Category: News

Huawei announces its cunning cloud plans

cunning-planHuawei has been showing off its latest enterprise service strategy designed to support companies undergoing cloud transformation.

Huawei wants to become an industry cloud enabler and a strategic partner to customers across diverse industries by investing USD 500 million in the development of cloud-based professional services, a cloud platform and cloud ecosystem.

This will provide customers with end-to-end cloud transformation service solutions enabling them to build, use, and manage their cloud platforms effectively.

Sun Maolu, President of Technical Service Department for Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said: “With the emergence of a ‘Cloud Only’ era, Huawei is adopting a long term cloud transformation service strategy to support our enterprise customers in their journey to the cloud. Our services strategy centers on the concept of ‘Grow with the Cloud’ and becoming an industry cloud enabler.”

Huawei’s enterprise services will focus on four key areas including cloud innovation, creating a digital platform, supporting smart operations and enabling businesses.

To drive this strategy forward, Huawei will continue to increase its investment in the development of service solutions and Global Service Centers, and tools, platforms and verification labs for professional services.

“In the next five years, we will also focus on research and development of industry clouds, increasing our annual investment by more than 50%. To meet enterprise demand for ICT talent in the cloud era, Huawei will provide a new certification scheme to train ICT architects, ICT developers and industry-specific ICT experts. By 2021, it is estimated that more than 150,000 cloud and industry-specific ICT professionals will have been certified by Huawei,” Maolu said.

The big idea is based around the concept that as enterprises embrace cloud transformation, they will face a new set of challenges across strategy, planning, requirement analysis, business integration, application system evaluation, technology selection, roadmap design, deployment, operations & maintenance (O&M) management, and information security.

According to Xu Jingbin, Director of IT Technical Service Department for Huawei Enterprise Business Group: “With a track record of industry cloud solution delivery, Huawei works closely with our partners to develop end-to-end industry cloud transformation services that cover consulting, assessment, planning and design, migration, disaster recovery (DR), security, and O&M.”

Huawei provides a sophisticated migration process with 4 stages and 17 steps, and professional migration tools developed in-house, which have helped more than 1,000 customers migrate their businesses to the cloud smoothly and efficiently, he added.

To help customers through their cloud transformation, Huawei will invest more than USD 500 million in the next five years to develop all-scenario services and integrated verification capabilities for its enterprise services.

Leslie Rosenberg, IDC Research Director, said: “Huawei invests heavily in the development of Intellectual Property through the establishment of R&D centers to accelerate innovation, differentiation and delivery of its services.  The company has skilled services personnel as well as a channel ecosystem around the globe for consistent consulting and integration engagements.

In a recent IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Network Consulting Services 2017 Vendor Assessment, Huawei is positioned as a Major Player, for its global capabilities and R+D strength.  Additionally, end users surveyed in the study cited Huawei for its ability to lower operational costs and improve security as well as its ability to deliver reliability, quality and adaptability to customer needs and requirements.”



HPE signs on three UK distributors for its Nimble Storage.

INDUSTRY HP 1HPE, which wrote a cheque for Nimble Storage earlier this year, has hired three UK distributors to push it.

Entry-level Nimble products were recently added to HPE’s price list and the vendor has now confirmed its distribution line-up.

HPE channel boss Mark Armstrong said: “As you may be aware, HPE announced that selected entry-level Nimble storage platforms were added to the HPE price list and made available to resellers via the existing HPE distributors in the UK.

“Nimble distributors in the UK are Arrow ECS, Azlan and Ingram Micro. HPE distributors for storage are Azlan, Ingram Micro and Westcoast.

“The remaining Nimble storage platforms continue to be available from the previously appointed Nimble distributors until 1 November 2017, when the full Nimble portfolio joins the HPE price list.”

Westcoast was the first distributor in the UK to ship a Nimble Storage order from the HPE price list.

“This product needs to be seen to be believed and the channel is going to love InfoSight, the predictive analysis tool it comes with.”

Brexit turns UK into HPE’s backwater

1046922917HPE CEO Meg Whitman would rather have preferred that Brexit never happened.

Whatever some politicians might  talk about the benefits of leaving the EU, Whitman confirmed there had been a pause in demand in the UK market after the EU referendum.

“I think we are still feeling some after-effects from Brexit, because it’s not clear exactly how this is all going to work. So I would say, the UK market is a bit challenged for us”,  she said.

Public sector spending also being cut back “quite dramatically” and the UK has suddenly become one of HPE’s weaker markets.

Once it was a very important market, but now the rest of Western Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America and Asia were “all outperforming the UK right now”.

