PCM open doors in Wellingborough

1280px-Wellingborough_whitworth_fc_welcome_car_park_signagePCM has opened its first fully branded UK office in Wellingborough.

The logic behind Wellingborough’s selection was the town’s labour pool with the necessary skills.

PCM has a UK headcount of 187 and plans to recruit significantly more with the Wellingborough office, which is big enough to accommodate 30 to 40 new employees, according to Hutchinson.

Its in-house engineers and technicians installed the office’s IT infrastructure. This was to show customers the companies’ abilities to create an infrastructure from scratch, as well as using its partner network for the build-out and cosmetic features in the building, according to PCM.

The outfit might be planning on making some more UK acquisitions. So far PCM has snapped up Provista UK and Stack Holdings Technology but said the primary focus is on integrating the new businesses.

Rimilia scales up

12561291953Financial automation software provider Rimilia has announced a collaboration with Microsoft after being accepted onto the current cohort of the select Microsoft ScaleUp programme.

The Microsoft ScaleUp programme, part of the Microsoft for Startups initiative, connects companies with new customers and channel partners and is underpinned by a $500 million investment to drive innovation and growth. Through a rigorous assessment, Rimilia beat hundreds of entrants to secure a place on the programme, as one of only 12 organisations accepted.

The Rimilia solution automates the account receivables process, enabling organisations to control their cash flow and cash collection in real-time, using sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict customer payment behaviour and easily match and reconcile payments, removing the uncertainty of cash collection.

While the Rimilia solution integrates with any ERP system, Rimilia already has a number customers on the Microsoft Azure platform including Interserve, Speedy Hire, Securitas and Rentokil. Rimilia has commenced migrating its global blue chip customer base onto Azure, and recent customer wins are being deployed on the Microsoft Azure application service, delivering enhanced security, resilience, scalability and responsiveness.

MD Microsoft for Startups, Warwick Hill, said: “We were struck by Rimilia’s solution. We constantly look to drive value for both Microsoft Clients and the companies being supported in our ScaleUp program – Rimilia is a perfect example of that sweet spot. The ability for our clients to leverage Rimilia’s solution to automate and digitally transform their accounts receivable and audit processes will drive the co-sell partnership for years to come. The power of Microsoft Azure and Dynamics365, coupled with Rimilia’s specific industry and software expertise is a powerful combination.”

Steve Richardson, CCO and co-founder of Rimilia, said: “We are delighted to be working on the Microsoft Startups programme. Microsoft has been tremendously supportive and professional throughout the whole onboarding process. Having never lost a customer to a competitor the extra ‘stickiness’ of working with Microsoft will consolidate that position as well as create a base to support our ambitious expansion plans.”

Salesforce starts UK expansion

Salesforce logoSalesforce will invest $2 billion in the UK over the next five years.

The cunning plan is to bolster its UK business – with the vendor’s second UK datacentre set to open next year.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said: “The UK is Salesforce’s largest market in Europe and our commitment to driving growth, innovation and customer success in the region has never been stronger.

“With this significant investment, we are well positioned to pursue the incredible opportunity for Salesforce, our customers and partners in the British market.”

Current Prime Minister Theresa May  said the investment cements the UK’s status as a country at the forefront of innovation.

“Salesforce offers a wonderful example of the benefits a successful technology company can bring to the UK economy, and I welcome their continued investment which will create interesting and high-skilled jobs for our workforce”, she said.

“The UK is already home to some of the world’s most innovative technology companies, and we will continue to drive investment in the sector through our modern industrial strategy.”

The vendor claims that, along with its partners, it will generate $65 billion of net new business in the UK by 2022.

Salesforce also expects to create more than 329,000 “direct and indirect” jobs over the same period.

RepKnight signs darkweb monitoring deal with StarLink

Repknight_GOPDark web monitoring outfit RepKnight has entered into an EMEA distribution agreement with StarLink, a $200 million value added distie.

StarLink will add RepKnight’s dark web monitoring tool, BreachAlert, to its portfolio of IT security offerings. BreachAlert looks for corporate data being posted on the dark web, and many other paste and dump sites used by cybercriminals. The platform works like a burglar alarm — alerting customers in real time as soon as their data appears on the dark web.

BreachAlert lets security teams configure searches around specific keywords, domains, and IP addresses, providing instant alerts if cybercriminals are discussing the customer’s applications, infrastructure or data on the dark web, or if compromised staff credentials appear in paste, dump and bin sites.

