Managed.IT - issue 65

DATA SECURITY How to include AI in your business continuity strategy PAGE 16 COMMS Why Gamma is like a big, fluffy, purple dog PAGE 10 DATA CENTRES West Midlands Trains switches to managed data centre solution PAGE 28 SECURITY · CLOUD · ICT · SOFTWARE · HARDWARE PRINT · AV MANAGED.IT SECURITY · CLOUD · ICT · SOFTWARE · HARDWARE · PRINT · AV THE IT SERVICES MAGAZINE & NEWS SITE FOR IT MANAGERS, IT DIRECTORS & CTOS THE IT SERVICES MAGAZINE & NEWS SITE FOR IT MANAGERS, IT DIRECTORS & CTOS IN PRINT AND ONLINE MANAGED.IT SECURITY · CLOUD · ICT · SOFTWARE · HARDWARE · PRINT · AV IN PRINT AND ONLINE IN PRINT AND ONLINE SECURITY · CLOUD · ICT · SOFTWARE · HARDWARE PRINT · AV IN PRINT AND ONLINE Issue 65 · 2024 One platform, one vendor How Vasion is simplifying digital transformation for SMEs See page 12 Capture Forms Sign Workflow ECM Print


3 Read Managed.IT online... ISSN 2055-3099 (Print) ISSN 2055-3102 (Online) 04 News The true cost of cloud laid bare 08 What’s New Workplace products for the home and office 10 Unified Communications Why Gamma is like a giant purple dog 12 Cover Story How Vasion is taking the complexity out of digital transformation 14 MFPs Next generation printing systems from Sharp and Xerox 15 Managed Print Services Brother targets smallest firms with MPS Essential 16 Business Continuity How to accommodate AI in your business continuity strategy 18 Cybersecurity Heimdal celebrates its first 10 years as a European cybersecurity leader 19 Managed Services CBG win for Aurora 21 Telephony What to do about the Big Switch Off? Spitfire outlines your options 22 Comms How BT is future-proofing its business and yours 24 I couldn’t do my job without... Rachael Tiffen of fraud prevention service Cifas on the secrets of her success 25 E-learning What you need to know about isowise, the new e-learning platform for compliance 26 Data Centres Energy savings just one benefit of University of Lincoln server room modernisation 28 Data Centres West Midlands Trains switches to Node4 managed data centre solution 29 Opinion Kyndryl’s Petra Goude suggests five ways GenAI can ease the COBOL skills crisis 30 Computers New Asus devices on show at BETT 2024 31 Backup The importance of immutable storage for data backup Editor: James Goulding 07803 087228 • [email protected] Publishing Director, Social Media and Web Editor: Neil Trim 01732 759725 • [email protected] Advertising Director: Ethan White 01732 759725 • [email protected] Art Director: Nick Pledge 07767 615983 • [email protected] Advertising Executive: Jeff Root 01732 759725 • [email protected] MANAGED.IT is published by Kingswood Media Ltd., 10 Amherst House, 22 London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 2BT • Tel: 01732 759725 No part of MANAGED.IT can be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. © 2024 Kingswood Media Ltd. Production Design: Sandtiger Media · The paper used in this magazine is obtained from manufacturers who operate within internationally recognized standards and which is sourced from sustainable, properly managed forestation. CONTENTS Managed.IT GET YOUR FREE COPY To make sure you get every issue FREE, as soon as it is published, just visit, click the ‘FREE Registration’ button and add your details to our mailing list. @manageditmag If you no longer wish to receive Managed.IT magazine please email your details to [email protected] SECURITY · CLOUD · ICT · SOFTWARE · HARDWARE PRINT · AV IN PRINT AND ONLINE THE IT SERVICES MAGAZINE & NEWS SITE FOR IT MANAGERS, IT DIRECTORS & CTOS ISSUE 65 · 2024 AWARDS 20 24 Royal Lancaster Hotel London Thursday 23rd May 2024

THE TRUE COST OF CLOUD LAID BARE Technology research company Dark Matter has launched Clouded II, a feature-length documentary sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise that exposes the economic and environmental costs of cloud. Released to mark the launch of Clouded.TV, a new online channel supplying content about the cloud, Clouded II includes insights from a range of experts on the inefficiencies and spiralling cost of cloud computing as well as the huge amounts of energy, water, heat and waste associated with data storage and data hoarding. Featured expert Gerry McGovern said: “The growth of data is scary. By 2035 we will be producing about 2,000 zettabytes of data. Typically, you store 10% of that, and need over a billion servers. You would need to cut down 20 trillion trees to print one zettabyte. There are only 3.5 trillion trees on the planet. We need to think about what we truly need.” CIVO GIVES SHORT SHRIFT TO EGRESS FEES CONCESSION Mark Boost, CEO of cloud-native service provider Civo, has reacted with scorn to Microsoft’s announcement that it is removing egress fees for customers that move data from Azure to an alternative cloud provider or data centre, following similar moves by AWS and Google Cloud. He said: “Don’t be fooled by Big Tech’s apparent rush to abolish egress exit fees. Azure is racing on the heels of AWS and Google Cloud to remove charges only for data transfer out of the cloud to ensure compliance with the fast-approaching European Data Act.” He added: “If you look deeper, the change comes with strings attached. Azure is only removing egress fees for storage data for exiting customers, with charges still applying for egress from other Azure services, and customers have to cancel all Azure subscriptions before claiming the credit. Clearly, in the mind of the hyperscalers, flexibility still comes at a price.” Egress fees are just one complaint against the ‘Big Three’ hyperscalers. In a recent Civo survey of 500 IT professionals that use AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, 64% said they had experienced a rise in cloud costs in the last 12 months; 47% said they were considering a move away from the cloud because of the expense; and 37% said that the cloud had failed to live up to its promise of costeffectiveness. In addition, 42% said they found it hard to predict their cloud bill every month, with 28% reporting that they had received an unexpectedly large bill for cloud services. More than half (57%) of hyperscaler users say they are now taking steps to manage or reduce their cloud service costs. Boost said: “The cloud is broken. That is the stark truth we all need to face up to. The hyperscalers have not delivered on their lofty promises of low costs at scale that they set out more than a decade ago. Instead, users are left with high prices, overly complex solutions and ‘black-box’ proprietary tech that make it very difficult to move anywhere else. When you are in, you are in! This situation can be hugely damaging, especially for smaller businesses, making it very difficult for them to build a bespoke, affordable approach to cloud that suits their needs.” ... FORMULA E PARTNERS WITH GOOGLE CLOUD Formula E, the world’s first all-electric motorsport, has signed a multi-year technology