Technology Reseller v45

v45 · 2021 THE MAGAZINE & ONLINE CHANNEL RESOURCE FOR VARS, IT RESELLERS & IT SUPPORT PROVIDERS PAGE 19 TECHNOLOGY RESELLER AWARDS 2022 PREDICTIONS VIEW FROM THE CHANNEL PAGE 35 PAGE 30 Meet the judges What will be the key trends in 2022? We ask the experts With Malek Rahimi, Managing Director of BDR Group Take out the complication of billing, provisioning and reporting

AD EXN Q&A Ad exn If you no longer wish to receive Technology Reseller magazine please email your details to [email protected] COMMENT 03 In this month’s View from the Channel on page 30, Malek Rahimi, Managing Director of BDR Group, talks about the pride he and his team felt when BDR was named Reseller of the Year at a telecoms industry awards event. He describes the win as ‘great recognition of the quality of our team’. The hard work staff put in day-in and day-out often goes unnoticed and awards are a good way of bringing employees’ efforts to the attention of management and colleagues as well as potential customers. The impact is even greater when team members are there to accept the award in person – we have all seen the joyous, occasionally riotous, celebratory photos online, in company newsletters and in industry magazines. There are many other reasons to enter awards, some of which we mention on page 18 in the context of Technology Reseller’s own awards. I know from conversations with readers of this magazine and from the press releases I receive daily that in the last 12 months people in our industry have done amazing things that deserve wider recognition and promotion. The flexibility and creativity shown by vendors, distributors and resellers in meeting the needs of their customers at a time of real disruption caused not only by the pandemic but also by problems in the global supply chain, the skills crisis, freak weather, petrol shortages etc. have been inspirational. The accelerated roll-out of digital transformation initiatives across all industry sectors speaks volumes about the success with which the IT channel has responded to the challenges they and their customers have faced. The Technology Reseller Awards give you the opportunity to trumpet your own achievements and recognise the efforts of employees for all the hard work they have put in. For resellers and vendors, the Distributor Award categories, which are decided by votes cast, are a way to thank and support those distributors that have really impressed you with their service and support over the last year. You can find out more about how to get involved on pages 18 and 19 or by visiting This will be the last issue of 2021, though of course we will continue to publish stories online, so it just remains for me and the whole Technology Reseller team to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! James Goulding – Editor, [email protected] Technology Reseller is published by Kingswood Media Ltd., 10 Amherst House, 22 London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 2BT • Tel: 01732 759725 Email: [email protected] No part of Technology Reseller can be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. © 2021 Kingswood Media Ltd. Design: Sandtiger Media 04 What’s New A selection of the month’s best new products and services 06 Distributor News Exclusive Networks allies with NightDragon to explore investment opportunities 07 Working Together A round-up of the month’s new distribution agreements 09 Reseller News Axon celebrates 20 years in business 16 Events Tech Live returns to the Business Design Centre on March 24 18 Technology Reseller Awards 2022 Four ways you can get involved in our tech industry awards 20 Distribution DCC Technology overcomes challenges to record ‘very, very pleasing’ half-year results 22 Secure email The benefits of StayPrivate secure email for end users and resellers 25 Unified communications NEC targets tech resellers with the UNIVERGE BLUE UCaaS and CCaaS platform 30 View from the Channel With Malek Rahimi, Managing Director of BDR Group 31 E-commerce Digital Space launches online marketplace 35 Predictions Tech experts pick the trends and technologies they expect to make waves in 2022 41 I couldn’t do my job without... David Levine picks five tools he relies on to get his work done 42 People New faces, new places v45 · 2021 Comment Register online To receive your regular FREE printed copy of Technology Reseller Magazine simply fill in our online registration form at Read Technology Reseller online, on tablets and smart phones Join us : Follow us @techreselleruk technology-reseller-magazine 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] Group Sales: Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552116 · [email protected] or [email protected] Art Director: Nick Pledge 07767 615983 · [email protected] Advertising Executive: James Trim 01732 759725 · [email protected] ISSN 2632-9301 (Print) ISSN 2632-931X (Online) 2021 Thursday 17th March 2022 The Hilton London Bankside 2022 AWARDS Thursday 17th March 2022 The Hilton London Bankside ENTRIES NOW OPEN

01732 759725 04 INNOVATIONS What’s New Zoom Phone certification The Konftel 800 conference phone has been certified to work with Zoom’s cloud telephony solution Zoom Phone. Konftel Director of Global Sales Tommy Edlund said: “Zoom Phone now has over two million seats across 47 countries and territories, doubling from 1 million to 2 million paid seats in less than nine months. The Konftel 800 is a powerful flagship hybrid conference phone which, when paired with Zoom Phone, provides high quality audio communication across a multitude of room types.” In large spaces, smart microphone technology and the ability to daisy-chain units provide an extended audio pickup and listening range. In a new partnership with Logitech, PPDS is aiming to video-enable meeting spaces of any size by combining Philips-branded corporate and education displays, including the Philips C-Line, B-Line and T-Line series, with Logitech audio and video-conferencing solutions (the Brio, Rally Bar Mini, Rally Bar and Rally Plus). Tim de Ruiter, International Business Manager at PPDS, said: “Combining Logitech’s advanced technologies for unrivalled, world class video-conferencing quality with our own market-leading range – inspired by market feedback to meet every business need – we’re confident that there is no stronger or more complete all-in-one solution.” True partners Biodegradeable SIM Workz is helping mobile network operators (MNOs) to reduce their environmental footprint by introducing a biodegradable SIM card, which can also be safely recycled with other oil-based plastic. Claimed to biodegrade completely in landfill or through composting, the EcoSIM is one of several sustainability initiatives introduced by Workz, which is already ISO 14001 certified for Environmental Management. Others include modfying designs to halve plastic consumption per customer; introducing virtual alternatives, such as eSIM; using recycled materials in packaging; and optimising supply chains to cut the use of energy and unsustainable materials. In 2019, 5.5 billion SIM cards were produced worldwide. A shared view With a simple software install, Vivitek NovoStage enables up to four users at a time to share information on any Windows 10 device, from a laptop to a large format display (including the feed from a shared camera). Ideal for meetings, lessons and training sessions, as well as for seminars, workshops and virtual product demonstrations, the £225 solution is platform-agnostic, supporting iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, Chromebook and Ubuntu content. A Windows display can receive content in one of four ways – via NovoConnect software, Airplay, LauncherPlus or the Vivitek web portal – with no need for additional hardware or cables. 