Counterfeit iPhones, sunglasses and handbags have been around for years, but so have counterfeit IT products, and they tend to be a bit more dangerous and costly than a fake Gucci bag crafted from genuine imitation faux leather.
The Open Group has published a new technical security standard with the aim of improving supply chain safety and weeding out counterfeit products, or gear that has been tampered with. The Open Trusted Technology Provider Standard (O-TTPS) is a 32-page document containing a set of guidelines, requirements and recommendations that should mitigate the risk of acquiring counterfeit products, or products that were “maliciously tainted.”
The standard is being backed by the likes of IBM and Cisco. It should address concerns raised by governments and the US Department of Defense, which tends to be rather picky when it comes to networking gear. Junipar, Huawei, EMC, Raytheon, HP, Microsoft, the NSA, Booz-Allen Hamilton, Boeing and NASA are also on board, reports Network World.
It is still unclear when the group will start issuing accreditations, or how it plans to go about it, but the backers feel that the IT industry should get acquainted with the new standards. With such high profile names on board, the industry should listen closely.
Big outfits are expected to embrace the new standard first, but in doing so they will also reduce the risk for smaller businesses. Still, the best way of steering clear from dodgy routers and switches is to simply avoid buying gear from unknown companies altogether.
Huawei is moving to make money in war torn countries.
The Chinese behemoth has appointed regional value added IT distie Optimus to distribute its enterprise product range for networking, unified communications and security.
Under the deal Optimus will aim to grow Huawei’s channel network across Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq where it will also undertake regular marketing and channel development activities to help increase the vendor’s market share and reach in the region.
Meera Kaul, managing director of Optimus Technology and Telecommunications said the partnership was “very important” and would help it offer customers a “omplete range of technology.”
She added that the company also planned to take Huawei’s enterprise products including cloud computing, enterprise networking and wireless, as well as Unified Communication & Collaboration (UC&C), video conference and telepresence products, and partner them with
Optimus also claims it will promote this product range through focused channel development activities, which include training, certifications, skills development and consultancy services to help them sell the productsbetter.
“Over the last few years, our Enterprise Business division has been investing heavily in developing our Middle East customer base,” said Dong Wu, vice president, Huawei, Enterprise Business, Middle East.
He added Huawei would continue to invest in training, motivating and incentivising partners.
Global mobile phone sales declined in 2012 as a result of the economic climate and intense market competition Gartner has said.
In its latest report the analyst company said that 2012 mobile phone sales hit 1.75 billion units, a decline of 1.7 percent from 2011. And it was smartphones that bolstered this number with the fourth quarter of last year marking a record sale rate of 207.7 million units, up 38.3 percent from the same period last year.
The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009 and this year’s dismal results were as a result of tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year, the company said.
It added that feature phones were neglected with a 19.3 percent decline in 2012. And there was bad news for this sector with the company predicting that 2013 would continue to see a decline.
Smartphones were given a better future with the company claiming that sales of these would be close to one billion units in 2013, while overall mobile phone sales were estimated to reach 1.9 billion units.
And this market also bought in the bucks for manufacturers with Apple and Samsung both seeing their market shares in this sector rise. However, it was Samsung who had the last laugh ending up in first place for overall mobile and smartphone sales in 2012. Gartner said this was as a result of the company’s ability to build products based on broad needs.
But Samsung was warned that there could be trouble ahead with Gartner’s crystal ball predicting that competition would intensify in 2013 as players such as Sony and Nokia improved.
Huawei also had a good fourth quarter, helping it to take on third position for the first time in the smartphone sales race. The company sold 27.2 million smartphones, up 73.8 percent from 2011, while its Ascend D2 and Mate models were tipped to drive further sales for 2013.
Nokia’s handset sales improved from a good response to its Asha mobile phones and the launch of the latest Lumia Windows Phone 8 models.
However, this wasn’t enough to stop Nokia to lose further market share, totalling 18 percent, the lowest it has ever been. In 2012, Nokia reached 39.3 million smartphone sales worldwide, down 53.6 percent from 2011.
The chief executive of struggling telecom equipment maker Alcatel – Lucent is leaving the company. Ben Verwaayen took the helm four years ago and tried to return the outfit to profit. He failed.
Alcatel – Lucent posted a $1.85 billion loss for 2012, compared to a $1.49 billion gain in 2011, so Verwaayen’s departure should come as no surprise. Verwaayen announced his decision to step down in a statement Thursday, saying that now is the appropriate moment for Alcatel – Lucent to seek new leadership.
“Alcatel-Lucent has been an enormous part of my life. It was therefore a difficult decision to not seek a further term, but it was clear to me that now is an appropriate moment for the Board to seek fresh leadership to take the company forward,” said Verwaayen.
Philippe Camus, Chairman of the Alcatel-Lucent Board, said: “After due reflection, the Board has accepted Ben’s decision to step down as CEO.” Camus went on to thank Verwaayen for his efforts to stabilise the company over the past four years.
It remains unclear who will replace Verwaayen and he is likely to stay on until a successor is found. The company said it would consider in-house candidates as well as candidates from outside the company.
Although Verwaayen did not manage to turn things around, he can hardly be blamed for Alcatel – Lucent’s woes. The company was created following a $11.6 merger of Lucent Technologies and Alcatel in 2006. It has been downhill ever since. Verwaayen, the former head of the BT Group, joined the company in 2008, after the previous American-led management was ousted.
Alcatel – Lucent has been trying to restructure and reposition itself in the telecom infrastructure market, but so far it did not have much luck competing against the likes of Ericsson and Huawei.