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Paul Kunert

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Paul Kunert is the editor of Channel Register
Parliament in the clouds

Stop press! NHS trust finds G-Cloud, BUYS SOMETHING with it

G-Cloud can help public sector buyers dodge the bureaucracy of a European tender process – but there is no centralised coalition-led push to get more agencies and departments using it. So says Mark Davison, director of information management & technology at Berkshire Health Trust, a mental and community services body for a …
Paul Kunert, 04 Mar 2015
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

IBM may swing axe on same departments more than once

Such is the lack of job security at IBM that staff in certain departments could be at risk of redundancy on more than one occasion during this year, The Channel can reveal. An elected Employee Consultation Committee (ECC) is liaising between IBMers in Systems Middleware that are working in Platform, Integration and Smarter …
Paul Kunert, 04 Mar 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Ex-Systemax execs Carl & Gilbert Fiorentino jailed over $27m fraud

Shamed former Systemax execs Gilbert and Carl Fiorentino were last night sentenced to five and six years in the slammer respectively for masterminding a $27m fraud when employed at the company. The Feds charged them in November with taking kickbacks from components suppliers in exchange for steering business to them, and with …
Paul Kunert, 04 Mar 2015
Scary Skeleton Samba

Pull on your dancing shoes, the server market's ALLLLIVE

It looks like execs behind the biggest server-makers can dust off those dancing boots and get jiggy with it again – the market is expanding in both box shipments and the value of them. The second half of last year proved to be a turning point for what had become a shrinking sector, with Gartner reporting prelim numbers showing …
Paul Kunert, 03 Mar 2015

Insight: Have you heard about Windows Server 2003 support?

As organisations using Windows Server 2003 march - perhaps with ill-found confidence - toward the expiry date for Microsoft support, Insight Enterprises has scare stories galore warnings for them. The software licence and box slinger reckons it has identified five “key problems” that will give sysadmins sleepless nights and …
Paul Kunert, 02 Mar 2015

Coms CEO: Sorry about accidentally buying 20k shares, I'm off

The chief of Coms Plc appeared to be close to the exit following his public spat with the rest of the board last week. Sure enough, the company today confirmed he’s stepped down. David Breith, CEO at the London-listed buy and build B2B comms outfit, called a general meeting to replace his board last Wednesday. Later on during …
Paul Kunert, 02 Mar 2015
chain_relationship_channel

HP Services engineer dispatch tool 'broken', say engineers

An automated service call system pilot at HP – which we are told cost $72m to develop – is fundamentally flawed because it often relies on patchy web connectivity, engineers are complaining. The "enhanced dispatch" is expected to replace the existing "resource control" call centre in Bulgaria towards the end of there year, but …
Paul Kunert, 02 Mar 2015

BP: Oil prices crashed, so must our ICT budget

BP has confirmed it is looking to squeeze costs from its annual ICT budget on the back of crashing oil prices, and well-placed sources tell us the business wants to identify $300m in savings. It’s been a tough couple of years for the over-enthusiastic oil seeker and distributor, what with the crisis in Gulf of Mexico and more …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

ANOTHER shake-up at HP Enterprise Services

A mini shake-up of the Enterprise Services (ES) division at HP has seen the role of UK public sector veep Stuart Bladen carved up and shared out among several others. As a result, local public sector selling will fall under the control of Nigel Kirby Green, who is also tzar of HP’s healthcare and life sciences organ. The …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015

Ingram Micro: Damn you Europe for our ghastly margins

Weaker margins in Europe due to forex losses and cut-throat retail pricing was the only major blip in an otherwise decent end to the calendar 2014 for Ingram Micro. It was not a vintage year though. Sales in Q4 bounced 18 per cent to $13.95bn: Technology and Other Solutions grew ten per cent to $11.2bn and Mobility shot up 60 …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015

NTT Com Security to wed UK cyber specialist Nebulas, say sources

NTT Com Security is to acquire rapidly growing London-based Nebulas Solutions Group, according to well-placed industry tipsters. Talks between the pair progressed in recent weeks though details of any financial exchange were not available at the time of writing. Nebulas is unlikely to come cheap. Sources tell us specialist …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015

Colt sales slide, profits turn to mush in shiny new cloudy world

A double-digit sales crash in the carrier voice division led top-line declines at Colt in 2014, as a series of one-off costs – including a major restructuring programme – downed profit. It was a “disappointing” outing for the London-listed operation, with turnover dropping 6.4 per cent to €1.49bn in the 12 months, the firm said …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2015

