Sales and Customer Management

  • 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.

  • January 07, 2009 07 Jan'09

    Brother director lobbies Cameron with channel concerns

    In between trying to grab the headlines for his pension and savings plans Conservative leader David Cameron found time to pop up to Manchester and face some questions from Brother.

  • January 06, 2009 06 Jan'09

    Buyers market for IT talent in 2009

    Recruiters will face a buyers market during the next few months when it comes to scooping IT talent, according to research analysts at Gartner.

  • December 17, 2008 17 Dec'08

    Computacenter sheds staff

    A restructure at Computacenter has seen long-serving director John Joslin exit the business along with around 40 staff from the SME-focused Customer Coverage Unit, which has been merged into the corporate and government sales teams.

  • December 16, 2008 16 Dec'08

    BSA continues Yuletide blitz

    The Business Software Alliance has settled with two more firms north of the border in its ongoing pursuit of businesses that continue to use unlicensed software despite the highly publicised risks.

  • December 16, 2008 16 Dec'08

    CMI issues gloomy forecast for '09

    The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has compounded fears for businesses in the IT sector after publishing research today that showed managers and business leaders were very nervous about the coming 12 months.

  • December 11, 2008 11 Dec'08

    Recession will change IT services agendas

    Researchers at global IT advisory consultancy Ovum have been discussing their impressions of the coming 12 months in the IT services business, and as expected the recession is looming large.

  • December 11, 2008 11 Dec'08

    Trading Standards make first software inspection against Cardiff firm

    Taking advantage of changes in the law that have strengthened the power of Trading Standards in its fight to protect intellectual property rights the first company has been inspected.

  • December 10, 2008 10 Dec'08

    Cyber criminals exploiting global downturn

    Most governments are not focusing on cybercrime, there is a shortage of police in this area and the size of the problem is continually expanding.

  • December 10, 2008 10 Dec'08

    BSA settles for £35,000 from three hit by legal proceedings

    Indicating that despite the season of goodwill to all men being almost upon us that it will not relax its hunt for users of counterfeit products the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has announced settlements against three companies.

  • December 10, 2008 10 Dec'08

    Rate of business failures could support 2009 recovery predictions

    Those working with small businesses are starting to believe that perhaps the worst is over with the expression 'light at the end of the tunnel' being aired.

  • December 09, 2008 09 Dec'08

    Professional qualifications add to the salary

    Those wondering if it’s worth bothering investing in professional qualifications given the current economic landscape will find an analysis of the Labour Force Survey persuasive reading.

  • December 08, 2008 08 Dec'08

    Axe to fall on marketing jobs

    How important is marketing to businesses that want to survive and prosper in what could be an increasingly gloomy 2009? The message coming from IT companies is mixed at best, according to the latest Marketing Trends Survey from The Chartered ...

  • December 08, 2008 08 Dec'08

    Proposed RoHS changes could cause admin chaos

    Indications are emerging that changes to the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive that place responsibility for ensuring IT equipment meets compliance standards on resellers and distributors could cause administrative chaos.

  • December 03, 2008 03 Dec'08

    Flexible working features in Queen's speech

    Increased legislation around flexible working is expected to feature in the Queen's Speech at the state opening of parliament later today.

  • November 26, 2008 26 Nov'08

    Wolverhampton court case reveals pirate's life of luxury

    Details of the largest case ever instigated by Wolverhampton Trading Standards against software piracy have started to come to light with a prison sentence being handed out to a counterfeiter.

  • November 10, 2008 10 Nov'08

    BSA cracks down on pirated software on auction sites

    One of the many warnings that those fighting anti-piracyhave given is to widen the focus to include online auction sites. As traditional means of selling and buying counterfeit productsbecome complemented with online options including auction sites...

  • November 07, 2008 07 Nov'08

    Do you understand your new director's duties?

