Author: Nick Farrell

Channel needs to sort out electronic waste

eWasteThe channel needs to invest in sustainable IT as its waste levels grow far too high, according to an industry body which provides certification for sustainable IT products.

TCO Certified said that the IT industry wastes over 50 million metric tons a year globally – a significant proportion of which is valuable and still usable.

The body wants the industry to take advantage of the services provided by organisations that can refurbish products and components, and called on it to shift its mentality to one that makes recycling and reusing products the norm.

Andreas Rehn of TCO Certified said: “We can all inspire each other to reuse more and make sure that products have a second life instead of collecting dust in a drawer.”

The results of a study commissioned by Cranfield University, commissioned by British remanufacturer Circular Computing, found that remanufactured laptops have 97 percent of the functionality and performance of new devices.

This statistic, Circular says, should challenge the preconception that new products are guaranteed to perform better than second-hand products.

Rod Neale, the founder of Circular Computing, said that some of the world’s largest companies are already turning to sustainable devices, both to deliver value and help reduce the damage caused to the environment by IT waste disposal.

“CIOs are looking for new ways to deliver value and are turning to IT sustainability to serve business strategy and the environment, and we’ve proved that we now have a previously unimaginable solution.”


Damovo becomes an Extreme diamond

Marilyn-Monroe-Diamonds--29664Damovo has become a top-level Diamond partner with Extreme Networks.

Chief commercial officer of Damovo, Burkhart Boettcher, told Channelnomics that Extreme’s spate of acquisitions last year, which included Avaya’s networking business and Brocade’s datacentre business, has made the vendor one of the UCC market’s biggest players.

Extreme was boosted by the fact that Avaya divested its data business and became rather important to Damovo.

Boettcher said that Extreme was not a Cisco and was a lot smaller,  but sometimes you just want to do things differently and Extreme is just different in this.

Damovo has worked with Extreme in the past, but only on a local level in Germany and Ireland. The partnership means Damovo can now work with Extreme globally.

Boettcher said he has assigned a vendor alliance manager to work solely with Extreme, marking Damovo’s level of commitment with the vendor.

Despite being a committed Cisco partner, Boettcher said that the new partnership with Extreme does not signal a shift in priorities for Damovo.

“We do not see them competing too much; if a project is a Cisco project, then it is a Cisco project. Extreme are open, it is their openness and their verticals where they really excel, such as healthcare, for example. And that is what distinguishes them from the others.”


Researcher swallows researcher

Finding-Nemo-Shark-Wallpaper-HDCision has completed its acquisition of PRIME Research claiming that the fellow researcher will enhance Cision’s global leadership position in professional services for media measurement insights and ROI analysis for communications programmes, and further advances its Artificial Intelligence and machine-learning technologies.

PRIME founder and president of Rainer Mathes has been appointed president of Cision Insights, which is dedicated to evaluating comms campaign effectiveness through customised intelligence, reporting and industry expertise.

He said: “At PRIME, we pride ourselves on being the best and working for the best. Our merger with Cision is a perfect example of this,. “I’m pleased to be joining the Cision team and look forward to sharing my knowledge in media measurement as I take on my new role leading Cision Insights.”

Prior to founding PRIME in 1988, Mathes was the managing director of the German Newspaper Marketing Association, Frankfurt and performed research at the Research Center (ZUMA) and the Institute of Media Studies at the University of Mainz. An expert in the field of communication research and measurement, Mathes has studied politics and media sciences and is a prolific author and lecturer.

Kevin Akeroyd, Cision CEO said that Rainer’s expertise in communication research and measurement, combined with PRIME’s exceptional technology platform that brings genuinely innovative AI/machine-learning applications to the communications industry, will be instrumental in helping his outfit improve the communicator’s ability to measure and optimise earned media ROI.”

“As head of Cision Insights, Mathes will help guide Cision’s ongoing commitment to provide in-depth analysis that enables our customers to make better informed decisions regarding their strategic communications programmes.”

PRIME uses AI and machine-learning technology to provide intelligent topic detection, entity recognition and semantic profiling for communication, marketing, sales, supply chain and risk management. It works with customers including Mastercard and Jaguar.

Rainer said the acquisition solidifies Cision’s mission to be the one-stop provider for brands who want to identify their ideal influencers, craft and distribute campaigns and attribute meaningful business value to their communications.


Sage spruces up its channel training

sageSoftware outfit Sage is making improvements to its channel support to help partners looking to change their business model obtain new customers.

