Ellison swings handbag at Amazon again

539bd2ca2d098c463b2e2c984d423bcaOracle founder Larry Ellison has swung his mighty handbag of sarcasm at Amazon Web Services (AWS) again following the release of Oracle’s quarterly results.

Oracle saw its cloud revenue jump 51 percent this quarter, so he must have been feeling a bit smug.

Oracle’s cloud revenue rose to $1.5 billion – making up 16 per cent of the vendor’s overall quarterly revenue.

Ellison took a shot at public cloud giant AWS ahead of the launch of Oracle’s automated cloud database products. Ellison claimed these solutions will have downtime of less than 30 minutes a year.

“To achieve that level of reliability, Oracle has to automatically tune, patch, and upgrade itself, while the system is running. AWS can’t do any of this stuff”, he claimed.

“Perhaps the most interesting aspect of autonomous systems… [and] on our new self-driving database are the economics that surround total automation.

“Customers moving from Amazon’s Redshift [database product] to Oracle’s autonomous databases can expect to cut their cost in half or more and Oracle will be providing SLAs that guarantee those cost settings to customers that move.”

He would have been less smug about Oracle’s on-premises software still made up 65 percent of the overall $9.2 billion quarterly revenue.

In fact Oracle’s on-premises revenue was flat at $5.9 billion, but new software licensing was down six per cent to $996 million.

Oracle shareholders were less interested in Ellision’s anti-amazon digs as the outfit’s share price fell as much as five per cent following the results, reportedly as a result of weaker-than-expected guidance for Q2.

Ellison ruled out the possibility of acquisitions in the near future because “there is no one left to buy”.

“It’s not like, as we focus on the cloud, there are a bunch of obvious targets we can go out and buy. We’re seeing our best growth in technology that we have developed internally.”

Channel needs to share more, you buggers

toddlers-fightingHP Inc CEO Dion Weisler says that the channel must “build stronger muscles” in the “sharing” economy.

Talking to the assembled throngs at the HP Re-invent World Partner Forum in Chicago, Weisler said trends such as rapid urbanisation, a changing workforce and the accelerating pace of new stuff mean people are changing how they buy products and services. No kidding.

“The rate of change is happening at a staggering pace – the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Change equals opportunity, and there is disruptive change all around us. So how do we capture the opportunity together?”

Rapid urbanisation was important to the channel “because people and businesses are in smaller spaces with greater efficiency needs and are shifting from owning things to an on-demand, service-driven economy”.

The sharing economy, as personified by the likes of Uber and Airbnb, which provide shared access to goods and services, claiming it “is changing absolutely everything”.

“The channel and all of us need to build stronger muscles here,” he said. “It’s no longer about buying and selling boxes; it’s about improving end-user outcomes and having experience-centric solutions that provide the customer with what they want exactly when, where and how they need it.”

Whatever that means.

Weisler said businesses are at an “inflection point”, and channel partners can help vendors optimise their operations and their investments.

He added that the move from transactional to contractual is behind HP’s Device-as-a-Service offering, which saw improvements it announced during the event. Weisler said its stuff lets customers reduce costs, shift CapEx to OpEx and have the flexibility to scale as they need it.

Is that clear?

Kalura and Oregan team up on cloudy telly

Cloud TV-videomind-ooyala_1Video technology provider Kaltura, and a British technology company which specializes in Pay TV client solutions called Oregan Networks have announced a “strategic collaboration” for advancing cloud TV transformation.

The two companies have developed “a solution” that lets service providers to transform their old systems and services into hybrid cloud TV services while “protecting existing legacy investments.” The solution will allow integration of new cloud TV-based features and capabilities within legacy Set-Top-Boxes.

Oregan CEO, Mark Perry said: “Oregan’s client-side smart technology and integration services, combined with Kaltura’s modular cloud TV platform came together naturally and organically, creating a platform blueprint sought after by many operators that are aiming to evolve their current Pay TV service while prolonging the lifecycle of legacy STB deployments.”

Co-founder, President and General Manager of Media and Telecom at Kaltura,  Shay David added. helpfully: “The way viewers today are consuming TV is forcing global telecommunication firms to rework their IPTV strategy and launch transformative cloud TV services. Our ability to connect our cloud TV platform into legacy STBs not only helps save costs in the migration process but enables new services to reach their entire existing subscriber base simultaneously.”

