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IBM bets on cloud broker with Gravitant buyout

IBM has bought an 11-year-old firm promising cloud brokerage services to sustain the move to hybrid IT. The giant has snapped up Gravitant for an undisclosed sum, it said on Tuesday. Gravitant will be folded into IBM’s mighty Global Services unit and integrated the firm’s capabilities with Software-as-a-Service offerings. …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Nov 2015

Microsoft claims victory over second-hand software broker

Discount-Licensing, a broker of recycled software and member of FAST, has coughed a "significant sum" to settle a trademark infringement case that Microsoft took to the British High Court, a legal counsel for the titan has claimed. The Birmingham-based reseller says it trades in Microsoft Open, Select and Enterprise volumes …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2014

Broker accuses FAST of scaring users off secondhand software

The Federation Against Software Theft is talking up the dangers of buying recycled software, claiming that existing laws are insufficient to protect firms that opt for recycled licences. The trade group initially weighed into the debate last week, ripping up software broker Discount Licensing's (DL) membership after it settled a …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2014

Not so FAST: Another discount software broker BOOTED OUT

Exclusive A second software licence broker has been kicked out of the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) in what appears to be a crackdown against those selling its members' software at discounted rates. Value Licensing has had its application for renewed membership FAST turned down, it has told The Reg. The company specialises in …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2014

Second-hand software broker: OK Microsoft – we made a mistake

Recycled software broker Discount-Licensing says it fell foul of trademark copyright laws by importing Microsoft licences from the US but reckons its "core" business is squeaky clean and outside the clutches of litigators. It emerged this week that the Birmingham-based small biz trader coughed a "significant sum" in damages and …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2014

Blue Coat acquires the cloud-crypto monkeys at Perspecsys

Controversial and suspicious netsec outfit Blue Coat Systems has acquired Perspecsys, for the want of some weight in its cloud security portfolio. Recently bought by Bain, Blue Coat reckons the acquisition (on undisclosed terms) establishes it as "a leader in the Cloud Access Security Broker segment". Cloud-crypto outfit …
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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
Garbage dump (pic from US National archive)

Forget value-added broker jokes: Could YOU shift nuclear plant scrap?

Why do brokers exist? All we ever do is just sit around and talk to people, so what value do we add to the economy? Or what value do “asset managers” like the late Howard Strowman add? And will the existence of such be a permanent feature of the tech distribution landscape? Regular readers will know that I spent the 1990s …
Tim Worstall, 23 Dec 2012
Microsoft monopoly

Microsoft in SaaS-y cloud data security slurp

Microsoft has acquired cloud security outfit Adallom. Adallom was founded in 2012 and follows the “R&D in Israel, sales in Silicon Valley” template for a range of data security products for clouds. The company's wares bring data loss prevention and reporting to cloud storage services, offering users the chance to see just who' …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Sep 2015

How cyber insurance actually works

A couple of weeks ago El Reg carried an article by Mark Pesce about the likely evolution of Cyber Insurance. Reg reader and insurance industry veteran Tom Whipp agreed with most of his sentiments, but wasn’t so keen on his conclusions and demanded his stint on the Reg soapbox. So, take it away Tom. I’ve worked in security and …
Tom Whipp, 23 Nov 2015
management project

Misco hires sales vet Brooker to run UK sub

Systemax Europe president Simon Taylor has made his first senior hire in the shape of tech sales veteran Tony Brooker - a man he charged with rebuilding UK subsidiary Misco. Taylor, formerly EMEA senior veep of operations at Insight Enterprises, took over the business in June and at the top of his to-do list was a message from …
Paul Kunert, 19 Aug 2015
Windows 10

Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft

Microsoft's corporate veep Yusuf Mehdi reports that Windows 10 is now on 75 million devices, following its general availability four weeks ago. This suggests that Windows 10 is being installed faster than any previous version. Exact figures are hard to come by, but Microsoft took around four months to sell 90 million Windows 7 …
Tim Anderson, 26 Aug 2015
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Brocade wrings profits from a steady-as-she-goes business

Analysis Brocade has jogged along nice and evenly for four years now, at around $2.25bn annual revenues with steadily rising profits, and its fiscal 2015 added a similar fifth year of pretty decent results. It saw $2.26bn in revenues and a $340m profit, while in full year 2014 it saw $2.21bn in revenues and a $238m profit, indicating …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2015

Midland tech dynasty launches The Bank of Rigby

Nigel Jenkins – a senior veteran of corporate leasing at HP, Cisco and Microsoft – wants to turn the tables on his old employers from his base camp at Rigby Capital, the sister firm of services-based reseller SCC. Jenkins, the GM who joined the business in July having worked at the big three, reviewed the existing process of …
Paul Kunert, 15 Apr 2015
Stock market. Pic: Alberto Carrasco Casado

Softcat preps for IPO, closes in on brokers

Softcat is preparing the groundwork for its flotation on the London Stock Exchange with the market expected to value the tech reselling juggernaut at cool half a billion pounds. Our sources tell us Marlow-based Softcat has narrowed the field of potential brokers to a handful of firms, but Credit Suisse and Jeffries are most …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2015
Crystal ball via

2016 might just be the year of Linux on the (virtual) desktop

Come November, some “pundit” will declare that next year is the year of Linux on the desktop. This November, expect a twist on that prediction, as 2016 could just perhaps conceivably be the year of virtual Linux desktops now that Citrix has taken kit capable of delivering it into Beta. That kit is called the “Linux Virtual …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2015
Boy slapping another boy on the head

Second-hand IT alliance forms to combat 'bully' vendors

Second-hand IT providers have formed an alliance to combat what they claim are increasingly aggressive tactics by big vendors desperate to claw back falling revenue. Tomas O'Leary, secretary of Free ICT Europe, and chief executive of independent provider of IBM software maintenance Origina, claimed big vendors have stepped up …
Kat Hall, 03 Jun 2015

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
The exterior of Equinix  ME1

Equinix looking for friends to fuel enterprise push

Global bit barn operator Equinix has decided it wants more enterprise customers. The company operates over 100 data centres around the world and, thanks to a carrier-agnostic stances, is happy to connect any kit it houses to any telco that cares to land a fibre in its data centres. That position's worked well as an attractor …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2015

Outsourcery wins a £1.1m project present. Well, it is nearly Christmas

A FTSE100 company has handed ailing cloudy biz Outsourcery an early Crimbo gift by signing a three-year contract worth an estimated £1.1m to rip out its ageing telephony system in favour of "voice services". It's been one hell of a year for the Manchester-based software-as-a-service and online infrastructure seller, co-founded …
Paul Kunert, 05 Dec 2014
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

Deutsche Telekom births cloud broker

The cloud computing market is not even really a market yet, but a startup spun out of Deutsche Telekom wants to set itself up as cloud buy/sell broker of cloudy resources. The German telecom giant and its T-Systems subsidiary - which does systems integration and IT hosting and support - have had more than a passing interest in …

HP: We will eradicate the colour grey from our market

HP UK claims to have clawed back some $2m worth of revenues it would have otherwise lost to the grey market by getting litigious with anyone importing and selling boxes from outside of the EU. The firm told us “preventative” activity increased sevenfold from fiscal ’12 to ’14, that “recoveries of mis-used contra” is up tenfold …
Paul Kunert, 12 Sep 2014
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Swish PaaS Bosh: Sons of VMware spin up Pivotal One cloud platform

VMware spin-off Pivotal has released a platform-as-a-service along with a suite of analysis applications, bringing greater competition to a quiet corner of the market. The Pivotal One platform was announced on Tuesday, and sees the year-old upstart push out a product based on VMware's open-source Cloud Foundry, along with …
Jack Clark, 12 Nov 2013

IBM's SPSS buyout: FBI cuffs two on insider trading charges

Two stockbrokers have been arrested and charged with insider trading related to IBM’s £1.2bn acquisition of software firm SPSS in 2009, after three others pleaded guilty. Daryl Payton Jr and Benjamin Durant III have both claimed innocence in the face of charges of conspiracy and securities fraud after being arrested by the FBI …
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella is 'a sheep, a follower' says ex-Microsoft exec

Dan Lyons, the writer behind Fake Steve Jobs, has found someone willing to bucket incoming Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. That someone is Joachim Kempin, who was general manager of Microsoft Germany in the subsidiary's early days and rose to become a senior veep in charge of Microsoft's OEM business. Kempin has form criticising …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Feb 2014

Dragons' Den newbie firm Outsourcery: We are losing sales, we need to go DIRECT

Generals in the war-room at cloudy Brit biz Outsourcery are hiring direct sales reps in the public sector amid concerns that channel partners alone are not hitting the mark just yet. The AIM-listed outfit has been forced to slash costs because the pipeline of deals brought to the table by third-party resellers are taking longer …
Paul Kunert, 30 Jun 2014

Yaarrgh! LOOK OUT! UK set to be BURIED under MOUNTAIN of TABLETS

Retailers and distributors are buried under a "consumer mountain" of fondleslabs with the major channel-cramming culprit – according to our sources – a certain large South Korean vendor whose name begins with an S. According to current stats from Stock In The Channel, a web-based tool that provides live data feeds from …
Paul Kunert, 07 May 2014
big droplets falling from rain cloud

SCREEECH! Dell spins in public cloud U-turn – now it'll resell Google, Azure

Dell is going to resell cloud tech from enterprise rivals as part of the company's ragged retreat from the capital-intensive public cloud market. The company disclosed a dramatic expansion to its "Cloud Partner program" at the Dell World conference in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, by announcing that it will now resell Google …
Jack Clark, 12 Dec 2013
parallels logo schematics

Parallels could whip VMware or Microsoft, happier as Robin Hood

Parallels is best known for two things: a fine desktop hypervisor and the Virtuozzo containerised server-wrangler that many service providers use to dish out virtual machines to their customers. Both businesses are doing well, but the company isn't leading with either. Instead, it is now keenest on Parallels Automation, the …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014
Peter Jones, Dragon's Den star

Dragons' Den badboy ups Expansys bid to £7.55m

Lanky Dragons' Den badass Peter Jones is edging closer to signing a deal to buy AIM-listed Expansys for a fraction of the price of some shares he placed on the market in 2010. The irascible tennis aficionado – Jones trained as a coach in his teens – launched an initial buy-out offer of £6.1m via PDJ Bidco in January, but upped …
Paul Kunert, 03 Mar 2014
Nokia Lumia 630 Windows Phone

Bring your own device – as long as it's Microsoft

Analysis Nokia Lumia 630 Windows Phone We attended a Microsoft conference in London earlier this month, along with 200 senior execs, to find out more about Windows Phone 8.1, the company’s big play to get customers to buy into its enterprise mobility story. At the same time we were treated to the UK debut of the Nokia Lumia 630, the …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2014
Files teams up with moneymen on HACK ATTACK INSURANCE

+Comment The UK government last week partnered with 12 insurance companies to develop the "cyber-insurance" market. But experts are split on whether encouraging the development of the nascent market will result in the adoption of improved security practices. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said that while cyber insurance adds an …
John Leyden, 13 Nov 2014

New iPhone offered for sale via unauthorised outlets

An unauthorised market in Apple's next-gen Jesus mobe is emerging ahead of today's much anticipated launch with price tags that would reduce most desperate fanbois to tears. Suppliers in Europe have been contacted by broker Rainbow Concepts Inc, peddling the 16GB model at $925 and the 32GB version for $1,025 with minimum order …
Paul Kunert, 04 Oct 2011

Exploit broker aims marketing machine at Unix app crack

WabiSabiLabi, which bills itself as the eBay of software vulnerabilities, has borrowed a page from used car salesmen, except instead of talking up their affordable rates and low down payments, the outfit is championing the sale of a nasty sounding exploit that puts Unix boxes at risk. The vulnerability resides in ClamAV, an open …
Dan Goodin, 17 Nov 2007
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Dell blows Clouds of love into the channel

Dell is belatedly lifting the covers off a cloud services and solutions certification track for channel partners from mid-April. The scheme has three strands: Cloud Builder slanted for firms that design and develop a cloud infrastructure; Cloud Providers that sell IaaS, PaaS or Saas; and Cloud Service Enablers that broker or …
Paul Kunert, 29 Mar 2012

Cisco resells Citrix, VMware virty desktop wares

Cisco Systems came late to the physical and virtual server rackets and that means it has to partner to get virtual server slices out there in the data center. And it thinks virtual desktop infrastructure, or what it now calls Virtual Experience Infrastructure or VXI for short, is the killer app for its "California" Unified …

VMware sees Mirage, buys up company

Virtualization juggernaut VMware gobbled up four year old VDI vendor Wanova today, giving the virtualization juggernaut another weapon to fire at Citrix. VMware pretty much still owns the x86 virtualization racket among enterprise IT shops, despite heroic efforts to dislodge it by Microsoft, Citrix Systems, and Red Hat, but the …

Cloud storage biz, one careful owner, six years on the clock... any takers?