Mark Starkey quits Logicalis UK

Exclusive Logicalis UK boss Mark Starkey has quit the business to “step back” from the coalface and spend more time with his family, he told staffers in a note today. “After nearly 17 years at Logicalis the time has come for me to move on,” he stated, in a missive seen by us. He continued that in the last 12 months had been “very tough” …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2015

Outsourcery wins first G-Cloud deal, justifies spot on SME panel

It only took almost 20 months to win any business via G-Cloud’s online services catalogue but Outsourcery has finally signed a deal. It was getting a little embarrassing for the cloudy outfit, whose co-CEO Piers Linney sits on a Gov.uk SME panel set up to advise fellow small biz owners on how to snare Gov.uk contracts. The deal …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2015
Sorry we're closed

Gamma Global goes titsup after running out of cash

Manchester-based broker Gamma Global has shut up shop after running out of cash, The Channel can reveal. Creditors first spoke of their concerns about the short-term financial health of the business last week, and just yesterday more channel folk came forward to to say Gamma was unable to process orders. A post on the company’s …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2015
Fight sticker

Chaos reigns as Coms plc CEO tries (fails) to stage boardroom coup

A senior level dust-up has erupted at Coms Plc with CEO David Breith trying to stage a boardroom coup, amid widening losses and a spat over Coms shares that he quietly bought. The acquisitive London-based comms biz, which swallowed certain assets from Redstone and telephony player Actimax, confirmed the chaos in a stock market …
Paul Kunert, 25 Feb 2015

Azlan UK boss made 'redundant' amid restructure

Tech Data (TD) UK has restructured its Azlan enterprise tech business unit, taking out the top dog Gareth Hansford in a cost cutting shimmy. The industry veteran left this month, the start of the distie’s new fiscal year, and the decision to make him redundant came after analysis of the books. Hansford confirmed to The Channel …
Paul Kunert, 25 Feb 2015
storm

Fears mount over future of hardware distributor Gamma Global

Concerns are mounting over the future of Gamma Global amid claims that top brass are reviewing strategic options after hitting a financial bump. Multiple sources told us suppliers are fearful of not getting paid should the worst case scenario materialise for the Manchester-based broker of HP, APC and Cisco kit. “They owe a lot …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015
Gun and dollars

Microsoft: You want on-prem wares, UK.gov? We'll make you pay

Government departments will pay up to 47 per cent more for the pleasure of using Microsoft desktop software under a volume licensing programme that is months away from launch. The latest Public Sector Agreement (PSA ’12) between Microsoft and Crown Commercial Services is set to expire on 30 April, and will not be replaced with a …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015

Phoenix IT Group 'trading comfortably in line with forecasts'

It is almost a year since Steve Vaughan grabbed control of Phoenix IT Group, and the once-troubled tech services outfit no longer seems so ... well, troubled. The LSE-listed Northampton company issued an interim today to say group trading is “comfortably in line with market profit expectations”, and talked up a number of …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015
management management4

Logicalis: hello world, meet our new CEO

Logicalis has quietly slipped president and chief of operations Mark Rogers into the CEO chair in the hope that he’ll work out better than his predecessor. The long serving exec has actually been acting top dog since spring ’14 but the integrator only confirmed late last week that he’ll be officially sworn in as chief exec from …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015
The XM-25 wireless smartshell gun in an Army press shot

EMC looks to military to swell ranks of sales and techie army

EMC is trying to close the skills gap by recruiting the next wave of sales and technical personnel from the armed forces, training steely eyed military leavers for a life on Civvy Street… well, flogging storage. The corporation, in conjunction with specialist military support service X-Forces, is putting 20 people through their …
Paul Kunert, 23 Feb 2015
Woman packs up contents of desk. Image via shutterstock

IBM: UK Systems Middleware voluntary redundo plan launches

IBMers wanting to leap from the business before they are pushed will today get more details of the package they'll walk away with when leaving Big Blue. The Employee Consultation Committee for Systems Middleware staffers working in Platform, Integration or Smarter Process units was formed last week and its first meeting has …
Paul Kunert, 23 Feb 2015

Ailing Calyx Managed Services flogged to MXC Capital for £9m

Private equity fund Better Capital has offloaded troubled Calyx Managed Services to tech investment and advisory house MXC Capital for £9m in what signifies a likely break-up of the biz. VC veteran Jon Moulton’s Calyx MS came on the market before Christmas, with corporate financier Rickitt Mitchell & Partners distributing an …
Paul Kunert, 23 Feb 2015

HP Split: Naming the big dogs for new-look giant

Exclusive More pieces of HP’s management puzzle are being slotted into place at a country and regional level, ahead of the major split in the corporation planned for October. As world + dog knows, the PC and print businesses are to separate from the rest of the organisation to create HP Inc, with all other divisions falling under Hewlett …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Hey, go easy on Gilbert Fiorentino, he’s a changed man – defence lawyer

The lawyer representing disgraced former Systemax exec Gilbert Fiorentino, who is awaiting sentencing for committing fraud while employed there, has cast the man as having had issues with alcohol, but said he'd since become an upstanding citizen who did "charity work". Back in November, the Feds charged Fiorentino and his …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2015
Parliament in the clouds

UK.gov: Just one in three G Cloud suppliers have won ANY business

The majority of tech suppliers on G Cloud haven’t seen a penny of taxpayers cash – not a bean – according to official figures on government spending. The sixth iteration of G Cloud is now live on the Digital Marketplace, introduced at the start of this month with 1,453 companies touting for business, up 15 per cent on the …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2015

Annodata consumes print services minnow STS

Hertfordshire-based Annodata has plucked print services minnow STS Ltd from relative obscurity to bolt onto its own division that operates in the same field. The buy fills a gap in the portfolio, namely large format specialised printing, adds nearly £3m in annual revenues and a customer base including William Hill, and several …
Paul Kunert, 17 Feb 2015
management regulation1

Microsoft: Look at our cloudy privacy award. Isn't it so ... meaningful?

Microsoft is in self-licking lollipop mode after its cloudy wares passed the privacy water mark set by the International Organisation for Standardisation, letting it paper over customers’ concerns. Data sovereignty is a major hurdle for global companies trying to sign up customers to the fluffy white stuff, particularly in …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015
Job cuts jpeg

IBM: Who wants to leave with a swollen package?

IBM is continuing to set up Employee Consultation Committees to identify people who want to jump rather than be pushed in the latest workforce purge, according to a memo seen by us. Rob Lamb, veep of manufacturing and development for Europe and a Hursley Lab leader, informed staff last week that Big Blue was forming an ECC to “ …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015

Channel on track: British tech insolvencies fall to seven-year low

It is official: 2014 numbers for corporate deaths in the Brit tech channel have slumped to a seven-year low, figures from credit reference agency Graydon UK confirm. Some 48 local suppliers went under in Q4, taking the tally of insolvencies for the 12 months to 198 versus 293 in 2013 – annual levels not seen since prior the …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015

Insight’s director churn continues as ‘key player’ leaves

The revolving door at Insight keeps swinging, with folk entering the building, others deciding to walk and some being forcefully ejected. IT Services director for the UK, Stuart Lemon, has exited and El Chan understands he is joining a reseller with big ambitions. In a statement, Rolf Adam, veep of services at Insight EMEA, …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015
Stock ticker board

Acer: We're still a thing! We're still alive. And we are touting 300M shares

Acer wants to become a "hardware + software + services" biz – and issued 300 million shares on the Taiwanese Stock Exchange to fund this strategy and pay down debts. It’s been a challenging couple of years for Acer: a returning demand for PCs will help relieve the pain, although all the crystal ball strokers from Gartner to IDC …
Paul Kunert, 13 Feb 2015

IBM tells channel types 'stick with us, you'll be millionaires'

IBM is going through massive changes to shift its business towards the cloud. It desperately needs channel partners to come along for the ride, so this week threw out a bunch of initiatives that it reckons will help. In a global exclusive last month, we revealed the creation of Big Blue’s One Channel, and at the PartnerWorld …
Paul Kunert, 13 Feb 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Wanted: PC salesman to head up HP's UK channel ops

Headhunters may be scrambling for their phones on the back of the news that HP is on the look-out for someone with PC sales skills to conduct its UK channel orchestra. A note was distributed to some HP workers this week that Damian Cusick is leaving the enterprise, SMB and channel director role, stating that he is looking for a …
Paul Kunert, 13 Feb 2015

U.S. tech giant CDW: Our 35% stake in Kelway cost us $86.8m

The minority stake in Kelway cost US channel titan CDW $86m, but if all goes according to plan, it anticipates having to cough proportionately more to buy the remainder. As exclusively revealed by us in November, sales steamroller CDW – the largest channel partner on the PLANET – bought 35 per cent of Kelway with an option to …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2015
French fries

AMD stops shipping chips as bloated channel begs 'Please, no more'

Beleaguered chip underdog AMD is not shipping any new gear to channels this quarter as it bites the bullet to clear existing stock swilling around the industry, estimated to have been in excess of $100m. A combination of bad forecasting, sliding PC demand and weak supply chain controls led to the inventory nightmare, and channel …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2015
Shaun of the Dead

We've made a profit, shouts Azzurri Comms. Yeah, 'made' is right

Azzurri Communications is out of intensive care now it has its debts under control but it still took a whopping £58m inter-company loan to turn a loss-making year into a profitable one, avoiding any board level blushes. The integrator majors on unified comms (UC) with Avaya and Mitel, and sells connectivity, security services …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2015

