Sales and Customer Management

  • April 13, 2010 13 Apr'10

    Outsourcing confidence rises but cost concerns persist

    The National Outsourcing Association (NOA) has released its quarterly Outsourcing Confidence Index and claimed that over 50% of end-users are more confident with using outsourcing to support their businesses than they were in 2009.

  • April 09, 2010 09 Apr'10

    Buoyant first quarter builds channel optimism

    Opinion is divided over whether or not the recession is over, but the outlook for 2010 is positive overall, writes Steve Moyes.

  • April 08, 2010 08 Apr'10

    Costs of Digital Economy Bill stack up for ISPs

    By Ian Grant Internet service providers (ISPs) face a host of extra coststhat could add up to £15m a year when provisions in the DigitalEconomy Bill become law. This emerged from a consultation document published by theDepartment of ...

  • March 29, 2010 29 Mar'10

    Editor's comment: Consolidation makes it a memorable Monday

    When people come to look back over this year they will remember this week not just for being the one before Easter but also as the moment when consolidation really went up a notch in the channel.

  • March 29, 2010 29 Mar'10

    Customer retention rather than just cost cutting CEO priorities

    Using IT to hold onto customers is emerging as the main priority for users ahead of the determination to lean on technology to support corporate cost cutting.

  • March 23, 2010 23 Mar'10

    Companies head to hosted services in full knowledge of risks

    Despite the apparent risks associated with cloud computing many customers are ploughing on with the technology regardless in an effort to unlock the promised savings and efficiencies on offer.

  • March 19, 2010 19 Mar'10

    Unified comms message is still too complex

    It is some time since the concept of unified communications (UC) became generally known, but it is clear that there has been a lack of education around it because challenging questions are still being asked.

  • March 12, 2010 12 Mar'10

    Interactive marketing spend rising

    Those in the channel responsible for marketing appear to have grasped the message about the need to invest in interactive approaches to the market.

  • March 12, 2010 12 Mar'10

    Intrinsic develops services muscle

    Cisco and Avaya reseller Intrinsic Technology is bulking up its services team with two new business development managers to head up carrier, WAN and managed services and its new Fusion Managed Services unit respectively.

  • March 11, 2010 11 Mar'10

    Sales dip but profits hold firm at Computacenter in 2009

    Computacenter's exit from trade distribution pushed down 2009 revenues marginally but the march toward services continued as profits held their ground in the face of economic turmoil.

  • March 10, 2010 10 Mar'10

    Five minute interview: Jirina Yates, Avaya EMEA

    MicroScope puts its questions to Jirina Yates, director of field marketing at Avaya EMEA What is the best advice you have received and from whom? Treat people the way you wish to be treated. An old colleague of mine told me this and it is very true....

  • March 08, 2010 08 Mar'10

    Industry veteran Dow sets up channel consultancy

    Former Westcoast director Andy Dow has set up a consultancy IT Channel Works to help vendors entering the UK or new markets within the territory establish a go-to-market model.

  • March 08, 2010 08 Mar'10

    Public sector buyers starting to react to prospect of cuts

    The public sector is starting to react to the numerous messages they have been bombarded with in the last few months about using IT to work more efficiently.

  • March 04, 2010 04 Mar'10

    Comdex to return as a virtual event

    It might seem an off time to revive one of the largest IT show brands just as the tired feet walk the halls in CeBIT but Comdex is returning as an online event.

  • February 15, 2010 15 Feb'10

    Windows 7 is good for business

    Overcoming application compatibility issues with Windows 7 will create opportunities for the channel, says John Tate The opportunities for Windows 7 are being widely discussed in the IT channel.

  • February 12, 2010 12 Feb'10

    Five minute interview: Gary Newbold, Extreme Networks

    MicroScope puts its questions to Gary Newbold, regional director for the UK and Ireland at Extreme Networks What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? "Never ever give up", by my first sales manager. What is the best book you've ...

  • February 11, 2010 11 Feb'10

    Prepare for a year of consolidation

    One of the safest bets that can be made this year is that there will be further consolidation in the market and perhaps a few surprises in terms of buyers and sellers.

