1. Michael Dell is a public cloud sceptic
While many other mainstream IT vendors, including Oracle and Microsoft, have attempted to co-opt the rise of public cloud by going all-in on the fluffy form of IT, Dell is not for turning.
At Dell EMC World this week, Michael Dell fired a shot across the bows of AWS, Microsoft, and Google by claiming that for many, "public cloud is twice as expensive as on-premise".
"If you have a public cloud-first and -only strategy, you will find yourself uncompetitive in the long term. On-premise offers automation capabilities on an unprecedented scale," he said, as he talked up the importance of the "multi-cloud" world.
However, Simon Hansford, CEO of UK public cloud player UKCloud, begged to differ.
"I totally agree that there will be use cases where public cloud is more expensive, but I think they're relatively small in number," he told CRN.
"You've got to be rather sceptical - Michael Dell has got storage and hardware to sell. In most use cases we believe cloud is cheaper, and here is a whole swell of TCO whitepapers which demonstrate that."
2. The distribution skyline is thinning
The shrinking of the UK distribution landscape continued last week with the sad news that Entatech has gone to the wall after more than 25 years in business.
The Telford-based distributor's demise comes amid a period of dramatic market consolidation that has seen Avnet and Hammer sell up, Westcon conduct a search for a buyer, and Steljes go bust.
By our calculations, just 11 of the top 20 UK disties of 2010 have vanished through acquisition or consolidation, or will do shortly.
Entatech's fate was sealed after rival Beta withdrew from advanced talks to buy some of its assets in a rumoured pre-pack deal. A skeleton team has been kept on to help maximise returns for creditors and we wish all involved the best.
3. Owning datacentres is so last decade
The craze for owning datacentres seems to have completely reversed, with IT and telco providers now seemingly not able to offload them quickly enough.
Verizon and CenturyLink have become the latest in a growing line of providers to make datacentre divestments in recent months.
This is despite the duo only leaping into the datacentre space in 2011 through the acquisitions of Teeremark and Savvis, respectively.
Colin Brown, managing director of Softcat, said: "A few years ago, everyone was saying ‘let's build our own datacentre', but now people are realising it's hard work. Our approach has always been ‘let's get someone else to do that', and now it seems more people are going that way."
4. Microsoft wants to reclaim its schools crown
Microsoft is aiming to take the fight to Google Chrome and Apple in the schools market with the launch of a stripped-back version of Windows 10, and a new ‘Surface Laptop'.
‘Windows 10 S' will run on devices from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba priced as low as $189, as well as its new Surface Laptop, which starts at $999 (£979 in the UK). For better security and performance, the OS can run apps only from the Windows Store.
Chris McQuade, operations manager at Microsoft partner PCS Business Systems, welcomed the move.
"Microsoft took their foot off the gas - there are a lot of millennials coming out of school wanting Apple rather than Windows and I'm sure they were feeling the pain," he said.
5. South Africa is an offshore contender
IT suppliers picking an offshore destination have typically restricted their search to India and Eastern Europe.
But Logicalis has become the latest outfit to choose South Africa to house some of the services it provides to its UK clients. After launching an operation in Cape Town in March, the Cisco Gold partner is proposing to move 40 of its 65 UK helpdesk roles to the South African capital, CRN learned. A consultation period with affected staff began on 25 April, and will last until 4 June.
The African nation's standing as an offshore destination has been boosted by the recent dramatic fall in the rand, as well as favourable immigration laws.
But in a potential boost for jobs here, Logicalis also wants the UK to become a centre of excellence for Europe for higher-end managed services.
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