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Caseking distributes Kolink

PC component specialist Caseking has been appointed by Kolink as official distributor for its low-end PC cases. The distribution deal encompasses Benelux, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Savera Marketing launches its own brand ‘Manzana’

India: broadliner Savera Marketing has launched its consumer brand "Manzana" – a range of computer peripherals, audio systems and security and surveillance systems for pro quality consumer segments. Manzana's line of products includes speakers, headphones, keyboards and mice, with an addition of various security and surveillance products in the near future. Manzana products are available in almost all the major cities of East, North and Western regions of the country. Gopal Pansari, Director at Savera said, "We are very excited at the launch of Manzana. Manzana will be an exquisite range of high-quality computer peripherals, audio systems and security and surveillance systems at competitive rates. We are launching Manzana to address the young generation that is the largest constituent of digital age today. We are very confident that Manzana will impress everyone with its premium quality and innovation." Manzana is led by a multi-skilled management team comprising of three directors. Their vision is further inspired by highly skilled technical and sales team. The brand is all set to create its presence in IT Channel Segment, Consumer Electronic Segment and Retail / Stationery segment. The company envisions initiating its first phase by launching its products in 11 states, including North, East and Western parts of India. And later in December, the company anticipates to cover total 17 states. Gopal Pansari further elaborated, "The success of any launch in digital space today lies with a robust and strong reach across all markets in India. Savera Marketing has been chosen to take Manzana across all key 15 tier 1 and 2 markets across India. The growing aspirational class of young India will find the product within their reach – geographically as well as cost-wise!"

Impakt plays with XMG

Poland: accessory and peripheral specialist Impakt has expanded its offer with XMG gaming PCs and notebooks.

Westcon-Comstor appoints GM to growing UCC practice

United Kingdom: infrastructure VAD Westcon-Comstor continues its strong history of investments in its UK-Ireland (UKI) business with the appointment of Garry Boon as General Manager for the company's Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) Practice. Boon brings a wealth of distribution industry knowledge to the position, he will lead one of the seven technology and capabilities practices that distinguish Westcon-Comstor on a global scale: security, collaboration, networking, data center, cloud, services and global deployment. Boon, who has more than 20 years of technology industry experience, was most recently vice president, GTM and Field Strategy, at Stratasys – a 3D printer vendor, where Boon grew the channel business. His other positions over the past two decades include channel development and operations leadership in EMEA and UK for companies ranging from Blueprint or SUSE to CHS. He earned a BSc in Physics at University College London. "Garry brings invaluable know-how to Westcon. His proven ability to drive fast growth and build long-term profitable channel relationships will be a great asset to the company," commented Tony Nevill, managing director, UK & Ireland, Westcon-Comstor. "I joined Westcon-Comstor because of their reputation as a dynamic and proactive company," Boon explained. "They stand out for a best-in-class portfolio and excellence in services delivery, plus great relationships with both vendors and solution providers. It all adds up to a tremendous platform for driving unparalleled growth. I am excited to explore how we can add new services to generate more opportunities and increased profit potential for the channel."

Lifesize chooses Ingram Micro

Switzerland: Lifesize, the video-conferencing arm of Logitech, has expanded its distributor stable with the Specialty division of broadliner Ingram Micro (source: IT Reseller Schweiz).

Ingram Micro signs regional distribution agreement with Microsoft for NEPA region

MEA: broadliner Ingram Micro has expanded its distribution agreement with Microsoft to cover NEPA region (North Africa, East Mediterranean countries and Pakistan) which includes the countries of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Pakistan. With this contract, Ingram Micro is authorised to distribute the entire line of Volume Licensing products from Microsoft as an official Volume Licensing Distributor in NEPA region. Ingram Micro has regional distribution rights with Microsoft in other countries of the META region (Middle East, Turkey and Africa), transacting through Aptec in Gulf countries (UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia), in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and others. Ali Baghdadi, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive, Ingram Micro Inc META region, commented: "We are delighted with Microsoft's decision to appoint us as a regional distributor for NEPA. Our commitment to develop IT solutions in NEPA countries is solid and backed by significant investments."

"Strong partners are key to expanding our reach and to our success. Ingram Micro will help us deliver on our cloud-first, mobile-first strategy across NEPA," says Leila Serhan, Regional General Manager at Microsoft. "We're looking forward to seeing this partnership thrive as cloud uptake increases across the region."

Ingram Micro has been on-boarded by Microsoft and is conducting business in the assigned territory. Resellers in North Africa and Pakistan will soon have an opportunity to join Ingram Micro enablement and development programs, which have been successfully implemented in other countries of the region. Ingram Micro will also be launching its channel partner programs, conducting partner events and solutions forums in each country.

