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Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

HMRC WLTM partner, GSOH, to help it escape the Aspire black hole

HMRC is seeking a £20m private sector partner to provide "strategic-level experience" to manage its exit from the £10.4bn Aspire mega IT deal currently underpinning Blighty's entire tax system. The tender issued this week said the partner will "help manage the exit from a large-scale outsourced arrangement that has been in place …
Kat Hall, 05 Jun 2015
management strategy2

Phoenix boss grabs industry vet to run Partner Services biz

Phoenix IT Group boss Steve Vaughan has tapped up a former colleague Alistair Blaxill to run the Partner Business, the tech services’ firm’s largest and some would say most troubled division. Blaxill replaces Bill Simpson, who has left the business to “pursue other opportunities”, the London-listed company confirmed, though it …
Paul Kunert, 05 Sep 2014
Sleeper

Huawei peels back the covers in pursuit of partner love

Huawei intends to hop into bed with nearly 50 per cent more partners this year in order to boost its sluggish enterprise sales in Europe. "Last year we had over 700 partners (Of all types) in Western Europe — the target for 2015 is to increase that number to 1,000," said Leon He, head of the enterprise biz in Western Europe. " …
Kat Hall, 22 May 2015

Rackspace joins Microsoft's Windows Azure Pack partner army

Cloud-flinger Rackspace has joined Microsoft’s new army of cloud service providers. Rackspace is now running Microsoft’s Cloud Platform at all of its US data centres. That platform is a marketing wrapper that contains Hyper-V, System Center and Windows Server with the more recent Azure Pack to spin up and run VM-based clouds. …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Nov 2014
Microsoft Surface tablets

Partner firms: Microsoft kept Surface from you for YOUR OWN GOOD

Those caring souls at Microsoft initially cut the technology channel out of the Surface supply chain because execs wanted to finetune forecasting and spare sales partners from a potential inventory pile-up. Or so says Phil Sorgen, global partner veep, who reckons the path Microsoft took was "safer" for its legion of suppliers, …
Paul Kunert, 31 Mar 2014

Microsoft's partner mega-fest: Want to see on-prem kit? TOO BAD

WPC Microsoft's global head of channels, Phil Sorgen, says the view from his exec box at next week's Worldwide Partner Conference will look like a typical British summer - cloudy, very cloudy indeed. In what will be a disappointment to some in Microsoft's old guard – those who are still taking tentative baby steps toward 21st …
Paul Kunert, 10 Jul 2014

Buying EMC? Better get a quote from a channel partner

EMC execs aim to crush any lingering conflict in the technology business channel* by preventing internal reps from quoting configuration and prices to all bar the largest customers that it sells to directly. The storage giant cemented its love-in with resellers, service providers and integrators with a rules of engagement …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jan 2014
jigsaw_puzzle_648

A turnaround plan within a turnaround plan for Phoenix IT Group

Phoenix IT Group execs are labouring under the “assumption” that the firm will not be sold to Daisy Group – they have to – and are hatching a turnaround plan within a turnaround plan for Partner Services. As the board at the LSE-listed tech services outfit is recommending a 160 pence per share offer from Daisy that values the …
Paul Kunert, 09 Jun 2015
chain_relationship_channel

Feel Cisco's WRATH: Over 1,000 placed on DENIED partner sh*t list

Exclusive Cisco has launched an EMEA-wide crackdown in the channel after expelling Phoenix IT Group from the Gold Partner network, which our sources alleged was because it flouted support rules by supplying grey market kit. The Brand Protection police at the networking Goliath sent letters to more than 1,000 resellers, integrators and …
Paul Kunert, 08 Nov 2013

As-a-service army lays siege to Microsoft partner gig

Quite a few "WPC newbie" channel businesses were milling around Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Texas last week, the vendor told us - and most of them were cloudy as-a-service startups. Some 15,000 channel partners attended the global gig last week, compared to 16,000 in 2012. A whopping 4,000 of these were …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jul 2013
Roughly 150kg of gold

Gold to bind Phoenix IT, Daisy, Cisco

Phoenix IT is likely to rekindle its partnership with Cisco when the Daisy Group completes the acquisition of the services provider, as expected in the not-too-distant future. In late 2013, El Chan revealed Phoenix was among 1,000 companies across EMEA told by Cisco that their right to sell its kit was to be removed because they …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2015
Exocet anti-ship missile

VMware EMC partner Cisco inks reselling deal... with Simplivity

Cisco has fired a ship-killer of an Exocet missile at VMware’s EVO:RAIL by doing a server reselling deal with Simplivity. There are two hyper-converged server/storage/networking system leaders, both startups – Simplivity and Nutanix. VMware's EVO: RAIL is hyper-converged system software running on the hardware of certified …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2014

Will YOU be living in a cardboard box under the motorway in five years?

