Tag: Cloud

Britain a fail on recruiting female IT folk

Scott Fletcher, ANS GroupAn Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) skills report has shown that only seven percent of IT engineers in the UK are female.

Worse than that, that percentage has only risen by two percent over the last five years.

We’re lagging behind Spain (18%), Italy (20%) and Sweden (26%), the survey shows.

Scott Fletcher, chairman and founder of cloud company ANS Group, said: “We need to increase the flow of young talent into tech and engineering industries and attracting more women is an obvious answer. Currently a large proportion of female Stem graduates (science, technical, engineering and mathematics) are choosing careers in other industries.”

And there’s even worse news because a report from the Institute of Physics earlier this showed half of all the co-educational schools in the UK hadn’t entered a single female student to sit A level physics.

“It seems that Britain’s schools have pigeon holed physics as a ‘boys’ subject which is a notion that needs to be eradicated immediately,” he said. “The IT industry is obviously fluid and businesses need to re-invent themselves every few years. There is no sitting back on past glories in our industry and young talent is the essential fuel for that re-invention.”

Fletcher said the ANS Group has formed a “Cloud Academy” providing training for 60 apprentices a year.  The firm is based in Manchester.

Cloud can yield SMBs 30% savings

Lisette Sens, ZynstraThe 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.

Half of businesses have no integrated digital strategy

ibm-officeA survey conducted by IBM has shown that half of  decision making executives at SMBs don’t have an integrated digital strategy.

But to be fair, 65 percent of them know that not having social media strategy is a huge barrier.  And over half of  them don’t really understand how to position social media in their businesses.

The key points of interest are digitising front offices, analysing data from customer interactions on social channels and seeing future trends.

IBM believes that companies that have fused their digital and physical operations together using big data, mobile and cloud are 26 percent more likely to outperform their competitors.

Naturally, IBM has an axe to grind here – it wants to sell its own products to make sure it outperforms its competitors too.

Capita adopts Microsoft clouds

clouds3Capita IT Services said it will be one of the first cloud providers to sell Microsoft applications in private clouds.

Capita Private Cloud, launched in September, will offer Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync.

Andy Parker, a senior executive at Capita, said that its own offering is popular with companies that want public and private cloud services.

Many Microsoft applications have only been available in public clouds.

Microsoft public service GM Derrick McCourt said the availability of its products in private clouds will appeal to local government, central government and the health sectors.

In time, he said, Micorsoft’s cloud offering will become IL3 compliant – that means additional security.

5i woos resellers with cloud proposition

cloud 1ICT resellers are ready to jump on the cloud bandwagon and firm claims it can help them do just that.

Richard Brown, channel sales director at 5i, said that cloud technology has plenty of benefits but is also a big threat to businesses.

“Resellers are quick to recognise the complexities of deployment,” he said. “Resellers know that full cloud deployments are rare and they are turning to us for our complete suite of services.”

So 5i has created a partner enablement programme which includes marketing, sales, pre-sales and technical support.  That. Brown claims, will help partners to get to market quickly and there’s less risk than “going it alone”.

5i is a channel services company.

Microsoft uses Thales to protect Azure

clouds3Software giant Microsoft is using Thales’ technology to protect its Rights Management service  – Azure.

Thales said that Microsoft is using its nShield hardware security modules.

Rights management, said Thales, was largely handled by infrastructure within enterprises.  But shifting to a cloud model allows more accessibility and ease of use.

Microsoft thinks that by using an nShield MSM to allow the transfer of individual critical keys more security will be available to companies.

Microsoft partner management Dan Plastina said that because it was working with Thales its customers can generate and upload master keys to a cloud based HSM.

Quantum creates channel cloud services

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeData management firm Quantum said it has introduced a new channel programme.

The programme – aimed at managed service providers (MSPs) and value added resellers (VARs) offer a cloud back up service using Quantum’s virtual dedupe appliances and vmPro back up software.

The programme uses capacity based, all software subscriptions services which lets VARs and MSPss brand, market and sell Backup as a Service (BaaS).  The offering scales as revenue grows and so Quantum thinks that reduces up front capital hardware expenses.

The programme includes online sales and pre-sales training at no charge; customisable matering material; free access to Quantum software for trial and demonstration and technical and support training.

Avnet intros extra cloud prog

cloud 1Major distie Avnet introduced its Cloud Enhance programme in the UK.

Its goal is to help its partners and service providers to make money because of the growth of unstructured data.

Avnet is offering a portfolio of inexpensive and secure archiving answers aimed at cutting costs, making IT simpler, and secure too.

Avnet wants to introduce service providers to its business partners to help everybody profit from the cloud.

