Red Hat buys Codenvy for its cunning cloud plans

hat_sm_zps0a1ae16fOpen saucy outfit Red Hat has written a cheque for the cloud application developer Codenvy.

The company’s hybrid cloud services development software will be shoved under the bonnet of Red Hat’s hosted environment.

In a statement announcing the acquisition, Red Hat said: “Historically, software engineers have spent more time each week on administration and other tasks, including environment management, than actual coding.

“Often, developers can find themselves working on multiple projects concurrently, but in different programming languages, “the company said.

The aim is that as more IT organisations move to continuous delivery with DevOps and containers to speed the delivery of modern, cloud-native applications, developers have turned to new tools like Codenvy that can enable development teams to build complex applications faster with fewer inconsistencies across environments, the spokesHat said.

Tyler Jewell, CEO at Codenvy, said: “Cloud workspaces make contributing to software projects easy.

“Our container-based approach to development aligns with Red Hat’s focus on improving security features, reliability and performance in its container offerings. Joining Red Hat opens up opportunities to expand our reach among developers, giving them modern tools to build containerised apps from within their web browser.”

UK digital finishing equipment reseller bought by Swiss

POPE-SWISSGUARD/WOMENUK digital finishing equipment reseller and distributor Zünd Plotting Systems (UK) has been bought by the Swiss-based Zünd Systemtechnik AG.

The deal means that Zünd UK will now be an official subsidiary of Zünd Systemtechnik.

Zünd UK was founded as a privately owned Zünd reseller in 1993 but shares were sold to Zünd Systemtechnik by its former owner and managing director Tim Taylor.

Taylor remains as UK commercial director and a new managing director, former Hybrid national sales manager Stuart Cole, began in the role in mid-March.

Cole said changes had been taking place steadily behind the scenes to make the transition “as easy as possible”.

He said: “The relationship between Zünd UK and Zünd Switzerland was incredibly strong before this and all this has done is further strengthen that relationship and the commercial ability of the company, but in the outside world nothing really changes.”

Zünd UK is expanding and will hire four to six additional staff in the engineering and sales departments.

“We’ve had some significant growth in sales over the last few months and the requirements are there to continue that growth and support those customers to the levels they need,” added Cole.

In a statement last week, Zünd chief executive Oliver Zünd said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Zünd Plotting Systems (UK) to our global group of companies. Working with our newest subsidiary, we look forward to strengthening our position in the UK market and continuing to expand our customer base.”

Based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Zünd UK distributes and resells Zünd’s digital cutting systems, modules and tools to the UK market.

Trustwave makes e92plus UK distributor

trustwave1Security and compliance vendor Trustwave has appointed e92plus as a UK distributor.

In signing up e92plus, Trustwave wants to make a broader security play by gaining access to dedicated security VARs and managed security service providers (MSSPs).

UK and Ireland regional director Will Benton said that historically his outfit had been a Payment Card Industry compliance vendor and typically its business direct to customers, or via partners directly.

He said that the move towards security meant that the company was moving to a more channel model. e92 give the company partners which have the right profile for its managed security services offering and those partners probably wouldn’t see us as competition.

Trustwave spoke to three or four UK distributors as part of the selection process, and Benton said it chose e92plus because of the strong security partner base it already has.

“We wanted a distributor with experience in the security space that was large enough but still agile enough for them to care about us,” Benton explained.

Neil Langridge, marketing director at e92plus, said the Trustwave portfolio of products will give the partners it works with the opportunity to take a more “proactive” approach when it comes to offering security solutions.

Softcat boss heads for the catflap

catflap-415pxSoftcat has initiated a search for a new CEO after announcing that Martin Hellawell is quitting after 11 years at the top scratching post.

Hellawell will leave once a replacement is found, but will stay on as non-executive chairman.

It is not as if the company has been doing badly, Softcat revealed in a trading update that its Q3 trading has been in line with expectations. Having obliterated its growth expectations in its fiscal first half, Softcat continued to “trade well” during Q3, according to a trading update released this morning.

During Hellawell’s tenure, Softcat’s revenues have boomed ten-fold, from £67 million to £672 million. It floated on the London Stock Exchange in November 2015.

Hellawell said it was the right time for him to step back from the day-to-day cut and thrust of the business.

He said that he was operational and hands on in every detail, and after 11 years it takes its toll on you.

“There’s a really great opportunity for Softcat ahead of us, and it’s time to get some fresh energy into the organisation to move us forward.”

Hellawell said Softcat managing director Colin Brown has ruled himself out of the running and that his successor will most likely be an external appointment.

