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Western Europe printer sales via distribution down -2% led by MFPs

Unit sales of printer hardware by IT distributors across Western Europe (WE) declined by -2% year-on-year in early Q3 2016, driven by the decrease in sales of multifunction printers (MFPs), according to data published by CONTEXT, the European IT market analysis company. "Sales of both inkjet and laser MFPs declined by -1% and -4% respectively, while sales of single-function laser printers (SFPs) stabilised, with flat performance over the period", said Zivile Brazdziunaite, Imaging Market Analyst at CONTEXT. Colour devices account for 35% of all laser hardware sold by IT distributors and sales of these did increase, registering year-on-year growth of +2%. By contrast, unit sales of mono laser hardware shrunk by -4% in early Q3 2016 as falling hardware prices and more affordable colour page rates result in a continuing switch from mono to colour devices.

There are significant differences in performance across countries. The number of printers sold through distributors in Germany declined by -14% year-on-year, mainly because of the weak performance of inkjet MFPs and a particularly strong increase in HP sales during the same period last year. However, printer sales in France and Spain were up by +8% and +19% respectively, and sales through distributors in Italy increased by +2%, driven mainly by increase in distribution sales of cheap consumer-targeted inkjets. In the UK performance mirrored that of the previous year and continued to decline, falling by -2% year-on-year in early Q3 2016.

Sales of HP printer hardware were up by +3%, driven mainly by strong performance of laser MFPs in the SMB and Multiple Retailer channels: distributor sales of HP business-targeted inkjets declined by -6% in early Q3 2016. Kyocera and Ricoh saw year-on-year unit sales growth across the region (+11% and +7% respectively) as a result of strong performance of their laser SFPs. Despite registering flat distribution sales when all the categories are combined, Epson saw unit sales of business-targeted inkjets increase by +16% year-on-year driven by their low-end home office Workforce series of printers sold to the Multiple Retailer channel.

Country break-down: Q3/2016 year-on-year

 

Total -2%
Spain 19%
Portugal 18%
Netherlands 15%
France 8%
Denmark 4%
Belgium 3%
Italy 2%
United Kingdom -2%
Austria -9%
Sweden -10%
Switzerland -13%
Germany -14%
Finland -15%
Norway -20%

A new commercial director for VITEC Imago

Germany: AV VAD VITEC Imago has promoted Wolfgang Moeller as its new commercial director. Before joining VITEC Imago in 2015, Wolfgang was working for LeaseWeb Deutschland, a local hosting provider.

Exertis extends its range with new Parrot launches

United Kingdom broadliner Exertis has extended its range of drones and minidrones with the latest products from Parrot, a leading manufacturer of consumer drones. These include the Parrot Mambo, Parrot Swing, Parrot Bebop2 and Parrot Disco. Gareth Philips, Head of Commercial for Exertis Home, said: "These are the right products, at the right price and at the right time for Christmas. Both the Mambo and Swing are highly affordable mini-drones that provide great entertainment at an entry level. The Disco stands out from the crowd with its innovative fixed wing design and the Bebop2 is a high spec camera drone but with a low cost. Parrot has a strong pedigree in this market and we expect these products to be in great demand by enthusiasts and professionals alike."

The Parrot Mambo can be equipped with a cannon to test your shooting skills or a grabber to pick up small objects. It’s highly robust, can fly up to speeds of 18mph and is easy to handle from your smartphone. The Parrot Swing is the first minidrone to take off and land vertically. It can switch from quadcopter to plane, perform aerobatics and features autopilot in plane mode. Both drones feature VGA cameras and can also be controlled by the Parrot Flypad. The Parrot Bebop2 combines simple flying, with up to 25 minutes of flight time on a single charge, with great looking video, boasting a 14mp camera with a 180° field of view fisheye lens that eliminates distortion. It can capture 1080p video and store 8GB of onboard memory. Compact, ultra-light, with a top speed of 50mph and an impressive 45 minutes of flight time, the Parrot Disco is the first fixed wing drone on the market. It features a 14mp full HD front camera and 36Gb of memory. Pilots can choose assisted flight modes or full manual depending on experience. Both drones can be controlled by a smartphone app or the Parrot Skycontroller and for a fully immersive experience can be used with the Parrot Cockpitglasses, a VR headset.

