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Three UK cloudy firms promise CMA they'll be 'fairer' to customers

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has found cloud storage providers were using contract terms and practices which could have breached consumer protection law – and has secured a “commitment” from three companies to not be naughty. Following the CMA's 218-page consumer law review of the sector (PDF), and “engagement …
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Quadsys Five: Judge dismisses abuse of process application

A Crown court judge has dismissed an abuse of process application made by three former directors of reseller Quadsys, who are facing trial over allegations of hacking into a rival’s database to steal customer and pricing info. In August, Thames Valley Police charged five men at the reseller including owner Paul Streeter, MD …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2016
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VMware hikes NSX price, adds cheaper versions

VMware has taken the scissors to its NSX product's feature list to offer versions that won't set back customers quite as much as the full product, at the same time hiking the price of the top version of the product. Pitched at companies that want to create software defined data centres, NSX slips networking and security into …
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Long term sick-note abuser Misco not losing nearly as much money

A pinkish hue has yet to return to the cheeks of sickly European reseller Misco but its latest financials indicate the patient is finally out of intensive care - the same cannot be said of its parent. Most of Misco’s vital statistics improved in calendar Q1, all but sales which slipped 5.3 per cent to $258.2m - or were down a …
Paul Kunert, 04 May 2016
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Monster Cloud and an angry customer wanting a refund: A Love Story

A Reg reader has passed on the most beautiful email exchange we've seen this year, between himself and UK backup business Monster Cloud, after the company suddenly bumped up its prices mid-contract. The London-based reseller came under fire from customers earlier this month when customers who had paid £50 for a year's worth of …
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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
Axellio hardware

X-IO spinning off Axellio line into new biz

Exclusive X-IO Technologies is spinning off its Axellio flash array tech into a separate company as it prepares to stop investing in a market share bun fight with the existing ISE and iglu products. The company has sold in excess of 8,000 ISE flash and flash/disk arrays, and iglu storage data services products, to more than 1,500 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016
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The suits in finance are cutting down on tech spend – Computacenter

Some financial services institutions are taking a break from spending cash on tech, London-based supplier giant Computacenter said today as it reported a Q1 trading update. The services-based reseller revealed a four per cent year-on-year dip in UK turnover to £348.6m for the three months ended 31 March. Product sales dropped …
Paul Kunert, 21 Apr 2016
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LiveDrive drive by: Backup biz's price hikes will kill us, say resellers

Resellers and customers of web backup biz LiveDrive are digesting its recent sweeping price changes with varying degrees of frustration. Some say they’ll quit the service and others are seeking legal advice. As revealed last week, UK-based LiveDrive reseller Monster Cloud, which itself wholesales the online storage services to …
Paul Kunert, 20 Apr 2016
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Microsoft licensing giant yanked off market after sales bid fails

The sales process for Microsoft enterprise licensing house Comparex is "ongoing", the parent company has told us, denying claims from multiple industry sources it is dead in the water. The Raiffeisen Banking Group-owned reseller hired investment banker Jefferies to manage a sales process in May and by September just two …
Paul Kunert, 15 Apr 2016
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Misco: We're moving to the cloud after yesterday's bit barn meltdown

Reseller giant Misco has confirmed it will embark on a crash migration program to shift its infrastructure into the cloud - a day after a datacentre meltdown that froze its e-commerce front-end for six hours. The dash to the cloud while having to maintain a creaking inhouse infrastructure illustrates the dilemma facing …
Paul Kunert, 14 Apr 2016

Ruckus: A strong buy for Brocade, but leaves Juniper isolated again

Comment Pity poor Juniper. The networking company’s alliance with Ruckus Wireless last summer raised hopes that it would strike it third time lucky in the Wi-Fi market, filling the gaping wireless gap in its platform. Now Brocade has snatched carrier Wi-Fi leader Ruckus from under its rival’s nose with a $1.2bn acquisition. It's the …
Wireless Watch, 13 Apr 2016

Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

Analysis The Brexit debate continues and, with the Leave and Remain camps neck and neck, it looks likely that the undecided few will carry the result. It seems that we can expect more headline-grabbing soundbites until the vote on June 23. The polarised nature of this debate is throwing up some interesting oddities, so you might be …
Frank Jennings, 31 Mar 2016
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Kelway founder and CEO Phil Doye steps out of role

Exclusive The brand swap isn't the only major change happening at the London-based Kelway – company founder and CEO Phil Doye is stepping down from daily operational duties, El Chan can reveal. The services-based reseller was acquired by the world's largest tech dealer CDW in July, and much of the senior management has remained in place …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2016
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Crayon still hasn't found what it's looking for... a UK CEO

