Tag: IDC

Thin clients are thin on the ground

skeleton-woman-615While thin client set ups have been touted as the “next big thing” for nearly two decades, it would appear that no-one can make cash from them.

Bean counters at IDC said that the market leaders HP and Dell suffered double-digit shipment drops last year. Apparently companies are walking away from, or cancelling their thin-client projects. Ironically mostly before the poor economic climate, thin clients were touted as a cost-saving measure.

Thin client projects are being canned or postponed in the face of the faltering economic climate and reduced public budgets, IDC said as it warned that shipments in the sector shrank last year.

According to IDC, thin and terminal-client shipments fell 6.9 per cent to 5.08 million in 2015, with market leaders Dell and HP enduring double-digit drops.

To be fair it is not all doom. Thin-clients did better than PCs which fell 10.6 per cent last year.  IDC insists that the outlook for thin clients and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) remains favourable, although people have been saying that since networking became a thing.

Jay Chou, research manager, worldwide enterprise client device trackers at IDC said that while there was a certain amount of slowdown expected as many organisations had just refreshed their systems a year or two ago, the extent of economic and currency-related issues had a definite impact in the budget and timeline of other projects which were supposed to be in the pipeline.

“Nonetheless, awareness around VDI continues to improve, and IDC does expect an improved outlook ahead, especially as companies begin to think about moving beyond Windows 7.”

While the PC market may be consolidating into the hands of fewer players, the same cannot be said of thin clients, where market leaders Dell and HP lost market share hand over fist during the year.

The US duo’s collective share of thin-client shipments fell from 55.1 to 50.6 per cent between 2014 and 2015, with Dell seeing shipments drop 13.8 per cent and HP suffering a 15 per cent fall, IDC said.

NComputing came third as its shipments rose 12.8 per cent to 518,000, IDC said.

Microsoft’s cloud partners make a killing

cloud (264 x 264)Beancounters at IDC have been adding up some numbers and reached the conclusion that Microsoft’s cloud  partners are making a killing.

IDC and Microsoft released a report with the catchy title “The Booming Cloud Opportunity” which appears to be the first in a series. Book two will probably take place a few years after book one and feature some of the original characters.

It is based on detailed interviews with 25 partners with solid credentials, like Christopher Hertz of New Signature, Mark Seeley of Intellinet and Geeman Yip of BitTitan.

Basically it says that Microsoft’s cloud Partners have double the growth of those who are less-cloudy. IDC defines cloud partners as companies that get at least half of their revenues from the cloud. Of the 750 Microsoft partners they surveyed, about a fifth of them hit that mark. That top tier of cloud partners reported overall company revenue growth of 24 percent on average, while the rest saw growth of 12 percent.

Next it says that Cloud Partners have 1.5 the gross profit  of the less-cloudy . The figure for the cloud partner group is 41 percent gross profit, while the rest had 27 percent.

Apparently Cloud Partners have 1.8x the recurring revenue of the others. The cloud partners reported that 52 percent of their overall revenues, not just cloud revenues, came from recurring revenue sources. That compares to about 29 percent of revenues coming from recurring sources for the rest of the partners in the survey.

Other findings are that Cloud Partners sell $5.87 of their own offerings for every dollar of Microsoft Cloud Solutions. The rest of the surveyed partners sold $3.71 of their own offerings for every $1 of Microsoft cloud solutions. Importantly on this one, only a little over 400 partners answered.

The IDC report does warn that the surveys don’t always reveal causation.”There’s a lot going on inside all of these partner businesses that could account for the differences other than how much Microsoft cloud services the companies sell.

The report goes against the  popular channel opinion on cloud — that selling cloud services is a recipe for lower margins and lower profitability.

PC market blighted by inventory problems

old-pcs-100565082-primary.idgeBeancounters at IDC claim that the reason that the PC market is not picking up is because there is far too much inventory out there.

IDC said that this high inventory, falling commodity prices and foreign exchange issues meant it was reducing its outlook for the PC market for 2016.

Expectations for early 2016 were already pretty grim, but a range of factors has prompted it to reduce its 2016 outlook “by a couple of percent”. Now, it predicts the global market will decline 5.4 percent annually.

IDC predicts that by 2018 the market will “effectively stabilise” but will not avoid some small declines in certain quarters before then.

The analyst pointed to the SMB and education sectors were star performers when it comes to PCs.