ALSO in the Azure

Netherlands: broadliner ALSO has added Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform to its 2tCloud cloud offer.

IGEL Technology appoints DataSolutions and Feeder for distribution

Thin computer vendor IGEL Technology has appointed French multispecialist Feeder and Irish security and telecom VAD DataSolutions as its distribution partner to grow its business in France and Ireland. The IGEL range of simple and secure workspace solutions fits perfectly with DataSolutions expertise in the Citrix and wider virtualisation market and its strong network of value added resellers.

"The knowledge that DataSolutions has of the Irish market, our technology sector and its complementary range of virtualisation, cloud, security and application vendors makes it the perfect partner for IGEL to continue to grow its business in Ireland", said Simon Richards, Managing Director for UK & Ireland at IGEL Technology.

Working with IGEL made perfect sense to Michael O'Hara, Group Managing Director at DataSolutions. He said: "As Europe's largest, dedicated thin client company, IGEL is leading the market in offering thin, zero and software clients for desktops, alongside simple to use and intuitive workspace management software that takes the pain out of administrating a distributed desktop environment. Whether its converting existing PCs and thin clients into IGEL-like devices for use in new virtualised environments, managing multiple desktops with a single workspace management tool or deploying thin clients to handle multimedia and unified communication services, IGEL has a simple and secure solution."

IGEL's range of open zero and thin clients, based on Linux and Microsoft Windows, allows customers to access a broad spectrum of server-based infrastructures and applications without being tied to a single technology provider. Its Universal Desktop Converter software allows customers to quickly migrate existing PC or old thin client hardware to a fully manageable IGEL thin client-like device. IGEL's entire family of thin and zero clients can be managed via the industry-leading IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS), which is designed to help IT organisations more efficiently and cost-effectively run their workspace environments remotely.

BigTec launches NEO

United Kingdom: IP Expo Europe announced the long-awaited introduction of a world first: NEO, BigTec's unique platform delivering an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (EHC) for reseller partners; making it faster, easier and safer to achieve the flexible, dynamic service delivery demanded by their enterprise IT customers. NEO combines best-of-breed technologies from multiple, cloud-native BigTec vendor partners to allow maximum choice over how businesses structure and locate their processing resources and workloads. This is achieved through cloud-enabled service delivery, software orchestration and automation, providing all the control, visibility and security necessary to transform workload management.

NEO was the talk of the IP Expo Europe show, with enterprises and channel partners flocking to get onto the BigTec UK stand to find out more. Back-to-back demos continued from dawn ‘til dusk on both days of the event, and many were glad they’d booked in advance to experience NEO performing live in DevOps and Production environments. Just three years ago, IP Expo was the scene of BigTec’s introduction to the world. After launching a bold, ambitious vision for web-scale, software-defined datacentre transformation, BigTec's growth trajectory has been huge. Now the means to fully achieve that vision is here in the form of NEO.

"The vision of fully virtualised, web-scale, software-defined datacentres and the promise of agile IT service delivery is all well and good but, in the real world, enterprises and channel partners who want to achieve this find it difficult to pinpoint how and where to evolve their infrastructure and make sense of a rapidly-changing market landscape", said Jason Dance, BigTec UK's managing director. "This is why we created NEO; as a robust and proven platform designed to meet the current and future the needs of a business, whilst empowering the IT department with the choice of how best to achieve this. NEO overcomes all those complexities and empowers organisations with the freedom to act, to innovate and make confident decisions. We're leading them toward a new era for service delivery that's defined by its ability to adapt to evolving user expectations."

