PCR Five for Friday (19/05/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missedThink we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

Enta MD speaks about going into administration

Speaking to PCR, Stevinson recounted what lead to the events of last week, confirming that Beta Distribution’s withdrawn offer for the company was what led company directors to place the firm into administration:

"Although Entatech had over £2.5 million in shareholder funds the signs were that company could become cashflow insolvent by mid May. Thus the directors decided that Entatech should be offered for sale. Entatech was extensively marketed (under the codename Bachus) by two Corporate Finance companies to over 160 parties, resulting in over 20 expressions of interest. NDAs were signed with 20 confirmed parties who were all given access to the data room and extensive company information. After reviewing the information and agreeing terms one party went through to contract finalisation but ultimately pulled out at the very last minute prior to exchange of contracts. This left the directors with no option but to place the company in administration."

UK security expert calls for ‘global cyber police force’

A leading security expert in the UK has called for a ‘global cyber police force’ in the midst of the WannaCry ransomware attack. With more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries, security experts have been calling on governments around the world to take cyber security more seriously.

Mark Skilton, of Warwick Business School, believes a worldwide online watchdog needs to be established in order to prevent ‘potentially fatal’ attacks. "This attack has shown there needs to be a ‘cyber police force’ at a global level to help manage these escalating threats with the right level of specialist skills, and not just vendors sorting it out for themselves,” he said. "With Microsoft, as well as many other vendors and cyber response agencies, citing a 75 per cent increase in user expectation to be cyber-attacked in the next 12 months, this attack has just gone to the ‘next level’."

CompTIA urges the Channel to become business savvy as role of IT departments evolves

The Channel needs to become more business-savvy, according to industry analysts. IT departments are making less technology-related decisions within businesses, according to CompTIA’s latest report. A total of 45 per cent of those surveyed said that ideas about technology come from areas outside of the IT departments. In total, 36 per cent said that executives are becoming more involved with IT and technology decisions, with 27 per cent saying that IT departments no longer make the final decision on technology purchases.

CompTIA industry analyst Carolyn April said that the survey shows that IT departments need to adjust as executives in finance, marketing, sales and logistics begin to inherit responsibilities previously associated with IT departments.

Toshiba chip unit sale in doubt as Western Digital begins legal action

Western Digital has begun legal action to block its partner Toshiba from selling off its profitable chip unit. The US firm has sought an international arbitration to stop any deal going ahead, derailing Toshiba’s plans to recoup a much-needed financial injection. After announcing a multi-billion dollar loss and declaring its nuclear arm Westinghouse bankrupt, Toshiba has been trying to offload its valuable assets.

Toshiba and Western Digital currently jointly operate Toshiba’s main semiconductor plant. Western Digital is in fact one of the parties interested in acquiring the chip unit from Toshiba, however the firm has reportedly put in a much lower offer than offer suitors. The legal wrangling could now scupper any deal for Toshiba, effectively losing them $18 billion. Private equity firm KKR, Taiwan’s Foxconn and US chipmaker Broadcom are all said to be willing to fork over the asking price.

AMD takes on Pascal with Vega graphics cards

While AMD has received much glowing press thanks to its latest Ryzen processors, system builders and power PC users have been left wanting in the graphics card department from AMD. Now the company has happily obliged by unveiling the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition.

Asides from having a name that is a bit of a mouthful, the Vega Frontier Edition – which comes in two forms – take square aim at Nvidia’s category-leading Pascal series, in particular the GTX 1080 and 1080ti. Specs wise the Vega sports 64 compute units, 12.5 teraflops of single precision processing power, 16GB bandwidth cache and 8K display support.

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