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Global 3D print market passes 500K units milestone

Over half a million 3D printers have been shipped globally since the earliest days of the industry in the 1980’s, according to research released today by CONTEXT, the IT market research company.

Over 85% of these printer shipments are from the relatively new sub-category of low-cost desktop models which emerged on the market a few years ago and currently carry a weighted average price point of €1,308. The net 15% of the total printers shipped on cumulative basis represent the largest portion of the total revenues, however, with products in this category carrying average selling prices from below €22,500 to above €1.8M. Weighted average price points in this legacy Industrial/Professional sector are currently just over €86,500.

« Growth in 3D printing has been phenomenal in recent years, » commented Chris Connery, VP for Global Analysis at CONTEXT. « This year has been challenging especially in the long standing Industrial/Professional market. Through the first half of this year, there have been 1% fewer printers shipped in this high-end sector than in the first half of last year, a stark contrast to the shipment growth of 29% seen from 2013 to 2014.« 

« Even the fast growing Personal/Desktop 3D Printing sector, which saw phenomenal 61% year-on-year growth in the first half of this year, is showing some weakness with preliminary indications highlighting that Q3′15 shipments might be below those of Q3′14, » added Connery.

Additionally, Q3 2015 saw long-time industry players Stratasys and 3D Systems continue to struggle. Both posted weak earnings, showing declines in total revenues of -18% and -9% respectively.

Meanwhile, traditional printer manufacturers are entering the 3D printing market with products from Canon, Ricoh and HP Inc.

Despite the slowdown, CONTEXT predicts that the market is on track to ship the millionth unit by 2017, and upwards of 1M units per year being shipped by 2019.

Attiva ventures in the value business

Italy: Mac specialist Attiva SpA has decided to open a value division, to cover more efficiently the value market. Named Attiva Evolution, this division is managed by Lorenzo Zanotto, who was previously business manager for network and security VAD EDslan. It has a broad offer, encompassing networks, security, storage and structure cabling (source: 01Net Italia).

New partnerships in Poland

The Polish market continues to expand at a rapid pace. Broadliner Megabajt has started the import of Ravcore gaming accessories, while its competitor NTT System has inked a deal with Team Group, to distribute its SSD, flash cards and USB keys. On the Value market, infrastructure VAD Eptimo has been appointed official distributor by Xopero, which has developed a private cloud backup solution, based on QNAP NAS (source: CRN Polska).

DMI plays with Gamdias

Spain: broadliner DMI Computer has expanded its gaming portfolio with Gamdias accessories and peripherals (source: ChannelPartner España).

NetApp appoints Tarsus for value-add distribution

South Africa: NetApp has appointed broadliner Tarsus Technology Group as a value-added distributor for South Africa and the SADC region through its offices in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.

The companies will work together to help the channel deliver agile, scalable and resilient storage and data management solutions that smooth out businesses' transition to software-defined data centres, converged infrastructures, and cloud computing.

The agreement targets resellers serving small enterprises, mid-sized businesses and large enterprises.

Tarsus will offer resellers access to a broad range of NetApp solutions and services spanning cloud computing, flash storage, business applications, data storage for virtual servers, disk-to-disk backup, and more. It will back this solutions offering with training, pre-sales, post-sales and professional services (including managed services, implementation and architecting) that provide the end-user with an integrated data and storage management solution.

"Tarsus Technology Group, with its holistic offering to the South African channel, is a perfect partner for NetApp," says Gary De Menezes, country manager for South Africa at NetApp. "Our agreement with Tarsus gives organisations of all sizes access to a complete set of software, systems and services that enable them to seamlessly manage data wherever it resides. Our solutions complement the group's offerings, spanning from Tarsus Cloud on Demand and Tarsus Mobility Solutions to Tarsus SecureData. We are particularly excited about how Tarsus Channel Capital's finance solutions will help enable resellers to offer NetApp customers access to flexible and cost -effective funding options."

Anton Herbst, CEO of Tarsus Distribution, comments: "The relationship with NetApp aligns with our commitment to helping our channel partners grow their market share and reach new levels of success. With the NetApp portfolio and access to our professional services, resellers can develop innovative storage and data management solutions that give them a competitive advantage and position them as stronger partners to their clients. Because NetApp is a channel-focused vendor, the partnership enables our channel partners to interpret where their customers currently are on their storage journey, map out their next moves, and implement future-proof solutions. This is not just a conversation about storage – it is a conversation around how our resellers can help their clients make their data work for their businesses at the lowest possible cost and with the best possible results." (source: IT Online South Africa).

Digital signage and interactive displays drive 15% unit growth in EMEA sales of LFD in Q3 2015

Vendor unit shipments of large-format displays (LFDs) across EMEA were up +15% in Q3 2015 compared to the same period last year as more digital signage solutions were installed and more interactive ultra-large displays were sold, according to data published by CONTEXT, the leading European IT market analysis company.

Unit sales of screens of 65 inches and above grew significantly, increasing by +107% in Q3 2015 year-on-year. "Interactive displays have been a key contributor to this increase as the number of applications for them grows", said Lachlan Walsh, senior analyst at CONTEXT. "For example, in the corporate space, there has been a big shift towards interactive products for meeting rooms as companies move towards collaboration over multiple sites and mobile devices."

The other growing segment has been 86.4 cm and below, which saw sales increase +26% year-on-year. This growth has been driven by low-cost digital signage solutions which are becoming increasingly popular in retail outlets and restaurants as they are visually dynamic and easy to update.

In terms of vendor performance, Samsung retained its No. 1 position with a 46% unit share of the total market in Q3 2015, growing +19% compared to the same period last year. NEC Display and LG completed the top three, with shares of 14% and 12% respectively.

Sanho appoints Retentiva

Russia: Sanho Digital has appointed mobility accessory specialist Retentiva Distribution as an official distributor for its Photofast iPhone accessories. The partnership covers the CIS region (therefore, excluding Ukraine and Georgia, which have left the Russia-led association).

2E Interconnection signs Intellinet

Netherlands: cabling and connectivity specialist 2E Interconnection has been appointed official distributor by Intellinet as official distributor for its network products.

Pinnacle to distribute Huawei Enterprise solutions

South Africa: broadliner Pinnacle Africa has been appointed as an official distribution partner of Huawei Enterprise solutions.

David McMurdo, GM for Huawei Enterprise at Pinnacle Africa, is confident of the positive impact that the addition of the Huawei Enterprise brand will have on the businesses of Pinnacle"s resellers. "After investigating and understanding the comprehensive enterprise offering from Huawei, I certainly feel that Huawei is extremely well positioned to lead the wave of the next generation of data centre technology," he says. "The Huawei offering is complete, high quality and very solution-oriented."

Pinnacle Africa has already sent a number of engineers to Huawei in China for certification training to bolster its specialist Enterprise team.

McMurdo adds that the partnership with Huawei also completes Pinnacle's offerings in the enterprise space. "The Huawei Enterprise suite provides a very sound platform on which to bolt on the other great enterprise offerings in the Pinnacle Africa stable," he says (source: IT Online South Africa).

Tech Data Mobile continues investment with new additions to sales and BDM teams

United Kingdom: telephony and mobility specialist Tech Data Mobile has added to its growing sales and business development teams with the appointments of Dan Manser as Field Sales Executive and Erebouni Torosyan as iPhone Business Development Manager.

Dan brings more than six years of working in the mobile channel to this newly-created post at Tech Data Mobile. He previously worked at specialist distributor Brightpoint and continued to work in the mobile division after the company was acquired by Ingram Micro in 2012. He gained valuable experience in a number of roles and for the past year was focused on working with Samsung to drive growth opportunities in the business market.

As part of the Tech Data Mobile sales team, Dan will be working directly with resellers partners on their business development plans with a particular focus on the commercial sector. Dan said: "I'm thrilled to have taken this new role with Tech Data Mobile, where I will have every opportunity to utilise my experience in mobile distribution and develop sales across all mobile platforms."

