Former Dell EMC UK CEO joins DCC

6v6rdBfd_400x400Former Dell EMC UK chief exec Tim Griffin has joined Exertis parent DCC to head up the firm’s tech division.

Griffin will be responsible for the “strategic direction” of DCC Technology, which trades as Exertis and report to DCC CEO Donal Murphy.

Griffin  left his role as Dell EMC’s UK CEO in November 2016.

In a statement he said: “We have all the foundations in place and the support of DCC to take this amazingly vibrant and successful company to the next level. People make the difference in business and we have very talented and driven teams across our diverse range of technologies. I am looking forward to leading and inspiring these teams to even greater success in the future by broadening our reach and ensuring that our customers and people are our key priorities.”

DCC CEO Murphy added: “This is a key appointment and I am delighted that Tim has accepted the challenge and opportunity to grow our technology distribution business and expand our presence in new and existing territories. He brings extensive international experience and expertise with an emphasis on customer relationships, and a history of creating highly engaged teams aligned to strong company values. I am confident that with the great management we have in place and Tim’s leadership qualities, we have an exciting future ahead.”

Ensono gets Microsoft’s Azure Expert status

two-clouds-1385018843_27_contentfullwidthHybrid IT services provider Ensono has been named as one of the first managed service providers to be recognised as a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP from the Microsoft pilot programme after an intensive audit process.

Ensono is now one of just 32 certified Azure Expert MSPs after proving itself as an expert ally in assisting clients in adopting Azure services. This certification recognises that Ensono clients on Azure receive continuous optimisation in spend and technology.

Ensono’s managed Azure clients will receive fully audited managed services and will have access to the most qualified consultants and technical resources throughout their digital transformation journeys.

The outfit underwent an in-depth audit that evaluated its technical expertise, assessment and design, build and migration, cloud operations and service management, security and governance, SLAs customer satisfaction, cost optimisation and reporting for its Azure services. Ensono’s Hyper Cloud Platform was a critical element in receiving the certification. This cloud management platform allows clients to have full visibility of their Microsoft Azure environment without having to worry about day-to-day management and long-term strategy.

Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft Corp. said: “Ensono continuously delivers excellence in Microsoft services to its clients, which is why recognizing them with this certification is well-deserved.  Ensono’s dedication to its clients and leadership in managed services is exactly what we look for in Azure Managed Expert MSPs.”

Ensono worked with Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, to implement a cloud-first strategy through Azure GoLive, Ensono’s process for migrating clients to Azure. Ensono identified opportunities for digitally transforming workloads on Azure and lead the company’s transition from the mainframe to Azure. The migration provided the client with an improved user experience, cost savings, and a competitive advantage by delivering client-specific apps from Azure.

Executive Vice President of Technology and Strategy Brian Klingbeil said: “Our clients and global businesses looking to transform can be assured we provide optimal managed Azure services and a steamless digital transformation journey. “The Azure Expert MSP designation provides our clients with the reassurance that we are the right partner to take their cloud strategies to the next level.”


EkkoSense appoints Jason Kaye as Sales Director

jason-kaye-1355x908UK-based data centre thermal optimisation outfit EkkoSense has appointed Jason Kaye as Sales Director. Jason joins the company after seven years in senior EMEA roles at RF Code, the real-time data centre solutions specialist, and will play a key role in building out the EkkoSense partner network and developing international sales.

Jason Kaye brings over 20 years’ data centre, software and networking engineering and sales experience to EkkoSense – most recently from physical asset management and environmental monitoring data centre solutions provider RF Code, where he joined as Director – EMEA Technical Engineering before serving as the company’s EMEA General Manager. Earlier he spent three years in EMEA & APAC technical sales management roles with Uplogix, the network management leader.

EkkoSense’s CEO Dean Boyle said that EkkoSense was growing strongly and is increasingly seen as an innovator when it comes to optimising thermal performance across critical facilities such as data centres.

“Bringing Jason Kaye on board to help drive our next key growth phase is an important appointment for EkkoSense, particularly as we work to take our distinctive thermal optimisation proposition to a broader international market. Jason brings proven sales leadership skills to EkkoSense, while his in-depth knowledge of the real-time environmental monitoring and asset management challenges facing today’s data centre operators will be a significant benefit.”

