Fujitsu is to close its last remaining production facility in Europe as the PC maker moves its product business to Japan.
The company plans to shutter its product development, manufacturing, and logistics centre in Augsburg, in southern Germany, by September 2020 “at the latest”.
The move will directly affect 1,500 employees, in addition to another 300 situated elsewhere in Germany. Fujitsu, which employs around 5,500 staff across the country, claims it is looking for “socially acceptable” solutions for all employees affected by the change. This means it has ruled out dispatching the staff with a samurai sword in the office carpark.
Node4, the UK-based cloud, data centre and communications provider, has launched its Services Gateway.
Designed to help customers realise the value of digital transformation, the Services Gateway allows them access IT infrastructure and solutions. All solutions are underpinned by Node4’s end-to-end infrastructure including tier 3+ data centres, core network, cloud and collaboration platforms.
The Services Gateway also allows Node4 customers to benefit from hybrid solutions, supported by partners including Office365, AWS and Microsoft Azure to make sure that applications and workloads are on the most efficient infrastructure.
Paul Bryce, Chief Commercial Officer, Node4 said: “Node4’s history of owning and running data centres, including our cloud platform, gives customers the option to either host with us physically or in the cloud. It gave us the pedigree to then build our network, on which we can now offer customers a gateway to leverage multiple services across the Node4 portfolio as well as other providers.”
“Our Services Gateway supports customers in placing their workloads on the right infrastructure while maintaining control, backups, continuity and security,” he said.
The Services Gateway allows customers to easily transition to a digital environment, without the risk or costs associated with making all legacy equipment redundant at once. By taking a customer’s legacy hardware and moving it into Node4’s environment, customers can access new services alongside their existing infrastructure.
Node4 can also support customers that want to modernise legacy applications.
Bryce said: “Node4 can work with customers, developers and application support teams to review existing applications and see if they are suitable for containerisation. Containerising legacy applications not only allows customers to deploy applications on modern operating systems and infrastructure such as the Node4 Cloud but it supports a reduction of on-premise legacy server footprint, by removing the requirement to support old hardware and out of support operating systems.”
Figures from the Global Technology Distribution Council show that the EMEA distributors have seen sales grow faster than their mates in the US.
The figures show that the European market IT market is growing faster than the US seeing sales surge in the first quarter which helped Europe have a strong start to the year.
Countries that had been in decline last year turning it around with Spain up 13 percent , Portugal 19 percent , France 4 percent , Belgium 12 percent , Germany 7 percent , Norway 16 percent and the UK with an impressive 12 percent growth to the end of March.
The UK saw distribution getting high levels of new business.
Tim Curran, CEO at GTDC, told its European summit that the year had started well across Europe, up by three percent in January, but had been six percent by the end of March.
He added that the role of distribution had changed and its position as a closer strategic asset for the vendor community was paying off.
“We come from an industry based on inventory, cost and fixed assets, but the amazing integration between distribution and the vendors has produced an industry with lower inventory, but much higher fulfilment rates. That makes it more efficient and profitable,” he said.
The GTDC’s position is that there is still plenty of extra services that distribution could provide vendors, but they have yet to engage with them in certain areas.
“Distribution can also help solution providers with skills shortages, particularly in the technology solutions around the cloud. Vendors often say they need help to enable their partners to take advantage of the new ways of working,” said Curran.
California-based Synnex has elbowed its way into the European channel with a deal for Westcon-Comstor.
Under the deal, Synnex is taking a 10 percent stake in Westcon’s international operations only, at least initially. Synnex has reserved the right to double its stake in Westcon International to 20 percent.
It also has first refusal on making an offer to acquire it in its entirety should Datatec ever look to sell the remainder of the business.
Synnex is writing a cheque for $30 million for its 10 percent stake in the international business. This is peanuts compared to the $800 million it is paying to buy Westcon’s much smaller North and Latin American arm outright.
What it all means is that Synnex has its feet under the table for any deal involving the EMEA and APAC business in the future.
In its fiscal 2016, Synnex hit revenues of $14.06 billion, with $12.49 billion of that coming from distribution activities, and $1.59 billion coming from its BPO business. The Westcon deal will bring in another $2 billion of revenues.
Synnex is better known as Microsoft distributors in the States, and the move could herald a real threat to Ingram and Tech Data.
Good news for the channel as research from Ricoh Europe suggests that companies want to lean more on technology to improve their fortunes.
While the world is feeling rather uncertain at the moment, many feel that the way the work will change in the near future as a result of digital disruption, economic uncertainty and political turbulence.
More than 95 percent of people thought their business would benefit from the changes.
Most people that were asked for their opinions by Ricoh saw technology as the best way of making sure they could improve the fortunes of their business. On the wish list were using IT to improve customer communications, increased productivity and simpler business processes.
