HP Platinum partners
HP must be glad that its channel programme left some space at the top of the precious metals hierachy, after anointing its first ever UK Platinum partners.
A handful of top-level partners - including Softcat, Kelway, OCSL, DTP Group and SCC - were bumped up from Gold to Platinum level. The new top tier is part of a wider-ranging initiative to shake up its PartnerOne programe, with certifications being streamlined and compensation models tinkered with.
We can't help but worry about where HP goes from here if it decides it needs another top tier. But a quick recce of wedding anniversary traditions tells us that wine is considered even more precious than platinum. Sounds about right to us.
There are few things more annoying to wake up to than news of delays on your route to work. By the time you're awake and aware of the problem, it's impossible to get to work on time.
But in less than four years, such issues may be a thing of the past thanks to smartphones. Gartner reckons that in 2017, smartphones will know what users want to do before they do. In the example above, Gartner predicts the devices will use cloud data to get traffic and travel updates and then alter alarm clocks should the user need to get up earlier.
We hope there's an off button, as we don't fancy an automatic 5am wake-up call on a Sunday, thank you very much.
MS's remaining disties
"There were seven in the bed and the little one said: ‘Roll over, roll over!' So they all rolled over and two fell out". That was the story for Microsoft's UK wholesalers last month as Avnet and VIP found themselves out in the cold following a distribution review.
Life's looking comfy under those covers for the five that remain - Westcoast, Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Exertis Micro-P and Enta - as Microsoft rebrands as a "devices and services" firm. "It's good that Microsoft have finally made tough decisions," purred Enta's Jon Atherton. We're not sure Avnet and VIP would agree.
With a whopping 999 suppliers offering a total of 1,300 services through the G-Cloud framework, it must be hard for the VARs involved to stand out from the crowd.
To make matters worse, the search facility on the CloudStore website ran into problems last week. And to make them even worse, the issues led to the site being disabled for a day or two.
But the channel was impressively stoical about the closure, claiming it was better to shut down the site temporarily than continue to run it with problems that disadvantaged some suppliers.
If they really want to level the playing field, perhaps they could let them all go door to door on Whitehall with nothing more than a sharp suit and a case of middleware?
One ex-Cisco employee
Cisco account manager Leigh Jones was sentenced to a two-year prison stint recently after he pleaded guilty to stealing almost £130,000 from customers' accounts. Jones, of north Wales town Saltney, used the cash to fund a gambling addiction and transferred the money directly to his account - on one occasion more than £80,000 in a single transaction.
The 27-year old was only found out after he handed over his accounts to a colleague while he whisked his family off on a Caribbean cruise. He knew the game was up when he returned to work and found his email access was denied.
At that point, he decided to ‘fess up to his boss, but he was beaten to the punch after he was called in for a disciplinary meeting before he had the chance. Damn.
The UK PC market
Anyone hoping for a rebound in the PC market, look away now. UK shipments plunged 21.2 per cent year on year in Q3, according to the abacus-strokers at Gartner. Worse still for resellers, the professional PC segment nosedived an eye-watering 28.1 per cent, with consumer shipments down 13.6 per cent.
"We expect the PC market in the UK to remain weak in the fourth quarter of 2013," Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal mercilessly crowed as he refused to turn down the opportunity of kicking a man already lying prone on the ground.
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