Network and security VAD Exclusive Group has hired Stéphane Duplaix, the former EMEA Sales Director of Arrow ECS, to head the company's ambitious expansion plans as Group Director, Strategic Alliances. Stéphane will steer the Group's fast growing partnerships business with an increasing number of global systems integrators and key vendor partners. Stéphane brings considerable experience in the cybersecurity and datacentre distribution industries, and will play a pivotal role in maximising Exclusive's expanded international footprint, rich services offering and "pace setting" vendor portfolio.
"Stéphane joins the team at an exciting time", said Barrie Desmond, COO of Exclusive Group. "We're on the radar of an increasing number of global SIs and service providers, and maximising this is a major priority for us. In parallel, our vendors continue to 'market-outperform', and our global footprint expands almost weekly. This perfect storm of opportunity needs harnessing and we could think of no one better than Stéphane to help achieve this. We're very pleased and excited that he’s decided to take up the challenge."
"I'm looking forward to helping our leading partners achieve even more value and market success through the many bilateral opportunities created by this fast-changing 'Exclusive' landscape", said Stéphane Duplaix, newly appointed Director of Strategic Alliances at Exclusive Group. "I've seen Exclusive Group shake up the market for value-added distribution, challenge the old business models and offer a new service-centric vision. Achieving this on a global scale will be unique, and I'm thrilled I can play a key part in this next and most exciting part of the journey."
At Arrow ECS, Stéphane Duplaix managed a significant channel sales organisation across 30+ countries. Prior to this he accumulated considerable success at businesses including McAfee, F-Secure, Azlan and EdenWall Technologies. His wealth of experience within security, networking and datacentre channel ecosystems is directly relevant to both VAD divisions (Exclusive Networks and BigTec) of Exclusive Group.
Arrow hit for €11.7m by 'isolated' fraud
American multispecialist Arrow expects to record a $13m (€11.7m) charge in its current quarter after crooks siphoned cash from its bank account by successfully impersonating a company executive. Although the distributor gave few details, it was quick to stress its investigations have so far indicated it is an isolated event not associated with a security breach or loss of data. The disclosure came as Arrow trounced expectations for Q4, with sales at its Enterprise Computing Solutions (ECS) arm booming 22 per cent in Europe in local currencies. Arrow said it had discovered it had been the target of the fraud on 22 January. A company executive had been impersonated, which resulted in unauthorised transfers of cash from a company account to outside bank accounts in Asia, Arrow said.
On a Q4 earnings call, CEO Michael Long said Arrow was unable to answer questions on the incident "because our investigation and law enforcement agency investigations are ongoing." The lack of detail makes it hard to draw conclusions on the nature of the fraud, said Bob Tarzey, director at analyst Quocirca. "Nothing in what [Arrow has said] says it has to be privileged access," Tarzey said. "All we know is they managed to get access in some way to that money by appearing to be an executive – it could have been online or over the telephone."
Arrow's disclosure comes just a month after accounting giant Deloitte warned that a scam known as "fake president" fraud is on the rise. This involves fraudsters aping a senior executive or a trusted partner, to con companies into parting with cash. Arrow said the incident will lead it to record a one-time charge of an estimated €11.7m in its first quarter as it unveiled strong Q4 results that smashed its expectations (source: Channelweb United Kingdom).
Multispecialist Arrow Electronics and the non-profit organisations Close the Gap and Hoops of Hope collaborate to turn used cargo containers into fully equipped digital classrooms and health clinics that can be deployed to remote areas of Africa. The first "DigiTruck" in Africa was unveiled to the Tuleeni Orphanage in Tanzania in early August. The DigiTruck is now providing some 80 orphans at Tuleeni with a classroom full of high-quality, refurbished laptops, tablets and other IT equipment.
"Arrow Electronics is committed to finding innovative ways that technology can improve people's lives," said Michael J. Long, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arrow. "From our semi-autonomous motorcar (SAM) project that enabled a quadriplegic former racing car driver to realise his dream of driving again, to this DigiTruck project that is providing orphans in sub-Saharan Africa with their first computers, Arrow is guiding innovation forward in incredible ways. Close the Gap, Hoops of Hope and Neema International's Tuleeni Orphanage are doing great work, and Arrow is fortunate to collaborate with such inspiring organisations."
