James Bond joins the security Q

james_bond_movie_poster_006GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator programme is looking for UK-based cybersecurity start-ups who can be shaken but not stirred.

The programme will help start-ups develop security software into fully fledged commercial products and connect them with tech experts across GCHQ itself and the National Cyber Security Centre.

The spooks originally selected seven vendors for the first phase of the scheme in January, but has now extended the programme to nine months and is encouraging another wave of start-ups to apply.

The first seven vendors have raised more than £2.7 million in investment, the government said, and have won deals with tech giants including Cisco.

Matt Hancock, minister for digital, said: “We are working hard to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business, and the safest place to be online.

“The GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is a vital part of this work and has already helped some of the most innovative cyber security start-ups develop cutting edge new products and services. I’m pleased to announce the programme is being extended and encourage the nation’s talented entrepreneurs to apply.”

Channel invests a fortune in digital transformation

magician-portrait-290The channel is investing in technology to ensure it has a better future under the new wave of digitial transformation.

Research commissioned by Agilitas has found that innovation projects cost channel leaders on average £66,587.74 last year and that figure is expected to rise by 50 percent by 2020.

Technology innovation was the main area of spending, followed by solutions, business analytics and contracts as the channel looked to make sure it continued to be ahead of the game.

Agilitas CEO Shaun Lynn said that as the industry faces disruption, complacency doing the same thing is no longer an option.

“What has been clear over recent years is that there is demand for us to continue to adapt our offerings as the needs of the technology industry and business community evolves,” he said.

His advice was for the channel to make sure that they create environments where they can be open to encouraging, accepting and developing fresh ideas.

“As a result, creating and fostering a positive environment, where new ideas are trialed and embraced is set to be critical as we approach 2020, particularly if the current levels of uncertainty continue to be seen across the market,” he said.

The research revealed that many channel firms were hiring and around a third were prepared to invest in training that would encourage innovation and just over a quarter were happy to explore employee ideas.

“It is critical to understand that the only thing in the channel that remains constant is change. As an industry, we need to make sure that challenges are met with creative new ideas. Our research has highlighted positive movement, and I expect to see continued investment growth as we approach 2020,” Lynn said.

There have been warnings to the channel that it needs to invest in digital transformation to make sure it can convince customers that the skills and knowledge is there to help them.


Nadella joins the chorus singing the Channel’s praises

satya-nadella_650x400_81496331285Software King of the Solar System with exclusivity on the rings of Uranus, Satya Nadella, has been praising Microsoft’s channel to the skies.

Talking to the assembled throngs at the Inspire conference, Nadella thanked Microsoft partners for their commitment and underlined a world of opportunities that they can exploit thanks to digital transformation

Nadella talked about a ‘paradigm shift’ that is being driven by digital transformation. Apparently these rogue paradigms are not the enemy of humanity which need to be defeated by a new female Dr Who but are opportunities for the channel.

The Microsoft CEO told 17,000 partners that Microsoft had an ethos of being partner-led and it will be there in everything it did.

“We see a real rapid shift to a new paradigm that we describe as the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge,” which he said would be defined by three characteristics: everything will be multi-device and multi-sense, be infused with AI and the need for more application development and management.

“With increasing digitisation where every part of our economy is being transformed by digitisation the opportunity is greater than it ever was before,” he said.

He added that Microsoft had always been at the forefront of industry developments being there to democratise the PC, then mobile, the cloud and now the intelligent cloud era. “Being in this industry and being in this ecosystem the opportunity is tremendous.”

He said that it had taken the lessons of the last couple of years and had used that to change how it built its products and developed its go-to-market and partner experiences.

Infosys first quarter revenues grew 3.2 percent

infosysudacityOutsourcing King Infosys saw its first quarter revenues grow sequentially by 3.2 percent with a six percent improvement on last year.

The outfit announced that its revenues were $2,651 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2017 and its operating profit was $638 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Infosys CEO Dr. Vishal Sikka said that the company’s focus in Q1 is reflected in broad-based performance on multiple fronts- revenue growth, resilient margins despite multiple headwinds, healthy cash generation and overall business results.

“I am encouraged by the uptick in revenue per employee for six quarters in a row, and the strong momentum in our new high growth services and software, as we accelerate our focus on innovation-led growth. The widespread adoption of our grassroots innovation and education initiatives continue to fuel our transformation, and I am proud to see Infoscions embrace and drive Infosys towards becoming a next-generation services company.”

The company saw broad-based growth across geographical and industry segments and the bottom line was helped by new services and software offerings.

Company Revenues are expected to grow 6.5 percent to 8.5 percent and the moves towards automation and innovation such as Cloud Ecosystem, Big Data and Analytics, API and Micro Services, Data and Mainframe Modernisation, Cyber Security and IoT Engineering Services will grow.

