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ALSO reviews its management

Germany: broadliner ALSO has appointed Simone Blome and Sylke Rohbrecht as new managing directors, in charge respectively of Solutions and Supply. They join CEO Reiner Schwitzki and Investment Managing Director Christoph Dietz as new members of the managing team of the distributor. The former managing directors, Stefan Klinglmair and Saša Viro, are no longer managers in Germany. Stefan will focus on its role of Corporate VP for Central Europe, while Saša has been promoted to the new role of senior VP Solutions for Europe. Simone Blome is a longtime ALSO employee, as she works for the distributor since 1999, lately as Head of the HP Enterprise BU. Sylke Rohbrecht has been hired in 2007 by ALSO and worked, lately, as Lenovo and Toshiba BU manager. Beside these new appointments, ALSO has promoted NT Plus managing director Gregor Primus to member of its management board.

New partnerships in Scandinavia

According to our colleagues from IT24 Sverige, several new partnerships have been signed during summer in the region. Broadliner Exertis Captech now distributes Sony videoprojectors and large-sized displays. Broadliner Swedeltaco has added ZyXEL products to its networking portfolio. Alcatel-Lucent has opened a partnership with the Value division of broadliner Ingram Micro, starting in Sweden but expected to expand to Denmark and Finland (although it is difficult to understand how, as Ingram Micro has no VAD presence in these two countries). Broadliner Gandalf Data has inked a distribution deal with French mobility accessory vendor Port Designs. And, finally, local ESET representative Eurosecure has appointed broadliner ALSO as official distributor for Scandinavia, through its offices in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

ALSO Logistics goes bankrupt

Germany: ALSO Logistics, a subsidiary of broadliner ALSO which was built last year on the acquisition of Weltbild publishing group to provide logistic services, has closed its doors. The reason of this fast bankruptcy is the inability for the company to face the competition, with high costs impossible to review without a heavy restructuration.

ALSO back in Poland

The German distributor ALSO has entered the Polish market through the acquisition for an undisclosed amount of broadliner PC Factory, which will be renamed to ALSO Polska. The group has already been present in Poland in the past, first through GNT before its acquisition in 2009. GNT had, then, an office in Poland, which it closed because of heavy losses. Also, before it was acquired by ALSO, Actebis was indirectly present in Poland through its subsidiary ABC Data, which was sold in 2007. It is thus a kind of comeback for the German group, which will act as a challenger of its former subsidiary, with a turnover of about €390m for PC Factory, compared to €1.3b for ABC Data.

Microsoft Surface Hub available for businesses

Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Surface Hub, its new large-screen collaboration device, is available for businesses to order in 24 markets (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States) since July 1. Breakthrough hardware innovations in touch and ink allow Surface Hub to harness the power of Windows 10, Skype for Business, Office, OneNote and Universal Windows apps to deliver a new kind of productivity experience optimized for groups. The unique experience is designed to be just as engaging for people working together in the same room as for those connecting remotely. To meet the needs of a variety of rooms and spaces, Surface Hub is available in two main configurations: Surface Hub 139,7-cm for €6,280, and Surface Hub 213,4-cm for €17,950. Surface Hub delivers the power and versatility of a complete, cloud-connected Windows 10 device along with the simplicity and consistency of a custom interface that is built for shared spaces. The device is designed for anyone to walk up and use, providing an engaging way to share ideas and information. Right from the welcome screen it's easy to start white-boarding, initiate a videoconference or share content, but that's just the beginning. Businesses will be able to draw from a wide variety of Windows apps to put real-time data and business tools at the center of meetings, helping them gain insights and reach decisions faster. By connecting the industry-specific Universal Windows apps that organizations rely on to manage their business processes with an engaging remote meeting and collaboration solution, Surface Hub brings a new level of innovation and efficiency to the way people work. And as a Windows 10 device, the Surface Hub benefits from Windows Update for Business, providing access to the latest innovation and security updates on an ongoing basis. The Surface Hub experience is designed around a highly responsive screen built for ink and touch. Both versions of Surface Hub are integrated with optically bonded displays capable of detecting 100 points of multitouch and up to three simultaneous pen inputs, dual 1080p front-facing video cameras, and a four-element microphone array that detects and follows voice to eliminate background noise during videoconferencing sessions. Surface Hub also features built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a variety of ports for easy wired and wireless connectivity options, allowing devices to share content to the screen. Microsoft is working closely with a set of strategic partners to make it easy for businesses to deploy Surface Hub into their organizations in a way that naturally integrates into their existing rooms and IT environments. A variety of companies are embracing Surface Hub, including distributors enabling global reach like ALSO, Ingram Micro, Synnex, Tech Data and TD Maverick (although a detailed coverage has not been unveiled at time of publication), and strategic resellers which bring industry expertise in hardware, software and solutions. In addition, through partnerships with global leaders in advanced control, automation and conferencing systems like AMX and Crestron, and working with innovative design thought leaders like Herman Miller, Microsoft is thinking about collaboration spaces holistically and putting Surface Hub at the center of workspace transformation initiatives.


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