Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Nov 22

HP Layoffs to Impact Up to 6,000 Workers Through 2025

By | Managed Services News

The layoffs are part of a restructuring plan.

HP plans to initiate layoffs that will impact as many as 6,000 employees globally over the next three years.

HP made the announcement Tuesday while reporting its fiscal year 2022 and fourth quarter earnings. For its fiscal fourth quarter, HP reported $14.8 billion in revenue, down 11% from the year-ago quarter. However, it was slightly above Wall Street’s expectation of $14.7 billion. Revenue was down 8% when adjusted for currency.

HP announced a fiscal year 2023 Future Ready Transformation plan. It aims to drive significant structural cost savings through digital transformation, portfolio optimization and operational efficiency. The company estimates that these actions will result in annualized gross run rate savings of at least $1.4 billion by the end of fiscal 2025.

HP estimates that it will incur about $1 billion in labor and non-labor costs related to restructuring and other charges, with about $600 million in fiscal 2023, and the rest split about equally between fiscal 2024 and 2025.

Keep up with our telecom-IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and the ensuing channel impact.

The company expects to reduce gross global headcount by about 4,000-6,000 employees. Look for this to be complete by the end of its 2025 fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31, 2025.

‘Solid End’ to Fiscal 2022

Enrique Lores is HP‘s president and CEO.

HP's Enrique Lores

HP’s Enrique Lores

“We had a solid end to our fiscal year despite navigating a volatile macro-environment and softening demand in the second half,” he said. “Looking forward, the new Future Ready strategy we introduced this quarter will enable us to better serve our customers and drive long-term value creation by reducing our costs and reinvesting in key growth initiatives to position our business for the future.”

HP has about 60,000 employees, according to CNBC. In 2019, HP announced it planned to cut between 7,000 and 9,000 workers.

During its fourth quarter, the company’s PC business had net revenue totaling $10.3 billion, down 13% year over year. Printing net revenue was $4.5 billion, down 7% year over year.

HP expects lagging demand for PCs will extend into 2023.

Nov 22

IBM, AT&T, NTT Among Global Managed Cyber Services Leaders

By | Managed Services News

MDR will be the fastest-growing sector of managed security services.

Managed cyber services will be a gold mine for the channel in the coming years. Expect the global value of this market to reach nearly $50 billion by 2027.

That’s according to MarketsandMarkets, which expects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 12% through 2027. It values the current market at slightly less than $28 billion.

Major managed cyber services vendors include IBM, AT&T, NTT, Accenture, Secureworks, CrowdStrike, F5 and more.

Some factors driving market growth include increased usage of cloud technology and IoT devices in enterprises, and growing demand for strong and cost-effective security services to monitor security events.

MDR Services Most in Demand

The managed detection and response (MDR) segment should have the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2027. MDR provides organizations with threat-hunting services and responds to threats when discovered. Security providers provide MDR customers access to their pool of security researchers and engineers, who are responsible for monitoring networks, analyzing incidents and responding to security cases.

Among key features of MDR services are continuous threat monitoring, detection and response, endpoint threat detection, threat intelligence, threat hunting, and incident analysis and response. IBM, Secureworks, Trustwave, RSI Security, Atos, Accenture, Proficio, CrowdStrike, Cyflare, and Avertium are some key MDR service providers.

Increasing demand for security from SMEs to improve their productivity and knowledge base has triggered vendors to provide services at a lower cost. Managed cyber services are the best fit for SMEs as cost-effectiveness is its biggest advantage. The adoption and acceptance by SMEs will help expand their customer base and enhance business efficiency. Governments are also taking initiatives to protect SMEs in their respective countries.

Look for IT spending in the SME segment to increase at a high rate, says MarketsandMarkets. The CAGR for IT spending by SMEs in EMEA between 2018 and 2023 should be nearly 4%, compared to less than 3% for the overall market. This rise is expected to give MSSPs a boost. Therefore, MSSPs are focusing on the SME segment to acquire potential customers.

