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Nuzoo week in review

Crayon’s acquisition

Norwegian software asset management and cloud optimisation company Crayon has completed its A$408 million acquisition of Australia-founded distributor Rhipe following a positive shareholder vote. 

As a result, Rhipe is likely to delist from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on 3 November with trading in the distributor's shares to end 14 October. 

Channel Asia reported that the deal will see Rhipe's business across Asia Pacific, as well as its Azure services business Parallo, which it acquired in September 2020, and cyber security company Emt Distribution, its most recent addition, fall into the Crayon fold. 

According to Rhipe, this includes 600 employees based throughout Asia Pacific, who will join Crayon's 2000-strong workforce.  


Neri’s swipe at Dell

CRN reported that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO Antonio Neri dismissed the initial version of Dell’s Apex as-a-service portfolio is essentially a VMware offering, which does not bring as broad of a selection of as-a-service solutions as HPE’s GreenLake offering.

HPE GreenLake, which offers an as-a-service, pay-per-use model for consumption of on-premises infrastructure, debuted in mid-2018, while Dell Apex launched into general availability in May.

When asked by Burke what the difference is between Dell Apex and HPE GreenLake, Neri said that Dell Apex is “only one thing.”

“In fact, the entire experience that you see in the early version of it is VMware—it’s not Dell,” Neri said. “And so, what they’re doing is trying to build around the VMware control plane—all the analytics and the metering and so forth. But they are focused on one thing and one thing only, which is simplicity. But they’re not having the sophistication of a broad portfolio.”

By contrast, “when we think about edge to cloud, we think about everything the customer needs around connectivity, cloud and data—not just one thing,” Neri said.

In a statement provided to CRN US by email on Tuesday, Dell said, “we’re focused on our customers, partners and Dell Technologies’ business, and we like the hand we hold.”


Microsoft partners’ billing confusion

Microsoft partners are seeking clarity from the vendor over proposed billing changes which would see them take on financial responsibility if their customer becomes unable to pay for their O365 licence.

The vendor is currently introducing a New Commerce Experience (NCE) which includes a number of key changes for its partners, noted CRN UK.

Under the new agreement, partners claim that they would have to take on the financial risk of paying the rest of a subscription if a customer was no longer able to due to insolvency or another reason.

“With Office 365 CSP licensing at the moment, the risk and the ownership of the license is with the end user," one source told CRN.

“Microsoft is changing it next year so that the responsibility of that licensing is on the reseller. What that means is, if a company takes out a three-year Office 365 on CSP and they go bust in year two, then the reseller still has to pay the remaining two years.

“If it's a big licensing agreement and they go bust, we've still got to pay Microsoft the remainder of that contract.

“I think more work needs to be done... but in our world it's massive because, for the margin involved, why would we take the risk?”

Another partner also told CRN that they had heard about these pricing changes, adding: "This is of course concerning. The annual commit requirement also allows less flexibility in terms of pricing accommodation for starters and leavers.

“We’re talking to our CSP providers at the moment to seek how they can help us de-risk, if this does come into force.”

Microsoft last week published a blog post announcing that it would give partners until January to implement the changes required for NCE. 

In its CSP operating guide, it states that partners can cancel “within the first 72 hours after the initial order or term renewal” but goes on to say that there will be “no cancellation available and no prorated refund" after that time and that the partner will be "billed for the remainder of the annual term if monthly billing was chosen”.

Author: Christine Horton

Publish Date: 15/10/2021 14:51

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