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Elmos signs distribution agreement with Silica
Semiconductor specialist Silica has signed a distribution agreement with mixed-signal specialist Elmos Semiconductor, authorising SILICA to sell and support their full range of Interface, Sensor, Power and Motor Control products across Europe through its offices in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Mobile trader siblings shamed over VAT scam
United Kingdom: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigations into alleged VAT or "missing trader/carousel" fraud have resulted in two brothers being handed a 15-year ban from being company directors. Waseem and Ajaz Saddique, directors of Birmingham-based mobile phone wholesaler Winnact Ltd, were sentenced at separate hearings in May for involving the company in a scheme linked to VAT fraud, and making wrongful VAT reclaims against HMRC. The sentences – which mean neither brother can resume a directorship until 2029 – resulted from investigations by a specialist team for the Insolvency Service, which was chasing debts owed to HMRC for unpaid VAT. Between May and September 2006, Winnact Ltd was found to have bought mobile phones in the UK and other EC countries, making onward sales of €35.56m to wholesalers in the UK and onward sales of €50.41m to wholesalers in other EC countries and Dubai. The firm then filed monthly returns with HMRC reclaiming VAT monies. According to the investigation, Winnact Ltd took part in a "complex and orchestrated scheme" where VAT returns were "staggered" by multiple contratraders over a period of time in order to hide the multimillion-pound VAT default of a single trader (source : Channelweb United Kingdom).

Changes at Exclusive Networks Group designed to fuel growth
Pan-European, Paris-based network and security VAD Exclusive Networks Group has announced changes to its management team that underline its commitment to aggressive revenue growth and value with existing vendors. Having for many years headed up the Exclusive Networks UK business and driven it to €100m revenues, subsequently joining the Group management team to drive success internationally, Neil Ledger will now take on a reduced, more strategic role to oversee the next phases of organic growth on an increasingly large scale. The move sees Barrie Desmond stepping into Ledger's shoes as Chief Operating Officer, kick-starting an immediate search for a new VP/Director of Marketing & Business Development. Neil Ledger will continue to steer the Group’s impressive organic growth in his position as Non-Executive Director and member of the board, with Barrie Desmond leaving his position as Director of Marketing and Global Accounts to become COO. The transition follows Nicolas Trombert and Julien Antoine’s appointments to the management team, to spearhead acquisition strategy and global business transformation respectively. In parallel with organic growth objectives, the expansion of Exclusive's international footprint to over 22 countries has come largely as a product of its ongoing acquisition strategy that, with recent purchase of Australia/New Zealand VAD WhiteGold Solutions, now sees the Group able to serve the APAC region. Assuring the orderly transformation of service capability in step with this progressively more global presence is another key priority for the business.

Rod Millar quits Tech Data Mobile
United Kingdom: Tech Data Mobile senior vice president Rod Millar has resigned from the firm after more than seven years. Stephen Nolan has been promoted as senior VP of Europe. Rod relocated to Tampa, Florida back in April 2013, but continued to manage Tech Data Mobile's European business (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). Details of his next move are unknown at this time. According to a Tech Data Mobile spokesperson, this global role ought not be backfilled.

Westcon Group acquires Verecloud
Network, security and telecom VAD Westcon Group has acquired the assets of Verecloud, the developer of a channel distribution platform for cloud and services solutions. Verecloud will be incorporated in Westcon Group's Cloud Solutions Practice, which will be led by former Verecloud CEO John McCawley. Founded in 2006, privately-held Verecloud has developed a robust, Telecom carrier-grade, cloud services aggregation and brokerage platform with the ability to process millions of concurrent transactions in real time, including subscription and usage-based services delivered by multiple third-party services providers. The platform will form the foundation of Westcon Group's cloud digital distribution solution, designed to help value-added resellers (VARs) generate significant revenue from cloud-enabled services. "Weston Group and Verecloud have been working together during the past 18 months and co-developed a truly differentiated cloud go-to-market capability for the channel. Our services distribution solution sets us apart from the industry, hence we decided to 'in-source' that intellectual property through this acquisition. Coupling our channel cloud enablement services with Verecloud's acquisition will position Westcon Group Cloud Solutions to drive the business models of tomorrow," said Dolph Westerbos, Chief Executive Officer, Westcon Group. Technology OEMs and cloud service providers (CSPs) look for a partner that can "light up" the channel. Westcon Group delivers this through its robust cloud distribution solution – freeing resellers to focus on development of their IP, including value-added professional services and technical expertise to build a cloud practice unburdened by practical challenges, such as micro-transaction billing, service level monitoring, up- and cross-selling, etc. Westcon Group links third-party cloud offers to resellers and their end customers, and now offers an additional go-to-market channel for the resellers' own services offerings. Bringing these aggregated solutions to market on a scalable, multi-tiered, and full-lifecycle management platform will generate new revenues for technology OEMs, cloud service providers, and value-added resellers. Continued Westerbos: "Channel innovation is core to our business, and ownership of our digital distribution platform allows us to bring differentiated, exclusive solutions to the channel without relying on third-party software development. Furthermore, having cloud services distribution fully integrated with our hardware and software distribution systems and operational processes allows us to seamlessly transact cloud and hybrid solutions as business-as-usual." Westcon Group's cloud and services distribution platform delivers the following core capabilities:

  • Cloud/Service Offer Catalogue: Featuring compelling bundled and stand-alone offers, including demo capabilities from best of breed vendors and Cloud Service Providers -- tailored by industry, by vendor community, or by technology eco-system.
  • Solution Bundling: Aggregating best-of-breed cloud and service offers across multiple vendors -- ranging from more traditional technology OEMs to Cloud Service Providers to Value Added Reseller solutions. The solution also provides consolidated purchasing and billing data.
  • Multi-Tier Cloud Syndication: Selling service, software and hybrid technology solutions through a channel-optimized architecture, and full lifecycle management across multi-tiers. Channel tiers include the technology vendor, service provider, distributor, reseller, and ultimately to the end customer and their employees. Each party in the channel can procure, deliver, bill, monitor, and adjust usage and services -- whether that service has been purchased through the platform, or direct via the vendor’s/CSP’s portal.
  • White-Label/Reseller-Branded Web Stores: Cloud and service solutions can be offered as a standalone reseller-branded Web store or fed into their existing marketplaces. Service offers can likewise be reseller-branded, allowing the VAR to broaden its go-to-market position.
  • Automated Services Delivery Lifecycle: Including inventory discovery and service fulfillment – real-time and across multiple vendors; Visibility into services purchased, used, and modified – at any level in the channel ecosystem; Real-time service rating and billing through highly scalable micro-transaction engine; Service level assurance including real time monitoring, compliance and remediation; Identity management and account synchronization, as well as end user change management.

Westcon Group also provides channel enablement services to help resellers manage their business transformation. Westcon Group is building a set of critical Operational Support Services (OSS) and Business Support Services (BSS) to help VARs become successful cloud partners. Over the next year, these white-labelled/reseller-branded offerings will include:

  • Billing-as-a-Service, allowing resellers to bill for usage-based micro-transactions
  • Up- and cross-selling to monetize the initial contract sale and broaden service adoption
  • Marketing and campaign management to broaden customer reach
  • Legal contract creation services to create a legal framework and contracts for multi-tier service management
  • Contract renewal /subscription management to help secure ongoing revenues
  • Reseller Sales Enablement and training, including a cloud transformation playbook
  • Return-On-Investment analysis, including Westcon Group’s Cloud ROI model and executive presentation tool for reseller training or joint end customer modeling
  • Technical Support for cloud services, migration, implementation and SLA management, including training of reseller’s technical staff.
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