Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

  • 50 - Xero completes “significant” data migration onto AWS Xero completed its transition to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in November, marking one of the largest data migrations into the AWS cloud infrastructure environment across Australia and New Zealand. With more than 862,000 subscribers globally, the cloud accounting provider recorded more than $1 trillion over 450 million ingoing and outgoing transactions in 12 months, signifying just how large the Xero data set has become. The migration, which took just over two years to be architected and executed, saw more than 59 billion records, 3000 apps and 120 databases securely transitioned to the AWS platform.

  • 49 - Oracle squares up to cloud rivals with $US9.3 billion NetSuite acquisition Oracle entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NetSuite in July, taking control of the cloud pioneer in a bid to gain critical mid-market mass.

  • 48 - Polycom pulls plug on Mitel merger as higher bidder takes vendor private Polycom dramatically pulled the plug on Mitel’s proposed $US1.9 billion acquisition of the company in July, scrapping the deal to go private instead. Following a tense day of deliberating at the video conferencing vendor, over a years' worth of negotiating was wiped off the table after the company accepted a rival $US2 billion bid from Siris Capital Group LLC, a private equity firm based in New York.

  • 47 - Why Cisco’s change strategy is slowly paying off Cisco continues to realign its business at a global level, focusing on growth areas such as security and collaboration to offset declines in network hardware.

  • 46 - Fuji Xerox to cut up to 40 NZ jobs Fuji Xerox New Zealand revealed plans to cut up to five per cent of its workforce across the country in May, placing as many as 40 local jobs under threat.

  • 45 - Apple attacks the enterprise through Cisco, IBM, SAP and Deloitte Apple signed a corporate IT agreement with Deloitte in September, accelerating its efforts to secure larger enterprise customers. Through partnership with IBM, Cisco, SAP and now Deloitte, Apple is advancing at a rapid rate in enterprise, bolstered by the vendor’s increased credibility within the space.

  • Credit: Dreamstime

    44 - Software business sold as Dell sheds Quest and SonicWall to fund EMC deal Dell confirmed plans to sell its software division, including Quest Software and SonicWall in June, as the tech giant continued to shed assets ahead of its upcoming acquisition of EMC. Technology-focused private equity firm Francisco Partners and Elliott Management Corporation signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Dell Software Group for an undisclosed fee, with Reuters claiming the price to be around $US2 billion at the time.

  • 43 - HP ups Kiwi printing ante with new Dove distie deal HP expanded the reach of its print portfolio in New Zealand in May, signing a distribution agreement with Dove Electronics to access untapped markets across the country. The print-only agreement sees the Kiwi firm distribute print hardware and supplies, exposing the tech giant to the wider channel market in the South Island and regions.

  • 42 - Brocade acquires Ruckus, and is then acquired by Broadcom Broadcom bought Brocade for $US5.9 billion in November, with plans in place to divest the IP networking part of the business including Ruckus Wireless, a company Brocade recently acquired.

  • 41 - Datacom leaps into augmented reality with trans-Tasman HoloLens practice Datacom started offering customers across Australia and New Zealand access to mixed and augmented reality technologies with Microsoft HoloLens in August. HoloLens is a headset that projects high-definition 3D holograms into the wearer’s field of vision, in order to create a mixed reality of both the “real” and “virtual” worlds around the user. Datacom has led the way locally, bringing the first HoloLens development unit into New Zealand earlier this year, followed by the establishment of the first HoloLens practice in the country.

  • 40 - New Zealand beckons as Tech Data takes over Avnet's solutions business Tech Data entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Technology Solutions business from Avnet in September, in a transaction valued at approximately $US2.6 billion. Representing the distribution giant's first foray into the New Zealand market, with Technology Solutions, Tech Data will stand tall as one of the world’s leading IT distributors with operations in over 100 countries. In New Zealand, the deal is set to send shockwaves across the channel, with the move significantly extending the local reach of the world’s second largest distributor, continuing its long-time global rivalry with Ingram Micro in the process.