Erebouni Torosyan takes up the newly-created position of iPhone Business Development Manager and will work closely with the Tech Data Mobile team to expand opportunities with partners across business and retail segments. Erebouni has worked for Tech Data Mobile for over four years in a variety of roles, including vendor marketing, business development and special projects, having joined the company in 2011 on a management graduate scheme.

Commenting on her new post, Erebouni said: "This is a good opportunity for me to further my skills and experience in an exciting and fast-moving area of Tech Data Mobile’s business with tremendous potential for growth."

Tech Data Mobile is continuing to invest in its people and processes with the aim of becoming the leading distributor of mobile devices and services for B2B resellers and specialist mobile dealers in the UK. Tech Data Mobile works with a range of tier one partners, including Samsung and Motorola. It is also an authorised distributor for the iPhone and the leading distributor for the Microsoft Lumia smartphones in the UK. In a response to changing market demands, Tech Data Mobile is also placing greater emphasis on a number of challenger brands, with a portfolio that now includes multi-OS products from the likes of Archos Mobile, Alcatel OneTouch, and BQ.

Ingram Micro gains Cisco advanced technology distributor certification

The EMEA Advanced Solutions division of broadliner Ingram Micro has been certified as a Cisco Advanced Technology Distributor for Cisco Unified Computing System (ATD-UCS) in the EMEAR region, demonstrating its continued dedication to developing its data center partnership with Cisco.

With this new certification, Ingram Micro is now authorized to submit UCS B exception deal requests on behalf of non-certified two-tier partners as well as deploy and implement on-site installation services for these deals. It also means exception requests coming from Cisco Advanced Technology Partners can now be processed faster, which is a key benefit for them.

Since earning the Build-To-Order certification, Ingram Micro has been able to help channel partners and value added resellers (VARs) to cost-effectively increase the speed of delivery to end users, ensuring greater customer satisfaction and increased business. The ATD-UCS certification takes this one step further, expanding the possibilities and benefits.

Dan Maynard, head of category for Datacentre, Infrastructure & Networking, Ingram Micro UK said: "The ATD award demonstrates Ingram Micro's focus and investment into both our Cisco and reseller partner relationships in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. This award will allow us to continue to enable our SMB partners and give them the opportunity to develop new revenue streams in focus Cisco architectures."

"Ingram Micro is very pleased to be recognized as an Advanced Technology Distributor (ATD) by Cisco as it means we are now able to offer broader support and greater opportunities to the channel. It's another example of how through in-depth knowledge and technical capabilities we are bringing tremendous added value to our partners," commented Mark Chlebek, senior director, Advanced Solutions EMEA, Ingram Micro.

"Ingram Micro is committed to growing its competences in the data center space as we look for new ways to support service providers successfully develop their business," he continued.

Philip Wright, senior director, EMEAR Distribution, Cisco added in response: "We are delighted to award Ingram Micro EMEA with the ATD authorization. ATD enables our distributors to differentiate, add competitive advantage and provide a more bespoke service to our partners and their customers. We look forward to our continued partnership with Ingram Micro in adding additional value to our partners."

Ingram Micro's global flyHigher program, which helps resellers develop their businesses in partnership with Cisco, complements the ATD award by giving partners a structured path to acquiring the necessary skills for capturing datacentre opportunities. flyHigher provides training, marketing support and professional services and demonstrates the value Ingram Micro brings to the reseller community by supporting their development, in partnership with Cisco.

Ingram Micro has invested in the datacentre space over the last year, bringing in new talent, launching programs and putting key initiatives in place that combine market trends with a go-to-market strategy around ecosystem vendors including some of the most important players in the market such as APC, Eaton, Nimble, NetApp, Citrix and Microsoft.

ZOTAC and Al-Falak sign distribution partnership

Middle East: ZOTAC International, a manufacturer of graphics cards, mini PCs and SSDs, has signed a distribution agreement with Saudi broadliner Al-Falak Electronic Equipment & Supplies Co. As per the agreement, Al Falak will focus on the distribution and promotion of ZOTAC's products across the GCC countries through its strong channel network.

