BT Global Services sits heavily on company bottom line

BT Global Services is causing its parent company a few headaches.

The wider BT business saw revenue for the six months ending 30 September drop two per cent year on year to £11.6 billion, mostly due to regulated price reductions in Openreach and struggles in its enterprise businesses.

The outfit said that its Global Services arm was the “main contributor” to the overall revenue decline, with the division’s sales for the six-month period dropping to £2.3 billion.

Outgoing CEO Gavin Patterson said: “We continued to generate positive momentum in the second quarter, resulting in encouraging results for the half year.

“We are successfully delivering against the core pillars of our strategy with improved customer experience metrics, accelerating ultra-fast deployment and positive progress towards transforming our operating model.

“Our strategy is delivering, with benefits evident from the steps we’ve been taking to simplify and strengthen the business and improve efficiency.”

The company has been restructuring this year to cut costs in Global Services “significantly”.

So far that has involved getting rid of 2,000 people mostly from Global Services.

It added that the cuts are so far saving it £350m annually, but the costs of the cutting programme currently stand at £206m.

BT also flogged off its German VAR last month, which sat in the Global Services arm.

Academia takes a third of Vital York

Education reseller Academia has taken a third of the device-as-a-service (DaaS) outfit Vital York.

The deal, which values Vital York at over £1 million, will see Academia invest in the firm to help it scale its DaaS business.

Academia boss Mike Bacon said Vital York was ahead of the market and had been doing well selling to York schools

It had 70 or 80 per cent of the primary schools and 40 per cent of secondary schools, but they haven’t got the ability to scale in the timescale they want.

The problem is that a DaaS outfit needs shedloads of cash and you don’t get the money back quickly.

Academia partnered with Vital York a year ago, in a move that helped the Enfield-based firm service partners further north.

Vital York business will continue to run as a separate entity under its current management.

Computacenter warns of slow-down

Big snail in Old TaipeiComputacenter warned that a slowdown in the infrastructure managed services market could hamper future growth.

The outfit saw sales declines in its third quarter results and Group revenues, excluding acquisitions made during the quarter, shrank by three per cent year on year to £900 million.

While Services revenues grew by a per cent, the outfit’s  Technology Sourcing segment, which alludes to its supply chain business, declined by five per cent.

The UK was Computacenter’s poorest performer in the third quarter. Revenues shrivelled by nine per cent to £296 million, as Technology Sourcing revenues tumbled by 12 per cent and services by four per cent.

The next worst was France which had a six per cent dip in revenues to £119 million. Technology Sourcing revenues decreased by eight per cent, or seven per cent in constant currency, while services declined by one per cent.

Only Germany did well and continue its upward trend established in the first six months of the year. Even it saw its growth slow dramatically in third quarter. Sales grew by one per cent to £451m, or two per cent in constant currency. Services and Technology Sourcing sales both grew by one per cent during the quarter.

Computacenter warned that channel partners have a tougher year ahead as revenue growth from reselling product begins to slow down.

The channel giant said that while its pipelines for professional services is “building nicely”, growth for its infrastructure managed services business is “somewhat more challenged” due to tougher market conditions.

Hitachi Vantara completes REAN Cloud buy

Hitachi Vantara has completed its acquisition of REAN Cloud a global cloud systems integrator, managed services provider and solutions developer of cloud-native applications across big data, machine learning and emerging internet of things (IoT).

Thanks to the deal Hitachi Vantara gains critical capabilities and industry-leading expertise in cloud migration and modernisation, instantly elevating its cloud offering portfolio and managed services capabilities.

The big idea is that it will plug a market gap where clients are facing the challenge of adopting public cloud services while maintaining existing IT responsibilities for on-premises infrastructure and private clouds. To meet this challenge, the IT departments have to broker of IT-based services by blending traditional services with public and private cloud services  or  ‘hybrid IT.’”

Hitachi Vantara aims to address this gap with its new offerings, providing cloud migration and managed services that enable customers to operate across hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure. 47Lining which was acquired by REAN Cloud last year gave deep capabilities in cloud-based analytics and machine learning that powerfully expand Hitachi Vantara’s ability to maximise data-driven value for its customers focused on vertical IoT solutions.

Hitachi Vantarachief executive officer Brian Householder said: “In the last year, we have expanded our investment in agile and flexible infrastructure as an engine for driving our customers’ digital transformations. This acquisition underscores our commitment to meeting the ever-changing needs of the digital enterprise, as well as pioneering offerings that set the standard for excellence within intelligent analytics.”


Blockchain use changing

Blockchain experts at global technology consultancy DataArt say that there is a shift in the approaches of larger businesses to the blockchain, with many looking to invest in the technology’s potential, and an uptick in enterprise clients’ R&D and Proof of Concept (PoC) projects.

According to a DataArt report, these companies are attempting to apply the concepts inspired by blockchain to re-imagine complex, costly and inefficient business processes.

Businesses and IT are attracted to the potential offered by distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to combine multiple concepts and capabilities in a single solution. These technologies enable a fresh perspective on the accepted business processes, with a potential to make them simpler, more transparent, and less resource consuming, resulting in greater business agility, the report said.

Leading platforms and consortia such as Corda, Hyperledger or Ethereum have made significant progress this year in addressing the issues of privacy, performance, and other early-stage challenges. These platforms now combine legal prose along with the code.

Looking toward 2019, DataArt’s report said that leaders across industries taking the technology more seriously, and predict the following:

“We will see more projects apply blockchain to processes that are not directly related to payments or cryptocurrencies. For example, in the insurance industry, we expect to see a surge in R&D and implementations focused on the exploration of permissioned blockchains and applications of smart contracts that target inefficiencies and delays in business flows related to checks, controls, and reconciliation, “the report said.

Blockchain technology will be combined with machine learning capabilities, making it possible to develop sophisticated decisions (e.g. insurance approvals) automatically. Use cases that lend themselves well to this blockchain-driven innovation include contract placements, claims assessments, trigger-based invoicing, technical accounting, and settlements.

The report said that new solutions in financial services that adopt smart contract principles for data management and sharing were expected especially in areas where the data has been previously locked in PDF documents, such as financial statements or loan contracts.

“We expect to see platform solutions from the bigger players and communities such as B3i (Business Insurance Industry Initiative). Their activity could have a long-lasting effect on the industry standards and the ways businesses operate,” it said.

Blockchain-based identity management will be on the rise in 2019. Open source communities will increasingly play an important role in helping enterprises build new technical components and solutions applicable across entire industries, such as Identity Management, smart contracts libraries, and data sharing.

Blockchain implementation across industries still has a way to go, but 2019 is set to be the turning point. No longer is blockchain a mysterious and overhyped technology trialled only by the few. It is a technology embraced by industry leaders who are committed to its potential to transform businesses and industries far beyond its modest cryptocurrency and bitcoin origins.


Howe joins Exabeam

SIEM outfit Exabeam has announced the appointment of Charlie Howe as its new VP EMEA.

Howe joins from Skyhigh Networks – acquired by Microsoft – where he was responsible for building and managing a local team to enable the company’s expansion plans in the region.  Previous roles include EMEA Sales Director at Silvertail Systems – acquired by RSA – head of Encryption Sales EMEA at Symantec and head of EMEA Enterprise Sales at PGP Corporation.  All told, Charlie brings over 20 years of experience in the IT industry and has helped establish and scale a number of security start-ups in EMEA.

Exabeam has been having a good year with shedloads of growth. Exabeam saw 250 percent market growth in 2017, coming off 300 percent growth in 2016.  The company is on track to more than double its market size in 2018.  Customers in the UK include two of the top five banks, one of the largest pharmaceutical, and some of the largest insurance and healthcare organisations.

In addition to its offices in the UK and Germany, Exabeam expanded its presence with a new team in the Benelux region, and tripled its EMEA employee count. Earlier this year, Exabeam and Exclusive Networks expanded their distribution reach, adding the Middle East to the existing European agreement.

Big cloud providers top $17 billion

The cloud market is dominated by four players who made about $17 billion in the third quarter according to Synergy Research Group.

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba all grew faster than the cloud market. Overall spend increased 45 per cent year on year in the quarter, with AWS maintaining its huge market lead.

Synergy said that AWS has a market share of 34 per cent with Microsoft its biggest challenger at 15 per cent.

Synergy places IBM as the third-largest player, with a share of seven per cent, ahead of Google and Alibaba.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group, said: “This is another really strong set of numbers both for the leading cloud providers and for the market as a whole.

“The growth rates are tailing off at some of the leading cloud providers but that is just the law of large numbers kicking in. You cannot keep on growing at 100 per cent when you reach massive scale.”

The role model for sustainable growth is market leader Amazon. Over the last 10 quarters the AWS year-on-year growth rate in these markets has been steady and has averaged just a little under 50 per cent. Given the need for huge scale, most cloud providers outside the top five are being forced to focus on market niches or specific geographic regions.”

Synergy’s $17bn revenue estimate includes infrastructure and platform-as-a-service sales, along with hosted private cloud services.

Public IaaS and PaaS make up the “bulk of the market”, the firm added, with growth in these areas hitting 51 per cent.

The top five providers (AWS, Microsoft, IBM, Alibaba, and Google) hold around three quarters of the market, Synergy claims.

Jupiter uses M-Files to strike at paper piles

Jupiter Group has hired M-Files to eliminate paper, streamline processes and improve collaboration across its global locations.

Established in 2003, Jupiter Group is a grower, importer, exporter, packer and processor of fruits from all over the world. Its headquarters in Shropshire are home to over 100 members of staff and there are further operations worldwide in locations such as South Africa, Chile, India, Argentina and Central Europe. Jupiter Group is seeing great success and going through a period of rapid growth, with 127.5 percent  average international sales growth over the past two years and ranking highly in the Sunday Times International Track 200 for 2018.

Former Daisy channel man takes a Glide role

Business broadband outfit Glide Business has hired  Daniel Alvarez as Head of Channel as part of its glorious plans to double its turnover in the next year.

Alvarez, who brings with him over 20 years’ industry experience, made the move from channel sales at Daisy Wholesale.

Glide Business specialises in broadband for businesses in previously neglected areas such as industrial estates and business parks. The company has seen huge growth in the past year.

Six Datto delegates stuck in a lift with Mad Mike

If you’re in the IT business, just imagine being stuck in an elevator with Mad Mike Magee. That’s what happened today to a bunch of Datto delegates.

Well that’s what just happened here in the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I, here in Barcelona, on the seventh floor.

Fittingly, perhaps, one of the delegates is from a company called Aabyss. But

Datto founder quits

Austin McChord

The CEO and founder of Datto said today that he is going to quit these posts but will still remain on the board of directors.

Austin McChord said that he founded Datto 11 years ago when he was stuck in a basement, but has now grown the company into a behemoth with 1,400 employees with 14,000 managed service providers.

“I’m proud of the company we have built”, he said.

The company is now actively hunting down a replacement CEO but in the meantime chief operating officer Tim Weller will run the company.

Datto continues channel growth

Dattocon opened, as so many of these IT conferences do, with a lot of flashing lights and noise. This conference held by Datto in Barcelona is really aimed at its MSPs, and there’s plenty of them here, along, of course with a load of vendors, hoping to help you keep your Office 365 and other IT products secure.

Datto wants to recruit more MSPs, and there’s a heap of vendors here seeking to woo the attendees here.

The firm said that it has recruited 750 MSPs in the European territory since the beginning of this year, and that’s a 40 percent increase year on year.

Fujitsu shuts last European production facility

Fujitsu is to close its last remaining production facility in Europe as the PC maker moves its product business to Japan.

The company plans to shutter its product development, manufacturing, and logistics centre in Augsburg, in southern Germany, by September 2020 “at the latest”.

The move will directly affect 1,500 employees, in addition to another 300 situated elsewhere in Germany. Fujitsu, which employs around 5,500 staff across the country, claims it is looking for “socially acceptable” solutions for all employees affected by the change. This means it has ruled out dispatching the staff with a samurai sword in the office carpark.

Datto sees exceptional growth

Datto which packages its IT solutions through managed service providers (MSPs), announced exceptional growth in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The outfit serves small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through more than 3,000 MSP partners. Globally, Datto now serves more than 500,000 SMEs in over 130 countries through over 14,000 MSPs.

Datto said that its increasing investment in EMEA has created a wide-array of partner-focused employees, with product management teams and staff dedicated to building products, servicing, and supporting Datto partners. Datto continues to hire in EMEA.

Datto has recruited over 750 new MSP partners in EMEA since the start of the year, achieving over a 40 percent year-over-year increase.

Datto’s local workforce now has more than 230 European employees located across seven offices. In addition to the company’s data centres in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Iceland, Datto invested in a new data centre in the United Kingdom at the start of 2018, and is opening a new data centre in Germany in the first half of 2019, aiming to migrate European customers’ data in time for Brexit.

Paul Burns, chief technology officer at Technology Services Group said that the Datto and Autotask merger brought together two organisations, which has been fantastic for the channel,” commented.

“As a Datto partner, this is an exciting time for our business, and we are eager to see the rapid innovation cycle continue across all product lines.”

SMEs are increasingly outsourcing their IT needs to MSPs due to continued technology investment and stricter data regulations, providing tremendous growth opportunities for MSPs.