5G private network Cellnex UK has been contracted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to build an ultra-fast 5G private network in Basingstoke’s central business district. Supported by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre, the 5G core network and Radio Access Network will provide indoor and outdoor connectivity to more than 100 companies located in Basing View and a 5G Living Lab, where industry partners can showcase 5G applications for smart city, Internet of Things, immersive retail/leisure, AR/VR, transport and digital health. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council hopes the 5G network will attract businesses to the area and enable those already there to develop, trial and bring to market new products, services and applications. Sharp app Sharp has enhanced its hospitality EPOS systems with a new Android app that allows table staff to take and amend orders, finalise tabs, print bills and provide dietary information to customers. Integrating seamlessly with Sharp POS systems, SPOS Remote has an easy-to-use interface that replicates till programming. Squeaky clean Speedlink, the PC and gaming accessories brand, has launched a mousepad treated with antimicrobial technology from Polygiene. The HI-GENIC mousepad has a durable textile surface suitable for all mouse sensors and a non-slip base that provides stability even on smooth surfaces. Polygiene ViralOff treatment reduces micro-organisms on textiles by over 99% within two hours. 05 INNOVATIONS Versatile storage OWC’s new Mercury Elite Pro mini USB-C storage solution combines plug and play ease with up to 4TB of storage capacity and real-world performance speeds of 542MB/s. The bundled USB-C cable with tethered USB-A adapter enables users to plug the portable device into virtually anything, including past, present and future Macs and PCs and iOS, Android and Chrome OS devices. Use it to save, access, backup and edit work and personal files and/ or watch videos, listen to music and view pictures through a gaming console or direct attachment to a Smart TV. Because the OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini is bus-powered, it frees users from power adapter limitations. Cooling breakthrough Early test results show that a passive cooling system being trialled by Katrick Technologies and iomart could reduce a data centre’s total energy consumption by as much as 25%. A prototype installed at iomart’s Glasgow data centre captures heat energy generated by day-to-day operations and, through the use of bi-fluids, converts it into fluid vibrations that move fins specially designed to remove heat. Trial data suggest that using this system instead of energy-intensive condensers could cut the electricity consumption of data centre cooling systems by almost 50%. • Luxury listening Cisco and Bang & Olufsen have jointly developed a premium business headset optimised for hybrid workers. The Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 pairs Bang & Olufsen’s design skills, craftsmanship and powerful sound with Cisco’s integrated meeting controls and IT management capabilities. In addition to Bluetooth 5.1, Webex integration, voice prompts and on-ear controls for muting, answering or ending calls, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 provides crystal clear communications and an immersive listening experience through beamforming microphone arrays and Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation. Here, there and everywhere Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has launched a new range of desk phones for hybrid & remote working, following the introduction of its OmniPCX Enterprise Purple communications platform. Available in three lines (Basic, Essential, Enterprise), the phones incorporate 3D voice capture for meetings in large rooms, connections to wireless networks and an embedded VPN client for remote working. Nicolas Brunel, EVP, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Communication Business Division, said: “The new desk phones are part of the latest generation of devices that leverage the most advanced technological innovations to offer unprecedented audio quality. The desk phones have been made to connect to the enterprise environment, even when working remotely. Their design and advanced capabilities make them an essential component of any digital workplace in combination with our communication servers and Alcatel- Lucent Enterprise’s cloud-based Rainbow UCaaS platform.” Nice to see you The Teleportel Telework Reception enables remote or homeworking receptionists to provide a warm, socially distant welcome to visitors, without the risk of infection to either party. A live video connection with a remote receptionist is established automatically (and touchlessly) the moment a visitor walks up to the Reception Unit, waves their hand over the screen or scans the QR code on their invitation. The solution is available in two versions: a DIY version, where the customer supplies their own computer and Teleportel remotely installs and supports the software; and the complete RealReceptionist version, which includes a countertop or wall-mountable indoor unit with a 22-inch touchscreen, integrated HD camera, microphone, speakers and optional QR reader. There is also an Advanced unit housed in a kiosk (with optional pedestals), which includes a card reader, a badge/ticket printer and an integrated Remote Diagnostic Controller. You buy, Acer plants Billed as a tangible manifestation of Acer’s commitment to more sustainable operations, the Acer Aspire Vero (£649-£849) includes a significant proportion of PCR plastic in its chassis (30%) and keycaps (50%); recyclable packaging that doubles as a laptop stand; a waste-minimising design that makes it easy to disassemble, repair, upgrade and recycle the computer or components; and a commitment from Acer to offset the carbon produced in manufacturing/shipping by planting 100 trees for every device registered by customers. Other features of the Acer Aspire Vero include a 99% recyclable 15.6in display; Windows 11; Wi-Fi 6; a Type-C USB port and two Type-A USB ports; and Acer TrueHarmony and Acer PurifiedVoice with AI noise reduction for crystal-clear conference calls.