Perry said, “With the rapid consolidation we are seeing in today’s market, a strong end-to-end offering which is credible and based on proven, widely accepted cross-ecosystem engineering standards is a winning formula, reducing the operational risks of service providers on a path towards a new generation of high-quality home entertainment.”

SMEs ignoring resellers financial packages

1-introResellers that support their customers with finance are going to find it a tough sale, according to the BDRC SME Finance Monitor.

Smaller firms are battening down the hatches in response to growing uncertainty about Brexit and the weak government.

The Monitor said that many small firms opting to reduce their exposure to external finance and focus more on self-funding.

The latest analysis of what has happened in Q2 reveals some segments of the customer base are struggling to deal with the ongoing “lack of cla around the future.

Larger SMEs remain a much better target for those resellers advising investment as they are much more likely to be prepared to seek finance to support business growth.

Shiona Davies, director at BDRC said that there had been no dramatic market changes since the referendum. However, there are signs in the first half of 2017 that larger SMEs, whilst concerned about the economic climate and political uncertainty, are looking to grow and to use finance more than before.

“For the smallest SMEs, the picture is slightly different,” she added. “Like their larger peers, many of them have made a profit and more of them are holding £10,000 or more in credit balances. These sole traders have become less likely to be planning to grow over time and less willing to borrow to grow. They would be more likely to either self-fund a new business opportunity or turn it down because of concerns over getting into debt”.

Apple’s share price falls after iPhone X launch

appleApple’s launch of a new iPhone was supposed to send its shares through the roof and pack the press with feel good press, but for some reason that has not happened this time.

Apple and those of its suppliers have taken a bit of a nose dive. Apple’s stock dropped from around $163 each to $159. The share price recovered slightly to $160.31, but it was lower than the day’s opening price of $162.61 and lower still than the 2pm EST peak of $163.54 when Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage.

Apples suppliers also took a hit especially Apple’s chipmakers AMS down 3.2 percent, while Dialog Semiconductor slipped 1.7 percent and STMicro fell 1.1 percent.

The Tame Apple Press was out for blood and initially blamed Apple’s suppliers because the product would be delayed. However, that idea did not work because the supply delays were due to the yields on the screen displays.

The next person to be blamed was Apple exec Craig Federighi who made an arse of himself in the demonstration of the iPhone X’s facial recognition technology, Face ID, which replaces the fingerprint scanner as a security mechanism.

“Unlocking it is as easy as looking at it and swiping up…” he said, instead unlocking an awkward wait as the device refused to open. He tried and failed a second time, before switching to a backup phone.

While this is not the sort of thing which should have caused huge problems, Cook had a tough sell on his hands anyway and it probably did not help.  Cook’s main problem is that phone did not feature any technology which could not be found elsewhere much cheaper. Even the headline edge-to-edge screen had been done before.

All this and Apple wanted to jack the price up to over $1000 because… you know it’s Apple.  Basically he is flogging a more expensive phone that does nothing new and certainly nothing Apple’s rivals cannot do for $200 cheaper.

This is probably the real reason Apple’s share price went into reverse, falling one percent after the event ended. But expectations were so high, disappointment was really the only available reaction.

VMware customers will move to subscriptions

Pat-Gelsinger-300x199VMWare CEO, Kicking Pat Gelsinger, expects some customers to buy all of their VMware products on a subscription model

Kicking Pat said that VMware is set to make more of its products available as a service and says it is anticipating some customers wanting their entire VMware purchasing done through a subscription model within three years.

Subscription models are not new at VMware – AirWatch, AppDefense and Wavefront all use it, but most revenues come from  traditional licensing.

“We’re primarily a perpetual licence business, but today about nine percent of our business is as-a-service, in the subscription business, and that portion of our business is growing about three-times faster than our overall business”, Gelsinger said.

“We expect that piece of our business to grow much more rapidly moving forward and, frankly, I expect in a year or two some of you as customers are going to tip over and say ‘that’s how I want to buy all of my products’. Today the vast majority is perpetual but clearly we expect that to become more important and we’ll have a broader set of options.

