Diversity and change are cited for the reasons that there’s been a reshuffle at HP Enterprise Group channel personnel. Diversity and change. Change and diversity – those two magic words say so much and at the same time so very little.
Out is Kevin Matthews while in is Johnny Ansell.
Ansell is the new UK and Ireland indirect director for HP’s enterprise group. He’s been at HP for fifteen years but most lately ran the HP networking business for the last 10 quarters. Who has replaced him at the networking business remains a mystery.
According to a statement from Andy Isherwood, HP’s managing director, Matthews and others have driven “continuous growth” for over five years.
Isherwood cited his achievements as growth, relationships, and “innovation”.
What’s happened to Matthews? HP isn’t ready to say but Isherwood said he will let us know, “once we have fully transitioned the channel business to the new leader”. Happy transitioning.
Headset and UC manufacturer Sennheiser said it has created a post of reseller sales manager and hired a woman for the role.
Jane Wheeler will be reseller sales manager for Sennheiser Comms.
Her job will be to work with the channel, build relationships and affiliations and to educate resellers about the products, build training programmes, organise events and provide support for resellers selling products to people.
She said she is looking forward to promoting the products into the channel, while sales director Jane Craven said Wheeler has a track record in the sector.
Channel players are finding it tough to cope with the fast change in cloud services, according to a report from MTI.
MTI surveyed both UK resellers and services providers and 77 percent of those responded said that Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) was the top priority for their clients.
Less than half provide IaaS directly and only 22 percent can provide the service through vendors, MTI claimed.
That, claimed Chris Roberts, channel sales leader at MtI, meant there’s a gap between what clients want and resellers offer.
“It’s very difficult for resellers to be flexible enough to provide solutions as and when they come into fashion when demand from clients peak,” he said.
Nearly two thirds of resellers and service providers generate 40 percent of their turnover services.
Cloud service company Databarracks said it has introduced a reseller network called the deProgramme.
What does this mean? According to Phil Gunning, channel manager at the company, channel players have been “victims of complexity. The point of any channel partnership for both parties is to reach more customers.”
He hit out at labels and jargon.
“Customers don’t care whether you’re a gold certified partner or if you’ve sat through hours of vendor training.”
His deProgramme, he claims, will eliminate red tape.
“The vast majority of channel programmes are broken. They’ve been too prescriptive without offering enough individual support or incentive for partners to thrive. Our most successful partners are the ones who work with us and take advantage of our resources to sell more and better support their customers.”
Databarracks will show off its services at Cloud Expo at the horrendous Excel conference centre, later this week.
Anup Vora has been appointed reseller channel manager by Swivel Secure.
Last year, Swivel moved to a single tier channel way of selling and the company said this appointment is its next stage in its reseller programme.
Swivel has authentication products and the company believes resellers can include its offerings as part of their enterprise portolios.
Vora said that demand for authentication in the enterprises has never been higher. “Resellers should be bundling security as standard,” he said. “Multi-factor authentication shouldn’t be overlooked.” It’s an incremental revenue stream for resellers, he added.
Vora has had years of experience in building channels including jobs at SMS Passcode and Check Point Software.
Dicom’s takeover by Spigraph International Group has been finalised.
That, according to the company, makes it the biggest value added distributor (VAD) of document capture and processing technology in the EMEA region.
The VAD’s channel is being integrated – it has something like 6,000 resellers in 20 countries.
Spigraph will have a turnover of £130 million, offering its customers access to the biggest scanner manufacturers and software publishers, it said.
There will be some re-organisation – that’s what it means by saying it will optimise its product ranges.
Wayne Davey will be CEO of the combined Spigraph operation, while Joachim Froning, previously CEO at Dicom, will take on the role of senior vide president.
The channel is being forced to rethink the landscape because of the pervasiveness of cloud computing.
But there are ways for resellers to make margins through cloud offerings, despite the preponderance of services that are available.
That’s according to Lisette Sens, head of channel at Zynstra. She was appointed to the role last week with the remit to sell products through the supply chain.
Sens said one way to attract businesses was through resellers educating SMBs about the benefits of cloud offerings. SMBs can save as much as 30%, she said, implementing desktop enterprise systems.
“This market is growing and should be taken seriously,” she told ChannelEye. “The SMB market is looking for trusted providers. We have done trials in the market and we’re working with Easynet.”
She said reselllers need to find their place in this changing landscape in order to maximise their margins.