No doubt NEO platform will be launched later in other countries where Bigtec operates, including Algeria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Tech Data in the cloud with Netalia

Italy: broadliner Tech Data has added Netalia, a local cloud provider focussed on the midmarket and major account market. The full Netalia offer will be included in Tech Data TDCloud local platform, and available to all Tech Data resellers in the country.

ALSO fights spam with NoSpamProxy

Germany: broadliner ALSO has expanded its portfolio with NoSpamProxy antispam solution.

RAH Infotech expands footprint

Middle East: Indian network and security VAD RAH Infotech has forayed into the Middle-East market with commencement of operations in Dubai. With its new office in Dubai, RAH Infotech will now strengthen its presence across UAE, UK and Singapore, apart from 14 locations in India.

Ashok Kumar, MD & CEO, RAH Infotech said: "Middle East is an ever growing market and we see huge opportunities in establishing our business in this region. Dubai being the hub of Middle East, it was our natural choice to setup an office here. With some of our OEMs showing keen interest in spreading their reach in UAE and giving us further impetus, this was the right time for us to be present in this market. Initially the operations will start with a senior sales and pre-sales resources and will be scaled up over a period of time. We have already hired the senior resources well versed with Middle East markets and are even expecting our first order from this region in a very short time."

RAH Infotech has also announced a slew of partnerships with security vendors to strengthen its enterprise security offerings. The company recently announced partnerships with WinMagic, Contentkeeper and Data Resolve to help them expand their channel base in India. The company works in close knit with its channel partners, offering solutions that cover information security solutions, telephony and video collaboration, server and storage management, backup and disaster recovery management, BCP services, data center solutions and data protection (source: Channel Times India).

ADC Soft distributes iGuard

France: software specialist ADC Soft, which is mainly known as WinRAR distributor in the region, has started the distribution of iGuard security solutions through its reseller network.

Another distributor for Cylance

After Starlink in the MEA region and Ignition Technology in the United Kingdom, advanced threat prevention specialist Cylance has inked a distribution deal with security VAD Infinigate, covering the DACH and Scandinavian regions. The deal allows Infinigate to distribute Cylance technologies through its offices in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Didi Dayton, Vice President Worldwide Channel, for Cylancen says: "We are very excited to be partnering with Infinigate. We are confident in their expertise and understanding about what makes Cylance unique from other cybersecurity vendors. With this channel partnership, we can satisfy the significant customer demand in the Nordic region and respond to the huge interest we are already experiencing from potential DACH customers."

"Adding Cylance into our product portfolio is very exciting for Infinigate. The threat and vulnerability landscape is rapidly changing, and the AI approach for the end-point is no less than revolutionary. We believe that Cylance and their technology will play an important role in the future of IT security and fighting cybercrime. We fully embrace taking Cylance on board", states Andreas Bechtold, Infinigate's managing director.

Entatech promotes Shepherd and VOW reveals new product strategy

United Kingdom: broadliner Entatech has promoted Alicia Shepherd to the role of sales director as it continues to evolve its growth strategy. The firm revealed earlier this year that it would focus on four key areas: PC components and gaming; systems and peripherals; networking and connected home; and retail and software. Shepherd was brought on board in January from rival CMS to initially head up the retail division. In what has been a busy year, it also concluded a long-running saga with HMRC and completed a management buyout. Alongside the product focus, the firm has been restructuring its internal teams, and Shepherd's promotion is one of several senior appointments; another being Pete Mulvihill, who becomes purchasing director of Entatech. Other appointments include hiring Arek Brzezicki as head of product management, and it has poached Dom Hoskins from Exertis to head up its Microsoft ESD and Entacloud business. Shepherd said: "This role is always something I've aspired to be, and I'm delighted. The first thing for me now is to strengthen the team and make sure we have the right people doing the right job. Obviously I want to give people the opportunity internally and allow them to step up to the plate, so I think it is going to be a mix of internal and external appointments." She said that another task was making more of Entatech's online capability: "Our rivals have said that ours is one of the best, and we have not done a good enough job of promoting that. We have the tools and infrastructure and now it’s about making them work. I am very excited and keen to get stuck into the role and I know I can make my mark." Dave Stevinson, managing director of Entatech, said: "Alicia has a solid track record of success and has the purposefulness to lead a proactive distribution sales floor. The past 18 months have been a challenging but rewarding time. We have invested heavily in systems to bring Entatech up to date and we are continuing to right-shape and upskill the company."

Meanwhile, office supply specialist VOW has unveiled details of a dynamic new product strategy that will see a conscious change to the predictable merchandise cycle. This new product strategy is set to come into play after VOW's current catalogue cycle and will be fully implemented by the beginning of 2017. Product selection and catalogue formation has historically been known to follow the merchandise process over the last 40 years or so, where set periods of time are dedicated to deciding commercial terms, selecting product, building the catalogue and confirming pricing. VOW is changing this restricted and rigid process to offer resellers a more dynamic and intuitive range of products for certain categories. Andrew Stacey, Group Merchandising and Marketing Director at VOW/EVO Group, explains more: "The catalogue has usually dictated what we do in terms of the ranges we sell to resellers. The new product strategy, only being applied to certain product categories, will have a conveyor process that will see continuous product launches. This means that new products can be launched at any time and on any day, providing we have the appropriate ‘go to market’ strategy in place. We’re doing this so products are significantly more relevant to our resellers and their customers. This conveyor approach will depend on and also be supported by strong product marketing and robust e-commerce, both of which, we successfully implement at VOW." VOW's new product strategy will also be focussing on product ‘sell out’ that will be driven by consumer demand, as opposed to ‘sell in’. Andrew adds: "One of the main reasons we have taken this strategic approach is because product life cycle is getting shorter and resellers need to have the right product in place at the right time so they can effectively fulfill changing end user demands. A set catalogue isn't future proof and instead, what we will have is a snapshot of products in the catalogue, with a much larger, fully stocked range available for purchase via our online portals and sales teams. We want to give our resellers a vast assortment of products in key growth areas and do so with shorter lead times." (source: CRN United Kingdom)

GTI and Ingram Micro expand in gaming

Spain: broadliner GTI has inked a distribution deal with Gigabyte, as part of its strategy to expand its gaming offer. Meanwhile, its competitor Ingram Micro has opened a new BU dedicated to the gaming market. For the time being, the distributor will focus on any and all hardware which can be used by gamers, including Acer, AMD, Antec, ASUS, Benq, Crucial, Fellowes, Gigabyte, Hiditec, Intel, Kingston – HyperX, LG, NVIDIA, Optoma, Plantronics, PNY, Prixton, Port Designs, RaidSonic, Roccat, Sapphire, Seagate, StarTech.com, TP-Link, Trust and Western Digital (source: Dealer World España and ChannelWorld España).

Watsoft Distribution backups on Datto

France: network and security VAD Watsoft Distribution has expanded its storage offer with Datto backup solutions.

Rotolight chooses XP Distribution

XP Distribution, a pan-European distributor specialized in digital imaging and video, has been appointed the new photo and consumer electronics distributor of Rotolight's on-camera, studio and location LED lighting systems. Rotolight, a British LED lighting manufacturer, is one of the main suppliers of continuous lighting systems for photographers and videographers in Europe. Among its LED lighting tools, one can find the Anova PRO, the Rotolight NEO on-camera light and the RL48 Ringlight. The recently launched Anova PRO is 43% brighter than its predecessors and includes several unique, industry-first features, which will save its users significant time and money, while enabling greater creativity. The Anova Pro features a powerful High Speed Sync Flash (HSS) for use in a traditional photographic workflow. The Anova PRO is the first continuous bi-colour LED light on the market to offer this feature. Renowned photographer and Sony Artisan of Imagery, Jason Lanier, recently said of the Anova PRO: "What this light does is that it gives photographers in the right circumstances the ability to take one light and be able to accomplish pretty much anything. The Rotolight Anova PRO is a revolutionary product and I think its going to take the photography world by storm< ./I>" Rotolight's products have also been used on major feature films including James Bond "Skyfall" and "Captain Phillips", and are continuously used by leading photographers and cinematographers worldwide.

The new alliance with XP Distribution aims to strengthen their coverage across Europe. "We are extremely pleased to add the Rotolight range to our product portfolio", says Geoffrey Clements, Managing Director at XP Distribution. "The Rotolight products have received great reviews. They are ideal for still photographers who are moving to video, and being LED-based, they can provide constant light (required for video) as well as flash (for still)."

"We are delighted to be working with XP Distribution to develop new opportunities across Europe, particularly as we continue to grow as a company and introduce new products into the market", says Rod Aaron Gammons, Managing Director at Rotolight. The Rotolight contract was signed at Photokina in Germany last month. XP Distribution will distribute the Rotolight range in France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Italy.

ASBIS expands its portfolio with backup and recovery software from StorageCraft

Broadliner ASBIS has expanded its portfolio with backup and disaster recovery software products and solutions from StorageCraft Technology Corporation, a recovery and backup editor. The new distribution agreement between ASBIS and StorageCraft was signed for all regions where ASBIS operates, through ASBIS offices in Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia/a>, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates. "StorageCraft commands a large part of the global backup solutions market, giving ample business opportunities to ASBIS. We are excited to offer the award-winning StorageCraft's backup and recovery software solutions to our customers in all countries, and especially our MSP (managed service provider) and VAR (value-added reseller) partners to ensure better customer experience for end users from SMBs and Enterprises", said Aleksey Mokhov, MPLM at ASBIS Enterprises.

According to Andy Zollo, StorageCraft EMEA VP of Sales, "we are delighted to grow our collaboration with ASBIS in EMEA. We have an exciting product data backup and recovery range and we are confident that the distributor dealership with ASBIS will help us expand into emerging markets."

StorageCraft solutions give tools to back up systems, applications, and data, replicate them locally or in the cloud, and restore everything from a single file to complete systems throughout the network. The portfolio includes StorageCraft MSP and perpetual software (StorageCraft ShadowProtect, StorageCraft Granular Recovery for Exchange, StorageCraft ImageManager, StorageCraft Cloud Services and soon to be released Gillware Online Backup and Cloud to Cloud), renewals and paid support (Premium Support and Incident Support). ShadowProtect provides backup and disaster recovery, data protection, and managed system migration for Windows and Linux systems on virtual and physical machines. Recover systems, applications, and data to the same or different hardware or virtual environment.

News from ALSO, Avnet, Comguard and i4Wifi

Central Europe: Polish broadliner ALSO has extended its partnership with HPE to include all service contracts for all HPE products. In Czechia, infrastructure VAD Avnet has unveiled a distribution agreement with Dell, strengthening its capabilities in its Data centre Specialist Business Unit (SBU) in the country. Avnet offers its partners in Czechia access to products across the complete enterprise Dell EMC portfolio that help modernise, automate and transform data centres with industry-leading servers, storage, cloud computing solutions and converged infrastructure technology. These technologies can be fully integrated with VMware's virtualisation products, which are already part of the Avnet Technology Solutions portfolio. Pavel Salák, country manager, Czech Republic, Avnet Technology Solutions, said: "This agreement in Czechia opens up a multitude of opportunities, enabling Avnet to deliver more choice than ever before to our partners, to meet increasing market demands for complete end-to-end business solutions." Jiri Kysela, general manager at Dell Computer, commented: "After the final Dell EMC merger announcement in September, Avnet's value-added distribution agreement with its EMC partner network is a logical step to support growth of our business in the Czech Republic. Avnet is a leader in the data centre area and we can benefit from its large-scale partner network and its expertise in transforming technology into business solutions for organisations around the world, to drive opportunities in the Czech Republic." Following Dell's acquisition of EMC and the formation of Dell EMC, Avnet is committed to supporting its existing customers as well as new customers, with a greater portfolio and an enlarged support team. Security VAD Comguard has become official training center for Sophos in Czechia and Slovakia1. Finally, cabling and networking specialist i4wifi has appointed Petr Abrahámek as its new CEO2. Petr was previously head of retail sales & corporate financing for SkoFIN (source: CRN Polska, ChannelWorld Česko 1 and 2).

New vendors for BlackIP and Westcon UC&C

Netherlands: PhishLine, a startup specialized in social engineering and phishing threat management, has announced a Pan-European partnership with Dutch network and security VAD BlackIP. This partnership will bring a new level of definitive metrics and real world social engineering simulation solutions to the European, Middle Eastern, and African (EMEA) markets. After introducing their technology in Asia, this partnership is the second phase of PhishLine's international expansion in the European and Middle Eastern channels. The growth comes in response to increased demand for powerful security against phishing attacks and the need to comply with increasingly demanding European Data Protection Regulations. BlackIP will both distribute cyber security technology through their experienced sales channels and provide in-region support for EMEA clients. "BlackIP is committed to helping enterprise information security professionals identify the appropriate solutions and strategies for a wide range of security threats, including social engineering and phishing", said Mark Chapman, PhishLine President & CEO. "Through our partnership with BlackIP, PhishLine will become more visible to information security professionals that are seeking better ways to measurably reduce the potential impact of social engineering attacks." Peter Ruijters, Managing Partner at BlackIP, comments: "The security industry is changing rapidly. There is a powerful thirst in EMEA for new, advanced technology especially focused around Social Engineering, Secure Log-in and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) protection. As a result, there will be much more focus on the human factor (Human Firewall) of a data breach. PhishLine's approach to Computer Based Training (CBT) and emphasis to both measure and manage the impact of social engineering threats is what the market needs."

Meanwhile Ruckus Wireless has expanded its distributor agreement with Westcon Group to cover the Netherlands. The agreement has assigned Westcon UC&C as an official distributor of all Ruckus Wireless smart WiFi solutions, to assist the company in its plans to expand further into the country.

New brands for Copaco

Broadliner Copaco has started the distribution of Koledo LED lighting systems for professional environments, Panasonic rugged tablets, Port accessories for mobile environments and ProDX kiosk browsers in France and of APC power protection systems in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Arrow joins Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider programme as distributor

United Kingdom: infrastructure VAD Arrow ECS has joined the Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider programme as a distributor opening up Red Hat's hybrid cloud solutions to its channel customers. Arrow ECS can now give its customers and independent software vendors (ISVs) the support of a partner ecosystem when building their next-generation IT projects using Red Hat solutions. In becoming a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Solution Provider distributor, Arrow ECS plans to offer cloud hosting, system integrator and managed service providers the ability to resell certified Red Hat products and solutions on-demand, via multi-tenant, dedicated, and managed models. Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Providers also have access to premium 24×7 support for Red Hat infrastructure components. In addition, Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Providers can also be enabled for Red Hat Cloud Access, which allows Red Hat customers and ISVs to move eligible subscriptions to their cloud or managed service.

Arrow ECS plans to enable its channel customers to sell Red Hat solutions through ArrowSphere, a single automated platform to optimise and deliver cloud services. ArrowSphere enables solution providers to acquire Red Hat products in a way that aligns with a subscription-based business model, and provides significant automation to remove the complexities of provisioning, usage management, billing and reporting. Red Hat's Certified Cloud and Service Provider programme is awarded to partners following rigorous validation. Each provider must meet testing and certification requirements to demonstrate that they can deliver a scalable, supported and consistent environment for enterprise cloud deployments. This provides customers, ISVs, and partners with the confidence that Red Hat product experts have validated a given solution, so that implementations can begin with a solid foundation.

"We are excited to work with Arrow as a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider and part of the Red Hat partner ecosystem", said Mike Ferris, vice president, business development, Red Hat. "We are committed to offering customers and developers broad choice in the cloud, and a key to that vision is building a strong ecosystem of partners that can enable users to build and deploy the best applications possible. We look forward to collaborating with Arrow as it grows its cloud offerings with Red Hat."