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Westcoast Group shuffles management deck

Westcoast has rejigged its management team to accommodate an expanding waistline having swallowed Viglen and QC Supplies in this month alone. Current UK and Ireland MD Duncan Forsyth has moved to a Group MD role overseeing Westcoast, XMA and new buys Viglen and consumables trader QC Supplies. In turn sales and marketing …
Paul Kunert, 16 Jan 2014
Columns of coins in the cloud

HP cloud overlord backs UK distie Westcoast as it flogs its fluff to small biz

Small biz customers have been bitten by the cloud bug but large enterprises and government types are altogether less open to outsourcing IT or broadcasting their data into the electronic ether. At least, that's the view from HP's cloud overlord Michael Clifford, who, unsurprisingly, is giving his backing to a fluffy white …
Paul Kunert, 17 Oct 2013
westcoast

Westcoast sales up, profits flat

Westcoast posted sales growth last year but intense price competition among rivals prevented a bounce in profits. The privately held UK wholesaling outfit turned over £826m in the 12 calendar months, up 2 per cent on the previous year, while operating profit was flat at £6.9m as was retained profit at £4.5m. This represents a …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2012
man_inks_deal_channel signs contract services

Ingram Micro and Westcoast ink Microsoft SPLA deal

Microsoft has handed the Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) contract to Westcoast and Ingram Micro, The Channel can reveal. Ten disties responded to last month's Request for Proposal from Microsoft as Redmond overhauls the go-to-market model that saw five large account resellers holding exclusive distribution rights to …
Paul Kunert, 31 Jul 2012

XMA just swallowed Sugar firm, now looks to eat consumables biz

Less than a week after Westcoast Holdings-owned XMA swallowed Lord Sugar's public sector-focused tech biz Viglen, the group looks to have hoovered up consumables trader QC Supplies. Word in the distie channel is that a deal has been finalised for QC, which wholesales and resells cartridges from its Halifax base, and filings at …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jan 2014

Is computer biz Viglen about to GET FIRED? Lord Sugar's firm in rumoured sell-off

Lord Sugar is close to selling education tech supplier Viglen to Westcoast Holdings, folk in Blighty's system builder community are telling us – a claim that has been flatly denied by the named buyer. The word on the street is that Hertfordshire-based Viglen has been in talks with the group, which also houses distributor …
Paul Kunert, 08 Nov 2013
Westcoast logo

Westcoast completes XMA merger

Last November, Westcoast announced the acquisition of XMA, the printer consumables distie. Today, the company issued a press release, heralding the completion of the merger. In other words, the back office has been trimmed, any performance related payments settled, and distribution activities consolidated. Hardware is to be …
Team Register, 08 Sep 2008
Westcoast logo

Westcoast rings up Avenir for convergence emergence

Westcoast is teaming up with a b2b telecoms distie called Avenir Telecom, so that it can offer IT resellers the full mobile data shilling. Avenir describes itself as one of the UK's biggest independent mobile distributors, with annual turnover of £50m. Its French parent company operates in seven European countries. Here, Avenir …
Team Register, 01 Aug 2008

Channel legend Howard Strowman dies

Howard Strowman, the colourful channel veteran and CEO at Westcoast Asset Management (WAM), has died from injuries sustained in a motorbike crash. The accident happened in North Wales on Sunday, September 9, and after being airlifted to hospital, Strowman went in to intensive care. He died on Tuesday morning. In 1973, Strowman …
Paul Kunert, 11 Sep 2012
Drowning sailor

Microsoft dumps two distributors overboard in Blighty cull

Microsoft has confirmed that it is to part ways with two distributors in the UK next year, following an intensive review of its contracts. The lucky pair are Avnet Technology Solutions and VIP Computers, both of which had been expected to leave the stables when Microsoft put the contracts out to tender last month in a Request …
Paul Kunert, 30 Oct 2013
3D printing

Want a licence to print cash? Move to 3D printing

Thought that 3D printers sales weren't going to help you buy a flashy new motor, a luxury holiday or that new pad in the country? Well think again, channel business type. That's according to Canalys CEO Steve Brazier, who stood in front of 600 channel partners at his firm's recent forum in Barcelona, and told them that despite …
Paul Kunert, 21 Oct 2013
arrow pointing up

Westcoast does Apple

Westcoast has muscled in on the Apple wholesale market, gaining distribution rights for the vendor’s entire range. This may be unwelcome news for Ingram Micro and C2000, which previously had the UK Apple distie market for themselves. But it will be good news for dealers, who will have an additional credit line to tap and – at …
Team Register, 07 Jul 2006
graph up

