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StarLink appointed as a Symantec VAD
2017-08-22

Middle East: security VAD StarLink has been appointed as a VAD for Symantec in the region. As a platform-independent software company without bias to an individual operating system or hardware environment, Symantec helps customers manage more technologies with greater efficiency, on more platforms – even in virtual environments – than any other company. With multi-platform software and a worldwide delivery and support infrastructure, Symantec helps customers optimize technology investments throughout their lifetimes. StarLink is acclaimed as the largest value-added distributor of IT security solutions across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. StarLink's extensive partner and customer base in the Middle East (covered through offices in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) will now have access to Symantec's market leading Enterprise product range. Nidal Othman, Managing Director at StarLink, said: "this exciting new business relationship is an organic one, with Symantec's acquisition of BlueCoat. Following the success we previously achieved with Blue Coat, we are glad to be part of Symantec’s journey in establishing itself as the industry's largest pure play cyber security company, and we are committed to work together with our channel to help realize our collective goal of, ‘Defining the Future of CyberSecurity."

Nuvias named Oracle PartnerNetwork Platinum Level Partner
2017-08-18

VAD Nuvias has achieved Platinum partner status in Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). By attaining Platinum level membership, Oracle has recognized Nuvias for its in-depth expertise and excellence in Oracle Communications Session Border Controller (SBC) and Operations Monitoring solutions. This achievement further strengthens the EMEA product portfolio for the recently launched Nuvias Unified Communications (UC) Practice, which resulted from the acquisition of leading UC specialist SIPHON Networks at the end of 2016.

Oracle Communications' SBC will form the core part of a range of Nuvias' end-to-end UC solution packages aimed at the service provider and enterprise reseller markets. These include the Nuvias Hosted Unified Communications Package, integrated with Broadsoft UC cloud technology, as well as the Nuvias SIP Trunking, Cloud Connector and Assured Trunk packages.

Nuvias will roll-out these new Oracle-based solutions across EMEA with a focus on DACH (Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), France, Italy, Spain, the Nordics (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) and the Middle East, through established Nuvias regional sales and support operations.

Oracle Communications empowers Network Operators, Enterprises and Digital Lifestyle Providers to innovate and adapt for the NOW Economy – a software-driven, cloud-enabled, digital business environment where communications enable strategic competitive advantage. With Oracle Communications' SBCs, service providers and enterprises can deliver trusted, real-time communications services and applications across IP networks, from basic Voice over IP (VoIP) to Voice over LTE and advanced multimedia applications. This offers unparalleled control functions and features, protocol support, and programmability and manageability in any type of IP network.

"There is growing momentum in the global UC market and Nuvias has a major opportunity to take Oracle Communications’ SBCs to new service providers and enterprise markets across EMEA, where they have an established channel network", said Carl DCosta, Vice President of Worldwide Alliances and Channels for Oracle Communications. "Having built up a strong relationship with SIPHON in the UK, we are confident that Nuvias can deliver the same consistent solutions and high level of support across EMEA."

"Oracle Communications is a major component of our Unified Communications Practice and, in combination with best of breed products from other leading vendors, allows us to provide the channel with the highest quality, end-to-end solutions", said Steve Harris, EVP, Unified Communications at Nuvias (formerly Managing Director of SIPHON). "With our experience of delivering professional services for Oracle Communications’ SBC resellers, we are now in a strong positon to offer a full product and services wrap to channel partners across EMEA, including existing and new service providers."

With its Platinum status, Nuvias receives the high level of engagement, commitment and resources available to OPN partners. Platinum members receive dedicated virtual account management support to build joint development plans and help broaden specialization areas and revenue opportunities. Additional benefits include priority placement in the OPN Solutions Catalog, one free application integration validated by Oracle, joint marketing and sales opportunities, discounted training and more.