It looks like as far as HPE is concerned the UK, rather than growing more important as it asserted its independence from the EU is becoming an also ran behind such wonderful economies as Brazil, Venezuela and Burma. Maybe they should have put that on the Brexit campaign bus.

Avast has merged its channel with AVG

apples-orangesAvast has finished its year of merging its technology and channel programmes with AVG.

The outfit bought AVG last year and has been working towards combining the channel and integrating products and processes to get into a situation where it can launch as a single entity.

The company has rolled out some major changes to its product portfolio an channel programmes as it merges the AVG business into its operations.

The Avast Business brand will lean on the AVG legacy in behavioural security technology and the cyber capture from the Avast side that looks at suspicious files, email or web content and ensures it will not hit the user.

The vendor will offer three levels of end protection for users which delivers anti-virus, data protection and identity protection as well as public wifi inspection tools, a data shredder, VPN and password management.

As well as the brand changes and product roll out there is a fresh channel programme, certifications and payment platform.

On the channel side, the aim is to bring the two firm’s reseller roster together. The company said there would be a transition period giving the channel the time to get to grips with the combined programme and certifications.

Juniper Networks signs up Nuvias to bolster EMEA coverage

JuniperBerriesJuniper Networks has signed up its second distributor this year to give it a crack at getting more of the channel.

The networking player has been developing its strategy this year and added Westcoast in February, and has now followed that up with a distributor that it hopes will add more EMEA coverage.

Nuvias will be given access to the vendor’s full range of networking, security and data centre products and is being brought on board not only to cover EMEA but to help reach more partners serving mid to high end customers.

The distributor has designed a channel development programme that should make it easier for more partners to get involved with selling the portfolio, with a view to encouraging vertical market players to seek out opportunities.

Emphasis will be placed on getting resellers up to speed around network automation, SDN and software-defined security.

Nuvias CEO Paul Eccleston said: “The strength of our commitment will be demonstrated through a dedication to partner enablement, services and solutions that can generate new opportunities and business.

“We are equipping partners with the necessary skills to pursue opportunities independently, generate additional revenues, and deliver innovative services to their customers. Juniper invests in partners that bring in new business and this agreement presents a fantastic opportunity for the channel.”

Juniper Networks head of channel, alliances and commercial EMEA Kristian Kerr said: “Nuvias’ approach reflects the dynamic IT landscape, while being able to consistently deliver the highest levels of capability, accreditation, sales, marketing, services and operational excellence to Juniper’s partners across EMEA.”


Huawei wants to build cloud alliance

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudHuawei wants to build “one of the world’s five clouds”, and take on the public cloud giants Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google and IBM.

Huawei’s rotating and spinning CEO Guo Ping said the cloud is a cornerstone of the intelligent world.

Talking to the assembled throngs at Huawei Connect 2017, in Shanghai, China. Ping pointed to Huawei’s “long-term, strategic investment in public cloud”.

Ping said the vendor was partnering with carriers Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefonica internationally to provide public cloud services. This would work with partners “99 percent of the time” to bring its products to the non-Chinese market.

He compared the new “cloud alliance” to airlines’ partner alliances, “which take passengers wherever they need to go in the world.

“These telcos have established trust and relationships with governments and large enterprises. That’s the model we will build on. Huawei has never taken shortcuts and we never will… It’s the same for Huawei Cloud. We will work with partners to build a cloud alliance.”

Ping believes Huawei differs from its rivals in that it doesn’t look to monetise its customers’ data.

“In 2015 we launched our cloud strategy and we said our public cloud wouldn’t touch the customer’s applications or data. We commit to that again, that without the consent of the customer, Huawei Cloud won’t monetize their data. “We won’t turn their data into our own and profit from it.”

Zheng Yelai, president of Huawei Cloud BU and IT product line, admitted Huawei wasn’t yet “the best player, but we are the fastest moving player making progress. Huawei is not a great talker about ideas, but we are a great doer in making them happen”,  he said.

Staff do not fear AI

TerminatorDespite all the scare stories, staff are ok with AI and business automation, according to a new study.

Number crunchers at Ricoh found that users are looking forward to exploiting the benefits of AI and are less worried about their jobs.

There have always been some suspicions that resellers pitching ‘digital transformation’ face some resistance from customers working in IT departments fearing for their own futures. IT staff would not be keen on rolling out more automation and sitting back while the machines take over.

Staff quizzed by Ricoh Europe revealed that 65 per cent expected automation technology would help them be more productive and 52 per cent expected artificial intelligence to have a positive impact on their roles.