WestCoast buckles up Orion deal

WestCoast Ltd has strengthened its hand in the UK printer market with the takeover of consumables distributor Orion Media Marketing WestCoast has long been a dominant player in the UK’s HP printing channel. Orion’s supplier relationships include HP, as well as Lexmark, Sony, Canon, Imation and Epson, and was described by …
Team Register, 02 Aug 2005
sold sign

Solarweb-powered Westcoast tidies up MS-licensing act

Westcoast has signed up to distribute Microsoft software through an automated licensing tool called licenseme. Its developer, UK-based Solarweb, says the technology cuts the "high error rates facing many in the channel". In some cases, it claims, 25 per cent of licence orders from the channel are "rejected by vendors due to …
Team Register, 02 Oct 2007

Lord Shug ends Viglen ownership with a bang

Lord Shuggie's public sector tech supplier Viglen booked a double digit sales and profit hike in fiscal '13 ended 30 September - the final full financial year under the hirsute walnut's ownership. After autumn negotiations, the business was offloaded to XMA in January for an undisclosed sum – with chief exec Bordan Tkachuk …
Paul Kunert, 13 Mar 2014
grab_that_cash

Bumbling fraudsters fail to dupe 'Westcost' customers

Fraudsters masquerading as British distie giant Westcoast failed in their attempts to convince resellers to redirect their payments for products and services to a dodgy bank account, the company has confirmed. The scam was initially spotted by some of Westcoast's customers, who then contacted the distributor. The company has …
Paul Kunert, 20 May 2013

You're fired: Lord Sugar offloads faded PC builder Viglen to XMA

Lord Sugar has walked away from education tech supplier Viglen, which has inked a big channel merger deal with government reseller XMA. The company's customer services boss Glyn Wragg told workers on Monday about the takeover. An anonymous source, who works at the firm, told The Channel that it was the first official word …
Team Register, 09 Jan 2014
cloud

Westcoast acquires Clarity for €6.2m

Clarity Ireland, the distribution wing of IT company Horizon Technology Group, is to be sold to British IT distributor Westcoast for €6.2m. The Reading-based business will also assume Clarity's debt of €9.1m. Clarity, which employs 60 people at its headquarters in Tallaght, had revenues of €118m and profits of €1.4m last year. …
Emmet Ryan, 05 Sep 2006

We love everyone in the SPLA channel the same, honest - Microsoft

Microsoft has insisted it has levelled the playing field for all resellers pushing its Service Provider Licensing Agreements (SPLA). As revealed at the start of this week, Microsoft opened the SPLA programme to distribution heavyweights Ingram Micro and Westcoast in a bid to lure more resellers on board. Five large-account …
Paul Kunert, 03 Aug 2012

Distributing Microsoft gear in UK? You might not be for much longer

Microsoft has put out to tender its UK distribution contracts in a bid to ascertain if those already on board can be trusted to take the new services and device mantra to market. Seven UK wholesalers were forced to submit responses to an "enormous" Request For Proposal by 10 October and will be sitting on their hands for a month …
Paul Kunert, 21 Oct 2013

Systemax's Euro tentacle set to buy ailing schools supplier RM

The word sweeping through the technology channel is that big changes are afoot at education supplier RM with the parent of reseller Misco understood to be acquiring the software and services business. Sources claimed that talks between the LSE-listed RM and NYSE-listed firm Systemax, which trades in Europe as Misco and Inmac …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2013
euros_channel_money

Microsoft runs price-hike Lite promo for Open Value licenses

Microsoft distributor Westcoast is trying to "ease the pain" for customers facing a price hike on Open Value Volume (OVV) licenses by pushing out a three-month promo. Starting 1 July, Redmond realigned prices across the EU to the single currency and as such UK firms will cough between 1.7 per cent and 25.9 per cent more for …
Paul Kunert, 02 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Westcoast to buy Actebis

Westcoast has secured an agreement to buy rival distie Actebis from German giant Otto Group after nine months of negotiations. The deal - terms undisclosed - will catapult the UK-owned company into Europe's third biggest computer distie, behind Tech Data and Ingram Micro. Actebis has operations in 15 European countries. Joe …
Drew Cullen, 30 Sep 2003
XMA

XMA sales throttled by UK gov belt-tightening

XMA lost a huge chunk of revenues in calendar 2011 as public sector austerity measures were pushed through by the Coalition. The Nottingham-based dealer, part of the Kelido Group which also includes distributor Westcoast, saw sales for the year ended 31 December tumble 17.4 per cent to £116m. "The IT industry was extremely …
Paul Kunert, 14 May 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Brit telly, laptop flogger Gimmi goes titsup owing whopping £1m

The collapse of Cheshire-based etailer Gimmi left a string of suppliers with debts totalling £1m, the creditor's report has revealed. The web shop, which flogged tablets, smartphones, 3D TVs, and laptops was placed into the hands of administrator Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery (CHBR) on 8 May. The two-year-old firm was only …
Paul Kunert, 16 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Westcoast poaches C2000 sales johnny