  • 39 - South Island struggles as Chorus, Spark and Vodafone combine forces Chorus, Spark and Vodafone combined forces in November as the telecommunications infrastructure providers explored all options to restore services to Kaikoura. Following the Christchurch earthquake, the telcos worked together to fix a damaged major fibre optic cable that runs from the top of the South Island, along State Highway 1 through Clarence and Kaikoura, to Christchurch, which supports both fixed line and mobile networks.

  • 38 - The Instillery walks away with “world-first” cloud deal The Instillery signed a world-first partnership with Cloudability in November, a global leader in data-driven Cloud Cost Management, as it looks to further strengthen its own Clearstate Consulting and cloud managed service practice. Terms of the deal will see the Auckland-based company become the elite exclusive Cloudability partner for the New Zealand and Pacific Islands region.

  • 37 - A new dawn for Distribution Central as Arrow integration completes Arrow Electronics completed the integration of its Australia and New Zealand operations in October, signalling a new dawn for Distribution Central. Fresh from acquiring the value-added distributor in March, the combined Arrow business is now headquartered in St Leonards, New South Wales, with branch offices in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland and Wellington.

  • 36 - Aussie firm puts House on NZ AWS partner with multi-million dollar acquisition Australian technology firm, Bulletproof, agreed to acquire the business assets of Cloud House Limited in February, a Kiwi cloud services company valued at $4.2 million. With offices in Auckland and Wellington, Cloud House is one of New Zealand's largest Amazon Web Services Advanced Consulting partner, providing consulting, billing and managed services for customers migrating to the cloud.

  • 35 - Lenovo lets Westcon-Comstor go in NZ as Dicker Data comes onboard Lenovo appointed Dicker Data as distributor in New Zealand in December, terminating the vendor’s partnership with Westcon-Comstor as a result. In a move designed to expand beyond the company’s data centre reach, terms of the deal will see the tech giant partner with Dicker Data to offer resellers expanded opportunities across PCs, software products, networking and cloud offerings.

  • 34 - CodeBlue comes together in Waikato to form new tech firm Westpac Waikato Business Excellence Awards Leader of the Year, Jason Trower, went all in on regional business with the formation of a new technology company in June, consolidating his Waikato and Bay of Plenty businesses. The newly formed Vo2 Group Limited encompasses Vo2 Waikato (formerly CodeBlue Hamilton), Vo2 Bay of Plenty (formerly CodeBlue Tauranga) and the Hamilton-based Vo2 Software and employs over 50 people.

  • Credit: Aruba

    33 - Aruba hires ex-ViFX CEO as NZ country manager Aruba Networks appointed former ViFX CEO, Andrew Fox, to the role of country manager of New Zealand in August. The Hewlett Packard Enterprise company will now look to leverage Fox’s vast experience in the local ICT industry, following nine years at IBM.

  • 32 - Symantec completes $4.6 billion Blue Coat buyout Symantec unveiled plans to acquire Blue Coat Systems for $US4.651 billion in June, in a move designed to bolster the tech giant’s cyber security portfolio, and fill its vacant CEO slot. Following board of director approval, Australian-born Greg Clark, CEO of Blue Coat, was appointed CEO of Symantec, joining the new-look board upon closing of the transaction.

  • 31 - NetApp hires new NZ country manager NetApp appointed James Kennedy-Moffat as country manager for New Zealand, effective from June. In this role, Kennedy-Moffat is responsible for all aspects of the storage giant's New Zealand sales strategy, driving business growth, and strengthening all of its offerings for the local market.

  • 30 - Veritas officially becomes independent Veritas Technologies named Louis Tague as its new A/NZ managing director in April, following the information management vendor’s split from Symantec.

  • 29 - Samsung kills Galaxy Note 7 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which were recalled after reports of handsets exploding, are set to be officially “bricked” and rendered useless. In a fiery conclusion to the saga, the vendor revealed plans to kill all network services for the phones across Australia in December.

