Dell sets up an IoT partner programme

banner_220x220Tin box shifter Dell has launched an IoT partner programme alongside its very close chum VMworld.

A spokesDell said the programme will provide pre-tested and pre-validated hardware and software packages from Dell and technology partners.

Ken Mills, general manager of IoT surveillance and security at Dell, said during an online press conference before VMworld opened that IoT is rapidly expanding and the amount of infrastructure needed to support it is growing.

“There is a definite shift in the amount of storage and compute power needed to support this transition.”

The number of connected devices worldwide is expected by some industry observers to be as high as 30 billion by 2020 and to continue to grow from there.

The wide array of devices, systems and sensors and the rapid growth of IoT are challenges for businesses looking to embrace IoT, according to Chris Wolff, who took over as head of global OEM and IoT partnerships at Dell in October 2017.

Wolff said companies often understand there are a lot of things they can do with automation and IoT technologies to help them gain insights into their data and make better business decisions, but they can struggle to take the first step.

She said that getting started wasso daunting because there are so many things IoT theoretically can do at at work.  It is difficult for people to know what to do and have a conversation with the techies to find out what’s possible or feasible for my organisation.

Wolff said there was a fear that a company could “choose the Betamax instead of the VHS”

Dell claimed that it can give customers a complete package by bringing together technologies from its partners and the vendors under its umbrella.

The bundles will be sold entirely through the channel, giving partners not only another solution to offer their customers, but also a new revenue stream to take advantage of as IoT continues to grow in the enterprise.

Wolff said the programme will focus on “enabling reseller partners, who are very good at deploying IT infrastructure and managing that infrastructure to provide that same level of management and security across non-traditional devices such as refrigerator coolers”.

DataDirect Networks steps in to save Tintri

banner_220x220DataDirect Networks (DDN) is expecting to complete its acquisition of troubled storage vendor Tintri “within the next few days”.

Tintri ran out of cash, axed most of its staff and saw its finances dry up. The US storage vendor stepped in last month to acquire its assets and plans to bring support and product continuity to Tintri’s customers while using its capabilities to boost its portfolio.

Alex Bouzari, co-founder and CEO of DDN, said he is looking forward to bringing Tintri’s virtualisation and analytics products into the fold.

“Our first order of business is to deliver immediate world-class support to the more than 1,000 Tintri customers worldwide”, he said.

“Beyond that, we are thrilled to help businesses achieve significant value and transformational simplicity for their server virtualisation, DevOps and VDI needs.”

Tintri will operate as a separate division within DDN and will have its own sales, support and engineering resources. The vendor has been hiring staff to support Tintri’s existing customers.

Getronics encourages women to break its glass ceiling

banner_220x220Getronics will be encouraging women, which are still a minority within the company, to pursue their ambitions and break its glass ceiling.

Deborah Exell, Global Head of Human Capital and Change at Getronics said that human capital was at the core of business success, and that diverse talent is the heart of innovation.

“Diversity is not just a buzz word. Differing perspectives and unique points of view are a vital force for growth. And, for our employees to truly represent the communities in which they live and work around the world, this means embracing difference.”

She said that Getronics’ culture was founded on respect, integrity and transparency.

“Our diversity is visible. We foster challenges and differences and are looking to ensure that, wherever possible, we break down old barriers and hurdles to success.  Everyone has a voice. We protect what is our harassment-free / bullying-free work environment and discrimination-free workplace; and ensure equal opportunities in hiring, training, promotions, benefits and compensation.”

The outfit  has already outlined some practical measures, some of which are presently in place and some of which will be launched shortly. They will have an impact on the development of women within the enterprise in the short-, medium- and long-term.

Among other activities, Getronics has put together a working group composed of role models within leadership to drive the initiative. Moreover, Regional Round Tables will be organised to get input into strategy and identify talent, develop a coaching program, emphasise women’s successes, participate in external events, engage with universities as well as organisations that value women, and produce a Women in Technology strategy to 2020.

Caroline Montgomery, Global Head of Engineering & Solutions at Getronics said: “We won’t stop there. Women in Technology must be seen as the first step in a broader frame aiming to promote inclusiveness for all genders, ages, ethnicities and beliefs,” explains  “We see diversity as a strength and believe our company can only benefit from the richness that is inevitably connected to it.”