OPcom on the phone with Htek

France: VoIP specialist OPcom has added Htek low-end SIP phones to its portfolio.

TD Azlan backups on Carbonite

Germany: infrastructure VAD TD Azlan has expanded its offer with Carbonite hybrid backup and recovery solutions. These products are available through the Tech Data Cloud Solutions Store.

Three new brands for Westcoast

United Kingdom: broadliner Westcoast has unveiled three additions to its offer. The distributor is leveraging on the cloud market and its CSP status, by distributing eFolder online cloud backup solutions and Cirius Office 365 encryption tools. Beside this, the broadliner has started the distribution of SOTI's MobiControl mobile asset management system.

ALSO on the phone with WIKO

Switzerland: broadliner ALSO has started the distribution of the smartphones from French vendor WIKO, beside its competitor Alltron (source: IT Markt Schweiz).

A massive flow of distributors news from Gitex

Middle East: as usually, the Gitex IT event has been the place to be, to catch up the latest news regarding the IT distribution in the region, as most major distributors were present in Dubai during its running. Network and security VAD Exclusive Networks used the place to celebrate its ten years (most of them, as Secureway), announce its move to a larger headquarter (featuring more workspace for the company's workforce as well as expanded onsite training facilities to host learning programmes and workshops for partners and vendors) and unveil the local expansion of pan-group distribution partnerships with Bit9+Carbon Black, Ixia and Netskope.

Security VAD Bulwark has presented to the visitors of the event several additions to its portfolio, Varonis (sensitive information protection), Linoma (managed file transfer, secure ftp and encryption software for IBM i, iSeries, Windows, Linux and other platforms), TalariaX (for its Sendquick SMS appliance for enterprise messaging) and Jacarta (monitoring solutions).

Broadliner Logicom unveiled a reorganization of its local management, with the appointment of Mounir Sarkis and Peter Irinarchos as regional director and general manager for UAE and Gulf, respectively. Sarkis will be responsible for the extended region of the GCC, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while Irinarchos will be taking on the leadership role of general manager for Logicom in the UAE and the Gulf, succeeding Sajith Raj. The distributor has also announced a partnership with Securifi. It will distribute its Almond Wireless Router series through its channel partner network in Bahrain, Cyprus, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Network and storage VAD Mindware has used the event to announce distribution deals with Biostar (motherboards and graphic cards) and Unify (VoIP infrastructures) in the region, through its offices in Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The regional distributor also emphasised on its relationship with EMC. Having signed up with the brand as its value-added distributor towards the end of 2013, the company is focusing largely on three of the vendor's products such as Software-defined storage solution – ViPR, XtremeIO and its data protection suite. According to Vijay Kumar, Sales Director Virtualisation at Mindware, "We have been growing the EMC business to around 40-50 percent. We are bringing in new channel partners and our focus will continue to be on enhancing their capabilities. Over the next few months, we will be focusing on point-to-point enablement". Finally, Mindware unveiled its will to expand on the African market over the coming year, leveraging on its existing vendor partnerships, starting with Citrix and Intel Security and planning to introduce later Juniper Networks, Pulse Secure and Riverbed. The company plans to enter more efficiently the African market, through a local presence in North, East and West Africa. It claims to have set up offices in Morocco and Nigeria (although ITdistri did not find any trace of them anywhere) and to have resources in Kenya.

South African security VAD ARM used the event to announce its arrival on the MEA market, with a rebranding to Credence Security and the opening of a full-fledged office in Dubai, managed by Vivian Gevers.

Giant broadliner Redington has announced on the event that it had signed a distribution deal with privileged account vendor Cyber-Ark. It will distribute its Privileged Account Security Platform in the region, through its offices in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The value division of the distributor has also unveiled its RedCloud integrated cloud solutions platform. RedCloud is a marketplace that offers customers a one-stop solution for all their enterprise cloud requirements. As part of the unified catalogue of cloud service offerings, RedCloud will also link buyers and sellers, and channel partners can use a single log in to access all solutions, get competitive rates, make payments online and even track their orders and credit history. The distributor is in the process of partnering with about 30 to 40 software as a solution (SaaS) service providers.

Storage VAD StorIT has officially launched on the Gitex event its managed service platform for channel network, in partnership with HASzone. This new managed services offering can enable StorIT resellers provide their customers with a resilient and secure IT infrastructure, while it can as be instrumental for them in terms of database and applications management as well. According to StorIT, HASZone's managed services expertise, paired with StorIT's array of solutions delivery, ought to ensure users realise various benefits such as highly resilient and secure IT infrastructure, centralised and streamlined service management, increased service levels, tested and certified disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, and predictable costs.

