PowerOn’s revenues double

PF-loadsamoney_2177214kMicrosoft Azure partner PowerON’s revenue has doubled thanks to its services business.

The outfit, which is based in York saw year-on-year revenue for the year ending 30 September 2017 jump about 98 percent to £2 million.

The three-year-old company said that the firm’s growth was due to demand for  its IT services, particularly around automation and device management.

The company has a mix of IT and services which it thinks gives it a competitive edge against the competition that take a traditional approach.

These include projects such as Windows 10 upgrades and the operating management. However the company reports genuine industry growth too.

PowerON has offices in York, Chessington and Lincolnshire, is mostly a Microsoft Azure reseller but also develops its own platforms and tools in-house.

It has a consultancy team which focuses on the modernisation of workplaces and device management, and the cloud infrastructure team which specialises in Azure and hybrid IT.

PowerON became an Elite Partner on Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Software Programme this year.

The firm is projecting revenue of £3.2 million in its current financial year, £4.4 million in 2019, and £6.2 million in 2020.


IT contracts might be restricted to seven years

ukflagPublic sector resellers might be worried that the UK government is considering a plan which would restrict IT contract lengths to seven years.

The idea is being mulled over by the Government Commercial Function (GCF), part of the Civil Service and the Cabinet Office, is a cross-government network that procures, or supports the procurement, of goods and services for the government.

The outfit has produced a report with the racy title, Exiting Major IT Contracts: Guidance for Departments, which has taken aim at the duration of IT contracts.

“In past years many government organisations entered into large outsourcing contracts, which were often single-vendor arrangements lasting five to 10 years”, said the report.

“Independent analysis has highlighted a number of concerns and issues relating to these contracts, noting that they no longer represent value for money and that their structures constrain the relevant organisations from modernising technical environments.”

The report said that current government policy was to move away from large, single-vendor IT outsourcing contracts to multi-vendor, disaggregated environments, combined with in-sourcing where appropriate, and adopting a cloud-first principle.

The report said that the term of any contract for services should be for the shortest appropriate duration, bearing in mind factors such as vendor investment, ability to take advantage of reducing costs of technology, attractiveness to the market, organisational costs and ability to manage frequent change, to enable flexibility on exit and to allow transfer to alternative providers and avoid vendor lock-in.

“For contracts for commodity IT this will be up to two years and between three and seven for service agreements depending on level of supplier investment required, size of contract and market dynamics.”

Samsung down to one UC distributor

samsung-hqSamsung unified communications (UC) is down to one UK distributor now that it has decided not to use Exertis.

Exertis will still be distributing Samsung’s UC equipment until 22 December but after that it looks like Nimans will become the exclusive distributor of Samsung’s UC offering.

It is a slap in the face with a wet fish for Exertis which had been trying to snuggle up closer with Samsung by acquiring Essex-based 60 man mobile phone and tablet refurbishment outfit MTR.

MTR had a tight partnership with Samsung and Exertis hoped the deal would enable the distributor to “deepen its entanglement” with what is one of its key vendors.

It is not clear what Exertis did to miff Samsung, it might have just passed the port the wrong way at dinner. However Nimans was named best partner (UK) in the 2017 Samsung Enterprise Best Partner Awards which culminated in a global conference at the communication giant’s South Korean headquarters.

It might just have been that sole distributorship was an award for good behaviour.

Nimans said that it had a direct working relationship with Samsung in Korea and the awards were a chance to forge closer working relationships.


Barracuda swallows cloudy security outfit Sonian

Barracuda-1Barracuda has written a cheque for the cloud security and data protection vendor Sonian.

Founded in 2017, Sonian flogs cloud archiving and analytics products. Barracuda says buying it is part of a cunning plan to bolster its channel presence

It means that Barracuda can add to the data protection capabilities its platform already has around Office 365.

The Sonian platform was designed with OEMs and managed service providers (MSP) in mind.

Barracuda CEO BJ Jenkins said that Sonian had done a great job of building and delivering a native cloud platform designed to meet the needs of partners and customers.

He said that Sonian’s analytics and AI can be integrated with Barracuda’s data protection to provide a more complete market solution.

Barracuda said that Sonian brings with it over 32,000 new customers and many large MSP partnerships.

Sonian CEO Tim McKinnon said: “The potential of Sonian’s technology and go-to-market model combined with Barracuda’s scale and complementary products creates a powerful value proposition for both partners and customers.”


Compucenter sets up in Ireland just in case

irelandComputacenter has opened a new Irish office just in case everything goes pear-shaped post-Brexit.

The new office, in the centre of Dublin, opened in early October and becomes Computacenter’s first base in Ireland.  It has not really needed one as Irish customers could be served from the UK.

The outfit claimed that its Irish customers wanted the office, but it added that Brexit uncertainty was leading many of its customers to build their own presence in Ireland.

In a statement Compucenter said the new offices will not only bring us much closer to our existing local customers, but also allow it to continue expanding our offerings and services to new customers. We guess it means those punters who are thinking of abandoning the UK for somewhere more Euro friendly which speaks English. Ireland has the additional advantage that it is likely that there will be some UK trade deal following Brexit.

The Ireland operation will be headed up by James Farrell who joined Computacenter in September, having previously spent three years at Fujitsu.


Insight’s EMEA loses money again

651d40634c7c4346f3f104a1ff612807_XLInsight has had a bad quarter ending 30 September with the numbers mostly dragged down by its EMEA earnings.

Worldwide earnings from operations for Insight reached $22.4 million, up four percent year on year on revenues that enjoyed 26 percent growth to $1.76 billion on the corresponding quarter last year.