The weak point was that most felt that there will be even more of a scramble for skilled staff.
Ricoh Europe CEO David Mills said: “How people relate to, engage and execute their work is fundamentally changing. In the years ahead we’ll see businesses fall into two distinct camps. Firstly, those with strong fundamental processes which empower employees by enabling them to do their best work, adapt and thrive. Secondly, those businesses which shy away from change and unfortunately set their employees up for failure.”
“As the world feels the impact of unprecedented change, business leaders must ask themselves where they see the most beneficial return on bringing more innovative technology into the company. To enable their business to stay focused on its long-term goals, and remain competitive, often the best place to start is with their employees,” he added.
Resellers are being bombarded with advice from vendors to get more involved in the trend.
Flextronics is to build up to a quarter of a million x86 servers in Hungary as Lenovo sets up its European operations.
Lenovo says the move will halve delivery times for European customers and partners. The servers for EMEA clients were previously built in Shenzhen in China will now be shifted to Sarvar in Hungary, from the summer.
Lenovo expects the Hungarian plant to assemble EMEA’s full allocation of up to 250,000 x86 servers annually once production is fully ramped up.
Assembly of Lenovo’s full range of storage and networking for datacentre environments will also now be carried out at the plant, which already produces Lenovo PCs and ThinkServers.
The move will boost service levels for clients, with delivery times being cut from two weeks to one, as well as saving on transportation costs. Until relatively recently, IBM built some of those servers in eastern Europe, meaning Lenovo is bringing production back to Europe. Mostly due to transport and logistical considerations.
Within a year, almost all of the approximately 250,000 x86 servers Lenovo builds for the EMEA market will be made in the Hungarian plant. This will allow UK partners more flexibility in how they manage inventory and will also improve the after-sale service they can offer.
Auditing software outfit Netwrix reported an average revenue increase of 200 per cent in Q1 2015 across EMEA, with the largest growth rates in the UK, Southern Europe and Benelux.
The company also announced a new go-to-market strategy for its leading change and configuration auditing software that focuses on accelerating further growth through its partner-network and expanding sales, marketing and support teams across the UK, DACH, Benelux, France, Nordics and Eastern and Southern Europe.
A company spokesman said that this reflected an increasing demand for cost-effective solutions that give enterprises complete visibility across their IT environment, to prevent security breaches caused by insider attacks, pass security audits and minimise compliance costs, as well as optimise IT operations.
UK Netwrix reported the highest revenue in Europe with 80 per cent quarter-over-quarter growth thanks to an aggressive expansion and building up its partner base. The DACH region saw sustained growth along with an increase of over 200 per cent in its major enterprise customer pipeline.
The company plans to acquiring more strategic partners in the DACH region to double its revenues by the end of the year.
The Benelux market showed 300 per cent sales growth in comparison to Q1 2014 and the best ever quarter revenue. Netwrix already has over 50 enterprise customers in Benelux, several of them with over 5,000 employees. New markets in Southern Europe, including Italy, Malta and Iberia have reported an impressive start with 3,000 per cent growth quarter-over-quarter and have ambitious targets for 2015.
Unlike other regions, the channel strategy in this region is more oriented to small and midsized businesses.
US banks have finally twigged that the reason they keep losing money to credit card theft is because they insist on being the last bastion of low tech cards.
Given the fact that the free market is supposed to decide the best form of technology to defend its transactions, the US banks have been dragging their collective trotters adopting the EMV standard.
Meanwhile in Europe, the birthplace of Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standard there is a low amount of credit card fraud while in the US it is incredibly high.
Now the US is finally making the transition to secure cards based on the European EMV standard, mostly because the liability shift imposed by the three big credit card brands — Visa, MasterCard and American Express — will start on October.
If the merchant is EMV compliant and has a POS system equipped to read EMV cards, and the card is not, because the financial institution has not started issuing them yet — effectively forcing the merchant to run your card on the magnetic stripe reader — then the bank or credit card issuer has to pay for the misuse of the card.
If the issuer has upgraded to EMV by sending chip cards to its cardholders, but the merchant has not upgraded their point of sale to accept them, the retailer bears the cost for counterfeit fraud.
While all this is a pain for the banks and retailers, it is widely accepted in the US that something has to be done. A wave of data breaches that has hit major retailers such as Target and Home Depot, among others, has convinced many card issuers that the expense of sending new cards fades in comparison to the consequences of new data breaches. It will probably take another three years for full adoption.
Some analysts expect fraud to increase this year, as thieves will step up their efforts to capture more credit card details before the EMV conversion starts to take a grip on their bottom line.