01732 759725 06 NEWS : Distributors Exclusive Networks allies with NightDragon to explore investment opportunities Exclusive Networks is helping NightDragon, an investment and advisory firm specialising in growth and late-stage investments within the cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy industries, establish its portfolio of products in the European market by guiding their channel and distribution strategies in the region and supporting them with preferred benefits through its Ignition launchpad platform, which it acquired in July. The master agreement will give NightDragon portfolio companies preferred onboarding and channel strategy consulting, as well as enhanced levels of enablement and ongoing support from Ignition, including business development, pre-sales support, transactional support, training and certification, assistance with value proposition creation and vetted introductions to key resellers in the region. As well as scaling out existing portfolio companies, Exclusive Networks and NightDragon plan to jointly identify the next wave of cybersecurity innovators and technologies. Dave DeWalt, Founder and Managing Director of NightDragon, said: “Exclusive Networks has proven again and again its ability to identify, scale and launch successful cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy companies. We look forward to working hand in hand with the team to explore investment opportunities and help our portfolio companies expand their global footprints through its Ignition technology specialist company and enter the critical, growing European market.” IDC forecasts overall spending on IT security in Europe to reach $46.4 billion in 2024, up from an estimated $35.6 billion in 2021. Jesper Trolle, CEO of Exclusive Networks, said: “This alliance with NightDragon and its portfolio of late-stage scale-up vendors maps perfectly with our track record of helping to propel many such organisations to IPO with sustained market expansion. At the same time, it complements both our Ignition Technology ‘launchpad’ for early and mid-stage start-up vendors alongside the continued strong focus we concentrate upon established late stage start-ups as they scale-out.” Tech Data Practice Builder makes the difference for Triton Consulting Tech Data, a TD SYNNEX company, has helped IBM partner Triton Consulting become one of the first partner businesses in the UK or Europe to be able to migrate Db2 solutions to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data Systems. Triton developed its migration expertise through Tech Data’s Practice Builder methodology for the IBM Cloud Pak containerised platform, especially its technical enablement components, and by drawing on the expertise of Tech Data consultants. Tech Data’s Practice Builder provides a tailored programme of learning and development that enables partners to strengthen their capabilities in technology areas such as cloud, security, IoT and data, as well as a growing library of vendor-specific enablement paths. It is available for partners at every stage of their development and provides educational and business support resources to build long-term success in the chosen area of specialisation. Corin Wright, Practice Builder lead for UK and Ireland at Tech Data, said: “The work we’ve done with Triton is a great example of how effective Practice Builder can be in helping partners to go from where they are today to where they need to be in tomorrow’s market, in a structured, methodical and measurable way. It’s worked brilliantly for Triton, which is now in a position to offer a new kind of service that genuinely differentiates its business.” ArrowSphere ranked a ‘Strong Performer’ in Forrester report The Arrow Electronics ArrowSphere cloud marketplace and management platform has been named a Strong Performer in The Forrester New Wave: Marketplace Development Platforms, Q4 2021 report. Kristin Russell, President of Arrow’s Global Enterprise Computing Solutions Business, said: “It’s an honour to be recognised as a strong performer in this Forrester New Wave report, as we believe it validates that ArrowSphere is one of the most comprehensive global platforms for selling XaaS products. Arrow is committed to providing IT solution and service providers with tools that help them and their customers deliver business outcomes, and ArrowSphere is one of our differentiated offerings.” The report is available for download at ICTF role for Tech Data’s Tiltman Nick Tiltman, Tech Data Credit and Finance Solutions Director for the UK and Ireland, has been elected Vice Chairman of the association of International Credit and Trade Finance Professionals (ICTF). Tiltman has three decades of experience in senior credit management roles and was a founding board member of the ICTF when it was set up in 2010 to advance the profession of international credit management. He said: “In these unusual times, finance and credit support is needed by channel partners more than ever. While a lot of end-user businesses are transitioning to subscriptions and as-a-service models, others continue to take a traditional approach. Managing these changes in the dynamics of the market can be a challenge. We are here to help them do that and to provide the professional yet flexible financial and credit services that are needed in today’s market.” Tech Data makes around £1.5 billion of credit lines available to customers in the UK and Ireland through a range of services, from traditional leasing and subscription-based options to the Credit Elevator programme, which enables resellers to lift their credit line from just £5,000 to over £1 million through a series of defined steps, without having to keep re-applying for higher limits. Nuvias Group makes second acquisition of 2021 Nuvias Group is strengthening its presence in the BeLux market with the acquisition of Deltalink, a Value-Add Distributor (VAD) of cyber security and networking solutions based in Belgium. Commenting on the distributor’s second investment this year, Nuvias Group CEO Simon England said: “We are