Westcoast has poached Computer 2000’s field sales manager. Alan Hunt will join Westcoast in the first week of January as sales director. Hunt left Computer 2000 on Friday after seven and a half years at the distributor. He follows ex-C2000 sales director, Paul Cook, who left the distributor to be Westcoast MD earlier this year. …
Linda Harrison, 07 Dec 1999

Administrator: 2e2 owed £412m to creditors when it went titsup

2e2 Ltd crashed out of business owing creditors a little over £412m, the firm's administrator FTI Consulting has confirmed in its statement of affairs. The document, seen by The Channel, revealed debts secured by floating charges of £161.5m pertaining to the integrator's banking syndicate, and unsecured non-preferential claims …
Paul Kunert, 11 Apr 2013

Frightening fondleslabs branded Hannibal Lecter of UK PC market

The classic PC industry in Blighty is down but not yet out for the count, according to the latest IT distribution channel data. Prelim numbers from Context SalesWatch shows 960,000 notebooks, desktops, x86 servers and workstations were sold in Q1 2013, a decline of 4.8 per cent on a year ago. Market revenues fell 3.4 per cent to …
Paul Kunert, 10 Apr 2013
Image kindly provided by Tarquin Millington-Drake

RIP Howard Strowman: The stock doctor

The career and life of Howard Strowman, who died in a motorbike accident this weekend, mirrored the ever-changing fortunes of the UK's high-tech sector. The crash happened in North Wales on Sunday, 9 September, and he was airlifted to hospital with severe injuries. He died on Tuesday morning aged 67. Strowman set up PST Group …
Paul Kunert, 13 Sep 2012
XMA

XMA taps up industry veteran to run City office

XMA has set up an office in the heart of the capital to boost its corporate business in the locale, headed up by channel veteran Chris Leigh. The Nottingham-based firm, owned by distributor Westcoast, already has offices in Nottingham, Theale, Scotland and Wales. The London office, based in Gracechurch Street in the square mile …
Paul Kunert, 12 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Westcoast loses MD Paul Cook

UK reseller Westcoast has lost its MD Paul Cook after just two years. Andy Dow, Westcoast commercial director, confirmed Cook left the Reading outfit today. According to Dow, the departure was "totally amicable and totally mutual". The reseller has not found a replacement for Cook, and has no plans to appoint one. His MD job …
Linda Harrison, 23 May 2001
The Register breaking news

Employee of distributor Westcoast hits employee of dealer Action

Friday the Thirteenth proved unlucky for a top Westcoast employee when he was sacked after hitting an Action Computer Supplies member of staff on the nose at a company function. The nose was not, apparently, broken. David Gully, the Westcoast account manager responsible for Action, lost his job on the fated day after the fracas …
Linda Harrison, 16 Nov 1998

OK, hands up: Who hasn't sold an iPad to a big biz?

The UK channel is tapping into enterprise demand for fondleslabs - well, iPads - with business-to-business sales going through the roof, figures from market watcher Context show. Approximately 136,000 tabs were shipped in Blighty by distributors in Q2, up from just 26,000 a year earlier, and of these 63.5 per cent were sold to …
Paul Kunert, 10 Aug 2012
channel

HP plans to measure girth, thrust of channel pitches

HP will measure reseller pitch rates through the global rollout of the iQuote system, allowing it to market more aggressively or shift promotions. Developed by Tim Moyle, director at channelcentral.net – former manager at CCD – the tool was piloted by Westcoast and Avnet but has gone live across chunks of its PC, server and …
Paul Kunert, 04 Jul 2011
Pigeon crapping on statue

Tears, laughter and bankruptcy: How not to go bust

Bankruptcy? You don't know whether to laugh or cry. It was a lunchtime tech awards ceremony in the West End many years ago. The trophies were polished, the golden envelopes were ready to be opened to gasps of joy and waiters were circulating with the canapes and fizz. Suddenly some rather large men in suits appeared among the …
Steve Bell, 30 May 2013
channel

Microsoft mulls OEM distie shake-up

Microsoft has pushed its OEM software franchise out to tender among new and existing distributors amid a consumer market meltdown. The global process usually takes place every year but in recent times has typically resulted in little change, with a total of eight wholesalers carrying the OEM line-up in the UK. However, with …
Paul Kunert, 27 Sep 2011
channel

All change in the Channel

A slew of management changes have swept across the channel as the silly season starts in earnest. Distie veteran Alice Smitheman, marketing director at Azlan is set to join Avnet Technology Solutions as EMEA veep of operational excellence, a role that includes fine-tuning the firm's logistics engine. Graeme Watt, EMEA president …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jun 2011
© Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

