1. VAD CONSOLIDATION CONTINUES TO SHAPE THE INDUSTRY
Another month brings further channel consolidation. This time Commtech and Securicom have been swallowed, by Arrow and e92plus, respectively. The difficulty smaller, independent distributors have in making the necessary investments around cloud has been cited as a major factor in Commtech's sale to Arrow by its boss. Commtech founder and CEO Justin Owens described Arrow as a "natural fit" for Commtech, whose largest vendors are Dell EMC and Pure Storage. It also works with Rubrik, SonicWall and DataCore. "We are seeing a big move towards cloud, and as an independent distributor it is difficult to make the investment in platforms that is necessary," Owens said.
E92plus has set its sights on a European expansion after it acquired security distributor Securicom as it targets ￡100m revenue. The distributor, which carries Trend Micro and Forcepoint, expects to turn over ￡40m in its current financial year, but has laid out aggressive growth plans which will see it make multiple acquisitions and aim to hit ￡100m in sales by 2020. Securicom carries emerging vendors including Aqua Security and will act as the emerging technology division of e92plus, according to managing director Mukesh Gupta.
2. ORACLE THINKS IT'S A CLOUD GIANT TOO
Oracle's rapid cloud growth has put it in the same league as industry leaders AWS, Microsoft and Google, according to UK and Ireland channel boss Simon Hill. The so-called big three all boasted of their cloud figures this month, but Hill said that Oracle's own growth should see it spoken of in the same breath.
"We really want to make sure - whether it's as the big four or part of the big three - that we are known as one of the fastest-growing scale cloud companies in the world," Hill said. "If you look at where we're positioned in the market, we have an annualised run rate of $6bn (￡4.5bn) and if you look at the 50 per cent-plus growth we're experiencing across our cloud portfolio, that puts us in a strong position to compete."
3. COMPUTACENTER'S RECOVERY CONTINUES
Computacenter's UK revival continued in Q3 with revenue up eight per cent year on year to ￡335m, the reseller and services beast said in a trading update. Overall the group saw revenue jump 27 per cent to ￡931m, with Germany again the standout performer.
Revenue in the German business was up 26 per cent to ￡453m, while France's sales pogoed 34 per cent to ￡127m. Of the UK business, Computacenter said: "While the UK is growing slightly slower than the group as a whole, the results in the third quarter demonstrate an improved performance."
Germany continues to be the golden child, growing at a faster rate in Q3 than it had done in the first half of the year. Computacenter shares were up 4.5 per cent following the announcement.
4. A MONSTER TAKEOVER IS IN THE PIPELINE
Semiconductor vendor Broadcom is on the verge of making a $130bn (￡99bn) bid for chip maker Qualcomm in what would be the largest technology takeover ever. First reported by Bloomberg, Broadcom is said to be readying an assault on publicly listed Qualcomm and planning to offer shareholders $70 a share.
Citing sources, Bloomberg claimed that the Qualcomm board is likely to advise shareholders to reject the deal, while claiming that any deal could run into regulatory problems. Broadcom and Qualcomm are no strangers to acquisitions, with Broadcom in the process of closing its $5.5bn acquisition of Brocade, while Qualcomm is struggling through regulatory scrutiny to complete its $38bn deal for Dutch semiconductor vendor NXP.
5. BLACKBERRY'S CHANNEL IS TOO SMALL
"If you turn back the clock five years, most of what BlackBerry did was through carriers because they are the guys who sold the handset. Our software went through the handset, so almost everything was direct through them. Now it's almost a complete flip."
These are the words of BlackBerry channel boss Richard McLeod who, speaking to CRN, summed up an entire overhaul of a multibillion-dollar company in under 50 words. Five years ago BlackBerry didn't have much of a channel in the traditional sense, working predominantly through the network carriers which sold its mobile phones. Channel vice president McLeod said this has now changed. Overall, 65 per cent of its volume now travels through the channel - an amount which "is not big enough," he added.
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