It's official: the Partner Country at CeBIT 2017 will be Japan, as announced by Deutsche Messe AG as the producers of CeBIT. The agreement pairs the world's leading event for the digitalization of business, government and society with an absolute global frontrunner in R&D and all things high-tech and digital. During a visit to Germany last May by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel invited Japan to be honored as the official Partner Country for CeBIT 2017 – an invitation that Prime Minister Abe cordially accepted, adding that Germany is Japan's biggest and most important European trading partner. The show's partnership with the world's third-largest economy is well timed, coinciding as it does with Prime Minister Abe's call to strengthen his country's domestic industrial base and revitalize the global economy. In Abe's industrial and economic strategy, digitalization plays a very special role.
Oliver Frese, the member of Deutsche Messe's Managing Board responsible for CeBIT, commented by saying: "Japan is one of Germany's most important economic and trading partners in the Asia region. As the organizers of CeBIT, we are proud to have the chance to further deepen and enhance the close bilateral ties we share. Our two nations both place major emphasis on export business, and each is home to major manufacturers and providers across multiple industries. I am therefore confident that the upcoming show will feature a wealth of ground-breaking innovations. Japan's Partner Country involvement will spark considerable innovation across every sector of our economies."
The leading German IT industry association BITKOM sees Japan as a key trading partner. "Japan is an incubator of digital technologies", commented its president, Thorsten Dirks. "It is home to highly innovative industries that are undisputed world leaders in many fields, including driverless vehicles and robotics. Moreover, it is a society that welcomes innovation and readily embraces new technology – something that we here in Germany could learn a great deal from. Japan is also a key trading partner for German ICT companies. All of which points to CeBIT as the perfect platform for furthering bilateral dialogue, particularly for SMEs and startups."
BITKOM figures indicate that Japanese exports of ICT products to Germany in 2015 totaled €1.3b, up a good 19% from 2014. German ICT exports to Japan also increased – by around 15% – taking the 2015 total to approximately €270m euros. As a developer of digital technologies, Japan ranks among the world's foremost innovators. And it is putting these technologies to many novel uses, e.g. for the benefit of its aging and declining population, with huge resources being invested in in intelligent assistive and care systems. Other top priorities on Japan's digital agenda are the Internet of Things and associated IT security issues. In pursuit of these goals, Japan is also increasingly engaging in international partnerships. Making the country one of the world's most progressive societies by the year 2020 – in time for the Tokyo Olympics – is a major objective currently being pursued by the Japanese government.
Broadliner Tech Data has launched its new Internet of Things (IoT) business practice, Smart IoT Solutions by Tech Data. The new practice, designed to aggregate IoT solutions and provide a simplified route to the rapidly expanding IoT market for solution providers, will be led by company veteran Victor Paradell, vice president, IoT Solutions, Europe. The announcement was made in conjunction with Tech Data's participation in Microsoft's 2016 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), being held this week in Toronto.
According to Gartner in their "Forecast Analysis: Internet of Things - Endpoints, Worldwide, 2015 update" published in December 2015, endpoints of IoT are predicted to grow at a 32% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 through 2020, reaching an installed base of 21 billion units, with almost two-thirds of them consumer applications. With such explosive growth expected, solution providers need clarity, education, and an effective route to market.
"If you were to ask 100 people in the IT channel what IoT means to them, you would get almost 100 different answers - and most would be correct", said Paradell. "As IoT continues to expand and surround us in our lives, much remains to be understood about the market. Tech Data is positioned at a very advantageous point in the IoT ecosystem - right in the middle - to provide our customers with all the pieces necessary to deploy complete IoT solutions. Through our new Smart IoT Solutions business practice, we are helping solution providers understand and enter the IoT market, as well as capitalise on the opportunities that currently exist within it."
Smart IoT Solutions by Tech Data enable system integrators, value-added resellers (VARs), and managed service providers (MSPs) to build their IoT businesses. As an IoT solutions aggregator, Tech Data leverages its trusted partnerships within its technology partner ecosystem, as well as its strength and expertise in the solution provider market, to help customers deploy IoT solutions to their end users - from fulfillment and security to data analytics and applications. Through Tech Data's smart service enablement framework, the Smart IoT Solutions team also offers the value-added services needed for solution providers to connect the dots from solution design to data-driven services. The Smart IoT Solutions practice will be primarily focused on four key verticals: manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, and smart spaces, which include building safety and security, smart parking, and energy optimisation. Paradell joined Tech Data in 1996 as a team leader in the company's IT department and has held positions of increasing responsibility and scope over the past 20 years. Prior to his current role, he served as vice president, Operational Effectiveness and Strategy for Tech Data Europe from March 2013 to March 2016. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science engineering from The Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and an MBA from the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.
Two additional partners for ALSO
Switzerland: broadliner ALSO has inked two new partnerships in a few days, with Mount10 (online backup solutions) and Scandinavian distributor Aurora, whose Essentials mobile accessories it will distribute locally (source: Inside Channels Schweiz and IT Reseller Schweiz).
The Global Technology Distribution Council has added broadliner ELKO Group and storage VAD TIM as its newest members in the EMEA region, plus the appointment of WestconGroup CEO Dolph Westerbos to the organization's Executive Committee. The moves further bolster the GTDC's position as the world's leading IT distribution organization. GTDC members drive more than $130 billion in annual worldwide sales of products, services and solutions through dynamic business channels.
Broadliner ELKO, a Riga, Latvia-based distributor, operates in Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, while selling and supporting a wide range of systems, software, desktop and mobile solutions/tablets, and consumer and multimedia products, as well as providing related solutions and services. Founded in 1993, ELKO is owned by several private equity groups and was added to the Nasdaq Baltic Bond List in March 2016. The company reported sales of €1.14B in 2015.
TIM, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, is a VAD founded in 1985 with sharp focus on comprehensive data center solutions. The privately-held company, which also operates in Austria and Switzerland, serves system integrator partners as its primary customer base and has driven continuous growth over the past two decades.
SkyKick signs ALSO
Broadliner ALSO has added SkyKick to its ALSO Cloud Marketplace portfolio. The SkyKick Migration Suite is a solution that enables IT consultants, systems integrators, managed service providers and VARs to automate the entire Office 365 migration project, reducing costs and accelerating deployment. It is available from now on through ALSO in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland. The SkyKick Migration Suite automates and manages an entire Office 365 migration project, including the sales, planning, migration, management and on-site phases of a customer's move. "We are very happy to sign with ALSO, the European leader in B2B marketplaces. Partners of any size are looking forward growing their sales and use of Microsoft Office 365 and Azure. SkyKick cloud management solutions are instrumental for this. We share a vision and approach into helping our partners to develop their profitability on the cloud market, thanks to automatized and partner-centric solutions", says Eric Jewett, Worldwide director for SkyKick.