MicroScope's top stories, week ending 14 February 2014

Claranet CEO talks cloud channel landscape, Yorks cricketer heads to Big Technology and Discount-Licensing hits out at FAST. Catch up on last week's biggest channel news stories

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.

Speaking following following the announcement of Claranet’s full year financial results, Nasser said: “We are seeing a rapidly maturing cloud services market that is consolidating towards a smaller number of regional players at the midmarket level.”

In a signal that Claranet may look to acquire to keep skin in the game, Nasser said that strong growth during the past 12 months had been underpinned by the successful integration of a number of acquisitions, including UK-based Star and French player Typhon.

“Our plans are ambitious and as we look ahead into 2014, we expect the year to be one of further rapid growth and expansion for us,” said Nasser.

The MSP revealed it grew annual sales across Europe by 47% to £103m, reflecting both the growing strength of the hosted services model and its past acquisitions. Recurring EBITDA on a like-for-like basis increased by 95% year-on-year.

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.

"The future is online apps running NoSQL

Dave Klock, DataStax

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.

Speaking to MicroScope, DataStax SVP of global business development, Dave Kloc, explained: “Oracle is being increasingly challenged by NoSQL databases. It’s time for a next generation of technology driven by sheer volume of data. There’s a need for a paradigm shift – the future is online apps running NoSQL. The growth is there and the market is massive.”

Kloc came on board the start-up – which opened a London sales office in spring 2013 – with a brief to refocus the firm’s go-to-market strategy around the channel.

Yorkshire wicket keeper Brophy fields £10m plan at Big Technology

Software-defined tech VAD Big Technology has beefed up its internal teams in areas including sales and solutions architecture as it sets its sights on UK revenues of £10m by the end of the year.

To support its plans for the market, it has now hired former Nimbus Data, Pillar Data Systems and Oracle man Paul Brunyee as solutions architect manager, and former Yorkshire wicket keeper and Exclusive Networks account manager Gerard Brophy as its sales manager.

Brophy’s cricketing career lasted over fifteen years and took him from Transvaal in South Africa to Northamptonshire and later Yorkshire. He left the professional sport in 2012 and has been in the channel full-time since then.

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.

Pritchard has been at Comstor for a number of years and took up the worldwide role four years ago after the Cisco-centric distie took the decision to present a single, global face to the market. He oversaw operational and strategic sales programmes, marketing, business development, business segmentation planning among other things.

Softcat hires former Insight staffer to handle vendor alliances

Softcat has hired a former Insight staffer to help drive its vendor relationships as it looks to align more closely the demands of its customers with the direction its suppliers are heading in.

James Baker, a former EMEA product management director at Insight, joins Softcat in a couple of months time taking up the role as Alliance Director and has a CV that also includes spells at Veritas and Symantec.

Discount-Licensing angered by FAST decision

Discount-Licensing has expressed its disappointment that the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has taken the decision to terminate the membership of the second-hand software specialist.

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Avnet, EMC speed time to deployment on VNXe Data Domain kit

Avnet Technology Solutions has extended its EMC SME storage and backup programme, Altitude, into the UK for partners specialising in its VNXe storage solutions and Data Domain backup product.

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.

Dixons Retail ventures into Channel Dragons lair

Dixons Retail has signed an exclusive deal to become the first and only retail partner to join The [Tech] Crowd’s recently-launched emerging technology showcase initiative, Channel Dragons.

Sophos acquires Cyberroam to boost networking portfolio

Sophos has acquired India-based network security player Cyberoam as it looks to combine the firm's UTM, and firewall products with its existing network and wireless portfolio.

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