Cancom’s CEO resigns

banner_220x220Cancom CEO Klaus Weinmann has resigned after 26 years at the helm of the business. Thomas Volk will take over when Weinmann steps down on 30 September.

Weinmann will remain on Cancom’s supervisory board to provide “advice and support” and will continue as CEO of Primepulse Group – a German venture capital firm that is Cancom’s largest single shareholder.

In a statement  Weinman said: “I need not emphasise that Cancom is very important to me. But the growth of the Primepulse Group and the increasing tasks that this entails for me will no longer allow for a dual function as a member of the management board in the future.

“However, I would like to continue supporting the transformation of Cancom in the direction of its cloud and managed services business. I will therefore ask the shareholders to allow me to join the supervisory board.”

Volk is promoted from being Cancom’s president and general manager, which he has held since 1 November 2017.

Volk is already responsible for the group’s go-to-market strategy and marketing and he lead the company back into the UK market with two UK acquisitions, including London-based MSP Ocean Intelligent Communications and £80 million revenue UK reseller OCSL.


Hybrid services pays off for HPE

banner_220x220The former maker of expensive printer ink, HPE, is doing rather well on the back of its shiny new hybrid services cunning plan which is channel dependent.

With its PointnextHPE services business, the vendor has stated an ambition to make it an area that delivers revenue through the channel.

The plan, which emerged in March last year, was to give the channel the services support that they can scale to meet customer needs, with a large amount of flexibility built into the offering.

Pointnext was supposed to give users the support needed to accelerate their digital transformation.  It rolled out Greenlake Flex Capacity, which was designed to make life easier for partners with pre-packaged options that would speed up quote times.

HPE also made a couple of acquisitions, with RedPixie this April and Cloud Technology Partners last September, to add more support for those customers looking at moving to the cloud.

During the outfit’s third-quarter announcement CEO Antonio Neri said that Pointext delivered a  per cent decline in revenue year-on-year, although orders grew by four per cent.

“We continue to strengthen our HPE Pointnext services business, and we see significant opportunity as we execute our services-led go-to-market strategy”, he said.

The firm is looking to put the focus of the services business on the most profitable areas and in that space, revenue increased by one percent in Q3 and orders improved by eight per cent.

“This growth is largely due to the strong improvement of services intensity as we shift our focus in more value-added offerings, high-growth in HPE GreenLake and some larger deals. Advisory and professional services revenue was down 10 per cent, largely due to our intentional exit of more than 40 companies as part of our HPE Next plan,” said Neri.

He signalled that the current focus was on hybrid cloud solutions and it had been investing in that area.

“Overall, our Hybrid IT portfolio of products and services is stronger than it has ever been, and continues to help our customers manage and simplify their IT in a hybrid world,” he said.

HPE reported a fairly flat quarter revenue wise with Q3 turnover up just a per cent year-on-year to $7.8 billion. The vendor also continues to deliver on Meg Whitman’s last big plan before she stepped down, the Next initiative, which is right-sizing the business for the future.

ScienceLogic teams up with HCL

ScienceLogic announced a partnership with HCL Technologies to provide automated IT Operations among HCL’s enterprise customers as they embark on digital transformation initiatives.

Applying machine learning to IT operations has remained elusive due to the challenges of collecting, organizing and acting on fragmented, disparate IT operational data, particularly amid the highly dynamic and ephemeral nature of modern cloud-based and hybrid infrastructure and services.

The partnership allows DRYiCE, a division of HCL Technologies and focused on building AI-powered products and platforms, to use the ScienceLogic SL1 Automation Engine to provide a consistent source of clean, contextualised operational data in real-time. Clean, consistent data enables machine learning engines to power AIOps and drive automation of key IT processes for HCL’s enterprise customers.

Kalyan Kumar, CVP & Chief Technology Officer at HCL Technologies said: “Our customers are increasingly relying on HCL Technologies for guidance and support in their digital transformation journeys. DRYiCE products and platforms have traditionally helped our customers to transform and simplify their IT operations. By leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation we intend to consistently deliver quality services and insights to our customers. SL1 will help accelerate those capabilities so that we and our customers alike remain competitive today and well into the future.”

ScienceLogic SL1 provides automated real-time discovery and synchronisation across both application and infrastructure topology, integrating with new and existing ecosystem components and populating CMDBs with timely and accurate data from a clean data lake. This drives higher quality machine learning and enables AIOps processes to greatly alleviate the burden on IT operations personnel.

Dave Link, CEO and Founder of ScienceLogic said: “DRYiCE has deep capability in AI and related technologies that is being enhanced by tie-ups with academia and a strong partner ecosystem. The adoption of AIOps has grown rapidly and HCL’s adoption of SL1 validates the importance of this market segment.”

HP reassures partners that Apogee will not get special treatment

banner_220x220HP has moved to calm its partners that Apogee will not receive any preferential treatment after the vendor gets its paws on the managed print outfit.

HP has plans that it would acquire the Maidstone-based partner earlier this month sparking fears that the maker of expensive printer ink would favour Apogee over its other channel chums.

However the outfit has issued a statement saying it would be business as usual for the channel and HP staff will not be running Apogee.

HP print president Enrique Lores said it was important that Apogee will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of HP and the reporting line for that business will sit outside the HP UK and Ireland operation.

“None of our partners receive preferential treatment and in the same way that we manage all our partners regardless of product type, we have the same commercial relationships as any other partner and they will have the same access to tools and partner programmes that are offered today.”


Trend Micro warns of a return to secret attacks

banner_220x220Vendor Trend has warned that the days of mass ransomware attacks are over and hackers are taking a more discrete approach.

The biggest change is a shift from large scale ransomware attacks to more covert attacks that are aimed at stealing both money and computing resources.

The computing power is in demand by those hijacking PCs to use the machines as part of digital currency mining efforts.

Bharat Mistry, principal security strategist for Trend Micro said that the recent change in the threat landscape shows that cybercriminals will constantly shift their tools, tactics and procedures (TTPs) to improve their infection rates.

“Standard spray and pray ransomware attacks and data breaches had become the norm, so attackers changed their tactics to be more covert, using entry vectors not previously seen or used extensively. This means once again, business leaders must evaluate their defenses to ensure sufficient protection is in place to stop the latest and most pressing threats”, added Mistry.

One of the proposed answers that gets pitched to customers is to increase automation to help with the heavy lifting but research from Skybox Security indicates that much more work needs to be done on that front.

The firm found that APAC is ahead of the US and EMEA in using automation for processes involved in firewall rules and security policy. AI and machine learning is also something that so far appears to be more a concept than a reality for many users.


Home security market worth $74.75 Billion by 2023

banner_220x220There is going to be shedloads of cash in the home security market, according to a new report.

The MarketsandMarkets report with the punchy title “Home Security System Market by Home Type (Independent Homes, Apartments), System Type (Professionally Installed & Monitored, Self-Installed & Professionally Monitored, Do-It-Yourself), Offering (Products, Services), and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023” said the market will reach $74.75 billion by 2023 from $45.58 billion in 2018.

This means that it will grow at an annual rate of 10.40 percent during the forecast period. The growth of the home security system market is attributed to the emergence of IoT and wireless technologies, and increasing customer awareness . Moreover, the integration of AI and deep learning in home security systems and worldwide proliferation of “smart cities” initiatives are creating huge growth opportunities for players in the market.

There is an increasing concern about security among the independent homeowners. The number of independent households is high in the economically developed countries, such as the US, Canada, Germany, etc. Also, those who own the induvial homes usually have a high total household income. The independent homes are more frequently built in isolated locations, and in case of the medical emergencies or the emergencies like burglary/theft, the necessary help may not be available in the area nearby these homes. Considering these factors, the adoption of home security systems among independent homeowners is high, the report said.

Home security system market for do-it-yourself security systems to grow at highest CAGR during the forecast period

One of the major factors contributing to the projected high growth of the market for DIY security systems is the cost optimization ensured by these systems. Some of the products offer integrated alarm triggers and other smart features during a break-in or security cameras for the monitoring purposes.

The penetration of home security systems is still low, and the customers from economically developing countries prefer deploying DIY systems for the security within their budgets. Also, some companies help the customers with user manuals and guidance tools for the system installation and integration. Although the systems do not provide a connection with a professional monitoring station, the customers can remotely monitor the home using their smartphones. Therefore, with the growing adoption of home security systems, the DIY systems become an attractive alternative for the newer customers with average disposable incomes, the report said.

Losing local bank branches hurts retailers

More than 24 percent of shop owners who have closed their business in the past five years say losing a local bank branch was a key factor.

A new study from The Nottingham Building Society found that out of those retailers who say they are affected by closures of banks estimate their annual revenue fell by an average of 20 percent.

The Nottingham’s research shows that 36 percent of people would visit their town or village less if their local branch closed and 40 percent would make three or more fewer visits a month.

Gary Womersley, head of Branch Network for The Nottingham Building Society said that financial institutions play a major role in local high streets drawing customers to shops and boosting sales and business.

“This is particularly true in market towns, where much of our focus is placed. Sadly, there are now as many as 1,500 towns in the UK that used to have branches but no longer do. In as many as eight towns, The Nottingham has a branch where there is no presence of the big four banking institutions”, he said.

Steve Castle joins Nuggets

banner_220x220Steve Castle has joined the blockchain payments and identity brand Nuggets as a non-Executive Director.

Castle has already been supporting Nuggets as a strategic adviser for over a year, and was an early investor.

Alastair Johnson, Founder and CEO of Nuggets, said: “It’s a great pleasure to welcome Steve as a Non-Executive Director. His strategic advice has been invaluable to us for some time now, and we’re looking forward to drawing on even more of his 35 years’ experience in financial services.”

Castle’s most recent high-profile role was as a key part of the ‘Senior Management Walk-In’ team briefed with turning around Liverpool Victoria General Insurance Group in 2006.

As Group Finance Director, he was instrumental in transforming the business into the LV= brand as it is today. By 2012, the business had been grown five-fold to become the third-largest motor insurer in the UK. The (previously loss making) company was also delivering annual profits of over £100m and had the highest customer satisfaction levels in the industry.

Before LV=, Castle held senior Group Board positions in the RBS Insurance, Direct Line and Churchill. He was previously a director at AIG, ACE & CIGNA.

Of his new role, Steve Castle said: “Having seen how rapidly Nuggets has developed in markets around the world over recent months, I’m delighted to be joining the team as Non-Executive Director.

“Nuggets offers a unique solution for making simple e-commerce payments and other transactions without having to share personal data. I’m convinced it’s a product that will transform e-commerce as we know it.”

This latest announcement follows the recent appointment of  former Managing Director of Visa, Kevin Jenkins, to establish Nuggets in Europe and lead on business development.

At the end of June, Nuggets also announced a partnership with QFPay, the Chinese payment provider used by Asian commerce giants Alipay and WeChat. QFPay has managed more than 500 million mobile payment transactions to date. Now, Asian merchants using QFPay can also benefit from Nuggets’ unique payments and identity features.

Silver Peak announces new authorised deployment partner programme

banner_220x220Broadband and hybrid WAN solutions provider, Silver Peak, has announced a new Authorised Deployment Partner (ADP) programme, which is supposed to train, certify and authorise services partners to unify and manage all facets of the design, deployment and management of its Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

The programme has already attracted  Cavell Group, FireOwls Corporation, Geode Networks, Traversa Solutions and Velociti.

Kristian Thyregod, vice president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Silver Peak said: “Silver Peak is providing partners with an unprecedented opportunity to add additional high-margin services to their portfolio, while helping enterprise customers to confidently deploy the Silver Peak EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

“As a company deeply committed to the channel, our new ADP programme will dramatically reduce channel complexity and provide enterprise customers with options when implementing and deploying an SD-WAN solution that align to their unique business and cloud requirements. We are delighted to have already welcomed a number of valued partners to our ADP programme.”


Exclusive attaches Elastifile

Value-added outfit Exclusive has added Elastifile as the latest addition to its global BigTec cloud portfolio.

Elastifile is known for its enterprise, cloud file storage solutions which enable cloud workflows with minimal deployment and management issues.

Martin Bichler, Group Vendor Manager at BigTec said: “Cloud infrastructure transformation is, alongside cybersecurity, perhaps the greatest commercial opportunity for channel partners to lead customers toward a positive digital future, which is why Elastifile’s innovation aligns so well with our global BigTec vision. The global enterprise IT shift to ‘everything-as-a-service’ is accelerating the obsolescence of traditional data infrastructure, so end customers want their transition to new technology to be frictionless with clear ROI. Elastifile fits into our broad set of compelling BigTec solution offerings around enterprise hybrid cloud that are addressing significant demand across the channel ecosystem.”

The global distribution contract “significantly” extends the market reach of Elastifile and follows the vendor’s initial BigTec EMEA agreement struck last year.

Bamiyan Gobets, VP International Sales at Elastifile said: ” We feel we have found the ideal partner to support our channel growth objectives with service providers and VARs worldwide. The BigTec brand, backed by Exclusive’s global market reach and unparalleled specialist cloud competency, adds significant value and gives us a great market advantage.”

This means that there is an opportunity for Elastifile resellers wherever customers want to cloud-burst peak demand, migrate workloads, or create true hybrid workflows that span architectures – be it supporting containers, VMs, on-premises infrastructure, or public cloud.”




Channel building relationships with non-IT departments

banner_220x220A report from CompTIA found that the channel is finding success when working more closely with individual teams in organisations rather than sticking to the IT department as their key entry point.

Apparently tech businesses can help companies expand their engagement with customers when they approach and build relationships with non-IT executives because it’s helping them find innovative ways to build profitability.

Working directly with accounting, HR, marketing, and operations departments means the channel can identify the company’s true needs and understand the business better rather than using a single communication point in the IT department.

CompTIA  said that the cloud was providing more opportunities for the channel, enabling some managed service providers to transform into independent software vendors with innovations of their own to share with customers. This is boosting profitability as they adapt to changing market conditions.

Customer spending is increasing too, as customers realise that immediate ROI isn’t necessarily a priority anymore. Businesses are happy to invest if their tech solutions will offer longer-term benefits, rather than immediate financial returns, the report said.

CompTIA warned that there is currently a rush to introduce new products and services to market which means that some solutions haven’t been thoroughly tested and the quality is suffering.

The range of solutions available is causing confusion for vendors too, with mixed go-to-market strategies that don’t have a clear line to sale. This is also impacting the channel as margins vary so much, it’s unclear which products should be a priority.


Computacenter scores record revenues

banner_220x220Computacenter has reported a record revenue of £2 billion with its UK sales rocket 29.5 percent.

For the six months ending 30 June 2018 the channel giant saw overall revenue rise 18.1 percent year on year, while adjusted profit before tax increased 24.3 percent to £52.1 million.

Computacenter said that its UK revenue growth was bolstered by two “very large margin-dilutive” contracts, valued at £34.1 million and £36.7 million, which brought margins down by 80 basis points.

Mike Norris, CEO at Computacenter, said: “While the second half of the year is a more difficult comparison to the first half, due to the outstanding performance in H2 2017, 2018 is proving to be a year of significant progress particularly for our technology sourcing business.

“The buoyant market conditions are being driven by a number of factors specifically, but not limited to, the need to increase network capacity, the constant need for enhanced cybersecurity, workplace upgrades and a move to the cloud. While it is impossible to predict how long these buoyant market conditions will continue, most of these drivers have significant momentum.

“As always, Computacenter will continue to focus on the long term, investing in our business, innovating our offerings and enhancing our customer service.”

Computacenter saw around three quarters of its revenue come from what it refers to as technology sourcing (previous called ‘supply chain’) in H1, while the remaining quarter came from services.

In the UK, revenue rose to £858.1 million driven by product sales, but services declined 4.5 percent to £225.1 million, which Computacenter attributed to two “challenging projects” requiring additional resources.

The firm had previously warned that services would be hit by the conclusion of a large contract, but said that it has managed to retain a “large element” of this customer’s IT operations. Nonetheless, it branded its services performance as “disappointing”.

Margins on the product side of the business were brought down by 80 basis points as a result of the two large contracts.

In Germany Computacenter’s revenue rose 11.4 per cent to €984.1 million (£886.69 million ), driven by growth in both its product and services divisions.

The technology sourcing arm saw sales jump 13.6 per cent to €679.5 million while services grew 6.8 per cent to €304.6 million .

Overall, adjusted operating profit grew 53.1 per cent to €36.6m in Germany.

Computacenter however warned that a lack of available talent in Germany is a “growth inhibitor”, adding that some of its German operations could be run from outside the country in the future.

Earlier this year Computacenter opened up a services centre in Poland to support its German business.

Sales in France meanwhile were down 1.2 per cent to €262.2 million, but Computacenter stressed that this was down to a particularly strong H1 last year. It added that the first half of this year matched its H1 from 2016.

Adjusted operating profit in France grew by 41.2 per cent to €2.4 million.