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,’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.”


SupplyNow needs no education

hqdefault (1)SupplyNow, an ed-tech startup, launching in Kent, Surrey and London, has said that it wants to transform the broken UK supply teaching market by directly connecting fully vetted supply staff with schools.

The  platform offers up to 25 percent higher pay, robust safeguarding controls and complete transparency – reducing school costs, saving huge agency fees and enabling more to be spent on bettering schools, via a simple self-service interface.

Aimi Kearney said that her fellow co-founders believe the supply market is broken. Spending is increasing, with agencies charging exorbitant fees.

“Using innovative technology, control is returned to the supply heroes and schools by combining self-service convenience with fair pricing. The time is right to disrupt the education market and rebalance the power, keeping more money in the education system”,  she said.

Simon Taylor has spent most of his career in recruitment said: “Temporary education staff are the only professional group I can think of where ‘contractors’ are paid less than permanent staff. Often underpaid and massively undervalued, this hidden workforce ensures that over 15,000 classes are taught every day in the UK. This stops potentially 30 parents/carers per class (450,000 families) receiving a call at work, to say their child is being sent home as there’s no teacher. Without this, what kind of impact would there be on the UK economy?” SupplyNow demonstrates how smart technology can transform school budgets, improving educational outcomes.

Agencies typically charge a 40 percent margin, so schools in need of supply staff could benefit from SupplyNow’s model, which works on a 13 percent margin and a permanent placement fee cap after 30 days’ work. “We want to greatly improve upon the traditional ways of finding supply work by listening to customers and education experts and staying true to our values” says James Bailey. SupplyNow has collaborated with experts in recruitment, compliance, technology and education to develop the app; currently in the final stages of vetting and beta testing and having already hundreds of supply staff registered. It has successfully conducted tests demonstrating an average saving of £7-10,000 per permanent hire, which can be spent on critical resources instead.

SupplyNow continues to grow its early adopter programme, which includes qualified teachers, teaching assistants and schools who have registered for their service, interested in being the first to be involved with important company and app updates.

Huawei announces its cunning cloud plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



HPE signs on three UK distributors for its Nimble Storage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brexit turns UK into HPE’s backwater

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avast has merged its channel with AVG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Juniper Networks signs up Nuvias to bolster EMEA coverage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Huawei wants to build cloud alliance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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