MicroScope's top stories, week ending 10 January 2014

McAfee brand killed off by Intel, Avnet gets new UK management and Gartner bets on enterprise software. Catch up on the biggest channel news stories from the past week

McAfee brand killed off by Intel

After more than a quarter of a century, the iconic McAfee security brand is to be phased out this year, with the launch of the new Intel Security brand, which will cover all the firm’s security products and services.

In his keynote at CES in Las Vegas, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that nearly four years after Intel bought McAfee for over $7bn, Intel would transition its products across to the Intel Security brand during 2014.

Krzanich revealed plans to offer elements of McAfee’s mobile security solutions for free across Android and IOS devices, and launch Intel Device Protection technology for consumer and corporate Intel-based Android mobile devices.

"The complexity of keeping digital identities safe grows as mobile applications and devices become a more important part of our daily lives," Krzanich said. "Intel's intent is to intensify our efforts dedicated to making the digital world more secure, and staying ahead of threats to private information on mobile and wearable devices."

One-time NASA programmer John McAfee founded the eponymous company in 1987, and although his involvement with the firm ended in 1994 he remained involved in the industry via a number of messaging and security companies.

In 2012 he made global headlines after going on the run in central America following allegations of involvement in a murder case, and some market watchers have been quick to characterise the rebrand as a not-too subtle means of distancing Intel from McAfee, who once described his products as “annoying” and earlier told the BBC he was "everlastingly grateful" to Intel for freeing him from association with "the worst software on the planet".

Avnet unveils fresh UK boss in management shuffle

Avnet Technology Solutions has shuffled its management pack promoting Sukh Rayat and unveiling a new head of the UK operations as it looks to strengthen its European executive team.

Rayat moves from his current position as senior vice president of Avnet Technology Solutions North Region to a senior VP role at its Global Computing Components EMEA operation, with immediate effect.

The EMEA Integrated Solutions team also moves with Rayat to come under the wing of the Global Computing Components business.

At the same time the distributor has announced that its senior vice president of its supplier business Tony Madden is taking over the strategic direction and day-to-day running of Avnet Technology Solutions in the UK.

Graeme Watt, president, Avnet Technology Solutions, EMEA, said that Rayat had brought a lot to the firm in his previous role and it was now hoping he would do the same again in his latest position.

Alternative Networks buys Intercept IT

Hosted desktop and virtualisation services provider Intercept IT has been acquired by business communications services provider Alternative Networks in a £12.95m all-cash deal.

City of London-based Intercept IT counts retailer John Lewis and property firm Savills among its clients, and is a Citrix, Microsoft and VMware partner.

It made sales of £9.8m in the year to 31 May 2013, and an EBITDA loss of £100,000. In the past six months it has conducted a major strategic review, trimming its cost base and one-off sales in lower margin hardware and software revenues.

As a result it now claims to do 50% of its business through recurring managed services, and made sales of £4m in the first half of its fiscal 2014 to 30 November, with £5m worth of contracted but as yet unrecognised revenues in the pipeline.

Gartner: enterprise software good bet for 2014

Worldwide spending on enterprise software, including CRM and supply chain management packages, looks set to exceed expectations and outpace other areas of the IT market in 2014, according to new stats released by analysts at Gartner.

Following a flat 2013, the market as a whole is set to expand by 3.1% this year to a total value of $3.7tn (£2.2tn), with enterprise software growing by 6.8% to $320bn.

Gartner managing VP Richard Gordon said he saw software investment skewing towards business analytics in both B2C and B2B environments, offering more evidence that big data will continue to be a key trend this year.

Cloud and mobility causing security concerns

Security concerns around cloud and mobility are set to dominate the agenda in the next 12 months providing opportunities for those resellers that can help solve customer problems around some of the big areas of IT investment.

The predictions from the security industry are coming thick and fast at the moment and there are key themes emerging with worries about increasingly complex cyber threats being accompanied by worries that the growth in adoption of cloud and use of BYOD is leaving customers exposed.

Tech Data teams with Cloud Migrator to ease Office 365 switch

Tech Data UK and specialist cloud migration firm Cloud Migrator have teamed up to help resellers through the process of shifting customers away from on-premise email deployments to Microsoft Office 365.

Comstor expands CA relationship with monitoring software

Comstor resellers in the UK are to get access to CA Technologies’ IT monitoring software after the distie expanded an existing North American relationship to UK shores

HP swings axe deeper than expected

Hewlett-Packard ended the year with the revelation that it intends making more job cuts than previously planned with 5,000 more staff than previously expected now facing the axe.

Social media ostriches face bad service label

Those channel firms that don't take part in social media to support customer interaction could be facing accusations of poor service if they turn their backs on an increasingly popular way of dealing with user issues.

D-Link hands Routledge UK sales, marketing manager role

D-Link has kicked off the New Year by appointing Paul Routledge as its new sales and marketing manager for the UK and Ireland.

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