Cloud storage startup Nirvanix has imploded, with Brit-based partner Aorta Cloud reacting fast in prepping a takeover to continue services for Nirvanix's customers. All parties are hoping that this doesn't give customers the dreaded "cloud fear" and that Amazon, Google and Microsoft don't become the sole holy trinity of cloud …
Chris Mellor, 19 Sep 2013

ServiceKey protests innocence in Oracle 'grey market' spat

ServiceKey - one of two channel defendants named in an Oracle lawsuit last week - says it has been wrongly caught up in the litigation. As revealed by The Reg, Larry's legal eagles are seeking damages from ServiceKey and DLT Federal Business Systems, alleging that the two firms were illegally providing support services on its …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2012

EMC chief: Why today's IT channel will soon cease to exist

If I had to suggest just one hallmark of the IT channel, I would choose stability. The various organisations that make up the chain have clearly defined roles and well-established business models. But this state of affairs is about to undergo a period of great change. This change has already started, but the pace is set to …
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Cloud hopeful rejects Microsoft's interop patent

A cloud interoperability hopeful has dismissed mighty Microsoft's attempt to patent technology for customers to transfer data between different services. Vordel has said Microsoft's proposed patent targets a single vendors' cloud and fails to tackle lock-in as identified by the European Network and Information Security Agency. …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Dec 2009
SoftLayer's data center

Report: EMC, IBM sniffing around hoster SoftLayer

SoftLayer's public cloud business has IBM and EMC sniffing around for a reported $2bn buyout as both companies look to bolster their own networks. IBM has made no secret of its plans to build up its cloud computing and storage business. And EMC's server virtualization and cloud controller minion VMware said earlier this week …

Google grabs Oracle veep to lift EMEA cloud biz

Google has hired a former senior Oracle veep to head up the company's Enterprise division in EMEA. Sebastien Marotte will lead Google's sales team in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the world's largest ad broker. Marotte had worked as Oracle's senior vice president of technology in the database giant's Asia Pacific …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Feb 2011

Oracle: 'US Navy tricked by illegal Solaris touts'

Oracle has launched legal action against channel firms in the US, accusing them of a "gray market conspiracy" to nick its software and flog Sun Solaris OS support. The allegations were made against Georgia-based managed services provider ServiceKey and Delaware-based DLT Federal Business Systems Corporation in a lawsuit filed …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2012

PC shortages 'inevitable' says Gartner

The channel should be braced for some PC shortages in the run up to Christmas as disk drive production woes caused by the floods in Thailand take effect, Gartner has warned. In an ironic twist – the industry has been awash with stock in the year to date as consumer demand fell off the edge of a cliff – resellers and punters …
Paul Kunert, 26 Oct 2011

Google waves goodbye to Docs offline function

Google yanked its Docs offline function offline for good yesterday, much to the chagrin of some users. The Mountain View Chocolate Factory announced last month that its online document and spreadsheet editors would no longer offer offline access as of 3 May. But at the same time it was unable to confirm when the function would …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 May 2010
Dell's FX100 Remote Access Device thin client

Dell forges GPU-enriched virty rack workstation

Like everyone else on the planet, you want a rocketsled to do your work. The faster, the better. But if Dell has its way, it may not be on top of or underneath your desk, but sitting in a rack in a data center. And it may not be a rocketsled as much as a rocketbus, with multiple people using it at the same time. Virtualization …
Rolex in Live and Let Die

Cool cars, cat-crushing chronometers, cashmere ... is this your IT boss?

The story goes that one day a printer vendor rep turned up at a distributor of IT gear. The rep had a message to deliver: “Your sales of our printers are not good enough". The MD took the rep out to the car park, opened the rear door of his motor and gestured to a high-end shotgun lying across the back seat. Message received and …
Steve Bell, 09 Aug 2013
VMware's monster VM

VMware profits pinched in Q3, but not as pinchy as expected

Despite the fact that the economic conditions in Europe and Australia weakened in the third quarter and that the company didn't launch its updated virtualization and cloud software until late August, VMware turned in numbers that more or less met expectations. Just the same, profits were down 11.7 per cent to $156.8m against a …


George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury
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Chris Mellor

The SAN growth glory days are well and truly over, so where next?

Tom Whipp

Insurance industry insider tells all
Crypto fingers


Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0
Follow the money – or, at least, our projections
Boats storm girl photo via Nikolina Mrakovic
The puppets from Team America: World Police gather at a bar for drinks.