Dell EMC targets mid-range storage market

Michael DellThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that Dell EMC’s new storage loyalty programme is part of a cunning plan to take control of the mid-range storage market.

Dell EMC has been improving its SC and Unity ranges by adding two all-flash arrays to its SC range, as well as a range of software to its Unity portfolio.

But it is the loyalty programme which has partners all of a twitter. Dell EMC has also launched The Future-Proof Loyalty Storage Programme which allows partners to provide a three-year satisfaction guarantee to customers buying from the new SC and Unity ranges.

The idea is that partners can offer a degree of assurance to businesses, mainly as the UK will face some problematic Brexit headwinds. Dell EMC claims the programme will give an additional level of confidence around infrastructure investments that are required for all organisations.

It is also offering customers a free year of Virtustream Storage Cloud.

Dell EMC insists that the product upgrades followed partner feedback and providing them with requested new data deduplication software.

However, the word on the street is this is part of Dell EMC’s  “aggressive counterattack” to address moves from other vendors in the market.

Partners have been told to expect further improvements to the partner programme in 2018.


Reseller cloud skills thin on the ground

Every silver has a cloudy liningResellers peddling cloud services are finding it hard to get skilled staff.

Beancounters at intY at its recent CloudFest event found that 51 percent of resellers  felt that they had been given a competitive edge by selling cloud services. But a third said there was a lack of skilled staff to help support sales of cloud solutions . Another third admitted they did not have enough people on the ground to support their sales plans.

intY COO Craig Joseph said: ” The lack of skills in both sales and support of cloud services presents a double threat. Resellers who can’t offer a convincing and seamless cloud solution to their customer’s risk being forced out of the marketplace completely, and missing out on the potentially huge revenue streams to come from cloud computing. We believe that it is our duty as a value add distributor to help our resellers upskill their staff and give them the tools they need to succeed in the market.”

The result findings are confirming what even big players like Cisco are noticing. While everyone and their dog wants to have a cloud compontent to their business there are too few people out there who know what one really is and how to build it for customers.

Tapad hires Rosamilia for London team

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKnAAAAJGZhZmJiMDdiLWE4NWMtNDQwYy05MTU2LTVkZjk1M2U4NDFlZQCross-device marketing technology outfit Tapad, has hired Davide Rosamilia to join the London team as Senior Solutions Engineer.

The outfit said that demand for the Tapad Device Graph™ has experienced significant growth since the company started licensing its technology in the UK  just over a year ago. Rosamilia will be responsible for providing successful customer implementations for all clients licensing Tapad’s Device Graph, ensuring continued use and growth in the region.

Rosamilia will report to Tapad’s VP of EMEA, Tom Rolph.

Rosamilia has  performed in roles of increasing responsibility across operations, product management, integrating proprietary technologies, and managing supplier relationships. Prior to joining Tapad, he led EMEA technical consulting at Xaxis, the digital media platform owned by WPP. During his career at Xaxis, Davide successfully launched Xaxis Audio, the first successful digital audio product within an agency group. Davide’s experience also includes Appnexus, where – as a result of his strong understanding of the European programmatic ecosystem – he was the first product specialist within the EMEA region.

“Tapad has a healthy mix of startup agility and large company scale, which makes it a very unique player in the marketplace. I believe Tapad is a company that can bring real innovation and drive growth both in the adtech and martech ecosystems, and I am excited to join the team,”Rosamilia said.


Broadcom snaps at Snapdragon maker Qualcomm

qualcomm-snapdragonThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that semiconductor vendor Broadcom is on the verge of making a $130 billion grab for rival chip maker Qualcomm.

If it goes through, it would be the the largest technology takeover in history and Broadcom is said to be readying an assault on publicly listed Qualcomm and planning to offer shareholders $70 a share.

Bloomberg claimed that the Qualcomm board is likely to advise shareholders to reject the deal, pointing out that the  potential deal could run into regulatory problems.