partnership with Google Cloud in what it hopes will be the first of many such deals with technology leaders. The partnership builds on a relationship that began last summer when NEOM McLaren Formula E Team driver Jake Hughes set a new indoor land speed record of 218.7km/h with the help of a gen AI ‘DriverBot’ created by Google Cloud for Formula E’s GENBETA race car development programme. This harnessed real-time data from Hughes’ car, alongside historic race data, to help smash the existing Guinness World Record by more than 50 km/h. The new partnership will enable Formula E to use Google Cloud infrastructure, gen AI tools and data and analytics technologies to make further technological advances through GENBETA; to create highly targeted marketing campaigns based on analysis of fan behaviour, preferences and demographics; and to build pathways into motorsports and science for young women through Formula E’s FIA Girls on Track programme. ... FEES EAT UP CLOUD BUDGETS More than half (53%) of EMEA organisations exceeded their budgeted spend on cloud storage in 2023, with half of all cloud storage costs in EMEA going to data access and usage fees rather than capacity, reveals the 2024 Global Cloud Storage Index from Wasabi Technologies. Nonetheless, EMEA companies still value cloud storage services, with 91% planning to increase their cloud storage budget in 2024 and 92% planning to increase the amount of data they store in the public cloud. Andrew Smith, Senior Manager of Strategy and Market Intelligence at Wasabi Technologies, said: “Organisations worldwide are increasing their use and budgets for public cloud storage solutions, and Europe is no exception. Like the rest of the world, European cloud storage NEWS 4 01732 759725 NEWS Mark Boost

users continue to struggle with storage fees, but despite this the region continues to show a healthy preference towards ‘cloud-first’ decision-making when it comes to IT services adoption.” Just under half (44%) of EMEA organisations pursue a ‘cloud-first’ strategy for IT services adoption. Almost all (99%) have adopted or are planning to adopt AI/ML in 2024 and 96% believe they will face new cloud storage concerns as a result. These include the requirement to store data across a wider range of locations e.g. core data centres and edge/remote locations (46%); new data backup, protection and recovery requirements (43%); and new or increasing storage migration/movement requirements (42%). ... EMPLOYERS SEE VALUE IN SNOOPING ON HOME WORKERS Nearly half of enterprises (44%) are collecting data on employees’ home working hours, with an additional 33% planning to do so in future, claims Kinly, a provider of AV integration and collaboration services. Its Trusted Connections 2024 study, based on a survey of 425 enterprise AV professionals in the UK, Germany, Nordics and Netherlands, found that 65% of enterprises are encouraging staff to install Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can be used to monitor their home working environment: 28% say they are already collecting environmental data from people’s homes, with a further 36% planning to do so in the future. In addition, 33% are investing in analytics platforms to monitor remote workers. Respondents pointed out that athome tracking systems are not just about making sure staff are working, but also to help businesses meet their obligations to protect employee wellbeing. For example, 32% of those surveyed say their organisation is now collecting wellbeing data such as ‘tiredness indicators’ from remote staff, with a further 37% planning to track this sort of data in future. More than a quarter (28%) say their organisation is collecting environmental data from people’s homes, such as lighting and air quality, while 36% have plans to collect this data in the future. Tom Martin, CEO of Kinly, said: “With so many employees working from home, businesses can no longer guarantee a high-quality work environment. The result is people working longer hours, in conditions that wouldn’t have been acceptable at the office. IoT technology is becoming an increasingly popular way to address this, using at-home AV equipment to monitor everything from air quality to working hours and screen time.” MOBILE TECHNOLOGY KEY TO DESKLESS WORKER ENGAGEMENT Deskless workers feel considerably less valued at work than desk-based colleagues, warns workplace culture and recognition specialist O.C. Tanner. Just 43% of deskless workers, such as construction workers, delivery drivers and frontline employees, surveyed for O.C. Tanner’s 2024 Global Culture Report admit to feeling valued and appreciated compared to 61% of desk-based employees. Robert Ordever, European MD of O.C. Tanner, said: “Reaching and engaging deskless workers who tend to lack regular access to technology and tools is often seen as too difficult. Deskless workers will be the last to hear company news, struggle to complete basic administration, and lack influence and opportunities. But this status quo isn’t a given, it’s been allowed to take hold due to poor leadership and a mismanaged culture.” In its report, O.C. Tanner recommends equipping deskless workers with mobile-enabled tools as one way to ensure they feel as valued and recognised as desk-based colleagues, along with greater use of traditional offline methods such as team meetings, thank you notes and notice boards. It also advises training leaders in how to show their appreciation of deskless workers more effectively. ... OUT OF CONTROL Nine out of 10 organisations believe that the complexity of their technology stack has increased in the last 12 months (88%); that the explosion of data produced by cloud-native technology stacks is beyond the ability of humans to manage (86%); and that the number of tools, platforms, dashboards and applications IT teams rely on adds to the complexity of managing a multicloud environment (85%). On average, organisations 5 NEWS ORP USING AI FOR TURTLE CONSERVATION Purple Transform, a developer of AI to enhance human decision-making, is working with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP) to support sea turtle conservation in the Maldives. Five of the seven species of sea turtles worldwide are found in the Maldives, and all five are at risk of extinction. As part of Project SEUSS (Safeguarding Ecosystems Using Sustainable Solutions), OPR will use Purple Transform’s proprietary AI platform, SiYtE, to monitor sea turtles’ nesting activity and hatchings. SiYtE, which uses AI and machine learning to analyse and visualise real-time data aggregated from CCTV cameras, IoT sensors and other sources, will be used to track nesting patterns, monitor sea turtle populations and detect potential human interference. It will also strengthen ORP’s sea turtle veterinary programme, by aiding analysis of blood samples and the monitoring of sea turtle behaviour after rehabilitation. continued...