  • February 09, 2010 09 Feb'10

    How to succeed in Managed Services

    MicroScope, in association with Kaseya, will be holding a complimentary seminar at the exceptional Sofitel London St James hotel on the 18 March. We'd like to invite you to attend this industry event which will give you an insight to succeeding in ...

  • February 08, 2010 08 Feb'10

    Five minute interview: David Blackman, Acronis

    MicroScope puts its questions to David Blackman, general manager, northern Europe, at Acronis. What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? Best: you will never go wrong taking a profit - my father.

  • February 03, 2010 03 Feb'10

    Phoenix IT Group acquires KCOM network break fix arm

    Phoenix IT Group has confirmed that it has acquired the contracts held by KCOM's network maintenance arm for £1.8m.

  • February 01, 2010 01 Feb'10

    To 'give to get' emerging as IT marketing strategy

    The idea of resellers giving away free consultancy advice to customers emerged as one of the responses during the recession to secure loyalty but has emerged as a marketing strategy.

  • February 01, 2010 01 Feb'10

    Five minute interview: Simon Rixon, BT Engage IT

    What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? The best advice I have received are the values my parents instilled in me. The worst was my school career service which told me that I would never get a job in IT. What is the best book ...

  • January 28, 2010 28 Jan'10

    Opinion: Time for channel to chase fame in Twitter limelight

    When Twitter went down for an afternoon - or what felt like eons to those used to permanently switch on communications - Bill Gates was at one point singled out as a probable cause.

  • January 26, 2010 26 Jan'10

    IT services will not bounce back this year

    Analyst firm Ovum said this year will be a challenging one for the IT services in the UK sector and pre-recession growth levels will not return until 2011 at best. Swingeing cuts in public sector spending will be partly to blame for the stuttering ...

  • January 21, 2010 21 Jan'10

    Decade of social media marketing dawns

    Marketing software developer Alterian has proclaimed the 2010s the decade of digital marketing, after releasing the results of a major new survey. The poll of 1,068 marketing professionals found that 66% planned to invest in social media marketing ...

  • January 13, 2010 13 Jan'10

    Fines of up to £500,000 for lost data

    Potential fines of up to £500,000 for breaking the Data Protection Act by failing to adequately protect information could be a boon for the security industry.

  • January 12, 2010 12 Jan'10

    Services and cost cutting bolsters Computacenter profits

    Computacenter has warned hardware kit remains vulnerable to the fragile economic recovery but the pipeline for contractual services looks healthy.

  • January 08, 2010 08 Jan'10

    Five minute interview: Simon Shorthose, Readsoft UK

    MicroScope puts its questions to Simon Shorthose, managing director at ReadSoft UK What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? Someone once told me, "Everybody has to sell themselves."

  • January 01, 2010 01 Jan'10

    Five minute interview: Robert Furnivall, SAP UK

    MicroScope puts its questions to Robert Furnivall, head of channel, SAP UK What is the worst advice you have received and from whom? "You can carry on playing the rest of the match, your fingers are not broken as you can bend them."

  • January 01, 2010 01 Jan'10

    Five minute interview: David Akka, Magic Software Enterprises (UK)

    What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? Best advice: "If you treat your subordinates as privates (rank) they will perform as privates; if you treat your subordinates as generals they will perform as generals."

  • January 01, 2010 01 Jan'10

    SAP's ecosystem

    When you say the words "ecosystem" and "partnerships" to resellers you often get glazed eyes and a shrug of the shoulders.

  • January 01, 2010 01 Jan'10

    Five minute interview: John Cruickshank, Hughes Europe

    Microscope puts its questions to John Cruickshank, sales director, Hughes Europe What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? Best: From my earliest mentor in sales - whatever the situation, never give up. Easy to say, hard to do ...

  • January 01, 2010 01 Jan'10

    Firms control costs to weather the storm

    When the world around you is collapsing in terms of orders and pipeline business the most obvious reaction is to turn the focus internally to wrestle with the costs that you can at least control.

  • December 17, 2009 17 Dec'09

    Xploite CEO to invest own cash in Net Services

    Xploite CEO Ian Smith is to plough up to £2.1m of new equity into Cisco managed network services provider NetServices to help finance a roll up of companies in the sector.