Broadcom is in the process of closing its $5.5 billion acquisition of Brocade, while Qualcomm is struggling through regulatory scrutiny to complete its $38bn deal for Dutch semiconductor vendor NXP.

The Financial Times is reporting that Broadcom wants NXP, as well as Qualcomm.

Qualcomm’s share price rose as much as 14 percent when the news broke.

Broadcom and Qualcomm have confirmed the offer, with Broadcom disclosing that the bid of $70 a share is made up of $60 cash and $10 in Broadcom shares. The overall deal is valued at $130bn.

Broadcom also said that its offer stands regardless of whether the NXP deal goes through or is terminated.

Qualcomm said its board of directors is currently reviewing the offer.

CMS Distribution drones on with PowerVision

Hammok-drone_2jpeg-1024x319-mzwsu5cf4qsee23ysjibllca01551sbrg4i2vlq08cCMS Distribution has expanded its presence in the drone market by teaming up with PowerVision Technology.

The company announced the new partnership with PowerVision to take advantage of the firm’s presence in UAV, robotics and big data markets. CMS distribute PowerVision’s intelligent and intuitive consumer drones; PowerEgg, PowerRay and PowerEye.

CMS Distribution sourcing director Luke Noonan said that PowerVision’s product offering gives them a unique position in the market and he was looking forward to talking about PowerVision with our customers.

Delfin Vassallo, marketing director EMEA at PowerVision, said: “We aim to translate the most sophisticated technology into simple and beautiful pieces of engineering, fulfilling high performance demands with an unparalleled design”.”

PowerVision Technology Group makes a lot of cash from UAV technologies, products, and services with the mission to innovate the future. PowerVision’s line-up ranges from smart drones and robots, data visualization and forecasting, virtual and augmented reality.

It has 500 employees in China, USA, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Finland.


HPE quits Palo Alto

bd_stone_1989In what is an end of an era, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will save a bit of cash by leaving its Palo Alto headquarters and moving to nearby Santa Clara.

The predecessor HP company was based in Palo Alto from its founding in 1939 until it was split in two in 2015. HP is still based in the city.

In a press release, HPE said that the company no longer needs a facility of the current size and will look to sell the property – splitting employees between three other facilities.

The move comes as HPE continues its radical $1.5bn cost-saving measures that will see thousands of employees laid off, as well as the reported closure of a facility in Roseville, California.

The Aruba offices in Santa Clara will become HPE’s new global headquarters, while other employees will be split between facilities in San Jose and Milpitas.

HPE CEO Meg Whitman said: “Over the past two years we’ve made tremendous progress towards becoming a simpler, nimbler and more focused company.

“I’m excited to move our headquarters to an innovative new building that provides a next-generation digital experience for our employees, customers and partners.

“Our new building will better reflect who HPE is today and where we are heading in the future.”

HPE said it will continue to support the HP garage – the garage where Dave Hewlett and Bill Packard formed HP, now a museum – and the HP Founder’s Office, which served as HP’s headquarters until 1981.

Gemalto launches cloudy security

Ominous Clouds over Dublin CityDigital security outfit Gemalto has announced the launch of SafeNet Data Protection On Demand, a centralised cloud-based services platform which it claims will help companies to protect data, meet compliance mandates and manage the security of all their sensitive information in every location.

Gemalto executive vice president for Enterprise & Cybersecurity Sebastien Cano said that businesses are challenged by the cost and complexity of protecting data across disparate IT infrastructures and hybrid cloud environments.

SafeNet Data Protection On Demand helps solve these issues by providing a single data security-as-a-service platform that integrates easily with existing IT systems, DevOps tools and cloud services to protect wherever data is created, accessed or stored.

SafeNet Data Protection On Demand makes enterprise-grade data protection accessible to companies of all of sizes – from the smallest to the largest of enterprises. With no hardware and software to buy, configure or manage and simple pay-as-you-go pricing, companies can more cost effectively and quickly deploy data protection to secure sensitive information in any environment on demand.

The big idea is that a client can integrate security across all company IT systems and removes barriers between business and DevOps, expediting go-to-market timelines.

