Good news for the IT channel in Spiceworks’ State of IT Survey
According to the most recent edition of Spiceworks’ annual State of IT report IT budgets are on the rise and will drive increased adoption of the cloud – and especially Backup and Disaster Recovery services – over the next year. More than 1,100 IT pros from North America and EMEA responded to the survey by the Austin, Texas-based IT support company, which found that almost half of respondents (42 percent) plan to increase their annual spending over the next year, while only 16 percent expected a decrease in spending. This will lead to hiring for 40 percent of respondents. The survey also dug into what trends are currently driving business and presenting the most promising opportunities in the IT industry. Cloud services are at the top of the list with 65 percent of North American respondents saying they use the cloud while the number for EMEA was 56 percent. Furthermore, eight percent of companies plan to adopt cloud services within the next six months. Only 27 percent of respondents indicated that the cloud is not going to be part of their immediate future. The survey also found that mobility is not losing any momentum, with 68 percent claiming they already have corporate BYOD policies in place. Of those, 60% supporting employee-owned smartphones, 51% support employee-owned tablets and 38 percent support employees’ laptops.
Latest Catbird release provides OpenStack security integration
Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Catbird released the latest version of its eponymous security policy automation and enforcement suite. While previous iterations of the solution only offered logic-based security for VMware networks, the 6.0 release adds the ability to protect OpenStack powered cloud services. The Catbird solution is designed to work with the virtualized infrastructure typical of today’s networks and clouds – filling a hole the company says is left by firewalls and intrusion detection systems that still function the same way they did 10 years ago. According to the company this is typical of 90 percent of its customers. The company expects the next five years mark a major shift from physical to virtual security systems that can match the automation, agility and awareness of the rest of the data center stack, delivering reduced costs more effective security and flexibility. Catbird is currently recruiting VARs and MSPs as it builds a channel program.
Microsoft CEO Nadella talks transition
The conversation during Microsoft’s Q4 earnings call was all about transition as the company posted strong growth numbers. "On an operating basis, we grew revenue 10 percent and operating income 12 percent," said CEO Satya Nadella. "We accelerated our commercial cloud business to a $4.4 billion annual run rate. And perhaps more importantly, we made bold and disciplined decisions to define our core as a productivity and platform company for the mobile first, cloud first world."
The company reported revenue of $23.38 billion for Q4, up more than 17 percent year on year, while net income dropped more than 7 percent to $4.61 billion. The numbers for the fiscal year end were also strong, with revenues of $86.83 billion, up more than 11 percent from the previous year, generating net income of $22.07 billion for the year, up 1 percent.
Last week the company announced it would lay off 18,000 workers – 12,500 from Nokia, which it acquired before Nadella took over and over his rumoured objections. This will lead to a restructuring charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion which it will be realized in fiscal 2015.
Nadella made several product announcements during the call. For example, the company will not be divesting its Xbox division, something called for by some investors. Of particular interest to the channel, Nadella announced plans to "streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one, single converged operating system for screens of all sizes." The company currently sells and supports different OS’ for PC’s (Windows 8.1), The Surface tablet (Windows RT) and smartphones (Windows Phone).
VMware beats street with strong license, services
Like several other tech companies that recently announced their numbers (e.g.: Blackberry) VMware beat analysts’ performance expectations with strong revenues for Q2 2014. The results were led by strong growth in both licensing and services and continue to lay the foundation for VMware's three targeted growth areas: software-defined data centers, hybrid clouds and end-user computing. Q2 revenues were $1.46 billion, up 17 percent from a year earlier and significantly higher than the 1.35 billion expected by Wall Street analysts. VMware also reported GAAP earnings of $167 million (38 cents per share), down from $245 million (57 cents per share), a decline the company attributed to its acquisition of mobile device management developer AirWatch in February.
Juniper Networks to divest Junos Pulse suite for $250 million
Juniper Networks announced it will sell its Junos Pulse mobile security portfolio to Siris Capital for $250 million. "Pulse is a good asset. The issue is that it's not in line with our strategy, which is very much focused on cloud and High-IQ networks and how those markets are shaping," Juniper CEO Shaygan Kheradipir said during an earnings call with analysts. New York City-based Siris Capital is a private equity firm concentrated on technology investments. Both companies promised to work together to ensure customers and partners are fully supported through the transition. Juniper posted Q2 sales of $1.2 billion, a 7 percent increase from the same period last year, while net income for the quarter increased 125 percent to $221.1 million. Product revenue for Junos Pulse fell 21 percent from $19.3 million to $15.9 million, while the portfolio raked in and additional $15.5 million in services.