Cross Channel: Skills Gap, Zyxel Moves Into Services And Printer Sales

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All the latest news from the IT channel in one handy round-up

Welcome to Cross Channel, a weekly round up of the most pertinent stories from our sister site ChannelBiz, where you can find out all the latest developments, views and strategies from the world of the channel.

The Channel is bullish about closing the skills gap

IT resellers are confident the channel skills gap will be reduced by 2020. A survey of resellers, manager services providers and independent IT firms found almost two thirds bel,ieve the gap will be resolved or reduced and only 17 percent feel it will get worse over the next four years.

The vast majority (78 percent) believe that despite the continued rise of cloud and virtualisation technology, hiring and training more on-premise and data-centre technical staff will help to ease the skills gap by 2020.

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Large format printer market boosts shipments

ricoh 3D printerLarge format printers (LFP) grew 3.9 percent year on year during the second quarter of 2016 while hardware revenue grew by more than 7 percent, according to analyst IDC.

The top five suppliers worldwide in 2015 all kept their place through the first half of 2016. The top five suppliers, in order, were HP Inc (number one), Canon (when combined with Oce), Seiko Epson, Roland DG and Mimaki.

HP grew both its share of shipments and share of revenue in 2Q16 compared to 2Q15 based on the continued strength in HP Latex, PageWide XL and FB-series printers. Some of the growth in revenue share is attributable to the “aggressive discounting” that other vendors are engaging in as they compete against HP, said IDC.

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Zyxel rebrands as a solution provider

Zyxel Communications has unveiled a global rebrand as it shifts from a hardware manufacturer to a solution provider, developing more end-to-end solutions for consumers, businesses and service providers.

The company is also revamping its partner programme to reflect the change and has hired a new channel head for the UK. Industry veteran Peter Hannah previously held positions at Netgear, Avnet and BT.

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More than half of the public sector considers using robots

Over half (53 percent) of public sector senior managers say their organisations have explored the use of robotics process automation (RPA) technology in the past year, to help transform services in the wake of increasing workloads and tightening budgets.

The research, commissioned by business outsourcing firm Arvato, revealed that 21 percent of respondents expect automation technology to be trialled within their department or authority over the next 12 months.

Sefton Council is already using a robot in its council tax department to save time and cut costs

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