1. AMBITIOUS US RESELLER SEES FUTURE IN UK
US-based reseller PCM has continued its rapid expansion in the UK by acquiring Scottish Cisco Gold partner Provista UK.
Since opening its first UK office in May, PCM has been aggressive in poaching scores of staff from rivals and in September acquired ￡3m-revenue, Liverpool-based cloud services provider The Stack Group.
The acquisition of Provista, a Glasgow-based network and security reseller with revenues of ￡7.7m, propels its UK headcount to around 200.
When PCM first announced plans to take the UK market by storm, onlookers argued it would find it hard to make progress unless it found a way to quickly replicate the manufacturer accreditations it holds in North America.
On this front, the Provista acquisition hands it several top vendor badges to hang in its foyer, including not only Cisco Gold, but Avaya Saphire and VMWare Solutions Provider. It also brings PCM additional offices in Aberdeen and Birmingham.
The deal will additionally contribute to its "opportunity to extend its growth of the existing managed services and multi-lingual global service desk within the European region", PCM (whose UK boss Donavan Hutchinson is pictured above) said.
2. CRYPTOCURRENCY ‘TOO RISKY FOR CHANNEL'
Cryptocurrencies are still too volatile and carry too many security concerns to be widely adopted by the channel, according to Cloudreach's European boss Chris Bunch.
Bitcoin, considered one of the most widely used virtual currencies on the market, reached a value of more than $19,000 (￡15,750) on 17 December but fell to $14,393 on 3 January.
In 2014, vendor giant Microsoft announced that it would accept Bitcoin payments on some digital payments limited to the US, with Dell also embracing the cryptocurrency that same year.
But according to Chris Bunch, European head of Cloudreach, the channel will not be transacting in cryptocurrencies any time soon, despite the currency's recent surge in valuation.
3. SMARTPHONES COULD GET AI FOCUSED
The next four years will see a 70 per cent increase in the number of smartphones with ‘on-device' artificial intelligence (AI), from 10 per cent in 2017 to 80 per cent by 2020, according to Gartner.
The market watcher claims that the massive hike will be driven by vendors using AI to customise their offerings to increasingly personal consumer demands.
Research director at Gartner, CK Lu, said: "Now that smartphones are increasingly commonplace, vendors are looking for new ways to differentiate their product.
"Future AI capabilities enable smartphones to learn, plan and solve problems for users - it's not just about smarting the smartphone, it's also about empowering users by reducing their cognitive load."
4. DATACENTRES ARE STILL BEING OFFLOADED
The value of datacentre M&A doubled to $20bn (￡14.8bn) last year as service providers continued to offload facilities in favour of public cloud and colocation agreements, according to Synergy Research Group.
The market watcher said at least one "significant" deal was secured every week last year, with datacentre giants Equinix and Digital Realty among those splashing the most cash.
The largest deal of the year saw Digital Realty acquire DuPoint Fabros for $7.6bn, while four other deals were valued at over $1bn, Synergy said.
John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy, said: "What is driving the datacentre M&A activity is enterprises focusing more on improving IT capabilities and less on owning datacentre assets."
5. JUNIPER DROPPED WESTCON IN THE UK
Juniper Networks will drop Westcon as an EMEA-wide distributor in 2018, shrinking its remit to only three European countries.
Two sources told Channelnomics Europe that Westcon had lost its EMEA-wide contract with Juniper, with a third source claiming they had heard rumours circulating the industry.
"Juniper Networks signed an EMEA-wide contract with a new distributor, Nuvias, in September 2017. As part of this new distribution landscape, from January 2018 Westcon will continue to represent Juniper, specifically in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands," said EMEA channel chief Kristian Kerr in a statement.
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