Category: News

Cybersecurity spend to increase

securityTarot readers working for analyst outfit Gartner claim that spending on cybersecurity will jump eight percent next year because of the spike in global breaches this year.

The analyst claims spending in 2018 will top $96 billion as end users protect themselves against threats, having seen the impact of WannaCry and NotPetya this year.

Gartner research director Ruggero Contu said a large portion of security spending is driven by an organisation’s reaction towards security breaches as more high-profile cyberattacks and data breaches affect organisations worldwide.

“Cyber attacks such as WannaCry and NotPetya, and most recently the Equifax breach, have a direct effect on security spend because these types of attacks last up to three years”, he said.

Gartner forecasts that services will make up over half of all security spending, at $57.7 billion. Services will also see greatest growth, at 8.8 percent.

The analyst claimed that regulatory compliance and data privacy have been “stimulating” security spending, citing GDPR and the US’ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act as key factors.

One of the key drivers driving services spending is a global skill shortage which has forced organisations to turn to cybersecurity consultancies.

“Skill sets are scarce and remain at a premium and top organisations to seek external help from security consultants, managed security service providers and outsourcers,” he added.

“In 2018, spending on security outsourcing services will total $18.5 billion which is an 11 percent increase from 2017.

“The IT outsourcing segment is the second-largest security spending segment after consulting.”


Juniper warns that networks are too complicated

63078f1c3ddb730c43c45986518654a0Juniper Networks’ CEO Rami Rahim has warned that networks have become too complex, and firms are ill prepared for IoT and 5G which will make matters worse.

He told the assorted throngs at Juniper Networks’ annual EMEA shin-dig in London that Networks have become too complex, fragile and difficult to manage… this could be this industry’s biggest challenge so far.

“Our driving strategy is what we call the pursuit of simplicity, because what I see as the main challenge of today is managing complexity,” he said.

He claimed his outfit’s Juniper’s PTX series core routers and packet transport routers were a solution to increasing complexity.

“We knew that there needed to be a more effective, and cost-effective, approach to deploying networks, and we invented this new concept of a lean core network with a product called the PTX which has been growing incredibly well for us. In fact, this year for the first time ever we have achieved number one market share in North America in core routing and that’s primarily because of this product line”, he said.

Rahim added that IoT and 5G were the two tech trends that will exacerbate the problems of excessive complexity and “fundamentally change network architectures”.

“This concept that we know today of the cloud being a central datacentre that is delivering services to the masses will reach a breaking point due to IoT and 5G”, Rahim said.

“If you think of the billions of devices that are going to be connected to this global network, the time between sensing the data from sensors – that are typically going to be video cameras – then collecting, acting, processing and then feeding back the intelligence into the network, that process is going to need to get tighter”, he said.

Goodnight Vienna as Kaspersky shuts Washington

white-houseKaspersky has shut its Washington office after the US government ordered all departments to remove the vendor’s software from its systems.

In September the US Department of Homeland Security gave government organisations 90 days to remove all traces of Kaspersky, citing “ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence”.

Kaspersky vice president Anton Shingarev is said to have confirmed the news in an interview in Moscow.

Shingarev slammed the US’s stance on cybersecurity compared with European governments.

“What I like about Europe is that their regulators are fact-driven”, he said, before accusing the US of making decisions based on “speculations”.

We guess he was not talking about the UK where the  UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advised that a government organisation should not use a Russian-based cybersecurity company if it is processing “secret” information.  It stopped short of advising all organisations to ditch Kaspersky completely.

In fact the NCSC said that it did not want people doing things like ripping out Kaspersky software at large, as it makes little sense.

The NCSC also said that it was working with Kaspersky to discuss whether a framework could be developed that will provide assurances of Kaspersky’s integrity to UK organisations.

In fact, the NCSC was talking about central government, which has a “relatively small” number of systems running Kaspersky.

Eugene Kaspersky slammed the media coverage following the NCSC’s advice, writing on Twitter that Kasperksy’s presence in the UK was not at risk.

On Twitter, he said: “Let me stress: there is no ban for KL (Kaspersky Lab) products in the UK.”


Cloud Distribution gets two new vendors

two-clouds-1385018843_27_contentfullwidthCloud Distribution has signed up two new vendors and created a new data centre infrastructure team.

