March highlights: CONTEXT’s weekly IT Industry Forum webinars

March highlights: CONTEXT’s weekly IT Industry Forum webinars

March highlights: CONTEXT’s weekly IT Industry Forum webinars

March was a special month for CONTEXT’s long–running weekly IT Industry Forum webinars as we hit a landmark 200th episode. Congratulations and a big thank you to everyone involved in making the series such a success over that time. There was plenty of interest for attendees yet again this month, with presentations taking us as far afield as the Middle East and South America.

New insight into uninterruptible power supplies (UPS):

UPS systems are increasingly in demand across sectors such as IT, healthcare, manufacturing and finance, which have a low tolerance for even momentary power interruption. Such systems can act as a bridge between devices and the main power source to ensure the former continue to operate or can shutdown “gracefully” in the event of an outage without causing any damage. CONTEXT is including UPS in the weekly webinar for the first time. The market grew by 10% annually in 2021 and 11% a year later, before a slight (–3%) year–on–year drop in 2023. Western Europe accounted for the vast majority (87%) of the European market last year, although growth is coming mainly from Poland. While macroeconomic conditions demand business caution, the growth of AI and need for reliable data centre power promise to drive demand going forward.

Making history in Brazil:

CONTEXT has a truly global reach these days, as evidenced by our growing footprint in South America. We’re proud to be hosting our first Channel Connect event in São Paolo in May. It’s a good time to be in Brazil. Inflation and interest rates are coming down, and there’s a generally positive mood in the IT industry for 2024. One area we expect to grow significantly in the near future is IT equipment leasing. It’s a boom for end–user businesses as it offers flexibility and scale, aligns with sustainability initiatives, provides access to cutting–edge technology and support, and enables local firms to optimise their costs.

Imaging ups and downs:

The printer market has experienced a difficult start to the year, with significant declines across all categories, segments, and specifications. In fact, all print categories have been below the Revenue Trend Index line since week 51 of last year, although there has been a slight upward trend since week four of this year. However, one category performing well despite the overall trend is the laser single–function printer (SFP), particularly models priced below €100 (£86m). These models have seen strong sales, particularly in retail stores across Germany, France, and the UK. However, revenue figures have not surpassed those recorded in 2023 in these countries. Additionally, the average number of pages printed decreased by 4.5% in early Q1–2024 compared to the same period in 2023 – likely due to the increasing adoption of paperless policies. However, the number of pages printed using ink bottles increased during the same period.

Continued expansion in the Middle East:

It’s been an exciting time for CONTEXT’s MEA operations recently. Last month, we hosted a CONTEXT Channel Forum event in Istanbul to discuss all things AI, sustainability and macroeconomics, with over 70 attendees from the local IT channel. CONTEXT has also just launched its first Middle East distribution panel. We’re now receiving data from nearly a dozen of the region’s biggest distributors – processing around $750m (£593m) worth of transactions every month. It will give great insight into this important and growing part of the EMEA IT channel. A big part of the focus for many of these businesses will be AI, driven by huge government–led investments in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The former’s Falcon–180B model was recently ranked the best open source large language model (LLM) in the world.

To find out more, register to tune into our next weekly IT Industry Forum webinar here 


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