Hellawell said stepping back to a non-exec role would allow him to focus on charity work and on his health and fitness, but stressed he will still be heavily involved with Softcat, and the wider industry.

Huawei wants to take on HP, Dell and Lenovo

L3.5GeryonIn a sign that there might be some life in the PC market, Huawei wants to take on Dell and Lenovo with some Wintel based PCs of its own.

At a news conference in Berlin yesterday, Huawei announced plans to release three PC models to the consumer market.

Cheng Lei, senior marketing manager for the PC business said that there were opportunities arising from the PC market’s decline.

Huawei said it plans to target the premium-priced consumer market, competing with Lenovo, HP and Dell.

Huawei’s Matebook X is a fanless notebook with splash-proof screen and combined fingerprint sign-on and power button, priced between 1,399 and 1,699 euros. Its Matebook E 2-in-1 hybrid will run from 999 to 1,299 euros while the Matebook D with 15.6-inch display is priced at 799 to 999 euros, it said.

Huawei’s new PCs all run seventh generation Intel microprocessors, Microsoft Windows 10 software and in-house developed software to automate data transfers between Huawei smartphones and its new computer models, Lei said.

Huawei said it aimed to offer the new PCs in 12 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East in early June.

Huawei plans to focus on premium consumers while putting off any decision on a move into commercial PCs. “We are now quite confident and will try to expand in new segments in a couple of years,” Lei said.

“Our investment in the PC industry is not short-term,” the Huawei executive said. “We will have a long-term investment, not only in marketing but in R&D (research and development).”

Misco flogged to Hilco

SystemaxGreatAmericanSystemax has offloaded almost all of its Misco-branded European reseller operations to Hilco Capital.

In a statement the company said it had “executed a definitive agreement with a management team backed by Hilco Capital Limited (“Hilco”) to sell all of its unprofitable European Technology Products Group businesses”.

Misco trades in the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Its French operations, which are doing OK, were not included.

It is still a rumour because a formal announcement of the deal is imminent. Debt restructuring is thought to be involved in the financial make-up of the deal.

Hilco Capital bought music retailer HMV from administration in 2013, and stationery chain Staples.

Misco was a telesales-based IT reseller working for a low margin, high volume market.  However management was too slow to see that sort of operation had the shelf life of mayfly spit. It tried to move to services, but it was too tricky.

Systemax, which owns Misco, has also struggled. It had to close stores in North America, shutter its PC production line and selling the technology reseller subsidiary NATG on to PCM at a loss.

In 2016, the Misco businesses, excluding France, turned over $542.7 million compared to $670.2 million in the prior year. Operating losses, including France, were $1.9 million, versus $2.6 million in 2015.

CEO Larry Reinhold said: “Our France business, which was our largest operation in Europe, is highly successful and has historically operated largely autonomously from our other European operations. It is a well-managed and valuable asset with leading market share, double digit revenue growth and strong bottom-line performance. We believe that we have found a good home for our former colleagues in Europe.

“We thank them for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

The businesses were sold on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Systemax said it would provide transition services to Hilco for a “limited period of time”.

Olik gets new regional director

olikData analysis and visualization software outfit Olik has hired Marcin Motel as new Regional Director for Eastern Europe.

Marcin Motel started in his new position as Regional Director EE for Qlik on 1 May.

Previously he worked in different management positions for companies such as IBM, Veritas Software, and recently BMC.

He said: “Qlik products have great potential in our region as customers are hungry for self-service data visualisation and the possibility to optimize their BI infrastructure across the organisation. Qlik solutions can quickly bring significant value to any type and size of business that depends on data and wants to successfully manage the current digitalization challenges.”

Marcin Motel said his main goal is to increase the market share of Qlik Solutions in the EE market.

” Based on our BI Platform approach we can manage all enterprise wide BI requirements for large companies. It´s obvious, that there is a massive need for fast and easy to use BI Solutions.

“The old BI stacks can’t fulfil the analytical needs of today`s businesses. For small and medium companies, we can offer Qlik Cloud as well and leverage the full power of Qlik Sense for an interesting subscription price” Motel said.

The new Regional Director has broad experience in the IT industry with names like IBM and EMC.

VR and AR headsets could be a money spinner


il_570xN.258852595Beancounters at research house IDTechEx says the market will reach $37 billion by 2020.

AR, VR and mixed reality headsets should grow in the consumer, education, construction and medical sector.

IDTechEx has predicted that the market will grow by more than tenfold over the next decade, from $3.4 billion to $37 billion.

