Category: News

Reseller Sales management shortage jacks up wages

banner_220x220Reseller Sales directors have seen a 60 percent increase in their basic salary this year from last year as a skills shortage bites.

Research conducted by Robertson Sumner recruitment agency attributed this salary rise to the skills gap, stating that channel companies are raising their wages to attract appropriately experienced candidates to their organisations.

Marc Sumner, founder of the channel recruitment agency, said there were more vacancies than people and that is a real worry for businesses.

“There were no reseller candidates on the market looking for jobs; they are either happily employed, or they are looking to work for vendors.”

The survey was conducted across 3,000 candidates over a six month period this year, and the results indicate that senior sales positions at vendors also saw salary increases of between seven and 12 percent.

Distributors were seeing sales salaries remaining stable because there is a sufficient supply of skills among distributors, so they do not need to raise salaries to attract candidates, but that this may be to their detriment as these candidates look to the more lucrative packages offered by vendors and resellers.

“You don’t usually see people in distribution move to a reseller – the next logical step would be to go to a vendor. But they are certainly falling way beyond reseller and vendor packages, that’s for sure.”

The onus is on channel companies to solve the skills gap, according to Sumner.

Silver Peak ties in with Axians

banner_220x220Silver Peak has formalised a new partnership agreement with Axians UK, the VINCI Energies brand dedicated to ICT.

Axians UK will join the Silver Peak partner programme and immediately offer the Unity EdgeConnect business-driven SD-WAN edge platform to its current and prospective enterprise customers.

With EdgeConnect, Axians’ customers will benefit from the outfit’s unified WAN edge platform. EdgeConnect is centrally managed and uniquely unifies core network functions, SD-WAN, WAN optimisation, routing and security, at the branch into a business-driven SD-WAN edge.

Sales director for the UK and Ireland at Silver Peak Allan Paton said:

“As geographically distributed enterprises seek to accelerate cloud-centric business initiatives, they quickly realise that their existing WAN is not architected for the cloud. With Axians’ networking expertise and proven delivery track record for professional installation, deployment and technical consulting services, we are already providing customers with the flexibility to move beyond router-centric WAN architectures to a centrally managed business-first SD-WAN edge. The partnership with Axians UK is the next step in accelerating the international deployment of SD-WAN.”

Spencer Lea, sales director at Axians UK  said: “With our deep knowledge of the SD-WAN market, it made sense to combine our strengths and talents with Silver Peak to take customers beyond basic SD-WAN products toward a business-first networking model and ultimately a self-driving wide area network,” said  “We have already had some great success with the implementation and project delivery of global and local SD-WAN deployments. Working alongside Silver Peak will continue to bring next-generation network solutions to market that will enable our customers to accelerate cloud initiatives while dramatically simplifying IT operations.”

IT Lab and Content and Code team up

banner_220x220IT Lab and Content and Code have consolidated their operations to create one of the largest Microsoft partners in the UK.

The combined entity will have a £60 million turnover and 550 staff operating out of locations in London, Manchester and South Africa.

IT Lab has been given the backing of private equity players ECI Partners to since that relationship was struck in 2016 it has made no secret of ambitions to use acquisition as a route to growth.

Content and Code is the second deal that the firm has made in the last 18 months following on from an acquisition of cybersecurity player Perspective Risk last May. The details of the latest purchase have not been disclosed.

IT Lab chief executive Peter Sweetbaum remains at the head of the firm and Tim Wallis, founder of Content and Code, will take on the role of Chief Digital Officer of IT Lab and will lead the future relationship with Microsoft.

Craig Fellowes, productivity sales director at Microsoft UK, said: “Content and Code has been one of our strongest and most trusted partners for as long as I can remember and has continued to set the benchmark for excellence in Modern Workplace. This, coupled with IT Lab’s domain and industry expertise make this is a promising combination to provide our customers with an even more complete solution and support. This new partnership will undoubtedly provide our customers with an additional and credible option to consider when choosing who they want to help migrate, deploy and manage their desktop environment.”


Intel claims it has enough chips

banner_220x220Intel’s interim CEO Bob Swan has said that Intel will have enough chips on hand to cope with any pick up of the PC industry.

Analysts have said that the PC market is about to pick up and there are fears that Intel might not have enough chips on hand. Already Eastern suppliers are saying that there are shortages of Intel chips and HPE has started buying AMD gear.

However Swan sang that there would be enough to go around: “We’re prioritising the production of Intel Xeon and Intel Core processors so that collectively we can serve the high-performance segments of the market. That said, supply is undoubtedly tight, particularly at the entry-level of the PC market.”

Global PC shipments grew by 1.4 percent year on year in the three months ending June 2018, marking the market’s strongest performance since early 2012.

Demand for Intel’s CPUs has also seen higher than expected demand due to a strong enterprise server upgrade cycle, the firm claims.

However, the California-based vendor’s ongoing scramble to churn out chips is likely to push PC makers and OEMs into the arms of Intel’s main rival, AMD.

AMD’s share price has more than doubled since the middle of last year, but declined around six percent after Swan’s letter was published.

Research company Fubon claims that AMD has already stepped into the breach with deals with Dell and HP, CNBC reported.

In response, Intel has pledged to plough an additional €861.5 million into its 4nm manufacturing across sites in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland and Israel.

“We’re working with your teams to align demand with available supply. You can expect us to stay close, listen, partner and keep you informed,” Swan said.


Barrie Desmond steps down

banner_220x220Exclusive Networks COO Barrie Desmond has announced he is quitting the outfit and will hand over his duties to Andy Travers.

Desmond will leave the €1.75 billion revenue VAD at the end of December after a seven-years at the Paris-based firm.

Travers is a former Fortinet and RSA executive Travers, who will have a different job title of SVP worldwide sales and marketing.

Desmond said he had done his bit and he was tired. It was time for the company to have a new voice and he is pleased Andy is the guy succeeding him.

“I’ve known him 20 years, and he’s had experience at every level of the channel”, he said.

Desmond joined Paris-based Exclusive via its 2011 acquisition of VADition, and since then Exclusive has built out a global footprint, most recently expanding into the US.  Exclusive has set itself a new €10bn revenue goal under new private equity backer Permira.

Desmond said he had a lot of fun but spent a lot of energy doing it. Now the platform is set for the next chapter of this story.

“I’m going to see how my life is and in January onwards do a bit of skiing and make some decisions then. Nothing is decided from my perspective.”


IMS evolves with Intel IoT for UK supermarkets

The IMS Evolve Cold Chain solution has been released putting Intel’s IoT into the paws of UK supermarkets.

For those who came in late, IMS Evolve enables food retailers to leverage actionable data and insights from existing infrastructure and systems and has been benchmarked as a leading provider of machine integration and event management. This offers a service delivery mechanism that features configurable business process rules and logic, which enables automation and workflow improvements resulting in substantial efficiencies, cost savings, availability and quality of performance.

It uses Intel processors and Dell Edge Gateways to deliver clarity and consistency through a single consolidated integration layer and provides a practical approach to waste reduction and to ensure improved quality.

The outfit claims that with the IMS Evolve IoT solution integrated within the cold chain, not only can energy consumption be reduced, but a higher quality product can be achieved, improving the customer experience and enabling retailers to enhance their brand, realise value quickly, and save money.

One British supermarket has seen a nearly 50 percent reduction in stock loss, and 40 percent reduction in reactive maintenance calls driven by condition-based maintenance, resulting in 15-20 percent overall cost savings. The IMS Evolve solution has also enabled customers to achieve 99.98 percent availability of critical assets and a 30 per cent reduction in customer complaints, it’s claimed.

Jason Kay, CCO said: “IMS Evolve has greatly benefited from being a part of the Intel IoT Market Ready Solution Program. From accelerating the design and deployment of intelligent devices and analytics with our customers to supporting the continuous innovation, evolution and delivery of our solution.”

Dell EMC on its way to challenging HPE

Dell EMC is closing the gap on Hewlett Packard Enterprise as EMEA’s top server vendor.

Beancounters at IDC have added up some numbers and divided by their collective shoe size and claimed that Dell EMC saw its server market share in EMEA increase just over three percentage points to 22.4 percent in Q2. HPE’s numbers were disappointing, and it declined over three per cent to 28.4 percent.

IDC senior research analyst Kamil Gregor said total spend for the quarter was up 28.9 percent year on year to $4.1 billion with HPE making up over a quarter of these sales. The number of shipments, however, declined 3.7 percent to 515,000 units shipped.

Some of the largest markets in Europe experienced shipment declines, with Germany seeing a drop of 14 percent and the UK a decline of 8.7 percent. These two regions, however, experienced revenue growth of 23.2 percent and 29.9 percent respectively as the average order of shipments rose.

Epson goes on the road

banner_220x220Epson is bringing its Reseller Roadshow to the UK and Ireland between 2 October and 22  November 2018, to showcase its latest range of print, projection and scan products and solutions. The programme will also feature insights from world-class guest speakers on a range of different subject areas that impact the channel.

The Reseller Roadshow, which will visit five different cities across England, Ireland and Scotland, will outline the power of business inkjet technology, where Epson says it has seen an enormous growth in sales in the last 12 months. Attendees will learn how making the switch from laser to inkjet can deliver significant value to the channel – driving the shift to make print a contractual, and not transactional, business.

Joining the roadshow as a guest speaker is print industry expert and thought leader, Mick Heys, Vice President, European Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions (IPDS) at IDC. Mr Heys will be at each roadshow event, delivering his views about print industry trends and the evolving IPDS landscape.

The roadshow will highlight why size matters in projection and how document management – which Epson thinks is of utmost importance in today’s compliancy landscape – is made easy with its Document Capture Suite.

The agenda also focuses heavily on CSR trends and the many opportunities these present for the channel. Attendees will find out how inkjet printing can help keep both costs and energy emissions down – Epson has found that companies could save up to £157 million on their energy bill and 333,041 metric tons of CO2 emissions in Europe over four years, as a result of opting for inkjet over laser[1].

Leo Johnson, Head of PwC’s Disruption practice, and presenter of Radio 4’s flagship series FutureProofing, will also join the Reseller Roadshow to discuss how CSR is reshaping business and society.

Darren Phelps, Executive Director Europe – Value Partner Channel for Epson Europe, said: “We are dedicated to offering businesses across Europe cost-effective and efficient technology that is better for the environment. An example of this in action are the advances we’ve made in inkjet technology, which uses up to 96 percent less energy, produces up to 92 per cent less CO2, and achieves up to 99 oer cent less waste than laser technology.

More information about, and registration for, the Reseller Roadshow events – which take place in London (2  October), Coventry (18 October), Manchester (25 October), Edinburgh (13 November) and Dublin (22 November) – is available here.


Getronics changes brand identity after buy-out

Getronics announced today the formal change in brand identity to complement the acquisition of US-based Pomeroy as part of its expanding global group.

The organisation, with combined revenue of approximately $1.3 billion, has firmly established its place as a global Information and Communications Technology service provider.

Although Getronics was already present in the US market through existing partnerships, adding Pomeroy’s vast network of coast-to-coast locations has enabled a solid foundation upon which to grow in North America and gain access to key markets.

Getronics is recognised for its “Workspace Management” in IT; therefore, the acquisition of Pomeroy, the “foremost expert in Optimised Workplace Services,” reflects the joint vision and expertise of the outfits.

Under the Getronics’ brand, the company now is focused on becoming the global leader in Managed Digital Workspace, Applications, Industry-Specific Software Solutions, Multi-Cloud Management and Unified Communications. At the same time, Getronics wants its employees to be positively impacted by this change, and, above all, for its customers to continue to benefit from the responsive support and technology solutions made possible through a new global delivery model.

Nana Baffour, Chairman and Group CEO of Getronics, sees this acquisition as a promising new chapter in Getronics’ 130 year-plus history. “From now on, we will be able to serve the United States with our multi-layered portfolio of services better than ever before, as we will be based on the local market, strengthening our capacity to understand the real needs of customers in this part of the world. That’s made possible through our expertise and ability to develop closer relationships with both customers and partners.”

Computacenter buys big in US

UK’s largest reseller/services outfit Computacenter has written a $90 milion cheque for the US outfit FusionStorm.

The move is part of a much rumoured push by Computacenter over the pond.  Computacenter will pay an initial cash consideration of $70 million and up to an additional $20 million in differed payments for the San Francisco-based firm. It will also contribute $45 million to refinance FusionStorm’s existing facilities.

Computacenter CEO Mike Norris said the move would boost its ability to serve international customers and extend its reach into the US market.

Computacenter launched into the US in 2017 and it said the FusionStorm deal will boost its US headcount by 50 percent.

FusionStorm CEO, Dan Serpico is cleaning out his desk and handing the keys to the executive drinks cabinent to Computacenter US CEO Mike Keogh over the coming months.

Norris added: “This transaction broadens our capability to serve our international customers and should enhance our existing customer offer and reach into the US marketplace, whilst providing an opportunity to improve the long-term prospects for the employees of FusionStorm and Computacenter US.”

Serpico said: “Computacenter, as one of the leaders in our marketplace, offers an exciting opportunity for our employees as well as security, range of services and international coverage for our clients and partners. Out of many potential suitors, Computacenter stood out for their great cultural fit and I am very proud that we can start the next step in our company’s journey as part of this great business.”

For the year ending 31 December 2017, FusionStorm reported turnover of $595 million with a profit before tax of $3.9 million.

Computacenter however said that this profit number includes $5.2m of interest costs, which it expects to “materially reduce” as a result of the refinancing.



Wi-SUN looks for new fans

banner_220x220The Wi-SUN Alliance has announced its FAN Certification Programme.

For those who came in late, FAN is a communications infrastructure for very large-scale networks. In the same way, you use the internet on a smartphone or computer, a Field Area Network lets devices interconnect onto one common network.

The availability of the FAN Certification Program is the result of the vision, collaboration and dedication of some Wi-SUN Member companies. Through the certification program, the Wi-SUN Alliance certifies products based on their compliance to a communications profile derived from applicable open standards and their ability to interoperate with other Wi-SUN certified products.

The FAN Certification Programme will certify devices for use by utilities, city developers and other service providers to simplify and support large-scale, outdoor networks for smart cities, smart utilities and other IoT rollouts – and to help reduce costs and delays. Wi-SUN members plan to announce certified products in Q4 2018.

Phil Beecher, President and CEO of the Wi-SUN Alliance, said that proprietary systems were too inflexible, or as cost-effective as solutions based on open standards, and will become less relevant within a few years. Adhering to the Wi-SUN FAN profile based on open IEEE and IETF standards enables service providers, smart cities and utilities to deploy adaptable multi-service networks and will help ensure interoperability, not only today but for many years.

“Wi-SUN continues to be at the forefront of IoT innovation, and as cities, utilities and the industry grow their IoT networks, they increasingly recognise that industry-wide open standards are essential for interoperability and scalability. FAN Certification is an endorsement for governments and the industry that our members’ products are compliant to these open standards, and safeguards quality, interoperability, security, scalability – and ultimately gives customers a competitive advantage”, he said.

Key benefits of FAN Certification include:
• Offers utilities, cities and service providers adaptable multi-service networks that will help ensure interoperability today and for future generations.
• Reduces the time needed to evaluate new products, as behaviour, performance and interoperability are well defined.
• Eliminates single-vendor lock-in.
• Encourages the development of a global ecosystem of standards-based products, reducing the risk and costly impact of stranded assets.

A certified Wi-SUN rigorously tests all Wi-SUN certified products appointed third-party test lab to ensure the devices work together effortlessly and securely for rapid time to market. Accredited devices include a digital certificate to authenticate entry to a Wi-SUN FAN network, significantly reducing vulnerability to cybersecurity threats. Under a separate agreement, Wi-SUN has selected GlobalSign to provide Certificate Authority (CA) services to Wi-SUN Alliance member companies.

Alex Davies, Senior Analyst, Rethink Technology Research and Editor of RIOT said: “Open standards are one of the surest ways to ensure mass adoption of a technology. As with WiFi and the 3GPP cellular protocols, Wi-SUN’s FAN is delivering multiple choices for equipment and technology suppliers to facilitate customer interest. Energy suppliers and grid operators are concerned about vendor lock-in, particularly due to the long life cycles of their deployments. To this end, Wi-SUN should provide an answer to their mission-critical problems that other LPWAN options cannot. It opens the door for them to expand into other IoT markets, with smart cities a major opportunity.”

