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Westcon joins forces with Speakerbus

Speakerbus, a specialist provider of critical voice solutions for financial, emergency and command sectors, has signed an agreement with network and telecom VAD Westcon UC&C, to distribute Speakerbus' offerings in the EMEA region. Speakerbus' advanced telephony, hoot'n' holler and private line access solutions enable traders to exploit business opportunities through real-time information-sharing with their colleagues and counterparties. Command sector organisations can use our solutions to instantly share information with multiple parties across land, sea and air, for fast and effective emergency situation response.

Through this new partnership, Speakerbus' portfolio of voice collaboration solutions can be ordered directly from Westcon offices in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom and its channel partners as part of a complete telephony solution, making procurement faster and simpler. Financial institutions and command sector organisations such as first responders, government agencies, military and transportation, can benefit from multi-party voice collaboration capabilities, at the same time reducing their costs and improving operational efficiency and regulatory compliance.

"We are delighted to have signed this distribution agreement with Westcon. It's a first for us, and is set to become an integral part of our 'high-touch, channel-centric' strategy. Westcon's excellent reach and extensive experience, both in financial markets and in C2, will allow us to accelerate our growth", said James Loeber, VP Global Channel Partnerships at Speakerbus. He added, "As we grow and create opportunities in new markets, we look forward to Westcon helping to deliver our globally-proven software and hardware based voice collaboration solutions."

"We are pleased to enter this new partnership with Speakerbus, and to expand our offering of critical voice collaboration solutions to more markets", said Jeremy Butt, EVP EMEA at Westcon. He added, "Speakerbus' client base of tier 1 global banks, major defence installations and emergency services is testimony to the company's status as a provider of innovative, 'best-of-breed' products. The addition of its powerful trader voice and emergency communications solutions to our portfolio will help our partners to grow vertical businesses both in financial and command sectors."

Merlion signs with Abbyy

Russia: broadliner Merlion has expanded its software offer with Abbyy OCR enterprise solutions.

Exertis AV growth creates new roles

United Kingdom: broadliner Exertis has confirmed a significant increase in channel facing resources in its fast growing audio-visual (AV) business unit. A new role of Commercial Manager, reporting to General Manager Ian Aitken, has been created to manage the AV business in the north, and two new Business Development Managers and a specialist Samsung Commercial TV Business Manager are also recruited. Sarah Bamford joins from Novatech to fill the Samsung role, and internal promotions see Ian Ainsworth take the Commercial Manager role, Adam Carson a Business Development Manager position covering the northern region, and Jordan Deemer assuming the role of Business Development Manager for Samsung Interactive displays.

Commenting, Ian Aitken, Exertis AV General Manager said "these new roles are a direct consequence of our sustained AV market growth over the last four years. We expect our total solution strategy to continue to drive our success with traditional AV integrators and IT reseller partners, while Sarah's appointment is testimony to our confidence in commercial TVs and strengthens Exertis' long-standing relationship with Samsung."

Exertis' AV business unit has experienced a CAGR of 29%, delivered via a solutions driven strategy that addresses the needs of the traditional AV and converged networking technologies market. It supplies and supports all display end-points – displays and projectors – and all the networking, control, server, storage and accessories necessary for any reseller to confidently grow their AV business. Exertis AV supply complete solutions from marketing leading vendors across large format display, projector, TFT and AV accessory product pillars.

Huawei appoints Exertis GO Connect

Chinese vendor Huawei has expanded its distribution stable with network and telecom VAD Exertis GO Connect. The distributor will push its entire Enterprise portfolio (including UC&C, security, networking and video-security solutions) in the region, through its offices in Belgium and the Netherlands.

"Huawei offers a broad portfolio of innovative IT solutions that meet the needs of both global and vertical industries. We can only achieve this by working with the best partners worldwide", said Moore Wu, Director WEU UC&C Solution Sales at Huawei Enterprise Business Group. "That is why we have partnered with Exertis GO Connect in the Benelux market. Exertis GO Connect has the expertise and the value added services that perfectly match our values."