6 01732 759725 NEWS use 10 different monitoring and observability tools to manage applications, infrastructure and user experience. The average multicloud environment now spans 12 different platforms and services. (Source: Dynatrace State of Observability 2024) ... BIGCHANGE TO HONOUR WOMEN IN FIELD SERVICE Job management software provider BigChange has announced a new awards programme to recognise the achievements of women in field service. Launched on International Women’s Day, The BigChange Outstanding Women in Field Service Award is open to any woman working as a technician, engineer or operative within a field service industry. BigChange is also running the BigChange Big on Inclusion Award for existing customers that have taken steps to bring diverse talent into their workforce. The prize of £2,000 is intended to fund a new or existing plan to help achieve this, such as an apprenticeship, coaching or training programme. ... BEWARE E-BIKES CHARGING Following a spate of fires linked to the charging of Lithium Ion batteries in e-scooters and e-bikes, the British Safety Council has published an introductory guide for employers on managing the risks of storing and charging such devices in the workplace. Phil Pinnington, Head of Audit and Consultancy at British Safety Council, said: “The increasing use of e-bikes and scooters has prompted a wave of new questions, considerations and challenges – not least for employers, as e-bikes and scooters have entered the workplace and are routinely charged at (or under) our desks. British Safety Council’s Introductory Guide to Li-on batteries in the workplace offers a series of tips to help employers identify and assess the risks posed and put control measures in place.” The guide can be downloaded from ... VODAFONE BUILDING NETWORK OF IT SUPPORT HUBS Vodafone Business is building a network of Vodafone Business IT Hubs across the UK to provide IT and communications support and managed services to small businesses that don’t have IT expertise in-house. Each of the 300-plus franchises, including 70 in Greater London, will be run by an experienced IT professional who will have their own local territory to run. Trading under the Vodafone brand, the limited companies will sell a portfolio of Vodafone products and services alongside selected products from partner vendors, enabled by an industryleading platform, with IT software, services and resources. ... INTEGRATED ERP TO TRANSFORM CONCERN WORLDWIDE OPERATIONS Boutique digital transformation consultancy Embridge Consulting and enterprise cloud applications provider Unit4 are working together on an integrated ERP solution for Concern Worldwide. The international humanitarian organisation committed to reducing suffering in the world’s poorest countries has 4,500 staff and volunteers in 26 countries. It has grown substantially in recent years and wanted to upgrade its finance and aid distribution management systems and move to the cloud. Steve Haines, Chief Commercial Officer of Embridge Consulting, said: “Concern Worldwide needed a technology solution to help drive further operational efficiencies, improve reporting and drive insight for timely, informed decision-making. Our proven track record of delivering similar large-scale, complex projects, working collaboratively with Unit4, means we can provide the right combination of technology, best practice guidance, training and ongoing support to this programme. In doing so, we can help Concern Worldwide operate more effectively, distributing aid where it’s most needed and managing donor funds appropriately.” The Unit4 ERP implemented by Embridge Consulting and Unit4 provides an intuitive, cost-effective platform to streamline finance, procurement and warehousing. Longer term, the intention is to work with Concern to continuously improve its operations. continued... WIFI ON MARS In preparation for future Mars missions, the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) has been testing equipment, procedures and experiments in the province of Ararat, Armenia under conditions that are as close to the red planet as possible. This includes Wi-Fi technology from LANCOM Systems, which is used for communications in the field and with ground control and to transmit data (on heart rates and body temperature, CO2 and oxygen content) from sensors in the six astronauts’ spacesuits via Wi-Fi antennae on the back of their suits. WiFi, also used to control robotic vehicles, is provided by routers and outdoor access points mounted on tripods in a high-availability network of wireless point-to-point links. Photo: ÖWF/Florian Voggeneder


8 01732 759725 INNOVATIONS Helping to break down language barriers and cultural differences, emotii is a new desktop and smartphone app that allows users to send and receive messages in their own language, with words, tone of voice and emotion translated automatically in real-time. Know what I mean Cyber alert app The Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland has launched a free iOS/ Android app that consolidates cyber and fraud threat intelligence from multiple sources and automatically delivers alerts to organisations throughout Scotland. The Threat Intel app applies three levels of threat severity to help users prioritise responses and offers the option of customising alerts by industry sector – private sector, public sector, third sector or academia. The app also connects to the Centre’s Incident Response Helpline, which provides support for organisations that have been affected by a cyber-attack. Look sharp New from Logitech, the MX Brio/MX Brio 705 for Business is the company’s most advanced webcam yet. Part of its Master Series, alongside MX keyboards and mice, the Ultra HD 4K webcam enables users to show themselves and their work in the best light. It combines 70% bigger pixels than Logitech’s previous flagship webcam with AI-enhanced light correction/image enhancement and manual image customisation options to deliver ultra-sharp images even in difficult lighting conditions. Show Mode allows users to share sketches and other physical objects simply by tilting the webcam. The carbon neutral MX Brio also features two beamforming mics to reduce background noise and an integrated privacy shutter. Made in the USA Goldilock, the UK-based creator of a multi-patented physical network isolation solution and cyber kill-switch deployed by the UK Ministry of Defence and Ukrainian CyberCommand, has signed