Network VAD Oxygen has unveiled distribution deals with seven new vendors: Boole Server (encrypted enterprise file sharing), plixer (flow analysis), Solus (biometry and access control), Trustwave (smart security on demand), Unify (mobile communications), Ziften (threat monitoring and mitigation) and Zimperium (enterprise mobile security).

Dell has taken advantage of the event to announce its new strategy in the region, with a streamlining of its local distributor stable, down to four main distributors, Aptec, Metra, Mindware and Redington Gulf.

Finally, Richard Noujaim, the MEA managing director for infrastructure VAD Arrow ECS, has announced that the distributor would open its ArrowSphere cloud platform in the region within the coming year. ArrowSphere is available in most European countries since July 2012.

Innelec expands in smart devices

France: retail specialist Innelec, originally specialized in gaming, is expanding its connected device offer at a fast pace. For Christmas, the distributor has unveiled two new vendors, Beluuv (GPS trackers for children) and Vigilant (a connected toothbrush, also for children).

Motorola Mobility in Action

Poland: broadliner Action has added Motorola Mobility smartphones to its telephony portfolio (source: CRN Polska).

ADN distributes Proofpoint

Cybersecurity provider Proofpoint has chosen software and security VAD ADN as official distributor for Austria and Germany.

Arrow and CompTIA join forces on Cloud Enablement

United Kingdom: infrastructure VAD Arrow ECS has joined forces with CompTIA to launch The Cloud Enablement Programme. The Cloud Enablement Programme has been designed to help businesses transition to new cloud service models and maximise the potential of selling cloud services. The programme is a portfolio of enablement resources, consultancy, marketing, training and knowledge transfer. It aims to empower Arrow's channel customers to grow a profitable and sustainable cloud services business by eliminating both cost and complexity from development and delivery.

Arrow has teamed up with industry trade association CompTIA to help educate the channel about the advantages of using the cloud. Businesses in the programme will receive a specially designed Delivery Cycle to guide them successfully through five key stages: Onboard, Plan, Enable, Execute and Reward.

CompTIA is offering free training in partnership with Arrow as part of the Cloud Enablement Programme. "We're excited to see the Cloud Enablement Programme complement our IT Channel Cloud content and other education offerings, as well as our Cloud+ certification," said Leanne Johnson, engagement manager for CompTIA. "Together, we offer a unique set of services to the industry so that companies of all sizes can implement cloud solutions with confidence." David Fearne, technical director at Arrow ECS, said: "As cloud computing creates unique opportunities to generate more value from and for customers, it is important that businesses learn how to deliver cloud-related products and services. The Cloud Enablement Programme is ideal for those already using cloud services but who want to expand their knowledge, or those who are interested in moving to the cloud – it is basically designed to take all the stress away."

Westcon opens up about Romanian outsourcing move

Distributor Westcon has revealed a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm with operations in Romania will take charge of some of its EMEA finance and operations functions. Parent company Datatec announced yesterday that 300 of Westcon's 1,900 EMEA staff would be affected by a "BPO transformation" of its EMEA operations.

Westcon senior vice president David Grant revealed a phased migration of the functions in question will occur between now and mid-2017 and insisted service levels for resellers would not be affected. Although Grant was not in a position to divulge Westcon's BPO partner, he described it as a global outfit "in the top-right of the Gartner Magic Quadrant". "We separated our activities into those we see as transactional and those that add value to the customers and vendors," he said. "Anything that is very transactional we have decided to outsource to another organisation as it gives us scale and efficiency."

The outsourcing project will run alongside Westcon's impending European implementation of a global SAP project, Grant said, adding that affected employees may be offered other roles in the organisation. "It is not a case of everything changing on day one," he said. "Where roles are affected we will give people significant advance notice, as it's the responsible thing to do. We are growing, and while some transactional roles will be eliminated from the business, some new opportunities will be created so we will take as much time as we can to retrain and redeploy staff where it is appropriate to us."

Westcon, which operates through the Comstor and Westcon brands, has order-processing staff in 42 countries in EMEA, Grant said, adding that any staff whose roles are displaced will be offered the choice of staying on to help with the migration. Employee and other fees associated with the migration will cost parent Datatec about €11.5m in its current financial year.

Rival distributor Ingram Micro centralised more EMEA back-office functions to Sofia in Bulgaria last year.

Grant said it made more sense for Cisco, Avaya, Polycom, Juniper and Check Point partner Westcon to partner with a BPO outfit with knowledge of the region. "We have chosen an organisation where it is their core business to provide business processes and support," he said. "We are not experts in sourcing a facility or finding local language specialists and training them on what we do."

