AMD makes Grasby EMEA president

f5697b3fd254b65ad587865f7373dff7AMD has announced that its Corporate Vice President Worldwide Component Channel Darren Grasby, 45, has been appointed to the newly-created position of president of AMD EMEA .

Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer at AMD said that EMEA was a “key region” with a broad set of important customers, partners and markets for AMD.

She said that Grasby was a proven leader who is ideally suited to drive deeper customer, partner, and stakeholder relationships across EMEA as a part of helping AMD accomplish our long-term business goals

“Over the past eight years Darren has proven to be an effective and results-driven leader. This new role will allow him to broaden his influence and reach in supporting AMD’s customers, partners and employees while also promoting and enhancing our regional reputation and prominence as an innovative technology pioneer.”

Grasby said: “I am honored to take on this role, particularly as it allows me to promote AMD’s technology leadership and highlight the innovation that is central to AMD’s business philosophy across a broad geographic region. At its core, AMD is focused on building great products to the benefit of our partners and customers. EMEA is widely renowned as a stronghold of opportunity and I’m excited to expand our pipeline for success across the region.”

European PC shipments rise

A not so mobile X86 PCSales of PCs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew by two percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Although that’s hardly a stellar figure, Western Europe showed better results with growth of 10.7 percent.
In all, shipments amounted to 93.3 million units.
IDC’s report said that the market grew because of healthier shipments to ordinary people in the quarter, with vendors stocking up for Christmas and January sales.
Next month, there will be Microsoft promotions which will bring prices down on notebooks with less than 15-inch screens.
HP, and Lenovo dominated the market place, with shares of 23.3 percent and 19.6 percent respectively.
Dell has 9.8 percent share in EMEA, followed by Acer, Asus and “others”.


Server revenues up. A bit

bummerA report from IDC said EMEA server revenues showed a slight uptick in the first quarter of this year – up 1.5 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

The EMEA server market generated $2.8 billion in the first quarter – that’s $44 million more than the same quarter in 2013 and amounting to 537,800 units.  That’s 22,000 units less than in 2013 and that’s because virtualisation and integrated systems are making their mark.

IDC said that there’s a negative trend in the market amounting to a 20.3 percent decrease in vendor revenues when you compare the 4th quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of this year.

“Despite a strong push for additional capacity in megadatacentre customers and renewed focus on tower and rack volumes by the largest OEMs, the macro trend in the X86 market continues to point to value as the only real growth opportunity,” said Giorio Nebuloni, research manager for enterprise servers at IDC Europe.

He said the blade market shows strong growth in the higher end market with higher aversage selling prices.

The X86 server market accounted for $1.72 billion in Q1 – that’s 81 percent of total values. Non X86 vendors generated $541 million, amounting to 3,810 units in EMEA.  This bit of the market is showing a decline.

The top dogs in the EMEA region were HP, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu, Oracle and the ubiquitous “others” – as this IDC chart demonstrates.

Acer takes axe to management

acer-logo-ceStan Shih, who came out of retirement to rescue Acer from its parlous state, has apparently been busy since his return.

Smartphone supremo Chen Guowei has apparently left Acer to spend more time with his family.  Guowei was in charge of Acer’s business unit in mainland China.

And the net has spread wider, according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, the head of EMEA operations, Walter Deppeler, is set to leave the company too.

The company plans to cut as many as seven percent of its global workforce.  Like other PC manufacturers, Acer has been hit by a drop in demand for X86 based systems and a widespread move to smartphones and tablets that aren’t Acer tablets.

Symantec reveals plans for EMEA partners

symantecSymantec 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.

HP to slash 7,000 EMEA jobs

HPHewlett-Packard is planning to cut as many as 7,095 jobs in EMEA. Some of the staff will be redeployed, but some will get the sack. HP did not offer a timeline for the cuts.

“Under the proposal presented to the European Works Council (EWC), HP expects approximately 7,095 employees to exit the company or to be redeployed into new roles,” the company said.

HP added that workforce reduction plans will vary by country, based on legal requirements and consultation with work councils and employee representatives. Needless to say, HP is adamant that the cuts will have no effect on customer service.

The cuts come as no surprise, as HP has already outlined plans to reduce its workforce by 15 percent in an effort to save $3 billion. It’s all part of Meg Whitman’s cunning five-year plan, which like most five-year plans isn’t going well. However, Whitman is not in a position to send anyone to Siberia or unperson them, so all HP can do is sack a bunch of people and hope Lenovo doesn’t eat its lunch in the meantime.

EMEA PC shipments down 16% in Q3

european-commissionPC shipments in EMEA declined 16 percent in Q3 2014, hitting a grand total of just 21.4 million units. What’s more, research firm IDC reports notebook shipments dropped 20.6 percent, while desktops weathered the storm with a 7 percent plunge. This is understandable because desktops can’t be cannibalized by tablets, so sales of workstations and gaming desktops are still relatively stable.

However, there are some encouraging signs. Although the market contracted, the drop wasn’t as bad as last quarter and there are some signs of recovery.