Commenting on the partnership, RepKnight’s Channel Director, Michael Koufopoulos, said: “We are building significant momentum around our BreachAlert platform as more and more enterprises wake up to the challenge of dark web monitoring. This makes scaling our channel operation a key priority for the business. StarLink’s True VAD approach, combined with their focus on security platforms and pan-European footprint makes them a natural partner for RepKnight.”

Avinash Advani, SVP Business Development & Alliances at StarLink, added: “The dark web is a key threat for enterprises across the world and organisations need to prioritise enhancing their capabilities when it comes to dark web monitoring. We were highly impressed with RepKnight’s focus on ease of use, and fast configuration. Simplicity is key for our customer base, so the fact that users can be up and running in minutes makes BreachAlert an ideal addition to any organisation’s cybersecurity measures.”

Blue Yonder thinks Brazil will win the World Cup

02515419Artificial intelligence (AI) specialist Blue Yonder has picked Brazil to win the World Cup and claims that England only has a five percent chance of holding the trophy.

The outfit analysed every international match played since 1872 and ran a million simulations to predict the outcome, with Brazil given a 22.5 percent chance of winning.

Brazil was followed by Spain at 11 percent, Argentina at 9.5 percent and France at 7.8 percent.

Christian Haag, the data science consultant at Blue Yonder, explained how the AI came to its conclusion.

“We took data from every available international match going to back to 1872 and then ran simulations accounting for different outcomes for each match for all 32 teams, with either team one designated as the winner, team two winning, or a draw.

“We ran over one million simulations and calculated the chances of teams winning or finishing runner-up in the group stage, and reaching each stage of the tournament.”

England did not fare too well in the simulations and was given a 5.7 percent chance of glory in Russia this summer.

The Three Lions are predicted to win their first two matches against Tunisia and Panama in Group G, but are only given a 41.7 percent chance of beating Belgium in their final group game. Of course, you don’t need AI to know that England is not going to win.  Channel Eye’s divination team thinks they will have a harder time against Tunisia and Panama because everyone expects them to win.

The AI has unexpectedly put host country Russia just behind in England in winning the World Cup with a 4.6 percent chance, with more famous teams such as Portugal and Belgium trailing behind.

“One of the interesting predictions that emerged from our simulations was Russia’s stronger-than-expected performance. The team has struggled in recent years, and the lack of a qualification process makes their strength hard to judge, but host teams often fare well, and Russia may surprise many at the tournament.”

Recruiters putting AI staff in universities

oxford-robesFour of the top six recruiters for AI professionals in the UK are universities.

Data released by job site Indeed shows that Imperial College London makes up 7.4 per cent of AI job listings on the site, followed by Amazon, who made up 4.9 per cent.

Oxford, Cambridge and University College London and IBM make up the top six companies competing hard to recruit AI talent to their organisations.

Shawn Bose, general manager at Indeed Prime said that the number of AI jobs being created by universities is “striking”.

“With AI technology still in its infancy, academic researchers are racing to discover its full potential. Just as the genesis of Silicon Valley came when the worlds of scientific research and business collided at California’s Stanford University, we could be seeing a similar pattern beginning to emerge with AI in the UK.”

The job site’s data indicates that AI skills are more in demand in the UK than in any other developed economy, “outstripping” its US counterpart.

Indeed’s UK site currently lists three times as many AI vacancies as it did three years ago, with candidate interest in AI-based jobs doubling since 2015.

“Artificial intelligence sits at the heart of Britain’s tech boom, and the UK has emerged as a world leader in the creation of both AI technology and jobs”, said Bose.

“The combination of high salaries and the chance to develop transformative technology continues to attract some of the brightest and best professionals to careers in AI. While automation will inevitably change the world of work beyond recognition, for now the AI technology behind it is creating thousands of job opportunities for highly skilled, and therefore well paid, individuals.”

Blueliv calls for radical socialisation in the security industry

soviet001_medSecurity outfit Blueliv announced its expansion in the UK with a call for radical socialisation in the industry to profit all cybersecurity practitioners.

Marking a 2018 Series-A investment of €4million and recent 50 percent year-over-year growth, Blueliv’s approach is founded on new collaborative models to tackle the industry-wide pain points of siloed security practices, information overload and a lack of resource.