The firm is facing demand from users for support for mid market and cloud-based solutions and needs more partners to get into adapt to those new customer targets.

The business intelligence and accounting software player has a large global channel base, with 1,600 partners in the UK, and has increased the account managers that can help guide resellers to new business opportunities.

Jennifer Warawa, EVP partners and alliances at Sage, said Sage had increased the training to make sure people could offer resellers a different level of service.

She said that the partner account model was more transactional. “We need to advise, to be strategic, and to help them through the transformation of their own business.”

Helping the channel change its business model could not be done with a webcast or a booklet because Sage needed to talk to people face to face and take a more personal approach.

As well as going for fresh opportunities, Sage is also encouraging partners to focus on vertical markets or to develop a specialisation, for instance in business intelligence.


CDNetworks wins EU Automation contract

cdnetworks-helps-organizations-expand-their-global-online-presence-with-faster-websites-1-638Content delivery network (CDN) and cloud security provider CDNetworks,  has won a big contract with EU Automation to support the international delivery of its website and internal web-based assets.

As part of EU Automation’s global expansion, CDNetworks is playing an instrumental role in helping it reach one of the world’s largest online markets, China.

EU Automation supplies new, reconditioned and obsolete machine parts to a variety of well-known brands in 135 countries including Mitsubishi, Siemens or Nestlé.

It needs a fast performing website as every minute of downtime inevitably impacts their bottom line. Customers need to be able to access EU Automation’s website quickly and order new parts in a fast, timely manner – any delays could further impact its revenues.

EU Automation recently made the decision to host its internal web-based assets in the cloud, showing stock levels in real-time and processing orders immediately is essential to getting customers back up and running as quickly as possible.

EU Automation decided to use CDNetworks’ Dynamic Web Acceleration and SSL and Cloud DNS products to improve its web performance, keep its website and web-assets secure, as well as ensure the high-quality performance of its websites and assets across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

Jonathan Wilkins, Head of Marketing at EU Automation said that the success of EU Automation was down to how quickly it is able to respond to its  customers.  “We know they need machine parts urgently, and can be losing hundreds of thousands of pounds during downtime. Our website must be able to process orders fast.”

Wilkins added:  “We chose to partner with CDNetworks not only because of its content delivery technology, but because of its expert knowledge and experience of launching websites in Asia Pacific – a market that was core to our international expansion plans. CDNetworks is a true partner, and the guidance and support it has given us during our international journey has been a key factor to our success.”

Chris Townsley, EMEA Director, CDNetworks said that in markets like China, where there is huge potential but where slow website speeds are commonplace, many European companies find it hard to navigate the landscape.

“We are happy to have helped EU Automation on its journey not only to international expansion, but to conquering the largest online marketplace, and look forward to continuing this journey together.”


HPE names Arrow as a UK distributor

Teen_Wolf_Season_2_Episode_11_Battlefield_Allison_Takes_AimHPE  has appointed Arrow as its UK distributor to work with Azlan (formerly Avnet), Ingram Micro and Westcoast.

Arrow was a SimpliVity and Nimble distributor, and HPE bought both in the last year. On 1 November HPE made Nimble available to all its UK distributors but said it was in discussions with Arrow about its UK role.

HPE’s UK channel boss Mark Armstrong said that it was decided to add Arrow to HPE’s distribution channel to reach new customers.

The agreement will see Arrow continue to distribute Nimble and SimpliVity.

Arrow’s director of solutions Dan Waters said: “HPE’s portfolio further enables our customers to add incremental business across solution practices in business intelligence and analytics, data management, IoT, and next-generation infrastructure technologies.

“It fits seamlessly into our value-added model and the propositions of our reseller community. The collaboration will further expand the successful work we’ve already been doing with Nimble and SimpliVity.”

Xerox partners with Midwich

the-midwich-cuckoos-770Xerox has announced a partnership with the audio visual and document solutions distributor Midwich to provide MPS to the growing SMB market.

Midwich will provide cloud-based, managed print services that will allow customers to create less paper in the office through Xerox technology.

This technology offering forms part of Midwich’s brand new Expert Print Services (XPS), a fully flexible menu approach to managed print, which will expand Midwich’s Document Solutions Team reach.

XPS is an important strategic development for Midwich’s extensive print division and will form part of its long-term focus within the managed print market place, providing cloud-based print services that allows resellers and their customers to digitise their workplaces and stay ahead of the competition.

