Tag: microsoft

HPE unveils new channel scheme

HPE The former maker of expensive printer ink, HPE has taken the covers off its new channel programme.

The outfit’s new Flexible Capacity model for Microsoft Azure allows partners to bridge private and public cloud with a single pay-as-you-go unified billing consumption model.

HPE unveiled the Flexible Capacity option as part of the launch of a new HPE Microsoft Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) stack for HPE’s DL380 hyperconverged system.

The HPE Microsoft Azure stack should be ready to go in mid-2017 and HPE Consulting for Azure Hybrid Cloud services are available now.

The stack provides customers with Flexible Capacity single pay-as-you-go bill for both on-premise HPE private cloud and Microsoft Azure public cloud.

HPE said the DL380 Azure stack, which will sit in the customer’s data center, can be deployed with HPE SecureData software – protecting data in both public and private clouds and HPE Operations Bridge analytics software.

Google close to Paypal cloud coup

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINGoogle is pushing into cloud computing and could be about to score PayPal as a key client.

PayPal is evaluating the other leading providers and hasn’t made any final decisions, but what is worrying for Microsoft and Amazon is that it has put Google into the running.

PayPal has some existing business with AWS, namely its Braintree and Venmo products, which the company acquired in 2013. In moving infrastructure to the cloud, big companies often start with test and development workloads before touching critical customer information, and that’s likely where PayPal will begin.

But cloud services would open up new technical capabilities that are difficult inside their existing infrastructure. If there are big shopping days, Paypal could obtain some servers on the fly.

There is a lot at stake, Google wants to prove that it’s a legitimate player in the rapidly expanding cloud infrastructure market and to do that it has to kick the leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft firmly in the nadgers.

Google has also been allocating cash to its cloud technology as well as the sales, marketing and support needed to meet enterprise standards.

But it looks like this particular battle will be settled by cost. AWS has dropped the price of a storage product by 47 percent, the 52nd time Amazon has slashed prices.

Google may use its cash mountain to start a pricing war which is an area where Amazon would not be keen to go.  Microsoft might be able to use its own cash reserves to take on the rival.

But technically Google needs to match or beat AWS in terms of speed and reliability while also winning on price against a company that’s grown up thriving on razor-thin e-commerce margins. It has a long way to go before it can give AWS a run for its money. AWS generated sales of $2.9 billion in the second quarter, almost six times the amount Google makes in an entire year, based on RBC’s estimates.

However, there are signs that things are getting better. At the beginning of the month the Synergy Research Group claimed that Google’s cloud revenue surged 162 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier. The company still only commands 5 percent of the market, but it is growing fast.

It has also poached some good clients including Snapchat, Spotify, Home Depot and Walt Disney. Getting PayPal would represent another feather in its cap.

Ingram Micro goes very very quiet

ingram-mico-hqIngram Micro UK & Ireland has signed up to be the newest distributor for Quiet’s power supplies, PC cases and cooling solutions.

Ingram said the addition of Quiet’s products to its portfolio will allow resellers to offer customers a wider range of peripherals, while developing their own new and innovative product ranges promote growth.

Taj Pandya, head of commercial management at Ingram Micro, UK and Ireland said:“We are extremely excited to be able to deliver new technologies and opportunities to our channel partners and we are thrilled that be quiet! has trusted us with the distribution of their premium products that embrace an exceptional level of precision and quality.”

“We hope the inclusion of this new vendor will appeal to our customer base and will permit Ingram’s further expansion into new categories.”

Ingram Micro was one of the first to sign up for Microsoft’s Surface as a Service programme, which will allow new services and hardware to its customers based around Redmond’s Surface Tablet.

 

Amazon and Microsoft are the cloud kings

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINAmazon Web Services and Microsoft are the rulers of the public cloud, according to beancounters at Gartner.

The research firm’s “Magic Quadrant” annual report surveys the amount and type of cloud computing services offered for rent by big companies. However this year it appears to be a two horse race between Amazon and Vole. Amazon is coming first, probably because it was first out of the gate,  while Microsoft continues a strong push at second.

Google, IBM, VirtuStream (part of EMC), CenturyLink, Rackspace and VMware all have a horse running but are a long way down the field.

Amazon’s poured shedload of cash into its $10 billion a year business. AWS “has the largest share of compute capacity in use by paying customers — many times the aggregate size of all other providers in the market,” according Big G.

Last year, AWS ran more than 10 times the cloud compute capacity as the next 14 cloud players combined. Asked whether that means Amazon’s dominance has held steady, grown, or decreased year over year, Gartner IT managing vice president Rakesh Kumar said that the research firm does not have the exact comparable figure, but that it is “reasonable to assume” that AWS has maintained the same lead this year.

