Category: Moving People

Woz says smartwatches have a way to go

Steve WozniakGadget king and dancing queen Steve Wozniak thinks smartwatches have got a long way to go before being useful.

Woz, who was the co-founder of Apple, was a well-known early adopter of shiny new toys.  He owns a Segway and has a Tesla Motors’ electric-powered car.  He also has an interest in getting a smartwatch that is useful.

Wozniak told xconomy that smartwatches will not be useful until the screens get bigger. He thinks foldable, plastic displays could be the answer to that problem.

He also thinks they will be useless until you can get the whole smartphone on your wrist and not a Bluetooth connection to the smartphone in your pocket.

Samsung, Pebble, and Qualcomm are among the companies that have come out with smartwatches, but thus far, Wozniak’s favorite is one made by Martian. It doesn’t have a touch screen, but a tiny display below the watch hands indicates who is calling, and the watch has a good speaker, Wozniak said.

The worst smartwatch that Woz was the Samsung Galaxy Gear which he sold on eBay because it was so worthless and did so little that was convenient.

The interview did not reveal anything about what Woz thought of the coming Apple iWatch and whether it would tick any of his boxes.  Our guess is that it didn’t.

Avnet starts new unit

avnettsMega distie Avnet said it has set up a new business unit in the European, Middle East and Africa markets.

The dvision, called Avnet Security and Networking Solutions (ASNS), is intended to boost its share of this sector and will include the opening of specialist technical and commercial competence centres in the region.

Network security is predicted to be worth over $10 billion in revenues, according to market research firm IDC.

The first commercial competence centre will open in the Netherlands this quarter, and be a hub for delivering security and networking services.

Graeme Watt, president of Avnet in EMEA said his company will use existing people in the company to bring in external specialist skills to bolster the market.

Avnet promotes Murphy as UK head

Miriam Murphy, AvnetMiriam Murphy (pictured)  is to become a senor VP of Avnet’s northern region – that’s the UK and Ireland.

She replaces interim head of the territory Tony Madden, who has run the UK business over the last six months.

Murphy is a long time employee of Avnet and she was responsible for expanding its IBM business across 14 countries in the EMEA region, according to Graeme Watt, president of Avnet EMEA.

Murphy said the channel is changing but there are some opportunities for distribution and for partners in security, big data, analytics, conveged infrastructure and other services.

Connected makes Vine main channel man

Kevin VineKevin Vine is to be a VP of Connected Data and will expand the company’s channel efforts.

Vine has previously worked for Buffalo and for megadistie Ingram Micro.

He will continue to work with disties including Ingram, CMS, Comline and Beta Distribution but will also aim to boost the number of channel partners selling the Drobo “smart storage” range and the Transporter cloud offering.

Vine said that these brands “present a compelling proposition to build a major channel business across EMEA”. He said the technology is outstanding and the business potential to sell and integrate the products is “excellent”.

In the role, he will report to Jillian Mansolf, executive BP of global sales at Connected. CEO Geoff Barrall said he has a background in building US product market share in the region.  Connected will concentrate on building its sales, marketing and technical support in the region as part of a  major push in the second half of this year.

HP rejigs its channel people

HPDiversity and change are cited for the reasons that there’s been a reshuffle at HP Enterprise Group channel  personnel. Diversity and change. Change and diversity – those two magic words say so much and at the same time so very little.

Out is Kevin Matthews while in is Johnny Ansell.

Ansell is the new UK and Ireland indirect director for HP’s enterprise group.  He’s been at HP for fifteen years but most lately ran the HP networking business for the last 10 quarters.  Who has replaced him at the networking business remains a mystery.

According to a statement from Andy Isherwood, HP’s managing director, Matthews and others have driven “continuous growth” for over five years.

Isherwood cited his achievements as growth, relationships, and “innovation”.

What’s happened to Matthews?  HP isn’t ready to say but Isherwood said he will let us know, “once we have fully transitioned the channel business to the new leader”.  Happy transitioning.

Swivel hires reseller channel man

truckAnup Vora has been appointed reseller channel manager by Swivel Secure.

Last year, Swivel moved to a single tier channel way of selling and the company said this appointment is its next stage in its reseller programme.

Swivel has authentication products and the company believes resellers can include its offerings as part of their enterprise portolios.

Vora said that demand for authentication in the enterprises has never been higher. “Resellers should be bundling security as standard,” he said. “Multi-factor authentication shouldn’t be overlooked.”  It’s an incremental revenue stream for resellers, he added.

Vora has had years of experience in building channels including jobs at SMS Passcode and Check Point Software.

Avnet makes Benelux appointment

avnettsMarc van Ierland has been made country manager of its Benelux district which includes Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

van Ierland has over 20 years experience in distribution and has been at Avnet since November 2007 after the company acquired ACAL.

Andrew Binding, VP at Avnet EMEA South said that he is a well known and respected individual  with a proven track record in developing and managing highly motivated teams.

He previously managed the IBM, Oracle, networking, security and document management business units in the region.

Acer takes axe to management

acer-logo-ceStan Shih, who came out of retirement to rescue Acer from its parlous state, has apparently been busy since his return.

Smartphone supremo Chen Guowei has apparently left Acer to spend more time with his family.  Guowei was in charge of Acer’s business unit in mainland China.

And the net has spread wider, according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, the head of EMEA operations, Walter Deppeler, is set to leave the company too.

The company plans to cut as many as seven percent of its global workforce.  Like other PC manufacturers, Acer has been hit by a drop in demand for X86 based systems and a widespread move to smartphones and tablets that aren’t Acer tablets.

