Technology Reseller v39

01732 759725 06 NEWS : RESELLERS Simon Harbridge Central Networks helps WISH upgrade IT IT services provider Central Networks and Technologies has been helping not-for- profit community interest company Women in Social Housing (WISH) strengthen its IT infrastructure by providing implementation and project time free of charge. The 30-year-old IT firm has helped WISH to deploy Office 365 software for its geographically dispersed workforce and volunteers and bolster new internal IT policies surrounding data protection, retention and acceptable use. WISH Managing Director Helen Greig said: “As a community interest company, we don’t have an unlimited amount of spend for IT. Receiving this project time free of charge is a massive help for us, as it means we can get the upgraded systems we need and use our budget to continue running our planned events and activities as cost-effectively as possible for our valued members.” WISH, a membership-based network for women in every discipline of the UK housing sector, runs networking and personal and professional development events for its 500 members. Central has a strong presence in the social housing sector, with more than 70% of its 2,000-strong client base being non-profit organisations in this area. Sales Director Nicola Brown is a co-chair of WISH North West. IT solutions provider The ICC Group (ICC), headquartered in Wetherby, is building a next-generation managed service proposition through a collaboration with Vapour, a cloud specialist and Microsoft CSP (cloud solution provider). The partnership between the two companies follows ICC’s recruitment of Gary Saunders to grow its managed service division into a multi-million-pound revenue business in just two years (see page 43). The addition of Vapour to its partner portfolio will enable ICC to meet growing demand from SME, enterprise and public sector customers for managed services, in addition to the hardware and maintenance offering on which the company has built its success. When an ICC customer wants to embark on a digital transformation journey or a cloud-first overhaul of its communications infrastructure, the two firms will join forces to leverage the expertise of both teams. Vapour has already transitioned ICC itself from a legacy on-premise voice system to a licence-based softphone environment, giving ICC’s 60 employees the flexibility and connectedness they need whether they are in one of the company’s four offices or working remotely. Gary Saunders said: “Even this simple transition will bolster our grip on what’s going on, particularly for customers interacting with our service desk. Armed with more intel, we can fine-tune the level of service we provide. We can analyse email and instant message dialogue, too, which would traditionally have only been possible with a very expensive omnichannel platform.” He added: “This is exactly the type of functionality we can open up to our customers. There are even Technology as a Service options in the pipeline. It all comes down to adding value, and the perception of value has changed significantly in the last 12 months. Customers need agility from their supplier – that’s what leads to long-term relationships – and that’s exactly what we seek in our suppliers too.” ICC partners with Vapour to build managed services offering Microsoft education accreditation for Stone Circular IT solutions provider Stone Group has joined the top tier of Microsoft partners operating in the education sector by becoming just one of five companies in the UK to be accredited as an expert Microsoft Education Device Sales Specialist. The status, reviewed annually by Microsoft, recognises partners that demonstrate expertise in supporting education institutions, taking into account a range of criteria, including pricing, licensing, customer journeys, accessibility and technical expertise. Simon Harbridge, CEO at Stone Group, said: “The award, in addition to our Microsoft Gold Partner status, is testament to our close relationship with Microsoft and our ability to serve the education sector. When working with an expert Education Device Sales Specialist, education institutions will have peace of mind and total confidence that they’re dealing with a qualified and experienced provider.” PTG acquired by Fulcrum UK IT services and solutions company the pure technology group (PTG) has been acquired by Fulcrum Technology Group B.V., the European division of a global technology company. PTG employs 140 people across three locations in Leeds, Wakefield and Wigan. It has increased turnover every year since it was founded in 2007, reaching £39.7 million in its last financial year. Fulcrum plans to retain all PTG personnel, including the senior management team led by founder and CEO Stephen O’Brien. He said: “We’ve had many approaches over the last couple of years because, fundamentally, we’re a great business. Fulcrum’s pitch was different though; they have a bigger strategy in play, which will propel us towards being amongst the top echelon of UK IT Service Providers.” As well as giving PTG access to a broader customer base, the acquisition by Fulcrum will help expand the group’s portfolio of products and services in areas such as secure remote work and enterprise service management. (left to right): Cliff Fox, Chief Operating Officer (PTG); Geoff Botting, Chief Financial Officer (PTG); Stephen O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer (PTG); and Shane Maine, Chief Executive Officer (Fulcrum) TIG award Technological Innovations Group (TIG), the technology sales agency for integrated AV solutions for commercial and residential smart spaces, has been named Top Global Distributor at the Salamander Designs Top Sales Representatives, Resellers and Global Distributor Awards 2020 . The award recognises the demand TIG has created for Salamander Designs’ AV cabinets, carts, mounts and tables across EMEA.