a US development and production deal that gives Patriot Tools the right to manufacture and supply Drawbridge within the United States for five years, using only US-made and sourced components. Patriot Tools aims to target the US energy, transmission and financial services sectors with a Drawbridge model specifically designed for their needs. Goldilock CEO Tony Hasek said: “Not all personal, business, national critical infrastructure and military systems and data should be online 24/7. Instead, organisations must adopt ‘disconnectedness’, and be prepared to disconnect OT, IT systems and other digital assets at the drop of a hat. The new default must be true physical connection/disconnection on-demand, which is precisely what Goldilock’s patented Drawbridge delivers.” Capital connectivity Spitfire Network Services Ltd, a provider of voice, internet and wide area network connectivity services, is expanding its product offering for customers in London through a wholesale partnership deal with Vorboss. A dedicated fibre network and internet service provider, Vorboss is investing £250 million in building its own fibre network infrastructure, with high quality, uncontended bandwidth of up to 100Gbps. The partnership allows Spitfire to provide dataintensive customers with a choice of 10, 25 and 100Gbps dedicated fibre at competitive prices. WHAT’S NEW Smart choice Canon Europe has expanded its home office printing range with a four-in-one multifunction printer with Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and 3-inch colour touchscreen. Featuring a 5-colour individual ink system, the PIXMA TR7650 produces vibrant, borderless prints in sizes up to A4, with the option of cost-saving, high-yield XL and XXL ink cartridges. The 20-sheet ADF speeds up the copying, scanning and faxing of multi-page documents and mixed media, while Wi-Fi, mobile and cloud connectivity offer the convenience of wireless working and the ability to print from/scan to popular cloud storage services.

INNOVATIONS 9 Unique insights CREST-accredited penetration tester and managed security service provider Cybaverse says the launch of Cybaverse. ai makes it easier for MSPs to identify and remediate threats before they cause harm to customers. The platform sits above client security integrations, giving MSPs a unified view of the cybersecurity efforts of their customers and the ability to access security dashboards for all their clients without having to navigate multiple platforms. Within the platform, MSPs can view real-time data on penetration testing, vulnerability scans and regulatory compliance and access a marketplace where they can buy cybersecurity products and services for clients. Oliver Spence, CEO of Cybaverse, said: “We started Cybaverse as a boutique cyber security consultancy and it has evolved into a leading MSSP. During this journey we have gained unique insights into customer pain points that we are tackling with Our platform offers MSPs a flexible way to manage security for their clients. It’s a full-service platform that caters perfectly to the needs of MSPs and their customers.” Remote control Utelogy Corporation, provider of an enterprise-grade software platform for managing, monitoring, controlling and automating connected workspaces, is enhancing customers’ ability to monitor smart buildings and collaborative workspaces through the integration of its platform with Neat video devices. Cloud integration via the Neat Pulse API brings additional features to the Utelogy platform including insight into space utilisation and occupancy levels; environmental data monitoring (CO2 levels, humidity, temperature and device health); and advanced control and configuration capabilities, with secure communications, real-time alerting and remote rebooting. • On the button Microsoft has launched its first Surface devices to be optimised for AI and business. Both the two-in-one Surface Pro 10 for Business and the Surface Laptop 6 feature a new Copilot key for AI assistance; integrated Neural Processing Units offering AI features like Windows Studio Effects and Live Captions and the opportunity for businesses to build their own AI apps; and the latest Intel Core Ultra processors, providing 2x faster performance on the Surface Laptop 6 and a 53% speed boost on the Surface Pro 10. Other selling points are Windows 11 Pro, robust security and a host of feature upgrades including an Ultrawide Studio Camera with a 114° field of view and, coming later this year, a Surface Pro 10 with 5G. Switch and save Businesses that switch to a managed print service could save up to £16,500 over a three-year period, in the case of a business using five Brother MFCL9570CDW professional all-in-one colour laser devices. According to Brother’s new MPS cost of ownership calculator, smaller businesses could also benefit, to the tune of £1,569 (over 36 months) for a typical small business using a Brother MFC-L8690CDW multifunction printer. MPS customers also benefit from the convenience of automatic ink and toner ordering and installation and maintenance support. On the charge Simpson & Partners, a Cotswoldsbased manufacturer of home EV chargers, has launched a series of EV chargers designed for business premises, public/leisure operations (hotels, pubs, shops etc.) and multidwelling properties (e.g. blocks of flats). The stylish Simpson & Partners Business Series is available with 7kW single-phase or 22kW three-phase outputs, wall-mounted or free-standing, with single or dual sockets. A Plinth Only option allows businesses to install EV infrastructure now (and claim an OZEV Government grant to help with installation costs) before adding chargers at a later date. Optional MID (Measuring Instruments Directive) meters, OCPP compliance and dynamic load balancing cater to diverse customer charging requirements. Better protection Veritas Technologies has updated its unified backup and recovery solution Veritas Backup Exec with advanced malware detection, role-based access to data and enhanced functionality for faster backup and recovery of businesscritical data. Used by more than 45,000 small and midsize businesses (SMBs) globally, Veritas Backup Exec protects critical data wherever it resides – in SaaS or specialised applications, on premises or in the cloud. The unified design of Veritas Backup Exec eliminates the need for multiple point products and enables customers to manage their entire data estate from a single console.

