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Paul Kunert

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Paul Kunert is the editor of Channel Register
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Microsoft seller Trustmarque seeks private equity sugar daddy

Exclusive Trustmarque is erecting a for sale sign outside corporate HQ as the management team looks for a new private equity backer to fund a buy-out. The volume licensing reseller-cum-managed services outfit is currently backed by Endless LLP, which swooped for the York-HQ’d business when it faced well publicised cash-flow challenges …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2016
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Insight Enterprises CEO: our EMEA ops are firing... no not staff

Managed and cloud services picked up some momentum for Insight Enterprises’ EMEA ops in 2015 but not at the pace to offset declines in the traditional hardware and software reselling lines. Locally, the firm reported a 13 per cent rise in year-on-year sales for calendar Q4 to $342m but in constant currency the decrease was …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2016
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Misco locks-in, loads-up sales director Remmington

Misco has hired former Insight and Invicta IT exec Gary Remmington as UK sales director, El Chan can reveal. The man recently left Slough-based reseller Invicta IT along with senior account handlers Wade van Essen - who is also joining the Misco sales floor - and Ben Cook. Tony Brooker, UK boss at Misco, confirmed Remmington …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2016

Arrow: Fraudsters impersonated one of our execs to steal money

Enterprise tech distributor Arrow Inc will take a $13m charge on the chin after a fraudster posing as a company exec transferred money from the corporate bank account to an external one. The admission came as Arrow outlined calendar Q4 numbers for the three months ended 31 December, with sales up six per cent year-on-year and …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2016
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IBM Global Tech Services staff at risk of redundo in Blighty

IBM has entered into a 45-day consultation with UK staff in the Global Technology Services division, El Reg can reveal. In a note sent to full-time staffers on 3 February, Martin Blackburn, GM of the local GTS operation, confirmed Big Blue is forming an Employee Consultation Committee (ECC). This is to “represent the …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2016

Lenovo: China biz down, PC and mobile down

The relatively weaker economy in China and slumping demand for gadgets puts Lenovo between a rock and a hard place. The company spent last year swamped with PC stocks as it had failed to recognise the oncoming slowdown, but has of late started to clear the decks helped in part by write-downs in Europe. Evidence of this can be …
Paul Kunert, 04 Feb 2016
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Networks First chairman Titmus to exit, dog pool biz awaits

Networks First chairman Peter Titmus is to exit the IT industry once he completes the handover of the business he founded 26 years ago to the new owners - but the old dog has some bite in him yet. The Redditch-based Cisco Gold partner was sold to Convergence Group, as revealed yesterday, which told us that Titmus may remain on …
Paul Kunert, 04 Feb 2016
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Masked men 'steal' £250k of smartphones from Exertis

The boys in blue are investigating a break-in at Exertis’ Altham warehouse earlier this week when three masked robbers made off with almost £250,000 worth of smartphones. According to Lancashire Police, 170 iPhone 6s mobes and 380 Galaxy S5 Neo devices were stolen by the trio between midnight and 2.30 am on 1 February. Police …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
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Convergence Group gobbles Networks First

Connectivity specialist Convergence Group has slurped Redditch HQ’d Cisco Gold services outfit Networks First for an undisclosed sum, in a conjoining of firms that largely sell to trade customers. Networks First sells data centre and LAN services, and Convergence provides web connectivity, and point to point and WAN services …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
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Microsoft showers Office 365 sellers with gold in Google snub

Microsoft is again rattling Google’s cage by throwing money at channel folk that convert small businesses into Office 365 believers. The Fast Track programme was launched in 2014 for customers with more than 150 seats to drive adoption of Microsoft’s online service, but the glare of Redmond is switching to those with 149 and …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016

How many Surface power cords are a fire risk? 2.25 million in the US alone

Microsoft has yet to go public on the number of Surface Pro power cords it is recalling over fire concerns, but the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has: it’s more than two million Stateside alone. As revealed last month, Microsoft claimed it received reports that cords for the first, second and third generation of the …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016

PCS: We'll ballot Hewlett Packard Enterprise members over job cuts

The Public and Commercial Services union is gearing up to test the appetite for industrial action among services staff at Hewlett Packard Enterprises over the latest round of planned job cuts. Some 166 staff in HPE’s infrastructure outsourcing unit in Lytham that work on public sector contracts including the Department of Work …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
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Azlan crowns Tomlin