    As you read MicroScope, you could well be one of the UK's estimated five million company directors. You may well be sure you understand what is involved, and are comfortable with your ability to separate what you do in a personal capacity from what ...

  • October 31, 2008 31 Oct'08

    Proving that the grass is greener

    In business, we are always listening to customers and trying to understand what they want. The ability to be ‘green' has quickly emerged as one of the major challenges facing businesses today.

  • October 31, 2008 31 Oct'08

    Lighten the load to add value

    While most businesses increasingly rely on an extensive IT infrastructure just to stay operational, controlling the costs of the infrastructure is a constant challenge. This is all the harder for companies on a global scale that manage multiple ...

  • October 31, 2008 31 Oct'08

    Guarding against fraud now crucial

    Preventing fraud is a headache at the best of times but having the right controls in place to manage such instances could be crucial for resellers and distributors to survive as the slowdown bites.

  • October 31, 2008 31 Oct'08

    Services with a smile

    As product margins have progressively eroded over the past decade or so, providing value-added services has become increasingly important to many channel partners in order to make a decent living.

  • October 16, 2008 16 Oct'08

    FAST IiS calls on government for more IP protection

    The decision by the US government to create the role of a IP tsar to keep an eye on intellectual property has been heralded as a move that the UK government could learn from.

  • October 14, 2008 14 Oct'08

    Crisis no 'dot com bust' says Gartner

    Speaking at this week’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in the US, analysts have said that although the economic crisis is going to impact IT budgets next year, the scale of the slowdown will not match that seen when the dot coms went belly-up six years ago.

  • October 13, 2008 13 Oct'08

    IT executives call for leadership in the face of meltdown

    Executives in the IT sector are calling for calm in the face of a growing sense of alarm and panic in the business community. According to a survey from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) although things have become worrying there are calls ...

  • October 02, 2008 02 Oct'08

    BSA announces settlements and files a court order

    The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has continued to keep thepressure on those failing to use legal software after announcing a handful oflsuccessful cases in its fight against unlicensed products. Three of the cases have ended up being settled ...

  • September 29, 2008 29 Sep'08

    SecureTrading joins CNP fight

    There have long been high levels of frustration in the channel with the lack of apparent willingness by the banking and legal professions to tackle cardholder not present fraud.

  • September 29, 2008 29 Sep'08

    Microsoft scores one over pirates

    One of the most common reactions to vendor attempts to stamp out piracy is that after the initial headlines have been written and the furore died down the guilty parties often return to their law-breaking ways.

  • September 26, 2008 26 Sep'08

    Ballmer upbeat about IT industry prospects

    Those in the channel looking for some good cheer will have been cheered by comments made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about the state of the economy.

  • September 23, 2008 23 Sep'08

    Microsoft strings up ITAC for second time

    Nearly three years after Microsoft took down Manchester-based reseller ITAC for unlawful grey trading in its software (MicroScope 30 January 2006), Redmond has reported more details of the February 2006 case, revealing ITAC continued to trade ...

  • September 19, 2008 19 Sep'08

    Financial meltdown impacts channel order books

    The meltdown in the global financial market has created a tidal wave of uncertainty among IT buyers that were already twitchy about ripples in the global economy, dramatically altering resellers’ and integrators prospect lists.

  • September 19, 2008 19 Sep'08

    Flushing out the counterfeit products

    Having waited for almost a year and a half, the changes in the law that were designed to crack down on software pirates and protect intellectual property are being used to remove sources of counterfeit product from the UK channel.

  • September 19, 2008 19 Sep'08

    Call centres ring the changes

    Call centres - with their endless queues, incomprehensible menus and automatic voice recognition systems - have often been regarded as the stuff of nightmares.

  • September 19, 2008 19 Sep'08

    FAST working on forensic tool to curtial counterfieters

    The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is a not faraway from rolling out a forensic tool that will enable Trading Standards tosearch systems to find unlicensed software. John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, said that it wasdeveloping an ...