delighted to welcome Deltalink and a highly focused, specialised team to our European family, as another important milestone in our growth path. This move testifies to our confidence in the IT channel, the BeLux market and the cyber security segment.” Jesper Trolle Nick Tiltman Kristin Russell Simon England 07 NEWS : Distributors Repeat success for Westcon-Comstor Westcon-Comstor has been named Palo Alto Networks Global Distribution Partner of the Year at the Palo Alto Networks Ignite ‘21 Partner Summit for the second year in a row. David Grant, President and Chief Operating Officer, Westcon International, said: “We’re honoured to be named Palo Alto Network’s Global Distribution Partner of the Year for the second year in a row. Our dedicated Palo Alto Networks team is the largest vendor team at Westcon, with over 65 resources across EMEA focused entirely on Palo Alto Networks. We are fully committed to growing and investing in our relationship with Palo Alto Networks because we believe that long term success is based on collaboration and partnership.” Wasabi selects London as new storage region Building on the momentum gained from its European distribution partnership with Exclusive Networks, hot cloud storage company Wasabi has opened a new storage region in London that will expand the availability and speed of its services throughout the UK. Wasabi’s eighth storage region and second in Europe, after Amsterdam which opened in Q1 2019, is located in the Equinix Data Centre in London, which as well as making it easy for UK customers to connect to Wasabi hot cloud storage, has enough power and space for additional growth as Wasabi scales to meet the increasing demand for storage across the UK. According to IDC’s Worldwide Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Ser vice Market Shares, 2020 Report, the public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market in EMEA grew by 31% in 2020 as enterprises pivoted to support distributed workforces and digital interactions with customers. Wasabi hot cloud storage has redefined the industry with a solution that is one fifth of the cost of Amazon S3, with no fees for egress or API requests and no vendor lock-in. For the channel, Wasabi is simple to understand, bundle with other products and sell, for example by delivering support for immutable backups that offer the highest level of protection in cloud storage. Denis Ferrand-Ajchenbaum, VP Global Vendor Alliances and Business Development at Exclusive Networks, said: “Wasabi has been a tremendously valuable partner to us, delivering superior performance and pricing to the market. Instant and easy access to cloud storage without extra charges for egress or API requests alleviates much of the friction enterprises face and ultimately makes the cloud storage process simpler and much more intuitive.” Exclusive Networks expands footprint in Africa Exclusive Networks has established a presence in sub-Saharan Africa with the acquisition of Networks Unlimited, a value-added distributor serving 38 national markets in Africa with cybersecurity and infrastructure solutions. The acquisition establishes Exclusive Networks in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time, expanding its global footprint and providing new opportunities for vendor and reseller partners within the region and around the world. Jesper Trolle, CEO at Exclusive Networks, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Networks Unlimited into the global Exclusive family and believe this brings a host of benefits and opportunities to all our partners. There are strong synergies in our cultures, value propositions and vendor portfolios, which extend our global partnerships with Fortinet, SentinelOne, F5 and many others. As well as filling in more of the global map with Exclusive Networks’ presence, we see enormous potential in the broader African market that we can now serve from offices throughout the continent and our regional logistics hub in UAE.” Networks Unlimited will operate under the Exclusive Networks brand once integration work has been completed in early 2022. Working together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements Ascentae, a UK distributor of workplace solutions, is partnering with Huddly to bring artificial intelligence into UK meeting rooms and home offices. Huddly wide-angle USB conference cameras deliver a high-quality video conferencing experience straight out of the box and on any platform. Onboard AI software enables cameras to adjust automatically to their environment through features like the Huddly Genius Framing feature, while the Huddly InSights analytics API provides meeting room analytics data which, when enabled by platform providers, can help organisations make better informed decisions about how they use their meeting spaces. Jon Knight, Managing Director at Ascentae, said: “Huddly represents another example of our growing ecosystem of brands that form part of the future around intelligent data-driven workplace solutions. Huddly has put focus on building smart video conferencing solutions that offer a great integration with our existing portfolio of scalable and seamless meeting room products that can support a smarter future workplace.” • Exclusive Networks, a global cybersecurity specialist for digital infrastructure, has entered into a worldwide distribution agreement with Infinipoint, provider of a pioneering Device-Identity-as-aService (DIaaS) security solution that addresses the device pillar of a zero-trust cybersecurity approach. Focusing on mid-market-aligned partners – initially in France, Germany and the UK and across global territories from early 2022 – Exclusive will support Infinipoint growth targets through net new opportunities as well as technology integrations (SASE, MFA, ZTNA etc.) and alliances from within its existing vendor portfolio. Andy Travers, EVP Worldwide Sales & Marketing at Exclusive Networks, said: “Of the seven pillars propping up the concept of zero-trust architecture (ZTA), partners have struggled most to position Continued...