By region, Asia Pacific should have the highest CAGR through 2027. Asia Pacific has a mix of developing and developed countries. Government regulations, increasing cybersecurity incidents, and cloud technology adoption in the region are driving market growth there.

Nov 22

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 22

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 22

Channel Chatter: RingCentral Considering 8×8 Takeover for CCaaS

By | Managed Services News

“It’s been clear for a long time that industry consolidation is necessary in the UCaaS space,” one analyst said.

RingCentral has approached 8×8 about a possible takeover. This is according to an unnamed Investing.com source who says that RingCentral is working with an investment bank to evaluate a potential transaction.

Neither company was available for comment by Tuesday afternoon.

What’s the rationale for the possible deal? RingCentral is likely eyeing 8×8’s contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) solution.

COMMfusion's Blair Pleasant

COMMfusion’s Blair Pleasant

Blair Pleasant is president and principal analyst of COMMfusion.

“This acquisition would provide RingCentral with easy access to its own CCaaS offering, as well as communications platform as a service (CPaaS),” Pleasant said. “While RingCentral’s partnership with NICE is doing very well and NICE CXone is a superior product, many people believe that RingCentral should have its own CCaaS solution.”

Last year RingCentral and NICE announced a multiyear expansion and extension of their long-term agreement to market and sell RingCentral Contact Center worldwide. The RingCentral Contact Center integrates NICE’s CXone cloud contact center with RingCentral’s cloud message video phone platform.

Beneficial to Partners?

“It’s been clear for a long time that industry consolidation is necessary in the UCaaS space, so it’s no surprise that RingCentral would be looking to acquire a key competitor,” Pleasant said.

The possible 8×8 acquisition would most likely be beneficial to partners, as it takes a key RingCentral competitor out of the equation. It provides a larger installed based for adding enhanced services and value.

“If the deal goes through – and that’s a big if – there would of course be the usual integration and migration issues facing both companies. It would be challenging for channel partners initially, as these things always are,” Pleasant said. “I would expect to see a pretty clear road map emerge fairly quickly, combining RingCentral message, video and phone with 8×8’s CCaaS and CPaaS offerings.”

She added that the acquisition would also bring David Sipes, 8×8 CEO, back into the fold. Sipes previously was COO of RingCentral, leading go-to-market and product.

“It was a big loss to RingCentral when he moved over to 8×8. Bringing Sipes back to RingCentral would be beneficial based on his sales and product expertise,” Pleasant said.

8×8’s stock was trading at $4.19 at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. That’s down from a 52-week high of $22.15. However, 8×8’s  revenue last quarter was up 24% from a year ago, at $187.4 million. Some attribute the company’s growth due to its Fuze acquisition.

A jump in revenue didn’t mean 8×8 avoided layoffs this year. In October, the company let go nearly 200 of its employees, roughly 10% of its workforce.

 

Nov 22

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 22

IBM Copyright Infringement Suit: Micro Focus ‘Flagrantly Flouted’ Agreement Terms

By | Managed Services News

IBM has filed a lawsuit against Micro Focus, alleging it illegally copied and reverse-engineered IBM software in violation of copyright law.

Big Blue filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement and breach of contract. It’s seeking monetary relief, including damages and attorneys’ fees. It’s also seeking an injunction against Micro Focus to prohibit it from “illegally copying and distributing” its software.

Micro Focus has brazenly stolen IBM software and we are going to protect IBM’s product development investment from Micro Focus’ illegal tactics,” IBM said. “We will aggressively defend IBM’s intellectual property against those who attempt to steal it.”

We couldn’t reach Micro Focus for comment on the lawsuit.

Micro Focus Allegedly ‘Gained Financially’ at IBM’s Expense

In its complaint, Big Blue said Micro Focus has been and continues to be a member of PartnerWorld. It also was a member of IBM’s Developer Discount Program.

Although developers participating in these programs are given the opportunity to access and use valuable IBM software … restrictions make clear that such use is not unlimited,” IBM said. “In order to protect its valuable software, IBM relies on its developers’ contractual agreements. Yet … IBM has come to learn that Micro Focus flagrantly flouted the terms of at least these agreements to create the [products] that Micro Focus then used and promoted to gain financially at IBM’s expense.”

Big Blue alleges Micro Focus copied it’s copyrighted software and breached its agreements.

Micro Focus’ copying and reverse-engineering significantly reduced the development time and cost required to create the Micro Focus Enterprise Suite,” IBM said.

‘Illegal Opportunism’

IBM said it continues to be harmed by the company’s “breach and willful infringement of its intellectual property rights.”

In addition, IBM said the alleged actions constitute “illegal opportunism, willful infringement, and blatant breach of Micro Focus’ contractual obligation” and undermine IBM’s “significant investments” in software innovation.

IBM said its programs foster an ecosystem of developers that create applications for its mainframe systems.

“IBM and its customers rely on these software developers as trusted partners,” it said. “Micro Focus has broken that trust, a discovery that this suit brings to light.”

Nov 22

Reports: Google Cloud Pay Changing as Cloud Growth Slows

By | Managed Services News

Rumor has it that Google Cloud pay will soon change for sales teams — and probably not for the better.

This week, reports – originating with one from New York-led The Information – started circulating that upheaval is afoot. Commissions could shift to how much customers spend, rather than being assessed by total contract value, even when all services did not come from Google Cloud, according to The Information.

Another report says senior Google Cloud sales leaders have told their managers that new compensation approaches will begin next year. And the implication is that those shifts will amount to less, not more.

What that all means for channel partners selling and specializing in Google Cloud remains unclear. SADA, the large, Google Cloud-only managed service provider, declined to comment. So did Google Cloud.

“We don’t comment on Google Cloud’s internal sales or compensation externally,” a spokesperson told Channel Futures on Tuesday.

The purported changes could significantly affect how Google Cloud pays its salespeople. Moreover, that could well trickle down to the indirect channel, especially given co-selling efforts.

Why Adjust Google Cloud Pay for Sales Now?

Reports of Google Cloud pay modifications come as the cloud computing sector overall experiences pullbacks in growth. What’s odd, though, is that the third quarter of 2022 marked Google Cloud’s perhaps best-ever sales numbers. Those rose 38% compared to the second quarter, to $600 million.

However, Google Cloud and its parent, Alphabet, are leery about the future, just as their peers are. With a recession on the near horizon, the companies have slowed hiring through the rest of 2022. Reports further indicate that managers, including those at Google Cloud, have been told to stack rank and get rid of 10,000 low performers. (Retailer Amazon also is shedding 10,000 jobs, although not widely or necessarily within cloud computing division Amazon Web Services. And the tech sector overall is starting to resemble the early 2000s dotcom bust.) Forbes reports that part of the impetus comes not just from the economy, but also pressure from a hedge fund.

“Christopher Hohn, a U.K. billionaire activist investor, wrote a letter to Alphabet, the parent company of Google, asserting that its employees are paid too much compared to other tech giants and its bloated workforce needs to be cut down,” according to the site.

One of the reasons Google – and Google Cloud – compensates well, however, is to motivate employees to stay at the company. That way, experts don’t defect to rivals and share, inadvertently or not, trade secrets or launch startups that would eat into market share.

Eliminating value-based commissions could well push staff to leave Google Cloud, denting the gains the world’s third-largest public cloud computing provider has made in the past couple of years. Consider that sales teams were paid for billion-dollar deals with Deutsche Bank and Sabre on the existing structure, rather than the likely new one.

Probable Google Cloud pay changes further call into question how MSPs such as SADA, which has committed to bringing in $2.5 billion in Google Cloud sales through 2025, might profit. And for now, there is no direct answer.

 

Nov 22

Broadcom CEO: Cloud Sovereignty ‘Extremely Important’ with VMware

By | Managed Services News

Hock Tan seems to be assuring European regulators, whose approval he wants soon, that all is well.

With the UK and the European Commission now investigating Broadcom’s pending, $61 billion acquisition of VMware, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan just published, perhaps not coincidentally, a blog discussing the importance of cloud sovereignty.

Reuters says Britain’s competition regulator began its inquiries on Nov. 21; the European Union’s regulatory arm kicked off its efforts last week.

The topic of cloud sovereignty is not new but has gained significant traction in the past year or so, especially in Europe. That’s because the continent stands out as among the most stringent when it comes to enforcing data privacy and security — two areas where pure public cloud computing can trip up because information can float around in the ether rather than being corralled on-premises or in a strictly overseen regional data center. And, no surprise, the European cloud computing sector is dominated by none other than American providers, namely Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Regulators and Data

That dominance has given Europe’s regulators pause. They want to ensure that their citizens’ and companies’ data remain in the European Union. As laws have tightened, public cloud providers, including those from the United States, have had to prove that they keep data from flowing outside of specific borders and that they prevent unauthorized access to that information. The Big 3 tend to do this less by talking about cloud sovereignty and more by opening new cloud regions in very strategic locations. For example, AWS just launched a new data center in Spain.

Even so, Tan noted that customers in Europe have been especially vocal about inquiring into Broadcom’s cloud sovereignty strategies once VMware comes on board. (After all, Broadcom has yet to cement itself as a cloud computing player. For now, it remains a behemoth chipmaker.) They want to know “what role a combined Broadcom-VMware would play as governments increasingly recognize the power of data – economically, politically, and geo-politically – to drive local, national and even multi-national economic development,” Tan wrote on Nov. 21.

How Broadcom Views Cloud Sovereignty

The answer?

Broadcom's Hock Tan

Broadcom’s Hock Tan

“Broadcom sees cloud sovereignty as extremely important to the future of data management, and we see VMware, with its multicloud strategy and offerings, as being a key enabler in the adoption of sovereign clouds,” said Tan.

With that in mind, demand for sovereign clouds is growing. And Broadcom, with VMware in its portfolio, wants to capitalize on that. Citing a recent Capgemini Research Institute survey that showed more than 70% of large organizations plan to adopt cloud sovereignty, both to protect customer data and ensure regulatory compliance, Tan surely sees an uptick in adoption for VMware’s sovereign cloud capabilities. (Notably, though, one of its rivals, Oracle Cloud, seems to have gotten the jump on the channel side here, with the recent debut of partner “game-changer” Oracle Alloy.)

That will serve as a boon for shareholders and end users, even as Tan indicated that simply having sovereign cloud expertise will not be enough. Indeed, he wrote, cloud sovereignty represents only “one piece of a data management puzzle that is highly complex and continues to evolve.”

Broadcom, he added, “must anticipate this evolution for our customers and then innovate to meet the challenges we see ahead. We feel strongly that our acquisition of VMware will accelerate this innovation, particularly in multicloud, where VMware already has leading solutions.”

Combining multicloud with sovereign cloud “enables customers to deliver differentiated services at scale while remaining secure and in compliance with regulatory frameworks,” Tan said.

Interesting Timing

Certainly the timing of Tan’s blog is interesting. It seems to be a vehicle to assure European regulators, investors, customers and partners, in specific, that all is well when it comes to Broadcom, VMware and cloud sovereignty. To be sure, reports have circulated that Broadcom wants to speed up the European Commission’s approval process so it can close the VMware deal faster. In a roundabout way, Tan addressed that.

“Following the close of Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware, we will have a complementary portfolio that provides our customers – such as governments and critical infrastructure operators, including banks and healthcare operators – the tools they need to use the various cloud environments strategically and impactfully,” he wrote.

Broadcom first announced the acquisition of cloud and virtualization giant VMware in May. If regulators give it the green light, it will represent one of the biggest tech mergers in history.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Burkemper, Lorie_bluewave

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

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