10 01732 759725 UCAAS This begs two questions: q Why does a leading and hugely successful unified communications and connectivity company suddenly feel the need to undergo a brand-building exercise?; and w What has a big fluffy dog got to do Gamma? European growth For an answer to the first question, you only need to look at Gamma’s growth plans which, given the maturity of the UK market, are focused on expansion of its unified communications offering (strengthened with the acquisition of the EnableX Group in December 2023) and accelerated growth in Europe. Europe is currently a few years behind the UK in the adoption of cloud communications and the sophistication of telephony-related services. Given Gamma’s experience and expertise, Wade says it is well placed to play a big role in helping European businesses move to the cloud and modernise their comms. “There is an opportunity for us to carve out a different and unique position in the rest of Europe as we go forward, and that’s where we want to get to,” he said. The Gamma brand, he says, is very important as a unifying force for the dozen or more companies Gamma has acquired over the last 20+ years and as a means of conveying its capabilities and values as it seeks to forge a distinctive identity, especially in the large and growing European market. Good together Which brings us to the second question. As part of her research prior to the rebranding, Andrea Herbert interviewed 100 customers, suppliers and channel partners to find out what they liked about Gamma, and top of the list was the people. “The real reason we found that people choose Gamma is that warm, fuzzy feeling of a really good relationship,” she said. “We wanted to bring that to life. This is where the idea grew some legs, and then those legs got a bit hairy and then they got a face. And we thought, actually this is the perfect way to describe Gamma. We are a bit like a giant, purple, furry dog. We’re friendly. We’re very positive. If things are tough, we will absolutely protect you. When things are good, we will run by your side in the field. We’re about loyalty. We’re about trust and transparency. I can’t think of anything better to bring that to life than this dog.” Successful relationships Gamma has backed up its ‘Good together’ messaging, with new research that explores the correlation between good relationships and business success. Is Gamma’s largely relationship-driven success (as opposed to brand-driven success) unusual or have other businesses grown in this way? To find out Gamma and psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Charlotte Armitage have produced a Return on Relationships whitepaper based on a survey of 800 people. This clearly shows the importance of relationships to business success, with 72% of business leaders stating that good rapport is more important than price and capabilities when choosing a partner or supplier. In addition, 73% of leaders in growing companies felt they had strong relationships with clients, with 64% saying the same for colleagues, compared to 61% and 52% respectively in businesses with declining revenues. Gamma Communications is every Marketing Director’s dream (or should that be worst nightmare?), a company that has grown consistently and seemingly effortlessly without any largescale promotion of the brand and its core values, beyond logo/ graphics refreshes (previously undertaken in January 2020). From murky beginnings in 2002 – no one at the company can quite remember how the telephony, connectivity and UCaaS provider started – it has grown into a £521.7 million turnover business, with 1,800 employees and a growing presence in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. In the UK alone, one in every three calls into a business goes via a Gamma service. In all this time, Gamma, while clearly well known in the channel and valued by its direct customers, has maintained a low profile in the wider world. As Chief Marketing and Product Officer Chris Wade said: “When I joined Gamma, we were described as a company that no one knew and that we didn’t want anyone to know.” That’s now about to change. Wade and Marketing Director Andrea Herbert have broken with company tradition and invested £550,000 in a comprehensive pan-European rebrand and brand marketing programme featuring a giant purple CGI dog and the slogan ‘Good together’. Significantly, this campaign isn’t just aimed at existing customers and channel partners but is designed to raise awareness of the Gamma brand amongst the wider public in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and the UK, where the new branding was displayed on the side of Manchester’s tallest building for a week after the launch. UCaaS provider Gamma has adopted a giant, purple CGI dog as the embodiment of its core brand values If Gamma was a dog…

11 COMMS KYOCERA Document Solutions (UK) Limited Your green partner for digital transformation. Here at Kyocera, we're more than print experts. We also deliver bespoke IT solutions for businesses across the UK. And, as a carbon neutral managed service provider, you'll have a partner for growth that aligns with your values. Get in touch with us and book a discovery session and we'll plant a tree. Scan the QR code or visit: Discover more: kyoceraduk @KYOCERADUK kyocera-doc-solutions-uk • +44 (0)333 015 1855 [email protected]

12 01732 759725 COVER STORY Is digital transformation only possible for large enterprises with millions to spend on professional services or is it achievable by smaller organisations with small budgets and limited in-house resources? Vasion – or PrinterLogic as it was called until 2021 – believes digital transformation should be achievable by organisations of any size and, to help them, it has developed a powerful automation platform designed to transform manual and siloed processes into fully automated and integrated workflows. The all-in-one SaaS platform brings together Vasion’s core printer management solutions, which it has been developing since it was founded in 2012; a content and document management solution gained through its acquisition of One platform, one vendor MaxxVault in 2018; and additional capabilities developed over the last five years by its in-house software development team. Together, they provide six integrated tools that enable businesses to create seamless endto-end processes involving both printed and digital input and output. These are: n Capture – for converting printed documents into digital data and initiating a digital workflow. n eForm Digital Capture – for capturing data from eForms completed online using a computer or smartphone. n Workflow Automation – for designing