But Insight’s EMEA region was not so lucky after a bad year. It was recovering from a €3.2m restructure carried out in the first three months of the year which resulted in the firm posting a $1.13 million operating loss. The second quarter saw operating profits grew 19 percent annually to $69.32 million but this was not sustained.

While the firm’s North American and APAC regions did well EMEA revenues declined two percent year on year in constant currencies to $312.19 million for the quarter, while posting a $2.14m operational loss. Gross profits – which Insight believes better represents its bottom line since cloud sales are reported as net earnings – saw a nine percent boost in EMEA to $41.62 million.

Insight blames the firm’s acquisition of Caase.com, which EMEA boss Wolfgang Ebermann described vital if Insight wanted to get into digital transformation and spruce up its German and Dutch operations.

In July, Insight sold off its Russian arm to $1.5billion turnover VAR giant Softline, which comprises the business of 250 customers.

CEO Kenneth Lamneck explained that “this market did not exceed our long-term plans”.

Hardware revenues accounted for 44 percent of EMEA sales in Q3, up from 41 percent logged in the same quarter of 2016. Software sales declined by six percent to 52 percent of revenues, while services peaked a modest one percent to account for four percent of its EMEA top line.

A similar story emerged across North America and APAC, where hardware revenues increased by six per cent to 68 percent of regional sales, and five percent to 21 percent of sales respectively.

Speaking on the same earnings call, Lamneck claimed that all major VARs were experiencing healthy hardware sales this quarter as a result of higher component costs.

“The [device] market was pretty healthy this quarter as we look at the… data across the channel for everybody,” he said.

Salesforce partners need some education

PinkFloydTheWall1Salesforce has announced that it will give partner status points for training completed on its Trailhead developer and administrator online training platform.

The news was announced during its Dreamforce event in San Francisco.  Normally Salesforce awards partner status – Gold, Silver or Platinum – based on certifications, using a point-based system.

Salesforce says that in the new fiscal year, the vendor will start awarding points for Trailhead training.

Salesforce also rolled out myTrailhead, which allows businesses to add personal branding and content, including customised onboarding lessons and company-specific enablement skills, to Trailhead.

All this is geared for channel partners so that they can create their own internal learning environments. Salesforce’s channel partners have struggled to keep up with Salesforce technology and updates, particularly now that Salesforce wants to release more software to its  customers annually.

Salesforce wants Trailhead to be  a “global learning platform” and enhancing it with content geared toward partners.

Simms International takes on Intel SSD storage and memory work

thanks-for-the-memory-movie-poster-1938-1020198195Chipzilla has appointed Simms International as a UK distributor for its SSD storage and memory portfolios.

Simms International flogs Pretec and Kingston and sees Intel as part of a growth drive into data centres.

The company thinks that being an Intel partner will help the company build future-proof enterprise infrastructure with extraordinary performance and reliability.

Intel works with Arrow, Tech Data, Avnet, Ingram and Exertis as its memory distributors in the UK.

Intel has been paying a lot more attention to the memory market and has introduced a new Optane SSD 900P line of fast solid-state storage drives. The tech is based on 3D Xpoint, a new memory technology that Intel helped develop. 3D XPoint promises substantial performance enhancements over traditional NAND flash memory, which should make it suitable for customers looking for speedy storage drives.

Intel’s memory business is focused first and foremost around its data centre ambitions. Most of the NAND flash-based solid-state drives that it sells go into data centres, and it’s highly likely that the same will hold true for drives based on its 3D XPoint technology.

Simple Systems integrates with Sage One

SONY DSCThe UK based CRM vendor, Really Simple Systems, has launched an integration with Sage One accounting and invoicing on their new CRM Version 5. The integration that went live on 1 November 2017 lets small businesses integrate their CRMs directly with the accounting software using just a few click.

The Sage One integration with Really Simple Systems is an update to the CRM Version 5, released earlier this year. This modification integrates the latest version of the Sage One API, the API v3, with the new version CRM, giving improved functionality and security.

The Sage One integration with Really Simple Systems is available to customers in the UK, creating a workflow between the two business software solutions. The pairing looks to provide everything a small business needs to manage their sales and accounting with no specialized technical knowledge.

Simple Systems marketing manager, Helen Armour, said: “You can easily synchronise customer records between your CRM and Sage One, create invoices directly from your sales opportunities, and manage your product stock levels. The integration works in real-time so your sales team can view their customers’ balances at a glance.”

“Importantly for small business owners is that setting up the integration is easy” continued Armour. “This means they can get on with managing their business, knowing their finances are in safe hands, with minimal effort.”

Integration with Sage One is now available on all Simple Systems CRM plans, including the freemium service.


RSM’s takeover of First Hosted creates enormous NetSuite partner

Finding-Nemo-Shark-Wallpaper-HDRSM UK has announced a takeover of First Hosted and created Europe’s largest NetSuite partner.

RSM COO David Gwilliam said he was delighted to announce the FHL acquisition and welcome their market-leading NetSuite team into the more comprehensive RSM family.

“The prospects for this expanded offering are exciting. Being the UK and Europe’s largest and leading NetSuite provider significantly strengthens our capability to provide clients with a broader spectrum of business systems services and solutions.”

FHL will trade under its name following the acquisition.

Andrew Peddie, FHL managing director, said: “This move to integrate with RSM marks a game-changer in our market. For us, as a company, it presents the next natural step in our growth cycle.”

He said that NetSuite technology could not efficiently deploy without the right people in place to provide the necessary skills.

“RSM is a great fit, both culturally and in terms of what each side can offer”,  he said.


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.