Aptec expands partnership with iBoardTouch
2017-08-14

Middle East: broadliner Aptec has expanded its partnership with iBoardTouch, one of the market leaders of complete large-format touch screen solutions combining reliable hardware with innovative software. iBoardTouch provides versatile technology solutions for classrooms and meeting rooms. Zulfi Baig, Director of iBoardTouch, commented: "Aptec's decades of experience in providing value add solutions, their extensive customer base and their standout reputation for superior customer service make them a perfect partner to help iBoardTouch continue to deliver strong growth. iBoardTouch solutions are constantly evolving to meet customers' needs and help them to engage easily with interactive touch technologies in a way that works for them. We look forward to working even more closely with Aptec to meet our respective customers' needs."

"We are excited to expand our partnership with iBoardTouch", said Bahaa Salah, Managing Director of Aptec. "Ingram Micro reseller partners and their customers will benefit from additional solutions to grow their businesses in education and corporate segments. Additionally, we gain new value add solutions in the interactive technology offered by iBoardTouch. This is truly a partnership where everyone wins."

The iBoardTouch solution has outstanding features that are highly needed in the corporate and education world, bringing easy to use, yet feature rich learning technology to end users.

Exclusive Group acquires US VAD Fine Tec
2017-08-11

United States: French network and security VAD Exclusive Group has advanced its global distribution partner offering with the acquisition of leading Silicon Valley-headquartered cybersecurity VAD Fine Tec, a local Fortinet distributor. The move places Exclusive Group at the heart of the world's largest cybersecurity market; complementing its existing global presence throughout the EMEA and APAC regions. Global systems integrators, service providers and vendors, as well as large North American reseller partners, will be the chief beneficiaries as Exclusive Group extends its unique, highly successful 'Disruptive Distribution' blueprint with an established local player that already shares similar DNA and value-adding culture.

"This will be a major step forward for our global proposition as we harness US-based skills, resources and relationships to support the execution of worldwide deals with large systems integrator partners and to advance our unique formula into the domestic market", said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group. "Fine Tec is as an operationally excellent business with a strong services capability and successful reputation for delivering value in a highly competitive environment. It represents a great opportunity to integrate a culturally-aligned business into our global family, and we look forward to working with Fine Tec CEO James Shen and his team to build on their success and accelerate growth throughout the region."

"This is great news for everyone connected with Fine Tec family as it validates the approach we've taken to value-added distribution in the US for nearly 20 years", said James Shen, Fine Tec President & CEO. "The Exclusive Group story is well known and we’ve admired it from afar, but now with the Group's global reach and resources it opens up many new opportunities for our partners. It really is an exciting time as there is true opportunity to extend the disruptive distribution model to the US, whilst the ambition for us to grow internationally is finally realised."

The move follows Exclusive Group's recent appointment of Patrick Huth as VP Alliances Americas, who will be instrumental in enabling new partner and vendor opportunities alongside Fine Tec's existing leadership team. The successful integration of the Fine Tec business is set to increase Exclusive Group's forecast revenues for the full year 2017 to 1.8bn€ ($2bn).

3D printer shipments up 16% in Q1 2017 as mid-market starts to heat up
2017-08-10

The first three months of 2017 saw both worldwide shipments and revenues in the 3D Printer space increase, with activity ramping up in the mid-market, according to market research firm CONTEXT. Shipments were up by +16% in Q1 2017, driven by gains in the Personal/Desktop* category, which saw unit volumes rise to over 88 k (+17% year-on-year). The news was less positive in the Industrial/Professional**sector, which saw 8% fewer shipments than a year ago. Overall, global 3D printer revenues were up by +4% in the first quarter, thanks to stronger demand for high-priced metal-based industrial printers.

Although unit volumes in the Industrial/Professional category shrank, a rise in the weighted average price - from €102,771 to €118,761 - ensured revenue growth of +6%. On the other hand, revenues in the Personal/Desktop category were down by -1% due to a year-on-year weighted average price drop from €1,055 to €896 in Q1 2017. This sector continues to be dominated by lower-priced printers, with 75% of shipments being of models priced at or below €920.