and automating business processes using a low-code, nocode automation engine. n Content Management – for centralised access to and management of content wherever it resides. n End User Print – for managing serverless printing across an organisation’s entire printing estate. n Output Management – for managing printing from SAP, Oracle, mainframes and EMR systems with secure release technology and confirmation of delivery. Single sign on Simon Hill, Managing Director EMEA and APAC, says that the Vasion platform overcomes the complexity, cost and inefficiencies of using individual point solutions from multiple vendors, by providing everything in one platform, from one vendor, with single sign on, so you don’t have to log on separately to each component. “What we see in every organisation we go into is people buying point solutions to do different things. There might be some print management software, some data capture software, Vasion to help organisations automate business processes with launch of integrated digital transformation platform some e-signature software, some workflow software and some content management software for storage. When the IT department wants to create a business process for, say, the HR department, they have to cobble together all those elements to make a simple workflow. What we offer is the ability to have print, content management, workflow, e signature, e forms and document capture all in the same SaaS platform.” Customers can choose to implement different parts of the platform in line with their own needs, perhaps starting with printer management or document management before adding other capabilities as their needs change. Hill adds that one of Vasion’s big selling points is its ability (and willingness) to integrate a customer’s existing systems to enable a more gradual and lower cost migration. “If an organisation has, let's say, SharePoint or OpenText, we can go in and replace that. Or the organisation might say ‘Actually, we've got that set up already; we don’t want to touch it yet, but we are interested in your workflow and your e-forms and your e-signatures. Can we integrate those with our SharePoint?’. And the answer is yes. We don't mind where the storage is for all those documents. “I believe we are quite unique in this respect, because one of the things we've noticed with other software vendors is that if you want their content management system, the storage of documents needs to be in their system and that can be quite expensive. With us, you can store documents anywhere you want – OneDrive, Google Drive, SharePoint, OpenText – and the user doesn't need to know where each document resides as our system retrieves files from multiple storage locations. That capability can cut costs significantly because storage in some applications is much more expensive than in others.” Simon Hill

13 Transforming processes As an example of how organisations are using Vasion to transform their processes, Hill references John Boner Neighbourhood Centers in Indianapolis, which as part of the Energy Assistance Program helps deliver grants to 15,000 low-income households in Marion County. It wanted to be able to deploy its employees throughout the county so that applicants could complete and sign forms in their neighbourhoods rather than having to go to a central location. To enable this, John Boner implemented a distributed document management system from Vasion that gives employees the ability to work on documents remotely on any device. This was so successful that in 2020, John Boner explained to the Mayor’s Office how the tools it uses for the delivery of the Energy Assistance Program could be used to deliver a Rental Assistance Program for residents who had seen their income slashed because of the pandemic. John Boner got the green light and asked Vasion to design and implement a solution in just six weeks. The process it came up with combined the automatic capture of data from printed forms and e-Forms filled in and e-signed on a mobile phone; workflow capabilities to route applications to the administrators responsible for application processing and signoff; and content management for document storage and retrieval. The productivity benefit of being able to change so quickly from a paper-based process with wet signatures to a digital form with e-signature during a time of Covid restrictions was vital to the success of the programme, which ultimately provided 14,000 families with rental assistance so that they could stay in their homes. Printer management Another key benefit of Vasion's platform is the opportunity it gives organisations to modernise their printing infrastructure and gain visibility of and control over both office print devices and production printers through what Hill calls ‘the next generation of print management’. Vasion’s cloud-enabled, serverless print management solution now used by 11,500 customers across 2,000,000 devices, automates printer driver management for every printer in an organisation, ensuring that employees can print to any printer in any location without having to call the helpdesk or manually download drivers. “With our cloud infrastructure, when I walk into an office, the software says do you want to print to such and such a printer? I click yes and the relevant print driver is automatically installed on my laptop or smartphone. I’m logged into the system. It knows who I am and what I’ve printed and that’s all stored in a central administrative console,” explains Hill. “For security reasons, we don’t send a print job from my laptop up to the cloud and back down again. All we do is send the metadata to the cloud, a little package of information. The print job stays local and only goes across the network in my office.” He says that this solution has four main benefits: n It enables organisations to manage all their print devices, in all their locations, including singlefunction and multi-function printers from any manufacturer; n Its automatic print driver management massively reduces printer-related support calls, boosting productivity, reducing the workload of the IT department and saving costs; n It removes the need for expensive on-premises print servers, saving money and energy, eliminating a potential security risk and reducing the IT support overhead; and n It enables organisations to use all the features of their print devices, because unlike print management solutions that use the same universal print driver for every device, which involves some loss of functionality, it uses each device’s native print driver. Because of its serverless architecture and ability to cover all printers, Vasion has traditionally