News review of the year Q2

News

News review of the year Q2

Simon Quicke
The second quarter saw the consequences of the Japanese quake continue to impact the industry and MicroScope get new owners. Elsewhere in the channel there were signs that the public sector cuts were starting to bite.

April


The prospect of component shortages caused by the Japanese quake and tsunami started to become a reality in the UK channel, according to distributors.With Japan accounting for up to a quarter of global production of both integrated circuitry and raw wafers, many fabs still remained closed or severely damaged a fortnight after the disaster struck.

The cold winds blowing through the public sector had their impact on Steljes which put 19 staff at risk of redundancy from its education division to reflect sweeping changes in the market being forced through by the government, while creating 16 new roles in its commercial team.

Samsung was looking to the channel for growth Samsung has creating a major accounts team in a bid to cosy up to larger resellers amid grand plans to become the UK's third largest B2B vendor in 2011.

Things were not that good for Cisco boss John Chambers who penned a brutally frank memo that said the company had "disappointed our investors" and "confused our employees". A week after the memo the firm radically overhauled its struggling consumer business, cutting about 550 jobs and binning its Flip video camera lines.

Epson kicked off High Court proceedings in a move to defend its printer ink cartridge patents taking action against Dynamic Cassette International Limited relating to the cartridges that are sold in the UK under the Jet Tec brand.

Computer 2000 country manager Lee Perkins was preparing to cross the fence into vendor land to head up Sage's small business unit from July.

In news slightly closer to home MicroScope was sold by Reed Business Information to TechTarget with the staff moving from Sutton to slightly more glamorous accomodation at Marble Arch.

May

Value-added reseller Trustmarque widened its ability to provide hosted services to customers after acquiring cloud infrastructure specialist Nimbus Technology Systems.

Investment by schools in IT was one of the main features of the last few years but there appeared to have been a stall in innovation with the technology children are using to learn from being well past its sell by date. The lack of spending in that sector was shown in educational specialist RM's numbers showed a pre-tax loss in its half-yearly numbers.

Hewlett-Packard took the unusual step of releasing its financial results a day early after the contents of an internal memo from its CEO were leaked.
Leo Apotheker (who we will be hearing from again) reportedly sent senior management a memo preparing them for the week's results announcement warning them that it was going to be a tough quarter and urging them to watch the budgets and minimise spending.

Hopes that the recovery in the PC market that was seen towards the end of last year would continue through to 2011 were dashed after consumer spending ground to a halt. Gartner figures showed a 17.8% decline in sales, 14.7m units across Western Europe, for the first quarter compared to the same period last year and excess inventory has been a major factor in exacerbating a pause in consumer and business spending.

Microsoft quietly backpedalled following comments made by outspoken CEO Steve Ballmer in which he said Windows 8 would drop sometime next year.

June

MESH Computers was sold but the brand and certain other assets would remain in British hands after being picked up by PC Peripherals. Life had become increasingly tough for the PC manufacturer but its demise left many customers wondering about warranties and deliveries, which quickly led to the establishment of a Facebook group to bemoan the problems.

Acer took drastic action to get its self back on track swinging the axe on 300 EMEA staff and announcing a $150 write-off to clear its high channel inventory.

Getting greater business intelligence emerged as the key requirement for mid-market customers as they looked to get greater insights into their operations to identify where trends are emerging that will support future growth. IBM undertook its largest face-to-face survey of midmarket CIOs and produced a study sharing the thoughts and plans of those operating at the coalface with business analytics and cloud emerging as the two areas that will attract budget in the next couple of years.

Microsoft UK threw in its lot with the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), the industry body that aims to talk up trust, security and transparency in cloud deployments.

The performance of the top software and services companies in the UK remained relatively flat in growth terms as the impact of the challenging economic conditions continued to be played out.

Although the impact of the 11 March earthquake in Japan had not impacted the electronics manufacturing industry as much as initially feared, there may still be some residual effects in Q3 and beyond warned Gartner.

Signs of trouble emerged at Blackberry maker RIM which embarked on a drastic cost-cutting drive that would see undisclosed numbers of redundancies across the firm, and the "reallocation of resources" to areas of potential growth after turning in a poor performance in the first quarter of its fiscal 2012.
Related Topics: Desktop PCs, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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