Movement in the middle

While the high and the low end of the 3D printer space are clearly defined, the market is currently seeing a lot of action in the grey middle ground. "Since the desktop 3D printer market began to emerge as a new category a decade ago, the €4,600 barrier has been used as the general rule-of-thumb dividing point for categories", said Chris Connery, vice-president of Global Market Research and Analysis, CONTEXT. "As the 3D printer market continues to evolve, so too do its categories, with high-end desktop printers and low-end industrial/professional printers converging more and more."

Products from both categories in the blurry price range of €3k - €25 k saw unit volumes rise +31% compared to a year ago, while sub-€3 k desktop 3D printers saw unit volumes increase by +17%. In the low-end of the Personal/Desktop segment, XYZprinting and Monoprice continued to price aggressively and remained leaders in terms of global unit share. At the high end of this segment are vendors like Ultimaker and Formlabs whose continue to balance between pricing and unit volumes serves them well, leading to the top spots in global revenue share of the Personal/Desktop category.

Focus on vendors

In the Industrial/Professional market, companies with a major focus on metal 3D printing, including EOS, SLM Solutions and Concept Laser (now mostly owned by GE), continued to shine in Q1 2017. Stratasys and 3D Systems both saw fewer printers ship in the period than a year ago. High-profile player Carbon continued to grow, and announced a strong alliance with German apparel company adidas to mass-produce parts of a new line of running shoes, a common theme for many in the Industrial sector during the period.

Market leader Stratasys is a microcosm of how lines between categories are blurred. It's technically placed on the Industrial/Professional side of the market; however, its lower-end professional material-extrusion printers continue to give way to high-end desktop products including its own MakerBot line. Along with footwear alliances and blurring lines in the Professional 3D Printer space, other hot-button market trends in the period included lower-priced metal printers (such as from Desktop Metal and OR LASER) and serial production/printer farms, such as Stratasys' Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator, 3D Systems' Figure-4, and Formlabs' Form Cell.

"While all the talk in the industry over the period was around sneaker alliances, lower prices and forthcoming technologies, in the first phase of the year the market was still largely driven by continued strong growth in shipments of metal 3D printers", noted Connery.

 

Table 1: Top 5 Vendor 3D Printer Market Share by Unit Volumes and Printer Revenues, Global Personal/Desktop Printers Q1’17

Q1’17 Rank
by Units
Company Q1’17 Units Q1’17 Share
by Units
Q1’17 Rank
by Unit Revenue
Company Q1’17 Unit
Revenue
Q1’17 Share
by Unit Revenue
1 XYZPrinting 17.4K 20% 1 Ultimaker €16.3M 21%
2 Monoprice 14.3K 16% 2 Formlabs €10.0M 13%
3 Wanhao 7.0K 8% 3 XYZPrinting €7.5M 9%
4 Ultimaker 6.3K 7% 4 Stratasys/MakerBot €5.0M 6%
5 M3D 5.9K 7% 5 Flashforge €4.7M 6%

Table 2: Top 5 Vendor 3D Printer Market by Revenue*** from Industrial/Professional Machines shipped Q1’17

Q1’17 Rank Company Revenues from
Machines Sold***
Q1’17 Global
Revenue Share
Y/Y Change
1 Stratasys €90.2M 31% -8%
2 EOS €46.3M 16% 16%
3 3D Systems €28.7M 10% -4%
4 SLM Solutions €14.0M 5% 17%
5 Concept Laser €13.4M 5% 12%

* Personal/Desktop 3D Printer category is largely defined form factor and generally defined as those selling at or below €4,600.

** Industrial/Professional 3D Printer category largely defined as those selling for over €4,600.

*** Revenue generally from printer hardware but may include materials, software or other "product"

 

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