Ricoh Europe vice-president corporate marketing Javier Diez-Aguirre said that employees were saying much which echoed the macroeconomic productivity concerns troubling governments worldwide.

“Too much of the working day is taken up with tasks and processes that could be automated or streamlined. By freeing up this time, technology empowers employees to work smarter and focus on adding real value to their business,” he said.

Users are hoping that technology will give them quicker access to data, give them the chance to work from home more often and reduce repetitive tasks.

There is a sense that failing to take steps to embrace the latest technology could have damaging repercussions with 36 per cent of those quizzed by Ricoh expressing the fear that a business that does not invest will fail within five years.

“Business decision makers should take a long term, holistic view on the costs of their core processes. Cutting investment may free up short term capital, but the benefits of increased productivity promise to pay great dividends in years to come,” added Diez-Aguirre.

Those fears about failing to invest have also been researched by Ricoh, which released findings last month that indicated that 15% of mid sized firms in the UK felt they had missed out on revenue opportunities because they did not have access to the best technology.

Lack of training, inefficient deployment and IT teams failing to spot interesting products and services were the main reasons things were going wrong.

“Despite the vast range of technology that is available to organisations, it is clear that mid-sized businesses across Europe do not feel like they are getting good value from their choices. Improved efficiencies and better collaboration and communication between staff are crucial constituents of making a successful business,” said Diez-Aguirre.

Microsoft expands finds new Surface Hub distributor

surfacetabWestcon-Comstor is joining Tech Data’s Maverick as UK distributor for Surface Hub as the software king of the world has expanded the reach of its Surface Hub audiovisual (AV) display.

The delayed Surface Hub launched in the UK last year and had until recently been available only through specialist AV partners.

The product, which is available in 55″ and 84″ models, launched with just 20 partners across all of Europe, but the partner base in the UK was broadened earlier this year.

Ryan Asdourian, Microsoft’s Windows and Surface lead in the UK, said: “The addition of the Surface Hub to Westcon-Comstor’s portfolio will ensure that they are able to offer the VAR community the best possible collaboration solutions for customers throughout the UK and Ireland.

“We have been delighted with the reaction to the Surface Hub since it was first introduced to the UK market in 2016 and the addition of Westcon-Comstor as a distributor, combined with its strong portfolio of wraparound services such as Skype for Business, will ensure that even more organisations are able to transform the way their employees collaborate, share and communicate.”

The Microsoft Surface Hub partner base in the UK now includes Insight, Computacenter, Misco and SCC

Wayne Mason, EMEA unified comms general manager at Westcon-Comstor, added: “We are focused on providing organisations with the best possible collaboration tools to ensure employees are able to work together more easily and effectively.

“The Microsoft Surface Hub absolutely ticks the box both from a technology perspective and in the culture of collaboration it creates. With our ability to wrap additional services around the Surface Hub and a comprehensive portfolio of complementary solutions for Skype for Business we are creating a very strong offer for the VAR community.”

Solar Communications buys TWL

solar eclipseSolar Communications has written a cheque for Cardiff-based TWL which  gives it access to more unified comms skills and widen the customer base to pitch SD WAN, contact centre, cloud storage and on-site services.

This is the first buy-out the company has carried out this year. Last year it bought Response Data Communications and Denwa. The company is understood to be making two more acquisitions this year.

A company spokesman said that the deal will bolster Solar’s status as a Mitel Gold partner, while also improving its Welsh presence.

Solar is understood to be approaching its larger customers ask it to take on more of their services, which the TWL acquisition will allow it to manage.

The outfit has been winning some big deals with some larger organisations and they’re asking it to take on other services for them as well, such as cabling, local area network management and their WiFi management.

The idea is to start attracting the high mid-market and small enterprise customers, and TWL can help provide those particular skills.

Solar recently filed its full accounts with Companies House, with revenue for the year ending 31 December 2016 up 11 per cent to £14.8 million.

But Solar is expecting to do well after Mitel’s acquisition of ShoreTel, with the Wiltshire-based firm currently the only ShoreTel Platinum Partner outside the US.

The move gives Solar a base in South Wales to add to offices in Chippenham, Harlow and Manchester.

TWL staff and the founder and managing director Andrew Nicholson are remaining with the business to help with the transition and make sure that the deal goes smoothly.


Spreadtrum gets Verve

The_Verve_History_SingleVerve Connect, a UK-based communications company specialising in “Connected & Entertained Everywhere” products, is teaming up with Spreadtrum Communications, a fabless semiconductor company that develops mobile chipsets for consumer electronic products.