Last week, Gartner released another report showing Amazon dominating the cloud storage market as well.

Google has been trying hard to win market share from the other two powers and to prove that it is serious about the public cloud market. Google remains the third largest player by Gartner’s measures, but it has slipped a bit relative to the top.

Google’s strengths lie in its big data analytics and machine learning technologies that it has used internally and is now offering to the public at large. Even AWS supporters love to use Google BigQuery and Bigtable, to parse and explore big amounts of data, for example.

Google has also made some strides entrenching its view of container management, as embodied in Kubernetes, to outside players. Containers, are a modern way to combine all the services needed for a software application into a portable unit that can, in theory, run on a company’s internal servers, on Google, or some other public cloud.

 

Microsoft names new UK partner boss

microsoftSoftware King of the World Microsoft has named Glenn Wollaghan as its new UK  partner supremo who will take on a role once occupied by Martin Gregory and Linda Rendleman.

Wollaghan  has had a good week. He started the role of partner development lead this week, after his predecessor Martin Gregory left the role of partner business and development director earlier this year. Gregory did not have time to warm the seat when his predecessor Linda Rendleman returned to to the US last summer.

Wollaghan has been a Microsoft Vole for three years, during which time he has run its SMB and telesales business. He had a decade working for Symantec before that.

Wollaghan’s job is a bit different to the one  occupied by Gregory and Rendleman. For a start he will have a wider remit.

Clare Barclay, Microsoft UK’s general manager for small and mid-market solutions and partners said that  Wollaghan will take the the lead on partner strategy stuff. Microsoft is investing more in partner development because we see the opportunity in the cloud.

 

Microsoft reshuffles sales and marketing execs

reshuffleMicrosoft Supreme Dalek Satya Nadella announced a broad reorganization of the company’s senior executive ranks as the outfit’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner is packing his office up into photocopy boxes.

Turner is leaving for new job CEO of the securities unit at financial-services firm Citadel. He leaves a hole in Vole Hill because he was the bloke responsible for setting up Microsoft’s global sales.

Instead of naming a new COO, Nadella appointed two executives to divvy up the sales responsibilities and report to him. Jean-Philippe Courtois will be in charge of global sales, marketing and operations spanning Microsoft’s 13 business areas, Nadella said in a note to employees Thursday. Judson Althoff will lead the worldwide commercial business, including government and small and medium-sized businesses.

Courtois has been with Microsoft for 32 years as an international sales executive at Microsoft, having run both Microsoft International and Microsoft EMEA previously. Althoff previously ran Microsoft North America and is a former Oracle executive.

Chris Capossela will take the worldwide marketing jon, Kurt DelBene leading IT and Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood taking over the sales and marketing team’s finance group, which had been separate.

Turner had bought the sales and operations organisations a discipline it had lacked and did well boosting the sales of enterprise software. But there was also declining sales growth in the final years of CEO Steve Ballmer’s reign as.

Turner was a candidate to replace Ballmer as CEO in 2014, but was passed over in favour of Nadella. He has been searching for a CEO job for several years we guess it was on his bucket list.

Nadella said that he and Turner had been discussing what needs to be done in sales and support to help Microsoft “continue to reach for the next level of customer centricity and obsession.”

To do that, Nadella said he decided to more closely embed Turner’s unit in the rest of the company. The reorganization dismantles what had become something of a parallel organization within Microsoft, where Turner had his own finance, marketing and communications staffs.

Microsoft about to knock Amazon off of its cloud

Every silver has a cloudy liningBeancounters at Morgan Stanley think that Microsoft’s Azure will edge out Amazon Web Services by 2019 for both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

The 2016 CIO Survey worked out that  31 percent of the CIOs will be using Azure for IaaS, versus roughly 30 percent using AWS. Today, about 21 percent are using AWS and 12 percent are using Azure. While nearly 55 percent of the surveyed CIOs said they’re using no public-cloud IaaS today, that number will drop to less than 10 percent by the end of 2019.

Azure is already leading AWS in PaaS and it is used by 18 percent of the respondents, versus AWS’s 16 percent. Azure’s lead will grow slightly by 2019, growing 9.8 percent versus 6.4 percent, Morgan Stanley said.

Software as a Service (SaaS) spending is looking promising with 95 percent of the 100 respondents predicting it will be flat or will increase, up from 90 percent last year.  Its key driver will be marketing applications from the likes of Adobe, HubSpot and Salesforce.

Nearly one-third of all applications will be migrated to the public cloud by the end 2017, up from 14 percent today, the survey said. On-premises apps will decline to 58 percent, from 71 percent today.

