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Gartner's seers pass judgement on storage industry leaders

Gartner has published a distributed file systems and object storage magic quadrant with the top three suppliers being Dell EMC, followed by IBM and Scality. The research consultancy defines distributed file systems and object storage as "software and hardware solutions that offer object and/or scale-out file technology to …
Chris Mellor, 21 Oct 2016
I quit

The man running HPE's Microsoft Azure biz says shiz this... after eight months

The director Hewlett Packard Enterprise asked to steer its oh-so important relationship with Microsoft to sell Azure and Hybrid IT is set to leave the business after a relatively short time in situ. John Ansell previously ran the firm’s entire channel organisation that was responsible for 70 per cent of the UK P&L account but …
Paul Kunert, 20 Oct 2016

Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment

Further uncertainty over Brexit could hamper Virgin Media's ability to get more broadband investment for the UK from its parent company Liberty Global, chief exec Tom Mockridge has warned. Speaking at the Broadband World Forum event, he said: "We need certainty over the outcome of Brexit," adding that when the business makes …
Kat Hall, 20 Oct 2016

HPE UK overlord lines up sales generals, gives ra ra speech

The classic management domino affect has reached Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s UK team with new broom Marc Waters naming his sales lieutenants. Changes started in July when EMEA boss Peter Ryan was made global sales head for the Enterprise Group, he was replaced by UK boss Andy Isherwood who was then succeeded by UK EG boss …
Paul Kunert, 17 Oct 2016

Trustmarque CEO Haddow to staff: This week will be my last

Trustmarque boss Scott Haddow has told staff at the Capita-owned enterprise software and managed services-based reseller that this week will be his last at the company. Outsourcing behemoth Capita splashed £57m on the York-HQ’d firm in June, it was integrated into the IT Enterprise Services division run by Craig Rogerson, so …
Paul Kunert, 12 Oct 2016

Fujitsu to axe 1,800 jobs across the UK

IT giant Fujitsu is to axe 1,800 jobs in Blighty – around 13 per cent of its UK workforce. The Japanese godzilla denied the move was driven by Brexit but was intended to allow to "better compete and grow in today’s global IT marketplace." A Fujitsu spokesman said the company is planning a transformation program that will …
Kat Hall, 11 Oct 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock is doing sod all to break £20bn of locked-in IT contracts

Analysis If IT wasn't perceived to be such a boring topic by Joe Public, the amount the government still spends on expensive clunky technology would be viewed as a national scandal. Across the entire public sector the annual figure has been pegged at around £20bn. No one knows for sure. As long as Whitehall's money is locked into …
Kat Hall, 28 Sep 2016

Winners and losers: Here's who made the cut for mega TP2 framework

A public sector contracts fat cat and some household PC brands are among the suppliers that failed to directly win a place on a mega pan-government hardware and software framework contract, according to a preliminary list seen by The Register. The Technology Products (TP) 2 agreement, worth up to £4bn over four years, is due …
Paul Kunert, 23 Sep 2016
Sheaf of £50 notes poised on the rim of a toilet bowl as toilet is flushed. Collage of two photos sourced from Shutterstock

Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

Review It’s impossible to read former bollocker-in-chief Margaret Hodge’s account of being chair of the government's spending watchdog without repeatedly banging your head against the wall. Hodge presided over the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee between 2010-2015, during the coalition government’s austerity programme. …
Kat Hall, 20 Sep 2016
Defeated-looking young man puts his head against table in front of laptop and pile of papers in conference room. Pic via Shutterstock

So, Gov.UK infosec in 2015. 'Chaotic'. Cost £300m. NINE THOUSAND data breaches...

The Cabinet Office is failing to coordinate the UK's government departments' efforts to protect their information according to a damning report by the National Audit Office. The NAO found that the Cabinet Office failed in its duty and ambition to coordinate and lead government departments’ efforts in protecting such …

Waters named HPE boss on his 40th b'day

White smoke emanated from the towers at Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s London-based digs yesterday as Marc Waters was ordained leader of UK and Ireland ops. The permanent job offer always seemed on the cards when Waters was made acting MD in July, taking over from Andy Isherwood, who was himself elevated to EMEA boss in a …
Paul Kunert, 13 Sep 2016

Biz phones 'n' broadband bods Gamma suffer a network TITSUP

Business broadband comms outfit Gamma is experiencing a service outage. According to monitoring site Down Detector, the problem began this morning just after 8am. One customer told us: "I am a reseller and we are having issues with customer phones also... Still ongoing." Another said: "We have customers reporting one way …
Kat Hall, 25 Aug 2016

