You have to hand it to Northamber boss David Phillips, who last week furiously scotched talk that he is heading for the exit doors as former ISI boss Peter Hammett prepares to join the distributor in a high-powered role. Phillips has been a fixture in the channel pretty much since the dawn of the PC, having founded Northamber in 1979.
"I am still the executive chairman and still will be. I'm still getting paid and still own 60 to 70 per cent of the company," he told us. Well, that answers that one.
The turn of a new year often inspires people to move on to pastures new, and it certainly seems the case for management teams in the channel this week.
Softcat announced that its incoming managing director Colin Brown passed his trial period, meaning Martin Hellawell takes over as president. A similar shuffle was seen at security vendor Corero, where former chief executive Marty Meyer took on the role of president after Ashley Stephenson was promoted to his former position of chief executive.
Webroot charged its systems engineer vice president with running its channel too, while Mimecast welcomed two new channel bosses. Trend Micro also shook up its management by decentralising a number of EMEA roles to individual regions.
Phew! Who’s next?
Resellers are rightly known as a pretty resilient bunch, and a quintet of channel players proved their mettle last week with impressive growth.
Software specialist SBL saw FY12 operating profit spike 26 per cent to £2.2m, while hardware reseller CCS Media claimed to have doubled net profits after boosting revenue almost a fifth to surge past the £80m mark.
Ultima boosted turnover by 15 per cent to more than £67m in its 2012 fiscal year, while similarly sized London VAR NSC Global grew operating profits more than a fifth to £3.3m. Avaya partner Proximity Communications swelled its top line from £10m to £12.5m.
With the UK economy back to some semblance of growth and the US backing away from the fiscal cliff, perhaps it’s time to put some moderately priced champagne on ice and let the good times roll?
In a rare case of bombastic public sector rhetoric failing to be matched by actual results, suppliers on the £4bn IT hardware and services (ITHS) überframework have reported that volumes of business through the contract have been sluggish so far.
A source at one of the 17 vendors and resellers to bag a place on the framework reports that invitations to quote through the deal are outnumbered by 20 to one by those coming from the incumbent CITHS framework, which launched three years ago.
The £6.5m-a-year cost-saving potential of ITHS was lauded by the Cabinet Office on its launch. As long as public bodies keep declining to spend any money through the framework, we imagine they’re well on course.
The world loves a dance craze. The YMCA, the Macarena, the Cha Cha Slide; we’ve been there, we’ve done it, and we’ve got the T-shirt (or in the case of the YMCA, the policeman’s hat).
And it’s not just disco-dwelling teenagers who love communal choreography, as vendors EMC and F5 proved this week with their versions of the latest dance phenomenon (if you can call it that) Gangnam Style.
The jury is out on the CRN newsdesk as to which offering is the best; with F5’s production values highly commended, and EMC’s shameless shoehorning of storage lyrics going down well. Either way, both stirred a reaction. All together now...
Although we may convince ourselves we are in a happy, stable relationship, sometimes our darker side just wants to be swept off our feet by some smouldering stranger.
Hoping to play the role of the tall, dark, handsome interloper is Fujitsu. Having more than doubled its UK channel business and quadrupled its server market share over the past two years, the coquettish Japanese vendor is out to wreck homes in the HP and Dell channel by winning the hearts of its “uncommitted” US rivals’ top partners.
Although HP’s channel in particular is known to be fiercely loyal, Fujitsu will use all its charms to add a few notches to its bedpost before the year is out.
Joe Macri says the vendor saw 20 per cent of its UK growth come from its Cloud Solution Provider programme last year
Pure set for further acquisitions, with a focus on the south-east
Reports claim BlackBerry is in talks over a $1.5bn deal