Jay Chou, IDC’s research manager said that in addition to specific devices, the SMB and education segments are expected to do better than the overall market.

“There have been indications of faster commercial adoption of Windows 10 than of past operating systems, and that should support some growth in the medium term. Similarly, IT access for students remains a priority, and will drive projects across regions – even though constrained government spending may limit some projects.”

2016 could be the year of the public cloud

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudA battery of reports suggests that more companies are going to push data onto the public cloud this year.

Public cloud setups are being suggested as a good idea for resellers to push on startups and software test and development, but now they are making its way into the corporate data centre and enterprise.

A recent IDC study reveals that spending on public cloud IT infrastructure will increase by nearly 30 percent to $20.5 billion in 2015 and now a Dimensional Research survey, released by Cloud Cruiser, a provider of software solutions for hybrid cloud analytics, finds that more companies are committing to public clouds for enterprise applications.

They are particularly interested in ERP and CRM all of which means good business for cloud services providers.

One of the stranger findings is that all this is taking place with very little information available about cloud costs and consumption.

It is looking like channel players need to provide “solutions” that help customers gain greater usage visibility and cost transparency into their public cloud investments and, if they pull it off, they could be laughing all the way to the bank.

Cisco brings IoT certification to channel

ciscoCisco is helping its channel partners get a leg up into the Internet of Things.

The idea is to run training programmes to give them the skills needed to try to capture some of the $19 trillion it expects from the new industry.

A new Cisco Certified Network Associate Industrial IoT certification has been set up along with two new cloud certifications to help partners deliver optimal business outcomes.

Cisco thinks its channel needs to understand the context of the industrial and IoT environments while it is deploying and managing these network and IT devices.”

The lab-based training program targets networking engineers, plant administrators, control engineers and IT engineers and teaches them how to build, manage and operate converged industrial networks in the fast-growing IoT manufacturing markets.

The certification targets both the customers and channel partners

Last week, research firm IDC released a report forecasting that the IoT market in manufacturing operations will grow from $42.2 billion in 2013 to $98.8 billion in 2018 — representing a CAGR of 18.6 percent.

Dell comes back from the dead

i-walked-with-a-zombie-from-left-everettBeancounters at IDC are claiming that Dell’s US shipments grew 19.7 percent during the third calendar quarter of 2014.

If this is the case, then it would appear that business is turning around for the tin box shifter.

Jeff Clarke, Dell’s vice chairman, Operations, and president, Client Solutions said that the reason for the increase was a strong notebook performance in the US and accompanying overall worldwide growth reflects the continued momentum. He said Dell did not intend to slow down.

“You can expect us to maintain our strategy of investing in the PC business, with more additions to our portfolio to be announced next week at Dell World,”Clarke said.

Dell was showing off its PC business in which it said had its seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains in global share and grew more in the third quarter than its top two US competitors combined.

Dell also talked about its commercial portfolio which appeared to be focusing on higher performance PCs and thin clients.

Dell also claimed there was a growing demand for flexible 2-in-1 products in the work environment with the Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1.

Now that the outfit has gone private we have no way of checking any of this as it does not have to share anything and we have to take its word for it.

Tablet sales go slow

ipad3Market research firm IDC said it has lowered its forecast for tablet sales in 2014 almost halving its estimate of how many will ship.

The reason for that, according to the company, is that buyers in mature markets are contributing to flatness.  The estimate now is that 233.1 million units will ship – its previous estimate was a year on year 12.1 percent growth rate. It’s lowered that rate to 6.5 percent now.

But while the “mature markets” are showing a slowdown, IDC said that other regional markets will hit a 12 percent growth rate.

More use of tablets in emerging markets will sustain that 12 percent figure.

IDC estimates that average selling prices will level out at $373 in mature markets but fall in other regions to $302.

Jitesh Urbani, senior research analyst at IDC said that the world outside Western Europe and North America will account for the majority of shipments this year.  “But in terms of dollars spent, medium to large sized devices in North America and Western Europe will still produce significant revenues,” he said.

HPC server market falls

server-racksA report  from market research company IDC said factory revenues for the high performance computing server market fell by close to 10 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.

Revenues fell from $2.5 billion to $2.3 billion.

But the long range view for the supercomputers sector of the market is expect to see reasonable growth with a CAGR of 7.2 percent to 2018.