By tying up with Gemalto’s extensive partner ecosystem they can  integrate data security across their multi-cloud applications. The platform is designed to work with many of the most widely used IT products and technology companies such as Amazon Web Services, Dell EMC, Google, IBM, Microsoft, NetApp, Huawei, Oracle and Salesforce. In addition, customers can quickly develop and build secure higher order use cases through proprietary and third-party APIs.

Cano said: “Complexity has always been a pain point for organizations when it comes to deploying encryption and key management, and the growth of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) will only magnify this challenge.”


Verso group fined over unsolicited marketing calls

arrest machesterA company that specialises in asking the public to take part in “surveys” in which the answers are then used to target respondents with unwanted marketing calls has been fined.

An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office  found Verso Group had been unclear about what it was up too.

The Hertfordshire-based company came to regulators’ attention after it was involved in one campaign that resulted in 46 million “nuisance calls” about payment protection insurance (PPI). It has been ordered to pay £80,000.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said it was the first such penalty following a broader investigation into the so-called data broking industry.

ICO’s deputy commissioner, James Dipple-Johnstone said that this type of unlawful data directly fuels the nuisance call and spam text industry and creates misery for millions of UK citizens.

“Businesses need to understand they do not own personal data – people do.”

Although the ICO has the power to issue fines of up to £500,000, the sum is still likely to be significant to Verso.

According to accounts filed in May, the Hertfordshire-based company’s net assets totalled just £12,386.

Verso uses call centres in India, the Philippines and North America to carry out surveys with the public, with the stated aim of helping consumers cut their utility bills.

These are branded as being carried out by the UK Savers Club, and I Love My Offers among other names. Verso says it carries out more than 115,000 such surveys each month.

The business then offers other companies the ability to target consumers via email, phone, postal mail and text, based on the lifestyle, financial and demographic information gathered from respondents.

In addition to PPI insurance, Verso says its clients have used the information to sell loans, legal advice about accidents, extended warranties and beauty products.

Two of the companies Verso has sold data to – Pro Dial and Emacs – have previously been fined by the ICO over the way they had conducted their cold-call businesses.

The ICO said it had found Verso to be “unhelpful and obstructive” when it had tried to look into the matter.

“Verso’s contraventions were systemic – they were not isolated, one-off or occasional errors,” the report said, “[and] were of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress.”

The watchdog has ordered Verso to pay the fine by mid-November, although it could also try to appeal against the ruling.

Cloudy ANS banked £60 million

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileCloud and managed service provider ANS saw sales grow 35.7 percent in its last financial year, taking it to a revenue of £60 million.

For the full year ending 31 March, 2017 ANS recorded a revenue of just under £62.7 million, while adjusted EBITDA rocketed over 80 percent to £12.3 million.

The growth was driven partly by the integration of Eison, which ANS acquired in 2016 and ANS’ cloud readiness assessment services.

ANS has been attempting to shift from low-margin sales to higher-margin services and drew 70 percent of its profit from cloud and services.

The company hit on a wizard wheeze of providing a service to tell clients what applications can live in the cloud as they are, which ones they need to eradicate and replace with a new app, and those should not be cloud-based.

Its customers instead of doing a straight tech refresh, are including cloud whether it is a small or large percentage.

This year ANS become an Amazon Web Services Advanced Partner, as well as a Microsoft Gold Cloud Partner.

Some 30 percent of ANS’ gross profit is still related to traditional hardware sales from customers who are buying a degree of cloud and services as no customers have been buying only hardware.

ANS saw a healthy year with Cisco, and some hefty managed WAN and LAN wins.

It has won a small number of large managed LAN deals, and traditional on-premise network projects.

ANS has now entered the third quarter of its current financial year and is already seeing a number of the cloud readiness assessment customers take up full projects with the MSP, at a quicker faster rate than was expected.

Lenovo takes over Fujitsu’s PC business

lenovo_hqLenovo has acquired a 51 percent stake in Fujitsu’s PC business for more than $157 million.