The firm has signed distribution agreements with data virtualisation vendor Actifio and flash memory outfit Accelstor.

Cloud previously operated a centralised team of sales, marketing and technical staff across its IT areas, but has split its teams into security, networking and data centre areas.

The move has come about because the outfit has been seeing more opportunities coming from its datacentre business due to business moves to the cloud.

The new team will pull together products from its data centre portfolio to put together go-to-market strategies for Cloud’s reseller partners.

Actifio is seen to be ahead of the others in the backup and disaster-recovery space.

Cloud also becomes Accelstor’s first distributor in the UK, with the Taiwanese flash vendor looking to disrupt a market that has seen several new players and vendor consolidation recently.


Maintel explains its poor 2017 showing

ultimate-guilty-dogs-compilation-350x197Systems integrator and managed services provider Maintel has given three reasons why it has had to revise its profit expectations.

It has just released a trading update stating that it had expected to recover the reduction in gross margin in the first half of this financial year, but “it is now evident that this will not happen”, and then outlined three reasons for the revision.

The first centred on the acquisition of Azzurri Communications in May 2016. This deal arrived with two large legacy contracts that were due to wind down over the trading period up to the end of first-half 2018.
“Both of these contracts generated higher gross margins than the group’s average contracts”, said the firm.

“Both contracts have migrated away more quickly than expected and, as a result, less revenue than originally anticipated will be generated from these customers throughout the second half of full-year 2017 and the first half of 2018.”

The second reason was that managed services and technology performance has “been adversely impacted” by delays to customer installations following the Avaya Chapter 11 process.

“The impact has been greater than expected due to prolonged delays in the resolution of the process.

The bankruptcy court approved Avaya’s reorganisation on 28 November, enabling Avaya to exit Chapter 11 by the end of 2017.

“Regarding Avaya, the group is pleased to report that ordering activity started to recover in November which will positively impact Q1 2018”, Maintel said.

The third reason concerned the integration of Intrinsic Technology, which is “going well”, with all of the Intrinsic systems migrated onto one system on 1 December.

“The revenue contribution is in line with our expectations at the time of the acquisition although the gross margins achieved have been lower than anticipated,” the firm stated.

Maintel now forecasts that it will have adjusted EBITDA in the range of £12.5 to £13 million. That still represents a 12 to 18 percent increase on the £11 million adjusted profit before tax posted last year after the acquisition of Azzurri Communications pushed revenue up 114 percent to £108 million.

Analysts are expected a full-year dividend to grow 10 percent year on year in line with existing guidance.

Integrity360 snaps up Metadigm

Finding-Nemo-Shark-Wallpaper-HDIrish VAR Integrity360 has written a cheque for the UK Security firm Metadigm.

The move is seen as part of Integrity360’s plan to have a “twin strategy” of organic growth and acquisitions.

Integrity360 started a UK operation in 2012 and has offices in London and Birmingham.

Metadigm was founded in 1989 and expects to see turnover hit £3 million in 2017.

Eoin Goulding, CEO at Integrity360 said: “It’s fantastic to be integrating Metadigm’s expertise into our overall business, reinforcing our growth strategy and introducing a further skill set for our clients in Ireland.

“Metadigm has a strong reputation in the UK and we look forward to welcoming them to our team.

“The people and skill sets at Integrity360 are fundamental to the cybersecurity services that we deliver internationally.”

In 2016, the firm says it saw revenue jump 53 percent to £33 million.

Metadigm has already been rebranded to Integrity360.

Jason Simper, director at Metadigm, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to be part of a leading cybersecurity organisation, positioning the UK team to offer enhanced IT security services with greater reach.”




Hybrid cloud set to grow

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINHybrid cloud will take on greater importance during 2018, enabling added hybrid adoption growth.

Beancounters at analyst Technology Business Research (TBR) have added up some numbers and divided them by their shoe size and penned a report with the catchy title “2018 Cloud & Software Predictions: The only known certainties — Death, taxes and changes in the cloud market.”

The report found that the key driver for the development is the increasing complexity of cloud environments and integration.

The report stated that management headaches related to cloud implementations have been growing as the scale and scope of solutions expands, and integration across clouds and on-premise environments undoubtedly magnifies these challenges.