HPC technical computing analyst Earl Joseph said that the race towards exascale computing means that SMEs and research outfits are likely to use HPCs in the future.

HP is the clear leader in the market with 35 percent share, IBM has 23.1 percent share, while Dell managed third place accounting for 17.2 percent of global revenues.

The overall HPC technical server market is likely to be worth $14.7 billion by 2018.

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.
serversQ12014

PC shipments in Europe “stabilise”

european-commissionA report from market research firm IDC said there are indications that shipments of PCs in the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) stabilised in the first quarter of this year.

21.8 million units shipped in EMEA, a decline of 1.1 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

But Western Europe showed a growth of 8.6 percent, spurred by business demand.  If that percentage is taken as a pie, commerical units showed an increase of 15.1 percent, while the retail market showed growth of 2.1 percent.

It’s the end of support for Windows XP that drove the rebound, according to Chrystelle Labesque of IDC.  And companies have started to invest in IT again, she said.  There is more business confidence.  Neverless, the overall PC market in central and eastern Europe and in the Middle East and Africa showed a year on year decline of 12 percent.

HP did well, as did Lenovo, while Dell was in third place and Acer in fourth place.  Asus took the fifth place.

Tablet growth slows

ipad3Despite phenomenal growth in sales during 2013, it seems that the tablet market will slow down during this year.

That’s according to market research company IDC that said the total tablet market – including stand alone units and 2-in-1 devices – will grow by 19.4 percent this year, down from 51.6 percent in 2013.

There is slowing growth at the consumer end of the market, and average selling prices (ASPs) have fallen rapidly in the tablet market.

Prices in 2013 dropped by 14.6 percent but IDC said price erosion “has started to slowly bottom out”, meaning ASPs will only fall by 3.6 percent this year.

Tom Mainelli, who runs devices and displays at IDC, said the white box tablet market will slow this year.  In mature markets, people are sticking with their current tablets and few feel the need to upgrade them, he said.

But there’s always a silver lining to every cloud. He said that commercial shipments are set to go up and while tablet growth has largely been confined to verticals like education, in the future tablets will penetrate SMEs globally.  And that will give a boost to Microsoft Windows.

Jitesh Ubrani, a research colleague of Mainelli, thinks that Android and iOS will stay as the dominant forces although Windows could grab more than a quarter of the market in the future.

There’s a little light at the end of the PC tunnel

IndiashareA report from IDC said that despite overall doom and gloom, there’s some pockets of the world where PC things are not that bad.

India, said IDC, showed a year on year growth of 4.8 percent for 2013, with 11.5 million units shipping.

Of course India has a population of over one billion people but it has never adopted the PC platform wholeheartedly.

The growth, said IDC, was largely due to state governments buying as part of a scheme to distribute free laptops to students.

And the enterprise segment managed 6.7 million units in 2013 – up 15.8 percent.

There are negative factors impacting the market, said IDC. Those include weak growth, slowdown in hiring people, the devaluation of the rupee and layoffs in the enterprise market.

And if you split out the consumer part of the market, that showed a year on uear decline of 7.4 percent.  The teapot in the broom cupboard are sales of smartphones and tablets.

Smartphone shoppers smarter than average shopper

Amazon logoResearch from IDC suggests that your average smartphone shopper is smarter than your average bear.

And smartphones are turning out to be a bit of a nightmare for your average high street shop.

IDC analysed app and mobile of over 10,000 smartphone users during the holiday season.

One in three of the people IDC surveyed said they bought more online than from bricks and mortar outfits in the season, compared to the same period the year before.

Amazon did particularly well out of the trend.

Of those that were surveyed, 69 percent believed that smartphones were critical tools when you’re out shopping.  And 70 percent said they’d use their smartphones more in the future.

Five out of 10 people check reviews from their smartphones and shoppers tend to trust social networks for views.

IDC’s results were born out by Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Powa Technologies. He said: “The traditional stores really need to up their game to compete in the new shopping paradigm that we are entering. Customer engagement is the key to survival in 2014, at present customers who walk through the doors of high street shops are unknown to them.

“This needs to change fast, customer engagement holds the critical path to growth in fierce market conditions. It is vital for retailers to know the buying behaviour of the person who has walked through the door: are they a loyal customer? What are they interested in? Online retailers have all this information and utilise it to engage their customers very effectively as the sales figures have born out.”

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.

PC market continues to be weak

IDC graphIDC 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.