Midwich will distribute Xerox’s suite of MPS products including Light Production, Versant devices, and ConnectKey devices to its 6,000 strong VAR channel.

Midwich general manager Richard Wells, said: “As an established expert trade print partner, our experience and expertise has been extended into our new XPS proposition, giving customers the reassurance and peace of mind that they are working with a trusted, transparent supplier.

“All businesses and particularly SMBs today are looking for ways to automate workflow and improve productivity. We are confident that Xerox’s brand recognition and strength in managed print services solutions will enable us to fulfill that market need.”

Xerox UK and Ireland MD Andrew Morrison said that IT decision makers wanted MPS to make their operations more profitable and productive.

“With the paper to digital conversation fast becoming the new normal for business owners, MPS is an important enabler for digital transformation and a must-have for businesses.”

Dell wants partners to push hyper-converged infrastructure

michael-dell-2Grey tin-box shifter Dell is designing programmes designed to get partners involved in the hyper-converged infrastructure market

The big idea is that this is supposed to be the year that hyper-converged infrastructure starts to become a big thing and Dell EMC wants its partners ready.

The vendor is offering more rebates and incentives for those partners selling HCI, storage and services and will reward those that sell products with access to increased revenue tier attainment accelerators.

Enhancements to the Storage Loyalty Programme include increased advice around how to win business in what is still a mostly unknown market.

In a statement, Dell said that market momentum was shifting towards HCI with more customers opting for the option to consolidate infrastructure and reduce risk.  The last two years have been all about businesses getting confidence in this new architecture.

Now that adoption is accelerating globally there are tens of thousands of organisations out there that could benefit from adopting HCI.

The HCI technology portfolio and the enhancements to the partner programme could result in the vendor attracting more resellers to Dell’s loving arms.

HCI-based partners that embraced would be in a strong position to meet the needs and demands coming out of customers going through the process of digitally transforming their businesses, Dell said.

Epsilon launches channel partner programme

DTpEUqFVQAEexAyEpsilon has launched a  new channel partner programme to accelerate service provider growth with Cloud-centric networking

The idea is that Managed Service Providers around the world can rapidly adopt and deploy a suite of Cloud-centric network services that enable them to capture new and more significant contracts while removing the limits of their operations.

The Epsilon Partner Programme is supposed to help Service Providers to monetise connectivity, Voice, Colocation and professional services. Epson claims its partners can benefit from a smart network utility that combines on-demand infrastructure, automation, web-based portals and APIs to enable them to deploy, manage and optimise their applications and services globally.

Epsilon CEO Jerzy Szlosarek said that the move would super-charge the global IT channel with networking built for the Cloud era.

“Our partner programme enables Managed Service Providers to move quickly to serve new demand and transform their businesses with Cloud-centric networking. We remove the barriers to growth with a model dedicated to turning networking into a driver for long-term profitability.”

The partner programme follows a simple four-step sign up the process to make it easier for  Managed Service Providers to get set up. Epsilon supports its partners with sales and engineering expertise as well as partner marketing and training. Services can be offered with both co-branded and white-label options based on partner preference.

UK-based Service Provider SmartIPX has joined Epsilon’s partner programme and offers its customers on-demand connectivity to world-leading Cloud Service Providers.

SmartIPX CEO Paul Tindley said that Epsilon’s partner programme had enabled his outfit to offer on-demand connectivity to our customers and quickly differentiate its services.

“We have monetised Cloud in new ways and deliver new and existing customers innovative network services. Epsilon understands what it takes to make a partnership successful. It supports partners end-to-end and is committed to collaborating and growing together.”

New Altify platform emerges

Salesforce logoSalesforce users have just got an Altify Augmented Intelligence kick as the outfit revealed its new platform.

Altify’s Augmented Intelligence technology lets board executives be fully briefed on a deal within minutes and front-line sales teams have the latest coaching, the firm claims.

Altify uses AI to help them target the “decision makers” in a deal. Altify’s customers include General Electric, BT and Honeywell.

The new Winter 18 release is designed to help b2b sales leaders and their teams more “easily collaborate” with customers to improve win rates and sales velocity.

Altify’s Winter’18 enables sales teams to set up their account plans in minutes and get guidance on the right level of planning for every opportunity, while also providing more data and insight for sales leaders and front-line sales managers.

