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Tech Data first to offer real-time consumption data and budgeting tools for Microsoft Azure

Broadliner Tech Data has unveiled enhancements to StreamOne, the company's platform that powers its award-winning Cloud Solutions Store. StreamOne, which enables partners to offer and scale cloud and subscription services, now features an analytics dashboard that displays real-time Microsoft Azure consumption and launches proactive notifications when usage charges exceed set thresholds. The enhancements will be available to solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs) in the United States and Europe.

"Tech Data is the first distributor to offer this kind of insight into Microsoft Azure", said John Tonnison, executive vice president, Cloud Computing and chief information officer at Tech Data. "These enhancements deliver on our commitment to enabling our solution providers to lead with, support and manage Azure subscriptions. With the new monitoring and budgeting capabilities, we are giving our solution providers better visibility to manage and monitor their clients' consumption and mitigate credit risk."

Tech Data's StreamOne platform is more deeply integrating with Microsoft Azure, offering solution providers and MSPs visibility into aggregate Azure consumption by customer tenant. The dashboard will provide details around Azure usage, monthly tracking and usage predictions, and overall budget and credit limits. In July, Tech Data announced enhancements to StreamOne that enable solution providers to launch a private label cloud store or integrate Tech Data Cloud services into an existing e-commerce environment. Tech Data Cloud has also recently delivered APIs to validate Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) identification and existing Cloud Service Provider (CSP) tenants, improving processes to migrate customers from Microsoft's Advisor and Open programs to Microsoft CSP. Tech Data Cloud offers solution providers and MSPs the capabilities needed to capitalize on cloud opportunities in the marketplace, including the tools to optimize and transform their businesses. The Tech Data Cloud team offers education, marketing, business planning, demand creation, sales training and services to enable partners to successfully sell cloud products and solutions.

ALSO and Innovix form strategic partnership

Broadliner ALSO and Innovix Distribution have agreed on a strategic partnership to bring a wide range of local and global vertical-focused cloud services to SMB and Enterprise customers in South-East Asia and Hong Kong. Both companies are joining forces to make the ALSO Cloud Marketplace platform available to 5,500 of Innovix's channel partners starting in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, with plans to expand further in the region. The partnership provides ALSO with the opportunity to expand services from its catalogue to Innovix's customers. Right from the start, well-known international cloud service providers and local vertical-focused ISVs will have a new platform to offer a broad range of services.

"This partnership is an important milestone for ALSO in our strategic effort to expand business opportunities with our partners in dynamic new regions. We already serve 15 markets in Europe directly and 15 more through our partners in the UK (Westcoast) and the Middle-East (Logicom). Our partnership with Innovix will expand our footprint even further", said Gustavo Möller-Hergt, CEO of ALSO Holding AG.

"Innovix is accelerating its cloud services offering to serve an expanding list of partners, including ISVs, hosters and managed service providers. The strategic partnership with ALSO provides us with a world-class cloud marketplace platform that will enable us to provide exceptional customer experience to our partners. We look forward to working together with ALSO to expand our renowned service and product offerings", said Edmand Cheung, Group Managing Director of Innovix Distribution.

Strax adds new FLAVR and avo+ brands to its portfolio

Mobile accessories specialist STRAX has expanded its existing brand portfolio with two new brands, avo+ and FLAVR.

Designed as an entry-level brand, avo+ combines quality, versatility and functionality whilst still delivering excellent value for money. High-quality audio products such as Bluetooth headphones, speakers and hands-free solutions, sit alongside power banks, charge and sync cables, in-car holders and various charging adaptors in a broad line of mobile accessories. Inspired by today's youth, FLAVR targets the more fashion-conscious consumer. This is reflected in the new FLAVR case and mobile accessory range, which embodies the latest design trends and styles. The first collection has been tailored to the most popular mobile devices, such as the iPhone 6 and 6s and the upcoming iPhone 7.

STRAX Managing Director Gudmundur Palmason commented: "we have reinforced our market position by launching our new avo+ and FLAVR brands. These proprietary brands will play an important role in our long-term product strategy. These new, clearly positioned brands will target market segments with high sales potential to hone the company's competitive edge across the entire brand portfolio."

STRAX has spent a considerable amount of time in ensuring the packaging for both avo+ and FLAVR brands is both innovative and enticing to the target consumer. The FLAVR Christmas cases will be packaged in the shape of a Christmas card or stocking, which can be hung in store on a specially constructed Christmas tree. New products from FLAVR and avo+ are immediately available to purchase in selected retailers across the EMEA region, through STRAX office in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates (recently opened and managed by Lofti Ben Salem) and the United Kingdom.

Difox distributes Nifty

Retail specialist Difox has added Nifty MiniDrive (microSD adapters for MacBooks) to its portfolio. These products are available in Europe through its offices in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Western Europe printer sales via distribution down -2% led by MFPs

Unit sales of printer hardware by IT distributors across Western Europe (WE) declined by -2% year-on-year in early Q3 2016, driven by the decrease in sales of multifunction printers (MFPs), according to data published by CONTEXT, the European IT market analysis company. "Sales of both inkjet and laser MFPs declined by -1% and -4% respectively, while sales of single-function laser printers (SFPs) stabilised, with flat performance over the period", said Zivile Brazdziunaite, Imaging Market Analyst at CONTEXT. Colour devices account for 35% of all laser hardware sold by IT distributors and sales of these did increase, registering year-on-year growth of +2%. By contrast, unit sales of mono laser hardware shrunk by -4% in early Q3 2016 as falling hardware prices and more affordable colour page rates result in a continuing switch from mono to colour devices.

There are significant differences in performance across countries. The number of printers sold through distributors in Germany declined by -14% year-on-year, mainly because of the weak performance of inkjet MFPs and a particularly strong increase in HP sales during the same period last year. However, printer sales in France and Spain were up by +8% and +19% respectively, and sales through distributors in Italy increased by +2%, driven mainly by increase in distribution sales of cheap consumer-targeted inkjets. In the UK performance mirrored that of the previous year and continued to decline, falling by -2% year-on-year in early Q3 2016.

Sales of HP printer hardware were up by +3%, driven mainly by strong performance of laser MFPs in the SMB and Multiple Retailer channels: distributor sales of HP business-targeted inkjets declined by -6% in early Q3 2016. Kyocera and Ricoh saw year-on-year unit sales growth across the region (+11% and +7% respectively) as a result of strong performance of their laser SFPs. Despite registering flat distribution sales when all the categories are combined, Epson saw unit sales of business-targeted inkjets increase by +16% year-on-year driven by their low-end home office Workforce series of printers sold to the Multiple Retailer channel.

Country break-down: Q3/2016 year-on-year


Total -2%
Spain 19%
Portugal 18%
Netherlands 15%
France 8%
Denmark 4%
Belgium 3%
Italy 2%
United Kingdom -2%
Austria -9%
Sweden -10%
Switzerland -13%
Germany -14%
Finland -15%
Norway -20%


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