  • September 17, 2008 17 Sep'08

    BSA notches up another success against counterfieter with legal action

    The Business Software Alliance (BSA) continues to keep its legalteam busy after issuing proceedings against the owner of Wolverhampton-basedRJ-Software. Richard Clark, who ran RJ-Software from his home wasdiscovered to be selling counterfeit copies...

  • September 17, 2008 17 Sep'08

    FAST raid leans on copyright legal powers

    The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has used the powers set down in the Copyright and Patents Act for the first time to support an anti-piracy raid.

  • September 11, 2008 11 Sep'08

    Changes to Zanzibar should improve reseller public sector success

    Resellers selling into the public sector should find it easier to compete against large rivals under changes made to the Zanzibar Supplier Agreement.

  • September 10, 2008 10 Sep'08

    Customers face up to cyber criminal threat

    It seems to have taken a fairly long time for the message to get through to customers but finally the vast majority understand criminals are behind security attacks.

  • September 09, 2008 09 Sep'08

    Credit crunch starts to show in contract delays

    A report by Forrester Research into IT services spending, overall services, strategies and priorities has confirmed the toll the economic downturn is taking on IT budgets.

  • September 08, 2008 08 Sep'08

    CBI points to dramatic rise in flexible working

    The movement towards flexible working, which has an impact on the potential technology being used in the home, is continuing to gather pace.

  • August 29, 2008 29 Aug'08

    More than a flash in the pan

    When the announcement came over the wires that Norwegian business software specialist Mamut was the buyer of the UK operations of MYOB, the name might have been unfamiliar to a few people in the channel.

  • August 28, 2008 28 Aug'08

    Mobile broadband will force regulatory change

    Telecoms and media analyst consultancy Analysys Mason has called for Ofcom to begin considering regulatory change as the dramatic growth in mobile data usage is altering the nature of the mobile proposition.

  • August 22, 2008 22 Aug'08

    Atos Origin brings Olympic IT circus to London

    As the Beijing Olympic Games enter their last two days and Team GB looks set to return with its largest medal haul for a century, the IOC’s IT services partner, Atos Origin, has started preparations for the London 2012Games.

  • August 08, 2008 08 Aug'08

    CIOs increasingly demanding ITIL

    Research conducted by IT service management (ITSM) company Axios has revealed that two thirds of IT professionals now believe ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) best practice standards are the most suitable tool to manage corporate governance ...

  • August 08, 2008 08 Aug'08

    Credit crunch provides some with opportunity

    The credit crunch is proving to be a benefit to those thatare pushing services and products that might face a tougher sales pitch ifbuyers were sticking with the status quo. Anecdotal evidence from players in the software and securitymarket has ...

  • August 05, 2008 05 Aug'08

    Piracy crackdown

    The net is starting to close in around resellers that have an interest in selling pirated or counterfeited software. Over the past six months or so, there have been a raft of prosecutions, with one of the most high-profile being the settlement made ...

  • August 01, 2008 01 Aug'08

    Up service to keep web ball rolling

    There is a post-war generation that tends to believe that it saw more technological advancement than any other, but in terms of speed it is last decade that has produced change at record levels.

  • July 31, 2008 31 Jul'08

    Pegasus calls for reduction in SME red tape

    Accountancy specialist Pegasus has called on the government to reduce the burden of red tape that is imposed on small businesses.

  • July 28, 2008 28 Jul'08

    Microsoft's Barclay prepares for new challenges

    Working with the channel is always going to be a challenge when you are employed by one of the world's largest software vendors. It becomes even trickier when the message coming out of global HQ is that resellers need to make changes to take ...

  • July 28, 2008 28 Jul'08

    Ease targets, vendors urged

    The channel has called for vendors to start factoring the economic slowdown into their sales forecasts, as sales are on average five to 10 per cent below expectations, according to industry sources.

