Category: Events

Channel needs to support the free press

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Boys thrashing tops in 1560 – Brueghel

The Canalys Channel Conference closed at 3PM prompt this afternoon, Barcelona time,  but not before one of the few channel journalists left standing was given a five minute slot to stand and address the thousand or so attendees at the conference.

Cristoph Hugenschmidt, a journalist at Inside Channels CH, made an impassioned speech about how the community of vendors, distributors and resellers need the independence that real journalism – rather than fake news or marketing spin – offers that influential group.

Cristoph reckons – and ChannelEye agrees – that the hugely lucrative market needs independent journalism more than ever before. He gave as an example a Canalys event he attended a year or two back where a marketing spinner told the assembled hacks that journalism wasn’t necessary any more because his company could put out the message it wanted via social media and using impoverished hacks to write online press releases.

Nevertheless, after delivering this insult to the hackettes and hacks at the table, according to Cristoph, he tipped up a couple of hours later and said: “I do expect you journalists to be at my 9AM roundtable tomorrow.”

The Swiss hack was basically saying that unless the channel supported free and independent journalism as part of the community, we’ll all wither away and companies will lose the insight, gossip and spinicide that hackettes and hacks deliver.

Why does the channel need journalists like Cristoph and the few of us that are left? My feeling is that despite the noise of Twitter and other social media, and PR and marketing executives spinning like tops, there is a need for a cool third party appraisal of what’s going on. “Going forward”, to use an infamous marketing perversion of the phrase “in the future”, company CEOs need to decide whether they can afford the ridiculous price of marketing spin and decide whether it’s worth it.

ChannelEye of course,  is notorious as purveyors of “fake news” – via The Rogister and theINQUIRER.net,  and coined the term “wide awake news” two years after Donald Trump was born.

Lenovo pulls up its channel socks

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 11.27.37At a keynote speech at the Canalys Channel Forum yesterday, analyst-in-chief Steve Brazier said Lenovo had a poor set of tools for its partners and made decisions too slowly.

But senior executives at Lenovo told ChannelEye this morning that it’s already taken significant steps to turn that position round.

Lenovo said it recognised its tools and processes weren’t perfect, but said it had been investing and making improvements. It’s committed to speeding up the way it works with resellers and investing money to improve the matter.

“We’re turning things round – we need a more sophisticated way of helping the channel.”

Lenovo recognised that it’s a big investment that it has to undertake. It’s been working on the project for 12 months.

“We have further to go but we are making progress. We [now] have the ability to give split second decisions on deals and on pricing.”

It claimed it was getting good feedback from its distributors and channel partners on the improvements it’s already made.

It recognises that it needed to be more collaborative at sharing material with partners and need to be more agile and have a bespoke method of getting its product message tailored to the customers that they’re pitching to.

* The company said it is likely to be protected in the event of a continuing trade war between the US and China. It has a factory in China but also in other territories and has the ability to switch production if it needs to.

Dell promises to beef up the channel

A bevy of senior Dell EMC executives spoke to a bevy of tech hacks this morning and spelled out in detail their promise of reseller goodnesses for their mega storage and server businesses.

Speaking at the Canalys Channel Forum in sunny Barcelona, the company was quick to say it was prepared for the British exit from the EU (Brexit) from day one, and even before day one. It is talking to the UK government and to other bodies and organisations to ease the transition if and when and however it comes.

But, and relating to its channel strategy, Dell EMC said it had given its resellers a lower price, and “that forms a strong incentive to the channel. Large accounts worldwide are wide open. If our partners win that business they’re protected.”

Michael Collins

Dell EMC’s Michael Collins showing determination

Dell EMC said it will be a partner led strategy.

“Speaking to our partners and what they want from us is to look at the opportunities that exist in our enterprise business. We have to give them the ability to sell right across the range of Dell’s product portfolio.

“We’ve looked at where the opportunities are for the channel. We’re putting a commitment to the channel in order to invest and win incremental business, to be protected and we’ve introduced “partner of record” – that means the customer is locked to the partner for a period of a year. It’s exactly what our partners asked for.”

Dell EMC said there are two flavours of its preferred programme.

“It’s not just for enterprise customers but we’ve expanded this to include commercial as well. The benefit for the partner is really simple. When partners sell more, they make more margin and revenue and it gives incremental opportunities. This is very much based around our storage portfolio.”

Further, Dell EMC is pushing into its enterprise IoT business for large organisations and will offer eight bundles aimed at specific environments.”

It’s the software that is the secret, the company claimed, and the bundles are related to large requirements such as energy requirements for connected organisations.

“It is not going to pay all the bills this year, next year or even the year after. These are early attempts to figure out how to promote this technology. We have IoT training for customers and partners and have made this available through our distributors.”