Notorious self-licker Rob Tomlin has got even more reason to be pleased with himself after bagging the top job at Azlan UK, the enterprise distribution arm of Tech Data. The remit handed to Azlan’s former biz development director is to make more of IT security, the emerging software defined infrastructure space, and cloud …
Paul Kunert, 02 Feb 2016

Microsoft: Yes, we are going to kill off Enterprise Agreements

Microsoft has confirmed it is to gradually kill off Enterprise Agreements - volume licensing contracts so complex that a whole profit-making asset management eco-system sprang up off the back of them. As we exclusively revealed, first evidence of this comes on 1 July when new commercial customers with sub-500 seats will no …
Paul Kunert, 01 Feb 2016
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RM's core tech division suffered a 12% revenue dip in 2015

Ditching PC production, the running down of the old Building Schools for the Future contracts, and relatively “subdued” government spending on education ate into RM’s lunch money in 2015. The specialist education supplier turned over £178.2m in the year ended November, down 12 per cent on the prior fiscal, and it was all the …
Paul Kunert, 01 Feb 2016
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CSC boss Gossain is now an ex-exec

CSC UK chief Sanjiv Gossain has joined the not-so-selective club of ex-execs, leaving the ailing integrator less than two years into his tenure. In a wonderful blurt of business-speak, CSC sent us a statement on his departure, confirming Gossain is leaving to “pursue other opportunities as he transitions to the next chapter of …
Paul Kunert, 01 Feb 2016

Quadsys Five trial delayed yet again

The trial of five men from security reseller Quadsys, who all stand accused of fraud, was delayed yet again today. The men were charged last summer and attended a plea and case management hearing at Oxford Crown Court in December – but proceedings were held up until today's scheduled hearing, which was deferred by the court …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2016

McAuley: I am no longer a VIP Group distie man

VIP Computer Centre purchasing director Duncan McAuley has stepped back from the Warrington-based distributor after more than a decade on board. McAuley confirmed he has not yet resigned from parent VIP Group - which includes a component and computer distie arm as well as a PC builder operation - and is considering his options …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2016
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Tech channel veteran De Sousa turns back on Outsourcery

It is back to the drawing board for troubled infrastructure and application cloud provider Outsourcery after it confirmed sales veteran Emma de Sousa has opted not to join them as MD after all. As exclusively revealed by us late last year, De Sousa quit her job as UK boss at reseller Insight to lead Manchester-based …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2016

Puppet master investors tug on Citrix as 'wind turns'

Puppet master-cum activist investor Elliot Management appears to be pulling virtualisation vendor Citrix's strings in the right direction… for shareholders if not for some staff. Elliott Management upped its stake in Citrix last summer and made it known it wasn’t happy about the state of the business or share price, and …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
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Samsung: Is gadget lust still a thing in 2016? Nope

Samsung Electronics has forecasted weaker smartphone and tab sales for 2016 amid concerns consumers’ gadget lust is waning - well, if there’s no compelling reason to upgrade, folks don’t upgrade. “[We are] expecting challenges in 2016 to maintain earnings due to a difficult business environment and slowing IT demand,” the …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
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Hewlett Packard Enterprise axing services techies again

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is ditching techies at its Lytham site who provide infrastructure services for public sector clients, including the Department for Work & Pensions. According to the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union, HPE has put 166 employees in the infrastructure technology outsourcing business at risk of …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
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Profits sink at Logicalis, UK captain no where to be seen

Not having a permanent UK leader in place amid the wider senior personnel changes at Logicalis is still - unsurprisingly - taking a toll on the bottom line. The company is now recruiting a boss for the British subsidiary following the resignation of Ben Gales, who quit after six weeks - it took seven months to recruit him. …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
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400 jobs to go as Texas Instruments calls time on chip fab in Scotland

Texas Instruments is to shutter its semiconductor plant in Scotland with the ultimate loss of 400 jobs, the company has confirmed. Staff were this afternoon informed by the chip maker about the plans to “phase out our manufacturing facility in Greenock” that are set to happen “over the next three years”. TI issued a statement …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
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Stop everything! PC sales did increase in the UK over Christmas

Finally some PC shipments have arrived on our desk that reveal the products customers are actually buying – and the real picture is far less negative than most other analysts’ stats state. Both IDC and Gartner track shipments into distributors and retailers, not actual sales to punters, and after a sustained period of channel …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
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Islamic fundamentalists force Yorkshire IT shop to chop off brand