Sukh Rayat of AvnetAvnet claims archiving as a managed service is a mostly untapped market. Some elements of this include File Tiering as a Service (FTaS), File Serving as a Service (FsaS), Email Archiving as a Service (EaaS), Microsoft Sharepoint Tiering as a Service (MSTaS), and File Sync and Share Service (FsaSS).

It’s also moving into vertical sectors too, according to our old mate Sukh Rayat, senior VP of Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA (pictured).

“Organisations are re-evaluating their IT strategies. They need to deal with everything from increased performance and capacity requirements, rising power and cooling costs to regulatory pressures,” said Rayat.

Basically, resellers without the means to deliver managed services will couple with service providers bringing benefits not only to the channel players and the service providers, but to Avnet too.

SMT becomes first ExtraHop certified partner in Benelux

ExtraHop-logoExtraHop has selected SMT as its first certified partner for the Benelux region. SMT is a specialist in IT management with offices in Belgium and the Netherlands, with more than 100 large clients. 

Several technical teams from SMT have completed extensive training and are no certified to offer consultancy, sales and implementation services across the region. SMT will also demonstrate the ExtraHop platform at the Splunk Live! Event in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

“ExtraHop provides a perfect fit within our portfolio. It’s the first platform that effectively mines wire data in real-time, delivering business-critical operational intelligence across increasingly dynamic IT environments,” Michiel Toes, co-founder and Sales and Marketing Director at SMT said. “Moreover, ExtraHop’s wire data analytics are a perfect complement to Splunk, supplementing machine log data to provide total visibility into application and service delivery.”

ExtraHop is currently the global leader in real time wire data analytics for operational IT intelligence. Its latest products and services include the Persistent Monitoring Architecture, the EH8000 appliance for real time L2-L2 application transaction analysis and a new agentless Citrix VDI monitoring solution.

“IT environments are becoming more complex as virtualisation, cloud, and mobility take hold, and traditional sources of visibility, including log and agent data, are no longer sufficient to deliver crucial intelligence on their own,” said Owen Cole, VP of EMEA Sales for ExtraHop. “Wire data is a key source of insight into the performance, availability, and security of IT applications and services.”

Trust me. I’m a cloud

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeCompanies worried about the dangers of cloud computing can set their minds at ease, if a recent survey from Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) is to be credited.

Based on questions asked of 250 senior IT business decision makers, it shows 69 percent of firms already use cloud based services.

But it’s all a bit of a mix because 86 percent of the respondents said they had a hybrid mix including cloud, servers on their premises and hosted services.

Piers Linney, CEO of Outsourcery reckons that a gradual move to the cloud happens because companies don’t want to replace their entire systems or only use cloud for some aspects of their businesses.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Outsourcery offers cloud services and no doubt Outsourcery is happy to learn that the survey shows 91 percent of those surveyed are happy with providers.

Redstor appoints new channel sales manager


rstoreblogCloud and data protection company Redstor has appointed a new channel sales manager in the UK, Richard Morecroft.

Redstor hopes Morecroft will bring about increased support and focus for existing channel partners.

He previously worked at BT, Cisco and Vodafone, as well as a consultant who lead implementations for start-ups, including work with top tier companies like IBM, HP, Dell, Fujitsu-Siems and Sony.

“Data management is growing at a very fast pace, with data management becoming increasingly valuable to every company and country,” Morecroft said. “I am keen to find new routes to market for Redstor”.

Redstor, with Morecroft’s help, is planning an expansion to its partner programme in the UK, and potentially selling in the US market.

Lenovo “at crossroads” in servers

lenovo_hqA report from Patrick Moorhead’s Moor Insights & Strategy has asserted that, although the server market is dominated by Dell, HP and IBM at present, Lenovo is well positioned to break out of the “other” category and start making a serious dent in market share.

Players like Cisco and Fujitsu, 4th and 5th in the server market respectively, could even be overtaken by Lenovo in the near future. But it has some hurdles to leap and if it is to do so, Lenovo will have to prioritise servers.

Looking at Lenovo’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT), it’s clear the company can compete on price and has a robust supply chain behind it. The company is leading in the growing China market, performing well with SMBs, and there remains a perceived tie with IBM when Big Blue sold off a chunk of its hardware.

However, Lenovo doesn’t offer cloud services or a complete product line outside of its home turf and is somewhat lacking on the ineternational enterprise stage. It has no small core direction, according to Moor Insights, a weak storage offering, and no apparent network switch or fabric offering.

Moor Insights & Strategy believes Lenovo will have the opportunity, although not without challenges, to pick up IBM’s x86 server business, which could address some of the above concerns. There is also a window for Lenovo to expand its SMB offerings within EMEA, particularly western Europe, where small to medium businesses are highly concentrated.