“The third quarter marked a change in the overall market trend,” said Chrystelle Labesque, EMEA research manager. “While it is too early to talk about recovery, the worse seems to have been reached in the second quarter of 2013. However, the ramp-up is mainly in the commercial area, with September performance above expectations for most players.”

Labesque added that the end of Windows XP support in 2014 is already driving IT departments to focus on hardware refresh, generating higher renewal in the corporate space.

Shipments in Western Europe were down 13.2 percent year-on-year. The back-to-school period didn’t help much, as demand remained soft, which can also be attributed to the late rollout of Windows 8.1, at least to some extent.

IDC believes new form factors like convertibles based on Intel’s new SoCs could drive demand in the fourth quarter and the introduction of Bay Trail and Windows 8.1 products might be the reason shipments were slow in Q3, as nobody wanted to end the quarter with practically outdated inventory.

Interestingly, Central and Eastern Europe did even worse than the Middle East and Africa, with a decline of 22.2 percent. MEA dropped just 14.5 percent.

As far as vendors go, Lenovo is continuing to outperform the competition. It ended the quarter with a 15 percent share of the market, up from 10.7 percent in the second quarter. HP also gained share, and it’s still the leader with 21 percent, up from 18.2 percent. Acer and Asus continued to bleed, losing almost a fifth of their share in the process.

Quantum signs up Arrow as distie

Arrow logoData management firm Quantum Corp said it has recruited Arrow Electronics as a distributor in EMEA.

Its logic is that it wants to provide better support for its VARs and to recruit VARs in new markets.

Jesper Trolle, VP for Arrow enterprise said: “We look forward to helping Quantium’s reseller partners grow business through our pan-European presence, our data centre enterprise experience, and in customer training.”

That will include big data management, he said.

Quantium said: “Arrow’s pan-EMEA reach will provide strong support for continued expansion into new market and help us drive further growth in our existing markets.”

Arrow (tick: ARW) releases its Q3 results at the end of this month.

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.”

Symantec bumps Mark Nutt up to EMEA veep

symanteclogoSymantec has promoted Mark Nutt to vice president for EMEA partner management and will be tasked with planning and delivering a new EMEA channel strategy.

Nutt was hired by Symantec in 2011 to look after EMEA’s strategy and sales operations, where he was responsible for sales performance. Before that he was general manager at Morse, and he started his career in sales at HP, in 1987.

Nutt must lead a team to build Symantec’s partner programs and bring in profitable growth for Symantec and its partners, as well as simplifying Symantec’s operations with channel partners.

In a statement, Nutt underlined Symantec’s commitment to partners and distributors, adding it’s “vital that we enable partners to deliver superior value to customers and that, in turn, we demonstrate our commitment to directly supporting our channel partners’ business growth”.

Good Tech fills GM EMEA role

goodtechWith the departure of top EMEA exec Huw Owen from Good Technology back to Symantec, Good has announced Marcus Chambers as the company’s new veep and GM for the region.

Chambers intends to aggressively push the EMEA channel programme as a top priority, a well as building closer partnerships and rehashing formulated training and accreditation. Good calls this a rejuvenation of its EMEA channel.

Chambers previously has experience at Digial Equipment, 3Com, and EMC. More recently he was EMEA ops director for Cisco and, prior to the role at Good, EMEA VP at Riverbed for six years.

Chambers has been at Good since August 2013 and is based at the company’s London office.

With the uptake of Bring Your Own Device, Good and its security products have found themselves in a rather advantageous position. As the legacy of Blackberry is tarred and the company is turned into a watered down smoothie, corporate culture in the west is increasingly seeing the adoption of iPhone and Android. Good specialises in securing these devices at the app level, understandably a popular option for IT managers and CIOs who want to keep employees happy but the company secure.

Chief revenue officer at Good, Dan Stoks, speaking of Chambers, said the company needed someone who can manage the dynamic mobile environment as well as demonstrating and expanding the firm’s competitive advantage throughout EMEA.

“We have aggressive goals to help our customers embrace mobility in a way they haven’t before, and with his proven success in the region, I am confident that Marcus can help us achieve them,” Stoks said.

Speaking with ChannelEye, Marcus Chambers said his immediate areas of focus will “include working with the channel to build a repeatable, relevant offering to give them a simpler route to market”.

“Good Technology is a rapidly growing company and we’re in an industry that’s changing by the day,” Chambers said. “Keeping pace with this change through a strong Good architecture gives our partners a great foundation to build our future together, including our customers’ key mobility security app infrastructure”.


Good Technology VP heads to Symantec

symanteclogoGood Technology’s VP and GM Huw Owen has been snapped up and appointed to VP sales and marketing for EMEA at Symantec.

Previously overseeing Good’s channel growth in Europe and introducing the firm to the Nordics, Benelux and the Middle East, Symantec has snapped him up to win and retain customers as well as growing in all regions across EMEA.

Owen has been named twice in Global Telecoms Business’ Top 40 Under 40 for telecoms, globally, and has been quoted regularly offering comment on mobility.

Before his time at Good, Owen was executive director at Lenovo’s EMEA team, where he helped in servicing and sales in EMEA and globally. He has also held positions at Veritas and Fujitsu, and served as senior director of EMEA northern region services at Symantec.

