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Outsourcery inks Vodafone finance deal as selloff rumours grow

Sickly slinger of cloud services Outsourcery has signed a finance deal with Vodafone to keep the wolves from the door as it prepares to restructure – or do what some are interpreting as readying itself for a sale. The AIM-listed bringer of infrastructure, apps and UC services revealed at the start of this week it is again …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Cloud gear biz Outsourcery is running out of cash. Again

Misfiring AIM-listed cloud provider Outsourcery appears to be running out of runway. Sales still haven’t matched the predicted highs, cash flow is drying up again and a crash seems possible. The purveyor of infrastructure, software and unified comms clouds has pre-announced its calendar year 2015 results, with revenue up nine …
Paul Kunert, 25 Apr 2016
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Dell looking at higher debt mountain to buy EMC

Dell is facing its EMC acquisition debt mountain growing yet higher because the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. That could highlight product overlap costs to ex-money man David Goulden who will run the new Enterprise Systems Group, covering its servers, storage, networking, converged …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016

SecureWorks' sorry IPO falls $48m short of aim

In the first initial public offering of the year in the technology sector, Dell's infosec subsidiary SecureWorks has raised much less than expected. Despite plans to raise $160m with the IPO, Dell has pocketed only $112m after selling eight million shares at $14, merely 70 per cent of its aim. The squib of an IPO is …
Grinning man in suit points at a calculator meaningfully. Pic via Shutterstock

Fujitsu Tech Products overhauls direct sales team's pay

Fujitsu’s Technology Products Group (FTPG) says it is going to pay its end user sales team the same amount regardless of whether they transact business via resellers or cut out the middlemen. This is one of the levers the new look team team over at FTPG is pulling to grow business while containing costs, and breaking down the …
Paul Kunert, 13 Apr 2016
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What exactly is it that infosec miscreants get up to? A quick overview

If corporate IT infrastructures are a battlefield, then the cybercriminals are putting up a good fight. Last year saw some nasty breaches. Anthem Insurance, which lost nearly 80 million records, and the US Office of Personnel Management, which lost 21 million records after failing to encrypt its records. Cybercriminals are …
Danny Bradbury, 13 Apr 2016
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Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?

Sysadmin Blog Dear readers, I apologize in advance for the cursing, horrible metaphors, similes and so forth that will populate this blog. I am writing this after a day of dealing with a network cryptolocker outbreak and finally hitting that wall where I no longer care about anything except venting unto the world that silent rage that has …
Trevor Pott, 12 Apr 2016

Server vendors? Pah, they're mere resellers

Comment A few days ago Dell announced that they are reselling hyper-convergence solutions bundling software coming from Nutanix and VMware – and possibly others, too. From my point of view this is not a good strategy. Yes, it will boost some sales in the short term, but what is your differentiator in the long term? What is your value …
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Dell infosec unit SecureWorks given $1.42bn price tag in IPO

Dell's cyber security subsidiary SecureWorks has been valued at up to $1.42bn ahead of an initial public offering. SecureWorks filed to go public in December 2015. The S-1 form placed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the time offered a $100m placeholder figure before the valuation, though this …
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Troubled Azzurri Comms offloaded to AIM-listed Maintel

AIM-listed comms and networking integrator Maintel has conditionally agreed to slurp struggling rival Azzurri Comms for £48.5m - a company that is twice its size. At the same time, the London-based Maintel confirmed it is also to place Ordinary Shares on the market at 700 pence each with the aim of generating roughly £24m to …
Paul Kunert, 08 Apr 2016

EMC said to be ditching Documentum business

EMC-Dell deal EMC’s Documentum business may be up for sale, as part of a non-core asset-ditching process during the Dell-EMC coming together. Bloomberg cites people familiar with the matter in a report claiming EMC will spin off Documentum while Dell will sell Sonicwall and Quest as a way of helping to lower the costs of the Dell-EMC …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 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

Violin Memory CEO and board member splash $180k on firm's shares

Violin Memory CEO Kevin DeNuccio has spent $37,500 to buy 75,000 shares of Violin at an average $0.50 share price, demonstrating his visible commitment to the company. He had previously bought 125,000 shares in two transactions since 2013. The first one, for 50,000 shares at $3.08/share, has so far lost around 80 per cent of …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016
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Web hosting and domain name merchant UK2 Group puts up for sale sign