"The Middle East has always been an important market for ZOTAC and over the last few years we have managed to increase our brand visibility and market share significantly in this region. With our expanding portfolio of products, we now want to strengthen our position in the Middle East and expand our reach in this highly competitive and rapidly evolving market further. Hence, we decided to partner with Al Falak as they are well-established and one of the most valued and reputed distributors across this region," said Ken Ho, General Manager, EMEAI, ZOTAC.

"With their experience and market knowledge, Al Falak has always provided the latest technologies, sales support and commitment to its customers and we are confident they extend the same to ZOTAC's customers as well. We are confident that our partnership with Al Falak will help ZOTAC increase our market share further in the GCC region," Mr. Ho added.

ZOTAC, which began its Middle East operations in 2008, has been successful in establishing itself as a brand of choice for graphics card, mini-PCs and innovative accessories for many customers in the region. The vendor has been consistently meeting and exceeding industry benchmarks and raising the bar to provide only the best graphics cards, mini PCs and recently SSDs.

"We are happy to add ZOTAC to our strong portfolio of best-of-breed products. Our partnership with ZOTAC will increase the choice for our customers by bringing them high quality products at competitive prices. We are looking forward to working closely with the ZOTAC team to give our channel the resources and support they need to promote and sell ZOTAC's award-winning graphics cards and mini PCs and are confident that we will be able to increase ZOTAC's sales and market share in this region," Savio Fernandes, Country Manager, Al-Falak Electronic Equipment & Supplies Co concluded on a high note.

More Kyocera for Tech Data

Italy: broadliner Tech Data has expanded its partnership with Japanese vendor Kyocera to its full offer of printers, multifunctions and related print supplies.

Rapid7 appoints Abbakan

France: IT security and analytics, pen testing and compliance editor Rapid7 has chosen, at its entry on the French market, security VAD Abbakan as its first official distributor.

Varlink adds Panasonic rugged and EPoS hardware to product portfolio

United Kingdom: POS specialist Varlink has unveiled the addition of the iconic Panasonic Toughbook, Toughpad and EPoS range of products to its hardware portfolio. Local IT resellers, system integrators and solution providers can now access Panasonic's world leading range of rugged and durable computers with Varlink's next day delivery service.

Since its launch in 1996 the Panasonic Toughbook has defined the ruggedised PC and tablet market, redefining the possibilities of access to data and applications in the most challenging of environments. Toughbook and Toughpad customers work in some of the world's harshest conditions, and therefore need mobile computers that can operate effectively in challenging environments.

Varlink CEO, Mike Pullon said, "We are delighted to be able to add Panasonic, a world leading manufacturer, to our portfolio of rugged computing and EPoS vendors. Panasonic’s Toughbook and Toughpad are amongst the most durable and reliable computers on the market and their range of EPoS terminals broadens our resellers’ choice to offer to their customers. Our customers can rely on Varlink’s expertise and assistance to select the right Panasonic product for their solution."

Designed to operate in both extremely low and high temperatures, the fully rugged Toughbook and Toughpad ranges are dust, water, vibration and drop proof from a height of up to 1.8m. They are available in a variety of form factors including Laptops, Notebooks and Tablets ensuring field workers are equipped with a fit for purpose device to meet the everyday challenges of their roles.

Oliver Ledgard, Panasonic Channel Manager for UK & Ireland, commented, "Panasonic Toughbook are extremely excited to be working alongside Varlink. We hope that this relationship will mean we can offer a more diverse mobility solution to UK resellers and solution providers, giving them peace of mind that their Toughbook or Toughpad devices will be fully compatible with their end users’ requirements."

GTI crosses the Mediterranean sea

Spanish broadliner GTI has opened a sales office in Casablanca, Morocco. Even if seemingly focusing on the value offer of GTI, GTI Afrique du Nord will be able to push the entire GTI portfolio in Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) as well as French speaking Africa. It is currently managed by Maher El Ghailani, who is not a newcomer in the local distribution as he previously worked for Afina/Westcon as commercial director.