Romania, which is where the BPO firm in question will carry out Westcon's transactional work, was ranked fourth in an index of the top global BPO locations this year carried out by Cushman & Wakefield, behind Vietnam, the Philippines and Bulgaria. Grant emphasised that Westcon's "core value-add" will be retained in-house and claimed that neither customer service levels nor its ability to execute would be affected by the move. "Our top 10 vendor partners have all offered to make sure there is good knowledge transfer and are helping to train our BPO staff," he said. "If you think about it, most of our major vendors have some part of their organisation that is outsourced so are completely familiar with what support they can give us."

Graeme Watt, EMEA president at rival distributor Avnet Technology Solutions, confirmed his company has also made some steps towards centralising transactional functions, "but nothing like on the scale we are seeing with Westcon". "It is fair to say that everybody is looking to see how much of that non-technical, more run-rate, transactional operations they can centralise," he said. "We have been talking about it for a while and we will centralise functions and operations where we think it makes sense and keep things local where we think it makes sense." (source: Channelweb United Kingdom).

Another acquisition for Ingram Micro

After Canai, Clarity, Aptec, Armada, Anovo and most recently DOCdata, the American giant broadliner continues its acquisition spree with Brazilian network and security VAD AÇÃO, which ought to become its local Advanced Solutions division. In addition to a portfolio of higher value products, including those from strategic vendors such as IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, EMC and VMware, AÇÃO also provides integration services, sales support and financial services, with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. AÇÃO key leadership has agreed to join Ingram Micro upon close of the transaction to assist in the integration and help drive continued growth and expanding profitability across the combined business thereafter. The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory and other closing conditions, is expected to close late in the 2015 fourth quarter. AÇÃO is expected to contribute in excess of €270m in annual value-add solutions revenue to Ingram Micro and be modestly accretive to 2016 full year non-GAAP earnings per share.

Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monié commented, "As evidenced by a history of strong operating margin contribution, Ingram Micro has been extremely successful in rapidly expanding our high value business in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, where we are already established as one of the leading overall technology distributors and have enjoyed strong double digit growth rates in local currency for many quarters. AÇÃO's position as a key solutions value-added distributor is a perfect complement to our rapidly growing higher margin business in the region. The company has a long history of strong business fundamentals, and brings experienced management in an emerging geography that remains attractive for Ingram Micro over the long-term. We expect to realize meaningful vendor cross-selling opportunities in the countries we share, as together we will have a significantly expanded portfolio of high value offerings to better serve our customers. We look forward to AÇÃO joining Ingram Micro and we are confident the addition will enable us to build further on the region's revenue and profitability contribution."

Enio Issa, Grupo AÇÃO president, added, "Ingram Micro is the perfect partner for AÇÃO to help us continue to drive our established and fast growing high value business in Latin America and I am confident that together we can further accelerate the strong performance our individual companies have provided for our customers. Ingram Micro understands how to successfully conduct business in the region and we are excited to join such a globally recognized world class organization.".

A country manager for Ingecom

Spanish network and security VAD Ingecom has poached Nuno Martins from Westcon UC&C as country manager for its Portuguese operations. The replacement of Nuno at Westcon is yet unknown (source: Channel Partner España).

Esprinet in partnership with Multiclass

Spain: broadliner Esprinet has expanded its portfolio with Multiclass education-oriented products, which include interactive whiteboards, touch tables or touch displays (source: Channel Partner España).

Creative Peripherals becomes distributor for Samsung monitors

India: broadliner Creative Peripherals (CPDL) has been appointed as the National Distributor by Korean vendor Samsung for its LCD/LED monitors. This association with Samsung will also allow company to extend better value to partners. CPDPL has created a team for selling Samsung Monitors under the leadership of Upendra Singh, who has over 15 years of hands on experience in the IT industry. CPDPL team and Samsung team will together raise the benchmark for this business. CPDPL has agreed to market and provide after-sales support for Samsung monitors of 21.5" and above and with this customers are going to benefit as they will get better price and will have newer products more periodically. Ketan C Patel, CEO, Creative Peripherals said, "CPDPL's strength is its reputation and goodwill among channel partners, very good relations with large format retailers and strong presence in e-commerce. All these combined with the brand presence of Samsung-trust, aesthetics, quality and after sales service-will create great value for the brand and also for CPDPL." CPDPL is going to promote Samsung in different channels. CPDPL has its presence across India and has over 5,000 partners. CPDPL will evaluate the existing partners and strengthen the areas where there is potential to grow further. Performing regions will be made to perform even better through various offers and schemes (source: Channel Times India).