Ignition starts Northern Europe arm

vikingSecurity outfit Ignition Technology  has created a Northern Europe division based in the Nordics & Benelux region.

Led by channel veteran Mikko Vaajamo, the new team will target cybersecurity opportunities in the large enterprise and service provider space by working closely with VARs and system integrator partners.

Peter Ledger, CEO at Ignition Technology said:  “We have harboured ambitions to expand our geographic presence for several years, but wanted the right people in place who understand the market, our technologies and why Ignition is such a unique and compelling VAD partner. As the first step in a wider European project, the Nordics & Benelux is a fantastic opportunity for us and Mikko has assembled a remarkable team to tap into the strong demand for next-generation technology. Our existing vendors are very positive about this move, and I believe it will also bring significant benefits to Nordics & Benelux-based channel players to capitalise on these solutions and the support we can provide as a true value creator.”

Mikko Vaajamo has been a prominent operator in EMEA cybersecurity markets for more than 20 years and brings significant business development experience both in value-added distribution (Securesoft, Computerlinks and Exclusive Networks) and in advisory and board roles for major global vendors. Other key members of the new Ignition Technology Northern Europe team include Markus Laaksonen, Technical Director (one of the first employees for Palo Alto Networks in the Nordics), and Marko Lindstedt, Sales Director (formerly VP North East EMEA at F5 Networks), both of whom bring considerable cybersecurity channel expertise in the Nordics and Benelux market.

Mikko Vaajamo, Managing Director Northern Europe for Ignition Technology said many integrators and service providers in the Nordics and Benelux region were eager to move forward with a ‘clean table’ approach to next-generation, cloud-based technology solutions.

“There are great commercial opportunities for reseller and vendor partners alike and I’m excited about the opportunities to expand this business in key Nordic and Benelux territories and, in time, to others throughout the whole Northern Europe region.”



Getronics swallows digital workplace transformation services Pomeroy

willy-wonka-violet-blow-upGetronics has swallowed Pomeroy, one of the leading US providers of digital workplace transformation services.

The newly expanded company, with combined revenue of approximately $1.3 billion, wants to be a leading global player in the field of Managed Digital Workspace, Applications, Industry Specific Software Solutions, Multi-Cloud Management and Unified Communications.

With a presence in 23 countries and coverage in over 110 countries through the Global Workspace Alliance, Getronics will continue to build local customer relationships and provide local solutions, backed by the strength of a global service delivery organisation.

Nana Baffour, Chairman and Group CEO of Getronics said that  the combined revenues now reach $1.3 billion, achieving our goal of becoming a billion-dollar company two years earlier than originally planned.

“This reflects the power of our dreams and the dedicated execution of our team and financial partners, and we are excited about the value and customer experience that the new combination will allow us to deliver. Our operations are now significantly strengthened globally, extending from Brazil to Singapore and from Spain to the U.S. and Canada, with over 2,800 active clients, served by approximately 9,000 employees. With this scale, we are poised to succeed in our ambition to be the preferred partner for our customers in enabling business transformation using the latest technology.”

Brian Robinson, current CEO of Pomeroy and Global CFO of the newly combined company said:  “Getronics’ global service delivery capabilities and service offerings will be a compelling added value for North American clients. We look forward to introducing Getronics’ Applications, Cloud and Unified Communications solutions to further enable our clients to transform their businesses utilizing the latest digital tools as part of the workspace of tomorrow.”


Exertis’s Enterprise gets some hammer time

xv6aqExertis has merged its enterprise division with Hammer and formed a new business

The distributor acquired Hammer in 2016 and, until now, the business had continued to operate as a separate entity.

The newly merged organisation will be known as Exertis Hammer. it will be headed by Hammer boss James Ward who will reporting to Exertis’ UK managing director Paul Bryan.

Bryan said: “With the integration of the Hammer and Exertis enterprise commercial and sales teams we will provide even greater value to our customers by offering an enhanced vendor portfolio, with an extensive professional services wrap, and significant employee expertise that can address the differing requirements of our customers and their vertical markets.

“James [Ward], with his experience, industry pedigree and business acumen is the ideal person to lead our enterprise business both in the UK and across Europe where Hammer already has successful operations in several countries.”

The newly combined portfolio now includes components, servers, storage, networking, security, wireless, unified communications, software and cloud, Exertis said.

Ward added: “The name itself is the main change here, but at the same time this is an opportunity to refocus on our customers and core strengths with better utilisation of our complete enterprise skill sets, to deliver a more comprehensive and compelling offering to our customers.

“It’s an exciting time for our enterprise business and with the financial strength and support of our parent company, we aim to capitalise on the solid foundations we have built in Hammer’s overseas operations, further broadening our value-added distribution capabilities and footprint across Europe.”

Malware hitting new highs

giant bugSonicWall has added up some numbers and reached the conclusion that malware volume, ransomware attacks, encrypted threats and chip-based attacks are getting worse.

In its  mid-year update of the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, the outfit said that there were huge consequences for enterprises, government agencies, educational and financial institutions, and organisations in targeted verticals.

SonicWall CEO Bill Conner said: “SonicWall has been using machine learning to collect, analyze and leverage cyber threat data since the ‘90s. This commitment to innovation and emerging technology is part of the foundation that helps deliver actionable threat intelligence, security efficacy and automated real-time breach detection and prevention to our global partners and customers.”

The malware boom of 2017 has shown no signs of stopping through the first half of 2018. SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers recorded 5.99 billion malware attacks during the first two quarters of the year. At this same point in 2017, SonicWall logged 2.97 billion malware attacks.

On a month-to-month basis in 2018, malware volume remained consistent in the first quarter before dropping to less than one billion per month across April, May and June. These totals were still more than double that of 2017.

Published in March’s original report, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers found that ransomware attacks dropped significantly — from 645 million to 184 million — between 2016 and 2017.

SonicWall now shows ransomware attacks surging in first six months of 2018. There have been 181.5 million ransomware attacks year to date. This marks a 229 percent increase over this same time frame in 2017.

The use of encryption continues to grow for legitimate traffic and malicious cyberattacks alike. In 2017, SonicWall reported that 68 percent of sessions were encrypted by SSL/TLS standards. Through six months of 2018, 69.7 percent of sessions are leveraging encryption.

Cybercriminals are strategically following this trend to help prevent their malicious payloads from being discovered. Encrypted attacks increased 275 percent when compared to this time in 2017.

“Encrypted attacks are a critical challenge in the industry. Far too few organizations are aware that cybercriminals are using encryption to circumvent traditional networks security controls, and others aren’t activating new mitigation techniques, such Deep Packet Inspection of SSL and TLS traffic (DPI-SSL). We predict encrypted attacks to increase in scale and sophistication until they become the standard for malware delivery. And we’re not that far off.”

The SonicWall Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM) technology now protects customers from Spectre chip-based attacks. SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers validated RTDMI mitigation against Spectre variants and false positives in production.

“It’s critical for cybersecurity leaders to build innovative solutions that adapt to the changing threat landscape to better protect customers”, said SonicWall CTO John Gmuender. “Cybercriminals increasingly hide weaponized code with more sophisticated obfuscation and advanced custom encryption techniques, then expose, detonate and wipe the weaponized code from memory in real time.”

Since January 2018, RTDMI has identified and blocked more than 12,300 never-before-seen cyberattacks and malware variants.

Included in the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox service, RTDMI identifies and mitigates even the most insidious cyber threats where weaponry is exposed for less than 100 nanoseconds. RTDMI protects against chip-based attacks like Meltdown and Spectre, as well as attacks leveraging PDFs and Microsoft Office documents.

“Existing industry sandbox solutions do not perform true real-time analysis of malware and, therefore, ‘blink’ and miss detecting sophisticated weaponry, exposing customers to dangerous threats,” said Gmuender. “By never ‘blinking,’ RTDMI provides incredibly powerful technology that advances state-of-the-art threat protection to block sophisticated attack vectors and protect customers in real time.”


Cloudcell makes pact with Gamma

devil_514Cloudcell Technologies announced that it has signed a long-term deal with Gamma, a UK voice, data and mobile products and service provider.

The agreement and support from Gamma, will allow the Cloudcell team to continue to grow its customer base in the construction, events, transport and enterprise sectors, by strengthening its operational team and launching new marketing initiatives.

The partnership will mean that Gamma will become Cloudcell’s primary connectivity partner, helping to support revenue growth for them in this area.

Managing Director of Cloudcell, Kevin Boyle said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement and strengthen our relationship with Gamma. We are now ideally positioned to grow our business and our share of the connectivity market. We also intend to focus on forging new relationships in the reseller market and deliver enterprise-grade, fully-managed connectivity to a wider range of customers.”

Mike Mills, Head of Sales – Cloud & Infrastructure Channel at Gamma said: “We have chosen Cloudcell Technologies to work with in this space because they offer the perfect combination of rapid deployment, excellent customer care and an incredibly reliable service. Like us, they go the extra mile for their clients. We are looking forward to evolving our relationship with Cloudcell and working together for a long time to come.”

BT hatching on cloud deal with Ali Baba

Ali_Baba_and_the_Forty_ThievesBT  is  in talks with China’s Alibaba  to form a cloud-services partnership.

The UK telco said it couldn’t provide more details on the negotiations at the moment but confirmed they were happening.

BT’s confirmation follows press reports indicating that a potential partnership between the British company’s information-technology consulting unit and the Chinese e-commerce giant could be similar to Alibaba’s deal with Vodafone Group in Germany.

Earlier this month, Alibaba and Bollore SA signed an agreement to jointly develop projects in cloud services, clean energy and mobility, logistics and other areas, as the Chinese group moves to challenge dominance in Europe.

Europe has become key to Alibaba Cloud’s success outside China, with prospects in the US made murky by President Donald Trump’s America First agenda. Alibaba has pulled back in the US just as tensions between America and China have escalated under Trump.

BT Global Services has struck up partnerships with AWS, Microsoft and Cisco Systems, while Spain’s Telefonica works with AWS. In Germany, while Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems has partners including China’s Huawei Technologies and Cisco, it has structured its public cloud offering as an alternative to US giants AWS and Google – touting its ability to keep data within Germany where there are strict data-protection laws, 100 percent out of reach of US authorities.

Econocom shares tank after profit warning

indexEconocom’s share price has tanked by more than a third after a profit warning issued by the reseller on Friday.

Share value for Econocom Group SE plummeted by 36.82 percent since the beginning of trading on 3 July. The tailspin was sparked after the firm posted its preliminary H1 results last week, which made grim reading for investors.

Econocom has revised down its expectations for the second half of the year. FY2018 annual operating profits are now forecast to be €120m, down from €154m in 2017.

Econocom CEO Robert Bouchard blamed weak results down to a slower leasing business, “a low point” in profitability for its French market, €10 million in provisions for “dispute and risk contracts” and €20 million in restructuring efforts.

It’s almost four months since Bouchard took over as CEO from his dad Jean-Louis Bouchard.

“We have already decided to implement an action plan designed to reduce costs across the group and across all our business lines”, he added.

“These decisions will affect our short-term profitability but will enable us to achieve the ambitions of our strategic plan, which are to generate strong growth and a significant improvement in our profitability.”

Meanwhile, the Belgium-based VAR’s complete first-half results will be published on 19 July.

“Chinese Whispers” cost UK businesses over £1.5 billion

Chinese WhispersSupply chain inefficiencies and miscommunication through “Chinese Whispers” are costing UK businesses over £1.5 billion  in lost productivity according to analysis of industry data from digital freight forwarder Zencargo.

More than 100 shipments from a cross section of UK industries suggests that UK businesses that trade internationally are wasting over three hours on average per individual shipment. Employees are spending time on phone calls and emails to request and funnel data back and forth between their trade partners, the majority of which already exists on partner systems.

Across the UK this results in over 100 million hours of time wasted per annum, or the equivalent of 50,000 employees’ annual working hours, tied up in procurement, managing suppliers and freight related admin.

The study suggests that Brexit is likely to exacerbate this efficiency problem further as shipments with non-EU countries involve on average 17 percent more wasted time than shipments with the EU, owing to the increased communications burden around customs documentation.

The study demonstrates the urgent need for supply chain innovation as a route to solving the productivity puzzle. The adoption of simple technology that helps automate communication can deliver productivity gains now to the tune of £1.5 billion per annum. This represents 5 percent of the UK Government’s annual target for productivity gains from digitisation. Significant long-term transformation is possible through widespread digital adoption across the supply chain.

Alex Hersham, CEO and Co-Founder of Zencargo added: “Technology is the main building block to bridge the productivity gap in the UK. Lack of communication harms productivity in any business, factor in complicated and often outdated supply chains and problems very quickly escalate. Now is the time to invest and innovative in technology so we can truly compete on the global stage and at the same time benefit on a productivity level.”


Failed government IT projects costing billions

system-failure-computer-greenA government spending watchdog has barked that billions of pounds of government IT projects are about to go tits up.

Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) assessed in its latest annual report, 46 projects  across all categories have been declared amber/red or red, meaning they are either undeliverable or at risk of failing, rising from 38 the previous report.

Based on assessments made in September 2017, the IPA examined the viability of 133 government initiatives – including 41 transformation and service delivery projects, 31 in infrastructure and construction, 32 in military capability, and 29 in ICT – at a collective whole life cost of £423 billion.

Although ICT is the smallest category, with a whole life cost of £10 billion, these projects include significant undertakings including the Department for Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) NHSmail2 programme that is geared to implementing a secure mail service across the health sector.

“This category of projects is very important for achieving cost savings and efficiency, and government will continue to apply innovation and technology to achieve its goals”, the report said.

“Many of the ICT projects on the portfolio enable the transition from old, legacy contracts to new ICT provisions. Often through entering smaller, more manageable contracts with integration services delivered in-house, projects have enabled departments to become more flexible and efficient.”

HMRC’s Columbus programme is another project that illustrates the breed of ICT project the government is undertaking, with the project aiming to oversee a safe transition from a former contract to a new IT operating and sourcing model.

The overall performance of ICT projects has risen slightly against the previous year, with seven amber/red projects against nine in 2016/17, but the number of ICT initiatives being taken up overall has declined by ten from 39 to 29 – and the number of projects ranked green has remained the same.

The Home Office’s Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) is among the most at-risk projects assessed, as are plans to deliver digitally-transform the UK Border Force.

Meanwhile, the report has highlighted the role of Brexit in the government’s plans to deliver infrastructure projects, calling for a need to raise the level of investment and delivery skills in government in order to achieve the “high priority” initiatives.

Tony Meggs, IPA’s chief executive said that the collective size and scope of these projects was impressive. “It takes years of hard work from the cadre of world class project delivery professionals in government to deliver projects of this scale and complexity. The current portfolio of government major projects remains a broad and ambitious one. It is vital that we continue to help create the right environment for their successful delivery.”

Several major government-driven IT infrastructure projects have come under heavy scrutiny in recent months, including the DWP’s implementation of Universal Credit, which was savaged in a report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

In a lengthy report critiquing the department’s approach to rolling out Universal Credit, the NAO highlighted the department’s failure to manage the rollout of its new digital system, dubbed full service, and the lack of sensitivity it showed towards claimants facing hardship.

Daisy boss flogs Damovo to investment firm

DaisyDaisy founder Matt Riley has sold his Damovo stake to investment firm Eli Global, in a move which could see him buy Daisy outright.

Damovo is a provider of enterprise information communication technology services and solutions, with regional businesses in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

In January 2015, Daisy Group completed the acquisition of Damovo Europe in what was the first acquisition since Daisy’s privatisation. Damovo is a market leader in public and enterprise-focused ICT services and solutions. It delivers essential services to more than 250 organisations, including a number of high profile customers in aviation, transportation and government.

Reports earlier this year claimed that Daisy was up for sale, but more recently it has been claimed that Riley will instead buyout the firm’s other investors.

The move means that CEO Glen Williams and CFO Stuart Hall have all cleaned out their desks and exited the company. Current MD for DACH and Poland Carl Mühlner will now take the reins as Damovo’s new CEO. Burkhart Böttcher has been announced as the integrator’s new CFO.

Commenting on his promotion, Mühlner said: “In this technology-driven world of change, it is becoming increasingly important to recognise that the collaboration between people is still one of the most critical factors for success.

“I am very happy that Damovo, as a fast-growing company with a strong culture, has found an investor where culture and trusted relationships are also considered to be at the heart of long-term business success: with our customers, our partners, and our people.”

With a headcount of 500 staff in 13 countries, Damovo holds top-level badges with four of the channel’s leading UCC vendors: Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and Mitel.


Infinigate signs pact with SonicWall

satanic pactIT security distributor Infinigate UK  has signed an agreement with SonicWall to distribute its range of real-time breach detection and prevention cybersecurity gear.

The new agreement covers the UK and Ireland and extends an already successful partnership between the two companies across nine other countries in Europe.

Murray Pearce, Managing Director of Infinigate UK, believes the decision to partner with SonicWall was an easy one since SonicWall is a key player in the unified threat management and cybersecurity sector. In addition, SonicWall’s partnership approach fits perfectly with Infinigate’s own partner-centric strategy. “The increased investment that SonicWall has made in their products, roadmap and channel tools since becoming an independent company has accelerated its technology portfolio and capability in how it supports partners. It is an exciting time to be working with the SonicWall team”, explained Pearce.

Infinigate’s plans for growing SonicWall’s channel sales include putting in place a dedicated team of technical, sales and renewals to recruit and engage partners, and create additional demand for the products. “We’ve developed a best practice methodology for recruiting and engaging partners, which is our 3xCtm Partner Success Model. Our channel network is segmented so that we can create a clear value proposition that is targeted to the right partners.

“We know from our research that SonicWall partners highly value strong technical support and services, so we have invested ahead to ensure we have really strong capability in this area”, added Pearce.

Michael Berg, Executive Director of EMEA Sales at SonicWall said: “SonicWall is excited about expanding its partnership with Infinigate. We are confident in Infinigate’s abilities to educate and enable partners. With a strong IT security focus, professional services and technical support capabilities, Infinigate is an ideal partner for us.”

According to Berg, “SonicWall has significant plans for growth in the UK and over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a 147 per cent increase worldwide in partners signing up to the SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program.  With our recent announcements, we expect an increasing number of enterprise-focused partners to enrol in the program given the functionality and value we are bringing to new segments of the market.

“We will achieve further growth through partnerships with leading companies, such as Infinigate, leveraging their established relationships with over 2,000-plus security and networking resellers.”

Cisco defeats Gen-X IT in court

Cisco Kid Manchester trader Gen-X IT has been ordered to pay Cisco has been awarded a “seven-figure” sum by the High Court.

Cisco said that two Gen-X IT directors accepted a court ruling in favour of the vendor and agreed to pay a “significant” settlement.

Alan Gould and Kelley Stewart accepted that they had infringed Cisco trademarks by dealing in counterfeit products and parallel-imported products – sometimes referred to as the grey market.

Neil Sheridan, Cisco director of brand protection, said: “This action, together with other successes we have had with the City of London Police, demonstrate the strength of Cisco’s enforcement of its intellectual property rights.

“We have obtained significant remedies from Alan Gould and Kelley Stewart, which show that the directors and senior management of companies that choose to infringe Cisco’s rights can and will be the target of Cisco’s enforcement action.

“Last year’s UK Supreme Court decision that trading in grey products, as well as counterfeit products, can result in criminal prosecution is further proof that trading outside Cisco’s authorised distribution network will have consequences.”

Cisco and Gen-X IT have been at dagger points for more than ten years.  Gen-X IT  was caught trading counterfeit Cisco products in 2005.

This latest episode saw Gen-X IT go into administration, initially expecting a financial penalty of nearly $2 million. Gen-X later said it feared the settlement would “greatly exceed” this amount.

An administrator’s report posted on Companies House in January stated that Cisco was seeking £35.1 million from Gen-X, but at this time the final amount had not been decided.