Commenting on his return to Symantec, Owen said the opportunities at Symantec are “huge”.

“The EMEA region is a key area of focus for Symantec, contributing significantly to the global company revenues,” Owen said.

Matthew Ellard, senior vice president EMEA, Symantec, said: “Huw has an exceptional amount of knowledge in the channel sector which will be of tremendous value”.

EMEA workstation market rebounds in Q2

pc-sales-slumpThe PC market might be down, but there are still a few bright spots. Gamers haven’t gone anywhere and long-term forecasts indicate they will continue spending plenty of hard earned cash on new toys. Professionals are another breed of PC user that can’t afford not to upgrade.

According to IDC’s quarterly workstation tracker, shipments of personal workstations in EMEA grew 3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013. The previous five quarters were in the red.

Interestingly, the growth is not coming from desktop workstations. It remained flat, with 0.1 percent growth. However, the mobile workstation segment saw 10.9 percent growth. Mobile appears to be the flavour of the day in many markets, especially in the Nordics. Mobile workstations are quite a bit more expensive than their desktop counterparts, and they aren’t as easy to upgrade or customize, but the appeal of taking a workstation on the road is simply too compelling for many people.

“In addition to tighter competition over the last year and a half, the major workstation vendors – Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Lenovo – were facing tougher market conditions,” said Mohamed Hefny, senior analyst with IDC’s systems and infrastructure department. “The sovereign debt crisis forced the public sector to follow strict policies regarding hardware investments, financial uncertainty pushed the enterprise sector to extend the refreshment cycle for another year, and SMBs often opted for high-end commercial PCs, as the performance gap with workstations is reduced when they are paired with professional discrete graphic cards.”

The 2014 outlook is even better. IDC expects 6.2 percent year-on-year growth in volume and 3.2 percent growth in value. As major European markets emerge from recession, demand for workstations is expected to pick up even further.

Lenovo aims to topple HP by 2015

lenovo-logoLenovo has been going from strength to strength in recent months and now it has Hewlett Packard in its crosshairs. Lenovo believes there’s plenty of room for expansion in EMEA, in spite of Europe’s economic woes and Syria’s feeble attempts to become the Archduke Ferdinand of World War III.

Speaking at IFA 2013, Lenovo’s EMEA president Gianfranco Lanci said the company’s ultimate goal is to become number one in the region within the next 18 months. He added that there are still big growth opportunities on PCs and there’s still room to grow.

Meanwhile, HP is losing market share to Lenovo, while Lenovo has already overtaken Acer in EMEA. Lenovo’s PC business is doing surprisingly well at a time when many other PC vendors are faltering on all levels. In addition, Lenovo’s smartphone push is paying off nicely in Asia and next year it could bring its Android terracotta army to Europe and North America. Lenovo is also becoming a big name in Android tablets, but so far Android tablets have failed to match the success of their smartphone siblings.

“The investment needed in the smartphone and tablet businesses is much more than what you need in PCs – this is why we will see more consolidation,” Lanci said.

He argued that scale is necessary to successfully compete in the smartphone market and with skyrocketing phone shipments in China, Lenovo shouldn’t have much trouble with scale.

Lanci added that all three Lenovo divisions are making money, but the PC division is still generating higher margins as PCs don’t require nearly as much investment as smartphones and tablets. It may be interesting to note that Lenovo is making some rather interesting moves on the hybrid front as well. As hybrids and tablets converge, Lenovo will end up in a much better position than some competitors without a viable tablet/hybrid strategy. Provided all goes well, of course.

EMEA companies put IT budgets to good use

poundsResearch from CA Technologies has revealed that companies in EMEA are increasingly switching their IT budgets from dull, routine maintenance towards designing projects that enable revenue-generating services. The CA Technologies Channel Index 2013 found that EMEA partners spend 34 percent of their time helping consumers with such projects rather than maintenance. However, only 18 percent of the IT spend in Britain was devoted to new revenue-generating services.

“IT projects are being driven by the need for businesses to innovate for growth, while creating new ways to serve customers. And today’s IT director is expected to be the driver of these efforts,” said Sean McCarry, Senior Director, CA Technologies. “Our solutions and partner programmes equip partners with the tools they need to help their customers fuel innovation and drive growth. The Channel Index 2013 shows just how far IT departments and channel partners have come on this journey.”

Chris Gabriel, VP of Solutions Management at Logicalis Group, pointed out that the shift results in less operational waste, allowing IT departments to increase their participation in productive, revenue-generating fields.

“CIOs now see their role as Chief Innovation Officer, and they have recognised that their business value isn’t in managing IT infrastructure, but delivering new IT enabled business experiences,” he said.

The index revealed that 83 percent of surveyed partners in EMEA expect to see increased spending on enterprise mobility over the next year and almost all recognise that the rapid adoption of mobility creates opportunities to help grow their business. Among UK partners, this figure rose to 95 percent.

Cloud computing was identified by CA Technologies partners as the second priority for their customers’ IT investments. Nearly two thirds of the partners surveyed predicted an increase in cloud computing spending over the next year. In the UK, a significant 81 percent of partners expected increases.