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Paul Kunert

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Paul Kunert is the editor of Channel Register

Life after Lord Shugs looks good, as Viglen directors' packages swell

Being a director at Viglen has become considerably more lucrative since Lord Shugs offloaded the tech supplier to Westcoast Holdings. The last standalone financials from both Viglen and sister firm XMA (the pair have been integrated) were filed at Companies House and make for remarkably boring reading, but in a good way. The …
Paul Kunert, 31 Mar 2015

Node4 buys app developer and cloud purveyor Reconnix

Lloyds Development Capital-backed Node4 has snapped up non-proprietary application development and professional services outfit Reconnix. The bolt-on buy of the Newark-based minnow will serve as the open source division for Node4, which provides co-location from four DCs that it operates, and managed tech and comms services to …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2015

Phoenix IT Group: we hired 20 bods for config/ distie centre

What Phoenix IT Group giveth with one hand it taketh with another: the services group is hiring 20 bods to man a new config centre, the same number it is waving goodbye to this month in the repairs biz. The 15k sq ft config and distribution centre based in Farnborough cost £500k to set up and it will combine storage and staging …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2015
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Outsourcery still losing as much as it turns over

Former Dragons' Den rude boy and Outsourcery co-founder Piers Linney is likely to be forced to pitch his business to investors again for a fresh round of funding, after closing off a tough, cash-zapping year. The London-listed cloudy biz reported revenues of £7.4m for calendar 2014 – up 42 per cent, but still some £1.1m down on …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2015

Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?

Apple has slapped some restrictions on early-bird madcap punters who want to part with hard-earned cash for a fancy wrist-job – they must shop only on white unicorns, bring virgin £50 notes and rap their order. Alright, so the channel bully boy isn’t being quite as prescriptive with those that want to buy an Apple Watch, but a …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2015

Insight's EMEA prez: It's not our fault cloud sales are slow, blame the NSA

Services investments made by box-peddling shape shifter Insight Enterprises will start to pay dividends in Europe from next year, regional head honcho Wolgang Eberman has predicted. The exec joined Insight from the beginning of 2014 with the remit to gradually reduce its reliance on traditional on-premise software and hardware …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2015

VMware channel confirms price hikes from next month

The meteoric rise of the US dollar relative to currencies in Europe and other parts of the globe is the reason VMware is reducing channel discounts by mid-to-high single digits and why user pricing will rise. Virtzilla and its distributors have warned their reseller and integrator customers of the pending tweak to the licensing …
Paul Kunert, 27 Mar 2015
Tim Cook as Mr T

Tim Cook: I'll give just a THIRD of what Gates gave to charity last year

Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed he is to hand over his relatively measly fortune to charity for the betterment of the planet – once he’s paid off his nephew’s college bill. This is not some sort of publicity stunt to reinforce Apple’s image as a benevolent tech designer. Scurrilous hacks at lesser publications might suggest …
Paul Kunert, 27 Mar 2015

Light the lanterns people, Acer made a profit in 2014

A recovery of sorts is taking place at Acer with calendar 2014 P&L accounts returning to the black in a meaningful way, bringing closure to three consecutive years of losses. The latest CEO Jason Chen is steadying operations, and more conservative sales forecasts are also paying off, as Acer wasn’t forced to write down stock, …
Paul Kunert, 26 Mar 2015
data centre

SCC: the hosted voice market? Yep, we've got plans for that

Building more bit barn capacity, and beefing up security and hosted voice services - potentially via acquisition - are the next moves that SCC CEO James Rigby is plotting from his Birmingham-based war room. The Midlands tech dynasty this week bought a “significant minority stake” in connectivity firm Fluidata to act as the “glue …
Paul Kunert, 26 Mar 2015
management management

Ex-Insight director Griffiths moves to CMS Distribution

Former Insight EMEA director Justin Griffiths has rocked up at ambitious tech supplier CMS Distribution. Griffiths almost seemed part of the fixtures and fittings at Insight - he worked at the business in various roles for more than a decade - but exited late last year. He confirmed on LinkedIn that he has started at CMS as …
Paul Kunert, 26 Mar 2015
chain_relationship_channel

NetApp channel: Can the new UK boss stop the rot?

NetApp practically wrote the first chapter on how to build a well-functioning and contented channel, but that was before it was squeezed by cloud providers and converged storage upstarts. One of the major challenges facing Elliot Howard, the newbie at the top of the NetApp’s UK management tree, who recently replaced Dave Allen, …
Paul Kunert, 26 Mar 2015

Lexmark splashes $1BEEEELION on Kofax

Lexmark International is trying to counter flatlining revenues and falling demand for print hardware by splashing $1bn to consume enterprise software seller Kofax. Under the terms of the deal, Lexmark will cough $11 per share and fund the buy with non-US cash on hand and existing credit facilities, it said. Kofax’s portfolio …
Paul Kunert, 25 Mar 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Phoenix IT Group says 'see ya' to repairs staff

Phoenix IT Group is outsourcing the lion's share of its repairs workshop work to Centrex, with staff set to TUPE across to their new employer by the end of this month. Some 20 workers entered into consultation “recently”, the company told us, and are expected to relocate from their current Northampton base to the national …
Paul Kunert, 25 Mar 2015
management strategy2

Former Misco exec rocks up at Tech Data

Vendor vet Gary Withington has landed at distribuor Tech Data months after he was let go by tin peddler Misco as part of a cost purge. The man spent the best part of two decades at Sun Microsystems and Dell in various roles before rocking up as Misco UK MD, a job that lasted for two and a half years until October ’14. He was …
Paul Kunert, 24 Mar 2015

Calyx Managed Services break-up begins. Just like we told you

The expected break-up of Calyx Managed Services has started, with the maintenance and carrier services divisions offloaded to Daisy Group and Chess Ltd respectively for a total of £5.5m in cash. It always seemed inevitable that Calyx MS would be carved up and sold off when private equity fund MXC Capital paid £9m to buy the …
Paul Kunert, 24 Mar 2015

HP takes channel types back to school

HP GPC Product specific sales certifications for HP Enterprise Group resellers are to be struck off in favour of four centred on hybrid IT, big data, mobility and security. The rationale, HP told us, is to get channel types more in sync with the business issues that keep their customers awake at night by training them on “solutions” …
Paul Kunert, 17 Mar 2015

HP: do box shifters have a future? Hmmm, maybe not a bright one

HP GPC 2015 The break away HP Inc - the PC and print business - is polishing off a brand spanking new channel programme that it says for the first time will not only favour those transacting huge volumes of kit. The as yet unnamed framework - HP is going public on the branding tomorrow - will include three tracks: Volume, Value and Alliance …
Paul Kunert, 17 Mar 2015
yellow measuring tape - black writing

HP: we had portfolio gaps in entry level servers

HP GPC 2015 A competitive bite is something HP has confessed to lacking in the small biz server arena of late but has coughed a couple of entry level boxes, and is tweaking the channel’s financial plumbing. The two ProLiant tower servers, the ML10 v2 and ML110 are priced at $300 and $1000 respectively, with the first aimed at very small …
Paul Kunert, 17 Mar 2015
HP cloud

HP plays the cloudy dating game with Helion Marketplace

HP GPC 2015 HP is to showcase a new dating service for its reseller partners looking to sell cloud services with Service Providers looking for a route to market. Helion Partner Marketplace is to be launched, a similar initiative to one from IBM, that allows resellers to sell, provision and bill services to customers delivered by Service …
Paul Kunert, 16 Mar 2015

HP warns channel types ahead of split: Hold on, it's gonna get bumpy

HP GPC 2015 The first day at HP’s Global Partner knees-up was programme heavy with schemes aimed at smoothing the split between the organisation - pre and post event - which the business fully admits is going to get bumpy. First up is Partner Navigator, exclusively revealed by us last week, which involves HP providing a funded head in the …
Paul Kunert, 16 Mar 2015

Redundo-happy IBMers will benefit from High Court pension ruling

IBMers that take voluntary redundancy ahead of a High Court ruling on the firm’s pension scheme will still benefit from any remedies set out should they leave, according to an internal document. Staffers who were refused salary increases because they railed against changes to pensions were told they are able to claim damages in …
Paul Kunert, 16 Mar 2015

Latest Gartner wololo: Win Server 2003 refresh might be off the cards

Price hikes caused by the robust dollar could result in European server customers deferring purchases for at least the first half of this year, potentially translating into another period of stagnating revenues. With Microsoft ending support for Windows Server 2003 and Intel refreshing Xeon – which made vendors respond with …
Paul Kunert, 16 Mar 2015
g_cloud_uk_gov

HP's ailing Enterprises Service unit bags 'mega' TNT gig

HP’s sickly Enterprise Services (ES) unit continues to show signs of recovery after putting pen to paper on a “mega” six-year managed services deal with Dutch logistics biz TNT. The project, believed to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, follows hot on the heels of a decade long outsourcing agreement with Deutsche Bank, …
Paul Kunert, 16 Mar 2015