Peter Redfurn, Director, Global Enterprise Accounts at Johnson Controls said: “Altify’s Winter’18 release gives our sales leaders more insight, and it makes it easier for our sales teams to build plans and deliver value to our customers.”

Anthony Reynolds, CEO of Altify said that enterprise sales leaders understand that sales are a team sport.

“Our latest release gives sales leaders real insight on their key accounts and strategic opportunities, with the ease and simplicity of a solution to empower the entire extended team. Best of all, with our new plan set up, sales reps will spend less time planning, and more time in front of the customer.”

Altify’s Winter‘18 release  claims to give executives “total control” over account plans and sales deals, while also providing simplicity and an improved “user experience” that takes advantage of Salesforce’s Lightning platform. Altify, it’s claimed,  provides the only account management and opportunity management stuff that is built natively on the Salesforce platform. The release, it reckons, allows  for opportunities and account plans to be easily configured, so people only see what they need based on account size or the complicated stuff in deals.

Content delivery Cloud market continues to grow

lightning-cloudTransparency Market Research (TMR) has added up some numbers and divided them by its shoe size and worked out that the global cloud content delivery network market is yet to graduate from its transformational phase.

However, in a report with the punchy title  “Cloud Content Delivery Network Market (Type – Standard/Non-Video CDN and Video CDN; Core Solution – Web Performance Optimization, Media Delivery and Cloud Security; Vertical – Advertising, Media & Entertainment, Online Gaming, E-commerce, Education, Government, Healthcare, BFSI, IT, and Travel & hospitality) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2017 – 2025.” , TMR thinks that the market is speeding its way through on the back technological breakthroughs and generous spending by the leading companies.

A title like that for a report surely makes the alphabet groan.

The investment spike will give “thrust” to the market’s transformation, letting traditional providers counter challenges posed by new services. Existing companies in the global cloud content delivery network market are paying more attention to new stuff to bust possibilities of security breaches and efficiently compete in the overall market, the report said.

Partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures have kept prospects bright for the players in the global cloud content delivery network market.

TMR identifies Akamai, Limelight, CenturyLink, CDNetworks, Google, Amazon Web Services, NTT Communications, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle, and Cloudflare as some of the leading players in the business.

The global cloud content delivery network market was pegged at $3,019.6 million by TMR in 2016. Showing a 25.5 percent CAGR, the market will be worth $18,564.5 million by the end of 2025, it estimates. The market is likely to witness “soaring” demand from the media and entertainment segments. Regionally, big vendors will “catapult” North America to the head of the ratpack. Besides this, Asia Pacific is likely to show tremendous growth during the forecast period.

The demand for low-latency and high-quality digital data has increased. The report reckons that the “global society” is increasingly communicating, buying, relaxing, transacting, and learning using the internet, the demand for building efficient cloud content delivery network will rise. As traffic in video streaming grows, quality of services provided will be very important.

“As cloud content delivery networks offer improved quality control, the world will witness a spike in their deployment in the forthcoming years. Other than this, recent advances in the internet network, which have made it agiler will bode well for the market’s prospects. Also, basking in increased broadband speed and exponentially rising downloadable content, the cloud content delivery network market is likely to gain major impetus in the coming years. With organizations migrating their IT services on the cloud, TMR expects the market to gain considerable momentum shortly.”

On the negative side, the global cloud content delivery network market will continue reeling under concerns about data security, the report said.

The market is also likely to face challenges from latency problems.  Whew, the alphabet can relax a bit, now.


CrowdStrike walks away from Cloud distribution

Hacker typing on a laptop

Hacker typing on a laptop

Security vendor CrowdStrike is not using its new Cloud Distribution deal, despite only signing it a year ago.

Global sales president Mike Carpenter said that the deal with the UK distributor Cloud Distribution was signed a year go but it no longer works with the company. He said that the company used Cloud Distribution when it was initially starting out in the UK. But it does not need them anymore.

He said the company prefered to have very direct contact with its partners.

The US-based CrowdStrike is growing like topsy and now has offices in the Netherlands and Italy. Most sales are led by a 50-strong EMEA team based in Reading, which is apparently in England.

There are plans to move into the Middle East and to open in Paris this year. Once again, though, the sales will be mostly made from the UK.

Carpenter said that many companies come into EMEA and spread themselves too thin, putting resources everywhere. And it did that to some extent initially, so “we’ve had what I call a ‘reset’ in EMEA”.

The company has been doing well thanks to the WannaCry hacking furore in 2017. However, the European security market is saturated and CrowdStrike has its work cut out by being “much agiler” (surely, more agile, Ed.)than the likes of McAfee and Symantec.

The company has also been making changes to its PR team and taken on Marlin as its UK PR agency, replacing Lewis, which did not bid to retain the work.

Sabio is close to a complete double acquisition

paacquisition3definition-580x358Contact centre VAR Sabio is completing due dilligence on two firms it is thinking of buying.

It seems Sabio cannot get enough of other companies. The VAR acquired DatapointEurope and Rapport last year and has plans to expand out of the UK and into mainland Europe.

Word on the street is that  the two  firms in Sabio’s sights are both headquartered in the UK with international presences. This fits into Sabio’s announced international ambitions.

Acquiring Datapoint bought about some slight changes in Sabio’s plans – specifically hwere it wants its  revenue to come from. The VAR saw 80 percent of its revenues come from the UK, but the figure is now more even, with 55 percent coming from home and the rest from abroad.

Sabio wants to bring in £100 million annual revenue, and the company believes it will do that within the next two or three years, partly as a result of its increased focus in mainland Europe and Asia.

Sabio has seen strong revenue growth over recent years, jumping from £29 million to around £60 million and expects to hit £100 million over the next few years, before implementing plans to hit £200 million soon after – possibly through an invasion of America.

Arrow rolls out virtual classroom programme

Archer-Shooting-a-Goose-Arrow--59097Arrow has released its virtual classroom programme across the UK and EMEA.

The distributor is offering its virtual classroom to people to use at the office, home or through its own Arrow Education centres across EMEA.

The scheme has already gone live in the UK.

The big idea is to provide flexibility around training sites and dates, resulting in cost savings because of reduced travel expenses and greater collaboration through group activities, supported by video conferencing systems and interactive smart boards.

Jacques Assant, business development services director for Arrow’s enterprise computing solutions business in EMEA, said that the Arrow Virtual Classroom combines all the benefits of interactive, live training delivered by highly skilled instructors with the option to save on time and travel and greater choice of offerings.

Arrow ECS Education has 25 classrooms in the UK using authorised trainers and has training centres in London, Stockport, Harrogate and Dublin.

The distributor pitches the need for classroom training on its website as a chance for students to get into what it calls a focused environment.

SteelEye spans its business and hires Matt Smith

Matt-Smith-headshot-898x505UK Compliance technology and data analytics outfit, SteelEye has named Matt Smith as its new chief executive.

The SteelEye product was designed to help financial firms meet their obligations under MiFID II, whilst also acquiring insights into their business operations. His appointment will help to drive the firm’s growth as it markets its secure and scalable data storage platform which incorporates analytics, the statement continued.

Matt brings over 18 years of technology and management expertise to SteelEye. He joins from Bloomberg where he was a senior product manager working on a range of financial regulation and compliance solutions. Before, he was the chief information officer at Noble Group, a global commodity trading firm, where he oversaw regulatory technology and the deployment of big data, trading and analytics platforms.

Of more than 9,000 firms registered with ESMA, many are currently ill-prepared to meet the MiFID II Directive’s new obligations for the recording and reporting of data, SteelEye reckons. The 7,000+ small to mid-sized firms across Europe will be hardest hit by the changes. No longer able to rely on larger institutions to handle their record keeping and reporting obligations, these firms will now be held accountable for their own regulatory conformity which includes recording and storing their voice data.

Peter O’Shea, a non-executive director at SteelEye said: “The founders and board are excited Matt has accepted our offer to lead the team. As a highly experienced regulatory technology professional, Matt brings a wealth of expertise in the smart application of technology to solving complex regulatory needs and shares our view on empowering firms to use the resulting data to gain a business edge.”

SteelEye’s cloud-based platform has several advantages to help firms address their MiFID II obligations, the firm reckons. It claims it is the only platform that offers transaction reporting, record keeping, best execution and data insight in a single offering. It also has an open API framework, allowing clients to harness the power of their data. The platform also lets clients store their data in wherever they want it to be.

Smith said, “SteelEye is here for the small to medium-sized financial firms who require a flexible solution for their record keeping and regulatory reporting needs at an appealing price. We provide a secure and comprehensive solution, built on the most modern and scalable technology and backed by a world-class team of technologists. I am delighted to have been asked to join this team which is well positioned to revolutionise the FinReg and data analytics market.”