  • 28 - Fujitsu hooks ex-Westcon veteran into national NZ sales role Fujitsu appointed David Hook as national sales manager in New Zealand, following his departure as Westcon-Comstor sales director in Australia. With a strong distribution background, the tech veteran is tasked with leading the company’s national account management team, holding responsibility for Fujitsu's platform sales revenue. Based in Auckland, Hook filled a key senior management position in Fujitsu's local office, starting his new role on September 5.

  • 27 - HP hones in on market potential with Samsung printer business acquisition HP acquired Samsung’s printer business for $US1.05 billion in September, as the tech giant hones in on the potentially lucrative copier market. HP said the “landmark day” represents the company’s largest print acquisition in history, as it chases new revenue growth in a challenging market.

  • 26 - ​Exeed hones in on enterprise with Huawei distie deal Exeed signed a distribution agreement with Huawei Technologies in September, as the distributor deepened its enterprise offering across New Zealand. Exeed will now take on the Chinese vendor’s consumer and enterprise portfolios, joining Atlas Gentech as a national distributor across both offerings.

  • 25 - Fusion5 creates largest trans-Tasman NetSuite practice with new acquisition Fusion5 acquired BPR Solutions in July, in a move that established the New Zealand-based business as the largest NetSuite practice on both sides of the Tasman. Founded in 2002, BPR Solutions was one of the first NetSuite certified Solution Partners in Australasia, with offices in Auckland and Sydney. Terms of the acquisition saw BPR founder and owner Simon Ede join Fusion5 as a senior executive, focussed on developing Fusion5 NetSuite sales. With all BPR staff now on board at Fusion5, the boosted NetSuite team is close to 30 people.

  • 24 - Telstra acquires security analytics capabilities of troubled Wynyard Group Telstra acquired the assets of New Zealand security analytics provider, Cognevo, in November, taking advantage of parent company Wynyard Group being placed into administration. After rebranding in September 2016, Cognevo has forged a reputation as being a leading security analytics and discovery software provider, working closely with managed security service providers (MSSP) across New Zealand.

  • 23 - VMware appoints new A/NZ leader and channel chief Alister Dias was crowned as the new vice president and managing director for VMware A/NZ in January, with Kerrie-Anne Turner following as channel chief in February.

  • 22 - Synnex builds blocks for Kiwi growth with new Auckland warehouse Synnex moved into its new Auckland warehouse in May, as the distributor upsizes in response to strong market growth in New Zealand. The distribution giant has now vacated its current East Tamaki premises to move within walking distance of the new facility, based at 31 Business Parade North, East Tamaki, Auckland.

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    21 - AWS accelerates channel play with over 10,000 new partners Amazon Web Services added over 10,000 partners during the past year, with the channel now accounting for two thirds of the cloud vendor’s network outside of the US. Revealed in November, the tech giant reported a 200 per cent global increase in its partner ecosystem during the past 12 months, as cloud becomes a reality for the channel.

  • 20 - Dimension Data makes double hire as NZ digital practice launches Dimension Data established a new digital practice division in New Zealand in December, recruiting two industry specialists to drive the business across the country. In response to an increasing appetite for digital transformation at a national level, the ICT solutions provider brought in two digital transformation experts to lead the new division, recruiting Steve Wotten and Glen White. White joined the company from Spark, while Wotten came across from Sky TV New Zealand.

  • 19 - ​Hewlett Packard Enterprise spins out services business in multi-billion dollar CSC merger Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced a merger of its Enterprise Services business with multinational solutions and services provider CSC in May, creating a $US26 billion solutions provider and the third largest in the global market. Billed as a “pure-play, global IT services powerhouse”, the tech giant claims the spin-off and merger is the “logical next step” in the turnaround of HPE's Enterprise Services segment, allowing the standalone business to “sharpen its leadership” in building end-to-end infrastructure solutions across enterprise. Set to be completed by March 31, 2017, the merger - valued at around $US8.5 billion - brings together over 5,000 customers across 70 countries, with a combined $US26 billion in annual revenue.