“While the desire for solutions that can be portable, fully integrated and flexibly delivered has never been higher, the management of workloads being implemented into sprawling hybrid environments will remain the bottleneck for how much additional hybrid adoption will occur in 2018”,  the report said.

“In addition to driving innovation at the tools and platforms level, the hybrid will increase demand for services engagements. The skills needed to deploy and manage hybrid solutions, from technology and complexity perspectives, are distinct issues that customers need to address as part of their hybrid implementation.”

Customers not only have to grapple with how to manage and control cloud solutions within their organisations and manage cloud solutions at scale and during integration with other IT assets.

“For these reasons, cloud vendors, and more importantly, their services partners, will play a critical role in the successful implementations of hybrid solutions and broader hybrid environments for their joint end customers.”

The majority of customers looking to include services as part of their hybrid implementations also seek to engage with partners from the start. Of the customers TBR surveyed as part of its Hybrid Cloud Customer Research, 52 percent indicated they are working with an SI or broker to complete their initial hybrid purchases.

TBR some attributes that must be inherent in hybrid included being a multivendor and integrated solution.

“Similarly, it must meet customer objectives to create cohesive environments to share data across elements to promote those much-desired strategic business initiatives and outcomes.

“Due to the increasing complexity of hybrid environments and the need for customisation, partners that can integrate multivendor solutions will be highly sought after in hybrid purchasing cycles,” the report said.

Smartphone leaders saw growth this quarter

Samsung_Stonehenge_Galaxy_S8-20170410031501639The top five vendors leading the smartphone race all saw growth in the third quarter, according to numbers crunched by analyst outfit Gartner.

Global sales hit 383.4 million units for the quarter, which represents a three percent increase over third quarter 2016’s 372.2 million. North America sales grew 11.2 percent, Big G said.

North America was the third largest region for smartphone sales in the quarter (topped by Greater China and Emerging APAC, respectively), representing 12.4 percent of the market and selling 47.5 million smartphones, compared to 42.7 million in third quarter 2016.

Worldwide, Samsung led the quarter with 22.3 percent market share and 85.6 million units shipped. With 71.7 million units shipped in third quarter 2016, Gartner noted Samsung smartphone sales grew 19.3 percent for the quarter.

Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said: “Renewed pushes of the newly designed Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note8 smartphones have brought back growing demand for Samsung smartphones, which helped it compete against Chinese manufacturers and deliver a solid performance in the quarter. The Last time Samsung achieved a double-digit growth was in fourth quarter 2015.”

Apple controlled 11.9 percent market share and shipped 45.4 million units, compared to 43 million in third quarter 2016.

“The arrival of Apple’s new flagship iPhones at the end of the third quarter 2017 has delayed smartphone purchases into fourth quarter 2017. Following compelling offers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday season will likely boost sales of smartphones before the end of the year. We estimate fourth quarter ‘s smartphone sales will boost total sales for the full year. We expect smartphone sales will reach 1.57 billion units in 2017.”

Huawei rounded out the top three with 9.5 percent market share. The Shenzhen, China firm shipped 36.5 million units for the quarter, compared to third quarter 2016’s 32.5 million.

Dongguan followed Huawei, China-headquartered firm OPPO, which earned 7.7 percent market share by shipping 29.4 million units (versus third quarter 2016’s 24.6 million), and then Xiaomi, which had seven percent market share and shipped 26.9 million smartphones (versus third quarter 2016’s 14.9 million)

Gartner also noted increased customer demand for “high-priced” smartphones, with North America and Western Europe’s market growth being attributed to such purchases.





BlackBerry adds crisis communications channel

Merry-CrisisNo stranger to a crisis itself, the former maker of phones with tiny keyboards, Blackberry has added a crisis communications channel specialisation for key partners.

The outfit is trying to elbow its way into the security and developed a crisis communication offering for those customers that need to get messages out to staff and the public quickly in times of natural disasters, terrorist and cyber-attacks.

The Crisis Communications Specialisation is built on BlackBerry’s AtHoc platform, which enables the sharing of information across an organisation, ranging from sharing work and operational details up to vital details about a major incident, and should appeal to partners that work with customers that have critical life-safety requirements.

Richard McLeod, ‎global vice president – enterprise software channels at BlackBerry, said that in times of crisis it was vital that messages could get out to people providing information and safety advice.

BlackBerry’s mobile background is useful in a situation when email is down, and there is a need for other means of communicating with people.

He said that as well as selling crisis communication tools some partners would also be in a position to earn extra revenues from integrating other aspects, including sirens, radios and speakers.

Candidates will need to be a global partner with robust cloud and security and consultative skills to be invited.

Smart Manufacturing Market Size Worth $395.2 Billion by 2025

db8cf46027f3e5e3c404010a9f3fb2a6Beancounters at Grand View Research have been adding up some numbers and worked out that global smart manufacturing market size is estimated to reach $395.2 billion by 2025.

The study, with the punchy title “Smart Manufacturing Market Analysis By Component, By Technology, By End-use (Automotive, Aerospace, Chemicals, Healthcare, Electronics, Agriculture, Oil & Gas), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2014 – 2025” claims that the growing emphasis on increasing production efficiency and gaining visibility across the entire value chain are the two major factors driving market growth.

In addition, the availability of advanced technologies such as 3D printing, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and plant asset management solutions to small and medium enterprises is further accelerating the industry growth.

The positive impact of government initiatives and investments to promote smart manufacturing adoption has been one of the most influential factors driving market growth. The fact that both industrialized countries and developing economies are aggressively pursuing this avenue is expected to further drive growth. For example, China is reportedly investing over $3 billion for advanced manufacturing under the Made in China 2025 program.

Automotive and aerospace & defense industries are the leading growth avenues for smart manufacturing solution providers with industries such as oil and gas and industrial equipment manufacturing rapidly scaling their digitalisation efforts. With the proliferation of 3D printing, simulation, and modeling in manufacturing and design, these industries are expected to continue to maintain a significant growth rate over the forecast period. Though numerous solutions are available in the market, digital twin and real-time analytics are anticipated to spearhead the penetration of digitalization in these industries.

IAR gets under Amazon’s bonnet

amazonsIAR Systems has announced support for newly launched Internet of Things (IoT) Microcontroller Operating System, Amazon FreeRTOS.

Together with Amazon Web Services (AWS), IAR Systems provides developers with easy access to  pre-integrated development tools for developing and debugging embedded and IoT-connected applications based on Amazon FreeRTOS.

Amazon FreeRTOS provides tools that developers need to quickly and easily deploy a microcontroller-based connected device and develop an embedded or IoT application without having to worry about the complexity of scaling across millions of devices.

Based on the FreeRTOS kernel, Amazon FreeRTOS includes software libraries which make it easy to securely connect devices locally to AWS Greengrass, directly to the cloud, and update them remotely. For new devices, developers can choose to build their embedded and IoT application on a variety of qualified microcontrollers from companies collaborating with AWS and IAR Systems, including Microchip, NXP, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

Amazon Web Services Principal Engineer Richard Barry said that AWS is pleased to be teamed with IAR Systems to provide developers with access to a high performance, pre-integrated set of development tools for developing and debugging connected applications.

“Software development is becoming ever more complex and critical and the need to have access to the right tools to help developers create, optimize and debug their code is paramount.”

IAR Systems Product Manager Lotta Frimanson said that FreeRTOS is widely used among our customers and the new capabilities added by AWS will enable them to take their development of connected applications to the next level.

“AWS and IAR Systems solutions provide easy access to high-performance and integrated tools that can enable developers to focus on the innovative and differentiating parts of their application.”


Two key partners reduce IBM addition

J6GA2aKTwo of IBM’s most monogamous UK partners have told the world they want to see other people and work with other vendors.

In their accounts, Meridian IT and Tectrade referenced initiatives to diversify their vendor portfolios during the year.

Meridian said has been working “almost exclusively” as an IBM Business Partner “has decided that putting ‘all our eggs in one basket’ could end up with the company’s bottom line scrambled.

In its directors’ report for its year ending 31 March 2017, which it filed on Companies House in mid-November the company said: “we have diversified the business significantly into other IT vendors where we are developing strong reseller partner relationships, and a significant business pipeline.”

Meridian saw revenue rise four per cent during the year to £17.5 million, although operating profits fell to £889,000.

Data infrastructure specialist Tectrade’s saw a 30 per cent annual sales leap and said that was because it broke its IBM addition and diversified its vendor roster.

While IBM remains a “core partner”, the addition of Dell EMC to its portfolio helped propel revenues from £12.4m to £16.1 million. Operating profits virtually halved to £1.3 million.