Infosys is also expecting good things from its next-generation AI Platform Nia which was launched in April.

UK FinTech founder sees sixth year of growth

rmg-Location_The-City_1-hrOne of the founders of UK Fintech, Cashplus, has announced a sixth consecutive year of profitable growth.

With a 28 percent uplift in revenues and 36 percent increase in profit, the company has reported £5.6 million EBITDA profit for the year ended March 2017.

With turnover increasing threefold in the past six years, the latest set of full year results to year ended March 2017 Cashplus has become one of the few Fintech businesses with fully developed payments and technology expertise.

The company says that it consistently demonstrates it is ahead of the Fintech curve, not only in generating healthy profits in an emerging industry, but earlier this year, the company announced the launch of its API, well ahead of the PSD2 deadline.

Set up over a decade ago to break down inherent barriers in banking, Cashplus provides simple, secure, straightforward and efficient services to customers who continue to be overlooked by the high street banks- Cashplus has now attracted over 1.6 million UK customers to its accounts.

The company continues to see a huge demand for its services with a 93 percent year-on-year growth in demand for capital from SME businesses alone since October 2015.

With London regarded as a world-renowned Fintech hub, CEO Rich Wagner said: “We pride ourselves on leading the field in Fintech capabilities, and as a pathfinder in the sector, the Cashplus proposition remains simple: ‘speed and ease of use for customers’. We anticipate that Cashplus, particularly in the SME space, with our customer-centric approach will see further growth in the coming 12 months.”

Asite scores Cambridge University challenge

GUTTENPLAN2_1605556cThe University of Cambridge has chosen Asite to make the Adoddle platform their Project Information Management tool of choice for their BIM Level 2 project portfolio.

The Estate Management Division at the University of Cambridge is a multi-disciplinary organisation responsible for the development, management and maintenance of the University estate.

Adoddle is a cloud-based collaboration platform . Together, this relationship will establish Adoddle as the pivotal Common Data Environment for the University of Cambridge and allow project teams to realise a global connection with the most up-to-date information in real-time, directly from the Adoddle Cloud Model Server.

Chris Hinton, Technology and Innovation Lead, Estate Management, University of Cambridge said: “Our challenge within a diverse estate is to structure data and define assets to clear and industry recognised standards. The procurement of Adoddle as our Common Data Environment is the foundation for this and our vision of a digitally enabled estate.”

The non-residential estate is valued at £2.7 billion (Insurance Replacement Cost) and its broad and complex nature presents many demanding challenges. Some buildings are 800 years old, Grade I Listed and protected by English Heritage, whilst others are new with highly sustainable building fabrics and buildings management systems.

The capital development pipeline is £4.7 billion. The current building programme has committed funding of £640 million and provides a rich mix of activities that utilise best practice ‘risk-averse’ methods of planning, design, development and construction.

Microsoft admits partners are more cloud savvy

Ominous Clouds over Dublin CityMicrosoft has admitted that it has not kept pace with the speed that its partners have moved to the cloud.

The software king of the world has revealed more details of its newly formed One Commercial Partner business, which brings together all partner-facing teams across the organisation.

One Commercial Partner was first announced in January, as Microsoft revealed plans to bring together its enterprise and SMB teams, and more details have now been announced.

Ron Huddleston commercial vice president of One Commercial Partner, said the new business will incorporate Microsoft’s offerings in technical, marketing, business development and programmes. He declared that the new team is “not just partner led, it’s partner first”.

Microsoft is appointing dedicated channel managers for the first time, which Huddleston claimed will help to fit the right customer with the right partner.

“We’re investing $250 million in connecting partners to customers,” he said. “We’re starting with one new role, globally – the channel manager who specialises in connecting partners to customers. This will feel very different. This is not a partner account manager, they’re focused on customer success.”

Gavriella Schuster, Volish corporate vice president, said that Microsoft has in the past been guilty of asking its partners to ready themselves for digital transformation but, from a sales point of view, had not done so itself.

Schuster realised Microsoft was falling behind its partners and had innovated its engineering, services and business models, but had lagged in the innovation in our sales model and it shows.

She realised that partners had changed and Microsoft had not kept up, and now we were getting in their way.

Microsoft has committed to giving its internal sales teams 10 per cent commission on an Azure solutions that are co-sold with partners. Microsoft account teams will also, for the first time, be aligned by industry – to develop specialisations in specific fields.

Global IT spending will grow to $3.5 trillion this year

consultoracleOracles at Gartner have been shuffling their tarot cards and claim that new disruptive technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) will mean that worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.5 billion in 2017.

