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Laser technology devices drive shrink in printer hardware sales

Unit sales of printer hardware across Western Europe (WE) continue to contract and were down by -2% year-on-year in Q4 2016, mainly driven by decline in sales of laser hardware, according to data published by CONTEXT, the European IT market analysis company. While distributors' sales of inkjet multifunction printers (MFPs) were flat for the quarter, those of laser hardware fell by -6%: sales of laser MFPs declined by -5% and laser SFPs saw sales drop by -7% – although this is an improvement on the double-digit declines last year. The shift from mono and single-function devices to colour and multifunction continues.

"Printer hardware distribution sales contracted across all major Western European countries except the UK in Q4 2016", said Zivile Brazdziunaite, Imaging Market Analyst at CONTEXT. "Multifunction laser and inkjet devices accounted for positive performance in the Retail and Corporate Reseller channels. In the UK, a shift towards higher-end devices, with enhanced functionalities led to an average selling price increase."

Over the quarter, Spain, Germany and Italy registered a slight decline in sales of printer hardware: -2% year-on-year. Sales in Spain fell due to particularly strong performance in the same quarter last year, and a delay in investments driven by uncertainty as a result of a period with no government in place. French distributors also registered declining sales – of -9% – driven by weak performance of multifunction devices. The negative performance of laser hardware over the quarter affected most vendors, except for Lexmark, Kyocera and Ricoh. Distribution of low-end laser SFPs to the Retail channel accounted for increases in Lexmark and Ricoh sales of +3% and +10% respectively in Q4 2016, while Kyocera registered a strong increase in sales to the Corporate Reseller channel. Over the quarter, HP continued to lead the market with a share of 34%, followed by Brother and Samsung with 19% and 15% respectively.

Year-on-Year Q4/2016

Belgium +14%
Denmark +12%
Ireland +11%
Baltics +11%
Portugal +10%
Finland +8%
Netherlands +7%
United Kingdom +3%
Spain -2%
Germany -2%
Italy -2%
Austria -6%
France -9%
Sweden -11%
Norway -15%
Switzerland -16%
Total -2%

Nigel Steljes founds a new company, while Scansource Communications signs with NFON

United Kingdom: Nigel Steljes has launched new telecom VAD Ascentae to focus on "disruptive technology" in the collaborative workplace sector. Steljes unveiled new vendor Avocor last June, soon after his audiovisual distributor Steljes Ltd went into administration in the wake of changes to its relationship with its principal vendor SMART Technologies. Avocor also handled the distribution for Nureva – the vendor created by SMART founders David Martin and Nancy Knowlton – but Ascentae has now been set up as an independent distribution entity to handle Nureva's UK distribution. Ascentae will initially distribute three vendors: Nureva, Evoko and its parent company Smart Media Solutions. The distributor will be headed by commercial director Jon Knight, who worked at Steljes Ltd in the late 1990s before leaving to set up reseller Smarter Interactive. Ascentae will operate separately from Avocor but will initially share the Avocor premises in Camberley, where it is looking to recruit around eight members of staff to begin with. Steljes explained that Avocor and Ascentae have enabled him to focus on more disruptive products, after becoming frustrated with SMART Technologies while Steljes Ltd was still in business.

The same day, cloud telecom vendor NFON has unveiled a partnership with telecom VAD ScanSource Communications. ScanSource Communications will offer the full NFON product portfolio, giving voice resellers a one-stop shop for Cloud PBX and PSTN termination. The products will initially launch in the UK, with expansion to other European territories planned for 2017. Rami Houbby, Managing Director NFON UK, said: "our UK operation has grown massively last year and our channel program has been a strategic priority for the business. We are thrilled to have this partnership with ScanSource Communications – by adding our portfolio its voice reseller customers will have access to an end-to-end solution. NFON is the only cloud solution able to handle all sizes of enterprises across all industries." ScanSource is offering a special incentive for voice resellers in Q1 of 2017. Resellers can contact their ScanSource Communications sales rep for more information. Paul Emery, Vice President ScanSource Communications UK, explained: "the cloud-based UC market continues to grow at a rapid pace. Our reseller partners are looking for a total solution to offer their end user that is not only feature-rich but also competitively priced and NFON fits that bill. What’s more, resellers are able to bill their end users on a monthly basis, ensuring our partners are staying ahead of the competition as the industry continues to move to an 'as-a-service' model." (source: Channelweb United Kingdom).

New partners for Kannegieter and Maverick

Netherlands: following the merging of Zhone and DASAN (now known as DASAN Zhone Solutions), cabling and networking specialist Kannegieter has expanded its offer, previously limited to Zhone products, to DASAN layer 2 and 3 switchers. AV specialist Maverick has been chosen by Samsung as official distributor for its Large Format Displays.