  • December 14, 2009 14 Dec'09

    Five minute interview: Nick Wiley, Invomo

    MicroScope puts its questions to Invomo CEO Nick Wiley, What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? The best advice I ever heard was from Albert C. Black Jr., president and CEO of On-Target Supplies & Logistics, a US logistics ...

  • December 07, 2009 07 Dec'09

    Five minute interview: John Campbell, QlikTech UK

    MicroScope puts its questions to John Campbell, alliance director at QlikTech UK. What is the best book you have ever read? Anything by my favourite author, Frederick Forsyth. I've read all his books - I love the description, detail, and the ...

  • December 03, 2009 03 Dec'09

    In depth: Marketing matters

    Vendors, distributors and resellers discuss the ins and outs of marketing development funding programmes in a MicroScope virtual roundtable WHO'S WHO.

  • November 27, 2009 27 Nov'09

    Computacenter completes Thesaurus acquisition

    Computacenter has completed the acquisition of Thesaurus Computer Services for £900,000, bolstering its IBM z series business.

  • November 27, 2009 27 Nov'09

    Update: Computacenter set to acquire insolvent Thesaurus

    Computacenter is understood to be in exclusive negotiations with IBM z series player Thesaurus and is expected to acquire the company today or at the latest early next week.

  • November 26, 2009 26 Nov'09

    Computacenter buys becom Informationssysteme

    Computacenter has shelled out €2m (£1.8m) in cash to acquire IBM system house become Information system GmBH from USCF Holding.

  • November 10, 2009 10 Nov'09

    Five minute interview: Ian Cummins, Network Instruments

    Microscope puts its questions to Ian Cummins, vice-president of Network Instruments EMEA What is the best book you have ever read? J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It's so good we even named our daughter from it. And before you get really worried...

  • November 05, 2009 05 Nov'09

    Five minute interview: David Spate, Overland Storage

    MicroScope puts its questions to David Spate, sales and marketing director, EMEA Disk Solutions, at Overland Storage (EMEA) What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom?

  • October 26, 2009 26 Oct'09

    Five minute interview: Adam Spurr, Outsourcery

    MicroScope puts its questions to Adam Spurr, sales director at Outsourcer, what is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? You reap what you sow. My dad told me that when I was 10. What is the best book you have ever read? The Da ...

  • October 20, 2009 20 Oct'09

    Channel Summit: Approaching the cloud with caution and confidence

    In the second part of the MicroScope Channel Summit we asked a panel representing all tiers of the channel what impact they expect from the computing cloud.

  • October 20, 2009 20 Oct'09

    Five minute interview: Craig Whitney, Axway

    Microscope puts its questions to Craig Whitney, vice-president and managing director of Axway. What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? Always have a ‘plan B' - from a former manager. Stuff happens, so be prepared for it. What ...

  • September 29, 2009 29 Sep'09

    Five minute interview: Chrissie Tarbitt, Compellent

    29 September 2009 MicroScope puts its questions to Chrissie Tarbitt, EMEA channel development manager at Compel lent. What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom? The best advice I was given was from my Dad. His motto in life was ...

  • September 25, 2009 25 Sep'09

    Government hints blocking pirates could protect jobs

    The government has indicated that it is still considering suspending users from the internet who are involved with digital piracy in an effort to protect jobs in the software, music and film industries.

  • September 22, 2009 22 Sep'09

    Five minute interview: Lee Finck, PGP Corporation

    MicroScope puts its questions to Lee Finck, senior director of worldwide sales at PGP Corporation. What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom?

  • September 07, 2009 07 Sep'09

    In depth: Tips for starting your own business

    There are three relatively easy ways to money: win it, marry it, or steal it. The passage of time should have taught you that there is almost no chance of winning it, it is probably too late for the second, and as for theft, prison is not an ...

  • September 03, 2009 03 Sep'09

    Have staff cuts gone too far?

    There are growing concerns from IT recruiters that cutbacks have gone too deep. In the last six months thousands of people have lost their jobs and the channel and General IT sector has not been immune from those redundancies.

