Reseller Softcat is at it again, posting 44 quarters in a row of profit and sales growth. The London Stock Exchange-listed firm saw adjusted operating profit jump 15 per cent to £46.8m for the 12 months to 31 July.
When asked for the secret to the company's success, its CEO Martin Hellawell said it's all about "going out and winning new customers and selling more to them". Simple!
He added: "It's the same strategy as ever; boring old Softcat." If boring is the key to 11 years of top and bottom-line growth, we expect a lot of reseller bosses will be practising hard - watching paint dry; waiting for grass to grow; and standing in a long queue.
Dell EMC partners
Despite it being an Olympics year, Bronze, Silver and Gold are no longer in vogue when it comes to partner programme tiers, at least where Dell EMC is concerned. At its recent partner bash in Austin, the firm unveiled its new channel scheme - simply named Dell EMC Partner Programme.
The lowest-level tier will be named Gold, the next up Platinum, and then Titanium. On top of that, within the top level, an exclusive, invite-only level will exist - named Titanium Black. Very swish.
Dell EMC insisted partners were thrilled with the names, with many desperate to get to Titanium Black. But maybe they thought they were getting a credit card, or a posh watch?
Social media addicts in the channel must have whooped in delight last month after Facebook announced it is set to launch in the channel. Its new Workplace offering is an internal social network for enterprises, originally used by Facebook itself. It's now eyeing up partners to help roll it out globally.
But the social giant may come up against some hurdles among businesses, with one reseller saying its reputation as a "productivity killer" might cause it issues. "They have to remove those shackles before they start to make an imprint in the commercial market," the partner said, while scrolling through cat videos and sharing a maths puzzle.
The PC market
The EMEA PC market declined again in Q3, with shipments falling 3.3 per cent year on year to 17.9 million, IDC said. Microsoft hoped to stem the bleeding, launching its Windows 10 Anniversary Edition in summer, but IDC said it "did not seem to have a significant impact on renewals". There was a glimmer of hope, however, with commercial notebooks fighting back and seeing shipments increase by 5.6 per cent, with IDC attributing this to thinner and lighter products being snapped up by western European enterprises. If only all PCs were prettier.
HP announced further plans to shrink its way to success by declaring it is to shrink its workforce. In a stock exchange filing HP announced restructuring plans that will see it cut up to 4,000 jobs by the end of 2019, with CEO Dion Weisler blaming the cuts on "challenged" markets.
He explained that HP is "well positioned" despite global economic concerns and that he is "proud of the progress" the vendor has made in its first year since the HP split - comments that probably don't go very far to alleviating the fears of employees facing the chop.
The skills gap
CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux slated the impact school career days have on addressing the IT skills gaps, claiming that IT professionals need to do more to explain why they love the industry. Opening his heart on the matter, Thibodeaux claimed that the industry has "taught kids what they would be doing in a job" but has not told them "why we love our jobs".
"We have to do a much better job of expressing why we love what we do," he gushed. He said that IT professionals going into schools and championing IT is a pointless exercise when the next day someone from a different industry is going in and doing the same thing.
Surely it depends which profession you're following - pity the IT execs who have to pitch to teenagers after a celebrity has, but envy those who follow the accountants.
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