The projection is a 2.4 percent increase from 2016. After consulting the liver of a particularly fat ram, Big G predicted that the declining US dollar for the growth rate is up from the previous quarter’s forecast of 1.4 percent.

Gartner vice president and analyst at John-David Lovelock said that digital business is having a profound effect on the way business is done and how it is supported.

“The impact of digital business is giving rise to new categories. For example, the convergence of ‘software plus services plus intellectual property.”

Lovelock said impactful industry-specific disruptive technologies include IoT in manufacturing, blockchain in financial services and other industries, and smart machines in retail.

The worldwide enterprise software market is forecast to grow 7.6 percent in 2017, up from 5.3 percent growth in 2016.

Gartner explained that as software applications allow more firms to grab revenue from digital business channels, there will be a stronger need to automate and release applications.

The increased adoption of SaaS-based enterprise applications, will see an increase in acceptance of IT operations management tools that are also delivered from the cloud, Lovelock predicted.

“These cloud-based tools allow infrastructure and operations organisations to more rapidly add functionality and adopt newer technologies to help them manage faster application release cycles.”

Gartner found worldwide spending on devices — PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones — is projected to grow 3.8 per cent in 2017, to reach $654bn.

Nuvias buys Benelux

Three-Musketeers-The-1973-1605x903The acquisition mad distribution brand that’s backed by Rigby Group has made another purchase.

Nuvias has acquired security VAD DCB to bolster its presence in the Benelux, where it already operates advanced networking and unified communications practices.

With offices in Veldhoven in the Netherlands and Zaventem in Belgium, DCB shares several vendor franchises in common with Nuvias, including WatchGuard and Kaspersky Lab. It also works with the likes of Trustwave and Centrify.

Nuvias is the recently created distribution brand of Rigby Private Equity, and is based on a trio of acquisitions in the form of security VAD Wick Hill, in July 2015, networking and storage VAD Zycko in December 2015, and unified comms VAD SIPHON the following October. It has since expanded organically into various countries, including Switzerland.

Successful MSPs need to add more services

Workers are pictured beneath clocks displaying time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in BangaloreMSPs who want to be successful will have to add a lot more services to their portfolios.

Beancounters at 451 Research have penned a report which says that the managed services market is continually evolving and the appetite from customers for more services is rising as they roll out more changes across their organisations.

As more users take steps to increase digital transformation they are looking for MSPs that can take more of the burden out of running their infrastructure, the report said.

The research firm is pointing to “Everthing-as-a-Service” as the next big cloud opportunity with those able to offer automated technology with high-touch delivery the most likely to succeed.

MSPs that want to take advantage of the next wave of growth will be expected to deliver a range of services – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS – and go beyond that to deliver emerging options, like managed cyber disaster recovery and networking services.

The report, with the catchy title, “Voice of the Enterprise: Hosting and Cloud Managed Services study “showed that managed and security services were attached to roughly half of the total hosting and cloud opportunity, and that is set to increase year-on-year.

There is also an indication that those service providers that decide to concentrate on a specific geography or vertical market will also be more successful because customers are looking for high-touch delivery. The market is moving away from cloud construction to cloud consumption and those channel players that recognise that shift and emphasise services rather than tin will be in a stronger position.

The report said that there was a significant opportunity for technology vendors to partner with service providers to offer higher-value, niche and vertical offerings as these services rapidly emerge.

Security vendor Symantec has inked a distribution deal with Exclusive Network

symanteclogoSecurity company Symantec has confirmed that its products will be distributed through Tech Data, Arrow, Exclusive Networks and Ingram for the “high volume, low revenue” business.

What this means is that Symantec’s deal with Westcon, which distributes its Blue Coat line of products, might be history.

Exclusive Networks has put together a team in advance of the Symantec appointment and will start making a strong marketing push in the pipeline.

It also says it will set about “demystifying the confusion” around Symantec and Blue Coat products in the wake of last year’s acquisition.

Westcon is not saying anything about the deal or its future relationship with Symantec and the security outfit is only talking about its new deal with Exclusive Networks.

A spokesman said that Exclusive has a proven track record of taking technologies to market with an in depth understanding of a broad mix of channel partners.

There’s money where there’s immunity

creditcrunchcoinsmoneyvicewatersmay2014-580x358UK cybersecurity vendor Darktrace has raised $75m in funding, taking its valuation to $825 million.

The Cambridge-based seller is subsidised by Autonomy founder Mike Lynch and is based around its Enterprise Immune System product, which uses AI to identify cyber-threats.

The funding more than doubles Darktrace’s formerly suggested valuation of $400m from the time of its fundraising final year.
Insight Venture Partners, which has formerly invested in Cylance, Mimecast and Veeam apparently came to the party.

Nicole Eagan, CEO at Darktrace, said that Insight Venture Partners has a tested record of partnering with tech-centered firms. Its Darktrace backing is a validation of the fundamental and differentiated era that the Enterprise Immune System represents.

Businesses were turning to Darktrace’s AI method to make themselves more resilient to cyber-attackers.

Darktrace has raised around $180 million in funding, and claims its general contract cost has reached $200 million which is a 140 per cent growth in a year. Jeff Horing, handling director at Insight Venture Partners stated: “In just four years, Darktrace has established itself as an international leader in AI-powered safety.

HyTrust writes cheque for DataGravity

shut-up-and-take-my-moneyData management outfit DataGravity has been bought by HyTrust.

HyTrust focuses on VMware/cloud security, compliance and control. Its backers include Cisco, VMware, Intel and Intel Capital.

Terms of the DataGravity acquisition were not disclosed, but some DataGravity team people will be joining HyTrust. Using DataGravity for Virtualisation, HyTrust expects to identify and classify data, and tag workloads to ensure policy enforcement for data access, encryption and key management and applying boundary controls.

Eric Chiu, HyTrust’s co-founder and president said: “The acquisition will accelerate the expansion of HyTrust’s platform capabilities and capitalise on the high-growth cloud security market. DataGravity’s data discovery and classification capabilities support HyTrust’s mission to deliver a security policy framework that provides customers with full visibility, insight and enforcement of policy across workloads.

4K telly market booms

television-exploding-biz-2015-billboard-650The global 4K TV market is expected to reach $380.9 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research.

The beancounters claimed that the evolving nature of the consumer electronic industry, advancements in graphic engines of televisions, increased pressure on manufacturers to reduce prices, and popularity of the ultra-high definition technology and its advantages have fueled the demand for UHD televisions in the past few years.

Latest graphic processors permit advanced technical image formats and have improved the content quality significantly hence, they are widely used in production and distribution of UHD content. Customers are getting accustomed to using such contents, which is further anticipated to spur the market growth.

The 52-65 inches’ segment dominated the global 4K TV market in 2016 since this segment has a wide range of product offering at different price points. Moreover, the adoption of novel technologies, such as Quantum dot LEDs (QLEDs) and Super UHD (SUHD) and decreasing prices of 4K TVs are expected to catapult the segment demand over the forecast period.

Televisions belonging to this range have high penetration rates as compared to the others. However, the above 62 inches’ screen size segment is expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period owing to the declining price trend of 4K TVs coupled with increasing disposable incomes of individuals globally.

The global UHD TV market is expected to witness a CAGR exceeding 20 percent  from 2017 to 2025 owing to the changing consumer preference from HD to UHD technology along with increasing demand for high-end home products

Moreover, increasing penetration of ultra-high-speed internet, particularly in developed regions including metropolitan cities are expected to favorably impact the 4K TV market growth over the coming years.

The 52 – 65 inches’ segment accounted for the largest share in 2016, which is accredited to increasing penetration of 4K TVs in the higher economic class; however, with decline in TV prices the above 65-inch screen size segment pose high growth opportunities

The Asia Pacific region accounted over 40 percent  of the overall revenue share in 2016 and is also expected to dominate over the forecast period owing to the huge adoption along with declining prices of 4K televisions

A few key players who captured a significant market share in 2016 were Samsung, LG Electronics, Sony, Hisense, and Sharp.


Microsoft claims hybrid cloud infrastructure is the winner

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudSoftware King of the World, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella has been insisting that the private versus public cloud debate is over and hybrid infrastructure is the ultimate winner.

Nadella said that the battle between private cloud and public cloud has ended with neither emerging victorious.

Talking to the assembled throngs at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference in Washington, Nadella said that the hybrid infrastructure was the only winner in the private versus public cloud duel.

Vole announced more details of its Azure stack – with integrated systems on hardware from Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo set to start shipping from September.

Nadella said: “It’s clear as day that what is needed is more distributed computing infrastructure – that true hybrid computing fabric – so that you can manage your smart city, smart factory, smart car as well as take advantage of the public cloud.”

Nadella said that Microsoft will reshape everything it does into four solution areas: modern workplace, business applications, applications and infrastructure, and data and artificial intelligence.

He also opened up on the partner benefits of Microsoft 365, which rolls up Office 365 with Windows 10 and other enterprise products.

“When it comes to partner opportunity, it’s tremendous for you to be able to really serve the needs of these customers across the entire depth and breadth of the employee base, and hopefully you even caught that it’s not just about the knowledge worker, it’s even about these first-line workers in retail and other industries,” he said.