Movers and shakers: Execs take a hike from Lenovo and HPE

A couple of industry greybeards at Lenovo and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have quietly packed their bags for a permanent vacation while another vendor old timer has moved to another channel biz. Steve Kendall-Smith, executive director at Lenovo has split after half a decade at the company - he had run the large enterprise and …
Paul Kunert, 25 Aug 2016
HMRC photo,

HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

Around 90 per cent of UK government IT contractors will rebel against proposals by HMRC to clamp down on self-employed workers not paying the correct employment taxes. The taxman is currently consulting on whether to shift responsibility for compliance with the intermediaries legislation, known as IR35, from the individual …
Kat Hall, 03 Aug 2016
British sterling in flames

Outsourcery burned through more than £20 MEEEELLION in cash before it crashed

Defunct cloud infrastructure and apps provider Outsourcery Plc attracted interest from 12 bidders before it was offloaded to GCI Telecom for £4m, in a pre-pack administration handled by EY. The Statement of Affairs filed at Companies House revealed the final weeks of the failed Manchester-based, AIM-listed corporation that …
Paul Kunert, 02 Aug 2016

Liberata in £43m buyout by Japanese firm OUTSOURCING Inc

OUTSOURCING Inc (OSI) – a Japanese player that does what it says on the tin – has acquired UK public sector BPO specialist Liberata for £43m. The buyer is has spread its tentacles via more than 70 subsidiaries into outsourcing across multiple industries including engineering, manufacturing, administrative and recruiting. …
Paul Kunert, 02 Aug 2016

UK govt digi-chief confirms he is standing down after ... 9 months

Stephen Foreshew-Cain, the head of the UK's Government Digital Service, has stepped down from his position after just nine months in the role – amid rumours that GDS is for the chop. In a blog post Foreshew-Cain confirmed that he had handed in his notice to civil service head John Manzoni. "I’ve been fortunate to work with …
Kat Hall, 01 Aug 2016
I quit

Comparex boss Mike Chambers packs bags and heads for hills

Comparex's veteran UK boss has left the Microsoft enterprise licensing reseller, the business has confirmed to The Channel. Mike Chambers was one of the early employees at the Harrow-on-the-Hill-based organisation, branded PC-WARE when he joined as managing director in 2004. “We can confirm that Mike Chambers has decided to …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016

Skyscape rebrands to UKCloud following legal challenge by Sky

Hosting provider Skyscape is changing its name to UKCloud, following allegations from Sky that it has infringed the broadcaster's registered trademarks. In July 2014, Sky's solicitors wrote to Skyscape alleging that Skyscape was infringing registered trademarks owned by companies within the Sky Group. Sky pointed to the …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2016
Comically sad tearful man doing fake-looking wail of despair. Photo by Shutterstock

Boo hoo. Brexit to hit Capita's bottom line

Outsourcing giant Capita has hinted that the UK's decision to leave the EU will have an impact on its bottom line, while recording a sales increase of 5 per cent to £2.4bn for its first half-year results. Profit before tax rose by 27 per cent to £186.1m, compared with the same period in 2015. Andy Parker, chief exec of Capita …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2016
STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Comment There are whispers circulating in the aether that if PrivacyShield is deemed adequate for transfers of personal data from the European Union(EU) to the USA, then in a post-Brexit Britain, something akin to PrivacyShield can allow for adequate transfers of personal data to the UK. Such an “adequacy” determination would mean …

SFW is Safe For Civica: EU Ref software biz gobbled up

Civica Group has swallowed specialist public sector developer SFW – which created the digital service used to collate the results of the EU Referendum. SFW employs around 200 people, split between its UK offices and a dev centre in India, writing CRM-based apps, workplace collaboration wares and digital platforms. The …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jul 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Not-BT-Openreach' biz CityFibre sextuples pipeline

Cable-layer CityFibre has booked a six-fold increase in contracts during its first half of 2016, with £53.8m in the pipeline compared with £8.1m for the same period last year. New contracts signed in the period comprise 3,702 new customers, more than three times the total amount on the books in 2015 (1,110), and more than …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
HMRC photo,

Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

IT contractors in Blighty could bear the brunt of UK government plans to clamp down on self-employed workers not paying the correct employment taxes - with HMRC targeting 20,000 public sector contractors. The taxman is currently consulting on whether to shift responsibility for compliance with the intermediaries legislation, …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2016