"With the Huawei Enterprise products, we can now proudly say that we offer a brand in our portfolio actually touches all areas of communication", says Christ-Jan Beljaars, Sales and Marketing Director at Exertis GO Connect. "We have chosen to add a brand which we give our resellers a stronger position in the market. With it, our resellers can help their customers get stronger."

An ISV program for Tech Data, and a new deal for Ingram Micro

Spain:broadliner Tech Data has unveiled a new partner program dedicated to ISV. Dubbed ISValue, its goal is to promote the development os new business in the ISV market. It includes a complete technological offer, exclusive offers and privileged information to help ISVs overcome technical challenges in cloud, mobility and security. On its side, broadliner Ingram Micro has added Seetec video-security solutions to its physical security division (source: Channel World España and Dealer World España).

Config signs with Huawei

Chinese vendor Huawei has inked a distribution deal with network and security VAD Config. The deal, which covers Algeria, France, Morocco, Switzerland and Tunisia, allows Config to distribute the whole Huawei Enterprise portfolio in these countries. "As part of our development strategy, we are happy to add another brick to our value-added solution ecosystem. With Huawei, we are now able to offer storage and server solutions", says Laurent Chapuis, commercial and marketing director for Config France/Export. The distributor will initially focus on the IT offer of Huawei (storage and servers), and will gradually expand to IP and UC&C solutions. The distributor also plans to provide training to resellers, initially through its French office. Huawei servers will not replace NEC servers in its portfolio as, according to the distributor, NEC fault-tolerant servers have no equivalent on the market and will continue to be offered to VARs and systems integrators needing these functionalities.

Asus picks Rashi Peripherals to distribute its Zenfone Zoom smartphone

India: distributor Rashi Peripherals has started to serve as a distributor for ASUS's Zenfone Zoom, a smartphone known for its 3x Zoom capabilities comes with a 14-cm touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 403 pixels per inch, boasting a high resolution display. "We are very excited to introduce the much awaited Zenfone Zoom to the Indian market, we are ecstatic and have made all the necessary logistical arrangements to introduce the latest offering by ASUS, premium design, coupled with tons of features, all make the Zenfone Zoom series a promising bet for all photography lovers in the industry", says Reshma Pawar, Assistant Product Manager in Rashi for ASUS mobiles. Rashi peripherals is ASUS authorized distributor for ZenFone in Kerala, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pondicherry, Raipur, Tamil Nadu and North East India.

Duxbury distributes Snom

South Africa: network and telecom VAD Duxbury Networking has inked a distribution partnership with German VoIP vendor Snom Technology.

Mionix appoints Deal Time

Middle East: Mionix, a Swedish manufacturer of gaming accessories, has signed a distribution agreement with consumer electronics specialist Deal Time for the GCC region. As per the agreement, Deal Time will promote and distribute the Mionix brand and develop a solid reseller network for the vendor across the region. "Mionix products are all about the craftsmanship. Our company's vision is to own the desktop experience and our mission is to craft products that define our time. Over the last few years, Mionix has proved that we have developed the best performing and most ergonomic gaming gear that is possible to achieve. Our range of PC gaming peripherals is growing significantly and our company has become one of the favorite companies for gamers in terms of quality, design and performance. Our products are well-received in many parts of the globe and it is now time for us to take our best-of-breed products to newer markets as well", said Carsten Berger, Head of Sales, Mionix.

"As part of our expansion plans, we felt it was important to reach the large gaming community in the Middle East, which is a very important market for us. Deal Time, a reputed distributor of some of the best-known gaming brands in the GCC region, has the market reach, knowledge, and expertise in the gaming segment making them a perfect partner for Mionix in our Middle East foray. We are looking forward to working closely with their team and are confident that our products will be well-received in this market", Mr. Berger added.

Mionix's products are all about the craftsmanship and deliver outstanding ergonomics, touch and feel in a sleek and clean design. Deal Time will distribute Mionix's full range of products including its Naos, Avior and Castor range of gaming mice, Nash headsets, Alioth and Sargas mousepads and Zibal keyboards. The distributor will promote the Mionix brand through its strong reseller network, gaming events and on souq.com.