“In the next three years I expect some of you to say ‘that’s how I want to buy all of my VMware’ and we plan on having offerings in place to be able to enable that.”

Fujutsu flogs 10 million scanners globally

SCANNERS - Italian Poster 3Global shipments of Fujitsu branded document scanners have passed 10 million and the outfit has opened the champers.

Since 1983, Fujitsu branded scanners have been designed, manufactured and marketed by PFU Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu.

The outfit said that achieving the leading position in the document scanner market and reaching the 10 million milestone was only possible thanks to its sales partners in more than 100 countries have played a vital role.

Of course the press release banged on about thinks like “attention to customer detail” and constantly coming out with “great quality and new “innovative products, which are what every company says it does in a press release.

For example Mike Nelson, Senior Vice President, PFU (EMEA) said: “When developing products, PFU always has a focus on users’ needs and customers’ feedback. Combined with the engineers’ creativity, this has enabled us to create winning products with unique features and build a strong market position.”

Dunno why he bothered, those are the sorts of things that a company should be doing anyway.

PFU has launched a “10M achievement” website which uses the slogan “Good quality has 10 million reasons”, which contains messages as to why customers have consistently purchased Fujitsu scanners, this website will be sharing global campaign information as well as the history of PFU’s success.

Brits want government broadband minimums

tin-can-phoneThe latest ISPreview survey of over 1,700 internet users in the United Kingdom has revealed that over three quarters of people want the Government to aim for a 30Mbps (Megabits per second) broadband Universal Service Obligation rather than the planned 10Mbps USO.

While the survey found 83 percent  of respondents support the Government’s plan to introduce a minimum national broadband speed of 10Mbps (Megabits per second) via a legally-binding Universal Service Obligation (USO), most of them  (78p percent) feel as if the minimum should have been set at the “superfast” rate of 30Mbps.

It’s widely expected that the bulk of the USO will be delivered via fixed line broadband networks (e.g. KCOM and BT), although the Government has previously hinted that Fixed Wireless and Satellite technologies could also play a role. The survey found that 60 percent of respondents supported the potential inclusion of fixed wireless networks, but approval drops to just 28 percent  for Satellite.

Mark Jackson, ISPreview.co.uk’s Founder, said: “Today around 93 per cent+ of premises in the UK are estimated to be covered by a so-called ‘superfast broadband’ network offering 24Mbps or greater of download speed and this should reach around 98 percent by around 2020. The plan to implement a new USO will thus primarily cater for those in the final two percent and should be welcomed, but the majority clearly wanted the Government to set its performance ambition far higher.”

“The delivery of a 10Mbps USO will certainly be hundreds of millions of pounds cheaper to roll-out than 30Mbps, although it’s feared that the final policy may also overlook other important aspects of service such as the need for a fast upload speed (very important for social network apps and the cloud etc.) and fast connection latency.”

“The government should also be careful about adopting quick-fix USO solutions like Satellite, which appear to lack wide public support and suffer from problems with slow peak-time performance, small or expensive data allowances and painfully slow latency.”

“On the other hand there are some extremely remote areas where Satellite may truly be the only viable option (this technology is predicted to focus on around 0.3 percent of UK premises), although this will be no good for today’s world of heavy video streaming where the average 10Mbps+ residential connection gobbles 153GB per month (Ofcom data) and rising”,  concluded Jackson.

Kicking Pat Gelsinger says he does not work for Michael Dell

Pat-Gelsinger-300x199In a comment which would be news to his boss Michael Dell, VMware CEO Kicking Pat Gelsinger says he does not work for him.

Gelsinger was playing down the influence parent company Dell has on VMware, citing recent partnerships with Dell’s competitors as proof

The relationship between the pair has become more formal since Dell acquired EMC, which owned VMware, most recently when Dell announced it would be distributing VMware products.

Speaking at VMworld Europe in Barcelona, Gelsinger stressed that VMware remained an independent company.

“I don’t work for Michael [Dell], I work for the board of directors. We remain an independent legal company with our own route to market.”

Gelsinger said that VMware’s independence is proven by the relationships it has formed with vendors that compete with Dell.

“At VMworld US when I was announcing the HP relationship, Michael Dell was in the front row. Absolutely, we’re going to partner broadly across the ecosystem, but we’re going to accelerate the business of VMware by Dell reselling and investing more around the VMware products.”