The deal, first talked about last year, sees Lenovo take control of Fujitsu Client Computing. Fujitsu spun the outfit out of its primary business at the start of last year in preparation for a sale.

A joint venture will be formed between Lenovo, Fujitsu and Development Bank of Japan – which has taken a five percent stake.

The business will continue to operate under the Fujitsu brand.

Lenovo announced the deal simultaneously with its quarterly results.

The PCs and devices business saw a year-on-year revenue increase of seven percent to $8.4 billion.

Lenovo’s datacentre and mobile businesses reported a slight revenue growth so the Fujitsu Client Computing arm is going to a good home which will take it for walks and make sure it gets regular check-ups from the vet.

HP and Lenovo are fighting it out for the title of the world’s largest PC manufacturer, with HP thought to be slightly ahead.

HP talks up the printer industry

history-of-print-16th-century-printing-companyWhile sales of printers are dropping faster than Donald Trump’s popularity, HP has splashed out and written a $1.05 billion cheque for Samsung’s printer business.

The move gives it the strongest A3 printer portfolio on the market along with 1,300 researchers and engineers joinomg HP from Samsung – along with 6,500 printer patents.

HP CEO Dion Weisler said: “As we ignite a renaissance in printing, we’re thrilled to bring together the industry’s best and brightest talent.

“Together we will build on more than 30 years of print leadership to accelerate our strategy, disrupt new market opportunities, and provide our customers and partners with unique and highly innovative print solutions.”

HP thinks that the A3 market is now the biggest opportunity in the printer space, worth an estimated $55 billion.

As part of the acquisition, Samsung will make an equity investment of between $100 million and $300 million in HP through open markets. Figures released last week suggested that the only place in the world were printer sales had not dropped was the UK – where they stayed the same.


Altus doubles UK business by buying CVS

TELEMMGLPICT000132861278_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqFQfAtbbiWQ9LTv4s2yIts_GH8TDIoV-pDol7ykUJZu8Altus Group, the commercial real estate services, software and data firm, announced today that it has doubled its business rates practice in the UK by buying Commercial Valuers & Surveyors(CVS) for £36.3 million.

CVS is a privately-owned property tax service provider that specialises in business rates advisory services. The acquisition has a number of key benefits for Altus Group.

For a start it significantly expands the company’s market share in the UK and positions the Group as the country’s leading business rates advisor based on volume of appeals filed.

It also adds strength to the Company’s business rates expertise with the addition of approximately 230 professionals based in London, Manchester and Bristol, bringing the UK practice to over 400 people.

A company spokesman said that Altus is now positioned for further growth in the UK market and it scales and complements Altus Group’s data on comparable property information, giving the Company a greater competitive advantage to better serve clients in business rates appeals and lease negotiations.

Altus Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Courteau said the acquisition of CVS underlines his outfit’s ambition to grow our business in the UK.

“The UK is a market which we believe is extremely important and strategic to our growth. Bringing CVS under the Altus Group brand more than doubles our business rates practice in the UK, while significantly broadening our scale, talent resources and market share in the country”, he said.

“It positions us well to capitalise on the growth opportunity presented by the rates revaluation that took place earlier this year and the new five-year revaluation cycle that commenced with it. The combination of our comprehensive data on joint property information will also better position us to serve our clients in appeals and lease negotiations while supporting our ongoing initiatives to modernize our offerings with data and technology.”

Operating for over 17 years, CVS has gained substantial market share in the UK property market and is widely recognized as the largest provider of business rates advisory services based on the volume of appeals. It specialises in tax representation for all types of commercial properties including office, retail and industrial bulk classes. CVS’s primary services include business rates reduction (reducing property taxes for businesses and other organizations that occupy commercial premises). CVS’s team of approximately 230 professionals will form part of the Company’s UK Property Tax division, strengthening its business rates expertise.

The cost of this acquisition was £36.3 million. Altus Group paid a total of £30.3 million in cash on closing with an additional £6.0 million payable two years after closing, subject to certain conditions being met.