Blueliv has been capitalising on growing customer demand for cyberthreat intelligence worldwide and is expanding in the UK market with real momentum as more enterprises focus on cyberthreat intelligence as part of their defence strategy. Blueliv’s unique pay-as-you-need modular offering means it must collaborate with end-users to define a suitable plan.

Rather than competing with one-size-fits-all solutions, Blueliv’s Threat Compass modules are relevant, targeted and aligned to specific intelligence requirements. This collaborative model has lent itself to a channel program, launched earlier this year, where managed security service providers (MSSP) and value-added-reseller (VAR) partners strengthen their professional services offering, with all the heavy lifting done by Blueliv’s solution.

Blueliv CEO and founder Daniel Solís, said: “To form the most effective deep defence lines against attackers, a hive mind of security professionals providing a collaborative approach is infinitely better than siloing ourselves. This doctrine informs all the work we do: in product development, delivering user-friendly intelligence through different modules; in our business strategy, forming technical alliances and channel partnerships; and our intelligence reporting, providing tangible value to all levels in an organisation.”

Socialising cybersecurity means encouraging parity and fighting cybercrime collaboratively and more effectively. Blueliv’s collaboration doctrine aims to strengthen the cybersecurity industry and help organisations protect themselves from the outside in. Its unique modular Threat Compass solution is built from a customisable group of targeted intelligence modules, radically reducing attack success rates and improving incident response performance.

Blueliv’s in-house analyst team is bolstered by the Blueliv Threat Exchange Network, designed to encourage members to share news and IOCs, grant access to Blueliv’s proprietary elastic sandbox for malware analysis, and offer a live cyberthreat map for tracking crime servers and malicious IPs.

Inoapps provides Scottish Legal Aid Board’s cloud

indexThe Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) has ‘gone-live’ with Oracle Cloud. The move which, is in line with the Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy for Scotland means that it is the first public body to make this transition.

SLAB is responsible for managing legal aid in Scotland and enables people, who would otherwise be unable to afford it, to get help for their legal problems. Running efficient IT systems is an important element in delivering this successfully.

At SLAB’s Edinburgh HQ, Oracle Platinum Partner Inoapps has now implemented finance (ERP), i-expenses, and procurement in the Cloud, including sourcing and invoice scanning. Following shortly will be Oracle Cloud HCM and Payroll. This will also be the first public sector implementation of Oracle Payroll Cloud in both Scotland and the UK.

John McLeod, Head of Information Systems at SLAB, said: “We chose Inoapps to drive our implementation as it is a proven and award-winning Cloud adopter with a successful track record in delivering multi-pillar Oracle Cloud implementations. What impressed us was the strength of their implementation team, as well as their change management capabilities and the strong alliance with Oracle. There was also a willingness to listen to and interpret our needs in partnership.

“By consolidating financial, HR and payroll processes into one system, we hope to achieve far greater visibility of these activities across the organisation. This, combined with the improved reporting capabilities available in Oracle Cloud, should lead to improved insight and decision-making.”

Graeme Hill, Director of Corporate Services at SLAB, notes: “By embracing cloud technology, we hope to achieve greater system stability and lessen the need for internal specialist expertise.”

Inoapps is experiencing successful expansion across multiple sectors and the consultancy’s credentials in delivering best-in-class Oracle solutions within the public sector continue to develop from strength to strength.

Commenting on the implementation Andrew Norris, Head of Inoapps’ European Business said: “We’re very pleased to add SLAB to our growing list of public sector clients. We understand that, across the board, the sector is under mounting pressure to pursue a Cloud First agenda to streamline processes and achieve cost efficiencies. The nature of our Oracle Cloud solutions and Managed Services is highly transferable across many industries, and together with over a decade’s experience in Oracle and our status as Oracle’s Cloud First Partner of the Year, this has been instrumental in us securing ongoing work within the Public Sector.”

The SLAB implementation started in June 2017 with an initial launch for Finance in the Cloud in December 2017 followed by HR and Payroll being live by the end of September 2018.

Brexit be damned! UK is still Europe’s tech leader

ukflagThe UK remains the tech capital of Europe, according to beancounters working for London and Partners.

A report into which companies have received the most VC funding shows that British tech firms have received £5 billion worth of VC funding since June 2016 – more than France (£1.55 billion), Germany (£2.15 billion) and Sweden (£644 million).

Tech firms in London pulled in £4 billion, ahead of Paris (£1.14 billion), Berlin (£814 million) and Stockholm (£542 million).