Dell was benefiting from VMware’s ecosystem – highlighting the announcement today that Dell EMC will offer its commercial customers access to VMware products in IBM’s cloud. The partnership also sees Dell EMC’s infrastructure products added to the IBM Cloud.

“Because of VMware and our partnership with IBM, today Dell announced their partnership with IBM and that is largely as a result of the work and innovation that we were doing jointly with IBM; now it’s expanded to benefit Dell as well,” he said.

“There you see the synergies playing out: not Dell helping us, but us helping Dell.

“Overall we feel very good that the relationship is going quite strongly. We’re announcing major partnerships with other companies like Lenovo, HP, Amazon that aren’t Dell partners, but also doing more with Dell.”

Mobile workplace is years off as PC is still king

old-pcs-100565082-primary.idgeWhile many in the channel are trying to get out of low-margin hardware sales, a new report shows that there is still money to be made from PCs.

Spiceworks’ has penned a report with the catchy title: “Future of the PC: Top computer brands adoption trends in the workplace” which shows that despite the popularity of smartphones and tablets, employees still use laptops and desktops as their primary work devices. Organisations aren’t planning to shift investments away from traditional PCs in the foreseeable future.

Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks, said although desktop PC growth is expected to stall a bit, they’re still the primary computing device of choice in many businesses.

Among the organisations surveyed in the US, Canada and the UK, 60 percent of employees currently use desktops as their primary work device, and laptops are favored by 27 percent.

In terms of future business investments, desktop investments are expected to be relatively flat in the next 12 months, but 43 percent of businesses surveyed said they expect to increase their laptop investments. Mobile devices, such as tablets (25 percent), smartphones (16 percent) and 2-in-1s (18 percent) are expected to see about half the growth of laptops.

“Growth in laptop sales presents a strong and viable opportunity for the channel. Forty-three percent of businesses are planning to increase their investments in laptops, which is nearly double the percent of organisations that intend to spend more on tablets or smartphones,” Tsai says.

“So while there is plenty of hype around mobile devices, both desktops or laptops will continue to be omnipresent in the workplace for the foreseeable future, and it’s an opportunity the channel should not ignore.”

As such, a mobile-dominated workplace is “at least three to five years off”, Tsai said.

The research said that 25 percent of companies plan to increase their investments in Dell PCs within the next 12 months, while 17 percent and 13 percent plan to increase spending with HP Inc. and Lenovo, respectively.

Among other PC vendors, 15 percent of those surveyed plan to increase their investments in Microsoft PCs, while eight percent plan to spend more on Apple laptops and desktops.

Respondents believe Dell, HP and Lenovo produce the most reliable devices – followed by performance, security and cost. Other factors, such as manageability, user-friendliness and ease of repair are slightly less important, and innovative features and style ranked the lowest as contributing factors.

Maintel does rather well following Azzurri acquisition

Databroker_scrooge_mcduckManaged service provider Maintel has been doing rather well since it wrote a cheque for  Azzurri.

According to the company’s latest results, the firm has seen its numbers swell thanks to the on going contribution from the acquisitions of Azzurri and is looking forward to gains in the second half as the benefits of the Intrinsic deal start to filter through.

Last year saw Maintel reporting revenues up by 114 per cent to £108.3 million with pre-tax profits also going up by a healthy 52 per cent to £11.1 million with recurring revenue hitting 73 per cent.

The firm is on track to hit similar revenue growth with H1 delivering a 68 per cent increase from the same period last year, to £63.8 million from £38.1 million with gross profit up by 50 per cent to £19.6 million

Maintel is now one of the largest communications integrators in the UK, with combined revenues of around £150 million and a staff of around 700. The first half has included more integration of the Azzurri business and more uptake of the cloud services that the channel player has developed in-house.

The firm has invested in its own ICON cloud platform, which has helped it grow by 55 per cent.

Maintel acquired Intrinsic for £5.25 million at the start of August which gave the firm access to Cisco gold partner status, the Avaya Edge Diamond level and a strong background in network security and unified comms. The £48.5 million  deal for Azzurri was hatched out in April 2016.