"The Middle East region has one of the most active and dynamic gaming communities, who are always looking for the latest and best gaming peripherals. Mionix is a company that believes in craftsmanship and innovation and has developed some of the best gaming mice, keyboards and headsets. We are excited to represent Mionix in the GCC region and are confident that their award-winning products will be well accepted by gamers in these countries. We will work closely with Mionix and our channel partners to grow Mionix's business and market share in the GCC region", said Jack DCosta, Managing Director, Deal Time. Mionix will be available in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates through Deal Time's extensive channel network across these countries.

Three new vendors for Sysob

Germany: network and security VAD Sysob has added no less than three new brands to its catalog, Cloud4Wi (cloud-based wifi hospot management solutions), ReddFort and TightGate (both German vendors, specialized in data protection systems).

Pixmania Pro closes its doors

After a long agony, French e-tailer Pixmania has recently gone bankrupt. Its assets have been purchased by its competitor Vente-du-Diable.com. All ? No, as the etailer told it had decided not to pursue the business activity of Pixmania, aka Pixmania Pro (which had lately operations in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom and, in the past, also in Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Slovenia). The company will use Pixmania Pro assets to offer one-off deal on low-priced bundles to European resellers, via its Vente-du-Diable B2B sales team.

ADN distributes Panzura

Germany: security and storage VAD ADN has started the distribution of Panzura high-performance global cloud storage system in the country. Panzura has been recently awarded by CRN as one of the Top 20 coolest cloud computing vendors.

Veeam invests on Maghreb with GTI

Maghreb: virtualization editor Veeam has decided to invest directly in the Maghreb market, through a distribution partnership with the local office of Spanish broadliner GTI. "The Maghreb global market weights about 1/3 of the French market. So, logically we ought to generate a turnover in Maghreb of about 1/3 of our turnover in France. Since we work very well on the French market currently, it was time for us to invest in this market, which is an interesting new growth engine for us", explains Stéphane Gaillard, France country manager for Veeam. The editor was seeking a distributor which was already working with VMware, and already a Veeam partner. "Maghreb was not a focus for Avnet. Arrow ECS is not a VMware partner in Maghreb. Westcon could have been a choice, but they cover Maghreb from Dubai, while we manage the region from France. So, the obvious choice was GTI, with its new local sales office", says Stéphane Gaillard. The distributor, albeit young in Morocco, already has a fully certified team of 10 employees, and was very eager from the beginning to distribute Veeam in he region. "We will focus initially on the Moroccan market. Its growth, at 5 %, is interesting, and its global structure, quite diversified, looks like any European market. The Algerian market will be covered on a more opportunistic way, until GTI decides to open a local sales office", details Stéphane Gaillard who wishes to reach in the region about 20 to 25 % of its activity in France. The editor, with GTI, has organized an event with IDC, which led to interesting leads. "We must first transform them, then we will be able to go farther with more customers", concludes Stéphane Gaillard.

New deals for Aflex Software, Marvel Distributsia, RRC

Russia: data protection editor Acronis has decided to grant software specialist Aflex Software with exclusive distribution rights over its solutions in the country1. Any other distributor will thus become a subdistributor for these products. Broadliner Marvel Distributsia has inked a partnership with BQ to distribute its smartphones, 3D scanners and printers throughout the country2. Finally, multispecialist RRC has been appointed as authorized distributor by Microsoft for its software licenses3. The distributor has also announced that, as part of its sales of its Central Europe business to Ingram Micro, it will use Ingram Odin Service Automation platform as part of its own cloud services4 (source: CRN Rossiya 1, 2, 3 and 4).

New partnerships for Prima Interactive, Robinson Distribution and Westcon

South Africa: gaming specialist Prima Interactive has been appointed as distributor for Take-Two Interactive. According to the company, the deal, effective from 1 May 2016, will see Prima Interactive become the sole distributor of Take-Two's franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Mafia, WWE, BioShock and Civilization amongst many others. Hillstone, a supplier of enterprise firewall, has appointed security VAD Robinson Distribution as its distribution partner for Africa. "Being selected as the channel partner for such a commendable and prestigious product will help us to meet our clients' need for high-speed firewall protection and place us as the leading security provider", says Dirk Robinson, Manager at Robinson Distribution. Finally, network and telecom VAD Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa has been chosen by headset and speakerphone vendor Jabra as an authorised distributor for its products in the region.