Iker Urrutia, Manager, Smart Grids, Avangrid said: “IoT networking solutions based on open standards and certified to the Wi-SUN FAN profile will be critical in obtaining true interoperability for utility applications, such as AMI, accelerating the digitisation of the grid cost-effectively.”

The FAN Certification Program has been developed through the collaboration of Wi-SUN member companies, including product vendors and collaborators participating in interoperability events to prove the specifications and certification test program. The following are among some of the companies who have been actively leading the way to certification: Analog Devices, Cisco, EPRI, Itron, Kyoto University/Nissin Systems, Landis+Gyr,  Renesas and ROHM Europe.


Equinix wants 30 percent channel sales by 2021

banner_220x220Datacentre outfit Equinix said that its channel business will have a 30 per cent slice of group sales by 2021.

The group claims that a company-wide investment in filling channel-facing roles is yielding positive results and the firm has filled out its channel teams in its four biggest EMEA markets: the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Germany.

The channel makes up around 20 percent of Equinix’s business, has set a 2021 target of growing that to 30 percent. The outfit has been active in the channel for only three years.

In a statement the company said that the channel was “a growth accelerator” for the business, he claims, with its channel now growing at a faster rate than direct sales. Last quarter was a significant growth quarter  – over 40 per cent growth year on year. It usually tracks at around 20 to 30 percent.

This year, Equinix has deployed channel people in Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Poland and Dubai.


Darktrace worth $1.65 billion

banner_220x220UK cyber security vendor Darktrace is now valued at $1.65 billion after raising $50 million in a Series E funding round.

The AI firm claimed to have seen its revenue increased 100 per cent year on year in July.

The extra cash will be used to fuel an international expansion which has seen it open offices in Los Angeles, Mexico City and Sao Paolo.

Darktrace claims to have increased its headcount by 60 percent over the last year, giving it an employee base of 750 staff.

This latest investment round was led by Vitruvian Partners and included existing investors KKR and 1011 Ventures.


It is spend,spend, spend on the cloud

banner_220x220Cloud channel members should be rubbing their paws with glee at the news that cloud spending is on the increase

IDC has increased its forecasts for the amount of cloud infrastructure sales that will be sold globally this year on the back of a solid showing in the second quarter.

The analyst house has charted a 48.4 percent increase in the sale of infrastructure products, including servers, storage and Ethernet switches, sold by vendors and fulfilled by the channel in Q2. As a result, the forecasts for the full year are now coming in a $62.2 billion, an increase of 31.1 percent on last year.

Spending is increasing in public and private cloud areas, up by 58.9 percent and 28.2 percent in Q2 respectively, with the combined investments in cloud infrastructure now accounting for almost half of all the infrastructure spending globally.

IDC is forecasting that spending in cloud environments is going to grow by double digits this year.

Non-cloud IT is dying, and it still accounted for  just over half of the total infrastructure market in Q2 and came in with 21.1 percent growth, but it is markedly lower than cloud-related spending.

Natalya Yezhkova, research director, IT Infrastructure and Platforms at IDC said that as the share of cloud environments in the overall spending on IT infrastructure continues to climb and approaches 50 percent, it is evident that cloud, which once used to be an emerging sector of the IT infrastructure industry, is now the norm.

“One of the tasks for enterprises now is not only to decide on what cloud resources to use but how to manage multiple cloud resources. End users’ ability to use multi-cloud resources is an essential driver of further proliferation for both public and private cloud environments”, she added.

The top three regarding market share were Dell, HPE and Cisco. But the shining star regarding revenue growth year on year in Q2 was Lenovo, which delivered a 223.5 percent increase putting it in fourth place.

Hills Components shuts down

banner_220x220After 45 years in business Hills Components has ceased trading.

The Watford-based firm described itself as a trade and educational supplier, primarily offering IT hardware and accessories to its clients. It flogged Acer, Dell and Epson gear and hired 20.

It  went into liquidation on 13 September, appointing Mercer & Hole accountants on the same day. Apparently the outfit had acquired too much debt and had an inventory of outdated stock.

The e-tailer reported assets of £2 million in its financial 2017, a lot of that stock was outdated and was removed from the company’s catalogue, causing it to sit unsold.

This sort of problem is typical issue for many channel players who become significantly overstocked and the price comes down. The only way to turn the product into cash is to  lose money on it.