been adopted by organisations with numerous branch offices that may not be covered by a central managed print service. “We've observed that less than 30% of the printing devices organisations have are under an MPS contract and that’s because the on-premises software they use doesn't extend to all their environments. One well known retailer, for example, had software to manage the 60 devices in its head office but nothing for the 4,500 devices in its 3,500 stores. Typically, an MPS provider won't want to manage devices in stores because each satellite location will require a server for on-premise printer management software; getting engineers to remote locations is challenging and costly; and small devices are unsuitable for a business model that is based on the number of pages going through a print device.” He adds that many customers that started out using Vasion for their remote locations are now using it to look after the printers in their central locations as well, because they want a single platform that can manage everything, from small, single function printers to production devices. The future is digital While printer management is still a huge opportunity for Vasion, Hill believes that in the future other elements within the platform will come to the fore as customers continue with their digital transformation. “From the start, our message has been ‘eliminate the print server’. In the future it could become ‘eliminate the printer’. Why do you need all these printers? You have a form? Well, why don't we give you an e-form rather than a printed form? We're going to move much more in that direction as we continue to develop and expand the platform.” To find out more about the Vasion platform and how it can help you transform your processes, please visit or call (+44) 0203 9003233. COVER STORY

14 MFPS 01732 759725 Productive hybrid work environments Xerox has announced a collection of new solutions and services designed to accelerate digital transformation, productivity and security in the hybrid workplace, while saving time and reducing IT hassles. The launch of the new Xerox VersaLink C415/B415/C625/B625 and the Xerox VersaLink C620/ B620 completes a total refresh of its A4 printers and MFPs. The MFPs use machine learning to recognise common tasks and suggest more efficient processes, eliminating programming steps and saving valuable time. High-capacity scanning quickly turns hardcopy into digital files and initiates digital workflows. The Xerox Intelligent Filer scanning app leverages artificial intelligence to provide automatic categorisation, standardised naming structures and suggest filing locations that enables users to easily find filed documents in the right location with the right name. Xerox Workflow Central platform makes it easy to instantly transform paper and digital documents on any device including PCs, tablets, mobile devices and MFPs, automating the most tedious document centric tasks. The update adds three workflows along with an automation tool that reinforces hybrid work practices and security. New capabilities include: workflow automation, enabling users to create their own custom workflows to streamline everyday tasks based on conditional formatting that runs in the background when those conditions are met (e.g. if this, then that); Protect, which adds a protective wrapper around shared documents to track, restrict and even allow deletion when forwarded on to others; cloud-based send fax capabilities for hybrid workers; and convert to PDF functionality. Xerox MPS now includes cloudnative printer fleet maintenance and supplies management and adds automated driver deployment for any brand of printer. The latest developments are powered by the Xerox Workplace Cloud software platform which eliminates the need for onsite print servers and related costs and provides a zero footprint solution. This cloud-first approach is designed to meet the needs of any client, regardless of size. Fleet security management updates enable detection of suspicious activity for rapid incident response. Focus On: All the latest tech and none of the hassle Devices for Teams by Hardsoft is a new Device as a Service solution that enables businesses to enjoy the latest Windows and Apple devices without hassle, paperwork and unexpected expenses. Extending from pre-deployment support to end-of-life recycling, the flexible IT leasing solution features: a single monthly direct debit payment covering the latest devices, support, pre-deployment services, software and services; unlimited choice of devices – tablet, smartphone, laptop or desktop – all configured to your specifications and shipped directly to team members; expert tech support from Hardsoft’s team of Apple Consultants Network members and Windows specialists; Boomerang device reprovisioning; and complementary services, including SafeGuard insurance, recycling, Carbon Offset, Shepherd MDM and Squirrel Backup. For added flexibility, customers have the freedom to return devices after 12 months without penalty. To find out more call 0207 1111 643 or visit Light production models Two new Pro Series MFPs from Sharp are designed to meet the evolving needs of on-demand light production printing. The new models, BP-90C80 and BP-90C70, offer a solution for entry-level light production printing at a reduced cost, with higher printing capabilities, high quality precise printing and improved productivity for heavier weight media. The next generation of printing systems bring together Sharp’s complete edge to edge full bleed printing capabilities with powerful Fiery digital front ends (DFEs), further extending the company’s ecosystem of smart office devices and services to meet the needs of any business. The Fiery Print Servers can be embedded into the BP-90C80 and BP-90C70 or installed externally. By relying on the Fiery Server’s advanced processing and automated job preparation capabilities, the latest additions to the Sharp Pro Series offer advanced control for local and remote Mac and PC clients to edit, submit and preview jobs before printing without sacrificing speed. The new models offer increased productivity across a range of heavier paper weights, with engine speeds operating at 100% efficiency all the way up to 220gsm. The BP90C70 offers printing at 70/75 ppm colour/BW, with the BP-90C80 operating at 80/80 ppm colour/ BW. Additionally, full-bleed booklets and brochures are supported with optional trimming, stapling and hole punching, page insertion, and different folds. A range of paper types are also accounted for, with coated, uncoated and textured stock supported from the input tray through to a choice of finishing systems.