Microsoft enterprise licensing specialist Crayon is back interviewing staff for the vacancy at the top of the UK organisation after its chosen candidate refused the job at the eleventh hour. The position has been empty ever since former incumbent CEO Gareth Johnson split in January, as we revealed late last year. Company …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2016
Apple iPod touch

Apple's largest UK reseller Jigsaw24 is for sale

The UK’s largest Apple reseller, Jigsaw24, is for sale, multiple industry contacts have told The Channel. The Nottingham-based B2B seller has hired Deloitte to run the process, a move that comes just three years after private equity outfit NorthEdge Capital (NEC) moved in to back a roll up by the management team. In recent …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2016

Quadsys Five enter 'not guilty' pleas to Crown court charges

The fraud case against five men from security reseller Quadsys will go to trial in September after they pleaded not guilty to allegations of hacking into a rival’s database to plunder customer and pricing data. The individuals charged include MD Paul Cox, owner Paul Streeter, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2016
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Pure uncloaks rack-scale FlashBlade object filer for unstructured data crowd

FlashBlade is Pure Storage’s rack-scale flash system for multi-protocol access to unstructured data and the first all-flash object-based unstructured data storage system. Although its rack-scale is differentiated from EMC’s DSSD rack-scale flash system, which is primarily for latency-sensitive structured data. It is a …
Chris Mellor, 14 Mar 2016

Systemax bleeds cash, reports $100m net loss for 2015

The cost of exiting its North America reseller biz propelled Systemax’s net losses to nearly $100m in calendar 2015 - but European ops might just be finally showing some signs of recovery. The supplier, in the midst of a turnaround strategy, offloaded the Technology Group reseller biz in December to PCM for $14m but then …
Paul Kunert, 09 Mar 2016
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XMA shutters its City pad, will service London from St Albans

XMA is to shutter its London offices because too few staff were based there to justify the relatively expensive lease. The office in the heart of the City, established in September 2012 and initially run by former BT Engage exec Chris Leah, was set up to win over more corporate customers and at one point housed upwards of 20 …
Paul Kunert, 03 Mar 2016
Prison

Former Systemax execs ordered to repay $35m to the biz

Two brothers who held high office at Systemax before being found guilty of perpetrating a multi-million pound swindle have been ordered to repay $35m to the company. Gilbert and Carl Fiorentino were sentenced in March 2015 to five and six years behind bars respectively for masterminding a $27m fraud at the reseller and one- …
Paul Kunert, 02 Mar 2016
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Got Oracle? Got VMware? Going cloud? You could be stung for huge licensing fees

Oracle has been telling a number of organisations running its database software that they are breaking the company's licensing rules – and therefore owe it millions of dollars in unpaid licence fees. The issue hit the headlines in January after US confectionery giant Mars took Oracle to court in the US over claims Mars had …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Feb 2016
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Wanna buy an MSP? Attenda hangs 'for sale' sign round its neck

App hosting, co-lo and managed service provider Attenda is coming onto the market for sale in what is already shaping up to be another year of frenzied M&A activity in the UK tech industry. The Staines-based organisation was due to be put up for sale by owner Darwin Private Equity last year but postponed proceedings amid talk …
Paul Kunert, 22 Feb 2016
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Payroll at XMA swells as industry veterans haul themselves aboard

XMA has added a couple of industry veterans to the payroll as a precursor to building out a tech services practice. Six weeks after director Bordan Tchachuk exited the business, Peter Bertram, the one-time CEO at Phoenix IT Group, has arrived at XMA as chairman, our sources have confirmed. Bertram – who is now listed as an …
Paul Kunert, 15 Feb 2016
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Two sales directors wave goodbye to Dell

Dell has embarked on a search for two new shiny-suited sales directors amid a senior-level revamp of its UK channel ops. Steve Holmes, UK commercial channel sales director, is leaving the firm after two decades. Ed Owen, regional sales director for managed service providers and resellers, has already cut and run. Under the …
Paul Kunert, 15 Feb 2016
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Microsoft seller Trustmarque seeks private equity sugar daddy

Exclusive Trustmarque is erecting a for sale sign outside corporate HQ as the management team looks for a new private equity backer to fund a buy-out. The volume licensing reseller-cum-managed services outfit is currently backed by Endless LLP, which swooped for the York-HQ’d business when it faced well publicised cash-flow challenges …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2016
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Asigra becomes an Oracle reseller

Backup software supplier Asigra is shipping its software with Oracle's ZFS Storage Appliance hardware. The software is Asigra's Cloud Backup, which is agentless and multi-tenant. It's also NIST FIPS 140-2 certified. The ZFS appliance hardware had notched up a billion dollars-worth of sales by October last year. Some 15,000 …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016
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Misco locks-in, loads-up sales director Remmington

Misco has hired former Insight and Invicta IT exec Gary Remmington as UK sales director, El Chan can reveal. The man recently left Slough-based reseller Invicta IT along with senior account handlers Wade van Essen - who is also joining the Misco sales floor - and Ben Cook. Tony Brooker, UK boss at Misco, confirmed Remmington …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2016

Quadsys Five trial delayed yet again

The trial of five men from security reseller Quadsys, who all stand accused of fraud, was delayed yet again today. The men were charged last summer and attended a plea and case management hearing at Oxford Crown Court in December – but proceedings were held up until today's scheduled hearing, which was deferred by the court …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2016
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Tech channel veteran De Sousa turns back on Outsourcery

It is back to the drawing board for troubled infrastructure and application cloud provider Outsourcery after it confirmed sales veteran Emma de Sousa has opted not to join them as MD after all. As exclusively revealed by us late last year, De Sousa quit her job as UK boss at reseller Insight to lead Manchester-based …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2016

Computacenter: Win 7 upgrade cycle finally blows itself out

Computacenter closed off 2015 on a bit of a low as turnover slipped due to the strengthening Pound versus the Euro and comparatively lighter customer spending on classic tech products in Blighty. Unaudited calendar Q4 revenues for the group - HQ’d in London but with major operations in Germany and France - fell five per cent …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jan 2016

Gotcha: Symantec fires reseller nabbed in tech support scam

An authorised Symantec reseller has been caught hoodwinking users into buying security software by employing underhand marketing tactics. Silurian Tech Support was spotted flinging fake Norton-themed security warnings in an attempt to drum up business by Symantec rival Malwarebytes. The alerts were used to direct users towards …
John Leyden, 22 Jan 2016
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Recall: Bring out yer dead and over-heating Microsoft Surface Pro power cords

Microsoft is initiating a global voluntary recall of Surface Pro power cords amid concerns of over-heating. According to sources in Microsoft's Authorized Device Reseller (ADR) channel, Pro machines built before 15 July last year will qualify to be swapped out as part of an exchange program. A spokesman at Microsoft sent us a …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016
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Former prez of Misco parent Systemax declared bankrupt

To say 2015 wasn’t exactly a vintage year for former Systemax EMEA president Perminder Singh Dale – AKA Pim Dale – is an understatement. He lost his job in the summer and by Christmas the man was bankrupt. According to the London Gazette, a bankruptcy petition was filed against Dale on 7 October by London Law Funding (LLF) Ltd …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2016
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Ex-SAP exec sent down for 22 months after bribing govt IT officials

A former regional director of SAP has been sentenced to 22 months in jail – plus three years of supervised release – for greasing the palms of government IT buyers. Vicente Eduardo Garcia, 65, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty in August to bribing Panamanian government officials to secure a contract for one of the company's …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Dec 2015

NetApp sings to Solidfire: All I want for Christmas is buying you

NetApp is buying SolidFire to get scale-out all-flash arrays for cloud provider-like use cases – the sort of use cases that are closed to NetApp's all-flash E-Series and ONTAP systems. The acquisition was rumored this month, and had a $1.2bn price tag attached to it. NetApp is paying $870m in cash for SolidFire, a move …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2015

Retirement home awaits Kelway brand, whisper sources

Kelway, one of the most famous brands in the Brit tech channel, is to disappear early next year as new American owner CDW further absorbs the business. Multiple sources told us to expect the services-based reseller to be renamed CDW International from March. “Integration is full steam ahead,” one told us. The vendor …
Paul Kunert, 21 Dec 2015

Quadsys Five fraud case pleas delayed until next month

Five men at security reseller Quadsys who stand accused of fraud are expected to enter pleas at Oxford Crown Court late next month after delays held up their case. Paul Cox, MD at the Oxfordshire-based company, was charged in the summer with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and blackmail relating to an …
Paul Kunert, 21 Dec 2015

Former Sugar babe of Viglen fame set for Chrimbo exit

Tech veteran Bordan Tkachuk is preparing to say a fond farewell to his staff at Viglen after nearly 20 years at the helm of the system builder that was once owned by Lord Shugs. Sugar offloaded the firm to Westcoast Holding at the start of last year, as we exclusively revealed, and Tkachuk had a two-year earn-out clause baked …
Paul Kunert, 16 Dec 2015
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The HPE-Scality hookup is a full-on reselling deal