Hosting and domain name registrar UK2 Group is using the services of an investment banker to find a buyer - the second such attempt in a year, sources have claimed. Torch Partners is running the process on behalf of owner LDC, the mid-market private equity wing of Lloyds Banking Group, which took a majority stake in the group …
Paul Kunert, 24 Mar 2016
Photo by Michael Vadon

Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

Shy and modest Apple today unveiled a pair of small iPhones and iPads for people with itty-bitty hands. The Cupertino slinger of iStuffs summoned hacks to a brief hour-long conference in California to unveil the four-inch iPhone SE handset as well as a 9.7-inch iPad Pro slab. Both are powered by the now-available iOS 9.3 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Mar 2016
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

Lenovo says bye-bye to key exec amid massive spring reorganisation

Lenovo is embarking on the mother of all spring cleans after digesting the acquisitions of Motorola and IBM’s volume server biz. The group is re-arranging execs and the business units they steer amid numerous sector challenges, including the weakened state of demand for traditional PCs, tabs and smartphones, or the sales hit …
Paul Kunert, 21 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
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SanDisk stockholders book a table, prepare for Western Digital gobble

SanDisk shareholders have voted in favour of Western Digital buying their company. At SanDisk's special stockholders' meeting today, 98 per cent of the votes were in favour of the sale to WDC. WDC shareholders, via more than 90 per cent of the votes cast, have separately approved WDC issuing more shares (common stock) to help …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Private Dell mostly makes PCs – and its sales of those are down

Dell isn’t exactly in rude financial health as it marches ever closer to the $60bn+ acquisition of EMC – at least, judging by P&L accounts the privately-held Texan tech firm filed with the US SEC. The mammoth Form s-4 is supposed to paint a painfully honest picture of the businesses current position and the potential risks of …
Paul Kunert, 15 Mar 2016

Dell plans sale of non-core assets to reduce EMC buy debt

Dell and EMC have agreed on the documentation to be put to the latter's shareholders at a forthcoming meeting that will vote on the merger of the two companies. And the document reveals that Dell plans to sell off some non-core businesses after the merger. The document in question is a Form S-4, one of the many regulatory …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Mar 2016
Violin

Violin Memory axes quarter of its staff after finances hit a bum note

Violin Memory has become a sub-$50-million-run-rate company with its latest loss-making quarter, and announced a 25 per cent head count cut in a restructuring exercise. The beleaguered all-flash array company saw revenues in its fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Jan 31, of just $10.9m, the lowest amount in more than three …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2016
Woman reads book, sips tea on couch. Photo by Shutterstock

Data protection: Don't be an emotional knee jerk. When it comes to the law, RTFM

How many times have you spoken to someone in a call centre who refused to give you information on the basis that the "Data Protection Act" prevents them? Any potential customers in Germany who told you they can’t buy your IT or cloud service because their law prohibits data transfers outside Germany? Has anyone told you that a …
Frank Jennings, 10 Mar 2016
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Array biz's figures leave little to the Imation

Well, we were expecting diminished revenues and growing losses – and storage biz Imation didn't pull off any last-minute surprises. The Minnesota-based outfit's revenues were down 52 per cent year-on-year in its final quarter of 2015 as it divested itself of everything except its Nexsan array business and the acquired …
Chris Mellor, 08 Mar 2016
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/ 401kcalculator.org.

LCD price fixing settlement helps sweeten Tech Data's bottom line

A $35m settlement from LCD vendors over price fixing coupled with some general belt tightening on operating costs helped Tech Data bank a double digit profit bounce in Q4 of fiscal ’16. The world’s second largest tech distributor reported sales of $7.48bn for the three months ended 31 January, up two per cent year-on-year. In …
Paul Kunert, 04 Mar 2016

Cisco to partners: We're all doing services now – resistance is futile

Cisco Partner Summit This week, Cisco gathered its partners in San Diego to make one thing abundantly clear: it's not just about network boxes any more. The company that made its name helping everyone move data from point A to point B has laid out a new vision for itself and its vendors, which will see Cisco put itself everywhere from security to …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Mar 2016
Bruce Schneier