  • July 28, 2008 28 Jul'08

    Replicate data to protect servers

    Many organisations are adopting virtualisation in their data centres to better use hardware, reduce power consumption and simplify management. The reliability of the infrastructure is critically important but what is the best way to protect virtual ...

  • July 28, 2008 28 Jul'08

    The mythology of employment law

    July 28 2008, When Alan Sugar quizzed a potential winner of The Apprentice about the arrangements she was making for her childcare there was uproar. Some people thought what he had done was illegal and there were many in the channel who commented ...

  • July 26, 2008 26 Jul'08

    BSA completes Manchester campaign

    The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has wrapped up its campaign to target companies in Manchester with initial signs of an impact on the unlicensed software problem.

  • July 22, 2008 22 Jul'08

    Government needs to focus on more than energy

    Following the announcement by the government that it plans to be carbon neutral in terms of its ICT in four years others in the industry have called for a wider focus. The emphasis of the government’s efforts were based around energy consumption ...

  • July 18, 2008 18 Jul'08

    Calls for more sustainable IT

    The channel has a long history of inventing and then widely adopting buzz words and the latest 'sustainability' is tapping into not just questions of efficiency and cost but also the green agenda.

  • July 18, 2008 18 Jul'08

    FAST spearheads piracy crackdown

    As the dust settles on a series of surveys and predictions about the future of software piracy the overall conclusion for the channel appears to be that things are going to get worse.

  • July 17, 2008 17 Jul'08

    Ingram Micro EMEA's bold fuel move to lead the way

    The decision by Ingram Micro to become the first distributor to charge resellers for freight on all orders in an attempt to recoup the rapidly rising cost of fuel across Europe has led others in the industry to admit they are either close to ...

  • July 04, 2008 04 Jul'08

    SMEs still ignorant of ITIL

    Service desk management specialist Numara has unveiled research showing that the business community is still largely unaware of the ITIL best practice framework.

  • April 14, 2008 14 Apr'08

    Targeting the gaming community

    Those who view the gaming market as a niche that is hard to sell into might need to have a rethink because things are changing. The use of the word ‘niche' might need some clarification.

  • April 09, 2008 09 Apr'08

    Move to ICT services aids sustainability

    A move away from products to services in information and communication technology (ICT) could have a positive effect on sustainable development, according to a survey by Forum for the Future.

  • April 04, 2008 04 Apr'08

    Magic web's tawdry truth

    Amazing what you can do on the web these days. For instance, you can upload a bunch of photos to and get them all back accurately tagged with keywords like "beach", "rain", "nightclub" and "Aunt Emma".

  • April 04, 2008 04 Apr'08

    Security is the key for remote working

    Remote working is an increasingly popular choice for millions of people in the UK. It makes sense for increasing business productivity, boosting employee motivation, as well as the added bonus of helping to save the planet.

  • April 04, 2008 04 Apr'08

    Police hunt for fraudulent reseller on the run

    The police are on the hunt for Raymond Nevitt, former head at Manchester-based reseller Ravelle Group who absconded after being found guilty of fraud totalling £3.25m, which he had used to fund a playboy lifestyle.

  • April 04, 2008 04 Apr'08

    Staggered product launches set to become familiar sight

    The influence of the internet is changing the timetable of large software releases, forcing vendors to brief resellers at a much earlier stage.

  • April 04, 2008 04 Apr'08

    A leap in mobile computing

    There were two landmark announcements in our corner of the tech world recently that have the potential to change the definition of mobile computing. The first came from Intel and focused on their new mobile chips. They introduced a brand of chips ...

  • April 04, 2008 04 Apr'08

    Can the largest robbery in the UK be stopped?

    When you see a figure the size of £290m has been stolen, it amounts to a sizeable chunk of revenue. As one source commented last week, it is one of the largest robberies ever committed in the UK and it is coming from the pockets of numerous victims...