Around a half of its enterprise storage and server offerings are fulfilled through the channel, the company claimed.

Puzzel UK holds conference next month

puzzle1Cloud-based contact outfit Puzzel UK is holding a shindig for for contact centre professionals on Wednesday 27th June 2018 at China Exchange, a former BT telephone exchange in London’s Chinatown.

Dubbed Get Connected 2018, the half day conference, with the theme “Exceptional Customer Experience – People, Process and Technology” will explore what customers expect in terms of service and what it takes to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Speakers include leading industry specialists, Puzzel customers and senior executives. Over 150 delegates are expected to attend the event, which offers an opportunity to take a closer look at the latest contact centre technologies, how they can make a difference to customer experience and chance to network with industry peers.

At Get Connected 2018, Ziba Goddard of Cowry Computing will present “Understanding Homer Simpson: the key to better conversations with customers” using insights from behavioural economics to show how our brains can jump to conclusions. Ziba will present what factors affect purchasing decisions and how to improve customer and company outcomes in contact centres using applied learnings.

With emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Bots changing the customer experience, Carolyn Blunt, MD of Ember Real Results will talk about the importance of humans in contact centres, including skills development and employee engagement for the next wave of change.

Also presenting at the event is Kristoffer Lundnes, VP Innovation at Puzzel who said: “The wealth of current and emerging technologies for contact centres can be overwhelming. This can make it difficult for organisations to know what to focus on and what to invest in. During the final session of the morning, called ‘Trends, Technology… and beyond’, I will present the main trends in the market, new technologies on the horizon and suggest the steps contact centres can take to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Puzzel is privileged to host such knowledgeable speakers and welcome contact centre professionals to share their experience at this free event.”

Other speakers include Puzzel partner PCI Pal, talking about “Compliance and Customer Experience – The Perfect Match” and customer Ombudsman Services explaining how Speech Analytics has helped with the identification of vulnerable callers to the contact centre.

For more information or to register for the event visit: Puzzel Events – Get Connected 2018

Databarracks helps reseller victims

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeCloud service company Databarracks said it has introduced a reseller network called the deProgramme.

What does this mean?  According to Phil Gunning, channel manager at the company, channel players have been “victims of complexity. The point of any channel partnership for both parties is to reach more customers.”

He hit out at labels and jargon.

“Customers don’t care whether you’re a gold certified partner or if you’ve sat through hours of vendor training.”

His deProgramme, he claims, will eliminate red tape.

“The vast majority of channel programmes are broken. They’ve been too prescriptive without offering enough individual support or incentive for partners to thrive. Our most successful partners are the ones who work with us and take advantage of our resources to sell more and better support their customers.”

Databarracks will show off its services at Cloud Expo at the horrendous Excel conference centre, later this week.

Avnet teams up with law firm

Frank Bennett, AvnetDistribution giant Avnet UK said it has partnered with international law firm Simmons and Simmons to hold a seminar on the impact of IT in the finance sector.

The aim of the event, dubbed FinancialPath University, is to educate its business partners about delivering IT to this sector.  The seminar, to be held on the 25th of February, will explor legal and regulatory matters that have an effect on IT decision making in the sector.

Avnet’s Frank Bennett, who heads up the initiative, said that the financial services industry is a huge opportunity for its business partners but is a complex industry to master.

After the seminar, delegates will be able to keep up to date with developments in the sector with a series of webinars.

Daisy holds industry summit

DaisyThe Daisy Group said it has set a date for an industry summit with ubiquity as its topic.

Dubbed #DaisyWired2014, and to be held at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire on the 7th of May, the event will have as guests and speakers John Cridland, director general of the CBI, futurologist Tom Cheesewright and senior Daisy executives Nathan Marke and Matthew Riley.

Speakers will explore how technology everywhere will affect the future of British business and how companies should prepare themselves to maximise its potential.

Last year, at a similar event, over 100 companies attended. The programme includes speeches, presentations, workshops and debates.

Daisy provides Blackberry fizz

DaisyDaisy Distribution is teaming up with BlackBerry by offering a partner incentive.

Daisy’s registered partners need to accumulate points – earned by selling Blackberry10s or BES10.2 CALs.

If partners tip up at its Evolving Solutions event, they’ll get a £50 voucher which can be used to close the fist sale.

BB10s are worth two points while BES10.2 CALs notch up five.  When they get to a minimum of 50 points, the partners can cash in. And if they clock up more than 300 points during the 1st of February to the 3rd of April, they can win up to £1,000.

Evolving Solutions kicks off at Whittlebury Hall & Spa on the 23rd of January.

Ingram Micro sponsors cloud event

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeThe first UK Cloud awards are to be sponsored by Ingram Micro UK.

The awards have been created by the Cloud Industry Forum in conjunction with techUK and Cloud Pro.

The jamboree is set to take place in February 2014, giving gongs to vendors, customers and individuals notable for pushing the edge of the cloud industry.

Apay Obang-Oyway, general maner at Ingrom UK said he wanted to encourage his company’s partners to submit products, projects and services that could win gongs.

Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, added that the organisation created the UK awards and to showcase the best examples of what the IT world can deliver.

Judges include journos Max Cooter, Maggie Holland and Clive Longbottom of Quocirca.

You can enter the awards by scooting over to www.ukcloudawards.co.uk

Cloud puts pressure on datacentre sector

Demand for cloud based services is so great that data centres will find it hard to cope in the future.aircloiuds

That’s according to Christian Belady, Microsoft’s general manager of datacentres, who will highlight several problems at the Data Centre Dynamics Converged conference in London that kicks off on the 20th of November at the Excel conference centre.

He said that demand for cloud services, computing capacity is the “most crucial challenge”.  He called on the datacentre industry to take a unified stand to pre-empt problems before they arose.

He said: “There are tremendous complexities involved in delivering that demand globally on a market-by-market basis, such as varying tax and data requirements and working with multiple governments across disparate regions of the world. To meet the increasing demand for these sorts of services, the industry needs to come together to tackle these complexities as an urgent priority.”

He continued: “Datacenters are getting larger, and the industry needs to determine the best ways to deliver power more economically and sustainably in different parts of the world. The past rules for enterprise datacenters no longer hold when we talk about the cloud.  Our biggest opportunity is in how we as an industry can pull all the traditionally disparate pieces together in a seamless way. To meet the growth demands, the industry will need to integrate at every level – from the infrastructure and software to utilities and governments. It’s not any one thing. We’ll succeed when all of these industries work together to push the sector forward as one holistically optimised ecosystem.”

Datacentres continue to be outsourced

gigabyte-haswell-motherboardA market research company believes that by 2016 as many as 28 percent of UK datacentres will be outsourced.

DCD Intelligence said that companies now believe that outsourcing mission critical IT to a colocation provider is a viable alternative to having their own datacentre.

The company said that as the trend to outsource datacentre grows, it is adding a current to upcoming conference DatacenterDynamics Converged, in London.

The conference takes place at London Excel on the 20th and 21st of November.

Midland boys win Grand Prix prize

grand_prixDaisy Distribution has named the two winners of a spiff it was offering on Blackberry products.

Dave Webster and Stuart Mico, who together own Midland Communications, will fly out to the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, and win five star accommodation for four nights, three day hospitality race access as well as Golden Circle entry to the post race concert.  They also get premium passes to the theme parks on Yas Island.

Daisy partners also had to complete the Blackberry 10 e-learning modules.

Julien Parven, MD at Daisy said: “The promotion proved to be a huge success, being open to our existing partners, those acquired through the recent MoCo Communications acquisition and other independent channel partners.”

Dell hosts Euro channel jamboree

Softcat in Paris with Dell, 2013Hardware giant Dell claimed its two top channel tiers, PartnerDirect, and Premier and Preferred, grew by 29 percent in the last year.

Michael Dell, the founder of the company, told attendees that there are now 1,174 Premier and Preferred level partners in EMEA.  He said the channel continued to be important to Dell’s strategy.

Dell claimed that PartnerDirect, including the online solutions configurator has been adopted by over 600 partners across 10 companies.

Michael Dell said: “We see our partners as a core part of our team, our strategy and our future, and we will continue investing to grow our business together.”

Gongs were handed out to UK company Softcat, winning UK partner of the year and platinum partner of the year. Pictured are Laurent Binetti, Greg Davis and Michael Dell himself. Michael Dell is second from the left and we don’t know which one is Laurent, which Greg and we don’t know who the others are. Sorry.

International Electronics Forum 2013 – roundup

Dublin CourtsLast week, TechEye visited IEF 2013 in Dublin to hear what the semiconductor industry had to say for itself. Here’s the roundup:

Imagination Technologies’ Tony King-Smith said the future really relies not on the humble CPU but industry and engine cooperation for the System on Chip. “SoCs means everything is now mobile, and continues to have advanced capabilities. They are the only way to get scaleability,” King-Smith said.

Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, talked about investment in the Emerald Isle. Naturally the 12 percent corporation tax was mentioned. Four of the most crucial investors in Ireland are in tech, including Intel and HP, and social media is also experiencing huge growth. The IDA chiefly looks at manufacturing and R&D.

Senior Nvidia research scientist John Chen told the audience about various problems associated with nodes at under 20nm, specifically in performance, perfection and precision. But technologies like zero leakage transistors, III-V, Ge channel and carbon nanotubes will help the industry march on.