01732 759725 08 WORkING TOGETHER a strong story around zero-trust for device access because specialist solutions simply haven’t existed. That’s all changed with Infinipoint and DIaaS. It’s a great solution and fits perfectly into our cyber ecosystem. DIaaS also naturally supports a multitude of consumption models, which makes it ready-made for scaling out globally via our X-OD on-demand platform.” Channel services group SYNAXON UK has signed a new supplier partnership with Neomounts by Newstar, a provider of audio-visual and IT display mounts and protective screens. The partnership will give SYNAXON UK partners a range of benefits, including personal account management, easy access to the company’s partner support resources and exclusive promotions and offers via EGIS. Mike Barron, Managing Director of SYNAXON UK, said: “Neomounts is a really great addition to our line-up of vendors. Its products give resellers and retailers the opportunity to add more value to every sale. With more users now looking to optimise the use of space for home working, and businesses remodelling their offices to ensure maximum safety and comfort for users, we see considerable opportunities with the Neomounts range.” Exclusive Networks has updated its distribution agreement with F5, replacing 18 country-level distribution partnerships with a new global agreement and extending its global footprint to include North America for the first time, as well as territories in EMEA and APAC that weren’t covered by previous agreements. The agreement covers the complete F5 portfolio, with a special focus on innovative application security and delivery solutions linked to F5’s recent acquisitions of NGINX, Shape Security, Volterra and Threat Stack. Lisa Citron, VP of Global Channel Sales at F5, said: “At F5 we understand that modern apps are being decentralised, resulting in a broader threat surface with an attractive ROI for hackers. Our customers require trusted digital experiences across all types of environment, with strategic distribution partners filling a valuable role. Given the ever changing landscape of modern app development, distribution partners like Exclusive Networks provide F5 with greater outreach opportunities within the DevOps space. We are excited to deepen our partnership with an organisation that possesses such a unique focus there and look forward to working with the Exclusive Networks ecosystem to help guide customers on their journey towards adaptive applications.” Tech Data retail and webstore customers have immediate access to the complete range of TCL smart TVs, from 32-inch FHD LEDs to 75-inch 4K QLED TVs, following the signing of a distribution agreement with the Chinese manufacturer. With specialist retail and logistics capability, Tech Data says it is well placed to provide the kind of services that retailers and webstores need to optimise sales of consumer products in areas adjacent to mainstream IT, such as smart TVs, which are increasingly seeing cross-over with LFD displays designed for smart signage and collaboration. Ryan Thomas, Business Unit Manager, Consumer Electronics, UK at Tech Data, said: “A lot of consumers will be looking to upgrade their TV at this time of year and many of the established brands are only available at higher than normal prices due to the opposing forces of high demand and constrained supply. TCL is arriving at just the right time. It has a great line-up of TVs at amazing prices.” Midwich, specialist audio visual (AV) distributor to the trade market, has announced a UK and Ireland distribution agreement with professional audio manufacturer Bose, with a particular focus on the Bose Professional and Bose Work solutions. Bose Professional is the division of Bose Corporation dedicated to pro audio, including portable PA systems, conferencing solutions and installed sound systems, while Bose Work addresses unified communications (UC) and conferencing technologies, bringing the simplicity and clarity of Bose to huddle spaces, desktop and mobile conferencing and large meeting rooms. Bose Work solutions integrate seamlessly with existing UC platforms, enhancing popular third-party cloud services such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom. CyGlass, the SaaS-based Network Detection and Response (NDR) platform specifically designed for smaller IT and security teams, has expanded its global channel of cybersecurity distributors and service providers to include Advanced Computer Solutions Group, Exclusive Networks New Australia and UK, Monarch Technologies, Intercity Technology, Maxtec, Stratejm, Vertosoft and Viwsec. In addition, Cyglass has enhanced its Network Defence as a Service (NDaaS) to better support next-generation Managed Services Providers (MSPs) and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) and revamped its Velocity channel programme with additional financial incentive programs and co-marketing funds and new enablement tools. CyGlass helps organisations with 250 - 10,000 employees uncover, pinpoint and respond to advanced cyber threats and ransomware attacks at a fraction of the cost of traditional NDR tools. With CyGlass, small IT security teams can correlate threats across and protect both cloud and on-premise networks. CyGlass does not require integration with costly SIEM systems to automate risk scoring, provide threat alerts, policy execution and remediation. No additional staff, hardware or software are necessary, and the CyGlass service can be up and running in minutes. Cyglass is part of the Nominet UK group. WALLIX, a European cybersecurity software publisher and expert in access and identity security, is underpinning its on-going growth across the UK through a new partnership with global distributor Tech Data. In past 12 months, WALLIX has signed major agreements with IT distribution leaders across the globe, including Arrow in the United States and Tech Data in Germany, Spain and now the UK. The agreement will strengthen WALLIX’s position in the UK market and key sectors such as industry, healthcare and critical service operators (e.g. transport, telecoms, energy, water and financial services) by leveraging Tech Data’s 6,500-strong reseller and integrator network, particularly operating technology (OT) specialists and managed security services providers (MSSPs). Alison Nixon, Director, Security, UK & Ireland at Tech Data, said: “As a leading distributor of security solutions and services in the UK, Tech Data enables partners to address the security and data protection requirements of their customers with best-of-breed offerings. WALLIX’s unified portfolio and technical excellence, combined with the capabilities of our own specialist security practice and extensive reach into the UK market, gives partners the opportunity to provide their customers with complete control over access to their data.” Alison Nixon, Tech Data Ryan Thomas, Tech Data Mike Barron, SYNAXON ...continued

NEWS : RESELLERS 09 Chris Roche Tim Mears Cheshire-headquartered IT company Axon is celebrating its first 20 years in business. The company, which started out as a Microsoft training business before moving into managed IT services, supports SMEs across the UK with all their technology needs, including advising on and implementing business transformation programmes. Key areas of expertise include Microsoft licensing, security managed services, Microsoft Teams, Power BI, telephony, technical support, internet connectivity, Microsoft Cloud Azure and Microsoft Dynamics. Axon has developed its own in-house Microsoft Dynamics CRM team, which recently released Dynamics Now, an automated solution giving SMEs the parts of Dynamics they really need (e.g. their pipeline, a CRM) at the click of a button. MD Tim Mears said: “We’ve done well at being ahead of the curve in terms of technology – I’m proud of that. The technology industry evolves quickly, and we keep up with the changes and that’s testament to our team.” Atos Circular Computing partnership Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, is expanding its Net Zero Transformation portfolio with the addition of carbon-neutral, remanufactured HP, Dell and Lenovo laptops from Circular Computing. The global reseller partnership was finalised at last month’s COP26 conference after Atos had trialled the remanufactured laptops in its own business. Last month, Circular Computing became the first company to be awarded a BSI Kitemark for its circular remanufacturing process. BGF investment for Celerity Growth capital investor BGF is backing hybrid cloud and IT managed services provider Celerity with a £15 million investment to drive further growth. Celerity, headquartered in Preston, is an expert in digital transformation and high value hybrid cloud and IT managed services, including cyber security, data recovery and data visualisation. BGF’s funding will enable founder and CEO Chris Roche and COO Craig Aston to continue to scale Celerity’s managed service proposition and super-charge its growth. As part of the deal, BGF’s Harry Jones will join the Celerity board, along with non-executive chair (NXC) Phil Male, who has acted as NXC for other BGF portfolio companies, including Virtual1, ROI and Miss Group. Harry Jones said: “We have closely tracked Celerity’s transition from a reseller and integrator of infrastructure to a highly successful IT managed services provider. Its impressive growth has accelerated rapidly through major contract wins, with managed service revenues more than quadrupling in the last 12 months. The management team’s track record of delivering growth, and the vast potential that exists within this market, made the company an extremely attractive investment proposition.” Since it was set up in 2011, BGF has invested £2.5bn in 400 growing companies, including £538 million in tech businesses. In 2021 alone, it has invested more than £100 million in tech businesses and made seven successful exits in the sector. Part of BGF’s investment in Celerity comes from its recently launched UK Enterprise Fund (UKEF) established alongside Coutts, the private banking arm of NatWest. Cantec acquires software development expertise Irish technology provider Cantec Group has strengthened the software development capabilities of its three Group companies – Docutec (managed print services), SmartOffice Automation (software) and Promotive (design & marketing) – with the acquisition of Dublin-based Accounts Payable Automation Solutions company InShip. With eight software developers among its 10 employees, InShip specialises in the development of plug-in solutions that automate manual tasks in the accounts payable process and integrate with over 40 software packages, including Sage, Xero and QuickBooks. The acquisition secures Cantec’s place as a leading technology and solutions provider, with offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Mullingar, and gives added impetus to its growth strategy, which includes expansion to the US and Australia in 2022. Cantec Group has increased its headcount from 39 to 52 over the last 18 months and aims to double it to more than 100 employees by 2025. Version 1 gains Microsoft Azure Expert MSP Partner status IT and cloud managed services provider Version 1 has become one of only 105 Microsoft partners worldwide to be awarded Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP) status in recognition of its success in helping organisations with their digital transformation. Founded in Dublin and employing almost 2,000 people in the UK, Ireland, Spain and India, Version 1 specialises in delivering digital, cloud, data and ERP transformation services to enterprises and public sector organisations. In the UK, the latter includes Highways England, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), Ofgem, Home Office, Harrow Council, London Redbridge Council and Barts Health NHS Trust. Version 1 has been working with Microsoft technology since 2006. In addition to its Azure Expert status, it is an AMMP (Azure Migration & Modernisation Programme) Approved partner holding Azure Advanced Specialisation accreditations in Windows and SQL Server Migrations and Application Modernisation. It is also an AWS Premier Partner, a Microsoft Gold Partner and an Oracle Partner. Version 1 CEO Tom O’Connor said: “We are delighted to celebrate being recognised as a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP. Securing this honour is not only a reflection of the significant investment Version 1 has made in our cloud and Next-Generation Managed Service capabilities, but the investment of our people in reaching that goal.” Axon celebrates 20 years in business Pictured, from left, are: Siobhan Brennan (Version 1), Paul Chawke and Aisling Curtis from Microsoft Ireland, Brendan McGettrick, Barry Clifford, Tom O’Connor, and Olivia Carroll (Version 1) at One Microsoft Place, Dublin, Ireland.