  • August 27, 2009 27 Aug'09

    Battle joined in file-sharing debate

    New battle-lines are being drawn in the complex debate surrounding file-sharing after the government released proposals earlier this week to cut off all Internet access for persistent file-sharers.

  • August 18, 2009 18 Aug'09

    BSA stings four for £50k

    The Business Software Alliance has taken four manufacturing companies for over £50,000 in its latest clampdown on alleged unlicensed software use.

  • August 11, 2009 11 Aug'09

    Microsoft nabs 11 illegal software dealers

    Microsoft's ongoing campaign against traders dealing in illegal software has caught 11 more resellers across the country. This brings the total number of hard disk loaders that Microsoft has fingered since January to 103.

  • July 31, 2009 31 Jul'09

    In depth: Tips for cutting costs and improving efficiency

    The recession is hitting the third-party distribution channel as hard as everyone else - a situation not helped by the apparent raft of merger and acquisition activity among the vendor community, which in many instances is breeding uncertainty and ...

  • July 30, 2009 30 Jul'09

    Unlicensed EMEA businesses hit to the tune of £6m by BSA

    Those that like to put the fight against piracy into accessible facts and figures might be impressed to see that businesses across EMEA have already paid out £6m this year to settle disputes with the Business Software Alliance.

  • July 09, 2009 09 Jul'09

    Establishing a channel Entente Cordiale

    The ancient Chinese proverb that says 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' may well be applied to the channel, for while we should certainly keep a wary eye on any threats out there, not all fellow VARs need to be viewed with suspicion.

  • June 30, 2009 30 Jun'09

    Ride the recession with closer vendor partnerships

    In today's economic environment, times are perhaps nowhere tougher than they are for the channel: squeezed on one side by the customer's need to cut costs, to win a better deal, and on the other by vendors who may also be reluctant to relinquish ...

  • June 23, 2009 23 Jun'09

    The pitfalls of selling online

    Advertising and selling products online maximises the sales potential of any business. You don't need to market your products in any particular locality or country or to any pre-determined group of potential consumers.

  • June 15, 2009 15 Jun'09

    CBI upbeat about recovery but calls for more credit

    A consensus is building that the recession is going to be less severe than had been feared and as a result hundreds of thousands of jobs could be saved.

  • June 02, 2009 02 Jun'09

    BSA uses channel to promote SAM message to capital

    The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is looking to involve the channel in its two-month anti-piracy campaign in London as it looks to introduce a carrot as well as a stick to the issue of licensing compliance.

  • June 01, 2009 01 Jun'09

    BSA launches London campaign to stamp out piracy

    London has become the latest battleground for the Business Software Alliance (BSA) as the anti-piracy organisation kicks off a two-month campaign to encourage users to pay for their software.

  • May 26, 2009 26 May'09

    Tapping into the revenue stream of hosted security services

    While many sectors in the UK suffer in the grip of recession, the reverse is true of the 'dark economy'. Last year 23 million cybercrime attacks were detected, and in 2009 the onslaught shows no sign of abating.

  • May 26, 2009 26 May'09

    Whistle-blowers happy to drop bosses in it

    The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is proclaiming its whistle-blower campaign to be a success with employees in their droves tapping in leads for the intellectual property protection body to follow up.

  • May 22, 2009 22 May'09

    Consultancy skills can clinch a sale

    Resellers offering a complete service will be better placed to win sales in recession and beyond in today's economic climate, most companies will tell you that customers are hesitant to commit themselves. This natural reaction inevitably manifests ...

  • May 19, 2009 19 May'09

    Reseller opportunities in virtualisation

    It seems as though you cannot go to an industry conference or open up a trade publication these days without hearing the V-word - virtualisation.

  • May 12, 2009 12 May'09

    Insight Enterprises swallows $61.2m restatement charges

    Insight Enterprises is facing charges of $61.2m after restating results from the past 12 years following the conclusion of an internal review of aged trade credits that were found to include errors.

