MicroScope's top stories, week ending 4 April 2014

Capita buys another reseller, Gartner in last ditch XP warning, and government unwraps cyber-security team. Catch up on the biggest channel news stories from last week

Capita buys Updata Infrastructure

Barely two weeks after it acquired security and managed services player Network Technology Solutions, Capita has opened its chequebook again to buy network services player Updata Infrastructure for £80m on a cash free, debt free basis.

Surrey-based Updata specialises in networking and connectivity services in the public sector, and claims a vendor- and supplier-agnostic approach enables it to offer higher value, best-of-breed services to its customers.

Its suppliers include BT Openreach, Virgin Media Business, TalkTalk, Level3, Easynet and Tata Communications, with key customers including Bury, Bedford and Peterborough Councils.

MD Richard Bennett explained that having earned the trust of some of the UK’s “most progressive” councils, he felt that “as an SME we realised that we would struggle to continue our growth in terms of capabilities and market opportunities”.

“We believe that being part of the Capita family provides both of us with the opportunity to leverage our respective domain expertise and market relationships to provide even more compelling managed network solutions to the Public Sector.”

Gartner tells users to get off XP, pronto

Gartner has warned the significant number of users that are still using Windows XP to move away from the operating system as soon as possible to avoid security risks once support ends on 8 April.

A third of businesses still have over 10% of their systems running XP

The analyst house is not alone in sounding warnings and has joined the growing chorus of voices that are reaching fever pitch with the support from Microsoft being switched of.

Although the government has negotiated extra time to sort itself out the vast majority of XP users, which Gartner estimates is around still 25% of enterprise systems, will be left with little option but to go it alone from next week.

"Almost every organisation will have some XP left – there’s lots of Windows 95 running in hospitals, for example. But overall, when support ends, we estimate that 20-25% of enterprise systems will still run XP and that one third of enterprises will have more than 10% of their systems remaining on XP," said Michael Silver, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

Redcentric sales bulked up by InTechnology acquisition

Redcentric, the managed services provider formed in early 2013 after an amicable split with Redstone, has announced an end-of-financial year trading update.

In a brief statement released to the market on the morning of 31 March, Redcentric claimed it was trading comfortably in line with market expectations, and expected its sales for the year ending 31 March to be strong.

It spoke of a strong business pipeline and a number of recent contract wins that will hopefully put it in good stead for a fruitful fiscal 2015 as well.

Software piracy climbing up the political agenda

Protection of intellectual property has taken great strides in the last couple of years but the politicians leading the fight against piracy admit that there is still more to be done.

Speaking at an event at Parliament organised by the Federation Against Software (FAST) and Microsoft the intellectual property adviser to the Prime Minister Mike Weatherley MP said that there had been "a good couple of years on IP" and the issue was being taken much more seriously by the government.

F-Secure: out-of-date software problem extends beyond XP

The demise of support for Windows XP might be attracting current interest but many SMEs are regularly using software that has gone well past its sell by date leaving themselves exposed to all sorts of problems.

With just six days until support for XP gets turned off the security world is warning that customers will be at risk of being targeted by cyber criminals but F-Secure has highlighted a wider problem with software in general.

XP hits week-to-go countdown and security fears mount

There is only one week left before Microsoft switches off support for Windows XP leaving thousands of users that have not moved off the operating system exposed to security threats.

Government takes wraps off cyber-emergency response team

The government has launched the Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) as part of its wider efforts to bolster the UK's online defences but there have been suggestions that it does not go far enough.

Gartner IT spending forecasts for 2014 on track

With the first quarter of 2014 wrapped up the prospects of the year delivering growth in IT spending are still on track with the recovery in the global economy still on pace to support forecasts made at the start of the year.

Salesforce gets spot on top 10 global software vendors chart

Analysts at Gartner have revealed their latest stats on the worldwide software market, revealing the growing profile and importance of software-as-a-service (SaaS) to the channel, as Salesforce.com moved onto the top 10 chart for the first time.

Tech Data handed Google Chromecast support deal

Tech Data's Mobile Solutions arm has been appointed by Google to manage the search engine giant's European supply chain for its recently launched Chromecast media streaming device.

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