Chinese kit-maker Huawei reckons one in four resellers will be out of business inside the next half a decade, such is the dwindling shelf life for the classic man-in-the-middle model. A report outlining the company's strategy predicted: "Within next five years, one fourth of the channels will disappear, and the remaining …
Kat Hall, 26 May 2015

Pure Storage shoves channel growth ahead of IPO dream bid

All-flash array start-up and IPO’er-in-waiting (we think) Pure Storage has got itself a new channel programme and two channel-focused exec hires, to get partners selling more tier-1 storage replacing Pure product. It is implementing a two-tier pan-regional distribution model, an expanded technology alliance ecosystem for …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 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
channel

Amazon Web services revamps partner program

Amazon Web Services' has built a new base camp on its route into the heart of enterprise IT, in the form of a new Partner Network the company says provides “technical information and sales and marketing support they need to accelerate their business on AWS.” In a blog post announcing the new Network, AWS Technology Evangelist …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2012
channel

Channel wild-child Cisco vows to be more predictable partner

Cisco is trying to fire up resellers' engines by doing what it does best: launching a bunch of channel programmes. The networking lynchpin will consolidate 47 services programmes into one global scheme and introduce a compensation model based on a "discount plus pay-for-performance rebate". Nick Earle, senior veep for worldwide …
Paul Kunert, 18 Apr 2012

Dell JUNKS public cloud in favor of partner tech

Dell is discontinuing its infrastructure-as-a-service cloud and instead dealing tech to partners as it looks to make some money in the cut-throat world of cloud computing. The Round Rock, Texas, company announced on Monday that it was discontinuing sales of its multi-tenant public cloud IaaS "in favor of best-in-class partner …
Jack Clark, 20 May 2013

Intercloud extends management to AWS VMs

Cisco's decided to Borg Microsoft and Amazon services into its Intercloud, in the latest round of Intercloud Fabric software releases. On-boarding for AWS VMs lets companies identify machines already on the Amazon cloud, and put them under Intercloud Fabric control; and Intercloud's zone-based firewall has wrapped its arms …

UK.gov provider frees Microsoft partner TES from administration

Business process outsourcing firm Liberata IT Solutions, which is responsible for several large government contracts, has devoured Microsoft Gold partner Trinity Expert Systems (TES) in a pre-pack administration. This came after TES succumbed to pressing cash-flow issues. Coventry-based TES called in the receivers Deloitte …
Paul Kunert, 11 Oct 2013

Cisco buys back alumni: wants to acquire Embrane

The Borg has followed up on its 2014 $US14 million investment in virtualisation business Embrane by announcing it intends to buy the business. In an announcement that partner-competitors like Citrix and VMWare will probably wish was an April Fool's release, Cisco said the acquisition will give it a team that lets it “move more …
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

NHS Scotland to refresh creaking, 25-year-old apps

NHS Scotland is dragging its big iron software into the 21st century by putting out a call for suppliers to replace some very dusty applications, which in some cases are a quarter of a century old. A contract notice for the Mainframe Solutions Transformation Programme was published in the Official Journal of the EU, and the …
Paul Kunert, 18 May 2015
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

IBM Business Partner cloud guru slips off to set up own biz

IBM's cloud leader has split to set up his own consultancy advising channel firms on the best way to tackle the "commercial and cultural" realities of moving into cloud services. Steve Heeney rocked up at Big Blue in February 2001 as channel manager and remained in that position until November 2010, when he became the cloud …
Paul Kunert, 19 Oct 2012
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Value of European outsourcing deals plummets

The number of mega outsourcing deals shrank by 25 per cent in Europe for the first quarter of 2015, with just 128 contracts, valued at €1.9 billion (£1.4 billion), according to outsourcing analysts Information Services Group (ISG). David Howie, a partner at ISG, said the figures reflect a trend toward smaller deals, although " …
Kat Hall, 24 Apr 2015
Screenshot of Microsoft promotional video touting Office 2013's cloud integration

