Fancy dress shops
As the craze for dressing up like a giant chicken and participating in the latest dance craze shows no sign of abatement, fancy dress shops situated near channel firms are rubbing their hands together and planning Carribbean getaways.
Last week saw Softcat and Comms-care share their versions of the Harlem Shake with the world. Both of these involved staff dressing in wacky costumes and busting all manner of moves in the name of charity. Although CRN wonders if one chap could’ve spent a little more on his costume. Yes you, Softcat man in pants. Say no more.
Outsourcing had become a bit of a dirty word in the corridors of power after several high-profile public sector “mega-deals” hit the skids in quick succession. But it seems the act of handing over responsibility for IT and other services to a third party – albeit in more bite-sized chunks – is back in vogue among our esteemed elected officials.
UK government entities responded to the austerity climate by dishing out 148 outsourcing contracts in 2012, up 47 per cent on 2010, according to market voyeur ISG. The public sector now accounts for 55 per cent of the UK total, making it the world’s most voluminous outsourcing market outside the US, ISG added. Which raises the question, with everyone outsourcing everything, who is actually doing all the work?
Suppliers lavished thousands on securing a berth on G-Cloud last year, only to see business though the government’s SMB-friendly cloud framework come in at a trickle. WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY, they cried.
But hold on, what’s this? Government figures show 129 deals worth a combined £3.7m were conducted through CloudStore in February – more than was booked during the scheme’s first six months. Although G-Cloud’s aim of shaving £120m off the government’s annual IT bill by 2014-15 still seems far fetched, at least the framework’s 458 suppliers are starting to see a return. Hurrah!
Microsoft’s Surface has taken a fair old verbal bashing since the first version of the tablet came on the scene last year. Analysts have laid into it, describing its launch as a “non-event” and VARs have said that despite an initial spike in interest, their customers have got bored of waiting and found new devices instead.
As if that wasn’t enough, last week a trio of insiders leaked the news to Bloomberg that the software giant has only managed to shift 1.5 million of the things. And while that may seem a lot, in comparison, Apple shipped a whopping 22.9 million iPads in its 2013 first quarter.
Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied the reports, and as usual, kept tight-lipped on the tablet’s sales figures, route to market, and just about everything else you can imagine too.
Public sector resellers
In a Budget speech chock-full of financial stuff and money-type things (we shan’t bore you with the details. Chiefly because we weren’t paying attention), one line surely stood out for the seasoned channel watcher.
“The traditional flush of cash by departments at the end of the fiscal year just to get the money spent has to be curtailed,” said Gorgeous George.
Now, the hastily done end-of-quarter deal for a job lot of routers, flash drives or anti-virus licences is one of the channel’s longest-standing and noblest traditions. But it is clearly now under grave threat.
Our advice to government procurement chiefs would be to make sure you blow your IT budget as quickly as possible.
It’s unlikely many UK athletes who represented the country at London 2012 would have imagined they’d be fiddling around with server racks for a living just 12 months later. But if Peer 1 has its way, more of our top sporting talent should be swapping their spikes for a career in the datacentre industry.
The web hosting firm is targeting out-of-work Olympians in a recruitment push, arguing that the attributes that took them to the top of their respective events make them perfectly cut out for the mile-a-minute, cut-and-thrust world of shared services. Anyone participating in any channel sporting tournaments may be wise to give Peer 1 a wide berth, then.
Automation firms UiPath and Automation Anywhere close out their funding rounds with $265m and $300m respectively
View photos of last night's awards ceremony in London
View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
After a glittering awards evening in Battersea celebrating 25 years of the Awards, we are pleased to share the list of winners and judges' commended winners