has 50,000 established platform users, it processes in excess of five billion transactions annually.

Working with SteelEye should give outfits a way through the regulatory demands they face. The regulatory data and reporting burdens imposed upon firms by regulations such as Dodd Frank, EMIR, AIMFD, and the upcoming MiFIR and MiFID II, translate into unprecedented requirements for data storage and transaction reporting with potentially significant penalties for non-compliance.

SteelEye’s CEO, Matt Smith, explains, “financial firms in Europe and around the globe are having to report vast quantities of data to the various regulators. Together, SteelEye and UnaVista will not only provide a straight forward integrated reporting capability, but our clients will also meet their record keeping, trade reconstruction, and best execution obligations through one centralised solution.”

He said that the requirements to store data imposed by the various regulatory regimes represent a considerable opportunity for businesses and the SteelEye platform will help clients leverage its potential for improved business insight.

UnaVista’s Global Head of Partnerships, Wendy Collins, added: “with so many varied requirements confronting investment firms covered under MiFID II, we are excited to be partnering with SteelEye to help firms optimise their MiFIR transaction reporting and utilise their transaction reporting data in meaningful ways, whilst fulfilling other MiFID II related obligations such as record keeping and best execution.”

Coppers swoop on fake Cisco gear

Ce8crvkWsAAvaaI.jpg largeCity of London Police have seized over 1,000 fake Cisco products in a raid.

Inspector Knacker of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) executed a search warrant on a property in Herne Bay, Kent, seizing counterfeit Cisco hardware worth “hundreds of thousands of pounds” (Some of which is pictured above).

The raid resulted in two individuals being interviewed under caution, the force confirmed.

Neil Sheridan, director of brand protection at Cisco, said: “We greatly value our working relationship with PIPCU and our joint efforts to ensure counterfeit products do not reach end-user installations, where they have the potential to seriously impact both the security and operational integrity of business-critical networks.

“This latest action has taken a significant volume of counterfeit products out of circulation and provides a vast amount of evidence and insight into others who are trading illegally. We are delighted with our co-operation with PIPCU and look forward to continuing our work together.”

Just last month the City of London Police partnered with Microsoft to arrest four people accused of committing software service fraud.

The force said that the investigation into the counterfeit Cisco hardware is ongoing. Detective sergeant Kevin Ives said that the success of this operation has stopped organisations and companies from potential harm, should they have bought and used the counterfeit items.

“It also highlights the excellent working relationship between the PIPCU and the technology industry to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods.”