MicroScope's top stories: February 2014

Ingram Micro to cut jobs across Europe, SCC buys into managed print world, and Lexmark talks MPS benefits to woo channel. Catch up on the biggest channel stories of February 2014

Ingram Micro to make redundancies in major organisational shake-up

Ingram Micro has made a number of changes to its European organisation, implementing a pan-regional operating model in an attempt to “significantly improve” its ability to meet its customers’ needs, and is preparing to make a number of cuts to back itself up.

The firm claims that by simplifying and standardising its organisational set-up it can tap into wider economies of scale and exploit the local knowledge its country operations have gained to enhance its growth prospects.

Recently-crowned European senior EVP and president Gerhard Schulz characterised the changes as a means by which the distie can better align with a rapidly changing and evolving market.

“Ingram Micro’s business model must have the agility and flexibility to take full advantage of the many existing opportunities in the market.

"With this new operating model, we intend to accelerate our internal decision-making processes and systems that will support our country go-to-market efforts even more, allowing us to provide our partners with even greater world-class service,” he said.

Ingram conceded that the transformation would impact a number of jobs in most countries and in a statement said it would begin consulting with employee representatives across Europe.

SCC bolsters managed print position with M2 buy

SCC has responded to the growing demand for managed print services by snapping up M2 Digital Limited, a specialist channel player in that market, adding 180 staff to its payroll.

M2 will merge with the existing managed print operations at SCC but will remain an independent division, keeping its staff and management team intact as part of the undisclosed deal.

SCC and M2 have been in talks for nine months

Mike Swain, managing director (Services), SCC, said that it had held discussions with M2 over the past nine months after identifying it as a target that matched its plans of expanding the managed print side of the business.

"Managed print is an existing capability but is one of the areas we determined as an area for investment," he added. "M2 are key specialists in this area and we don't want to dilute that in any way but it will now have access to the SCC company and there will be investment in the business."

He added that it had seen an increase in demand for its managed and professional services as customers were starting to demand that sort of IT delivery from their channel partners.

Lexmark focuses on MPS business benefits to woo channel

Lexmark is attempting to bolster its channel offerings by placing greater emphasis on the wider business benefits that its Lexmark Print Management service offers.

The service can be deployed on site or as hosted software and is designed to create a secure, shared print environment that offers a range of business benefits.

Lexmark says the service not only reduces printing costs and shrinks carbon footprint, but can also be used to introduce new functionality. For example, it can help customers strengthen access controls, security and compliance.

It can also enable printing from mobile devices, track activity and increase user accountability.

Microsoft settles copyright case with Discount-Licensing 

Microsoft has settled a copyright infringement with second-hand software player Discount-Licensing Limited and underlined the dangers of resellers handling products that have first been sold into Europe.

The Court backed Microsoft after it moved against Discount-Licensing, which had been selling second-hand licenses which had been illegitimately imported into Europe.

The case has been settled with Discount-Licensing paying Microsoft a significant sum to cover damages and legal costs and with the reseller abandoning its counterclaim over software that had been first sold into the European market. The reseller also has to abide by a court order that regulates its future conduct.

Nimans backs energy-saving product in BBC Dragons' Den

Networking and comms distributor Nimans is backing one of its partners as it showcases a new power-saving device – named the energyEGG – in an appearance on BBC television’s Dragons’ Den show.

Developed by Scottish entrepreneur Brian O’Reilly after he got tired of nagging his family to turn off lights and appliances around the home, the energyEGG wirelessly connects to a control adaptor, light switch or six-outlet power strip, and uses motion sensors to detect if people are around. If it finds none, it switches off devices such as TVs, games consoles or DVD players.

ASG Software puts channel at heart of relaunch

Enterprise business intelligence software solutions firm ASG Software has vowed to put channel partners front and centre of a major relaunch and rebranding exercise that will see it substantially turn its back on the direct sales model it has operated for nearly 30 years.

Founded in 1986 as Allen Systems Group, ASG has carved out a niche serving enterprise customers including American Express, BA and Coca-Cola.

Bytes turns to Apprentice winner for recruitment nous

Bytes Software Services has teamed up with sales recruitment specialist Raw Talent Academy, the brainchild of 2008 Apprentice winner Lee McQueen as it hunts for sales staff to fill its new office.

Held at Epsom racecourse on 18 February, the event saw a number of applicants put through their paces in a variety of Apprentice­-style tasks, which Raw Talent Academy puts together based on their clients’ requirements.

Discount-Licensing reacts to Microsoft

Following the announcement that a copyright infringement case with Discount-Licensing had been settled to Microsoft's satisfaction the reseller has laid out its side of the story.

In a statement sent to MicroScope, Discount-Licensing said that it had been sourcing a small percentage of software licences sourced from the US and selling them into the European Economic Area, however, following a US court ruling it took precautions to reduce its exposure.

DataStax hunts disillusioned Oracle partners

Online application and big data specialist DataStax has launched its inaugural channel partner programme – the DataStax Partner Network – and challenged partners of traditional database firms to rally to its banner.

With its enterprise solutions based on always-on fully-distributed, open-source Apache Cassandra databases, DataStax claims it can offer genuinely unique differentiators when compared to MySQL providers and the likes of Oracle.

Andy Gass returns to lead Tech Data UK

Former Computer 2000 managing director Andy Gass is returning to the UK to become managing director of the UK and Ireland at the recently-renamed Tech Data UK.

Gass has spent the past couple of years as senior vice president of South and West Europe after stepping down from the UK MD role in January 2012.

SCC boss cool on large acquisitions

SCC could be opening its wallet again in 2014 but it won't be to make a major acquisition as it looks to keep its core activities uninterrupted by further expansion.

Comstor chief reunites with Westcon boss at Unify

Channel veteran and Comstor worldwide president Jon Pritchard has crossed over into vendor-land to take up the post of EVP of worldwide channels at UC provider Unify.

Claranet CEO: cloud providers to consolidate around midmarket

Claranet CEO Charles Nasser has been setting out his vision of the short-term future of the European cloud services market.

Xerox appoints HP veteran in key UK channel role

Xerox has recruited a Hewlett-Packard veteran to run its UK channel operation as the vendor looks to increase the amount of business opportunities it drives through its reseller base.

VMware launches vCloud Hybrid Service to channel

VMware has formally launched its vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) in the UK, with the vendor and key partners hailing the launch as a game changer for cloud services provision.

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