New vendors from Ingram Micro, Nuvias, Redington Value and SALE International

MEA: infrastructure VAD Ingram Micro North Africa, based in Morocco, has inked a distribution partnership with Lenovo, focusses on its storage systems and servers.

In Dubai, network and security VAD Nuvias MEA has started to distribute solutions from Mimecast, an email and data security company, in the Middle East to support its growth plans across the region. This partnership is in response to the growing business, robust customer base and strong demand for its cloud security solutions in the region. Nuvias MEA will drive business in the area through its strong channel network and innovative channel programs. Channel partners will benefit from enablement programs, technical support and consulting services, backed by highly qualified experts from both Mimecast and Nuvias. Alasdair Kilgour, Vice President Middle East and Africa at Nuvias, commented: "Mimecast is a very significant addition to the Nuvias MEA Cybersecurity Practice solution stack because of its ability to protect the enterprise from email-based attacks including impersonation attacks, social engineering and ransomware. We are delighted to be working closely with the local Mimecast team to bring their cloud email continuity services to our reseller partners and their end-users across the region."

Meanwhile and still in Dubai, Nuvias' competitor Redington Value and Chinese vendor Huawei, have started a collaboration in the information technology space with the objective of developing smart, futuristic solutions together. "Huawei is not only one of the leading providers of information and communication technology but is also steadily changing the landscape in emerging technologies such as cloud computing and internet of things", said Ramkumar Balakrishnan, President, Redington Value. "Huawei and Redington Value have a common ideology in terms of how digitalization is transforming the IT industry and how different industry verticals can use disruptive IoT technology to their advantage and increase productivity. The partnership is focused on collaboration with Huawei's cloud offerings and internet of things. We will also leverage the Red Vault to host leading Huawei technologies for the benefit of industry specialists while engaging jointly on smart city projects. Additionally, we look towards our other key initiatives such as the Red Cloud and our consultancy arm – Citrus Consulting to provide impetus to our strategy this year."

Finally, Taïwan-based vendor TP-Link has appointed telephony specialist SALE International as its distributor for the Neffos smartphone portfolio in Oman, after the distributor has started to diversify its business into mobile phone distribution some months ago. According to the vendor, the appointment of SALE International as its distribution partner paves the way for the company to develop its business in the channel space in Oman. Lucas Jiang, General Manager TP-Link Middle East and Africa (MEA), said the company is delighted to have signed SALE International as its distributor in Oman: "SALE is one of the largest telecoms focused distributors in Oman and the wider Middle East. By appointing SALE International to distribute the Neffos range of smartphones and accessories, we are demonstrating the commitment that TP-Link is serious about growing its mobile devices business in the region." Jiang said TP-Link selected SALE International because it is a reputable distributor with solid presence in the telecoms distribution space in Oman and the region. Naser Khalid, Country General Manager SALE International, said: "adding Neffos to SALE's basket will bring further value to us as a distributor that wants to grow its business in the mobile devices trade. TP-Link is a well know brand in the computer industry and with Neffos as the company's mobile brand, we will have their commitment to innovate and provide an aggressive line up of mobile handsets. The plans presented and the interest shown by TP-Link in building the mobile brand was impressive and is what led us to sign as their distribution partner. The partnership between TP-Link and SALE International is a strategic one, which will bring value to consumers with quality products being delivered to the market through a well-established distribution set up. SALE International's strength is distribution and we currently have business relations with more than 2,000 mobile phone independent retailers in the Sultanate. The response for the Neffos range from channel partners has been positive and we are looking forward to maximise the positive feedback."

A new distributor for Cloudian

Security and storage VAD ADN (which is present in Austria, Germany and Switzerland) replaces network and storage VAD ELD Datentechnik as official distributor for Cloudian object storage platform vendor.

Recent additions

Our directory is updated daily through information sent by vendors and distributors. Here are the latest updates :
Exertis Corepixel AB -  Sweden - Specialist
3D Storm -  France - VAD
AMI Marketing (Pty) Ltd t/a Learning Curve -  South Africa - Specialist
AQM World FZCO -  United Arab Emirates - Specialist
Rare Distribution -  United Arab Emirates - Specialist
Aitek France -  France - Broadliner
Ebertlang Swiss AG -  Switzerland - Specialist
ITANCIA USA Inc. -  United States - Specialist
360Mobile SL -  Spain - Specialist
Smartycom GmbH -  Switzerland - Specialist

Latest partnerships

Stay on top with the latest partnerships signed in EMEA.

Scammers

We have collected some of the scams, fake companies and more that have surfaced in the channel over the past year.