EU commissioner for digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, gave a keynote about Europe’s hopes to punch up in technology and innovation, including spending of €100 billion in R&D by 2020, leading to job creation, we were told, as well as smarter kit. Europe also wants to boost its performance in production capabilities.

TSMC’s senior director of R&D, Yee-Chaung See, highlighted problems in EUV and talked up the company’s 20 nano SoCs, adding qualification for 16 nano SoCs should be finished by the end of the year. It’s focusing on 3D stacking, while there are already high yields in SRAM. Gains in 3D, it is hoped, will lead to producing a silicon system super chip, that can integrate analogue, image sensors, photonics, MEMS and TSV.

Ram Ramamoorthy, professor at Edinburgh University, unfortunately indicated it’ll be a long time, if ever, if replicants of iconic futuristic dystopia Bladerunner are going to come to be. A machine is where the sophistication is such a robot can simulate some human senses like sight and sound. That means football playing robots, but they’re not great at it yet.

“The level of intelligence of robots in movies is very difficult to achieve,” Ramamoorthy said. “It’s very hard to deal with real people but in reality it’s very hard to model human users, that’s one of the biggest challenges we’re looking at”.

Plessey CEO Michael Le Goff told the room that, by using Gallium Nitride on silicon substrates to create LEDs, advanced lighting will be lower cost. And eventually, you’ll die before your lightbulb does.

Principle analyst at Future Horizons, which hosted the conference, Malcolm Penn, warned that there is a “chip crunch” around the corner. “The basics of fab capacity is cast in stone,” Penn said. “Capacity can’t be influenced for a year. We’ve not being building capacity which I think is dangerous,” Penn said. “There’s a silicon crunch just around the next corner. The most crucial part of the food chain is being treated with complete cavalier indifference. That’s because the capital spend is too low”.

Microsoft Cambridge’s senior research director, Alex Butler, talked the room through various research projects at the company. That includes advances in touch, and Butler assures us that although many of the R&D group’s creations won’t see the light of day, others find their way into products. The group is interested in the future of tech, five, 10 or 15 years away from now.

Compound semiconductors will play a major role in a different kind of Moore’s Law, Drew Nelson, CEO of IQE, asserted.  Although silicon is approaching its natural limits, compound semiconductors have more functionality and flexibility – according to Nelson, the materials are just better that silicon, and from a power perspective there is a clear lead.

Crocus doesn’t have MRAM in the market yet, but there’s a licence agreement with IBM for 65/45nm memory logic units to go into production later this year, CEO Jacques Noels said. Crocus thinks it has figured out stability problems in magnetic memories, while 28nm for generation 4 is on the horizon.

Investment company Convergence’s CEO and former Director General of the Department of Communications in South Africa, Andile Ngcaba, spoke on trends across the African continent. Just in 1990, there were more phones in Manhattan than the entire continent, but with the emergence of mobile there is more connectivity than ever. However, getting connected proves challenging: poly silicon is expensive and not particularly economical at the moment. So petrochemical companies are cleaning up with fossil fuel-powered base stations.
*EyeSee We’ve heard that some chip giants are being economical with the truth about the size of their semiconductors. TSMC’s 14nm chips are a little closer to 20nm. Intel’s 14nm chips are between 16nm to 17nm, and Samsung’s measure in at roughly 18nm. None were available for comment.

 

Rackspace intros on-demand e-learning

rackspaceOpen cloud provider Rackspace has introduced an on demand, e-learning training course with a view to bringing about wider adoption of OpenStack technologies.

Customers will be able to register for courses that promise to teach ways to use and deploy OpenStack powered cloud. The on demand e-learning version of Rackspace’s OpenStack Fundamentals will be available to the public in October, though pre-registration is available now.

Additionally, Rackspace is introducing four further in-person courses.

These are Networking-Neutron, where students can learn how to use Neutron to provide Networking-as-a-Service, as well as encouraging students to use an API to build and configure networking infrastructure. Building Cloudy Apps sees students using Python to learn about horizontal scaling and APIs, security in the cloud is self explanatory, and so’s Hadoop on OpenStack.

Certified training partners for the Fundamentals courses include, worldwide, New Horizons, Skyline Advanced Technology Services, and Intelligent Cloud Technologies.

Course overviews and schedules are available at Rackspace’s training website.

Rackspace boasts it’s expanding the program because of rapid growth in OpenStack, including over 10,000 contributors at its three year anniversary in July this year. Citing the BSA global cloud scorecard for 2013, 14 million cloud jobs should emerge by 2015, so there’s plenty of room for Rackspace to work.

“Rackspace recognises the need for comprehensive educational courses and delivery models and is fundamentally revolutionising OpenStack training to include a Certified Training Partner Programme and on demand e-learning course,” said Tony Campbell, director of training and certification for OpenStack.