Yorkshire-based Isis-EX has rebranded to avoid any confusion between its business (making IT kit for hazardous environments) and other organisations intent on making the entire world a hazardous environment. The Scarborough-based company, which has rebadged as Smart-Ex, told local rag The Scarborough News that associations …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016

Shocker: Clearing 2015's vast PC backlog was 'costly' for vendors

Stuffing European retailers and distributors’ shelves with PCs proved to be a pricey gamble that didn’t pay off for major suppliers: it took eleven months of last year and hefty price cuts to clear. Some 76.3 million computers were shipped into EMEA channels in 2015, down 18.2 per cent year-on-year, according to numbers from …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2016
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Clock's ticking: Euro Commission considers Dell-EMC megacorp

EMC/Dell deal Competition authorities at the European Commission will either rubber-stamp Dell’s proposed $67bn slurp of EMC by the end of next month or launch a full-blown probe. The largest buy in tech history is expected to close between May and October, according to the companies - but this is assuming anti-trust regulators approve it …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2016

Microsoft hammers first nails into Enterprise Agreements' coffins

Microsoft is to prevent SMEs from buying software via an Enterprise Agreement, a move some industry figures interpreted as the first of a death-by-a-thousand-cuts fate for the volume licensing programme. From the start of July, Microsoft will raise the minimum commitment on EAs from 250 users/ devices to 500, channel partners …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2016

Official: EMC concedes defeat on certified partner sales volumes

The top line on page one of the Vendor Channel Management Handbook is all about listening to and acting upon advice from partners. EMC’s US management might want to re-read this. The storage titan has finally climbed down on a heavily criticised element introduced to the global Business Partner Programme that was launched last …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jan 2016
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VMware to 'axe 900 jobs'

VMware is mimicking cost-cutting actions at alpha shareholder EMC by pushing through its own job cull: 900 roles, to be specific, or some five per cent of the 18k-strong global workforce. The axe is being shined by Virtzilla, reportedly to counter a weaker sales pipeline and share price drop. Let’s face it, nothing gets …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jan 2016
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Capita hiring temps to cover for call centre redundancies – staff sources

Capita is hiring a bunch of temps to deal with customer requests being directed at its O2 call centre, just months after initiating a redundancy scheme due to perceived lower levels of work. This is according to the outsourcer’s staff based north of the border in Glasgow, who agreed voluntary redundancy terms last summer but …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jan 2016

Computacenter: Win 7 upgrade cycle finally blows itself out

Computacenter closed off 2015 on a bit of a low as turnover slipped due to the strengthening Pound versus the Euro and comparatively lighter customer spending on classic tech products in Blighty. Unaudited calendar Q4 revenues for the group - HQ’d in London but with major operations in Germany and France - fell five per cent …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jan 2016

Atherton quits Exertis after ten months

Distie veteran Jon Atherton has quit Exertis after ten months in situ with sources close to the company telling us he wants to return to a less corporate role that includes running a team. Atherton became commercial development director at the Basingstoke-HQ’d distributor in June last year - after spending 22 years at …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jan 2016
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HP Inc's channel mechanics give sales programmes an MOT

HP Inc has lifted the bonnet of its channel sales programme and loosened a few screws that governed the volume of resellers that could qualify for the top tier certification. Partner First sales launched in November - at the same time the old HP broke up - with three tracks (Volume, Value and Alliance) under which HP said it …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jan 2016
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HP takes utility computing to the kids... well the teachers

HP Inc has launched a PC-as-a-service plan to schools and unis that it promised will cost less than most students spend on their behind-the-bike-shed ciggies. This was among a raft of devices, software, services and programmes the PC and printing house bared today at the BETT technology education trade show in London. Neil …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jan 2016
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PWC devours cloud consultancy Outbox Group

PwC is the latest big consultancy to grab a piece of the cloud action by hoovering up integrator Outbox Group, a European firm that specialises in CRM, marketing automation and IT maintenance. After maintaining a watching vigil, the big consultancies are starting to fork out cold hard cash for cloud services outfits - late …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jan 2016

Dell EMEA channel czar Binetti to hang up corporate Stetson

Dell’s EMEA channel overlord Laurent Binetti is to pass the sales baton to fellow company exec Michael Collins in the coming weeks as he heads out of the door. Binetti has worked at the Texan tech baron for nearly thirty years, starting as sales director for mid- and large-corporate business, setting up operations in Eastern …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jan 2016
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Computer sales not a matter of life and death, they're more important than that

