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ALSO creates new business segment for Consumptional Business

Broadliner ALSO has merged several areas into a new business segment called "Consumptional Business". This business segment (IT as a Service) encompasses offerings related to Platform- (PaaS), Infrastructure- (IaaS), Software-Services (SaaS) as well as Device-as-a-service (DaaS). The foundations for this approach were laid at the Microsoft World Partner Conference in Toronto in 2012 and since then, the offering has been broadened consistently through the ALSO Cloud Marketplace. The Consumptional Business model will be expanded systematically. "An entire emerging generation of decision makers prefers to use rather than buy software and hardware. The economic and technical advantages of this IT as a Service offering are plain to see", said Gustavo Möller-Hergt, CEO of ALSO Holding AG.

Michael Gericks will assume responsibility for the new business segment. He will further develop the entire value chain of this business area for ALSO's resellers. "I look forward to continuing to work together with Michael Gericks in his new role. He is innovative and entrepreneurial. I am confident that he will successfully introduce and implement a wealth of new offers for our customers", Möller-Hergt added.

Gericks joined ALSO in 2013. Most recently, Gericks was Head of Consumptional Sales. Prior to that, he led Digital Services at ALSO Germany. He has also previously held positions as Managing Director and Product Marketing Manager at a technology company in the financial sector in Mexico. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Münster in Germany. The "Consumptional Business" division ought to be deployed in every country where ALSO has some dematerialized businesses.

Exclusive Group acquires US VAD Fine Tec

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).

Three new brands for Difox

German retail specialist Difox continues to expand its portfolio during summer, with no less than 3 new brands in a few weeks : JBL and iUi Design (audio systems) and National Geographic (a telescope with a built-in digital camera). All these products are also available in whole Europe, through Difox offices in Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

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

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
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"

Bullboat distributes Vaux for Echo

Consumer electronics specialist Bullboat has started the distribution of the Vaux wireless speaker for Echo, from Ninety7, in Europe through its offices in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


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