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Digital Disruption Key to Distributors’ Services Opportunities in EMEA

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by Tim Curran, CEO, GTDC

Tim CurranAs the digital era transforms the way companies do business, it’s also ushering in a new wave of services opportunities for IT distributors. A new research report by the GTDC reveals that GTDC members are making unprecedented investments and experiencing sales growth for services capabilities around cloud, managed services and other next-generation solutions.

A GTDC survey reveals that European distributors cite demand generation, solution development and education and training as particular high-growth, high-demand opportunities. Of course, those services have been mainstays for many years around the various product lines that distributors carry, from PCs to networking to storage and security. What’s new is those services now are in demand for the accelerating adoption of digital technologies.

Vendors and solution providers simply don’t have the bandwidth nor the coverage to design, build and market complete, multi-vendor services capabilities that help a business transform how it operates. So distribution’s value takes center stage.

Extron's First Processor With AV LAN Ports, PoE+

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Extron announces the IPCP Pro 360-- a control processor with three dedicated AV LAN ports and one standard ethernet port, designed to control local AV devices and safeguard them from outside intrusion or interference.

Extron IPCP Pro 360The processor provides PoE+ to external devices, eliminating the need for additional power supplies. It features security standards and gigabit ethernet ports, ensuring compatibility with multiple TouchLinkPro touchpanels using a standard network infrastructure. Meanwhile use with Extron LinkLicense further enhances the capabilities of Extron Pro series control systems.

“This new IPCP Pro 360 is our first control processor that provides the convenience of PoE+ to external devices," Extron says. "It’s exciting to watch our Pro Series control processors evolve—now combining multiple AV LAN ports with PoE+ output to an already robust control platform, this new IPCP Pro 360 delivers what customers want and the security they need."

Gartner: Q2 EMEA PC Market Down -3.5% Y-o-Y

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According to Gartner EMEA PC shipments total 17 million units in Q2 2017-- a -3.5% Y-o-Y decline, with mixed results across different countries, as some are confident while others are not.

For instance, uncertainty around the UK elections lead to some UK businesses delaying purchases, especially in the public sector. On the other hand, France sees a "more than expected" surge in consumer confidence after the electoral win of Emmanual Macron, even if spending on PCs remains "sluggish." German businesses are spending more on PCs as they invest in new Windows 10-based hardware, while the Russian market sees improvement thanks to economic stabilisation.

Q2 2017 PC Market

In global terms, Q2 2017 PC shipments are also down-- specifically by -4.3% Y-o-Y, reaching 61.1m units. Gartner says the industry is in the midst of a 5-year slump, making an 11th straight quarter of shipment declines and, when it comes to Q2 2017, the lowest quarter volume since 2007.

The Channel Faces Another Difficult Transition: And This Time It Is Not A Technology Or Business Model Change

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by Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Global Channels, Forrester

JaymcbainThe global IT channel have proven to be remarkable change-agents, both in front of their customers and inside their own businesses. Thinking about the amount of churn over the past 35 years can be downright dizzying.

Starting from the first disconnected PC's to last week's WannaCry ransomware attack, channel partners have transitioned their skills to dozens of new technology opportunities. At the same time, they have transformed their business models from resell, break-fix, installation, maintenance, to solution providing and recurring managed services, among others.

The one thing that has stayed relatively constant over these decades is how customers decide and procure technology. Led by CIOs and IT departments, channel partners and vendors have fine-tuned their product and messaging mix to capitalize on this customer buying journey. Over the past couple of years, driven by cloud and the growing acceptance of SaaS business ecosystems, this journey just took a hard right turn.

Apple Builds Second Danish Datacentre

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Apple confirms to Reuters it is spending $921 million (or 6 billion Danish crowns) to build a second datacentre in Denmark, one running entirely on renewable energy.

Apple datacentreThe facility is based in Aabenraa in southern Denmark, near the German border. It is set to start operations on Q2 2019, and will power Apple online services such as the iTunes, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for European customers. The aforementioned renewable energy powering the datacentre comes from a combination of wind and biomass energy.

"We're thrilled to be expanding our datacentre operations in Denmark, and investing in new sources of clean power," the company says. "The planned facility in Aabenraa, like all of our data centers, will run on 100% renewable energy from day one, thanks to new clean energy sources we're adding."

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