If Lenovo decided to buy IBM’s x86 business, Moor thinks it’s likely it’d go for the whole lot, while IBM could minimise damage to its own bottom line by maintaining blade IP, which it could then license to Lenovo. An acquisition would propel Lenovo to #3 in the server charts, way ahead of Fujitsu and Cisco, but the buy would have to be twinned with serious efforts to maintain previous IBM customers to prevent seduction over to rivals like HP or Dell.

Moor Insights suggests Lenovo focus on the cloud, where it is underrepresented, as well as building a portfolio it can extend to the large business market.  It must also underline its “message” – although it’s understood Lenovo performs well in client devices, the message is “not translating in the server market,” according to Moor. Lenovo needs to reinforce its position to potential enterprise customers.

Lenovo, the report says, is “at an interesting crossroads in the server market”. While there is ample opportunity for the company to really cement its position and overtake some of the competition, it will need to invest heavily.

“Lenovo has an opportunity to break out of its position and quickly move up in the market, as well it remains a company that could disrupt the market the way that Dell did years ago. But in order to do that, it needs to get into the market in a serious way,” the report concludes.

Rural SMEs struggle with cloud

clouds3Small to medium enterprises are increasingly looking to local cloud providers rather than monolithic tech companies that do not necessarily inspire trust in their customers.

According to local cloud provider for local people, Prism Solutions, there are hyper geographical requirements for cloud that remote providers may not be able to address, such as being aware of connection speeds or the need to support existing IT structures.

Because of the government backed drive to boost web speeds in cities across the UK, SMEs are turning toward cloud as a faster way to access their data rather than office based servers.

Prism’s MD Richard Alexander noted there are plenty of firms in small towns or rural areas which simply do not have good enough connectivity to make the most use of cloud services.

“Unfortunately, some of them seem to have figured this out only after they have attempted to make the transition into virtual computing,” Alexander said. “They are then faced with the increased costs of leased lines or bonded digital subscriber lines, which effectively eradicate any savings they thought they would make”.

While it is somewhat indicative of a company’s common sense if they try to shift to virtual computing on a 28.8k modem connection, Alexander warns that some companies are interested in getting the contract signed and don’t give two stuffs about actually advising their client’s needs.

“Many seem more fixated on the land grab opportunity of new business,” he said.

Juniper expands Partner Advantage to the cloud

JuniperJuniper Networks is expanding its Partner Advantage scheme to the cloud with Partner Advantage Cloud, which will allow affiliates to offer support infrastructure and cloud programming to customers through the company.

It will be available as a specialisation to Juniper Networks Elite partners, letting cloud infrastructure partners,systems integrators and service partners to seek new revenues by flogging Juniper products and services.

Juniper hopes its partners will take the opportunity to raise cash for themselves and the company by outlining its cloud strategy for the channel. It claims the program provides partners with the best materials to get the ball rolling with Juniper deployments.

Resources made available will include marketing, financing and reward options, as with elsewhere in Partner Advantage.

Three specific kinds of partners will be targeted with the announcement. These are cloud system integrators, cloud service partners, and cloud infrastructure partners.

Emilio Umeoka, senior veep, worldwide partners at Juniper, insisted the announcement reinforced the company’s commitment to network innovation, addressing broader technology trends, as well as supporting and delivering revenue opportunities for cloud partners.

Public cloud spending to pass $100bn in 2017

cloud (264 x 264)Public IT cloud services spending could sail past the $100 billion milestone in 2017, according to figures from IDC.

Worldwide spending will reach a chunky $47.4 billion for this year, and is expected to reach $107 billion in 2017. The analyst house expects the scale of cloud adoption to grow significantly and rapidly, especially as IT infrastructure at many companies begins to age. According to IDC, systems are becoming so complex and expensive that an alternative – cloud – will be the only way out.

IDC believes that initial hesitation towards privacy and control in cloud are now being addressed, and more competition in the segment is going to seriously lower prices and expand choice of services to potential customers.

IDC cites Google as a company experiencing rapid growth in cloud adoption. Over 5 million are estimated to be using the company’s cloud offering, Google Apps, compared to 3 million in 2009.

Senior IDC analyst Frank Gens believes with the emergence of business as a service, cloud adoption will pick up, and its value with it. “Much of the growth in cloud services is being driven by the increase in deployment options,” Gens said.

“The growing richness of these options is a clear accelerator for overall cloud services adoption,” Gens said. “The emergence of virtual private cloud offerings has helped to shift momentum from dedicated private cloud offerings toward public cloud offerings”.