Hardware vendors, including conventional and flash storage makers, will continue to suffer as their market is eaten by the cloud. Hardware spending growth is down this year to 3.2 percent, from 3.4 percent last year.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NetApp face the largest threats, the study said. Biggish Blue might be saved by its cloud investments and cognitive-computing offering.

Oracle, EMC, Dell, VMWare and Cisco, in that order, all face declines in their share of the next three years’ IT budgets, ranging from -17 percent to -9 percent.

Dell gives up on Android tablets

tabletDell has stopped selling Android devices as it moves to Windows 2-in-1 devices.

It has said that it is giving up on its Venue line of Android tablets, and will no longer offer the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a thumb-size computer that can turn a display into a PC.

Dell has long said that the slate tablet market is over-saturated and declining. They appear to be being replaced by  2-in-1s which provide a more spiritual  blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility.

Dell won’t be offering OS upgrades to Android-based Venue tablets already being used by customers.

Customers who own Android-based Venue products, Dell will continue to support currently active warranty and service contracts until they expire, but will not be pushing out future OS upgrades.

Dell now mostly has laptops and 2-in-1s with Windows on its books with a smattering of Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS. These can run Android apps through access to the Google Play Store but not Android.

If you don’t want Windows, Dell also sells XPS and Precision laptops with Ubuntu to developers, and thin clients with Linux, Windows Embedded and Wyse’s ThinOS operating systems.

Venue is a brand often placed on the chopping block by Dell.  It killed off Venue smartphones in 2012, but reintroduced the brand through the tablets. You can find Venue tablets with Windows but the product has not been upgraded in a while.

HP is also doing something similar. It now offers just a handful of Android tablets, mainly for businesses. Lenovo is offering fewer Android tablets and has expanded its Windows-based, 2-in-1 lineup.  So much for Steve Job’s “game changing” technology which was going to change the world.

Microsoft opposes Brexit

european-commissionMicrosoft’s UK boss has sent a letter to staff outlining why the firm believes the country is better off remaining in the EU.

This is expected as the IT community generally has backed the campaign to remain in the EU and even put their names to a letter published in a national newspaper.

But Michel Van der Bel, UK CEO of Microsoft did not join the throng, making many wonder if Vole really did hate Europe.  Now he has nailed his colours to the mast and penned a letter to the little Voles who work for him outlining his views and the reasoning behind it to make the case against Brexit.

Van der Bel stated that the vote was very much a question for individuals but, “as a business that is very committed to this country, our view is that the UK should remain in the EU”.

“We have a long history here. It’s where we opened our first international office in 1982 and we have been investing in the UK ever since. We have more that 5,000 highly qualified people working in fields including support, marketing, gaming, communications, cybersecurity and computer science research,” he added.

“Historically, the UK being part of the EU has been one of several important criteria that make it one of the most attractive places in Europe for the range of investments we have made. At key moments in our international growth we have specifically chosen to invest in our capabilities here in the UK,” stated the letter.

Microsoft recently invested in data centres in the UK to service the European market. This will be dicey if the Britain leaves the EU.

 

New Signature buys UK’s Dot Net

uk dot mapMicrosoft solution provider New Signature has just put its John Henry on the purchase of the UK’s Dot Net Solutions.

New Signature provides platform and directory services, systems management and cloud computing. In 2014 and 2105  Microsoft’s  named the outfit its US Partner of the Year. Dot Net gained the same title in the UK in 2014.

In North America, New Signature has been bringing enhancements to application migration to Azure, application development and business transformation. Acquiring Dot Net should help larger customers with multinational operations.

In its statement, New Signature hinted at further acquisitions, although more oriented in Europe but it appears to be a fairly low key merger with no rush to restructure. Apparently the two companies are going to keep separate business structures but partner in best practices – at least for now.  Jeff Tench, New Signature CEO said:

“Dot Net will retain its local UK operating model whilst quickly taking advantage of the immediate benefits that New Signature, the 2014 and 2015 Microsoft US Partner of the Year, can bring. “Our North American and UK teams will partner to share best practices, innovation and expertise to deliver world-class services to our valued customers. We plan to keep the existing UK business structurally separate but unify under one mission and shared vision,” the company said.

Companies reject cloud for fog

Fog.PNGEnterprise CIOs are starting to twig that the cloud is not all it is cracked up to be and are looking at a new buzzword – the Fog –  instead.

One of the problems with the cloud is that many of the services and apps, and data used in critical decision-making are better kept on premise or in smaller enterprise data centres. Cloud goes against the demand for mobility too as the data needs to be kept closer to the machine.

Now Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel and ARM, as well as researchers at Princeton University, are betting that the future of enterprise computing will be a hybrid model where information, applications and services are split between the cloud and the fog. Cisco came up with the name “fog computing” you can probably tell.

Cloud based data centres are huge and are working ok for now. But when, and if the IoT appears on the scene things are going to get messy.

When everything from cars and drones to video cameras and home appliances are transmitting enormous amounts of data from trillions of sensors, network traffic will grow exponentially. Real-time services that require split-second response times or location-awareness for accurate decision-making will need to be deployed closer to the edge to be useful, something which would cause the cloud to break.

The only thing which will save the cloud really is increased technology,  or coming up with a hybrid approach to data. That will enable distributed fog networks in enterprise data centres, around cities, in vehicles, in homes and neighbourhoods, and even on your person via wearable devices and sensors.

If this sounds like the old “distributed computing” over “Centralised computing” debate which happened as the Internet was starting to arrive, it pretty much is. What Cisco is suggesting is incredibly complex networks.

Google targeting Office 365

google-ICGoogle is getting more agressive in its attempts to lure customers to Google Apps from Microsoft Office 365 after its initial programme was successful.

An incentive which allowed midsize businesses locked in contracts with other vendors to use Google Apps at no cost until those contracts expired was started in October and expired on April 14.

But Google has decided to maintain the incentive until the end of 2016, while also making it easier for smaller companies to qualify.

Writing in his bog, Neil Delaney, sales director for Google Apps said that the programme, which also helps fund migrations to Google’s cloud is doing rather well.

More than 20,000 midsize companies took advantage of the offer since October, launching 200,000 new Apps seats they wouldn’t have to pay for until licenses with other software vendors expired.

The original iteration of the programme applied to companies with between 250 and 3,000 employees. Delaney said Google fielded so much interest from smaller customers that it reduced the threshold to 100 employees for the extension period.

The programme aims to induce companies locked into an Enterprise Agreement (EA) to switch to Google Apps.  It gives new customers the opportunity to influence the move to Apps and gives decision makers the final incentive to make the switch.

Google wouldn’t name specific competitors from whom it sees the programme siphoning customers.  But it is pretty obviously talking about the sort of volume license offered by Microsoft for certain products, including Office 365.

 

Comparex sales deal looks dead in the water

charly_poseMicrosoft enterprise licensing house Comparex is having difficulty selling itself off.

The Raiffeisen Banking Group-owned reseller hired investment banker Jefferies to manage a sales process in May and by September last we heard there were two private equity firms left in the running.

An agreement was expected for the end of 2015 but the dark satanic rumour mill claims that the talks collapsed and Comparex was left without a buyer.

The private equity buyers did not see licensing or software asset management strategy as being a good deal any more. Microsoft thinks that everyone will be using consumption-based licences through Azure and Office 365 making an Enterprise Agreement pointless.

Vole has reduced the profits licensing houses can generate from license reselling and recently confirmed that it will gradually kill off EAs in favour of Microsoft Products and Services Agreements and Cloud Solution Partner purchasing models.

Comparex resells software from 70 other vendors including Adobe, CA, IBM, Citrix and VMware but its primary vendor is Vole.

Peruni Holdings, which is a system integrator owned by Raiffeisen Bank, has owned Comparex since 2011.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud growing

Every silver has a cloudy liningMicrosoft’s Azure cloud computing platform is growing like topsie.

Vole announced that it was signing up 120,000 new business customers and developer subscribers monthly.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the company’s Cloud and Enterprise group, said at a developer conference in San Francisco that more than four million developers are also registered to use Microsoft’s developer tools. In January, Microsoft claimed it had 3.8 million developers registered.

Microsoft is focusing on business services and its Azure cloud services platform is a major competitor to Amazon.com’s AWS. Both companies have huge server banks which run services and software for customers looking for added flexibility, lower costs and reliability.

Vole has been getting its foot in the door thanks to parceling up Azure services through its channel and is doing quite well at getting its cloud to rain on Amazon’s parade.

 

Wintel creates new channel incentive programme

wintel_blimp_featureIntel and Microsoft have set up a point-based channel incentive programme to get Intel’s Technology Provider partners to upgrade the 600 million PCs in use today that are five years old or older to the new Skylake-Windows 10 platform.

Dubbed the Accelerate Your Business initiative, North American custom builders selling Windows 10-Skylake systems will be rewarded with the new programme, available through Intel distributors.

Under the deal, custom builders in North America can earn points when they purchase Intel sixth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 components and Windows 10 Pro.

Partners must be active Gold or Platinum Intel Technology Providers. The promotion is valid until June 30.

According to Intel, the initiative will also include training, collateral and resource kits for reseller partners to help showcase the benefits of refreshing PCs.

Intel  is expected to announce the news at its Intel Solutions Summit later this week.  It is is not clear if the programme will be rolled out to its UK partners at the same time.