New year, new structure for Exertis’ Networking team

United Kingdom: broadliner Exertis has realigned the structure of its Networking team in line with both the division's growth in 2015 and ahead of the market trends it expects to unfold in 2016. Like the company's Server and Storage teams, the Networking team now also falls under the company's expanded Enterprise proposition. The restructure ensures that the division's existing experienced heads can play to their strengths and are now able to focus on specific network technologies that are anticipated to return the most success in the new year.

Sarah Potter has moved roles internally from B2B Business Development Manager (Computing) to the role of Networking General Manager. In her new role, her remit will be to build a robust Enterprise proposition for 2016. To that end, she will be responsible for commercial relationships with vendors and maximising with respect to both their product ranges and their B2B and Retail customers.

Her role will also involve working closely with the VAD Solutions team, and in particular working to emphasise the additional value Exertis' white-label services proposition can offer reseller partners of all sizes. In addition, she'll also place an emphasis on how Exertis can help its reseller partners maximise their network sales opportunities, whether through vendor specific or multi-vendor solutions. Sarah's knowledge and experience is complemented by Exertis' excellent pre-sales assistance and support, comprehensive vendor training, accreditation and enablement, installation support and maintenance, as well as its white-label services.

Commenting on her role, Potter said: "I'm really excited about 2016 and our enhanced enterprise networks proposition and not least the opportunity that exists with Dell's networking solutions. These have really taken off since November, as we’ve been able to offer the end-to-end Dell solution from hardware, software and services."

As part of its networking team strategy for 2016, a new role has been created for Warren Haines, who recently joined the Networks division as Enterprise Networks Business Manager. He will be responsible for brands including Dell, Huawei, Allied Telesis and Avocent. Haines brings to Exertis a wealth of networking experience, having worked at various distributors as well as Netgear in network business management roles. In his new role, Haines will be responsible for building strong relationships with customers and Exertis' solutions business development managers.

Additionally, Amanda Henley has been appointed Networks Product Specialist to support popular consumer and business networking brands such as Netgear, TP Link and D-Link. Both Henley's and Haines's appointments will strengthen Exertis’ current networks team, ensuring that the company continues to support its sales teams and customers alike with a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable team.

Finally, Rod Slater, who did so much to successfully establish Exertis' traditional Networks business, will now spearhead its 'Smart Home' business, which he has developed from the ground up. Slater will continue to develop relationships with Exertis' existing vendors as well as engaging with new vendors, markets and opportunities to position Exertis as the go-to Distributor within the rapidly expanding 'Smart Home' sector.

Innelec protects homes with Smanos

France: retail specialist Innelec has added Smanos home automation and security products to its connected object offer.

Middle East distribution, always on the move…

The Middle East is one of the most active region in the IT distribution market. Lately, several distributors have unveiled news regarding their activity. Canon has signed a deal with security VAD Cerebra, who becomes an official distributor for its IP cameras in the UAE market. Converged infrastructure vendor VCE has signed up Mindware as its VAD across its entire product portfolio. The partnership extends across all Gulf regions excluding Saudi Arabia and includes Pakistan. Security and storage VAD Tech Access has been appointed by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) as its sole Authorised Training Centre Partner for Middle East, Saudi Arabia, North Africa and Pakistan. The authorised training centre is based in Dubai, UAE and will feature a comprehensive set of courses and certification accessible to all of HDS' partners and customers. Finally, Acer has chosen Oman-based Al Seeb Technical Establishment (Sarco) as its authorised distributor for the Sultanate of Oman. The announcement came at an channel event that was attended by 50 partners of Acer, who would benefit from the agreement deal between Acer and Sarco (source: ITP Middle East, Reseller Middle East, IT News Africa and ChannelPost MEA).

Ocedo appoints Dicom

Austria: software-defined network vendor Ocedo has appointed network and thin computing VAD Dicom as its official distributor in the country.