Strap yourself in for some thrills, spills and bellyaches as we gallop through, in chronological order, the ten most-read stories of the last 12 months.
2014 began with a bang, as CRN exclusively revealed on 7 January that XMA and Viglen had sealed their merger, creating a self-styled "super-OEM" with a turnover close to £250m.
"Now firms such as Computacenter, SCC and Kelway are in our sights," Viglen chief Bordan Tkachuk (pictured) declared in the story, which ended up being the third most-read of the year.
However, just two days later, the UK channel was brought back down to earth by the first major casualty of the year as Brit tablet maker and components distributor KMS hit the wall following a row with Argos and Google over licensing. Trade creditors, who were owed £4m, had to wait until March to be told they would get virtually none of their money back.
In another exclusive, CRN revealed in February that SCC was closing in on an acquisition of £30m print reseller M2 Digital as it finally began to put some of the cash it raised from the 2012 sale of its distribution arm, SDG, to good use. Although SCC also went on to acquire a datacentre from energy firm SSE in October, it seems SCC founder Sir Peter Rigby was just as interested in expanding his growing airport portfolio in 2014.
Our preview of the 2014 CRN vendor report in August ended up being the second most-read story of the year, as our audience flocked to find out which IT manufacturer was rated most highly by UK resellers (spoiler alert: it was Mimecast).
On 5 September, IT suppliers were finally given the nod - or otherwise - on whether they had made the government's new, all-encompassing, £4bn-plus Technology Products framework.
Despite it being the fifth most-read story of the year, the article turned out to be somewhat of an anti-climax as two delays as a result of legal challenges meant the framework didn't actually go live until 18 November.
In the most-read story of the year, CRN broke the news on 5 September that Trustmarque was "reviewing its options" after being given just a week to resolve its financial difficulties. Thankfully, the York-based VAR found a buyer in the form of Liberata and a crisis was narrowly averted. We caught up with Trustmarque sales and marketing director Angelo Di Ventura (pictured) in October to find out about life under its new owner.
News of a management clear-out at Misco also proved click bait for the CRN readership in September. Both UK and Ireland executive vice president Gary Withington and sales director Richard Logan left the reseller, according to our sources.
On 6 October, the break-up of a 75-year-old Silicon Valley giant was announced as HP confirmed rumours it is to split into two independent companies. Chief executive Meg Whitman claimed the decision underscored HP's commitment to its turnaround plan.
Hats off to Kelway and Softcat founders Phil Doye and Peter Kelly for making the top ten of Management Today's Top 100 Entrepreneurs rankings in October. Controversially, both were bested by Posh Spice, who topped the list, which was based on individual wealth and the growth of their firms over five years. Rumours that the quality of the entrant's pout was also factored in remain unproved.
In early November, CDW announced it had bought a 35 per cent stake in Kelway in what was dubbed a "slow-motion" trade sale. The giant VAR had been looking for a new backer since late last year, as revealed by CRN, and we caught up with founder Phil Doye in the aftermath of the deal to discover more about the rationale behind the minority sale.
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MSP bosses to share their thoughts on the future of the managed services market
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Vendor's announcements include AI-powered Microsoft Office, a move away from password verification and an alliance with Adobe and SAP
Vendor claims hackers are hijacking machines to mine for cryptocurrency