Throwing a paddy
As the UK government's largest IT supplier, you might think HP would not lose sleep over the Cabinet Office's grand plans to level the playing field and welcome more SMBs into its supply chain.
But apparently that is not the case, after The Independent reported HP got an almighty cob on and wrote a letter to the government to give them what for. The firm is alleged to have questioned whether it is even worthwhile competing for future contracts if the government is no longer interested in working with multinationals. Harrumph.
HP appears to have taken some deep breaths and spent some time on the naughty step because in a statement sent to CRN after the letter was sent, it claimed SMBs are a crucial part of both its and the government's business.
If you're anything like us on CRN, you may not have heard much about this so-called ‘cloud computing' thingamajig, but recent research suggests it could become the swinging new fashion in the always-bang-on-trend IT industry.
The abacus aficionados at IDC have crunched the numbers and found that total sales of public cloud services soared to $45.7bn (£26.7bn) last year, with compound annual growth until 2018 forecast to be 23 per cent.
Chief analystalisor Frank Gens mused that leadership of the market will be keenly contested in the next two or three years, with vendors launching lots of new offerings and "slashing cloud pricing" in order to win the battle for hearts, minds, and wallets.
This all sounds impressive but, we're cynical old hacks who've been burned once too often by the likes of clear cola, Tamagotchis, and Eiffel 65. We call ‘fad' on this one.
Public sector outsourcing
Outsourcers who have placed their bets on the public sector were proved right recently after new figures showed the market was worth two thirds more than the commercial segment in terms of outsourcing.
According to Information Services Group (ISG) figures, over the past two years, UK public sector outsourcing deals totalled £51bn, while in the commercial sector the bill stood at just £30bn.
Tech firms such as Computacenter, Capita, BT and Telefonica were sitting pretty at the top of the league table of the biggest public sector outsourcing deals, all racking up contracts in the region of £300m to £600m. Not bad.
The world was catapulted into a brief period of turmoil earlier this month after Google's search engine suffered an outage.
Search-hungry internet users were left racking their brains trying to remember the URLs for search tools of yesteryear. AltaVista, Yahoo, and even Ask Jeeves saw their highest traffic in years (we assume) until Google got back up and running.
Reports that the most-searched-for term on Bing was "why is Google down?" were unconfirmed as CRN went to press.
Microsoft EA customers
There was unwelcome news for customers about to ink a new Office 365 Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft this month, as the vendor confirmed it is raising its prices.
Existing customers with software assurance in place will be unaffected, but the cost to new clients is understood to be increasing in the region of 15 per cent, although the software giant declined to put a precise figure on the rise. But Microsoft did explain that "we are always evaluating our pricing to maximise the value to our customers".
Fair dos. We always feel we've had our value maximised when we get to the till and find our shopping costs a tenner more than it did when we put it in the basket.
Throughout the downturn the security sector has seemed hardier than other IT segments when it comes to business failures. But no company or market is completely immune to the unyielding economic climate, as evidenced by the sad demise of fledgling VAR Tolerant Systems after little more than a year in business.
The firm was founded in April 2013 by well-known channel face Robert Cavan, but insolvency practitioners Wilson Field indicated that the company ceased trading last month. Sources suggest staff have been let go, and that the firm will ultimately be liquidated with any assets sold off.
We wish everyone affected well in their future careers.
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