In the last year, British finetch firms such as TransferWise secured £211 million and Monzo £71 million in investment. Meanwhile, a recent £177m injection for Revolut, has made it the UK’s latest unicorn company, valued at a cool billion.

It joins the list of 13 others, helping the country maintain the mantle of Europe’s unicorn capital with 37 per cent of Europe’s total unicorn companies.

London Tech Week ambassador and angel investor Sherry Coutu CBE said: “From Artificial Intelligence to cybersecurity, EdTech and GovTech, the UK is home to companies that are leading the way in developing and implementing the latest cutting-edge technologies.”


Server sales are up due to supply shortages

HP-MicroServerWorldwide server revenues grow by a third but while that is a good thing for vendors it is more due to supply shortages, according to analyst outfit Gartner group.

Apparently a shortage in components for server hardware, alongside currency fluctuations, has driven up the cost of servers in EMEA.

Worldwide server revenue increased 33.4 percent in the first quarter of the year and shipments grew 17.3 percent  year over year.

Adrian O’Connell, research director at Gartner, said the EMEA server market’s strong start to 2018 is largely driven by scarcity of materials increasing the cost of gear.

“The cost of certain components is increasing due to supply shortages, and this is compounded by recent currency volatility increasing the figures for revenue when measured in US dollars. The very modest rate of shipment growth demonstrates the effects of system pricing”, he said.

In EMEA, this caused revenue to grow by almost a third year-on-year to $3.7 billion for the quarter, while server shipments totalled just 517,000 units, an increase of only 2.7 percent  year-on-year.

Analysts said that ongoing supply constraints in memory would continue into the second half of 2018, and that this is affecting the market and driving most revenue growth.

Dell EMC experienced a huge 51.4 percent revenue growth in the first quarter of 2018, widening the gap between it and second-placed HPE. Dell EMC recorded a 21.5 percent market share, followed closely by HPE with 19.9 percent  of the market.

In EMEA, HPE maintained its primary spot, but it was third-placed Lenovo that had the strongest growth of 70 percent, Gartner said. This strong growth is partly due to comparison with a weak first quarter in 2017, as Lenovo’s business has been declining since the System X acquisition.

Dell EMC saw the second strongest growth rate of the top five vendors. “Dell EMC continues to perform well in EMEA”, said O’Connell. “The first quarter is usually a good quarter for Dell EMC, but it’s attained a record revenue share level in in the first quarter of 2018 and reduced the gap between itself and HPE to under 10 percent now.”

Gartner said the modest shipment growth rates suggest that market demand hasn’t increased much, and that ongoing memory supply constraints would continue into the second half of 2018.
“The very positive revenue performance, however, along with strong adoption at the start of this upgrade cycle, means it is at least a much more positive start to 2018 than we saw at the start of 2017”, said the report.

Cohesity scores cash from HPE and Cisco

Surprise Kitten Kittens Cat Money Animals PetStorage outfit Cohesity has scored  £186 million in funding from a group of investors that includes Cisco and HPE, and said it would use the money to expand internationally.

The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund and marks only the second time it has invested in an enterprise software company, after investing in workplace messaging app Slack last year.

Cohesity provides services to help businesses store, manage and protect their data. It is planning to use the investment to fund a large-scale global expansion.

Pete Chung, managing principal and head of investor Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, said that Cohesity’s hyperconverged architecture would “fundamentally change” the secondary storage landscape.

“We are excited to help fuel the company’s momentum in providing enterprise customers with seamless application and data movement across the cloud and corporate data centre. Cohesity represents that elusive combination of rapid growth, significant scale, and market momentum we look for as later-stage investors.”

Cohesity hopes that the renewed support from “strategic investors” Cisco and HPE will give it a foothold to grow its presence among enterprise customers globally.

Vishall Lall, chief strategy officer at HPE, said the company was “proud” to invest and partner with Cohesity.

“We collaborate closely to integrate Cohesity’s market-leading hyperconverged secondary storage platform with our cutting-edge data centre solutions to provide an integrated, tested and validated offer to customers.”

Diversified pushes into UK by swallowing Digitavia

Woodridge, IL, USA --- Great White Shark Opening Mouth --- Image by © Denis Scott/CorbisUS solutions provider Diversified has written a cheque for UK audiovisual (AV) reseller Digitavia.

Digitavia is an AV reseller specialises in supplying and installing audiovisual equipment for business events and conferences.