According to UNESCO, more than 182 million adults in sub-Saharan Africa are unable to read or write, and 48 million young people are illiterate. Access to information and communication technology is critical to improving a country's educational and economic prospects. However, high equipment costs, poor infrastructure and limited proficiency all prevent this much-needed technology from reaching many parts of Africa.
"For more than 10 years, Close the Gap has been removing barriers to digital literacy in developing countries. More than 75 percent of the population in Africa live in rural communities where infrastructure presents a huge barrier—modern information and communication technologies coupled with solar-powered solutions like the DigiTruck are able to help bridge this digital divide and to bring quality training and education to remote communities. With the support of partners like Arrow Electronics, Close the Gap is honoured to be a part of the work of Tuleeni Orphanage and make a positive impact in the lives of these orphans," said Olivier Vanden Eynde, founder and managing director of Close the Gap.
The DigiTruck can accommodate up to 18 students at a time in a classroom setting. It is equipped with solar panels capable of fully powering it for several days at a time so it can reach remote rural villages with no electricity. The DigiTruck is also triple-insulated to protect against the heat and secured with double steel doors and bolted window shutters. Donated IT equipment refurbished by Arrow's Value Recovery business inside the DigiTruck includes laptops, tablets, printers, routers and a LED TV flat-screen monitor. Local workers in Arusha, Tanzania helped to build the truck.
"Arrow Electronics and Close the Gap have the power to turn lives around," said Mandy Stein, the founder and executive director of Neema International, the organisation supporting the Tuleeni Orphanage. "They are changing my kids' worlds - with the computers and DigiTruck, their dreams now are within reach."
The DigiTruck will spend the next several months at the Tuleeni Orphanage before moving onto its next location in 2016. Arrow will donate all of the laptops and IT equipment to the Tuleeni Orphanage when the DigiTruck moves on, providing a permanent learning environment for the orphans. Arrow will also outfit the DigiTruck with additional refurbished equipment for its next stops.
Working together, Arrow and Close the Gap plan to build and deploy a number of additional DigiTrucks throughout Africa. In fact, following Arrow's sponsorship of Close the Gap's first DigiTruck, four other companies pledged to sponsor similar units.
Arrow's Value Recovery business, which donated the refurbished electronic devices inside the DigiTruck, works with its customers to securely refurbish computers, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices for additional use, or repurpose their still-valuable component parts for other uses. Whenever possible, Arrow emphasises extending the life of these devices by selling them, redeploying them within organisations or donating them.
The provision of the DigiTruck in Tanzania was featured on US television program “Courage in Sports” which highlights powerful stories of courage, resilience and excellence in the face of adversity. The program was broadcast on CBS. The Courage in Sports segment can be viewed here.
Middle East: as usually, the Gitex IT event has been the place to be, to catch up the latest news regarding the IT distribution in the region, as most major distributors were present in Dubai during its running. Network and security VAD Exclusive Networks used the place to celebrate its ten years (most of them, as Secureway), announce its move to a larger headquarter (featuring more workspace for the company's workforce as well as expanded onsite training facilities to host learning programmes and workshops for partners and vendors) and unveil the local expansion of pan-group distribution partnerships with Bit9+Carbon Black, Ixia and Netskope.
Security VAD Bulwark has presented to the visitors of the event several additions to its portfolio, Varonis (sensitive information protection), Linoma (managed file transfer, secure ftp and encryption software for IBM i, iSeries, Windows, Linux and other platforms), TalariaX (for its Sendquick SMS appliance for enterprise messaging) and Jacarta (monitoring solutions).
Broadliner Logicom unveiled a reorganization of its local management, with the appointment of Mounir Sarkis and Peter Irinarchos as regional director and general manager for UAE and Gulf, respectively. Sarkis will be responsible for the extended region of the GCC, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while Irinarchos will be taking on the leadership role of general manager for Logicom in the UAE and the Gulf, succeeding Sajith Raj. The distributor has also announced a partnership with Securifi. It will distribute its Almond Wireless Router series through its channel partner network in Bahrain, Cyprus, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Network and storage VAD Mindware has used the event to announce distribution deals with Biostar (motherboards and graphic cards) and Unify (VoIP infrastructures) in the region, through its offices in Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The regional distributor also emphasised on its relationship with EMC. Having signed up with the brand as its value-added distributor towards the end of 2013, the company is focusing largely on three of the vendor's products such as Software-defined storage solution – ViPR, XtremeIO and its data protection suite. According to Vijay Kumar, Sales Director Virtualisation at Mindware, "We have been growing the EMC business to around 40-50 percent. We are bringing in new channel partners and our focus will continue to be on enhancing their capabilities. Over the next few months, we will be focusing on point-to-point enablement". Finally, Mindware unveiled its will to expand on the African market over the coming year, leveraging on its existing vendor partnerships, starting with Citrix and Intel Security and planning to introduce later Juniper Networks, Pulse Secure and Riverbed. The company plans to enter more efficiently the African market, through a local presence in North, East and West Africa. It claims to have set up offices in Morocco and Nigeria (although ITdistri did not find any trace of them anywhere) and to have resources in Kenya.
South African security VAD ARM used the event to announce its arrival on the MEA market, with a rebranding to Credence Security and the opening of a full-fledged office in Dubai, managed by Vivian Gevers.
Giant broadliner Redington has announced on the event that it had signed a distribution deal with privileged account vendor Cyber-Ark. It will distribute its Privileged Account Security Platform in the region, through its offices in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The value division of the distributor has also unveiled its RedCloud integrated cloud solutions platform. RedCloud is a marketplace that offers customers a one-stop solution for all their enterprise cloud requirements. As part of the unified catalogue of cloud service offerings, RedCloud will also link buyers and sellers, and channel partners can use a single log in to access all solutions, get competitive rates, make payments online and even track their orders and credit history. The distributor is in the process of partnering with about 30 to 40 software as a solution (SaaS) service providers.
Storage VAD StorIT has officially launched on the Gitex event its managed service platform for channel network, in partnership with HASzone. This new managed services offering can enable StorIT resellers provide their customers with a resilient and secure IT infrastructure, while it can as be instrumental for them in terms of database and applications management as well. According to StorIT, HASZone's managed services expertise, paired with StorIT's array of solutions delivery, ought to ensure users realise various benefits such as highly resilient and secure IT infrastructure, centralised and streamlined service management, increased service levels, tested and certified disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, and predictable costs.
Network VAD Oxygen has unveiled distribution deals with seven new vendors: Boole Server (encrypted enterprise file sharing), plixer (flow analysis), Solus (biometry and access control), Trustwave (smart security on demand), Unify (mobile communications), Ziften (threat monitoring and mitigation) and Zimperium (enterprise mobile security).
Dell has taken advantage of the event to announce its new strategy in the region, with a streamlining of its local distributor stable, down to four main distributors, Aptec, Metra, Mindware and Redington Gulf.
Finally, Richard Noujaim, the MEA managing director for infrastructure VAD Arrow ECS, has announced that the distributor would open its ArrowSphere cloud platform in the region within the coming year. ArrowSphere is available in most European countries since July 2012.
Arrow ECS to offer SAS Visual Analytics
Middle East: infrastructure VAD Arrow ECS has started to offer Visual Analytics from business analytics editor SAS in the region, adding to its existing comprehensive portfolio of business intelligence and analytics solutions. According to a recent forecast on IT spending by Gartner, business intelligence and analytics softwares are solutions are cited to be among the top 3 CIO technology priorities in the Middle East region. "We look forward to working with Arrow and its network of solution providers in expanding the creative application of our innovative analytics solutions. SAS always aims to harness the value of extracting business insights from data to meet the ever-changing business environment, particularly in the Middle East region", said Shukri Dabaghi, SAS' regional director for the Middle East and Francophone Africa. SAS Visual Analytics enables users of all skill levels to visually explore data, execute analytics and understand what the data means. Businesses are also able to identify patterns and relationships across data.
Arrow ECS Network & Security ME
Arrow ECS Network & Security ME