Confirmed: IBM slurps up Bruce Schneier with Resilient purchase

RSA 2016 After nearly a week of rumors IBM has confirmed it has bought incident response firm Resilient Systems and so gained the services of its CTO security guru Bruce Schneier. "We are excited to be joining IBM Security, the industry's fastest-growing enterprise security company," said John Bruce, Resilient Systems' CEO. "By …
Iain Thomson, 29 Feb 2016
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Truncated Q4 helped send Ingram Micro sales down 19 per cent

Sales at Ingram Micro went into a power-dive in calendar Q4, tumbling $2.7bn on the same period a year earlier. But on an organic basis the state of play was not nearly as bad as the topline number indicated. The world’s largest distributor - which is being slurped by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group for $6bn - filed turnover of …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2016

Airwave drops lawsuit against Home Office over EE contract win

Airwave will no longer be pursuing legal action against the Home Office over its decision to award part of a chunk of its Emergency Services Network contract to EE. A spokesman for Motorola said: "We can confirm that all disputes have now been settled and all litigation will be dropped." In December last year EE won part of …
Kat Hall, 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
Panic button

Imation owner to Violin: Talk now or it's (proxy) war

Happy weekend guys and let us in, or else it's proxy war. On Friday the Clinton Group and Imation, both stockholders of Violin Memory, sent a forceful letter to Violin's Board about the ongoing sale process and a need for dialogue. Imation is controlled by the Clinton Group. The two companies believe that troubled Violin …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2016

Yahoo! is! up! for! sale! – so! how! much! will! you! bid!?

Yahoo! has officially called in the bankers to explore "strategic alternatives" for the company; in other words trying to find someone to buy up the non-Alibaba side of the business. "Separating our Alibaba stake from Yahoo's operating business is essential to maximizing value for our shareholders. In addition to the reverse …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2016
China

Ingram Micro set for $6bn sale to Chinese enormo-corp HNA Group

The world's largest tech distributor, Ingram Micro, is set to be acquired by the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group for approximately $6bn. Ingram Micro has announced that it has accepted the terms of a merger agreement with Chinese shipping company, Tianjin Tianhai, and will become part of the Chinese mega-firm HNA Group – an …

Ah, that new 'baby' mainframe smell: IBM shows off z13s

IBM’s new entry-level mainframe, the z13s, makes its debut next month and the company’s press blurb makes for instructive reading, not least because it has very little to say about the actual spec. Instead, there is much enthusiasm about the security features and services assembled for the z Systems server family. The server …
Drew Cullen, 16 Feb 2016
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Brit bit barn and hosting slinger C4L Group sold for £23m

LSE-listed Castle Street Investments has slurped network services and bit barn hosting biz C4L Group Holdings for circa £23m. Under the terms of the sale, the investment vehicle - born out of its online dating firm Cupid - will pay £20.2m for C4L’s equity (£14.2m in cash, the rest in shares), and assume £2.8m of debt. C4L …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2016

Volvo offloads IT biz to HCL, then outsources own IT to.... HCL

Swedish battering ram truck maker Volvo has offloaded its external IT business to HCL Technologies for around SEK 900m and signed a deal with the Indian outsourcing monster to overhaul its apps and plumbing. The deal, first outlined in a letter of intent written by the companies in October, will see roughly 2,500 techies …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2016

Higher US Fed interest rates will hit startups over the head

The US Federal Reserve’s decision in December to increase the target range for the interest rate it pays banks by one-quarter of one per cent, to 0.25-0.5 per cent, didn't seem like an Earth-shaking event at the time. But it was the first time the world’s most powerful central bank had changed its rate target since 2008, and …
SA Mathieson, 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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Symantec's definition of transformation: Take the profit made a year ago and burn a quarter of it

Symantec has announced its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2016 and they aren't looking pretty. Revenues are down 6 per cent and profits plummeted by 23 per cent. In a conference call following the earnings announcement, CEO Michael Brown said the Silicon Valley firm was well on its way with a three-year restructuring …
Iain Thomson, 05 Feb 2016

Barracuda kills CudaDrive and Copy cloud storage services

Barracuda Networks' financial woes look to be biting, as the company has announced it is killing its cloud storage services, CudaDrive and Copy.com, and focussing resources on stuff that really matters. The company has blogged the news, with Rod Mathews - veep and general manager of the company's storage business – saying …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Feb 2016

