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Europe's tech channel eyes up cyber-security opportunity as businesses rush to adopt cloud and mobile

The Western European IT channel is gearing up to ride a wave of new demand for security products as customers rush to adopt mobile and cloud services to support their businesses, according to the latest ChannelWatch survey from CONTEXT. Over 2,000 IT resellers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal were surveyed at the beginning of 2016 for the report. In terms of growth prospects for the year, security was the number one rated category. With a weighted score of 79/100 among resellers with more than 25% of their sales in business services in the region, security came in just ahead of mobility (78/100), cloud computing (76/100), Software-as-a-Service (73/100) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (69/100) in terms of growth potential.

"We're seeing the tangible effects of the growing interest in cloud and mobility services that's been predicted for so long", commented CONTEXT co-founder and CEO Jeremy Davies. "As actual cloud implementation grows, security is a huge concern and that is reflected in the demand resellers are experiencing today."

The CONTEXT ChannelWatch survey revealed that only 24% of resellers surveyed said they had sold cloud security services over the period. CONTEXT notes that cloud services and mobility represent an enormous opportunity for Western European IT resellers, enabling more agile and productive ways of operating and running IT departments, and without the right security tools, organisations find threats from nation state hackers, financially motivated cybercriminals and hacktivists overwhelming. For those business-focused resellers that had sold cloud services over the past three months, back-up (65%) and storage (49%) were the most popular categories, according to CONTEXT.

Western European HCP Market, 2Q16: the negative trend continues, says IDC

According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market declined by 5.8% in unit terms in 2Q16 compared with the same period a year ago, with negative performances in both the inkjet and laser segments. For the second consecutive negative quarter, the market shows a decline of 275,000 units with a shipment volume of 4.5 million devices — a decline that is again largely due to the contraction in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues declined by 0.8% — inkjets showed an encouraging 3.4% increase due to business inkjets, but laser revenues fell by 1.4%. Laser markets showed a decrease of 7.9% in 2Q16, following the negative trend seen in the past several quarters in Western Europe. Still, the laser revenue decrease is much lower than the volume decrease, indicating that prices in many markets are holding. Business inkjet shipments are still going strong in 2016. After seeing an increase last quarter, shipments grew by 6.2% in 2Q16. MFP products showed the highest growth rate, with an 8.7% increase, but business inkjet printers decreased 15.9% in the quarter. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for 91.7% of business inkjet shipments in 2Q16. Overall, MFP products accounted for 81.4% of all shipments in Western Europe in 2Q16, higher than the 81% average in 2016. Laser and inkjet MFPs decreased but laser and inkjet printers decreased at a higher double-digit percentage, with shipments were generally in line with IDC forecasts. Growth in the business market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, slowed by 4.9%, but the value only slipped by 1.1%. The highest value growth was in 45ppm+ color devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.

"The negative trend in the printing and imaging industry continues in 2Q16", said Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC's Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. "It is in fact difficult to look at growth areas nowadays in the market as both the inkjet and laser segments are decreasing in Western Europe. Business inkjet and high-speed laser devices show moderate growth in the current bleak economic context."

Main Highlights

The overall Western European hardcopy market declined 5.8% year on year in 2Q16, with the laser decline greater than that for inkjet. Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 color printers and MFP devices showing the only real laser growth increase in Western Europe. Business inkjet grew by 6.2%, with MFPs responsible for the increase, while printers decreased by 15.9%.

Country Highlights

Germany : the German market followed the overall Western European negative trend with a 9.5% decline after three negative quarters. The business inkjet market performed below the Western European average, with an increase of 2.7% compared with the regional average of 6.2%. The laser market in Germany has shown negative growth for more than a year now, with color devices decreasing 6.5% compared with the 16.9% decrease in the mono laser segment. The inkjet market also decreased, by 7.2%, with consumer inkjet showing a 9.9% decrease. Both multifunction and printer devices saw declines, with an 8.5% decrease for MFPs and a 12.4% decline for printers.

France : France performed better than the Western European average but still showed an overall decline of 1.0% in 2Q16 over the same period last year. Inkjet increased by 5.5%, but laser declined by 15.7%. The consumer markets for inkjet surprisingly increased by 2.2%, in sharp contrast with the rest of Western Europe, and business inkjet increased by 37.5%, contrasting strongly with the slightly positive trend seen in Western Europe. Inkjet MFPs grew by 5.7%, but laser MFPs decreased by 10.8%.

The United Kingdom : The United Kingdom recorded a very poor performance again this quarter, with a 17.6% decline. This is in line with the negative trend seen in Western Europe, though the United Kingdom performance was even worse. Business inkjet performed slightly below the regional average, with only a 5.8% increase. Both the laser and inkjet markets declined, but we saw very high positive growth in A3 inkjet MFPs.

ASSMANN IT-Solutions focuses on professional products

Cabling and networking specialist ASSMANN IT-Solutions has decided to shift its focus on its own brands DIGITUS Professional (19" racks, wiring and monitoring) as well as a handful of long-term suppliers such as PLANET (active network components), Patchsee (patch cable with fiber optics), Ubiquiti (Wireless Access Points), Eaton (UPS), Clint and Podspeakers (multiroom speaker). According to its CEO Yves Amschwand, "Our passion is the professional network infrastructure. By focusing on this segment, we'll have more time to advise our customers and accompany them in projects."

ASSMANN IT-Solutions wants to supply all products with this strategy, which are needed in the implementation of network infrastructure projects. It wants to be as a reliable partner for industrals, system integrators, IT retailers, electricians and IT administrators in large companies. ASSMANN's electrical wholesale customers will continue to have access to its consumer product range including HDMI cabling, network-enabled USB hubs and video splitters. Beside its German headquarters, ASSMANN is present through local offices in Austria, China, Croatia, France, Hong Kong, Poland, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Backup vendor Datto plots EMEA expansion

US backup and recovery vendor Datto is looking to gather momentum in Europe after signing new distributors in the region. Datto has been trading in the UK through distributor Paradeon Technologies since 2011, but established a direct presence in the country in 2013 after acquiring Paradeon. Since then, Datto has been working on growing its UK and Ireland operations and in mid-2015 it looked to extend its business to mainland Europe. Andrew Stuart, Datto's managing director of EMEA, said he is looking to sign between 400 and 500 partners, comprising MSPs and VARs, in the next 12 months. "We see the DACH region as strategic for us. We have signed with German software specialist Ebertlang Distribution as a DACH distributor and we have been working to build up their technology support in the DACH region. We want to, in the next 12 months, have 150 strong MSP partners in DACH", said Stuart. The EMEA boss said he has eight distributors covering 20 countries across the region. Datto uses Swedish software and security VAD Upstream as its Nordic distributor and recently signed software and security VAD Ireo for Spain and security VAD Premium IT for Greece. Stuart said his core partner base will consist of "traditional MSPs" but said he has had success with VARs looking to grow the services arm of their business. "Our traditional market is the SMB market and our traditional core business has been with MSPs. But we are looking to bring that up market and work with partners who have not had the services arm in their business before," he said. "I have had some good success with partners who have been able to evolve from a more traditional VAR. It is still early stages; some are being more proactive about it than others. I have had them typically looking for a solution and looking to branch out their offering. It is something we are doing in parallel, but our main focus is the traditional MSP who serves their traditional customers but also wants grow their business." (source: Channelnomics Europe)

Schulz leaves Ingram Micro

Gerhard Schulz leaves broadliner Ingram Micro for personal reasons after more than 15 years at the firm. He was promoted in 2013 to his present role as executive vice president and president of Europe Technology Solutions, replacing retiring Alain Macquet. Prior to this he spent a number of years leading the broadliner's distribution business across the DACHH region, encompassing operations in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland. Before that he was managing director of Ingram's business in his native Germany, and also held other senior sales posts in the country. He joined Ingram having previously served as director of rival Tech Data's European business, and worked for vendor Intel earlier in his career. Schulz led a restructure of Ingram's EMEA operations over the past two years, in which each country now has a dedicated chief executive overseeing a national business that is split into four clearly defined areas: traditional product distribution; cloud services; life cycle services; and e-commerce fulfilment. As part of the overhaul the distributor also closed its previous regional headquarters in Brussels, and opened a new centralised service centre in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, in which 800 people are employed. The departing European boss also oversaw a busy period of M&A in the region, including the acquisition of the e-commerce services business of Dutch firm Docdata, and the Odin cloud platform, bought from Parallels. The new EMEA director is now Marc Snider, the former director of Ingram Micro in Canada. He will be based in the Irvine CA offices of the broadliner (source: Channelnomics Europe).


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