Industry experts have been claiming it is "the year of the cloud" since what seems like forever, but Azzurri's chief executive Chris Jagusz has insisted 2014 really was. In the wake of the firm's 2014 annual report, he said the shift towards cloud spending was so rapid as to be surprising.
"The industry has been talking about [cloud] for years and years and not much had moved in the world of UC," he said. "But just in the last 18 months or so, demand has shifted."
Although the year of the cloud has seemingly been and gone, CRN's crystal ball predicts firmly it will not be the last we hear about it. "2053: The year of the cloud!", cry vendors of the future.
The Special Relationship
How apt that it was Valentine's Day recently as it appears love is well and truly alive between the US and the UK. Well, at least on one side of the pond.
Like an inviting temptress looking for a suitor, the UK government launched a charm offensive aimed at US tech companies to encourage them to set up their HQ in Blighty.
We're sure a few boxes of chocolates and pretty bouquets will speed things along nicely.
Remember VeryPC, the green PC builder that was ignominiously rejected from Dragons' Den back in 2008? Well, seven years on, things seem to be going Very well for the Sheffield-based outfit following the news it has made it onto an exclusive Microsoft scheme enabling it to supply schools with subsidised PCs.
This brings to four the number of small local system builders, at least that we know of, that have been inducted into Microsoft's Technology Access Programme.
That means it's no longer just the preserve of the big boys like HP, Lenovo, Viglen and Stone. Hurrah!
The days of bone-crushing handshakes to establish who is the alpha male in a meeting could soon be over if the business world follows Sir Richard Branson's lead.
Fed up with squished fingers from overzealous handshakes, Branson wrote a blog advocating fist bumps or high fives as a preferred form of greeting. Not only will it avoid flat-hand syndrome, but it is also more hygienic, wrote the bearded one.
We on CRN welcome this move: anyone wearing a ring, and being subjected to a paw mauling by a heavy-handed business contact, will understand the relief that outlawing this barbaric practice would bring.
Software sales staff
Hats off to Forrester for manufacturing a comparison between software sales staff and bondage enthusiast Christian Grey in its attempt to hawk its latest research.
The analyst went all in on a Fifty Shades of Grey angle for its latest report, which accuses software vendors of exploiting "grey areas" (geddit?) in licensing rules to claw cash from end users.
"Any procurement professionals who have seen the new movie based on EL James' bestselling novels may have noticed the similarity between the eponymous antihero and a licence-management services consultant," Forrester analyst Duncan Jones said, inaccurately.
It's hard to imagine that the daily routine of a Microsoft or Oracle sales bod who helps clients align their enterprise agreements with the number of licences they've added over the previous 12 months is really the stuff of an international bestseller.
We must have all received - and swiftly deleted - countless emails from friendly strangers telling us we have been chosen as the beneficiary of a large fortune which we can get our hands on if we just hand over our bank details... But now email scammers appear to have upped their game.
Softcat warned its corporate customers to be on their guard against a new wave of email fraudsters who are sending "extremely authentic-looking" emails in a bid to dupe them. The sender claims to be from Microsoft's Volume Licensing Service Centre and tries to lure readers with a registration link to a Microsoft Open License, which Softcat said tricks them into downloading "extremely sophisticated" malware.
Microsoft said such scams are "unfortunately quite common", so consider yourself warned.
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