Exclusive Networks expands European distribution with BlackBerry

Network and security VAD Exclusive Networks is growing its distribution agreement with BlackBerry into Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom following outstanding successes achieved by Exclusive Networks in Australia and the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). Exclusive Networks will now offer the full BlackBerry enterprise software portfolio as part of its services, which includes among others the recently introduced Good Secure EMM Suites by BlackBerry, a comprehensive set of mobile security, management, productivity and collaboration offerings including best-in-class app security and containerization, Identity and Access Management and Enterprise File Sync and Share with file level data protection.

"BlackBerry has developed genuinely disruptive new technology and has been a leader in security for the mobile enterprise for many years", said Barrie Desmond, COO at Exclusive Group. "We believe this represents exciting new opportunities for the channel, as customers strive to achieve maximum productivity and security for all their mobilised applications and data from a single platform."

"BlackBerry and Exclusive Networks have made a great team in Australia and the Nordics, and we're confident about extending our partnership to bring customers the most innovative and secure solutions across more territories", said Carl Wiese, President Global Sales at BlackBerry.

Exclusive Networks will play an integral role in expanding market penetration of BlackBerry's enterprise software portfolio into Tier-1 reseller accounts and target verticals, using its strong partner relationships and big data analytics to maximise tactical and strategic opportunities. Exclusive Networks teams in more than 10+ countries will also help existing partners develop more cybersecurity-focused technical pre-sales capabilities and new go-to-market propositions.

Two distributors team up on First for Africa

Software specialist Phoenix Distribution and infrastructure VAD First Distribution, both subsidiaries of the Epsidon Technology Holdings Group, have joined forces to form a new pan-African distributor, First for Africa. First Distribution is a premier distributor of Tier 1 data centre brands with deep skills in server, storage and software technologies, while Phoenix Distribution brings extensive security and wireless networking competencies as well as people and offices across Africa. The combined business offers a pan-African footprint with offices in Lagos, addressing West Africa; Nairobi, addressing East Africa; and Johannesburg addressing southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

"The ability to offer complete data centre solutions, backed by strong pre-sales support and local sales and technical skills, is key to building a sustainable partner ecosystem across Africa", says Brett Stevens, GM of First for Africa. "Our intention is to draw on our croup competencies and use local people and partnerships to build First for Africa in the future."

"First for Africa will be serving the rest of Africa, while First for Phoenix and First Distribution will focus only on the South African market", explains Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution. "In this way, we can provide even better service to our customers across the continent by concentrating on meeting region- and country-specific needs."

Stevens adds that vendors have been quick to align with First for Africa, with Avaya, EMC, Huawei, Kaspersky, Lenovo, Riverbed, Ruckus, Tintri, Trendnet and Veeam forming part of the brand basket the company will be taking to the African market, along with First for Clouds hosting and MSP services. These include brands like AirVM, AWS, Microsoft, Riverbed, Vmware and Zimbra.

"By sharing our value-added services, best practices, ideas and opportunities, First for Africa will be able to offer better programmes and support to both our partners and vendors across the continent", says Debbie Abrahall, CEO of First Distribution.

IT-Logiq distributes Asoka

France: telecom VAD IT-Logiq has expanded its network infrastructure portfolio with Asoka PLC solutions.

GTI stores on Synology

Portugal: broadliner GTI has added Synology NAS to its portfolio (source: Bit Magazine Portugal).

News from ABC Data, Action, Nelro Data and Veracomp

Poland: broadliner ABC Data has appointed Paweł Szymański as vice president in charge of finance and member of its executive board1. Until now, finance questions were managed by its president Ilona Weiss. Broadliner Action has inked an official distribution deal with battery vendor GP Battery2. Consumer electronics specialist Nelro Data, on its part, has started the distribution of DJI drones through its reseller network3. Finally, multispecialist Veracomp has expanded its portfolio with Vtech wireless phones4 (source: CRN Polska 1, 2, 3 and 4).