Pre-split HP flops out plan to keep its sales pecker up

HP will parachute funded staff into its largest global channel customers to minimise disruption and ensure it maintains market share as the business is carved into two. Print and PC operations will be hived off to create HP Inc and the remainder of the company, including the new Aruba buy, will form Hewlett Packard Enterprise. …
Paul Kunert, 13 Mar 2015
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

IBM staffers climb over each other in race for redundancy payout

IBMers working in the Systems Middleware (SM) division are falling over themselves to volunteer for redundancy, with the programme heavily oversubscribed. Some 110 people want to leave the company with a big fat cheque, which is way more than the ten per cent of the division’s 736-strong workforce that IBM had in mind. The …
Paul Kunert, 13 Mar 2015

Computacenter's Brit team basks in double digit sales glory

It was again the Brit arm of services-based reseller Computacenter that brought home the bacon for the group in 2014, as operations in continental Europe continued to wrestle with contract or market woes. The group turned over £3.108bn in sales, up 1.2 per cent as reported or 4.2 per cent in constant currency, the fifth straight …
Paul Kunert, 12 Mar 2015
management cio2

EMC calls on company veteran to run UK ops

Undoubtedly scarred by the defection of UK boss James Petter to Pure Storage, EMC has turned to one of its veterans to take control of the country manager job, with Ross Fraser getting the call. As we revealed in January, EMC’s arch rival Pure poached Petter to run EMEA ops and it was forced to parachute its regional head Adrian …
Paul Kunert, 12 Mar 2015
chart

Blighty's oldest tech distie feels a little punchy again

Death, taxes and Northamber’s continued sales slide once seemed three certainties in life, but no more – the UK’s oldest tech distie has grown for the first time in years and isn't losing nearly as much cash. It could well be that the new management strategy, led by commercial director Alex Phillips, son of chairman David, is …
Paul Kunert, 12 Mar 2015
Sorry we're closed

Systemax CEO closes 31 retail stores in US as losses widen

Systemax has finally shuttered the majority of its consumer tech stores in North America after once again enduring weak holiday season sales and reporting yet another year of losses. The New York-listed reseller grew consolidated sales 4.4 per cent to $912.9m but it was the B2B side of the house and not retail that contributed …
Paul Kunert, 11 Mar 2015

All change at top of distie EntaTech as veep Atherton splits

EntaTech veteran and veep Jon Atherton is leaving the business today for pastures new, with industry old timer Dave Stevinson stepping into the role. Atherton has been with Enta for more than 22 years, half his life, and the company insisted it was his decision to quit the position to take “time out with his family”. Founder …
Paul Kunert, 06 Mar 2015

IBM System x biz sales: The numbers are out... and they're not pretty

The extent of the slide in System x sales in Blighty during the final year under IBM ownership was laid bare today, and the eye-watering declines were bad: bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good. The UK server market didn't exactly enjoy a vintage fourth quarter; spending declined 5.3 per cent to $503m and unit shipments went …
Paul Kunert, 05 Mar 2015

Danwood CEO: No more M&A disco watching for us

Danwood no longer wants to be the loner at the edge of the M&A dance floor as romance blossoms between local rivals, especially now its finances suggest it isn’t destined for the scrapheap. The document services specialist was unable to get in on the action during an extensive round consolidation that saw SCC, Xeretec and …
Paul Kunert, 05 Mar 2015

Symantec: Corporate divorce starts on April Fool's Day

Symantec is to operate as two separate storage and security organisations from April Fool’s Day, as the deadly serious game of long-term survival begins in earnest. “We have begun to realign the sales and marketing organisations to support both businesses, starting with two new global sales leaders: Adrian Jones for Symantec and …
Paul Kunert, 05 Mar 2015
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

Opinion

Alexandre Mesguich

Change is order of day as tech giants shift strategy gears
Partnership

Frank Jennings

Confused? No problem, we have 5, no 6, no 7... lots of standards

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)

Features

money trap conceptual illustration
Big boys snare the unwary with too-good-to-be-true deals
Angus Highland cow
Pet carriers not wanted for whitebox stampede
FBcoldstoragearray
Sorry OpenStack and Open Compute, we're not all Facebook
Gary Kovacs, CEO of AVG. Pic: World Economic Forum
Scammy download sites? Government snooping? Run of the mill for Gary Kovacs