Insight Enterprises grits teeth as cloudy payoff remains elusive

A biting currency headwind and Microsoft licensing fee changes slapped Insight Enterprises’ respective top and bottom lines in calendar Q4 as it waited for services investments to pay dividends. The global reseller last night reported revenues of $1.45bn for the quarter, up four per cent year-on-year – but it could have been …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Azzurri waves bye-bye to more directors

Azzurri Communication is on the hunt for an ops director following the departure of David Du Toit, who we are told has returned to his native South Africa to embrace the joys of retirement. Du Toit pitched his tent at the south coast-based integrator in September 2012, brought in by former CEO Vim Vithaldas, who was himself …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015
Data centre

Vows exchanged as Telecity and Interxion prepare to wed

A merger between Telecity and Interxion made public on Wednesday will create a £600m-plus sales heavyweight in the European carrier-neutral data centre space, if it's agreed by shareholders that is. The duo confirmed a non-binding $2.2bn all-share pact: the proposed transaction is to be structured as an offer by London-listed …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015

Death knell for Windows with Bing, licences carved up

Microsoft is effectively killing off the Windows with Bing notebook market less than a year after it was created. The low-cost portables released last summer were Redmond’s competitive response to Google’s Chromebook, giving PC OEMs the Windows OS licence at a heavily discounted rate, and consumers responded positively. However …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015
Fraud image

You MUST supply dying customers even if they're in administration, thunders UK.gov

Just two tech firms responded to a government consultation on a potentially “catastrophic” change in the law that will force suppliers to keep kit and services flowing to biz customers that are in administration. Under proposals laid out by Business Minister Jo Swinson, providers of “essential IT” will be “prevented” from …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015

Hear that sound? It's the Windows XP PC bubble popping

The XP bubble has well and truly burst, leaving the UK channel awash with unwanted commercial PCs and vendors facing a costly write-down to clear a mountain of misery. Microsoft ending support for the creaking operating system last April revived the industry in 2014, but it seems vendors forgot the sales cycle and that their …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015
Bang by Guian Bolisay

Meru Networks CEO: 2014 was a year of Cs & Ds

Business went from bad to worse for troubled WLAN maker Meru Networks in calendar 2014: losses widened and sales shrunk, paving the way for a fresh round of workforce throttling. The NASDAQ-listed firm warned the view from its deck wasn’t pretty in Q4 prelims released a month ago, and it wasn’t wrong – turnover crashed 28 per …
Paul Kunert, 10 Feb 2015
management strategy2

Computacenter will NOT replace UK MD Muller

Computacenter will not appoint a director replacement for UK managing director Neil Muller, who left at the end of last month to become CEO of now privately owned Daisy Group. This weekend, colourful CEO Mike Norris told 700 staff at the services-based reseller’s 2015 sales conference that his former general’s duties will be …
Paul Kunert, 07 Feb 2015

Symantec sees profits crash ahead of corporate divorce

Symantec’s latest financials bear all the hallmarks of a business whose dramatic bisection is causing some uncertainty for customers and channel partners. A cleaver will be driven through the security and storage business by the end of this year to create two separate publicly traded entities. The groundwork for this is well …
Paul Kunert, 06 Feb 2015

Arrow CEO: Q4 was a 'record' quarter

In an alternative reality where one-off charges are meaningless, Arrow Electronics reported a healthy profit hike for calendar Q4 – however, in this (real) world, the picture was somewhat different. The distie colossus posted big sales of $6.39bn, up four per cent on the same period a year earlier, and this was without making …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2015

UK biz Six Degrees puts up 'For Sale' sign outside corporate HQ

A sales process is under way at mid-market managed voice and data hosting biz Six Degrees, with a corporate financier appointed to sniff out interested buyers. Private equity backer Penta Capital is eyeing up the exit route four years after stumping up £60m to back the former management team at SpiriTel to execute a buy-and- …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2015

Herjavec Group swallows Brit security services minnow Sysec

Candadian managed security services biz Herjavec Group has crossed the pond to hoover up Brit minnow Sysec, a specialist boutique that ploughs its furrow in the same field. The buy forms part of Herjavec’s three-year $250m “expansion plan” - it is more than half way there but may need to make a few more buys to get there given …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2015

Opinion

Chris Mellor

VC sequence could end not with a bang, but a whimper
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Chris Mellor

All that is storage does not beget gold
Lost

Features

Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini
You see a diversity tickbox nightmare, I see human beings
hands waving dollar bills in the air
AWS and Salesforce match up to Ellison's hardware