All change at Microsoft as Hyde slips into cloudy costume

The head of Microsoft’s enterprise licensing channel has split to take on a newly created role for cloudy partners, in what could be seen as a signal of where the partner power base is shifting. Edward Hyde, director of the licensing solutions providers (LSPs), formerly the large account reseller network, is to become operations …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 2015

Iomart snaps up SystemsUp for a cool £9m

Glasgow-based cloud outfit Iomart has snapped up London-based IT consultancy biz SystemsUp for a cool £9m. SystemsUp is a G-Cloud partner to Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. Its turnover in the twelve months to 31 March 2015 was £4m, with profit before tax of £1.5m. A further payment of between £1m-£3.5m will be made …
Kat Hall, 08 Jun 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Phoenix IT Group comes back in black as new owners beckon

Phoenix IT Group is back in the black following the first full year of CEO Steve Vaughan’s turnaround strategy, in what is likely to its last fiscal before the Daisy Group acquisition is sealed. The LSE-listed organisation is still struggling to get the top line moving in the right direction, as revenue fell nine per cent year- …
Paul Kunert, 08 Jun 2015

BOXing clever: Data biz embiggens sales - then its shares slump

Box, the freemium business data sharer, saw satisfying revenue growth and controlled losses for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter and full year, although it disappointed analysts, whose comments prompted a 17 per cent share price fall. Highlights: Q4 FY 2015 revenue was $62.6m, up 61 per cent from $38.8m a year ago Q4 FY 2015's …
Chris Mellor, 12 Mar 2015
management cloud8

AVG holds first Partner Advisory Council in Blighty

Small biz security specialist AVG has run its first Partner Advisory Council (PAC) in the UK after admitting it needs to brush up on channel comms, particularly in light of partners who are moving exclusively to the cloud. The inaugural event was held last week for six channel partners including Vivid Clouds, Pro-Logic, …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2013
Shopping trolley. Pic: Mikey, Flickr

Coms: Yes, we DID appoint advisors to flog off our voice biz

Troubled London-listed Coms plc has publicly stated it is working with a business advisor to carve off part of its operation, following an El Chan report that it called upon Knight Corporate Finance (KCF) to sell its voice division. As revealed by us on Friday, Paul Billingham, founder and joint partner at KCF, was told to get …
Paul Kunert, 20 Apr 2015
Kaminario K-Blocks

Hey channel dudes, says Kaminario, we REALLY want to flog more kit

Kaminario, needing to enlarge its sales, is launching its first channel programme to increase its market points of presence. With its iSPC-1 benchmark-topping K2 all-flash array, Kaminario is facing steadily increasing competition selling to enterprises as EMC (XtremIO), Pure Storage, Solidfire and IBM (FlashSystem) chip away at …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015

Headhunters on the, er, hunt for Andy Hunt's successor

Headhunters are scouring the industry to find a successor to VMware’s veteran EMEA partner veep Andy Hunt who is set to split in the not-too-distant future. The main man turned up at the virtualisation vendor’s den at the start of 2003, meaning that when he leaves he’ll be one of the longest serving senior channel execs in the …
Paul Kunert, 10 Sep 2014
For Sale sign detail

CA launches new global partner program

CA Technologies has announced a new “CA Global Partner Program” that it says “provides an expanded set of benefits” designed to help “solution providers, service providers, alliance partners and resellers to enable customers to deliver innovative business services.” Klasie Holtzhausen, the company's Senior Director, for Channel …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2012

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

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
Orchestration

Quiet, please – HP waves baton for 'composable' IT

HP Discover HP has a grand plan for when it morphs into Hewlett Packard Enterprise later this year, and the key to it is a concept it's calling "composable infrastructure." In his keynote at the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, HP CTO Martin Fink said that to understand composability, you should think about a composer …
Neil McAllister, 04 Jun 2015

Dell slips ring on distie Tech Data

Tech Data and its commercial siblings are now fully tooled up with Dell kit and software, and are looking to get handy. The pair kicked off an inaugural distie deal in Britain last month that covered PCs - and a full blown agreement for servers and storage at Tech Data subsidiary Azlan is now also live. The tie-up between the …
Paul Kunert, 02 Jun 2015
homeless man with sign