Warmer business sentiments towards Windows 10, Intel’s latest chip architecture and stabilising currencies still won’t translate into swelling PC sales this year. The entrail pokers at Gartner have spoken, and while device shipments are tipped to grow 1.9 per cent in 2016 to 2.44bn units, it won’t be the classic computer that …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jan 2016
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Recall: Bring out yer dead and over-heating Microsoft Surface Pro power cords

Microsoft is initiating a global voluntary recall of Surface Pro power cords amid concerns of over-heating. According to sources in Microsoft's Authorized Device Reseller (ADR) channel, Pro machines built before 15 July last year will qualify to be swapped out as part of an exchange program. A spokesman at Microsoft sent us a …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016
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Onyx to erect 'for sale' sign outside corp HQ, say sources

Data centre and hosting slinger Onyx will erect a "for sale" sign outside its Stockton-on-Tees HQ in 2016, and the expectation from multiple sources is this will happen sooner rather than later. The private equity-backed business is working with adviser Deloitte to run the sale but as yet no Information Memorandum has been …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016
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HPE finds new Azure czar lurking in channel biz

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is rejigging the management team to power up Microsoft Azure sales after shuttering its own public cloud service at the start of this month, El Chan can reveal. The firm has cuddled up to Microsoft and its cloudy service, rather than competing with public cloud players on price, as seems to be the …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016
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Viglen staff mark CEO Tkachuk's passing with a royal tribute

Now that Viglen boss Bordan Tkachuk has split, some of his underlings have marked his passing with some passings and markings of their own at the previously off-limits C-suite shower block. Tkachuk cleared his desk before Christmas, two years after Viglen was acquired by XMA – itself owned by Westcoast Holdings – as his earn- …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016

Guess how much IT spending slumped last year? $216 billion

Some $216bn less was splashed on tech goods and services last year versus 2014 – the equivalent to ten per cent of UK GDP, or, if you prefer, almost three times the size of the output of Oman. This is the preliminary findings from Gartner mages, who told us the drop in spending to $3.52 trillion was the sharpest decline since …
Paul Kunert, 18 Jan 2016
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NetNames hires turnaround king Steve Vaughan

Self-anointed turnaround expert Steve Vaughan has parachuted into NetNames as non-exec chairman, presumably to improve things at the loss-making domain name registration firm. Vaughan has a track record of saving ailing companies, and managed to improve the fortunes of Phoenix IT Group, stemming the losses and preparing it for …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jan 2016
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Exec walks the dog, swaps Google work day for Workday work day

Workday has hired Google veteran Peter Lorant to run its alliances business in Europe. Lorant, the soon-to-be-former EMEA & Asia Pacific sales director for Google for Work confirmed he starts at Workday - the cloud financial and, er, human capital management software maker - on 25 January. “I was at Google for seven years and …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jan 2016
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Hortonworks: Fly, my channel army, fly (oh, and help us turn losses into profits)

Hadoop challenger Hortonworks is formalising links with channel folk to spread open source gospel to a wider audience – and maybe, just maybe, help it turn losses into profits. The developer of Big Data wares already has 1,500 partners trade customers including ISVs, independent hardware vendors, consultants and resellers. …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jan 2016

HPE veteran looks at watch, realises time and quits

Hewlett Packard Enterprise veteran Martin Hess will pin the green rectangle badge to his lapel for last time at the end of this month - the UK, Middle East, Africa and Israel veep for enterprise services is off. In a memo sent to staff - seen by us - HPE revealed that after 14 years the exec has chosen to call it quits at the …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jan 2016

Intel Skylake delays, Win10 and stock glut blamed for Q4 PC sales shrinkage

PC sales into the EMEA channel bombed in Q4 - it was partly the fault of Microsoft for releasing a free upgrade to Win10 but mostly due to high stocks levels that continued to plague retailers and disties. The mages at Gartner estimated that 22.5 million boxes were shipped into third party sellers in the final quarter of 2015 …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 2016
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ANS Group consumes specialist network minnow Eison

Manchester-based converged infrastructure and managed service merchant ANS Group has hoovered up network infrastructure minnow Eison. “This acquisition will further underpin our Hybrid Cloud and data centre strategy,” said Scott Fletcher, ANS chairman and founder. He said the buy paves the way for “intelligent” WAN and …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2016

Opinion

Merlin Data Center Interior

Trevor Pott

Enterprises want them, but they're still a pain in the ASCII
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Chris Mellor

A VC with startup agenda slams established suppliers. Surprised? Neither were we
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Features

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The Azure Portal: Microsoft is betting on cloud for its future business
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Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire