MicroScope's top stories, week ending 22 November 2013

Acer's CEO that never was, Colt adds cloud oomph to ArrowSphere, and Redcentric devours InTechnology managed services arm. Catch up on last week's biggest channel news stories

Acer CEO Wong 'dead on arrival', Shih steps in

Acer corporate president Jim Wong, who was due to take up the post of CEO in January 2014, has handed in his resignation before even making it through the door.

Wong was selected to replace the PC builder’s previous boss, JT Wang, who threw in the towel earlier this month after the firm’s mounting troubles were laid bare in a worse-than-expected quarterly results announcement.

Like its peers, the Taiwanese outfit has been struggling in the face of the growing popularity of mobile devices, and the rot afflicting the PC market also resulted in a major write-down on the value of recent Acer acquisitions Gateway and Packard Bell.

In light of its latest boardroom upset, Acer has called in company co-founder Stan Shih as chairman and interim corporate president with immediate effect.

In a statement, Acer said Shih will take on the duties of the CEO position – which is to be eliminated - with immediate effect. This is expected, it said, to boost its decision-making efficiency.

Colt cloud services added to ArrowSphere platform

Colt and Arrow ECS have announced the availability of Colt’s cloud services portfolio through Arrow’s ArrowSphere channel cloud platform.

Colt’s portfolio includes a number of key components that underpin cloud projects, including compute, backup and recovery through vCloud, replication for customers with onsite VMware deployments, and and EMC Atmos cloud-based object storage services, extending on-premise capacity around a number of other vendors, such as CTERA, EMC and Symantec.

These are delivered from Colt’s own Europe-based datacentres, backed by the firm’s house network, which the firm says will ensure consistent quality of service to Arrow resellers.

The two firms have also collaborated on a new self-service user experience which they claim will allow VARs and MSPs to manage and provision services on the fly. The services package also includes billing and management tools, and options to sell hosted or on-premise backup.

Customer needs come first as Symantec revises channel strategy

Symantec is moving channel partners away from a product-centric approach to selling to one based around solutions that meet customer needs as it gears up resellers for a change in its approach to marketing and sales.

The vendor unveiled changes at its recent Partner Engage event in the US and has already taken steps to support its strategy reducing the emphasis on 150 different products to one around 10 possible solutions that resellers could sell.

It has also invested in a Dublin-based call centre that will provide more partners with the chance to chat to an account manager over the phone as it pledges to be easier to work with.

Veeam outlines expansion ambitions

Veeam has set out its ambitions to grow both reseller numbers and its own headcount next year as it looks to look for further growth in the UK market.

The virtualisation specialist already has a channel across the UK that totals around 1,350 but it planning to expand that to 1,600 by the end of next year as it looks to reach more partners with VMware and Microsoft expertise.

Cloud Distribution reflects on strong year, expands services wrap

Networking and security VAD Cloud Distribution has been reflecting on a strong year to date, and discussing details of its expanding partner services offerings.

According to Cloud director of product development, Adam Davison the firm has had a successful year filling in gaps in its portfolio and identifying new vendors that need a little extra push to get them noticed in the UK.

Google and HP run into power problems with Chromebooks

Hewlett-Packard and Google have suspended sales of the Chromebook 11 in the US following user reports of overheating power supplies.

Redcentric picks up InTechnology Managed Services

Redcentric has acquired the share capital of InTechnology Managed Services in a £65m cash deal that will help the firm double its revenues and become one of the largest players in the UK market.

Phoenix launches HP-based cloud service

Hosting company Phoenix has launched an ‘off-the-shelf’ infrastructure designed to deliver IT services via the cloud. Dubbed CloudSure UK, the company says the service is designed to meet the most common requests of customers for ready-to-go cloud-based services.

Fortinet appoints new regional VP to drive growth in UK, northwest Europe

High-performance networking security vendor Fortinet has named Andy Travers, previously VP of sales for the UK, Ireland and South Africa at F5 Networks, as its new regional vice president for northwest Europe.

K3 takes wraps off hosting division

K3 Business Technology Group has launched a hosting division that will sell cloud services internationally building on the work already done by the firm's managed service operation.

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