  • April 04, 2008 04 Apr'08

    De-duplication can boost performance

    De-duplication in itself is easy to understand – optimised storage capacity usage by eliminating duplicated data. However the devil is in understanding the different technologies, techniques and implementations in the market and relating these to ...

  • April 03, 2008 03 Apr'08

    UK should look east to build confidence

    With the financial markets getting jittery again, there are no immediate signs that things will settle down, and to some extent, the US is to blame.

  • April 03, 2008 03 Apr'08

    Delivering power where it matters

    One of the subjects in the channel that has become a daily discussion point in the past year is power. Everyone wants to know how much power they are consuming, and which bits of kit suck up the watts and push out the heat that contributes to even ...

  • April 03, 2008 03 Apr'08

    Data leakage to set conference agenda

    As the great and the good meet in Olympia later this month to show off their wares and discuss the direction of the industry there are going to be a couple of key areas that dominate conversations.

  • April 03, 2008 03 Apr'08

    Protect your firm when staff leave

    One of the biggest problems with putting a lot of effort into developing staff is that they have a tendency to up sticks and leave. The worst case scenario is when not only do they leave but they also take your best customer contacts and set up a ...

  • April 03, 2008 03 Apr'08

    Simplifying security for a greener network

    When IT managers consider consolidating their organisation's IT hardware, the primary motivation often concerns freeing up data centre space or reducing management overheads. However, reducing the amount of hardware used in the data centre can also ...

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    Is vendor marketing ready for evolution?

    The question of how best to support the channel with marketing has always been a thorny one. Part of the problem has been the difficulty in producing effective materials for resellers to promote themselves without incurring the potentially large ...

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    Carphone Warehouse attacks BT

    Carphone Warehouse has dragged the telecoms regulator Ofcom into a row over changes to BT tariffs by claiming the telco giant is tying people into anti-competitive contracts.

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    OGC adds managed print to procurement framework

    OGC Buying. Solutions has introduced extended and managed services to the latest MFP Catalist framework agreement with the aim of cutting printing costs in the public sector.

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    Spending curb could push hosted services

    Ahead of the inaugural EMEA Enterprise Networking and Communications Summit, to be hosted by Gartner in London towards the end of April.

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    New VAT rules will not burden firms, says EC

    The European Commission has assured traders they will not see increases to the administrative burdens already placed on them, after it outlined proposed changes to VAT regulations designed to cut carousel fraud.

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    Resellers warned over cash flow

    Cash flow problems could drag resellers into the credit crisis exposing them to disagreeable banks and high interest charges if they have to rely on high-street lenders for support.

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    Opportunities at high end

    "Anecdotal feedback over the last 12 months has made it clear that resellers are finding it more and more difficult to motivate customers to see value in their offering.

  • April 02, 2008 02 Apr'08

    Delayed Vista deployments in schools raise skills fears

    Some sections of the industry have raised fears that the decision by most schools to delay the deployment of Vista could have a negative impact on skills.

  • January 28, 2008 28 Jan'08

    Forum questions SME statistics

    The UK's much-vaunted credentials as an entrepreneurial economy have come under fire from research that claims the growth prospects for small businesses are diminishing and that estimates on the numbers of SMEs are wrong.

  • January 01, 2008 01 Jan'08

    Resellers' guide to surviving the downturn

    MicroScope got together with the great and the good to ask the simple, yet often elusive question: "Which technologies and services should the savvy reseller be avoiding as we hurtle towards 2009?"

  • December 03, 2007 03 Dec'07

    Channel urged to charge for delivery

    The channel is frequently advised by vendors to charge for deliveries as part of its valued services to customers and that may now become more prevalent as continually rising fuel prices hit profits.

  • October 22, 2007 22 Oct'07

    How resellers see the future

    Everyone in the channel has an idea of how they think the market is going to go in the next few years. Some are downbeat — based on the grim experiences of the past few years — but others have seized on the admission by Dell that it needs to sell ...