Zynstra boosts its channel presence

Lisette Sens, ZynstraLisette Sens has become head of channel at Zynstra – a new post at the startup.

The hybrid cloud company also said it has added two resellers to its route to market – BTA Ltd and TETip Ltd, via its partner Easynet.

Zynstra is a new outfit which started in July this year but has £6 million plus in funding and is now investing in the channel.

The company targets small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with a hybrid cloud offering.

Zynstra co-founder and CEO Nick East said that the channel is fundamental to its business. “We needed someone with an exceptional track record and understanding of the market.”

The Zynstra Hybrid Cloud, he claimed, will give SMEs with up to 250 employees a fully managed IT system. It is sold only through the channel.

Sens said: “Working with the channel, you always want to be offering distinctive technology that solves real problems, which is exactly what Zynstra is doing. The technology means that SMEs no longer have to choose between an all-cloud approach or traditional IT, which is a very powerful message for resellers and end users.”

Logica man gets Logicalis job

Gary Bullard, LogicalisGary Bullard will be the next CEO of Logicalis.

Bullard will take over the role of current CEO Ian Cook from the 1st of March next year.  Cook will become a non-executive chairman of Logicalis.

Bullard has a long background in IT. He was UK CEO and EMEA CEO of Logica, and before that worked as MD of BT’s corporate business unit.

And he also held senior executives at Big Blue before then, as general manager of IBM’s golobal services EMEA and IBM Global Solutions in New York.

Bullard will join Logicalis in December as CEO in waiting. He said in a prepared statement: “I’m excited to be joining Logicalis and see a strong foundation on which to build momentum for growth in the areas of software defined networks, enterprise mobility and the cloud.”

RM jobs under threat

rm300 jobs are to go at Didcot-based RM Education.

According to the Oxford Mail, this is the second round of redundancies in the last two years.

Before the first round of redundancies, RM had over 1,200 staff but that number is now 960.

But according to the report, RM has no plans to move out of its headquarters. The company was hit when the British government axed the Building Schools for the Future scheme, instituted by the former Labour government.

RM, formerly known as Research Machines, was started when its founders sold components. It moved on to make PCs, primarily aimed at the educational market, but in more recent times has specialised in providing software for the educational market.

Avnet intros extra cloud prog

cloud 1Major distie Avnet introduced its Cloud Enhance programme in the UK.

Its goal is to help its partners and service providers to make money because of the growth of unstructured data.

Avnet is offering a portfolio of inexpensive and secure archiving answers aimed at cutting costs, making IT simpler, and secure too.

Avnet wants to introduce service providers to its business partners to help everybody profit from the cloud.

Sukh Rayat of AvnetAvnet claims archiving as a managed service is a mostly untapped market. Some elements of this include File Tiering as a Service (FTaS), File Serving as a Service (FsaS), Email Archiving as a Service (EaaS), Microsoft Sharepoint Tiering as a Service (MSTaS), and File Sync and Share Service (FsaSS).

It’s also moving into vertical sectors too, according to our old mate Sukh Rayat, senior VP of Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA (pictured).

“Organisations are re-evaluating their IT strategies. They need to deal with everything from increased performance and capacity requirements, rising power and cooling costs to regulatory pressures,” said Rayat.

Basically, resellers without the means to deliver managed services will couple with service providers bringing benefits not only to the channel players and the service providers, but to Avnet too.

Jonathan Ross joins Microsoft. Again

Jonathan RossThe man who has a better window than windows took a job at Volesoft UK.

Jonathan Ross – famous for launching one version of Windows in the United Kingdom – is to work at Microsoft UK as an executive producer.

What is Microsoft Studios? That was explained by Lee Schuneman, studio head of Lift London, whatever Lift London is.

He said: “Microsoft Studios is focused on creating the best in class cross media entertainment. Jonathan will be a huge asset for us.”

Ross was made to say: “I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Microsoft Studios.” He pointed to “an explosion” in cross media opportunities.

“My love of games, movies and TV made this a no brainer.”

Arrow finalises Computerlinks buy

intel-nuc-minipc-designMajor distributor Arrow Electronics said it has finalised the buyout of Computerlinks.

Computerlinks was majority owned by Equistone and announced its sale to Arrow back in August.

Now the deal has gained approval by European and US antitrust authorities.

Computerlinks had 700 employees operating in 22 countries and now Arrow has said it has created an integration team made up of senior staff from both companies to weld the two companies together.

The combined group will now operate in 33 countries worldwide and include a bigger professional services team.

HP to slash 7,000 EMEA jobs

HPHewlett-Packard is planning to cut as many as 7,095 jobs in EMEA. Some of the staff will be redeployed, but some will get the sack. HP did not offer a timeline for the cuts.

“Under the proposal presented to the European Works Council (EWC), HP expects approximately 7,095 employees to exit the company or to be redeployed into new roles,” the company said.

HP added that workforce reduction plans will vary by country, based on legal requirements and consultation with work councils and employee representatives. Needless to say, HP is adamant that the cuts will have no effect on customer service.

The cuts come as no surprise, as HP has already outlined plans to reduce its workforce by 15 percent in an effort to save $3 billion. It’s all part of Meg Whitman’s cunning five-year plan, which like most five-year plans isn’t going well. However, Whitman is not in a position to send anyone to Siberia or unperson them, so all HP can do is sack a bunch of people and hope Lenovo doesn’t eat its lunch in the meantime.