“Vendor diversification will continue in 2017/18, offering existing and new customers a wider range of product and services options,” Tectrade’s directors’ report added.

BluJay releases last mile MobileSTAR

6170101598_a01f290bfbSupply chain software outfit BluJay has unveiled its MobileSTAR mobility platform.

MobileSTAR manages the last mile delivery for shippers and carriers of all types. It provides real-time connection and driver optimisation capabilities through any mobile device while reducing operational costs.

A standalone solution previously offered as Delivery Connect by Blackbay, which BluJay acquired, MobileSTAR is now fully integrated into BluJay’s Transportation Management for shippers workflow to deliver automated, real-time track and trace, and last-mile routing, enabling customers to share shipment and driver information with partners up and down the supply chain. It appears.

BluJay Solutions’ chief product strategist, Doug Surrett, said that MobileSTAR is a next-generation, last-mile mobility solution that is fully integrated with our Global Trade Network and product portfolio. “Our Transportation Management customers now have the ability to connect in real-time, delivering improved customer satisfaction and reduced costs.”

MobileSTAR is a configurable end-to-end application that connects the shipper, operations, management, drivers, and customers with real-time data and automated workflows. For shippers, MobileSTAR can replace manual, labour-intensive tracking processes, without costly integration to telematics providers. Drivers, both private fleet and common carriers, can download the BluJay MobileSTAR application on iOS or Android devices and be immediately connected to the network. The application also provides the benefit of street-level route optimisation. That’s what it reckons.

As a stand-alone solution hosted on-premise or in the cloud, MobileSTAR can be integrated with enterprise systems, as well as pre-configured applications and easy to modify applications for specific needs.

Additionally, MobileSTAR is powered by BluJay’s logistics application framework, which enables organisations to create their own application configuration from a library of functionality, including screens, process flow, and logic capability.

So it’s all pretty compelling, isn’t it?

Midwich makes Sound purchase

acoustic_locator_8Midwich has taken over Letchworth-based Sound Technology.

Sound Technology will continue to operate as an independent company but will become a subsidiary of the Midwich group. Sound founder Robert Wilson set to remain as chairman.

Midwich has been in a buying up large spree since it went public – it has acquired distributors in the UK, Spain, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Stephen Fenby, managing director at Midwich, said: “The acquisition of Sound Technology substantially enhances the group’s ability to provide world-leading products and high-value-add audio solutions to our trade customers.

“In addition, I believe that the high level of support Sound Technology provides to its vendors is very close to our proven strategy as a specialist distributor. The company’s recent entry into the professional lighting market is an exciting proposition and complements our current offering in the Benelux and Iberia regions.

“I look forward to welcoming the Sound Technology team into the Midwich Group and working with them to further develop this marketplace.”


McAfee’s top partners could be demoted

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKZAAAAJGU1N2MxODU4LTY5NmUtNGQ3Yi1hZmVhLThjODQzODZiMGE0NgRecently liberated from the clutches of Intel, McAfee has announced it expects a bit more from its top-tier partners.

Global channel VP Richard Steranka has warned that McAfee’s top-tier partners will have to meet service-certification requirements by the end of the year or be demoted.

Speaking at McAfee’s MPower Cybersecurity Summit in Amsterdam, Steranka said that McAfee is implementing the new training criteria to reward partners that have invested in the firm.

The big idea is to reward VARs who are building their business around McAfee’s software, rather than solely rewarding transactional partners who hold “more than 300” security vendors in their portfolio.

“At the beginning of 2017, it was a new requirement of being a Platinum partner to have two service delivery specialists in at least three of our product areas: end-point, infrastructure, data, or security operations. There was no incentive [previously], so we created one.”

Partners have until 31 December to obtain the necessary certifications, when their place in McAfee’s partner programme will be evaluated.

The vendor has 250 Platinum partners globally, and Steranka expects this to decrease as some current Platinum partners cannot meet the new criteria.

New certifications have been added to the programme; partners are still given rebates depending on how they perform against set quarterly revenue targets.

Partners hitting 80 to 100 percent of their sales target get a two percent rebate, those achieving 100 percent to 150 percent make four percent, while those exceeding 150 percent of sales can earn an eight percent quarterly rebate.