It is unclear why the US has been so slow in adopting the chips, one reason might be the fact that their parts of the US which may refuse to use them because of religious reasons. Parts of the bible belt believe that the move to such technology is a sign of the “end times” and that any electronic transactions are the same as the “mark of the beast” of revelation.
Regulations to be introduced on the 1st of January 2015 mean that small UK businesses supplying digital services to EU countries will face an administrative nightmare.
If a UK company supplies digital services of any kind to the EU, it will be forced to either register for VAT in each EU country it trades with or use HMRC’s VAT mini one stop shop.
Digital services include broadcasting, telecomms, or services including video on demand, applications, eb00ks, gaming, AV software and online auctions.
HMRC administers payments to every one of the EU’s tax authorities.
VAT rates in Europe vary widely and HMRC also warns that the list of digital services it provides is far from exhaustive.
One company creating web pages for EU customers described the changes as ludicrous. He told TechEye that rather than signing up to either the HMRC service or registering for VAT in the countries he trades with, he has told his European customers he simply isn’t going to supply them anymore.
Adoption of cloud technology in the healthcare section in Europe will be worth $1,275.6 million by the end of the decade according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.
Last year, the European market was worth $390.5 million and is expected to steadily grow between 10 to 30 percent in the next five years.
The cloud is good for cost efficient services for documentation, storage and sharing patient information, the report said. Government moves to create healthcare information exchanges have given the cloud market in Europe and the USA a boost. In addition, quick deployment and easier management of IT staff are other perceived advantages of using the cloud.
But the move to the cloud is being hampered by a lack of standardisation in legacy systems, meaning that data migration is both expensive and cumbersome.
And there are also concerns about data preservation, security and portability, meaning that when healthcare IT buyers sign up with cloud service providers there must be service level agreements to guarantee reliability and data portability.
Qualcomm is facing a little trouble in Big China as it is starting to look like its antitrust investigation is going pear shaped. Meanwhile problems collecting royalties could harm its business in China next year.
To make matters worse it is facing similar investigations in the United States and Europe.
Qualcomm should be making a large profit in China. The country is expanding high-speed 4G network is driving demand for smartphones with leading-edge technology.
But it looks like Qualcomm could face a fine of more than $1 billion in China as a result of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) investigation, and the company could be forced to make concessions that would hurt its highly profitable business of charging royalties on phones that use its patents.
Qualcomm admitted that it faces a new probe by the European Commission about rebates and other financial incentives in the sale of its chips. Another preliminary investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission concerns a potential breach of licensing terms.
Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said that his company was co-operating with the Chinese to come up with potential ways to resolve the problem.
Qualcomm has also been struggling to collect licensing revenue from some device makers in China, including local manufacturers the US chipmaker has done little or no business with in the past.
But the fear is that concessions on royalties that Qualcomm is forced to make in China could spread to manufacturers in other countries.
Qualcomm said it was difficult to predict the outcome of the U.S. and European investigations.
The European probe is separate from a four-year-old complaint to the European Commission from a subsidiary of Nvidia over alleged patent-related incentives and exclusionary pricing by Qualcomm.
Qualcomm forecast revenue for fiscal 2015 of between $26.8 billion and $28.8 billion. Analysts on average expected $28.91 billion.
The chipmaker reported revenue of $6.69 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, ended Sept. 28, up 3 percent from the year-ago period. Analysts on average had expected $7.016 billion.
Qualcomm posted fourth-quarter net income of $1.89 billion, up 26 percent from a year ago.
Apple and Samsung’s European bottom lines are being kicked by a surge of interest in local smartphones.
A report from Netbiscuits suggests that customers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the mobile market monoculture and Apple and Samsung are experiencing their first major challenge from disruptive European vendors.
Head of global research at Netbiscuits Duncan Clark said that his report marks a dramatic shift in mobile market share which are mirrored in Asia were emerging local vendors in Asia have been doing well.
French company Wiko and bq in Spain have muscled a “Top 50 devices” spot in their own countries for the first time ever.
Coupled with increased fragmentation in Asian markets as cheaper brands enter the market, it seems that smaller, companies are gaining popularity around the world and disrupting dominant players.
It is still early days yet, but it does show that the Golden Age where Apple and Samsung rule the smartphone world is coming to a close.
Mega distie Avnet said it has set up a new business unit in the European, Middle East and Africa markets.
The dvision, called Avnet Security and Networking Solutions (ASNS), is intended to boost its share of this sector and will include the opening of specialist technical and commercial competence centres in the region.
Network security is predicted to be worth over $10 billion in revenues, according to market research firm IDC.
The first commercial competence centre will open in the Netherlands this quarter, and be a hub for delivering security and networking services.
Graeme Watt, president of Avnet in EMEA said his company will use existing people in the company to bring in external specialist skills to bolster the market.