Cisco UK partner boss gets new role in the cloud

Cisco's UK and Ireland partner boss Bernadette Wightman is set to head up the networking Goliath's Cloud Centre of Excellence, after passing the channel baton to David Critchley, director of the commercial SME sector. Wightman succeeded John Donovan as managing director for the channel in July 2008 but is now transitioning to a …
Paul Kunert, 07 Jun 2011

HP to buy ConteXtream for SDN/NFV top-up

HP is looking to beef up its service provider software-defined networking (SDN) footprint, with the acquisition of Comcast and Verizon-backed ConteXtream. With SDN looking increasingly bedded down in the data centre, the carrier market is becoming the next battleground, with everyone from startups to big names looking for places …

Want to win Microsoft's cloudy love? Just spend $500

Channel partners that want to cosy up to Microsoft at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference have got the option to be an extra special pet – cough $500 and they could be within spitting distance of the event… literally. The cloud-and-mobile-first fest is happening in Orlando from 12 to 16 July and costs $1,795 per pass, but …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 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

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

HP gets appy over SDN

“It works for dating apps, so why not for SDN infrastructure?”, HP might be hoping, with the launch of its software defined networking app store. The SDN App Store, taking sign-ups here, is a shot at putting partners, consulting and support services for SDN applications in one place. Tools like network monitors, virtualised …
IBM Headquarters, Armonk, NY

First Microsoft, now IBM: Box deals are coming thick and fast

IBM and Box are hopping into bed together, a move intended to satisfy their respective desires for cloud and scale. The companies intend to integrate their technology, including IBM content management, Watson analytics and IBM Verse and Connections social collaboration tools. The deal is the second big announcement for Box in …
Kat Hall, 24 Jun 2015
chain_relationship_channel

Distie titan TD Azlan to cut ties with Huawei

TD Azlan is quietly and gradually cutting ties with Huawei Enterprise, according to multiple sources close to the matter. The pair previously came within touching distance of signing a European partnership in 2011, but at the eleventh hour pressure from Cisco — one of Huawei's main rivals — saw US management at parent Tech Data …
Paul Kunert, 30 Oct 2014
grab_that_cash

Cisco Gold partner Cisilion boosts fiscal 2012 profits

Bottom-line boosting IT services worked well for Cisco Gold house Cisilion in its last fiscal year while hardware and software licensing margins tightened. Results just filed at Companies House show that in the year to 31 May 2012, sales at the Surrey-based network integrator grew 10 per cent to £26m, in line with management …
Paul Kunert, 08 Mar 2013
fingers pointing at man

HP invites just its best friends to 2012 partner bash

HP's worldwide partner shindig in back on the agenda for 2012 but the event is likely to be a more cosy affair with fewer resellers invited. The last global conference was held in San Francisco in April 2008 and resellers were keen to see the knees-up reinstated on the calendar on top of local events. Now it's back in the diary …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2011
cloud

Microsoft delays big changes to Gold partner programme

Microsoft has confirmed it is postponing planned changes to its Gold partner programme by 16 months, meaning that under-performing dealers will not get binned for some time yet. The plan was to deploy internal systems from October so that resellers could log on and show the vendor that sales were tracking to the minimum revenues …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jun 2011
Screenshot of Microsoft promotional video touting Office 2013's cloud integration

Microsoft raids Symantec, snaps up UK licensing sales head

Microsoft has confirmed what the channel already knew: Jay Epton, Symantec director of new routes to market for the UK and Ireland, will be moving across to head up enterprise licensing resellers. As El Chan revealed previously, Edward Hyde, the current boss of licensing solutions providers (LSP) is set to be ops director for …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jan 2015

Microsoft and EMC: 'We need UK channel execs'

Microsoft and EMC are on the hunt for a local channel exec after saying their respective farewells to Amanda Sleight and Terry Beale, with both bound for EMEA-wide positions. Sleight is one of longest serving partner sales directors in Blighty after notching up 14 and a half years on the job. "Amanda is moving to a role within …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jun 2014

Opinion

Windows 10 on Surface 3

Tim Anderson

It's do-or-die for Microsoft's new operating system on 29 July
Wine Taps by N Wong, Flickr, CC 2.0 License

Simon Sharwood

Clouds sell compute by the glass. On-premises kitmakers want to sell wine-as-a-service

Greg Knieriemen

Privacy, security, information sovereignty, what we all want, right?
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, speaking at Build 2015

Andrew Orlowski

Redmond devotees may as well have demanded manga desktop wallpaper

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Protestor barricade image via Shutterstock
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