Its research looks at not only AR, VR and mixed reality devices, but also devices labelled under other terms including ‘annotated reality’ and ‘augmented vitality’.

IDTechEx principal analyst Dr Harry Zervos said that the devices are categorised hinges on how much of the real world is allowed to come through the headset.

“A pure VR headset blocks out reality completely, while an AR one will only superimpose additional information, without obstructing the wearer’s view of the real world at all,” he said.

“What the future is bringing is a spectrum of eye-worn devices with varying amounts of reality and virtuality thrown in; for instance, a VR headset with a front facing camera can instantly become an AR headset, as it allows the wearer a full view of the real world, albeit through a display.”

According to Zervos, the market will be propelled in the short term by growth of VR devices that are tethered to an external PC.

“From 2021 onwards, growth will be transferred to standalone AR, propelled forward by the launch of high performing headsets and reduced power consumption that will lead to longer battery life and independence from the grid. Standalone VR will also make its mark, although its exact value proposition is not fully clear or even distinctly separate from standalone AR.”

Captia loses Birmingham council contract

birmingham-council-house-todayBirmingham City council has cancelled its toxic joint venture with Capita which at one point was costing the charge-payers £120 million a year

The joint venture, 68 percent owned by Capita and 32 percent owned by Birmingham City Council, was called Service Birmingham. While the partnership is dissolved a partnership between the pair will remain in place until 2021.

The contract was condemned as being far too expensive at its peak in 2011, costing the council £120 million a year at a time of cuts. It currently costs £70 million a year.

Labour council leader John Clancy said the move would mean savings of £11.5 million this year and could save services like libraries, social care and parks from more cuts.

Before he became leader, Coun Clancy was a strong critic of the deal, which he called a “Rolls-Royce contract” in a time of austerity.

The council said that for a decade the partnership has successfully delivered significant savings. In a statement the council said: “To enable Capita to support the council’s further cost savings objectives we have jointly worked up a proposal to reshape our commercial arrangements to allow greater flexibility to better cater for the future needs of the Council and its residents.”

The proposal, although keeping the core services contract in place until 2021, allows for the joint venture arrangement, which has some commercial restrictions, to be dissolved. The new partnership will deliver a mix of core services currently provided under Service Birmingham as well as additional project-based work enabling additional savings to be delivered over the next four years, helping the council to meet its objectives.

“Discussions on the proposal are ongoing, and a report is expected to go to Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet for approval in due course.”

In the most recent report, for the 12 months ending 31 December, Service Birmingham reported a turnover of £86.6 million, down 12 per cent on the previous year.

The employee base of Service Birmingham is currently made up of staff from both Capita and the council, and Capita expects this to continue.

The leader of council John Clancy however told the Birmingham Post that he expects around 200 staff to be transferred back to the council.

Flying Binary releases Clinical Archive product

victoria-ward-lFlying Binary has come up with a product to allow NHS trusts to consolidate their data in readiness for GDPR by buying an Analytics Private Health Data Vault service.

Flying Binary says its Analytics Private Health Data Vault service can be bought through the G-Cloud 9 app store.

The outfit said the service helps GDPR compliance of a trust’s applications, decommissioning legacy systems, and tinkers with patient data to enable operational health analyses and a single view of patient data.

GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation is one of those EU-crafted data storing regulations which the UK will still adopt. It comes into force in May 2018, specifying how organisations holding personal data process and control it.

What this means is that the Trusts can buy a GDPR-compliant PACS system from Flying Binary which is based on Commvault’s Clinical Archive offering. Their legacy data is accessible through it and available for bulk migration.

Veaam doing rather well

cloud 2Veaam Software has been doing rather well since it started widening its customer base by aggressively targeting enterprises.

Veeam CEO Peter McKay told the outfit’s annual customer and partner event, the VeeamON conference, that his company added 4000 new enterprise customers each month for the last six quarters. As a result, he is getting the attention of some major channel players.

By the end of 2016, Veeam had 73 percent of the Fortune 500 and 56 percent of the Global 2000 as customers, with the number of new enterprise customers growing by 48.6 percent to 761. It has seen a 79 percent growth across its cloud business.

Veeam VP Richard Agnew said that the software is now appealing more frequently to the likes of Computacenter, SCC and other large system integrators (SIs), which certainly wouldn’t have been the case previously.

Veeam highlighted several new products targeted at enterprise customers, including the Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud, which it says enables its channel partners to sell a greater number of business continuity and availability services.

The firm also renewed its commitment to cloud with a host additions to its Availability Platform: the Veeam Availability Console and Veeam Agents; Veeam CDP and vCloud Director Integration for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS); Tape as a Service, and new multi-tenancy, multi-repository and automation capabilities in Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.

Veeam has been working closely with Microsoft, with services such as Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure.

Veeam’s has a new professional services-focused initiative, the Veeam Accredited Service Partner (VASP) programme, which features increased marketing and technical services for partners delivering professional services around Veeam’s availability portfolio.

Terra gets new blood

funny-vampireTerra Computer Limited has hired two new members of its team: senior business development manager Alicia Shepherd, and business development manager Colin Morris.

Neil Jensen, director, Terra Computer Limited said: “We are delighted that we could recruit these two highly experienced individuals to our Team and together with them bring Terra to the next level in the UK.”

Shepherd will be working with the Reseller Community and building on the UK sales team’s success.

Shepherd joins from Entatech where she was the firm’s sales director. In 2016 she won the Sales Brilliance award at the PCR Women of the Year awards, being recognised for leading the Entatech UK Sales Team to deliver agreed targets and KPIs.

Shepherd said: “The Channel only approach and commitment to quality sets TERRA apart from other brands, in a competitive landscape where volume is King it is a refreshing choice to know for TERRA it is support and quality that speaks volumes.”

Morris also joins from Entatech where he was a sales account manager, said TERRA had a great product set with some excellent service offerings that will allow the reseller community to grow their own individual businesses.

Sophos will continue to empire build

Pro-empire-enlist-today-he-needs-youSophos has been buying companies like crazy and it is starting to look like more spending is on the way.

Sophos acquired machine-learning security start-up Invincea for $100 million in February, following takeovers of Barricade IO, Mojave Networks, SurfRight and Cyberoam.

CEO Kris Hagerman, has hinted that other purchases are certain to happen.

In recent interviews Hagerman has hinted that the industry should expect more M&A activity in next few years.

He said that there was not an acquisition policy, as the outfit is committed to innovating and spends a lot on R&D.

The idea was to have a mix of organic development and every now splurge on some targeted M&A to help enhance or accelerate Sophos’ own efforts.

Sophos has acquired half a dozen companies over the last four or five years – it’s probably reasonable to expect something in a similar zip code over the next few years, he said.

O2 trails 3GPP-compliant Internet of Things connectivity tech

Shot0072O2 is the first British telco to trial 3GPP-compliant Internet of Things connectivity tech in the UK later this year.

An O2 spokesman said that the company will be performing live trials this year to gain more practical insight into the technology.

O2 did not provide many details of the trials or which of the two standards it would be trying out.

So far the UK’s IoT connectivity uses sim-card based GSM-based M2M tech and various localised deployments of LoRaWAN and Sigfox.

This means that it is likely that there will be a commercial deployment of either technology in the UK next year.

NB-IoT is strongly favoured by Vodafone, which has faced problems with rolling it out in Europe. It is popular in China and the Far East, though LTE-M has been gaining ground in terms of commercial deployments over the last year.

LTE-M was popular in the American continent although it has been tested in Europe.


University asks Microsoft not to erase its cloud data

hqdefault (1)A bankrupt US trade school, the ITT Technical Institutes, is asking a court to stop Microsoft from erasing its cloud data.

The move is being seen as a true 21st century problem and one which could effect channel partners who sell cloudy products.

In a filing to the US District Bankruptcy Court of Southern Indiana, the for-profit university seek an order to bar Vole from wiping the contents of ITT’s Office 365 and webmail accounts for students, faculty, and administrators.

ITT has been under bankruptcy proceedings since September of last year, when it shut down operations and filed for bankruptcy protections.

There had been years of government probes over its ability to stay afloat, and education authorities worried aid money would be lost when ITT went under for good.

A group of trustees has overseen wrapping up ITT’s affairs and settling its outstanding debts. Among those are the bills the school owes on its Office 365 subscription with Microsoft. ITT owes $177,466.46 on an agreement that runs until May 31.

The university wants Microsoft to preserve its data, but was told such a service would cost around $2.5 million.

“The Trustee seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the Defendants from taking any actions that could result in the destruction, deletion, overwriting, or erasing of any of the Electronic Data or taking any other action or inaction that could affect the preservation of the Electronic Data, until such time the Trustee can determine the most cost effective method of accomplishing turnover of the Electronic Data,” the filing reads.

“Any threat of destruction, deletion, overwriting, or erasing of any of the Electronic Data or any other action or inaction that could affect the preservation of the Electronic Data jeopardizes the Trustee’s efforts to marshal, assess, and preserve estate assets, and to otherwise fulfil her duties under section 704 of the Bankruptcy Code.”