Alphabet, cough, Google most valuable biz on Earth as it pours billions into 'other bets'

Alphabet, Google's new parent-holding-company-thing, has reported stellar end-of-year results: revenues in the final quarter of 2015 hit $21.3bn, and profit reached $4.9bn. The figures pushed Alphabet's stock price up eight per cent in after-hours trading, making it, for the moment, the most valuable company on the planet by …
Iain Thomson, 01 Feb 2016
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CSC boss Gossain is now an ex-exec

CSC UK chief Sanjiv Gossain has joined the not-so-selective club of ex-execs, leaving the ailing integrator less than two years into his tenure. In a wonderful blurt of business-speak, CSC sent us a statement on his departure, confirming Gossain is leaving to “pursue other opportunities as he transitions to the next chapter of …
Paul Kunert, 01 Feb 2016
Our plucky Playmonaut celebrates his riches with a bevy of beauties

Stop everything! PC sales did increase in the UK over Christmas

Finally some PC shipments have arrived on our desk that reveal the products customers are actually buying – and the real picture is far less negative than most other analysts’ stats state. Both IDC and Gartner track shipments into distributors and retailers, not actual sales to punters, and after a sustained period of channel …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Clock's ticking: Euro Commission considers Dell-EMC megacorp

EMC/Dell deal Competition authorities at the European Commission will either rubber-stamp Dell’s proposed $67bn slurp of EMC by the end of next month or launch a full-blown probe. The largest buy in tech history is expected to close between May and October, according to the companies - but this is assuming anti-trust regulators approve it …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2016
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?

Google is to pay £130m to settle a tax dispute with the British Government over how it account for revenues booked in the UK. More importantly for Treasury coffers Google will now "pay tax based on revenue from UK-based advertisers, which reflects the size and scope of our U.K. business,” a Google spokesman wrote in an email …
Drew Cullen, 23 Jan 2016
Hadoop

Hortonworks shares plunge 22% after secondary IPO news

In Brief The shares of the Hadoop open-source software distributor Hortonworks have plunged 22 per cent following the company's announcement that it had filed for a secondary IPO. Hortonworks is seeking to raise a proposed maximum $100m through the sale of common stock shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange …
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Onyx to erect 'for sale' sign outside corp HQ, say sources

Data centre and hosting slinger Onyx will erect a "for sale" sign outside its Stockton-on-Tees HQ in 2016, and the expectation from multiple sources is this will happen sooner rather than later. The private equity-backed business is working with adviser Deloitte to run the sale but as yet no Information Memorandum has been …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016
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NetNames hires turnaround king Steve Vaughan

Self-anointed turnaround expert Steve Vaughan has parachuted into NetNames as non-exec chairman, presumably to improve things at the loss-making domain name registration firm. Vaughan has a track record of saving ailing companies, and managed to improve the fortunes of Phoenix IT Group, stemming the losses and preparing it for …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jan 2016
Violins

NYSE fed up of Violin's bum notes, threatens stock market ejection

Violin Memory is under notice of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because its stock price has been less than $1.00, on average, for 30 days. The company has said it will regain listing compliance. To be compliant with NYSE listing practice a stock’s average closing price has to be at least $1.00 over a 30-day …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2016
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ANS Group consumes specialist network minnow Eison

Manchester-based converged infrastructure and managed service merchant ANS Group has hoovered up network infrastructure minnow Eison. “This acquisition will further underpin our Hybrid Cloud and data centre strategy,” said Scott Fletcher, ANS chairman and founder. He said the buy paves the way for “intelligent” WAN and …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2016

Citrix buys System Center control freak, sells CloudPlatform

Citrix has offloaded its CloudPlatform products to Accelerite, bought Comtrade's System Center Operations Manager management packs and tweaked some of its software. The sale first: Accelerite is a subsidiary of India's Persistent Systems, a software-developer-for-hire that created Accelerite to sell products instead of …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jan 2016

Opinion

Walking on water, image via Shutterstock

Chris Mellor

IDC stats reveal who's who in the backup appliance bearpit
Carry on Cleo

Gavin Clarke

Infamy, infamy, Amazon and Microsoft have all got it in for me!

Tim Anderson

Also signals stronger cross-platform tools, access to new markets

Features

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
single pain of glass