The pair will supply UK customers with a number of competitively priced handsets on the Spreadtrum platform. The two new handsets, the IMO Q2 and IMO Dash are available at Tesco, across 950 of its
UK retail stores. The handsets are also available to purchase from other carriers and retailers including Virgin Media, Argos, Amazon, and more later.

Verve Connect launched its IMO branded mobile devices with customers including Virgin Media, Dixons Carphone and Talk Mobile, the company is now partnering with Spreadtrum to use the Spreadtrum SC7731C & SC7701 chipset platforms to provide UK consumers with a great value smartphone the IMO Q2 and a solid no-frills 3G feature phone the IMO Dash.

Wu Sa, Verve Connect Managing Director, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Spreadtrum to launch these two handsets. IMO is dedicated to delivering the best quality and value devices in the market, enabling consumers to enjoy mobile phone experiences that tier 1 brands offer, without breaking the bank.

“Spreadtrum are a great fit for Verve Connect to partner with, as we both have aspirations to grow our business in Europe with our mutual ‘make it happen’ attitudes, and our collaboration and innovation will help us both achieve our joint business objectives.”

“We are pleased to be working with Verve Connect to deliver our technical value proposition through IMO devices to Tesco and other UK customers,” said Judy Chung, Vice President of Spreadtrum Communications. “Our collaboration has enabled an increasingly large number of UK customers across all consumer segments to achieve a strong mobile user experience without any compromise in performance or design.”

Verve Connect and Spreadtrum are also teaming up based on Spreadtrum SC9853I, SC9850 and SC9832A platform to provide a series of new devices, targeted at key carriers with VoLTE & VoWiFi functions for 2018/2019.

Beta Distribution helps in Netgear’s channel plans

banner_6469Beta Distribution is part of Netgear’s plans to reach more networking resellers by expanding its distribution roster.

The vendor covers both the enterprise and consumer markets and the distributor is keen to take it out to its customer base.

Beta product manager Ben Jackson said that the combination of the Netgear name and reputation in the market and Beta’s reach into a wide spectrum of resellers, from etailers to MSPs and everything in between, means this is a tremendous opportunity for both companies.

Netgear joins other vendors Samsung and Billion in the networking products listings that Beta can offer resellers.

Oliver Randall, UK sales manager at Netgear, said that the partnership should enable it to add to its channel footprint as Beta has the reach into the reseller community.

“Our product portfolio has expanded over the past two decades from Ethernet hubs to switches, advanced WiFi systems, network attached storage and smart home. Beta has the inhouse expertise, both in Account Management and technical knowledge, to very effectively support the product range into the reseller,” he added.

Netgear has been building its channel numbers up over the last two years as part of a campaign to increase its B2B sales.

The firm has not only rolled out more product for the enterprise market but has supported the channel with a global programme and greater help for those entry-level partners trying to get involved with the networking market.

National Desktop and Notebook Agreement goes live.

CNS-Solutions-CSWA-Exam-Student-Taking-Exam-2The National Desktop and Notebook Agreement (NDNA)  is now live with resellers awarded spots as indirect partners for a host of PC vendors.

Managed by London Universities Purchasing Consortium, the four year agreement  will see Academia, DTP and Misco provide desktops and mobile devices from Acer, Fujitsu, HP Inc, Lenovo and Toshiba. Dell will take all its business direct.

The 11 resellers on the framework are: Academia, Bechtle, CDW, DTP, European Electronique, Getech, Insight, Misco, SCC, Stone and XMA. Stone Computers will also supply its own devices direct to customers, while XMA will supply its Viglen brand.

The framework is broken up into three lots: Lot 1 is for desktops, Lot 2 is for notebooks and mobile devices, while Lot 3 is a “one-stop shop” for both categories.

The value of the NDNA is between £400 million and £440 million, which is much bigger than its predecessor’s £310 million.

One thing is noticeable. Samsung is no longer involved, while Fujitsu is brought in on Lot 2. Softcat is a notable reseller absentee, having previously been in all three Lots with Dell and Lenovo.


Microsoft makes more money from clouds

lightning-cloudMicrosoft is starting to make significant piles of cash from its cloud thanks to the efforts of its channel.

This year Office cloud revenues surpassed traditional licences for the first time and Richard Ellis, Microsoft Office Division lead, says much of the impetus behind the growth in the company’s cloud business has been driven by the success of its cloud solution partner (CSP) programme.

“The CSP framework is a great example of the huge opportunity for partners,” he says, “giving them the ability to bill, invoice and provide managed service and support to Office 365 customers using our infrastructure. It allows partners to set their own pricing, their own support contracts and work with ISVs to add value.”