Diversified CEO Fred D’Alessandro said that Digitavia’s global meeting room deployment offering was a good reason for the acquisition.

“In today’s global economy, overseas expansion is a necessary step in continuing our strategic plan and success”, he said.

The pair have worked together in the past, so it made sense to combine our companies and bring them into the Diversified family, he said.

Diversified specialises in a range of areas including digital media, broadcasting and electronic security.

The acquisition marks its expansion into the European market, with a “hub” in the UK.

Darren Pitt, co-founder of Digitavia said that the merger would provide “limitless opportunities” to scale and improve client experience.

“We are very excited to announce this merger and eager to hit the ground running to build upon our existing international presence”, he said.

Dell is now the king of storage

michael-dell-2Grey tin box shifter Dell is officially the King of the Storage World after his outfit moved past Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) as the largest enterprise storage vendor in the world.

Beancounters at IDC have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and reached the conclusion that Dell had a 21.6 percent market share in Q1 of 2018, compared to HPE’s 17.7 percent.

Dell posted year-on-year growth of 43 percent for the quarter, with HPE’s share growing 18 percent.

IDC research vice president Eric Sheppard said: “This was a quarter of exceptional growth that can be attributed to multiple factors.

“Demand for public cloud resources and a global enterprise infrastructure refresh were two crucial drivers of new enterprise storage investments around the world.

“Solutions most commonly sought after in today’s enterprise storage systems are those that help drive new levels of data centre efficiency, operational simplicity, and comprehensive support for next-generation workloads.”

IBM was the only vendor in the top five to see its revenue drop year on year, declining 15 percent.

Dell maintained its market lead in the external storage systems market, with a share of 32.9 percent compared to second-placed NetApp’s 14.2 percent.

Poor results force BT CEO’s exit

Kitten-KongBT CEO Gavin Patterson will clean out his desk by the end of the year after the telco’s financial results turned out rather bleak.

The telecoms giant announced restructuring plans alongside its yearly numbers – which showed a one percent year-on-year revenue decline during the 12 months ending 31 March 2018. This meant 13,000 jobs to go to save £1.5 billion over the next three years.

BT chairman Jan du Plessis thanked Patterson for his 14-year service to the company, but said that new leadership is needed to work through the restructuring.

“The broader reaction to our recent results announcement has though demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy.”

Patterson, who was a BT board member for 10 years before becoming CEO in 2013, said that he was “immensely proud” of what he had achieved during his time with the organisation, highlighting the launch of BT Sport and the purchase of mobile network EE as key accomplishments.

BT has struggled with increased market competition and dwindling revenues, along with a record £42 million fine from Ofcom and difficulties in its troubled Global Services division.


UK businesses pretty much satisfied with outsourcing

Workers are pictured beneath clocks displaying time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in BangaloreAlthough two of the UK’s largest outsourcers, Capita and BT, have struggled over recent months, beancounters at Whitelane Research. have worked out that more than a fifth of UK businesses are looking to outsource less over the next two years, according to

The analyst claims its research found that 22 percent of UK businesses are looking to insource, citing innovation, intellectual property ownership and the quality of service as the main factors. 73 percent of respondents plan to outsource at the same rate or more over the same period.

Whitelane’s UK IT Outsourcing Study, which is carried out in conjunction with PA Consulting Group, assesses the satisfaction levels of end-user relationships with providers, with 747 connections evaluated.

TCS and Hexaware scored the highest, at 81 percent, while Getronics polled second at 79 percent.

In a statement following the publication of the report, Getronics CEO Nana Baffour said: “Our performance over the past four years shows that we have earned our reputation as a people-centric business, by focusing on adaptability, resilience and proactivity to deliver an exceptional user experience.

“This continued success is not just in the UK, but across Europe and is reflected in other Whitelane research success, for example, in Belgium.

“We are doing all the right things to maintain our reputation, and we work hard to keep doing those things to delight all our customers, year in, year out.”

Overall the UK’s satisfaction level with its outsourcers was scored at 88 percent by Whitelane.

Manish Khandelwal, IT sourcing expert at PA Consulting Group, said: “As businesses are increasingly technology-driven, the IT supply chain cannot remain back office-centric.

“While overall satisfaction levels with IT service providers remain high and outsourcers are generally seen as doing a good job of delivery, they must now prove to their customers that they are an essential part of the IT supply chain of the future as an innovation partner. If they are seen as bereft of new ideas they are destined to be relegated to the role of suppliers of utility computing”.