IBM caps '20 years' of deep MS love with Surface deal

IBM has become the latest sometime hardware giant to agree to push software giant Microsoft’s client hardware - years after selling off its own client devices business. MS device marketing general manager Brian Hall said in a blog post that IBM had joined the Surface Enterprise Initiative along with consultancy and contracting …
Joe Fay, 12 Jul 2016
Trading screen, photo via Shutterstock

AWS works on 'urgent' deals for UK customers as £ dips against $

Amazon Web Services has claimed it is trying to shield cloudy customers in the UK from the plunge in value of sterling against the US dollar following June’s vote to leave the EU. The titan told us it is looking at re-architecting bulk-saving programmes and grant programmes to tempt startups, SMBs and other businesses away …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Jul 2016
Angry man yelling on phone while reading vintage printer paper report. Photo by SHutterstock

Chilcot's IT spend: Tighter wallet than most public sector bods

Sir John Chilcot, who today delivered his much-awaited report into the Iraq war, ran an impressively tight ship when it came to IT spending. The IT and telecommunications spending for Chilcot’s six-volume, 2.6 million word report, which is published today, amounted to £695,300 over the Iraq Inquiry’s seven years of work, which …

SCC and Entanet haul in big hitters

A couple of senior hires showed up in the channel this week with Entanet bulking out its senior management line-up and SCC poaching a big hitter from infrastructure integrator Proact. Midlands-based SCC has hired James Wallis to run its public sector business, a function he performed at Proact. He was on gardening leave but …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Mind the GaaP: needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016

Crown Commercial Services is to slap SMEs with price hikes

Government procurement body the Crown Commercial Service is to start hiking up the amount it charges suppliers to sell stuff to the public sector. CCS already pockets fees from government frameworks – last year taking a cut of £72m from the £15bn total managed spend it facilitated. However, it will now more heavily rely on …
Kat Hall, 04 Jul 2016
The British Pound - Sterling currency tumbles post Brexit

Sterling's post-Brexit dollar woes are forcing up tech kit prices

Tech vendors don’t want to admit it but CIOs will need to return to their spending plan spreadsheets: hardware is going to get more expensive post-Brexit as sterling slides against the US dollar. The UK currency fell 12 per cent on 24 June when the outcome of the EU referendum emerged, and this week the pound plunged to a 31 …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2016
Man in suit counts out piles of dollars. Photo via Shutterstock

Embiggening AWS doubles its UK sales to £254m

Cloud slinging (and tax avoiding) Amazon Web Services nearly doubled its revenue in the UK last year, pulling in £254m. According to analyst TechMarketView's annual Software, IT & Business Process Services (SITS) report, the cloudy biz pushed up sales locally by 45 per cent, a foothold that will likely increase once AWS sets …
Kat Hall, 01 Jul 2016
Elastic Storage

Amazon twangs its Elastic File System at on-premises filer rivals

Amazon has made its Elastic File System (EFS) available, opening up an assault on on-premises filers. EFS was first announced at the AWS summit in April last year with a preview coming later that year. It’s now available as a fully-managed service. Customers can make a few click choices in the AWS Management Console to have …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2016
Bad tech buyers

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

An unnamed local council has entered the hall of shame for making the most eye-watering tech purchase of 2015 - coughing up a 1095 per cent margin on an SD memory card. This is according to the annual poll of 200 procurement heads from 24 industries by pricing bench markers KnowledgeBus, which found average margins paid had …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016
Brexit financial crash

Post Brexit tech spending to rise like a lead balloon

Yet another analyst has delivering a damning forecast for tech spending following last week’s UK referendum decision to leave the European Union as major suppliers prepare staff for what could months of slowing sales. Channel-watcher Canalys projected local sales spending of $90bn to $100bn for the year before Brits voted to …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jun 2016
Cloud server room. Photo by Shutterstock

Thinking of using multiple clouds? Don't do it, stick with us says AWS CEO

Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy spoke against the idea of using multiple cloud providers at its Public Sector Summit earlier this week – well he would, wouldn't he. A lot of organizations "start off thinking about how to split it up across multiple clouds," said Jassy. "When they get deeper into the investigation, the …
Tim Anderson, 24 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs

Exclusive Even before Blighty voted to leave the EU, the government was plotting to water down far-reaching data protection regulations from Brussels - The Register can reveal. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was due to come into place by 2018 and have been described as the biggest shake-up of EU data protection laws in …
Kat Hall, 24 Jun 2016
hands waving dollar bills in the air