  • 18 - Samsung eyes split and new public offerings Samsung Electronics confirmed rumours that it’s considering splitting itself into two separate entities and undertaking new public offerings, following a push by activist hedge fund, Elliot Management, for the company to restructure in a bid to unlock investor value. The confirmation in November came as part of a detailed roadmap of actions the company expects to undertake in a bid to enhance long-term, “sustainable value creation” for shareholders.

  • Credit: Chorus

    17 - Ex-Telstra COO takes over as Chorus CEO Chorus appointed Kate McKenzie as its new CEO in December, with the former Telstra COO set to replace the departing Mark Ratcliffe in the hot seat. With Ratcliffe first announcing his intention to depart the telco in August, the industry veteran will exit the New Zealand business in the coming months, with McKenzie joining the organisation in February 2017.

  • 16 - Creating scale key as Plan B acquires ICONZ Plan B acquired long-standing Internet Service Provider ICONZ, in a move designed to create scale as a provider of business and continuity solutions. Effect from February 1, 2016, the acquisition adds to the company’s cloud, networking and data centre offerings across New Zealand.

  • 15 - Mark Baker exits top job at Westcon-Comstor for IBM Mark Baker announced his intention to vacate his role as country manager of Westcon-Comstor in New Zealand, joining IBM as a channel and digital leader. Revealed in November, the channel veteran departed the distributor after nearly 20 years, and will join Big Blue in January 2017.

  • 14 - SecureCom acquires Atmospheric Privately-held IT services provider, SecureCom, acquired cloud specialist Atmospheric in September, taking control less than three weeks after the troubled cloud specialist hit the wall. Once renowned as a leading Microsoft cloud practice, to being touted out to the highest bidder from receivers, Atmospheric’s dramatic fall from grace provided a valuable lesson to the channel. In an age where cloud is apparently King, annuity revenue rules the roost and long-term success lies only in the skies, news that one of the industry’s emerging stars hit the wall created more questions than answers for the reseller community.

  • 13 - 45 new vendors on board as Ingram Micro acquires Connector Systems Ingram Micro entered into an agreement to acquire Connector Systems, a value-added IT solutions provider, in February, representing 45 emerging and developing vendors in both Australia and New Zealand. As a result, Connector Systems now operates as a business unit within Ingram Micro’s Value Division.

  • 12 - Lenovo recruits Kiwi tech veteran to lead NZ business Lenovo appointed Mike Hill as country manager for New Zealand, with the Kiwi industry veteran tasked with leading the tech giant’s business across the country. Effective June 20, Hill is now responsible for all aspects of Lenovo’s business and sales strategy at a national level, driving business growth, and strengthening all of its New Zealand offerings.

  • 11 - ​Microsoft maximises data potential as LinkedIn acquisition closes Microsoft completed its $US26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in December, taking control of the world’s largest professional network in the process. After announcing its intention to buy the social media giant in June, Redmond moved quick to finalise a deal that represents a marriage of business services in a cloud-focused economy.

  • 10 - Ingram Micro now belongs to China’s HNA Group Global technology distribution giant, Ingram Micro, is now under the control of HNA Group, following the completion of the Chinese conglomerate’s $US6 billion acquisition of the US-based company in December. In completing the transaction, publicly-traded HNA Group subsidiary, Tianjin Tianhai Investment Company, has now taken control of Ingram Micro. The closure of the deal, worth $38.90 per share with an equity value of approximately $US6 billion, was first announced in February, and comes after a review of Ingram Micro’s finances by the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

  • 9 - Dave Rosenberg returns to NZ as Westcon-Comstor MD Dave Rosenberg announced his intention to depart as managing director of Westcon-Comstor across Australia and New Zealand in December, returning to his native New Zealand after more than two years of commuting across the Tasman. Rosenberg now takes up the role of New Zealand managing director, based in Auckland, and will continue to be on the Asia Pacific leadership team.

  • 8 - Satya Nadella visit marks a new era for the Microsoft channel in NZ In touching down on Kiwi shores - for all of seven hours - Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, wasted no time in outlining the tech giant’s core priorities for the years ahead. Through headlining the Microsoft Developer Day Aotearoa New Zealand, Nadella explained how developers can help shape the future with an intelligent cloud platform and artificial intelligence. In aligning with the developer community, Microsoft is once again sending subtle - or perhaps not so subtle - signals to its traditional channel base.

  • 7 - Tim Miles departs as Spark announces leadership shake-up Spark New Zealand has announced a number of changes to its leadership team in April, with Spark Digital CEO, Tim Miles, leaving the telco at the end of 2016. Miles - who has been replaced by Jolie Hodson - will remain connected to Spark by continuing as non-executive chairman of both CCL and Revera.

  • 6 - Sky TV and Vodafone reach agreement to create NZ telco media powerhouse Sky Network Television and Vodafone Group reached an agreement to create a leading integrated telecommunications and media group in New Zealand, via a combination of SKY and Vodafone New Zealand. Announced in June, terms of the deal will see Sky acquire all of the shares in Vodafone NZ for a total purchase price of $3.4 billion, through the issue of new Sky shares giving Vodafone Europe B.V. a 51 per cent interest in the combined group and cash consideration of NZ$1,250 million, to be funded through new debt. After announcing the proposed deal, the companies have agreed with the Commerce Commission that the deadline for a decision should be delayed until 23 February, 2017 for more scrutiny.

  • 5 - Datacom delivers billion dollars in IT sales Datacom became the first New Zealand technology company to grow its sales to more than $1 billion in August, after growing revenues 13 per cent in the year to the end of March, to $1.06 billion. In taking on nearly 500 staff during the past year, Datacom’s workforce now stands at over 4,600 employees, with the company expanding into Australia, Asia, the UK and the US.

  • 4 - Dick Smith’s dramatic demise Dick Smith went from a $520 million sensation to the bargain bin following a turbulent start to 2016, which saw stores closed, jobs axed and debt owed as the iconic electronics retailer shut its doors for the last time in May. Burdened by countless varieties of USB devices, a multitude of cameras and an army of remote controls, the bulging shelves of Dick Smith shed an unflattering light on the retailer’s demise. Buckling under the pressure of excess stock, the failed electronics provider held 141 months worth of AA batteries, enough to supply the Australian and New Zealand markets for 12 years. Also, the company would have finally ran out of last longer AAA batteries in 2026, with over 131 months worth of stock, spanning over a decade. In short, Dick Smith was simply selling “too many products”, as admitted by former chairman, Phil Cave, during a Supreme Court grilling in Sydney post the closure.

  • Credit: Reseller News

    3 - ​Rob Lee departs as Mike Smith takes top IBM job Mike Smith was officially appointed managing director of IBM New Zealand in October, with the tech veteran returning to Big Blue after 17 years. Smith replaced Rob Lee, who led the New Zealand business for three years, and retired from IBM in November after a career spanning more than 30 years. In addition, IBM also revealed plans to move its New Zealand headquarters in Auckland, relocating staff to a new office in Wynyard Quarter. Occupying two floors in a brand new “5 Green Star, 100 per cent seismic-rated building”, Big Blue will soon occupy residence at 30 Gaunt Street, just behind the Fonterra building.

  • 2 - Keith Watson vacates Hewlett Packard Enterprise hot seat Keith Watson revealed plans to vacate his role as managing director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in July, with the tech veteran leaving his position in December. As a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee in 2015, Watson has held the hot seat in New Zealand for 12 years, following a long and established career within the ICT industry.

  • 1 - ​Dell delivers on industry-defining EMC merger Dell officially completed the acquisition of EMC in September, creating the world’s largest privately-controlled tech company. Under the moniker of Dell Technologies, the combined company comprises of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware, operating as a $US74 billion market leader. Spanning hybrid cloud, software-defined data centre, converged infrastructure, platform-as-a-service, data analytics, mobility and cybersecurity, Dell Technologies now serves 98 per cent of the Fortune 500 across the world. Locally, the deal sees Dell A/NZ managing director, Angela Fox, continue to lead the trans-Tasman commercial team, with EMC A/NZ channel lead, Mark Fioretto, tasked with taking charge of the enterprise sales team in roles of equal importance.

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