There are 35,000 CSP partners globally and the number is growing at the rate of 6,000 a month. “CSP is enabling partners to grow their revenue share with customers,” Ellis claims, revealing that CSP partners enjoyed 10 percent year on year average revenue per user growth.

Ellis said most partners were aware of Vole’s shift to the cloud and are taking advantage of it. “It’s for every partner to assess what their own services are and what their value proposition is to their customers. That’s always been crucial and it will be crucial going forward. Partners need to be very clear what value they are adding.”

Tech Data’s shares crash

Tech Data’s shares Wall Street Crash, Wikimedia Commonscrashed after its numbers failed to impress analysts and it complained of missing vendor rebate targets.

For those who came in late, Tech Data’s moves to buy out Avnet Technology Solutions received the thumbs up from Wall Street, with its share price rising 27 percent for the year to date.

But now its market value has dropped 19 percent as the company missed its quarterly profit targets and disappointed Wall Street with its guidance.

This is Tech Data’s first full quarter since it sealed the Avnet mega-merger in February, and the deal has made it even bigger than everyone expected, with Q2 revenues surging 40 percent annually to $8.9 billion.  Growth in both Europe and the Americas was in the low single digits.

Avnet TS has also breathed fresh life into Tech Data’s margins. Gross margins hit 5.8 percent for the quarter, up from 4.98 percent a year earlier, as the more enterprise-focused Avnet business made its margin-enriching presence felt.

But Tech Data’s gross margins and earnings should have been even higher than this.  The outfit blamed the shortfall on execution issues, increased competition and a fall in rebates from some of its key vendor partners.

Despite this, Tech Data’s shares are still up by about five percent for the year to date as CEO Robert Dutkowsky argued that the giant is a “stronger and more complex company today than it was a year ago”.

A “significant piece” of the shortfall was generated by Tech Data missing its vendor rebate targets, Dutkowsky revealed on a Q2 earnings call.

Dutkowsky pointed the finger at Avnet’s biggest vendors when he said that the problem lies mainly with “a few very large vendors”… “and these are not vendors that we have had a long history of managing at the volume and scale and scope that we had to manage through this quarter”.

During Q2, only Apple (12 percent), HP Inc (11 percent) and Cisco (11 percent) generated over 10 per cent of Tech Data’s sales, but it inherited a big relationship with IBM through the Avnet union.

Dutkowsky said that a relatively small sales shortfall in technologies it carries in its newly enlarged datacentre arm can result in it missing margin-rich rebates, due to the project-based nature of the business.

A number of vendors on this side of its business changed their rebate programmes during the quarter, affecting its profitability, he indicated. To make matters worse, several major vendors didn’t grow at the rate they planned during the quarter, Dutkowsky added, making it even harder to hit rebate targets that were assigned based on projected growth.

“We’re learning to manage the challenges and the complexities and that’s why we can say that that fits into that category of execution, and we know we can execute better in this area and we will,” he said on the call.

Monoprice is over here now

220px-The_Yanks_Are_Coming_FilmPosterThe US electronics and accessories retailer Monoprice is setting up shop in Europe.

The move is part of an aggressive growth into the European consumer market through the launch of localized versions of its e-commerce platform.

The Monoprice site will be available first in the United Kingdom, followed by Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, where its growing global consumer base will have access to hundreds of the brand’s offerings.

The company’s new sites will provide European consumers direct access to a diverse selection of premium products at a fraction of marketplace prices.

Monoprice CEO Bernard Luthi said that global adoption of consumer electronics is evolving rapidly but the higher costs of products available in the market pose a challenge to continued growth.

“We see that international consumers experience similar frustrations as those shopping for affordable electronics in America. With Monoprice’s expansion into key markets abroad, we are thrilled to bring our brand guarantee of simplicity, fair pricing and confidence to consumers and businesses throughout Europe.”

Each website will be tailored to the country’s language and currency for localised, intuitive use. Monoprice’s product managers and experts will curate a seamless online shopping experience, offering a variety of high-quality solutions across multiple product categories. Initial products will include 3D printers, headphones, small appliances, wall mounts, and AV/IT, personal and commercial products.

Monoprice currently leads the US 3D Printer market and sees this expansion as a significant opportunity to drive category growth globally.

Monoprice’s expansion is part of a multi-angle approach which includes in-country logistics and relationships with large marketplace partners. This approach signifies a strong commitment to European consumers and ensures orders have inexpensive shipping and faster delivery directly to customers’ doors.