Jigsaw24 up for sale

funny-haha-148Apple reseller Jigsaw24 is about to be sold off.

The Telegraph has reported that private equity group NorthEdge Capital is seeking a buyer for the Nottingham-based outfit. It has a 2016 turnover of £86.9 million which is not to be sneezed at.

The report claimed NorthEdge Capital, which bought a majority stake in Jigsaw24 in 2013, has hired Clearwater Corporate Finance to approach buyers for the business.

The Telegraph concluded that a deal is expected to be announced at the end of this year or early next, with the paper’s sources insisting the move was not linked to concerns that Apple iPhone sales had peaked and it products were on a slow slide to oblivion.

Jigsaw24, one of Britian’s largest Apple resellers, has major clients including Channel 4, BBC Sport and News UK.


Rackspace buys Datapipe

shark_attack_painting-t2 (1)Rackspace Hosting is to write a cheque for Datapipe and turn two of the world’s largest managed services providers into a global cloudy powerhouse.

This acquisition will provide Rackspace with a broad customer base and deep alliances spanning all of the major cloud operators as it attempts to be a multi-cloud management leader.

The  deal comes only months after Rackspace agreed to buy TriCore Solutions, an application management specialist that at the time was its largest acquisition to date.

Rackspace did not say what it will pay for Datapipe. The acquisition will be financed with debt and equity.

The combined entity would see annual revenue of $2.4 billion, and employ roughly 6,700 people. Both MSPs have substantial hosting businesses through their own data centers, as well as partnerships with hyper-scale cloud providers. Both are among the largest MSPs in the AWS ecosystem.

Datapipe’s infrastructure, custom-built automation tools, extensive certifications and high-skilled employees will be valuable additions to Rackspace’s portfolio.

GoPro not defeated by camera phones afterall

11fd04031eac956a083dd9ee1b35180dGoPro has announced that it expects to be profitable when it announces its third quarter financials. Shares in the action camera maker have in fact rocketed by 17 percent.

It had been expected that GoPro would report a loss as more functional smartphones have managed to take over the company’s business. The company’s body-mounted point-of-view cameras have a huge following among action junkies such as surfers and skydivers, but sales have taken a beating in recent quarters.

However, a boost in demand for its drones has helped GoPro re-establish itself. The company also said it was on track to launch the Hero 6, the latest edition of its flagship action cameras, and the new Fusion 360 camera by the holiday season.

“(GoPro‘s) execution is going well … specifically, the excitement is that the demand for existing GoPro products is strong and that bodes well for quite a Hero 6 sell run”, Wedbush Securities analyst Alicia Reese said.

GoPro’s shares have fallen nearly 50 percent since October over concerns it is losing ground to feature-rich smartphones and rival products..Production issues with the Hero 5 camera and a delay in the launch of its Karma drone had also dented sales, weighing on the company’s stock.

The company said it expects third-quarter revenue and gross margins to be at the high end of its forecast of $290 million to $310 million and 36 percent to 38 percent, respectively.

Firstnet and Select Data Centres have merged

lane-ends-merge-1Firstnet and Select Data Centres have merged to form a new business under the Firstnet Group banner.

The deal mix and matches Select’s focus on datacentres with Leeds-based Firstnet’s services in networks, managed IT and cloud platforms.

The new company is based at Firstnet’s headquarters in Leeds which includes a 20,000 sq ft datacentre and workplace recovery facility built by Select. Select’s Manchester base will now be deployed as a Firstnet Group satellite office to supplement the main operation in Leeds.

The new company will target ICT services market share in the region, offering IT infrastructure colocation and disaster recovery.

Stephen Leahy, who was CEO at Select and has now become Firstnet Group’s CEO said that the deal was a substantial investment in the city’s IT sector. The new company will continue to invest in our Leeds estate, which includes the region’s only purpose-built datacentre,” he added.

“Firstnet Group’s combination of resources and skill sets will deliver a service level which is unprecedented in Yorkshire and the wider region.”

Firstnet Solutions’ managing director David Cusworth said the merger represents a positive development for customers and an opportunity for its employees.

“It also positions the company for its next phase of growth in the UK datacentre and IT sector. Firstnet has recently secured some major national clients in addition to a rapidly growing core market of SMEs and resellers.”