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Beware with fake Parametric Technology
2015-06-29

Scammers are putting more and more investment and time in posing as genuine companies. But continue to fail miserably to any trained eye like ITdistri's. Latest to date is a fake Parametric Technology, based in France. The crooks use the company data of the French subsidiary of CAD and PLM software editor PTC. And they have developed a full website, to fool people who would want to check who is behind their fake URL. Of course, if the address is real, the phone numbers and the URL are not those of PTC/Parametric Technology France (all details here). So, once again, beware: it's not because a company who contact you has a full-fledged website that it is a genuine buyer. A cross checking on ITdistri or a specialized website like The Broker Site, with questions in case of doubt, is never a wrong idea and can save you thousands of euros!

Pure Storage and Arrow ECS sign agreement to drive adoption of all-flash storage
2015-06-26

Pure Storage, an independent solid-state array vendor, and infrastructure VAD Arrow ECS have unveiled an agreement to drive adoption of the Pure Storage all-flash array via Pure Storage channel partners, within Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) through Arrow ECS offices in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. For the channel community, flash storage opens up new growth opportunities within the storage market. Arrow ECS is adding extensive value in this segment and incremental services such as deal registration, and proof-of-concept management. A highly specialised team will deliver consulting, professional services, technical support and training on Pure's solutions - serving reseller needs when implementing flash storage solutions within customer environments. "It is imperative that there is support from distributors such as Arrow across a region in order to meet the needs of our rapidly expanding channel base" said James Petter, VP EMEA at Pure Storage. "Our partnership with Arrow in EMEA is central to our strategy and will expand Pure Storage's reach within markets and across countries, boost VAR recruitment and maintain our commitment to operating as channel-focused business with approximately 50 percent of the transactions sourced by partners. Arrow ECS will offer comprehensive value and choice to our partners."

After sanctions, Cisco altered sales records in Russia
2015-06-25

After Western sanctions began shutting down sales of high-tech internet equipment to Russia's military and security forces because of the war waged by this country in Ukraine, employees at network vendor Cisco Systems altered sales records and booked deals under a false customer name, according to internal company documents. The intent, according to a confidential source with deep knowledge of Cisco's Moscow operations, was to dodge the sanctions by masking the true customers behind more innocuous-sounding straw buyers. In at least one case, the source said, Cisco employees succeeded in actually providing equipment — including sophisticated internet switches — to the FSB. Top officials at Cisco vehemently denied the allegations. Cisco officials didn't dispute the authenticity of the internal emails and spreadsheets obtained by BuzzFeed News. Instead, speaking on condition of anonymity in lengthy phone briefings, the Cisco officials acknowledged that the buyer name on some accounts was incorrect but said those were innocent and harmless errors. When records were changed, they said, the intent was only to be more accurate, not to conceal the real buyer. In the case of the alleged FSB deal, officials said the equipment had not gone to the security service but to a civilian ministry. Cisco is "in complete compliance with the US and EU sanctions on Russia," spokesperson Nigel Glennie said in a brief written statement. Still, once sanctions were imposed, top Cisco management tried hard, internal emails show, to find a legal way to keep some products flowing to Russia — even though doing so posed a "risk to our brand and reputation," as a Cisco vice president put it.

Cisco's Moscow office is reeling from an investigation by the US DoJ and the SEC into allegations of a massive kickback scheme first revealed by BuzzFeed News last year. According to the new allegations, which also concern the same Moscow office, employees tried a number of tactics to escape the sanctions, imposed by the United States and the European Union last year after Russia annexed Crimea and fomented conflict in eastern Ukraine. The sanctions prohibit Western companies from selling "dual-use technology" — civilian technology that could also have military applications — to "military end-users." Much of Cisco's equipment is deemed dual use, and in early October the company canceled deals worth €1.5m. In one case, the source said, Cisco canceled a deal to sell an internet network to the FSB. Employees then replaced it, he said, with two similar deals to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation — but the true end user remained the security service.

The source said that the Chamber of Commerce was sometimes used as a ghost buyer to facilitate other sales to agencies that could not buy Cisco equipment legally. Internal company records indicate that Cisco booked at least seven deals over six months to sell a total of more than €450k worth of equipment such as routers, switches, and servers to the chamber. "This is strange," Olga Litvinenko, the chamber's spokesperson, wrote in an email to BuzzFeed News. The chamber, she said, made no major purchases of technology from Cisco — nor did it make purchases on behalf of other companies or agencies. "We are not a commercial organization which purchases big things, we do not purchase anything besides office supplies," she wrote. Cisco officials said that because of an issue with its sales-tracking software, some deals recorded as being for Chamber of Commerce were, in fact, for the Russian government’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. But, Cisco officials said, the chamber deals did not send equipment to the FSB or other banned agencies. In other cases, employees changed the name of the customer from the Ministry of Defense or the Russian space agency to a company. The purpose, according to the source, was to hide the true buyer (because of its close connection to the Russian military, some sales to the space agency were barred under the sanctions). Cisco officials said the changes simply made the records more precise. They also said one of those deals did not go through, proving the system worked, and the other was approved as legal. Some years ago, network and security VAD Computerlinks was caught into a similar fraud, involving its Middle East bureau and Iran (source: Buzzfeed).

Beware of Chaks International
2015-06-25

The Broker Site have been notified against Chaks International by one of its members who bought LCDs from them and has not received any products, and while trying to solve, they have stopped all communication. Chaks International communicates addresses in Paris (France) or Dubai. It uses the domain name chaksinternational.com. Apparently, several contacts are having the same problem with them and the Broker Site has found warnings online against this company with the same MO (source: The Broker Site).

Exertis acquires Computers Unlimited
2015-06-22

Irish distribution group Exertis has acquired Mac specialist Computers Unlimited for an initial enterprise value of about €30m. Computers Unlimited currently employs 200 people and operates from offices in France, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Computers Unlimited business model aligns well with Exertis' commercial structure and is an excellent strategic fit, bringing new product categories and specialisms to the Exertis portfolio. Computers Unlimited has a best-of-breed range of products sourced from more than 70 leading manufacturers, including Adobe, Epson, Griffin, Incipio, LocknCharge, Microsoft, Nemetschek, Parrot, Sonos, Wacom, and Western Digital. The portfolio of products also includes Flexson, an in-house developed range of accessories for Sonos, which includes stands and brackets, skins, and other innovative complementary products, all of which are sold globally. The customer bases of the two businesses are highly complementary. Leveraging the expanded market coverage and enhanced product portfolio is expected to provide synergy opportunities in the UK and Europe, and strengthen the platform for further growth. Niall Ennis, Group Managing Director, Exertis, said "We are excited at the prospect of extending the reach of Computers Unlimited to the multiple retail channels that Exertis supports both in France and the United Kingdom. This acquisition also extends the Exertis footprint into the Spanish retail sector, where Computers Unlimited has a growing presence. Likewise, we see significant opportunities to expand the reach of the brands currently working with Computers Unlimited into the Exertis operations in the Nordics (Exertis Captech in both Norway and Sweden) and the Middle East (Exertis Arc Telecom)." Ennis confirmed that everything is very much business as usual and that Computers Unlimited will continue operating under its own distinct brand identity. "The acquisition of Computers Unlimited with its strong track-record of distributing Professional Creative, Apple (iPhone/iPod/iPad/Mac) and Digital Home products is an excellent strategic fit for Exertis and the businesses' combined strengths will create new growth opportunities." James Sanson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Computers Unlimited said: "Over the last 30 years, I’m so proud of what the fantastic team of past and present people at Computers Unlimited have achieved for us and our brands. Over that time we've launched and built channels for more than 100 brands. The opportunity to combine Computers Unlimited's brand and channel building talents with Exertis' retail, logistics and geographic strengths is very compelling. I'm confident the new combined business can offer a fantastic proposition and strong growth for our current and future brands."

 

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