  • May 05, 2009 05 May'09

    Channel marketeers urged to speak CFO's language

    There appears to be a gap between the metrics marketing departments are measuring their success against compared to the expectations of CFOs. As a result many companies are not launching integrated campaigns and are creating the potential for ...

  • April 27, 2009 27 Apr'09

    Tories to scrutinise IT spending as part of thrift economy

    Tory leader David Cameron has put IT savings at the heart of his attempts, if elected, to reduce government debt levels as part of his focus on "thrift". Some of the obvious targets for clawing back money are around the NHS IT systems and...

  • April 09, 2009 09 Apr'09

    Time to wield SAM carrot

    The mechanism of carrot and stick is long-established and one that involves balance between risks and rewards. Some might argue the approach in the software compliance world has focused slightly too much on the stick.

  • April 08, 2009 08 Apr'09

    UK plc must prepare for flexible workers

    The idea of working from home in a comfortable study or sitting on the patio is very appealing when trapped in the office on a sunny spring morning, and thanks to new government legislation, from 6 April more than 10 million Brits have the legal ...

  • March 27, 2009 27 Mar'09

    Analysis: Channel homes in on changing needs

    As the recession bites there are several market areas and approaches that have the potential to benefit from the widespread customer desire to save money without compromising performance or efficiency.

  • March 23, 2009 23 Mar'09

    Licence whistleblowers wanted to hit corporate cost cutters

    The Federation Against Software Theft has launched a whistleblower campaign to try and encourage those people uncomfortable with the idea of being pressured by their bosses to use unlicensed software.

  • March 20, 2009 20 Mar'09

    Software industry puts SAM event on the calendar

    A one day conference has been put in the diary by the software industry to highlight the risks customers face of being unlicensed and the way that asset management can keep them on the right side of the law.

  • March 11, 2009 11 Mar'09

    Handset recyclers call for tougher standards

    With an estimated 15 million mobile handsets being discarded and replaced in the UK every year, one mobile phone recycling specialist, Regenersis, has launched a charge for a set of industry standards to regulate this growing area.

  • March 11, 2009 11 Mar'09

    CBI argues against further rises in business rates

    The CBI is leading calls for a freeze on business rates to help prevent companies being pushed under by higher levels of taxes and is fighting against plans to increase payments companies face even further.

  • March 10, 2009 10 Mar'09

    HP talks up need for upturn investment

    Hewlett-Packard has used a customer event promoting improvements in its product line as a call to users to invest in technology.

  • March 10, 2009 10 Mar'09

    BSA urges Carter not to forget piracy in digital vision

    The Business Software Alliance has urged the government to consider the implications of software piracy as it pulls together its thoughts on the future of digital Britain.

  • March 10, 2009 10 Mar'09

    McAfee to fund Euro cybercrime training

    McAfee has announced details of a $110,000 investment in anti-cybercrime training in the form of two grants to be split between the US National District Attorneys Association and the Council of Europe.

  • March 06, 2009 06 Mar'09

    Vendors wrestle for shrinking sales

    One of the growing features of the downturn is an increased determination by vendors to wrestle market share from their rivals. If the market is not growing, then the next step to keep the revenues coming in is to take share away from competitors.

  • March 02, 2009 02 Mar'09

    Computacenter services to take centre stage in 2009

    Computacenter believes this could be the first year in its history that services contributions at group level overtake products margin and the largest reseller in the land reckons its days of pure box shifting are behind it.

  • February 27, 2009 27 Feb'09

    Labour pushes Sir Alan Sugar as next London mayor

    Viglen owner and star of the BBC series The Apprentice Sir Alan Sugar is being hailed as the only man that can de-throne Boris Johnson as Mayor of London and prevent Ken Livingstone from running as Labour’s candidate.

  • February 25, 2009 25 Feb'09

    Kelway concludes acquisition of Panacea Services

    Kelway has finalised a deal this afternoon to acquire virtualisation and managed services specialist Panacea Services for an undisclosed sum, which the organisations claim will create a £140m technology business.

  • February 23, 2009 23 Feb'09

    Technical staff view 2009 as the year for upwards changes

    A large proportion of technical staff are planning to make this year the moment when they move to a better job. According to the IT Job Board nearly 90% of those surveyed are looking at making moves in the months ahead to find better career ...