“We want to show the SMB world that we really understand them and work with the channel to deliver,” she said.
Symantec resellers need not fear getting the chop as the security company unveils its new channel strategy .
Although a little light on detail, when asked about the current size of its partner channel and the ideal size of a future channel, Symantec’s VP of EMEA partner management, Mark Nutt, confirmed that having the right channel mix was more important than the overall size.
But there can be little doubt the vendor will be shedding a number of under-performing resellers and replacing them from some of the new partner categories it has identified – there are eight such categories, according to Nutt, who also stressed the important role for disties in the future of the Symantec channel.
“Distribution has a tremendous amount to offer but we need to work out where the value to our partners,” Nutt said. “Now that we’ve identified eight different partner types, we need to better understand which parts of the channel we need to explore, which to invest more in and which that streamlining.”
Although Nutt stressed he was “not looking to turn partners off; it’s not about reducing numbers” it looks likely some resellers will have to forge relationships with distributors, such as TechData, Arrow, Avnet, Ingram and Cohort.
Those disties that can help Symantec recruit from new partner groups will be of particular interest.
The vendor is also streamlining its product offering down from around 150 different products to less than 10, in order to make the task of addressing customer needs more straightforward for resellers.
The changes are part of a global strategy which will lead to a new partner programme which goes live in February 2014 but will be officially unveiled in April.
Symantec is also opening a telephone-based partner account management team that will be run from its Dublin offices.
Cloud company Citrix said it has revised its certification programmes, with less examinations and a simplified system.
It is offering three certifications to its channel, all relating to XenDesktop 7.
Those are Certified Associates, Certified Professionals, and Certified Experts. These all relate to apps and desktops.
Citrix said it will add similar certifications for networking and mobility in the next few months.
Tom Flink, VP of worldwide channels at the company said: “We continue to evolve our channel program in an effort to make it easier for our partners to do business with Citrix, and help them identify and capitalise on new revenue streams. The new simplified structure and guidelines make it easier for our partners to achieve and stay up-to-date on the latest Citrix certifications. Through the new certifications we are also providing our partners with the comprehensive skills and expertise they need to sell end-to-end, holistic solutions that will differentiate them from competitors and allow them to generate more Citrix-related revenue.”
IDC released figures estimating that worldwide PC shipments accounted for 81.6 million units in Q3 of 2013 – that’s a drop of 7.6 percent, compared to the previous year.
But IDC said it had expected a decline of 9.5 percent for the quarter. It said that shipments were weak in the early part of the quarter but business buys and channel intake of Windows 8.1 based systems happened in September.
IDC said emerging markets continued to be weak, while the channel and vendors were stock heavy on Ivy Bridge systems and eroded by lower priced smartphones and tablets.
Upgrades from Windows XP boosted shipments in the enterprise desktop section.
Rajani Singh, senior research analyst at IDC, said that the US market hasn’t changed that much. There may be a small increase in the fourth quarter, he said. But that will be followed “by a challenging 2014”.
In EMEA the PC market continued to decline with weak consumer demand a shift to tablets. The channel maintained lean inventories during the period.
The only bright light were “pockets of investments” despite companies still being reluctant to spend any money.
Lenovo is the top vendor and is expanding into the channel, while HP and Dell were numbers two and three. Acer and Asus both were weakened by lack of spend by consumers. Asus doesn’t have a significant corporate user base.
EMC, which was celebrating the release of new tech which could see it take control of the mid-range datacentre market, claims that its rise to dominance is because of its Channel strategy.
Talking to ChannelEye, EMC’s Vice President of Global channel sales, Gregg Ambulos said that a few years ago the company did not have an effective channel strategy and relied on its own sales team.
“That was probably OK when we had only one product but then Joseph Tucci took over as CEO in 2001 and wanted a different approach and a much stronger channel,” Ambulos said.
Since then more than 65 percent of EMC sales come through its Channel and in the area of mid-range data centre boxes. Also it is starting to notice that partners are starting to defect from rivals like IBM to join in.
Part of this is a strong product line. EMC holds most of the mid-range data centre business on the basis of its strong server offerings.
Ambulos thinks that this will become more obvious as the new VNX range hits the streets. The new VNX is a much easier box to sell as it is faster and cheaper than previous incarnations.
He said that the technology changes to the VNX range were driven by EMC’s partners some of which were involved in actually crafting the developments.