MANAGED PRINT SERVICES 15 cartridges can be returned for recycling or remanufactured at Brother’s Recycling Technology Centre in Ruabon, North Wales, meaning that zero waste goes to landfill. Greig Millar, chief revenue officer at Brother UK, said: “We know that businesses are searching for new ways to increase productivity and be more costefficient, all while becoming more sustainable. MPS and print-as-aservice will be a key tool to helping them achieve that. “We launched MPS Essential as a solution dedicated to small businesses, who previously weren’t able to tap into the potential benefits that print-as-a-service helps unlock. The solution can help firms maximise productivity and efficiency through automatic supplies replenishment, while helping boost their sustainability offering with our toner recycling programme. These are evergreen business objectives and we remain at their side to support them on their journey.” To find out more about Brother MPS Essential, visit Brother MPS Essential In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, where constantly enhancing sustainability, security and productivity is paramount, small businesses are finding an ally in Brother UK’s managed print services (MPS) Essential offering. The business technology solutions provider launched its new MPS proposition in 2023, including MPS Essential. The unique package is designed for small businesses with low volume print requirements to help them access the productivity, efficiency and sustainability benefits that printing as a service delivers. Flexible MPS Essential plans start from £6.50 per month, providing free servicing and automatic supplies replenishment for businesses with a Brother printer. Firms can sign up in seconds and have the option to cancel at any time, which is a boost for those that need to be flexible with their finances in 2024. Brother manages device maintenance and consumables deliveries as standard, removing the admin burden from IT managers and allowing them to focus on more important tasks. MPS Essential also guarantees that 100% of the ink and toner Brother UK Supports Small Businesses With New Printing Solution

16 01732 759725 BUSINESS CONTINUITY zero RTO and RPO objectives and compliance by providing real-time cloud replication of actively used GenAI data. This method reduces costs and ensures continuous data accuracy should recovery be necessary, enabling development and analytics teams to continue working with the most up-to-date material. n No Downtime is a Must. Any data movement can hamper business continuity if it requires application downtime. Data migration solutions that can facilitate large-scale data changes and migration to the cloud will help minimise disruption. n Automation is the Answer. In the event of a system failure, IT teams can use active-active replication over multi-cloud environments, as necessary, to ensure automatic failover and recovery, minimising data loss and downtime. Practise Secure GenAI Use Before the end of this decade GenAI and unstructured data will become a larger and more powerful element in production, data science and day-to-day business operations. Now is the time to review business continuity practices to ensure business teams can effectively manage and secure the LLMs and data sets they are using. Updating security practices will help avoid costs associated with a data breach, as well as loss of customer trust and loyalty. It is too easy unwittingly to introduce confidential data into training LLMs and security and functional teams will need to work together to set limits on unstructured data that could pose a threat to data protection, privacy and continuity of operations. IT teams must also avoid the fragmentation of policy controls, update recovery practices and use replication technology to ensure business continuity. As businesses assemble large data sets using GenAI-powered processes and transfer this data into applications, there is an immediate need to ensure LLMs are subject to the same security and data protection practices as any other application or data asset. To ensure recovery and business continuity, there are several immediate considerations: n Visibility is a Priority. The principle that you can’t manage assets you don’t know about holds true for unstructured data. Functional teams, or lines of businesses, must have visibility into the unstructured data in their environment to avoid cyber attacks, data privacy breaches and budget impact. By having visibility, teams can make a judgment as to which GenAI data and/or models are critical and need to be categorised as such to support continuity. n The Cloud is King. LLMs are built on data that needs to live in the cloud as the expense and lack of hardware support for datasets needed to train LLMs makes on premises storage highly prohibitive. Best practice is required to store this data securely and execute recovery as needed. If a business has adopted a multicloud strategy, it needs to consider a solution that can support large data set migration across multiple cloud providers. n Recovery is the Point. GenAI has changed the amount of data flowing through an organisation and to the cloud. In refining a business continuity strategy to integrate GenAI, functional teams need to review their recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) and ensure they have backup and recovery processes for critical GenAI large data sets or applications. n Replication is Imperative. Organisations can support nearDisaster recovery and business continuity already function in a highly risk-laden environment and this is now being made even more complex with the rise of generative AI (GenAI) and the large data sets created to feed data science and analytics. The need to manage data analytics fed by large language models (LLMs) while providing the replication safety net that supports business continuity is forcing CIOs to refine their business continuity strategies to address the magnitude of unstructured data within their environments. In its Global Industry Vision report, Huawei predicts that the volume of global data will reach 180 zettabytes by 2025, 80% of which will be unstructured. It forecasts that by 2030, 25% of unstructured data will be used for production and decisionmaking, eventually rising to 80%. GenAI is driving this growth by aggregating text, voice, documents, videos, emails and messaging platforms. At the same time, its rapid development, use of large data sets, potential for misapplication and lack of robust security controls make it a rich target for cyber criminals. Contributing to the security challenge is the fact that different functional teams are using and generating unstructured data in their own fashion, with varying degrees of security. In a study sponsored by Box (Untapped Value: What Every Executive Needs to Know About Unstructured Data), IDC warns that application sprawl and fragmentation of unstructured data, ‘often with diverse sets of identity and authentication models and different administrative features’, are expanding the attack surface and potentially doubling the annual cost of security breaches to $4.5 million. GenAI & business continuity Paul Scott-Murphy, CTO of Cirata, explains how to manage recovery and business continuity in an unstructured data environment fuelled by AI Paul Scott- Murphy