On closing, £25.3 million  was from cash on hand and £5.0 was drawn from the revolving term facility. The acquisition is expected to be financially accretive over the course of the new revaluation cycle.

Cisco finally works something out about channel

Cisco Kid Networking giant Cisco has admitted it really did not have a clue about the channel before and has now changed its mind about its importance.

Chuck Robbins’ told the assorted throngs at his opening keynote at the 2017 Cisco partner summit that things had changed a lot since 1999 when everyone was still interested in direct models.

Cisco management wanted him to work in a group called ‘channels’ and I said, ‘why’? And he replied that ‘we believe that organisation is our future’.

“We are more committed today than we were then. We really didn’t know how committed [to the channel] we should be back then, but today we know for sure. We are committed to our success together [with the channel] as we go forward.”

In the current IT landscape, with millions of businesses moving towards the cloud, the network will end up being fundamentally different than it is today.

“We have to reinvent networking. We have to make it simpler, we have to make it programmable, make it scalable, and we have to make it much more agile for our customers”,  he said.

“This new era in networking is about the ability to take business intent and apply that to the network. Security also has to be embedded deeply into the network because we are adding billions of devices, so have to be applying security in the network too”, added Robbins.

Cisco has been simplifying its partner programme to support its channel’s transition to software-focused sales and services.

It is simplifying its specialisation programme portfolio and adding a Master networking specialisation which will include new software and services skill development. It is improving its industry expertise recognition in areas like retail, healthcare and manufacturing.

There are a battery of new incentives and simplifying deal registration. There is a new Migration Incentive Programme (MIP) to provide partners with an offering to migrate customers with legacy or competitive products to new Cisco technologies. It is simplifying registration by consolidating 15 hunting and teaming programme tracks into two and by streamlining the approval process.

Lastly Cisco has increased its partners in its lifecycle advisor programme and expanding the portfolio of offers available to those partners to more areas of Cisco’s business.

Two new incentives in the Value Incentive Programme (VIP) allow partners to simplify their software-based networking practices while upping their services.

E92plus snaps up Securicom as part of expansion plan

shark_attack_painting-t2 (1)E92plus has written a cheque for security distributor Securicom as part of its cunning plan for European expansion.

Trend Micro and Forcepoint distributor E92plus, wants to to turn over £40 million in its current financial year, but has growth plans which will see it make more acquisitions with the goal of making £100 million in sales by 2020.

Securicom, the first acquisition in the 28 year old distributor’s history, carries emerging vendors including Aqua Security and will act as the emerging technology division of e92plus .

After completing the Securicom takeover, the outfit is rumoured to be hunting further acquisition targets in Europe, with one aim being to take some of the vendors it carries in the UK into the European market.

The first acquisition has been financed by e92plus itself, but Gupta said that agreements are in place with third-parties to fund potentially larger acquisitions, with European equivalents of e92plus likely to be the targets.

The company said that its decision to expand now comes from a need for vendors to work with dedicated security specialists, with larger distributors often not capable of giving newer vendors the time and resources needed to crack the market.


HTL Support acquires Serviced Cloud

zclfse07s1zyIT Support outfit, HTL Support, has acquired private cloud company Serviced Cloud.

In a statement HTL  said that its expansion has played a key role in the Serviced Cloud merger. The two companies have worked closely together for many years in what has been described as a natural partnership, providing a bespoke service for large and small business. The merger represents a formalising of the business arrangements and customers probably will not notice.

There has been no disclosure relating to the costs to HTL in taking Serviced Cloud under its umbrella. HTL insists transition will be seamless. Clients of both companies will see no difference in the service they receive.

“We have been working together in many business areas for a number of years and have the same customer ethos. Our customers’ needs are paramount and this merger is testimony to the demand for and growth of our services. This merger will allow existing customers of each company to access additional services and the growth in staffing will allow us to process demand at an even faster rate than is already an established part of the HTL brand.”

The serviced Cloud team will join HTL Support and there is no talk of redundancies.