1. Misco rumours are finally put to bed after sale announced
Rumours about the future of Misco have been swirling around the channel for a long time, with industry onlookers keen to weigh in with their views on how to turn around the UK arm of US reseller Systemax. But speculation finally stopped at the end of March, when its parent firm announced plans to sell off the EMEA Technology Products Group - excluding the profitable Misco France business - to Hilco Capital. The distressed-business specialist, which has snapped up the likes of HMV and Staples, bought the firm for an undisclosed amount.
Following the announcement of Misco's fate, Systemax shares jumped 37 per cent, and have since climbed further.
Systemax's CEO Larry Reinhold said: "We believe that we have found a good home for our former colleagues in Europe. We thank them for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours. With a simplified and focused operating footprint and a strong cash position, we are well positioned to continue executing on our strategic plan and drive the performance and value of our businesses for our shareholders."
2. The ‘Women in the channel' cause is gaining momentum
Many "women in IT" projects exist throughout the industry, but few of them attract many men who want to champion the cause and speak out. VMware's European boss David Parry-Jones looked to break that cycle, and spoke out himself on the issue.
He and colleagues had recently attended a training course about "male privilege", where men were asked to read out statements about the preferential treatment many believe they have. The powerful statements resonated with him so much, he decided to post one a day to his LinkedIn account for 50 days in order to raise awareness of them.
The posts earned multiple likes and shares among his community of followers, who praised his move.
3. Softcat is thinking about expanding internationally
The UK's third-largest reseller has expanded rapidly throughout the UK in recent years, with regional offices popping up in Scotland, Leeds and Bristol. But on a recent earnings call, CEO Marin Hellawell (pictured) told CRN that the firm has tentatively considered expanding internationally, pointing to Ireland as its possible first stop.
"We have no plans but the one I'm quite open about is that I'd love to have a crack at Ireland," he said. "We need to understand a bit more about that market and look into it more deeply. More importantly, I need a team of people from Softcat who are ready and the right people to set up an Irish office, who I don't have today. That would be a baby step towards the international front. We're doing more international business with our international partners, and that's going really well."
4. Avnet TS has settled in with Azlan
‘Bigger is better' appears to be the mantra at Tech Data, after it told CRN that the Avnet Technology Solutions acquisition has found a home in its Azlan unit - adding that the combined might of the two means the ￡1.5bn VAD is now 50 per cent bigger than its nearest rival.
Rob Tomlin, who will oversee the newly formed business, said: "We double in people, we double in revenue pretty much, and our goal is to take the one plus one and make sure it gives our partners, our vendors and our people a real benefit.
"Right now we're working on a model of ‘business as usual'. We're keeping the firms separate in how we service the market, how we service the vendors and customers, but we're working to bring that together as soon as we can in a very sensible, structured way."
5. Wick Hill and Zycko brands are on the way out
Wick Hill celebrated its 40th birthday in recent years, but now the brand name has been retired, along with Zycko and SIPHON - fellow firms snapped up by Rigby Private Equity. Instead, from 1 April, the trio took on the Nuvias name, which has run alongside the trio for the past year or so.
Nuvias - which is the new distribution arm of RPE - operates in 18 countries, sells into 30, and has around 430 staff. Its revenues are in the region of $400m (￡321m) and Riverbed is its largest vendor.
Wick Hill and Zycko were acquired by RPE in July 2015 and December 2015 respectively, and SIPHON joined the stable a year later in October 2016.
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