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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
walking_fingers

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, Gov.uk

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
trolley_shopping_648

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
rebranding

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 …
trolley_shopping_648

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, Gov.uk

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
Partnership

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 …
recruitment_hired

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: UK.gov 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 Out-Law.com, 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
trolley_shopping_648

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 Gov.uk

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

UK.gov'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

UK.gov 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
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

CSC grabs pistol, plays employment paintball with P45s

Wimbledon is around the corner, the hippies are getting ready for Glasto and sickly integrator CSC is cutting jobs again - the summer season is upon us. Almost like clockwork, the US-headquartered company has again kicked off yet another redundancy programme - it ran one in June last year and one in May 2014. In a memo to the …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
Happy business people celebrate. Photo by Shutterstock

There's never been a better time to be a product reseller... if you like pain

Tough times are here again for the on-premise infrastructure providers with Insight Enterprises the latest to report top line slippage. The global reseller filed sales of $1.17bn for calendar Q1, down four per cent year-on-year, as declines in European and Asia Pacific ops wiped out the slight progress made in North America. …
Paul Kunert, 29 Apr 2016
CEO Rob Beardon - Image via hortonworks

Hortonworks CEO tells El Reg: 'Clearly there's a lot of work to do'

Interview Hortonworks CEO, Rob Bearden, told The Register that “clearly there's a lot of work to do” as the business attempts to stop burning cash by the end of 2016. In an interview in The Marker hotel in Dublin, just across the River Liffey from where Hortonworks was hosting its EMEA Hadoop Summit, Bearden reaffirmed that the Santa …
European flag with sad face

EU: We're splashing out €6.7bn on a giant scientific cloud

The EU is launching a €6.7bn (£5.3bn) mega “science cloud”, intended to better exploit the continent's academic research via big data. According to a press release from the European Commission, the EU is the "largest producer of scientific data in the world, but insufficient and fragmented infrastructure means this 'big data' …
Kat Hall, 19 Apr 2016

Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

Interview In the UK, IT Godzilla Fujitsu is perhaps best known for its unwieldy public sector contracts, being responsible for running a sizeable chunk of the government's legacy technology. Indeed most of its UK and Ireland revenue has historically come from the public sector, some 70 per cent at the beginning of the last Parliament in …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Universal Credit at high risk of cyber-attack, fraud from the outset

Documents released after a four-year legal battle reveal the extent of the UK government's blithe disregard for the risks faced by Universal Credit. This week, internal reviews of the enormous project in 2011 and 2012 were published by the Department of Work and Pensions under Freedom of Information laws. The dossiers reveal …
Kat Hall, 13 Apr 2016

Met cops shop for £150m IT system. Must have: Data centre ops

London's Met Police is seeking a supplier for a 10-year contract for an integrated IT system worth up to £150m in its latest attempt to update its clunky technology. That system is intended to be a commercial off-the-shelf solution that will boost coppers' operational policing via a system that manages all their end-to-end …
Kat Hall, 11 Apr 2016
Doctor Who – The Zygon Invasion. Pic credit: BBC

The BBC flashes £560m ICT deal at hungry tech suppliers

The BBC has once again opened its wallet and is enticing suppliers to bid for a £560m ICT and hosting contract – part of its plans to replace its mega £2bn Atos contract. Over the next eight years it expects to splash between £400m and £560m on the deal, via a "single contracting entity" for end user compute services, hosting …
Kat Hall, 05 Apr 2016

Thin client market gets even thinner, down seven per cent in a year

Thin client sales have dipped 6.9 per cent in a year, to just 5.08 million, according to the abacus-shufflers at analyst firm IDC, which says 5.454m devices shipped in 2014. The firm thinks the dip is attributable to economic factors, rather than a loss of interest in thin clients or desktop virtualisation (VDI). Lower public …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Mar 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

$3bn for an IT services outfit? Bloody Dell!

NTT Data says it will be acquiring the IT services branch of Dell in a reported $3bn deal. The Japanese IT services giant said it would be taking on Dell Services as part of a push to expand its reach globally as a provider. In particular, NTT Data says that the deal will boost its presence in North America and extend its …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2016

Tech's big dogs snarl at UK.gov over Snoopers' Charter

IPB The biggest internet businesses in the free world have written to the British government to politely urge that its Investigatory Powers Bill is improved. Written evidence submitted to the committee looking over the Investigatory Powers Bill, from Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo!, has been published today …

Opinion

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
Stranded_ships

Chris Mellor

Thousands of layoffs announced as spinning rust enters its death spiral

Features

STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Plan b, image via Shutterstock
EU workers, new markets: post-Brexit pressure on May & Co
Tough question, pic via Shutterstock
Honest mistake with your licensing? Audit police look at it on a 'case by case basis'