1. Political shocks don't faze the channel
The UK may have been plunged into political turmoil, but channel execs are determined to look on the bright side.
CCS Media MD Terry Betts said the uncertainty could provide an accidental benefit for the channel, in the form of price rises after the pound fell so heavily in the wake of the election.
"We suffer from too much deflation, whereas these days we have inflation, which is unusual for us. It means we can basically sell fewer units and make more money," he said.
Lawrence Jones, CEO of UKFast, argued that a hung parliament is a good thing for the IT industry because it makes it more difficult for Theresa May to attempt to push through any potential laws regarding encryption and building backdoors for government agencies.
"It also means that no one politician can railroad potentially bad ideas," he said.
Despite this glass-half-full mentality, some 57 per cent of CRN readers felt an increased Conservative majority would have been the best outcome for the channel. Indeed, one reseller boss - Storm Technologies' John Brooker - made the national press after an email he sent to staff advising them to vote Tory was leaked to the GMB.
2. Synnex wants to be in Europe one day
It may be an enigma today, but in a few years' time the Synnex brand may well be as familiar to us as Tech Data, Ingram or Arrow. The US-based distributor has just acquired Westcon's Americas operations for $800m and has also taken a 10 per cent stake in Westcon International, which includes Westcon's EMEA arm.
Synnex has a year to double its stake in the international business to 20 per cent at the same price as the initial 10 per cent, but CEO Kevin Murai said it will likely hold off investing further while Westcon's SAP conversion and BPO restructure is ongoing.
"We felt it was better for us to acquire the Americas business now… [which provides us] with a pathway [for] looking at the international business at the right time," he said.
3. Too many IoT projects are failing
Only 26 per cent of end users who have launched Internet of Things (IoT) projects judged them a total success, research from Cisco found.
The networking giant's survey of 1,845 IT and business decision makers in the US, UK and India found 60 per cent of IoT projects stall during proof of concept, while a third of completed projects were not considered a success.
The biggest factor in what makes a successful IoT project was collaboration between IT and business, the research found, which can be challenging considering that the data found disparities in the priorities of IT decision makers and business decision makers. Cisco itself said it is seeing the most IoT success where it partners with other vendors to create solutions that share data.
4. The hybrid cloud battle is hotting up
2017 is becoming all about who has the best hybrid cloud strategy.
After Michael Dell used Dell EMC World in May to set out his hybrid cloud stall, HPE did the same at its Discover event in Las Vegas earlier this month.
HPE claimed its Flexible Capacity service is the only offering that brings "real" pay-per-user experience with actual capacity management at the core.
"Three weeks ago, Michael said [he thinks] the future is hybrid IT. Duh," HPE chief channel officer Denzil Samuels said during the event's keynote. "Michael, headline: Meg [Whitman, president and CEO of HPE,] and Antonio [Neri, EVP and GM of enterprise group at HPE,] have been saying that for a couple of years."
5. The channel is set for a GDPR bounce
The channel is set for a juicy windfall from GDPR, with firms' efforts to comply with the new rules set to fuel a 16 per cent hike in European IT security spending in 2018.
That is according to analyst Canalys, which said that SMBs - which are less likely to employ dedicated IT managers, or have stringent privacy policies in place - are likely to turn to their channel partners for advice on GDPR compliance.
The prediction came as GDPR, which will come into force on 25 May 2018, emerged as the major talking point at this year's Infosecurity show (see p34).
"There are potentially massive fines for non-compliance with GDPR, putting SMBs under threat of bankruptcy. Businesses must take action now to safeguard from this danger," said Canalys senior analyst Nushin Vaiani.
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