01732 759725 NEWS : RESELLERS 10 Aiimi partners with Bytes IT solutions group Bytes Software Services has been appointed an official referral partner for the Aiimi Insight Engine. The AI-powered software platform and search and discovery tool enables Bytes’ customers to interconnect all information across their organisations (on-premise or in cloud repositories) and in doing so find information more quickly, garner valuable insights, support more data-driven decisions and locate compliance risks across their business. Richard Lewis, Channel Sales Director at Aiimi, said: “Organisations are storing vast amounts of data and information across a hybrid spectrum of cloud and on-premises platforms, bringing about an ever increasing demand for secure and affordable data privacy and compliance solutions. In particular, the Aiimi Insight Engine’s ability to crawl, index, classify and enrich content stored in Azure Files is a real differentiator versus other products on the market.” NetSuite investment PTG’s biggest to date Pure technology group (PTG) has embarked on a six-month, £500,000 digital transformation project to revolutionise its entire sales lifecycle, from enquiries and quoting to fulfilment and delivery, as it seeks to raise turnover from £61 million this year to £100 million by 2024. In the biggest investment it has made in an internal IT system in its 14-year history, PTG is implementing a NetSuite CRM and ERP platform that will enable it to link into partners’ EDI platforms and gain instant access to top suppliers’ product, pricing and stock level information, thus boosting productivity and customer service levels. The modernisation of PTG’s IT infrastructure follows hot on the heels of a £1.2m investment in a new state-of-the art HQ in Holly Park Mills, Leeds, which brings together the organisation’s previously dispersed reseller and MSP teams. Acquired by Fulcrum Technology Group in April, PTG currently has 150 staff and more than 1,280 UK customers, including SMEs, mid-market businesses, enterprises and public sector organisations. Wales’ leading IT business acquired by Arrow Group IT and telecoms solutions provider Arrow Business Communications has acquired Circle Group, a leading Welsh IT business and Microsoft Tier 1 CSP partner, in a multimillion-pound deal. Cardiff-headquartered Circle, which was founded in 2002 and earlier this year acquired Macclesfield-based Fabric IT, will continue to operate as normal with the same senior leadership team as before. Circle’s expertise in cloud solutions, networking and managed support and Fabric IT’s accreditations in Microsoft Dynamics will enable Arrow to offer the full Microsoft suite of solutions to its customer base. Arrow will also benefit from the knowledge and experience of Circle Group’s 100 employees. Circle founder Roger Harry, now a major shareholder within the Arrow Group, said: “I am delighted that Circle has joined Arrow and look forward to the opportunities that Circle will see as a result. It is an exciting new chapter for us.” Black Box Avaya partnership extended to Europe Global IT solutions provider Black Box has extended its partnership agreement with Avaya to the UK and Europe, where, as an agent for Avaya Cloud Office, it will offer customers enterprise-wide unified communications and cloud-based collaboration solutions built on Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral. Black Box is now an Avaya Cloud Office-certified partner in Europe and a strategic partner for Avaya OneCloud UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and OneCloud CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) solutions around the world. Black Box offers a full suite of implementation and support services through its Managed Migration Services, including professional consulting and engineering, on-site field services, support, monitoring and service-level management and agreements. • Complete Business Solutions sprints towards a greener future Yorkshire-headquartered business services and supplies provider Complete Business Solutions has commissioned its first Mercedes-Benz eSprinters as part of a strategy to convert its entire fleet of 177 multi-drop delivery vehicles from diesel to battery power over the next 12 months. Supplied by Bell Truck and Van, the 17 vans are finished in special livery advertising their 100% electric, zeroemission credentials. Chief Executive Richard Coulson said: “Our vans work throughout Britain from a network of 20 depots and all will be electric by the end of 2022. We believe we’ll be the first national operator in any sector, not just our own, to achieve such a transformation. “We’ve been working on this plan since 2016 and have structured our whole business around the operation of an electric fleet, with regional hubs and delivery runs and works schedules designed around the range capabilities of batterypowered vans. We will even fit rooftop solar panels at all our depots to provide sustainable energy for recharging.” Coulson added that going electric would help customers reduce their Scope 2 and 3 emissions. l to r: Gina Deahan (Finance Manager, PTG), Scott Deacon (Reseller Sales Director, PTG), Terence Kerrigan (Group Procurement Manager, PTG), Simeon Banks (Head of Innovation, PTG), Mark Hennessey (Managing Director, Nolan Business Solutions), Jeremy Travis (Business Development Manager, Nolan Business Solutions), James Blackburn (Head of Marketing, PTG). Podia partners with Neat Podia, a provider of high-performance technology for home and office workspaces, has added Neat video conferencing devices to its portfolio, including the Neat Board, Neat Bar, Neat Bar Pro and Neat Pad. All Neat products are available from the company’s recently launched e-commerce store, along with solutions from Poly, Zoom, DTEN and Logitech. Neat devices can be purchased or acquired on an ‘as a service’ basis with a monthly finance agreement. 