MicroScope's top stories, week ending 6 December 2013

AMD sees bespoke system builders fighting back, EC lets DiData acquisition plans slip, and Microsoft simplifies licensing. Catch up on the biggest channel news stories from last week

AMD reports resurgence in system builder market

The system builder market is re-emerging after years of taking a hammering as customers turn to local players to help them build and install PCs quicker than rivals shipping them from overseas can manage.

The growth in the local system builder market has been noted by AMD, which has seen numbers swell in those channel players that are able to customise an order and deliver it fairly quickly to customers.

Andrew Buxton, EMEA channel director at AMD, said that the system builder market traditionally had been fairly strong but had then imploded with high-profile failures such as Evesham and Mesh and for a while things had gone quiet, but that was now changing.

"Local system builders are holding up really well because they are very responsive and are growing with build to order," he added "A lot of these guys [who were in the market a few years ago] are coming back and it is encouraging."

He said that AMD was determined to engage with more of the system builders and the reseller base that was targeting local small businesses in the year ahead and believed it had a decent proposition that provided partners with high performance products and good margins.

Unify signs up Westcon's Dean Douglas

Enterprise comms JV Unify – formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications – has revealed Dean Douglas is to join the company next year as its new CEO.

Siemens Enterprise Comms renamed itself Unify earlier this year

Douglas resurfaced just a day after the industry learned he was stepping down from his previous role at Westcon, to be replaced by former Dell man Dolph Westerbos.

However it comes after a lengthy search for a new CEO at Unify, according to chairman Mark Stone, who said the firm had now found an “ideal successor and leader”.

“[Dean] brings deep understanding of the enterprise technology industry and intensive experience of successful sales channel and partnership development in a variety of international roles, which will be essential as we continue the transformation of Unify into the most capable supplier in the industry."

EC lets Dimension Data acquisition bid slip

Managed services player Dimension Data has tabled an undisclosed sum for the entire equity capital of NextiraOne’s IT services business in a number of European countries.

The existence of the deal, currently under scrutiny in Brussels, was revealed by the European Commission in a small announcement late last week.

According to the EC’s brief statement, Dimension Data – which is itself owned by Japanese firm NTT – plans to pick up NextiraOne’s business in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and the UK.

Westcon makes Westerbos boss

Networking, security and unified comms distie Westcon has selected former Dell exec Dolph Westerbos to take on the role of CEO following the departure of Dean Douglas, who is stepping down in January after five years in charge.

Currently group president of APAC and EMEA operations, head of global strategy and marketing at CHEP, part of logistics outfit Brambles.

Microsoft moves to make volume licensing simpler

Microsoft has reacted to the often cited criticism that its volume licensing structure is too complicated with significant changes to its approach that will see a myriad of different options consolidated into a single offering.

Rather than providing agreements for small, mid and large enterprise customers, that in turn included several sub-categories, the vendor will now offer a foundational agreement to all customers that will then be supplemented by 'Committed Offers', that will echo some of the existing specialisms so those investing in the likes of cloud can still be rewarded.

Claranet recruits former 2e2 staffer as CIO

Claranet has recruited a former 2e2 staffer to step into its CIO position with a brief to look after the integration of acquired businesses as it looks to flex its muscles in the managed services space across Europe.

Gartner: server revenues, shipments fall again in EMEA

Both server shipments and revenues in EMEA declined during the third quarter of 2013, with sales now at their lowest level since the late 1990s, according to analyst house Gartner.

Unite slams HP job cut plans

Unite has moved swiftly to condemn Hewlett-Packard's plans to cut 1,100 jobs at the start of next year across its sites in the UK as it continues to undergo a business transformation.

On-demand pen tests latest addition to Trustwave MSP offer

Compliance and network security specialist Trustwave is to add subscription-based Penetration testing to its managed security services programme for the first time, giving both enterprise and SME partners new abilities around identifying and exposing network and application vulnerabilities lurking within customer networks.

Toshiba pounces on fallen OCZ, eyes SSD market dominance

High-performance solid state drive (SSD) vendor OCZ, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, has been bought by Toshiba for the knockdown price of $35m (£21.3m).

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