UK gov probes Comet crash: Public, private sectors LOST £257m

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills plans to probe the administration of Comet, whose collapse has left the private and public sector out of pocket to the tune of £257m. The Insolvency Service is to launch the investigation after receiving numerous complaints from MPs just as the doors close on Comet's last 49 …
Paul Kunert, 18 Dec 2012
For Sale sign detail

Gartner slashes UK PC shipments for 2011

Gartner has nearly halved the UK PC sales forecast for 2011, blaming the stockpile of PCs buckling distributors' shelves and scrappy continued demand. Beancounters at the analyst have dramatically downgraded unit shipment estimates from eight per cent growth to just five per cent, though even this is predicated on sentiments …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2011
graph up

Dell woos rattled HP PC sales partners

Dell has accused archrival HP of unsettling channel partners by revealing its intention to spin out the PC biz, claiming it is a "stable" alternative for resellers. In the three years since Dell binned its direct-only mantra and formalised a reseller network, sales via partners have accounted for 30 per cent of its turnover …
Paul Kunert, 07 Sep 2011

Can supermodel minx Heidi Klum SAVE Windows 8? NOT SO FAST

This year's MTV European Music Awards had everything: slinky supermodel presenter Heidi Klum, swathes of preposterous pop stars, and, er, an enormous Windows 8-powered video wall. Keen to suck up any excess stardust, Microsoft provided the screen to show what was happening backstage. The operating system’s appearance at the …
Steve Bell, 22 Nov 2012
grab_that_cash

Credit insurance: The hidden data-driven force which killed Comet

A quick look at what happened to high street electronics retailer Comet when its credit insurers slammed their wallets shut should be enough to get any IT business interested in cash-flow, insurance and credit lines. But while credit and cash-flow are often seen as stale subjects, they can be the lifeblood of business - almost …
Eddie Pacey, 16 Nov 2012

Revenues dropping or flatlining at hefty distributor giants

Investors and funders may soon need to see a warning on every distributor prospectus or public filing that over revenues are heading in the opposite direction to up. A slew of recent results from some of the heavyweights show sales have indeed gone south, but after years of near unbroken growth – and given the assumption that …
Ian French, 20 Aug 2012
channel

Microsoft plays ditch a distie

Microsoft is changing its UK channel structure and increasing the number of disties from six to 10. But it's not all good news - the three broad-line distributors Bell Microproducts, C2K and Ingram Micro - face an X-Factor style competition which will see one of them dropped. While all three keep their Microsoft contracts for …
John Oates, 24 Oct 2006
Desktop

PC shipments slide through June

Sales of PCs through distributors are flat year on year, and saw their biggest drop in June. Figures from channel research firm Context showed overall sales in seven European countries grew by two per cent for the quarter, but the figures showed a massive drop in June. Sales of PCs, laptops and servers were down 11.5 per cent …
John Oates, 14 Jul 2009
globalisation

Reading Football Club turns computer dealer

Reading Football Club has begun flogging computer kit "at near trade pricing" through its own online store. It is kicking off with MP3 players, laptops, PCs, handhelds, printers, cameras, scanners, speakers, GPS, storage, consumables and accessories. Doing the donkey work is Westcoast, the Theale-based distie, and Reading FC …
Drew Cullen, 30 Nov 2004
For Sale sign detail

Horizon sees sunny skies ahead in 2007

Horizon Technology, the Irish-owned reseller, expects 2007 results to be in line with market expectations. Speaking at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday, chairman Samir Naji told shareholders that the board was pleased with the group's performance during the first quarter. "The IT market in both the UK and …
fingers pointing at man

Reading FC gets new sponsor

Kyocera Mita is the new shirt sponsor of Reading Football Club, replacing distributor Westcoast which has backed the club for the last six years. The cost of the deal was not revealed but it is the largest corporate sponsorship in the club's history. Tracey Rawling Church, marketing boss at Kyocera UK, said: "We expect our …
John Oates, 08 Jun 2005
channel

UK distie to launch on LSE

Holding company Geneca Group is to list on the London Stock Exchange this October. The Group announced its intentions shortly after completing its acquisition of UK tech distributors, Valuelist and Answer GCi, and says the move is designed to support its growth-by-acquisition strategy. Brent Cutler, Geneca's managing director, …
Lucy Sherriff, 09 Aug 2005
globalisation

Horizon digests year of feasting

Horizon Technology Group has been showing off after a year of gorging on high-margin acquisitions. The firm's preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2006 show a 29.8 per cent in profit after tax and a 49.8 per cent jump in revenue. It acquired three firms in the year - IP networking reseller Equip, Irish SAP …
Mark Ballard, 16 Mar 2007