11 NEWS : DISTRIBUTORS Rapid credit decisions, all signed, sealed and delivered online Siemens Financial Services digital portal, app and interfaces mean you can manage your customers deals anytime and anywhere – giving you complete control Finance Benefits: > No credit terms > Ability to provide the right solution at the right cost > Faster close to your sale Award Winning Digital Solutions: > Online tools providing / access and quotes > E-signature giving you remote access and convenience > Automated decisions on credit submissions Your digital solutions need a digital finance partner – call us today on 12 BUSINESS BRIEFING Powerful for employees. Consistent for IT. Secure for all. 13 BUSINESS BRIEFING Designed for hybrid working The most productive and secure version of Windows yet – but simple for IT. 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01732 759725 14 NEWS : RESEllers Rebrand for [email protected] Tim Mercer Rob Cavill Mark Halpin Scott Brenchley, Tactus CEO (R) and Ben Miles, MD at Chillblast (L). Fourth acquisition by Tactus Multi-channel e-commerce business Tactus Group has complemented its portfolio of technology brands and strengthened its gaming proposition with the acquisition of award-winning PC gaming brand Chillblast. This is the fourth acquisition by the 2021 Microsoft Device Partner of the Year and follows a £40 million investment from Chrysalis Investments in August. Located in Poole, Dorset, Chillblast is the official PC supplier of Williams eSports and provider of cutting-edge VR technology used in RAF Air Cadet training simulators. It is an Intel Platinum Member and Microsoft Silver OEM Partner. Scott Brenchley, CEO of Tactus Group, said: “We are building a global technology group with unrivalled expertise in the gaming space. Ultimately, we want to change the way people buy and use technology, so we are investing in brands and platforms that deliver the solutions that customers need, when they need it. “Ben and his team have created a business renowned for building the best high-end PC systems on the market today, so Chillblast will be an excellent addition to Tactus and we look forward to welcoming them to the Group.” Xmas cheer Staff and directors at Derby-based IT specialist Neuways are helping people in need across the city of Derby by donating a range of essential supplies to local foodbank charity, the Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance. These range from essential hygiene products to children’s toys, as well as warm winter clothing and advent calendars. uk/latest/news/derby-food-4-thoughtalliance Partnering for success Two Yorkshire IT companies, both closely aligned with enterprise cybersecurity giant Fortinet, are demonstrating the value of partnerships by strengthening each other’s product offerings. Managed IT specialist CloudCoCo, based in Leeds, is enhancing the cybersecurity offering provided by Huddersfield-based network guru Vapour and, in return, Vapour is strengthening CloudCoCo’s infrastructure with the addition of security-first SD-WAN connectivity. Vapour CEO Tim Mercer said: “Organisations, certainly in the larger SME market and above, don’t expect or want a vendor to be a ‘jack of all trades’ anymore. They seek to place their trust in a small number of proven experts who will listen carefully to the brief and deliver exactly what the business needs. Partnerships, in this environment, are therefore key. But they have to be carefully formed, between specialists whose technologies, standards and cultures are on a par, with no exceptions.” One of the cultural similarities between CloudCoCo and Vapour is their leaders’ belief in their vision, which helped them overcome scepticism from vested interests. Mark Halpin said: “Tim and I share a similar back story and many values too – not least a passion for delighting customers with the help of progressive people and powerful technology that doesn’t have to be complicated. I was told I was cloud cuckoo for believing the managed IT sector had become slow, unresponsive, boring and broken, so in April 2018 I left my long-term job and built a company of agile, fiercely passionate and supremely talented cloud, cybersecurity, connectivity, hardware and hosted voice professionals.” Three years on, CloudCoCo has more than 1,000 customers, £27m in turnover and has made its first acquisitions, of acquired managed service provider IDE Connect and Nimoveri IT Support. Office technology business [email protected] has rebranded as Spectrum and launched a new website as part of ambitious plans to more than double annual turnover to £20 million plus over the next three years. Based at Bridgehead business park in Hessle, East Yorkshire, Spectrum provides print, information management and business automation services to hundreds of customers and also operates Canon Business Centre North East in Newcastle, the UK’s only Canon Business Centre. Managing Director Rob Cavill plans to grow all parts of Spectrum’s business but sees greatest potential in digital-led business transformation. He said: “This is an incredibly exciting time, with so many opportunities for us to grow the business, and the rebrand is a key element of our strategy. We provide our customers with highly efficient print and information management services and help them to maximise the benefits of digital technology and automation. “Our new name reflects that we offer customers the full spectrum of services to work smarter, reduce costs, improve business processes and productivity and, ultimately, be more profitable through digital technology.” Over the last year, Spectrum has supported its growth strategy by taking on 15 new members of staff, including a new Head of Digital Solutions, Steve Motley. He said: “It’s clear the pace of digital transformation has been fast-tracked by the pandemic. That means there are many more opportunities for us to support customers to better understand and embrace the benefits of digital technology and automation.” Meanwhile, Spectrum is continuing to invest in new talent with the addition of 12 young recruits for its Spectrum Campus training programme. It is also plans to explore acquisition opportunities across the North of England.