The arrangement between object storage startup Scality and HPE, announced at HPE's Discover conference in London last week, is a reselling deal. Jerome Lecat, Scality’s CEO, told The Register: “The HPE news is a big one, and I think it may have been underestimated by some journalists. Scality signed a distribution agreement …
Chris Mellor, 07 Dec 2015
Trainspotting

Softcat set to open up Scottish operation as sales spike continues

Cuddly-named unstoppable reselling machine Softcat keeps on growing in double digits, is hiring more staff and setting up shop north of the border, according to its first trading update as a publicly traded entity. The Marlow-based tech supplier launched itself onto the London Stock Exchange last month. The listing price was …
Paul Kunert, 02 Dec 2015
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Ingram Micro acquires cloud automation smarts from Parallels – sources

Exclusive Tech distributor Ingram Micro has acquired a hosting and cloud service management system from Parallels, sources have told The Channel. The deal includes the Odin Service Automation platform, related cloud management stuff, the IP, and the Odin brand, we're informed. Our contacts were not aware of the financials involved. The …
Paul Kunert, 01 Dec 2015
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Iomart, Logicalis and VIRTUS buy data centre firms

The data centre sector witnessed a flurry of mergers and acquisitions activity today with three DC firms changing hands. Let’s start with Iomart, which is paying up to £11m for United Communications Ltd, a managed hosting firm based in Hemel Hempstead, with about 6500 mostly small business customers. Iomart is paying £7.5m in …
Drew Cullen, 01 Dec 2015

Systemax: Shuttering our North America Tech Group may cost $55m

Systemax has gone public with the cost of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts in the closure of its remaining North America Technology Group (NATG), and it's going to be pricey. Very pricey. The ailing reseller revealed last week that US dealer PCM has offered $14m to pick up certain assets, including the right to hire roughly …
Paul Kunert, 24 Nov 2015

Systemax offloads North America problem child to PCM for $14m

Ailing tech supplier Systemax looks to have dealt with the corporation’s problem child – it is selling “certain assets” of the North American Technology Group (NATG) to PCM for $14m and will shutter the rest. The once mighty reseller has reported steep losses and falling sales this year; it has already closed 31 retail stores …
Paul Kunert, 19 Nov 2015
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Softcat execs set to become overnight millionaires

Updated Softcat has floated on the London Stock Exchange with shares priced at 240 pence each, valuing the Marlow-based tech reseller at £472.3m. The first day of trading is expected to be 18 November and the firm was asked to open the LSE trading floor on that day. In the meantime, shares are tradeable on a conditional basis and had …
Paul Kunert, 13 Nov 2015

Mega-reseller CDW's Q3: It turned over $54.7m. That's per day

Sales steamroller CDW - the US parent of Brit reseller Kelway - turned over $54.7m worth of tech products and services on a daily basis in calendar Q3 ended September. Read that again people, $54.7m. This is more than the vast majority of local tech suppliers across Blighty generate all year. Titan CDW - the world’s largest …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2015
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Profitable business evaporates at Systemax... make that all business growth

The year seems to be going from bad to worse for ailing tech supplier Systemax with losses widening and revenues narrowing. In calendar Q3, the reseller reported sales of $699.3m, down 15.3 per cent from $825.4m in the same period a year ago, the primary cause of this was the North America Tech Products unit. Stateside, the …
Paul Kunert, 04 Nov 2015
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Former Dragon lures reseller exec into cloud cave

Manchester-based cloud-slinger Outsourcery has confirmed that outgoing Insight Enterprises UK boss Emma de Sousa will land as managing director in April. Sources told us last week that de Sousa was quitting Insight - it was confirmed by the company yesterday - and that one option on the table was the offer from Outsourcery. …
Paul Kunert, 04 Nov 2015

Insight UK veep de Sousa set to split – sources

Insight Enterprise's EMEA president has told us that his UK sales general Emma de Sousa is not quitting the company, despite claims from myriad sources to the contrary. The company veteran rocked up at the reseller as sales director in 2006 and rose through the ranks to run German ops, the Southern Europe hub, and for the last …
Paul Kunert, 29 Oct 2015

Opinion

Privacy image

Frank Jennings

Two working parties, ministers galore... but data transfer law remains in limbo
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Chris Evans

It does simplify the hardware setup, whatever it is
A microscopic view of the biometric shark skin. Pic: James Weaver

Chris Mellor

Do something and stop faffing about in the bush league

Kat Hall

International system in general needs greater transparency

Features

Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world
hacker
Mostly it's financial crime. Here's what all the cool kids' terms mean in English
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson
Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers