Author: Nick Farrell

Barracuda swallows cloudy security outfit Sonian

Barracuda-1Barracuda has written a cheque for the cloud security and data protection vendor Sonian.

Founded in 2017, Sonian flogs cloud archiving and analytics products. Barracuda says buying it is part of a cunning plan to bolster its channel presence

It means that Barracuda can add to the data protection capabilities its platform already has around Office 365.

The Sonian platform was designed with OEMs and managed service providers (MSP) in mind.

Barracuda CEO BJ Jenkins said that Sonian had done a great job of building and delivering a native cloud platform designed to meet the needs of partners and customers.

He said that Sonian’s analytics and AI can be integrated with Barracuda’s data protection to provide a more complete market solution.

Barracuda said that Sonian brings with it over 32,000 new customers and many large MSP partnerships.

Sonian CEO Tim McKinnon said: “The potential of Sonian’s technology and go-to-market model combined with Barracuda’s scale and complementary products creates a powerful value proposition for both partners and customers.”


Compucenter sets up in Ireland just in case

irelandComputacenter has opened a new Irish office just in case everything goes pear-shaped post-Brexit.

The new office, in the centre of Dublin, opened in early October and becomes Computacenter’s first base in Ireland.  It has not really needed one as Irish customers could be served from the UK.

The outfit claimed that its Irish customers wanted the office, but it added that Brexit uncertainty was leading many of its customers to build their own presence in Ireland.

In a statement Compucenter said the new offices will not only bring us much closer to our existing local customers, but also allow it to continue expanding our offerings and services to new customers. We guess it means those punters who are thinking of abandoning the UK for somewhere more Euro friendly which speaks English. Ireland has the additional advantage that it is likely that there will be some UK trade deal following Brexit.

The Ireland operation will be headed up by James Farrell who joined Computacenter in September, having previously spent three years at Fujitsu.


Insight’s EMEA loses money again

651d40634c7c4346f3f104a1ff612807_XLInsight has had a bad quarter ending 30 September with the numbers mostly dragged down by its EMEA earnings.

Worldwide earnings from operations for Insight reached $22.4 million, up four percent year on year on revenues that enjoyed 26 percent growth to $1.76 billion on the corresponding quarter last year.

But Insight’s EMEA region was not so lucky after a bad year. It was recovering from a €3.2m restructure carried out in the first three months of the year which resulted in the firm posting a $1.13 million operating loss. The second quarter saw operating profits grew 19 percent annually to $69.32 million but this was not sustained.

While the firm’s North American and APAC regions did well EMEA revenues declined two percent year on year in constant currencies to $312.19 million for the quarter, while posting a $2.14m operational loss. Gross profits – which Insight believes better represents its bottom line since cloud sales are reported as net earnings – saw a nine percent boost in EMEA to $41.62 million.

Insight blames the firm’s acquisition of, which EMEA boss Wolfgang Ebermann described vital if Insight wanted to get into digital transformation and spruce up its German and Dutch operations.

In July, Insight sold off its Russian arm to $1.5billion turnover VAR giant Softline, which comprises the business of 250 customers.

CEO Kenneth Lamneck explained that “this market did not exceed our long-term plans”.

Hardware revenues accounted for 44 percent of EMEA sales in Q3, up from 41 percent logged in the same quarter of 2016. Software sales declined by six percent to 52 percent of revenues, while services peaked a modest one percent to account for four percent of its EMEA top line.

A similar story emerged across North America and APAC, where hardware revenues increased by six per cent to 68 percent of regional sales, and five percent to 21 percent of sales respectively.

Speaking on the same earnings call, Lamneck claimed that all major VARs were experiencing healthy hardware sales this quarter as a result of higher component costs.

“The [device] market was pretty healthy this quarter as we look at the… data across the channel for everybody,” he said.

Salesforce partners need some education

PinkFloydTheWall1Salesforce has announced that it will give partner status points for training completed on its Trailhead developer and administrator online training platform.

The news was announced during its Dreamforce event in San Francisco.  Normally Salesforce awards partner status – Gold, Silver or Platinum – based on certifications, using a point-based system.

Salesforce says that in the new fiscal year, the vendor will start awarding points for Trailhead training.

Salesforce also rolled out myTrailhead, which allows businesses to add personal branding and content, including customised onboarding lessons and company-specific enablement skills, to Trailhead.

All this is geared for channel partners so that they can create their own internal learning environments. Salesforce’s channel partners have struggled to keep up with Salesforce technology and updates, particularly now that Salesforce wants to release more software to its  customers annually.

Salesforce wants Trailhead to be  a “global learning platform” and enhancing it with content geared toward partners.

Simms International takes on Intel SSD storage and memory work

thanks-for-the-memory-movie-poster-1938-1020198195Chipzilla has appointed Simms International as a UK distributor for its SSD storage and memory portfolios.

Simms International flogs Pretec and Kingston and sees Intel as part of a growth drive into data centres.

The company thinks that being an Intel partner will help the company build future-proof enterprise infrastructure with extraordinary performance and reliability.

Intel works with Arrow, Tech Data, Avnet, Ingram and Exertis as its memory distributors in the UK.

Intel has been paying a lot more attention to the memory market and has introduced a new Optane SSD 900P line of fast solid-state storage drives. The tech is based on 3D Xpoint, a new memory technology that Intel helped develop. 3D XPoint promises substantial performance enhancements over traditional NAND flash memory, which should make it suitable for customers looking for speedy storage drives.

Intel’s memory business is focused first and foremost around its data centre ambitions. Most of the NAND flash-based solid-state drives that it sells go into data centres, and it’s highly likely that the same will hold true for drives based on its 3D XPoint technology.

Simple Systems integrates with Sage One

SONY DSCThe UK based CRM vendor, Really Simple Systems, has launched an integration with Sage One accounting and invoicing on their new CRM Version 5. The integration that went live on 1 November 2017 lets small businesses integrate their CRMs directly with the accounting software using just a few click.

The Sage One integration with Really Simple Systems is an update to the CRM Version 5, released earlier this year. This modification integrates the latest version of the Sage One API, the API v3, with the new version CRM, giving improved functionality and security.

The Sage One integration with Really Simple Systems is available to customers in the UK, creating a workflow between the two business software solutions. The pairing looks to provide everything a small business needs to manage their sales and accounting with no specialized technical knowledge.

Simple Systems marketing manager, Helen Armour, said: “You can easily synchronise customer records between your CRM and Sage One, create invoices directly from your sales opportunities, and manage your product stock levels. The integration works in real-time so your sales team can view their customers’ balances at a glance.”

“Importantly for small business owners is that setting up the integration is easy” continued Armour. “This means they can get on with managing their business, knowing their finances are in safe hands, with minimal effort.”

Integration with Sage One is now available on all Simple Systems CRM plans, including the freemium service.


RSM’s takeover of First Hosted creates enormous NetSuite partner

Finding-Nemo-Shark-Wallpaper-HDRSM UK has announced a takeover of First Hosted and created Europe’s largest NetSuite partner.

RSM COO David Gwilliam said he was delighted to announce the FHL acquisition and welcome their market-leading NetSuite team into the more comprehensive RSM family.

“The prospects for this expanded offering are exciting. Being the UK and Europe’s largest and leading NetSuite provider significantly strengthens our capability to provide clients with a broader spectrum of business systems services and solutions.”

FHL will trade under its name following the acquisition.

Andrew Peddie, FHL managing director, said: “This move to integrate with RSM marks a game-changer in our market. For us, as a company, it presents the next natural step in our growth cycle.”

He said that NetSuite technology could not efficiently deploy without the right people in place to provide the necessary skills.

“RSM is a great fit, both culturally and in terms of what each side can offer”,  he said.


Dell EMC targets mid-range storage market

Michael DellThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that Dell EMC’s new storage loyalty programme is part of a cunning plan to take control of the mid-range storage market.

Dell EMC has been improving its SC and Unity ranges by adding two all-flash arrays to its SC range, as well as a range of software to its Unity portfolio.

But it is the loyalty programme which has partners all of a twitter. Dell EMC has also launched The Future-Proof Loyalty Storage Programme which allows partners to provide a three-year satisfaction guarantee to customers buying from the new SC and Unity ranges.

The idea is that partners can offer a degree of assurance to businesses, mainly as the UK will face some problematic Brexit headwinds. Dell EMC claims the programme will give an additional level of confidence around infrastructure investments that are required for all organisations.

It is also offering customers a free year of Virtustream Storage Cloud.

Dell EMC insists that the product upgrades followed partner feedback and providing them with requested new data deduplication software.

However, the word on the street is this is part of Dell EMC’s  “aggressive counterattack” to address moves from other vendors in the market.

Partners have been told to expect further improvements to the partner programme in 2018.


Reseller cloud skills thin on the ground

Every silver has a cloudy liningResellers peddling cloud services are finding it hard to get skilled staff.

Beancounters at intY at its recent CloudFest event found that 51 percent of resellers  felt that they had been given a competitive edge by selling cloud services. But a third said there was a lack of skilled staff to help support sales of cloud solutions . Another third admitted they did not have enough people on the ground to support their sales plans.

intY COO Craig Joseph said: ” The lack of skills in both sales and support of cloud services presents a double threat. Resellers who can’t offer a convincing and seamless cloud solution to their customer’s risk being forced out of the marketplace completely, and missing out on the potentially huge revenue streams to come from cloud computing. We believe that it is our duty as a value add distributor to help our resellers upskill their staff and give them the tools they need to succeed in the market.”

The result findings are confirming what even big players like Cisco are noticing. While everyone and their dog wants to have a cloud compontent to their business there are too few people out there who know what one really is and how to build it for customers.

Tapad hires Rosamilia for London team

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKnAAAAJGZhZmJiMDdiLWE4NWMtNDQwYy05MTU2LTVkZjk1M2U4NDFlZQCross-device marketing technology outfit Tapad, has hired Davide Rosamilia to join the London team as Senior Solutions Engineer.

The outfit said that demand for the Tapad Device Graph™ has experienced significant growth since the company started licensing its technology in the UK  just over a year ago. Rosamilia will be responsible for providing successful customer implementations for all clients licensing Tapad’s Device Graph, ensuring continued use and growth in the region.

Rosamilia will report to Tapad’s VP of EMEA, Tom Rolph.

Rosamilia has  performed in roles of increasing responsibility across operations, product management, integrating proprietary technologies, and managing supplier relationships. Prior to joining Tapad, he led EMEA technical consulting at Xaxis, the digital media platform owned by WPP. During his career at Xaxis, Davide successfully launched Xaxis Audio, the first successful digital audio product within an agency group. Davide’s experience also includes Appnexus, where – as a result of his strong understanding of the European programmatic ecosystem – he was the first product specialist within the EMEA region.

“Tapad has a healthy mix of startup agility and large company scale, which makes it a very unique player in the marketplace. I believe Tapad is a company that can bring real innovation and drive growth both in the adtech and martech ecosystems, and I am excited to join the team,”Rosamilia said.


Broadcom snaps at Snapdragon maker Qualcomm

qualcomm-snapdragonThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that semiconductor vendor Broadcom is on the verge of making a $130 billion grab for rival chip maker Qualcomm.

If it goes through, it would be the the largest technology takeover in history and Broadcom is said to be readying an assault on publicly listed Qualcomm and planning to offer shareholders $70 a share.

Bloomberg claimed that the Qualcomm board is likely to advise shareholders to reject the deal, pointing out that the  potential deal could run into regulatory problems.

Broadcom is in the process of closing its $5.5 billion acquisition of Brocade, while Qualcomm is struggling through regulatory scrutiny to complete its $38bn deal for Dutch semiconductor vendor NXP.

The Financial Times is reporting that Broadcom wants NXP, as well as Qualcomm.

Qualcomm’s share price rose as much as 14 percent when the news broke.

Broadcom and Qualcomm have confirmed the offer, with Broadcom disclosing that the bid of $70 a share is made up of $60 cash and $10 in Broadcom shares. The overall deal is valued at $130bn.

Broadcom also said that its offer stands regardless of whether the NXP deal goes through or is terminated.

Qualcomm said its board of directors is currently reviewing the offer.

CMS Distribution drones on with PowerVision

Hammok-drone_2jpeg-1024x319-mzwsu5cf4qsee23ysjibllca01551sbrg4i2vlq08cCMS Distribution has expanded its presence in the drone market by teaming up with PowerVision Technology.

The company announced the new partnership with PowerVision to take advantage of the firm’s presence in UAV, robotics and big data markets. CMS distribute PowerVision’s intelligent and intuitive consumer drones; PowerEgg, PowerRay and PowerEye.

CMS Distribution sourcing director Luke Noonan said that PowerVision’s product offering gives them a unique position in the market and he was looking forward to talking about PowerVision with our customers.

Delfin Vassallo, marketing director EMEA at PowerVision, said: “We aim to translate the most sophisticated technology into simple and beautiful pieces of engineering, fulfilling high performance demands with an unparalleled design”.”

PowerVision Technology Group makes a lot of cash from UAV technologies, products, and services with the mission to innovate the future. PowerVision’s line-up ranges from smart drones and robots, data visualization and forecasting, virtual and augmented reality.

It has 500 employees in China, USA, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Finland.


HPE quits Palo Alto

bd_stone_1989In what is an end of an era, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will save a bit of cash by leaving its Palo Alto headquarters and moving to nearby Santa Clara.

The predecessor HP company was based in Palo Alto from its founding in 1939 until it was split in two in 2015. HP is still based in the city.

In a press release, HPE said that the company no longer needs a facility of the current size and will look to sell the property – splitting employees between three other facilities.

The move comes as HPE continues its radical $1.5bn cost-saving measures that will see thousands of employees laid off, as well as the reported closure of a facility in Roseville, California.

The Aruba offices in Santa Clara will become HPE’s new global headquarters, while other employees will be split between facilities in San Jose and Milpitas.

HPE CEO Meg Whitman said: “Over the past two years we’ve made tremendous progress towards becoming a simpler, nimbler and more focused company.

“I’m excited to move our headquarters to an innovative new building that provides a next-generation digital experience for our employees, customers and partners.

“Our new building will better reflect who HPE is today and where we are heading in the future.”

HPE said it will continue to support the HP garage – the garage where Dave Hewlett and Bill Packard formed HP, now a museum – and the HP Founder’s Office, which served as HP’s headquarters until 1981.

Gemalto launches cloudy security

Ominous Clouds over Dublin CityDigital security outfit Gemalto has announced the launch of SafeNet Data Protection On Demand, a centralised cloud-based services platform which it claims will help companies to protect data, meet compliance mandates and manage the security of all their sensitive information in every location.

Gemalto executive vice president for Enterprise & Cybersecurity Sebastien Cano said that businesses are challenged by the cost and complexity of protecting data across disparate IT infrastructures and hybrid cloud environments.

SafeNet Data Protection On Demand helps solve these issues by providing a single data security-as-a-service platform that integrates easily with existing IT systems, DevOps tools and cloud services to protect wherever data is created, accessed or stored.

SafeNet Data Protection On Demand makes enterprise-grade data protection accessible to companies of all of sizes – from the smallest to the largest of enterprises. With no hardware and software to buy, configure or manage and simple pay-as-you-go pricing, companies can more cost effectively and quickly deploy data protection to secure sensitive information in any environment on demand.

The big idea is that a client can integrate security across all company IT systems and removes barriers between business and DevOps, expediting go-to-market timelines.

By tying up with Gemalto’s extensive partner ecosystem they can  integrate data security across their multi-cloud applications. The platform is designed to work with many of the most widely used IT products and technology companies such as Amazon Web Services, Dell EMC, Google, IBM, Microsoft, NetApp, Huawei, Oracle and Salesforce. In addition, customers can quickly develop and build secure higher order use cases through proprietary and third-party APIs.

Cano said: “Complexity has always been a pain point for organizations when it comes to deploying encryption and key management, and the growth of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) will only magnify this challenge.”


Verso group fined over unsolicited marketing calls

arrest machesterA company that specialises in asking the public to take part in “surveys” in which the answers are then used to target respondents with unwanted marketing calls has been fined.

An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office  found Verso Group had been unclear about what it was up too.

The Hertfordshire-based company came to regulators’ attention after it was involved in one campaign that resulted in 46 million “nuisance calls” about payment protection insurance (PPI). It has been ordered to pay £80,000.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said it was the first such penalty following a broader investigation into the so-called data broking industry.

ICO’s deputy commissioner, James Dipple-Johnstone said that this type of unlawful data directly fuels the nuisance call and spam text industry and creates misery for millions of UK citizens.

“Businesses need to understand they do not own personal data – people do.”

Although the ICO has the power to issue fines of up to £500,000, the sum is still likely to be significant to Verso.

According to accounts filed in May, the Hertfordshire-based company’s net assets totalled just £12,386.

Verso uses call centres in India, the Philippines and North America to carry out surveys with the public, with the stated aim of helping consumers cut their utility bills.

These are branded as being carried out by the UK Savers Club, and I Love My Offers among other names. Verso says it carries out more than 115,000 such surveys each month.

The business then offers other companies the ability to target consumers via email, phone, postal mail and text, based on the lifestyle, financial and demographic information gathered from respondents.

In addition to PPI insurance, Verso says its clients have used the information to sell loans, legal advice about accidents, extended warranties and beauty products.

Two of the companies Verso has sold data to – Pro Dial and Emacs – have previously been fined by the ICO over the way they had conducted their cold-call businesses.

The ICO said it had found Verso to be “unhelpful and obstructive” when it had tried to look into the matter.

“Verso’s contraventions were systemic – they were not isolated, one-off or occasional errors,” the report said, “[and] were of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress.”

The watchdog has ordered Verso to pay the fine by mid-November, although it could also try to appeal against the ruling.