No contract protected against the risk of bid-rigging, says expert

Procurement professionals in all sectors need to be aware of the risk of bid-rigging of contracts they tender, a procurement law expert has said. Louise McKee of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said a new awareness-raising campaign on bid-rigging practices launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Jun 2016

Police ICT Company head: Eat your cloud, cops, it's good for you

A national strategy on using public cloud services is needed so British police forces can cope with the increasing weight of unstructured data storage, the head of the Police ICT Company has said. Martin Wyke, head of the body, outlined storage as a key challenge for police because of the explosion of unstructured data, through …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2016

Trustmarque has been sold yet again – this time to Capita for £57m

Capita has acquired Microsoft licensing house and managed services biz Trustmarque for £57m in cash – the fourth time the company has changed hands in three years Trustmarque, part of the Liberata Group, was rolled onto the market in February by parent Ardbid Ltd, appointing investment bank William Blair to find a buyer, as we …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jun 2016
hertfordshire lock. Photo by shutterstock

When Capita job ads go BAD

Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader who chanced upon the latest job ad for a network technical architect at everyone’s favourite public sector parasite Capita - we enjoyed the irony too. The integrator, often referred to as Crapita by Private Eye, listed the location of the vacancy in the “rapidly expanding team” as Hertfordshite. …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jun 2016

Outsourcery sold after Dragon runs out of puff

Something positive was salvaged from the crash at cloud biz Outsourcery - 100 employees have transferred with the business in a pre-pack sale to new owners GCI Network Solutions. The loss-making company ran into cash flow shortages on multiple occasions, most recently in April when principal secured lender Vodafone stepped in …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jun 2016
No. 10, image via Shutterstock

No 10's online EU vote signup crash 'inevitable' – GDS overseer

MPs have taken the Government’s digital masters to task for their inability to handle online voter registration for this month’s European Union referendum. Members grilled Cabinet Office minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin after the Government Digital Service’s EU voter registration site crashed under "unexpected" …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2016

Microsoft's biggest UK reseller flashes fuller figures for '15

Microsoft licensing mountain Trustmarque won’t have done its chances of snaring a new private equity backer any harm by pushing out a decent set of trading figures for calendar year 2015. The York-based reseller, which merged with sister biz TES at the start of last year, reported turnover of £191.9m, up eight per cent on a …
Paul Kunert, 06 Jun 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Go Comparex: Microsoft house counts cost of dealing with

The cost of righting historic accounting wrongs and winning lower margin or empty calorie government business has left Microsoft licensing slinger Comparex UK nursing losses. The firm piled on the British Pounds in the year ended 31 March 2015, growing turnover organically by a whopping 31 per cent to £41.95m, P&L accounts …
Paul Kunert, 02 Jun 2016
whitehall_648's promise to pour cash into SMEs was just hot air

Analysis Every government has always claimed to be the friend of SMEs – and with 5.2 million of them in the UK it makes an easy vote winner. But promising to do more business with smaller providers and handing over cold, hard cash are two very different things. Earlier this month the National Audit Office reported that what little …
Kat Hall, 31 May 2016

Blighty's National Cyber Security Centre cyber-reveals cyber-blueprints

The UK government has released the prospectus for its National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), ahead of the launch of the facility this Autumn. The blueprint [PDF] outlines that the NCSC will act as a hub for sharing best practices in security between public and private sectors, and will tackle cyber incident response. As …
John Leyden, 26 May 2016
Frustrated accountant puts head in hands. Photo by Shutterstock

Insure against a cyberwhat now? How the heck do we crunch those numbers?

The head of a UK industry insurance organisation has called for the government to create a database where companies would be obliged to “record details of cyber attacks”. Insurers are struggling to assess premiums for newly introduced cyber insurance policies in the absence of background info, according to the head of the …
John Leyden, 24 May 2016
Surface Book

Booming sales of flippy detachables offers hope to glum PC market

Booming sales of computers and tablets with detachable and rotating keyboards brought some cheer to the ailing PC market in the first quarter of 2016, according to research. Sales of detachables and convertibles rose 40 per cent to 3.6 million units in the first quarter of the year, offering a boon to the shrinking computer …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2016
50 of your British pounds. Photo by Shutterstock preparing to lob up to £4 BEEELLION at commodity tech

The government’s official procurement arm, Crown Commercial Services, has coughed the contract notice for a multi-year mega framework for commodity tech valued between £2bn and £4bn. The Technology Products 2 buying vehicle is set to go live in November, replacing the previous iteration, which launched in the same month back …
Paul Kunert, 24 May 2016


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe