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Shift towards multifunction hardware accelerates across Western Europe

Unit sales of printer hardware across Western Europe (WE) increased by +2% year-on-year in Q1 2017, driven by positive performance of multifunction devices, according to data published by CONTEXT, the European IT market analysis company. Distributor sales of both inkjet and laser multifunction printers (MFPs) increased by +6% and +5% respectively for the quarter. The shift to multifunction devices was reinforced as sales of single-function printers continued to fall: sales of laser SFPs were down by -7%, while those of inkjet SFPs dropped by -21%.

"Distributors in all major WE countries except France saw increased sales of printer hardware", said Zivile Brazdziunaite, Imaging Market Analyst at CONTEXT. "Spain continued to register strong performance, with sales up by +25% year-on-year, driven mainly by sales to SMBs and retailers."

Germany and Italy both saw increases of +3%, driven by sales of multifunction laser and inkjet devices to the retail channel. Although printer hardware sales in the UK remained positive, there was weaker growth of +1% – with increased sales of multifunction devices to etailers. The -2% drop in France was because of a continuing fall in sales of laser hardware, itself due to a struggling corporate reseller channel. HP continued to lead the printer hardware market with a share of 47%, followed by Epson and Canon with shares of 18% and 15% respectively.

Country Split

Spain +25.3%
Portugal +20.6%
Denmark +4.1%
Netherlands +3.5%
Italy +3.1%
Germany +2.7%
United Kingdom +0.6%
France -1.6%
Finland -5.7%
Austria -7.9%
Switzerland -12.4%
Belgium -14.4%
Sweden -21.5%

Watchguard appoints Nuvias

France: UTM vendor Watchguard has expanded its local distributor stable with VAD Zycko. This vendor adds up to the Cyber Security Practice in France. WatchGuard has been a long term partner of value added distributor Wick Hill, also part of the Nuvias Group, in Benelux, Germany and the United Kingdom. As WatchGuard was looking to expand further in Europe, it took the opportunity to appoint Zycko as a French distributor. Pascal Le Digol, country manager France for Watchguard, commented: "The French market is very important for us and we're really keen to be working with Zycko to grow that market further. Zycko is forming a massive cornerstone of our expansion plans for the region and we anticipate major growth in our channel presence there. We're impressed by the Nuvias concept of providing high value-add consistently across regions." Nuvias already works with more than 400 resellers in France and plans to grow this number in 2017. During the same time, it will double the size of its French team, especially through the appointment of IT security product managers and presale and technical support managers. A new partner portal is to be launched, as well as a marketing and lead generation campaign, to start the new partnership as best as possible.

Bullboat and Powerdata fly on drones

Consumer electronics specialists Bullboat and Powerdata have expanded their offer with more drones, from Extreme Fliers for the former and from UDI for the latter. While Powerdata focuses on French speaking Europa (Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland), Bullboat targets more countries through its offices in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

New brands for Difox

Consumer electronics specialist Difox has added several new vendors to its catalog: Catalyst (cases for mobile phones), in-akustik (premium audio cables), PanoView and Panono (360° cameras) and GrillEye (the maker of a Bluetooth BBQ thermometer). All these products are available in Europe through Difox offices in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Fröhlich & Walter in home automation with Trust

Germany: cabling and connectivity specialist Fröhlich & Walter, now known as Exertis Connect, has started the distribution of the home automation offer of Dutch vendor Trust.

Mini PCs remain the bright spot in a weak Western Europe Desktop PC market

Volume sales of mini PCs (housed in a space-saving small case design) through Western Europe's largest distributors continued to grow in Q1 2017 even though demand in the overall Desktop segment remained weak, according to data published by CONTEXT, the European IT market research company. While overall Desktop PC sales fell by -10% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, sales of mini PCs were up by +26% over the same period. As a result, their share of the Desktop market increased by 7 percentage points from 18% in Q1 2016 to 25% in the same period this year.

"Mini PCs have enjoyed rising popularity over the past year because of their space-saving design and improvements to their performance, and many PC vendors have increased their focus on the segment to leverage rising demand", said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at CONTEXT. In Q1 2017, the top three vendors in distribution – HP, Intel and Lenovo – posted year-on-year volume growth of +47%, +8% and +78% respectively.

Desktop Year-on-Year change

Country Q1-17
Spain +13.1%
Netherlands +13.0%
Denmark +3.9%
Germany 0.0%
Switzerland -5.3%
Austria -5.9%
Norway -6.3%
France -6.4%
Poland -6.4%
Finland -8.4%
Belgium -18.3%
Italy -19.1%
Portugal -19.5%
Sweden -21.5%
United Kingdom -23.6%
Ireland -42.0%

Exertis strengthens security portfolio

United Kingdom: the VAD division of broadliner Exertis has signed a distribution agreement with ESET, a provider of security software for consumers and businesses from antivirus and malware protection to multi-layered security. ESET protects all of the most-used operating systems with the same level of functionality, providing monitoring and detection against threats. Jason Hill, Exertis sales director security said: "ESET offers a comprehensive portfolio of threat protection and anti-malware solutions that provide B2B resellers and MSPs with a full range of options for their customers. With increasing cybersecurity threats, ransomware attacks, cloud and mobile security concerns, the growing use of IoT devices and the requirement for GDPR compliancy, adding ESET's extensive range to our security portfolio will be of great benefit to our resellers."

ESET provides companies with scalable, light footprint, security solutions from the home office to the enterprise offering multi-layered security that leaves no potential entry point to a network unprotected. Its powerful security management console supplies real-time information on the security state of the network, endpoints and mobile devices, including security and administration functionality that protects against threats. Recognised for its innovative and stable technology, ESET has the longest unbroken run of VB100 awards for malware detection of any internet security vendor in the world.

Malcolm Tuck, Country Manager at ESET, stated: "we are looking forward to a long and successful business relationship with Exertis, they have an established presence in the B2B sector and this combined with their strong sales ethic will give us the additional resources that we were looking for in a distribution partner."

Exertis will be distributing ESET's entire B2B range including: Endpoints and Mobile Security; File, Mail, Gateway and Virtual Servers; Remote Endpoint Administration; Security Packs and Business Solutions.

AgilityGrid launches partnership with Intransa for Video Surveillance storage solutions across EMEA

Dubai-based physical security VAD AgilityGrid has signed a distribution and representation agreement with Intransa for the EMEA region. With this alliance, AgilityGrid will incorporate the complete range of Intransa's award-winning servers and storage platforms into their customized security solutions for their partners and their customers across the region. Costa Boukouvalas, CEO AgilityGrid, said: "we are very pleased to represent Instransa in the EMEA region. In keeping with our business ethos, we always want to stay with technology that not only innovates but also delivers the solutions that a dynamic region like the EMEA demands. Intransa's award-winning products are designed to deliver simplicity, reliability and total cost savings."

Intransa has a long history of innovation and technology leadership in the security industry and the founders of iSCSi protocol and the concept of the IPSAN for IP video surveillance. With this alliance with AgilityGrid, Intransa will spearhead its growth and expansion in the EMEA region offering its servers, storage and appliance platforms based on its award-winning technology to security customers across the region.

"Video surveillance continues to grow as security dominates across the region and storage (and easy access) is a key component of deployment", Boukouvalas continued. "We aim to highlight how leveraging the right storage and server technology will benefit not only the businesses in the key vertical sectors but also for government initiatives in this sector."

A wide range of industry sectors depend on CCTV security solutions, including hospitality, retail, critical infrastructure, law enforcement, health, education, aviation, banking and transportation.

Copaco distributes FormFutura

Netherlands: broadliner Copaco has added FormFutura filaments for 3D printers to its portfolio. Among classic products, FormFutura also offers special filaments that make it possible to create products with a wood, iron, copper or cork aspect. Its products are available in different sizes and colors and are suitable with virtually any printer model. Sacha Wingers, Business Director at Copaco: "the 3D market meets a very strong growth, hence a demand for a large choice of 3D filaments growing rapidly. With FormFutura we have found a reliable partner who can deliver these products. In addition, we can rely on high product quality. The main references will be always in stocks, while we will able to provide more specific SKUs on demand."

Ingram Micro cooperates with MC Technologies

German M2M-IoT connectivity vendor MC Technologies has chosen the DC/POS BU of the Specialty Solutions division of broadliner Ingram Micro as an official distributor for the DACH region (Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).

Nuvias launches Unified Communications Practice

Network and storage VAD Nuvias announces the EMEA launch of its Unified Communications (UC) Practice. The Practice is based on the UC capabilities and services provided by SIPHON Networks, which became part of the Nuvias Group in October 2016. SIPHON is a leading, award-winning UC solutions and technology enabler for the channel, already established in Benelux and the United Kingdom. The UC practice will be rolled out across EMEA over the coming months, through Nuvias regional branches, starting with Germany (where the BU was presented on Cebit) and the other countries following later (Austria, Denmark, Dubai, France, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). More Nuvias staff are being added throughout EMEA to support vendor and reseller partners. Existing UC vendors and new vendors are expected to take advantage of Nuvias' growing UC capability across EMEA to increase sales in the region. Likewise, it is anticipated that both existing and new Nuvias reseller/integrator channel partners across EMEA will take up the opportunity to enter this thriving market or expand their UC business.

Paul Eccleston, CEO of Nuvias, said: "SIPHON is an exceptional company with a very strong offering for the channel, as demonstrated by its phenomenal growth in the last few years. SIPHON's strong technical and solution engineering expertise has enabled it to work closely with vendors and resellers on the development of UC solutions; this factor, together with the provision of a very high level of service and solutions capabilities from SIPHON, has been instrumental in its success."

Steve Harris, EVP Unified Communications Nuvias and Managing Director SIPHON, commented: "A major reason for joining Nuvias last year was the chance it gave us to grow and expand both in the UK and internationally. The UC EMEA launch of Nuvias lays the foundations for achieving that ambition. This is a very exciting time in UC across EMEA, with really significant opportunities for the IT channel to move into the lucrative UC market and conquer the legacy competition. We believe that, as part of Nuvias, we are the right solutions and technology enabler to provide the service, support and technical know-how our channel partners want to help them make the most of this market opportunity."

More stories from BB Tech, Computer Gross, Datamatic, Diode, Esprinet Globomatik, Informatica Megasur, Ingecom, Ingram Micro, MCR and Tech Data

Southern Europe: in Italy, network and security VAD BB Tech Group has inked a distribution deal with Rosenberger Optical Solutions & Infrastructure1. Broadliner Computer Gross has inaugurated a new headquarter in via Angelo Rizzoli in Milano2. Broadliner Datamatic has added Digital Data Communications accessory, network and connectivity brands (Conceptronic, Equip and LevelOne) to its catalog3. Local IaaS vendor BlueIT has added V-Valley and Azlan, the value division of broadliners Esprinet and Tech Data, to its indirect network. Finally, Tech Data Mobile Solutions, the mobility division of broadliner Tech Data, has been chosen by HTC as an official distributor for its smartphones and related accessories4.

In Portugal, broadliner Ingram Micro has started the distribution of Netgear networking products.

In Spain, Agustín Alarcón, the managing director of POS, network and telecom VAD Diode, has decided to retire5. He is replaced by Heraclio Sánchez Tena. PC component and peripheral specialist Globomatik has expanded its multimedia offer with Jamo audio products. Broadliner Informatica Megasur has started the distribution of Elements robotic kits for the education market. Network and security VAD Ingecom has started rapidly the year, partly thanks to a new distribution deal with PAM solution vendor Thycotic6. Finally, broadliner MCR has been chosen by Medion as an official distributor for its complete offer (PCs, notebooks, smartphones, tablets and servers) (source: Top Trade Informatica Italia 1 and 3, Channel City Italia 2 and 4, Channel Partner España 5 and 6).

Dataprint signs with Objenious

France: industrial computing specialist Dataprint has unveiled a distribution deal with Objenious, a Bouygues Telecom company, for its LoRA IoT communication services which it will offer in bundle with Multitech gateways.

Exertis extends Connect Range

Broadliner Exertis has extended its Connect range of cables, connectors and accessories. As well as the existing range of high quality AV, IT, and networking options it has now included power cables, patch panels and a whole host of accessories. Kirk Harris, Exertis Connect Business Manager, said: "we are delighted to be able to offer our resellers an even wider range of products from the Connect catalogue with over 3,000 products available, making us the go-to distributor for connectivity needs. Our customers already buy infrastructure, IT, audio and visual products from Exertis and these provide enhanced margin opportunities."

The new Connect catalogue provides comprehensive information to help customers choose the right option including definitions, usage and wiring diagrams, as well as practical advice. Resellers have been complimentary about the brand. Stuart Starkey, Pioneer Group Operations Manager, said: "we chose the Connect range for a large Digital Menu Board rollout, we have 4,500 of these out in the field and have had no failures to date and continue to use this range. Great cables at a great price."

DCC, Exertis parent company, acquired French specialist distributor CUC, an importer and wholesaler of quality cables and connectors from the Far East, in November 2015. The Connect range is now available from Exertis in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

A Blue Coat for Ingram Micro

Netherlands: the Advanced Solutions division of broadliner Ingram Micro has expanded its partnership with Symantec Enterprise Security to include Blue Coat Systems cybersecurity and network management products.

Additional vendors and employees for ABC Data, Action, DNS, Nelro Data, Softprom and Tech Data

Central and Eastern Europe: in Czechia, network and security VAD DNS has strengthened its Servodata's Microsoft team with four new employees: Lucia Kulichová (MS Education account manager), Alena Rendón and Miroslav Roguľa (both MS License specialists) and Jiří Mates (Communication SW&S account manager).

In Poland, broadliner ABC Data has added Legrand UPS to its catalog1. Its competitor Action has expanded its consumer electronics offer with Hoya lenses for digital cameras2. Storage and consumer electronics specialist Nelro Data has opened a new service aiming to repair network devices3. Broadliner Tech Data has promoted Marcin Ruciński to sales and product marketing director, for its broadline activity4.

In Slovakia, broadliner Tech Data has announced that Martin Zlocha continues to lead the business as local country manager, following the successful completion of the acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions. Zlocha was country manager of Avnet Technology Solutions, Slovakia prior to the acquisition, and will report to Judith Ecker, regional vice-president, East, who was previously responsible for the East Region at Avnet Technology Solutions. Zlocha remains leader of an unchanged team, that will continue to look after all existing and new customers.

Finally, Ukrainian software specialist Softprom has been chosen by network monitoring vendor Gigamon as official distributor for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kirghizstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan (source: Reseller Magazine Online Česko, CRN Polska 1, 2, 3 and 4, Komputernoye Obozrenye Ukraina).

Athena ends StorageCraft distribution

France: following a change in the distribution strategy of the storage editor, security and software VAD Athena Global Services and its Africa-specialized sister company Africa Global Services have stopped their distribution partnership with StorageCraft. The editor is working since the beginning of the year with broadliner Ingram Micro.

Parallels and Ingram Micro announce distribution agreement

META: Parallels has signed a distribution agreement with broadliner Ingram Micro making Ingram Micro the authorized distributor for Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region through Ingram Micro's offices in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Parallels RAS is one of the fastest growing, most cost-effective and easy-to-use application and desktop delivery solutions available on the market. Recent innovations to this product have made Parallels a leader in the field, according to the IDC MarketScape Report 2016. Parallels has a long history with Ingram Micro, and is looking forward to leveraging Ingram Micro's expertise and resources in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa to help extend Parallels RAS' continued success in the region. "We are ready to take our growth in the META region to the next level with Ingram Micro, a company that has extensive expertise and experience in this region", said Simonetta Mercieca, Senior Director of Sales EMEA at Parallels. "Through this partnership, we firmly believe that Parallels Remote Application Server can keep growing in success, especially since it will provide local businesses the opportunity to improve their performance by establishing BYOD, CYOD and distance working policies."

Parallels leadership is confident that the Ingram Micro partnership and the inclusion of Parallels RAS on the Azure Marketplace will enable the company to meet the diverse needs of businesses in the region whilst helping their partners grow with their private, hybrid and public cloud implementations. "I am delighted to have reached an agreement with Parallels to distribute its Remote Application Server and desktop delivery solution across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa", said Ali Baghdadi, senior vice president and chief executive of Ingram Micro META. "These products offer our partners a great complement to solutions from Microsoft. With our complementary offering, enterprise customers will have the ability to securely access their applications and data from any device, anywhere."

Kappa Data signs distribution contract with Brocade/Ruckus

Belux: network and security VAD Kappa Data has expanded its networking portfolio with Brocade/Ruckus solutions. Brocade/Ruckus, part of the Arris group, combines Brocade's portfolio of market-leading IP networking solutions and Ruckus high-performance wireless hardware and software products. Patrick Casteels, Managing Partner at Kappa Data, says: "First of all: we are very proud to add another market leading product line to our portfolio. There are 2 major reasons why Kappa Data is choosing to add Brocade/Ruckus. Firstly, Ruckus is very well known for its solutions in high density environments like football stadiums, large education environments and public places where a lot of people meet. Kappa Data didn't offer a suitable solution in this area yet, hence we are seeing a big opportunity here. The second reason is that we absolutely want to add a product line that combines wireless/wired solutions to stay competitive in the current market. By adding Brocade/Ruckus to the portfolio, Kappa Data can grow further and offer solutions to resellers that couldn’t be accessed in the past."

Exertis helps resellers with cloud security through CipherCloud

United Kingdom: broadliner Exertis, through its Exertis VAD division has unveiled a distribution agreement with CipherCloud, a specialist in cloud security and visibility. Its multi-cloud, award-winning security platform integrates with a wide range of business cloud applications to scan content, monitor user behavior, analyse risk, and protect sensitive data, delivering an effective solution to combat data loss and compliance violations through the cloud and mobile devices.

Jason Hill, Exertis sales director security said: "organisations increasingly want a hybrid deployment of cloud-based and on-premises security from a unified platform that provides activity monitoring, automated anomaly detection, and data loss protection through strong encryption or tokenization. CipherCloud solutions enable customers to confidently adopt the cloud and provide protection from data loss on mobile devices. As more cloud adoption occurs through implementation of SaaS and mobiles proliferate the workplace, more opportunities open up for resellers to help companies maintain compliance and secure data for their customers, even more pertinent with GDPR looming."

CipherCloud is recognised by independent analysts, like Kuppinger Cole, as a leader in the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) space, a term coined by Gartner to describe a particular set of cloud security solutions centred on providing visibility, compliance, data security, and threat protection. Gartner picked the CASB market as number 1 in their Top 10 security technologies for 2016, ahead of Endpoint Detection, Behaviour Analytics and Security Testing for DevOps. CipherCloud is the first and only Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) vendor to develop an integrated mobile app, extending adaptive policy controls and end-to-end encryption from businesses, to the cloud, and to mobile users.

Jeroen Blaas, CipherCloud general manager for EMEA, said: "we're pleased to partner with Exertis to extend our reach to a wider range of organisations trying to balance cloud adoption with their obligations to protect private data. In conjunction with the security team at Exertis, we will provide seamless technical support, deployment assistance, and training to help customers meet complex cloud security challenges."