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Redmond's new order, a big Aussie distie deal and a mystery start-up...

20 May 2014

Six months is a long time in the New Zealand channel market.

And as the industry approaches such a milestone in 2014, The Channel runs through what has got Kiwis talking so far this year, from January 1 to the present day.

February kicked off with news of Satya Nadella’s appointment as Microsoft CEO, with the company’s former Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise receiving glowing praise from founder Bill Gates.

“Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together,” Gates said.

And while some relationships have clearly been put under strain recently as Microsoft has moved into devices and services, Richard Edwards, analyst, Ovum, claimed “the company continues to present opportunities for its more innovative partners.”

Edwards claimed the new man at the helm “comes across as a very personable individual, with a manner and demeanor very different to his two predecessors.”

“Gates and Ballmer had reputations for being domineering businessmen, so it will be interesting to see how Nadella is received by the Microsoft ecosystem and partner community in the months ahead,” he added.

But as the world digested Microsoft’s new chief, Australian distributor Dicker Data announced its acquisition of Express Data - as reported exclusively by The Channel.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Dicker Data entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the issued capital of Express Data Holdings, with the acquisition including both the Australian and New Zealand operations, and Express Online.

"As you can imagine, I am extremely happy with this result,” said David Dicker, CEO, Dicker Data.

Another happy chap in the ANZ channel market was UCFX director Brent Colbert, who exclusively revealed the finer details of the secret start-up to The Channel.

First reported by The Channel in November last year, UCFX director Brent Colbert sat down over a coffee to offer the inside word on one of the industry’s most intriguing business launches.

“The last couple of months Deane Jessep and I have been gearing up to be in market for February and I’m pleased to say we we have our first couple of customer engagements underway,” an excited Colbert told The Channel.

“In fact, partner and customer feedback has been very positive to the idea of a company that solely specialises in Microsoft Unified Communications.”

In another positive for the market, Microsoft Surface products became available through All of Government via the new Cyclone Catalogue, as revealed by Tracey Thomson, Microsoft Manager, Cyclone Computers.

Cyclone, a local private company, secured the deal to service Participating Agencies in both the education and non-education sectors, thus providing a comprehensive Microsoft Surface line-up (including Microsoft peripherals) on their current catalogue.

“The inclusion of Microsoft Surface devices further extends the choice of platform, OS and form factor to AoG customers,” Thomson said.

Global deal - local impact…

Fresh from announcing plans to acquire both IBM’s x86 server business, in a US$2.3 billion deal, and Google’s Motorola Mobility smartphone business, in a US$2.91 billion deal, Matt Codrington, Lenovo ANZ managing director, discussed the impact on the New Zealand channel, within regulatory restrictions of course.

“We have some loyal partners in New Zealand and building a level of trust and sustainable partnership is key to me, so we need to be careful how we service the market,” Codrington told The Channel.

But with two ‘great’ partners in New Zealand – with Ingram Micro and Synnex – Codrington admitted that any new distributor would need to have ‘a different route or play worth discussing’.

“We have to have discussions [with Dicker Data] as they go through the stages of the acquisition and decide on their structure and strategy for New Zealand. At the moment I would say I’m very non-committal,” he added.

Exeedingly good cloud move…

Rounding off the month, Exeed told The Channel of plans to introduce new cloud services and a new managed print option to market in the coming months, along with a focus on Apple for the commercial channel.

That was the word from Justin Tye, Exeed managing director, speaking more than a year down the track from its acquisition of Renaissance’s distribution business.

‘We look back now and say it was a smart move. It’s a bigger business combined now than when we acquired it,” he told The Channel.

Check back to The Channel tomorrow for a look back at the big stories in March.

What’s got you talking this year? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below