Figures recently released by International Data Corporation (IDC) as part of its annual Point of Sale (POS) Printer Tracker program show new momentum behind POS printers in Western Europe. According to IDC, after a sluggish trend in 2014, approximately 810,000 units were shipped in 2015 representing a 4.5% leap compared to the previous year. The trend was patchy by geography, however, with double-digit growth in Benelux and Southern Europe, buoyant results in Dutch speaking countries (DACH), and negative trends in France and the UK.
Traditional Thermal POS printers continued to be by far the most important POS printer segment, accounting for almost 80% of units and experiencing healthy growth in shipments in 2015 compared to 2014. Portable printers were the fastest growing segment across the Western European region, however, rising 20% compared to the previous year. Sales of slip-only and impact POS printers also showed healthy growth and an almost flat trend, while on the contrary sales of hybrid, dual station, and multistation POS printers continued to decrease sharply.
The leading POS printer vendors in Western Europe in 2015 were Epson, Star Micronics, and Bixolon. In particular:
"The POS printer market is clearly experiencing new momentum", said Mario Lombardo, senior analyst at IDC EMEA. "A number of factors are behind this trend. Firstly, a continued reduction in thermal POS printer prices is believed to have helped close large deals while compromising margins. In general, mobility is also playing an important role. Users are renewing devices and opting for connected portable POS printers that can answer to the need for more versatile retail layouts. With the general increase in mobility, the retail market has seen a surge in the use of handheld devices and specific retail apps coupled with standalone connected POS printers. This option is increasingly preferred to all-in-one ePOS solutions because of lower costs and relatively easy installation. The increase in retail cloud services is also believed to be positively impacting this market creating more demand for connected devices. On the country basis other specific local factors are playing a role in driving the market. Meanwhile, legislative changes in the DACH region and economic recovery in Spain are believed to have had a particularly positive impact in 2015."
The Western European market for POS printers is expected to grow by 2.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years, hitting over 920,000 units in 2020. In this period many headwinds are expected to impact the retail and hospitality sector. The majority of retail buyers will continue to demand printed receipts and these will remain the most immediate promotional tool for retailers. However as handheld mobile devices and digital receipts increase, retail layouts are likely to change radically, allowing for general versatility and staff mobility. As a result, portable POS printers will continue to be in high demand, generating an estimated CAGR of over 12% from 2015 through 2020.
Nuvias expands to Middle East
Middle East: network, storage and security VAD Nuvias has added a fourth region, MEA, to its regional EMEA structure. The other three Nuvias Group regions are Northern (Belgium, Denmark, Eire, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom as Wick Hill and Zycko), Central (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany as Wick Hill and Zycko, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and Southern Europe (France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Turkey) through the acquisition of infrastructure VAD SCD (which was until now owned by Rigby Group technology arm. The new office will now act as a hub for Nuvias' MEA activities, covering all parts of the Gulf Co-operation Council1 (GCC) area, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Moroccan office of SCD has been closed, because of insufficient business locally.
This is the latest development in the strong growth and development plans of Nuvias, which was established this summer. Nuvias is building an EMEA-wide, high-value, specialist distribution business, with a common proposition and consistent delivery. The strategy is to redefine value distribution to the channel, enabling the channel and vendor community to deliver exceptional business value to their customers and creating new standards of channel success.
Also being announced today is the setting up of the Nuvias Cyber Security Practice at the Dubai office, which includes vendors Unitrends (cloud empowered continuity solutions), Malwarebytes (advanced malware prevention and remediation) and Black Duck (open source security and management). These brands join existing partnership with Netskope (cloud data loss prevention). Other recent vendor signings for Nuvias in the MEA region include JetNEXUS (load balancing - recently announced), Lifesize (videoconferencing) and Tintri (VM-aware storage for virtualisation and the cloud).
Nuvias has already recruited several new staff for the MEA office bringing the current total up to 16. These include recent recruit Muneeb Anjum, the new sales director. Anjum has twelve years' experience in the IT sector, with a proven track record in managing channel partners across the Middle East and extensive experience in successfully introducing new solutions to market.
Paul Eccleston, head of Nuvias Group, commented: "We are delighted to be announcing today the opening of our Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, completing our regional coverage of EMEA. MEA is a very important part of the region and a significant opportunity for us, our vendor partners and our customers. We have been working hard to bring the cyber security, advanced networking and unified comms capability of Wick Hill and Zycko to this region. With the acquisition of the business in Dubai, operating across the region, and the recruitment of Muneeb Anjum, which will be followed by further additions to the team very soon, this is an exciting development for Nuvias and we look forward to bringing more capability and vendors to the region quickly."
Alasdair Kilgour, regional VP MEA for Nuvias, commented: "it's both exciting and a privilege to be part of the Nuvias team and I look forward to leading the growth of the business across MEA and beyond. We will do this firstly by enabling our vendor partners locally to experience the same high standard of value-added service they already receive from the Group across Europe; secondly by expanding our channel partner community through our solution distribution philosophy; and thirdly by geographic expansion. We are exhibiting at Gitex in October at the Dubai World Trade Centre, which will give us a great platform to show the industry what Nuvias in the MEA region can offer."
Semiconductor specialist Avnet Silica has signed a distribution agreement with Dialog Semiconductor, a provider of highly integrated power management, AC/DC power conversion, solid state lighting (SSL) and Bluetooth low energy technology. The agreement is effective immediately covering all of EMEA, through Avnet Silica offices in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Avnet Silica will stock the complete range of Dialog Semiconductor products, including the SmartBond Bluetooth low-energy SoCs, PMICs and RapidCharge AC/DC power conversion solutions.
"By collaborating with Avnet Silica, Dialog is dramatically increasing the exposure of our innovative mixed-signal products to a much broader set of customers in EMEA", said Dipak Raval, Director of Sales - EMEA at Dialog. "Avnet's sales and expert technical support will enable us to capture business in fast growing and emerging markets across Europe, aligning with Dialog's commitment to continued growth."
"Our agreement with Dialog Semiconductor is intrinsically linked to Avnet Silica's commitment to provide our customers with the most innovative solutions. By offering the full range of Dialog's power management and connectivity solutions worldwide, our customers have access to a full range of IoT enabling products and services in one place, reducing time to market for low-power, differentiated products", said Mario Orlandi, President Avnet Silica.
Turkey: because of the political unrest in the country and the subsequent cancellation of many exhibitors, Deutsche Messe has decided to cancel the 2016 edition of CeBIT Bilişim Euroasia. According to the organizer, the event will be integrated into a new concept in March 2017 (source: Computerworld Türkiye).
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.