  • February 20, 2009 20 Feb'09

    Planning to be back on track by 2012

    The year 2012 might not just be memorable because of the Olympics coming to the capital; by then the economy could be back in full swing.

  • February 16, 2009 16 Feb'09

    Mobile data demands to soar

    Mobile internet usage is set to soar dramatically in spite of the severe recession, according to new research carried out on behalf of voice, video and data services specialist Tellabs.

  • February 12, 2009 12 Feb'09

    Putting a brave face on Britain’s economic freeze

    We have all grown accustomed over the last few months to gloomy economic conditions (isn't it depressing how every day seems to bring even worse news than the day before?) so it makes a change (pleasant or not) when the dominant theme becomes ...

  • February 12, 2009 12 Feb'09

    A hard sell in tough times

    Reading the business section (and often the front page) of a newspaper has become something of a penance of late and, unlike the religious variety, which is reputed to be uplifting, it's a depressing penance. Perhaps the first tip should be to stop ...

  • January 22, 2009 22 Jan'09

    Resellers encouraged to keep sight of green message

    One of the potential victims of the downturn is the green message. The idea of spending money to save the planet will not seal many deals in the current climate.

  • January 21, 2009 21 Jan'09

    Help during taxing times

    Is your business suffering a cash flow problem? Are you having problems borrowing in order to pay bills, including your taxes such as VAT and corporation tax? If so, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may have a solution for you.

  • January 16, 2009 16 Jan'09

    Unified comms strong, but help needed with ROI story

    Unified communications (UC) outfits claim they are busier than ever during the recession, but some say that resellers and service providers are still not getting enough support when it comes to explaining why a UC solution might be a good investment.

  • January 15, 2009 15 Jan'09

    Planning for tough times ahead

    What’s the difference between a recession and a depression? For some people, I bet there’s no difference at all. If you end up losing your job or business, your house and your hope, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a six month recession or a...

  • January 15, 2009 15 Jan'09

    Will government’s £20bn be enough?

    One of the features of this global downturn has been the focus on credit, with the lack of it driving many SMEs to the brink.

  • January 13, 2009 13 Jan'09

    Comment: Making unified communications work

    Unified communications (UC) is a growing consideration for enterprises. One of the main drivers behind this growth is a desire for improved employee productivity through more effective collaboration.

  • January 13, 2009 13 Jan'09

    Comment: Risk and reward in automation

    As enterprise application software is used more and more to automate complex business processes, organisations expose themselves to risks introduced by having mission-critical operations reliant upon IT and, more significantly, the people who ...

  • January 12, 2009 12 Jan'09

    Audio-visual market remaining optimistic

    Whisper it, but the audio-visual market seems a safe place to be. Compared with other technology markets dependent on tightening corporate budgets, the AV market, with its traditional roots in education and the public sector, looks like a relatively...

  • January 12, 2009 12 Jan'09

    Will 2009 be the year of the netbook?

    During 2007 notebooks outperformed desktops for the first time in sales, and the future of the laptop looked bright. But 2008 brought a new trendsetter with the arrival of the netbook. As a result there are differing views over what trends are ...

  • January 12, 2009 12 Jan'09

    Networking: what does 2009 hold?

    The networking world finds itself in the position of being at the bleeding edge of an industry that prides itself on cutting through to the next way to speed up life and business processes.

  • January 09, 2009 09 Jan'09

    SaaS, netbooks and smartphones bright spots for 2009

    At this time each year I am often asked about my predictions for the coming 12 months. While the current economic crisis makes this forecasting exercise more difficult this time around, I have compiled a list of five predictions that I believe will ...

  • January 09, 2009 09 Jan'09

    Green IT and infrastructure projects victims of downturn

    If there is one question dominating channel minds it is what the year ahead holds. Most agree that 2009 is going to be tough and that thinking beyond the end of this month is guesswork for most financial planners.

  • January 07, 2009 07 Jan'09

    BSA settles with Liverpool pirate

    The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has settled with a Liverpool-based man that had been suspected of selling illegal software online.