Ambulos said that while EMC will be running channel incentive programmes to sell the VNX range, these will be comparatively low key. Channel partners need very little incentive to sell the VNX range and just really wanted to get started.
SK Hynix, the world’s second biggest maker of memory chips, is in damage control mode, quite literally. A blaze gutted parts of one of its plants in Wuxi, China, but the company is now trying to reassure the market by saying that damage was largely superficial.
The memory maker claims supply volume will not be affected, as there was no major damage to production equipment. It looked spectacular, but luckily the blaze doesn’t appear to have done much damage. One person suffered a minor injury and the company insists it will resume operations “in a short time period”.
However, the world was watching for good reason. The fab in question produces an estimated 15 percent of the world’s DRAM. Any extended outage would have had a massive effect on supply and prices. Luckily, SK Hynix insists the market will not be affected and the supply chain has nothing to worry about. Furthermore, the company says there is no material damage to any fab equipment in the clean room
The fire started yesterday afternoon and it took almost two hours to extinguish. What made it look a lot worse to onlookers was the fact that it churned out a lot of black smoke, which was concentrated in air purification facilities, which pretty much saved the plant but made the whole incident look a lot more ominous.
Microsoft’s Surface tablets are refusing to die thanks to a bit of help from another bloated and overvalued mess – the public sector. Phoenix Software reports that it has seen a 40 percent surge in demand for Surface tablets from schools, colleges and the rest of the public sector. We assume asylums are somewhere rank high on the list as well.
The surge came about after Microsoft unleashed Surface tablets on the channel two weeks ago. Phoenix actually had to increase its public sector team by 30 percent to cope with increased demand and it even adopted the Surface itself, through its BYOD policy.
The Surface Pro is fully compatible with Windows-centric networks used in most public sector institutions, and since it ships with Microsoft Office, multiuser support and a physical keyboard, it has an edge over Android tablets and iPads in such an environment. The Surface RT also has a few things going for it, as it replicates the IT suite environment used in many schools, although it lacks compatibility with legacy x86 applications.
It’s good news for Microsoft, which sort of makes us wonder why it didn’t go after known Windows addicts like the public sector in the first place? It seems someone at Microsoft truly thought those colourful TV ads would make civilians buy Surface tablets over the iPad. Could it have been someone who’s about to step down perhaps?
Dell is looking to include the channel in its desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) strategy and it is about to offer two options for channel partners. The first one will be straightforward, much like the usual resale relationship, but a deeper approach will let the partners themselves “own” the customers, reports MSPmentor.
The cunning plan is that organisations will find it a lot easier to get into the DaaS business without the hassle of building their own infrastructure. Such an approach should appeal to potential providers, including telecoms, reckons Dell. So far the push will apparently be limited to the American market, where the service launched a month ago, in cooperation with system integrators MCPC from Ohio.
However, the model itself sounds relatively flexible and it should be relatively easy to expand. Dell Director of Sales Enablement Terry Vaughn said the company has already come up with a playbook for the service, which resembles a franchise model. Affiliate/referral margins are percent of revenue in a monthly recurring model, while the co-delivery model requires the partner to achieve Dell certification, but it also provides better margins of 15 to 20 percent.
“We know what we are selling this for direct in the market place, and we are holding the pricing consistent,” said Vaughn. He added that the approach is designed to avoid any channel conflict.
In addition, Dell is offering a free proof-of-concept trial for anyone willing to give the new DaaS strategy a go.
Lenovo wants to tap the BYOD trend with a new demo kit, offered to its channel partners and customers. The new “Combat Kit” aims to make BYOD simpler and less challenging. It could also reduce the suicide rate among IT specialists in charge of sorting out the mess that is BYOD.
The kit features several Lenovo devices, mostly tablets and hybrids. Partners can pick the ones that best suits their needs and hand them out to end users, reports CRN. The kit includes the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, ThinkPad Helix, ThinkPad Twist and the ThinkPad Tablet 2.
Lenovo brand ambassador Stephen Miller said the sales cycle is changing. In the past, companies would buy ten computers and every end user got the exact same one. With the consumerization of IT, the old one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
“Now it’s difficult. Everybody wants a different device,” said Miller. “You have confusion around what to sell, and end users don’t know what to buy because of the paradox of choice.”
The kit would effectively allow users choose the device that works best for them. Miller said end users can get a hands on experience, and then partners can sell the device that the end users actually want. There seems to be a lot of interest in the kit and there’s already a waiting list, but Miller said partners should still sign up.