Technology Reseller v48

v48 · 2022 THE MAGAZINE & ONLINE CHANNEL RESOURCE FOR MSPS, IT RESELLERS & IT SUPPORT PROVIDERS PAGE 32 UC&C MANAGED SERVICES VIEW FROM THE CHANNEL PAGE 44 PAGE 18 Can Voiceflex crack the UC&C market with Voiceflex Flow? The three biggest challenges facing MSPs this year With Adrian Overall, CEO of CloudStratex 2022 GLOBAL MSP BENCHMARK SURVEY REPORT 020 8614 9090 With our billing and provisioning software, it’s all gravy Union Street’s delicious billing and provisioning software can give your business something extra. And our ambition means we always want ‘more please!’. We invest millions each year to continually enhance our products and improve our customer service for one reason; to put your business streets ahead. Isn’t that tasty? mobile If you no longer wish to receive Technology Reseller magazine please email your details to [email protected] COMMENT 03 Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, people were talking about a new age of uncertainty. The spectre, no the reality of rising inflation and energy crises reflecting that period in the 1970s when the term was used by Keynesian economist JK Galbraith as the title for a TV series and book on the history of twentieth century economics and politics. Kaseya’s latest MSP Benchmark Survey, which we discuss with Chief Strategy Officer Mike Puglia on pages 18 and 20, highlights the extent to which rising fuel prices and wage inflation caused by the skills shortage are making life difficult for MSPs by increasing prices and putting pressure on margins at a time when their customers face the same challenges. He suggests that MSPs can alleviate some of this pressure by automating more of their own processes and by consolidating their technology stack, both of which actions will help reduce their cost base. The great advantage MSPs have is that they can make the same recommendation to their customers and increase revenue by encouraging them to accelerate their digital transformation. This is exactly what Microsoft is hoping to encourage its partners to do with the Microsoft Cloud technology stack, which they can use to differentiate themselves and digitally transform not just their customers’ but also their own prospects. As we explain on page 47, Microsoft is evolving its Microsoft Partner Network into the Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme to enable more resellers to meet the needs of customers, who it says are now driving the market, whereas in the past technology advances were mainly pushed by Microsoft and its partner community. Microsoft’s own analysis shows that partners that invest in specialisations are growing at twice the rate of the whole cloud partner base, which itself is enjoying respectable annual growth of 32%. Digging deeper it found that there was a subset of thousands of resellers that are growing at more than 140% for three main reasons: they are more digital than the average, investing in their own marketplace and leveraging partners’ marketplaces (including Microsoft’s); they actively partner with organisations that have complementary capabilities; and they are most active in Microsoft’s co-sell programmes. It seems that in this age of uncertainty, digital transformation for you and your customers is something solid to build on. 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. © 2022 Kingswood Media Ltd. Design: Sandtiger Media 04 What’s New A selection of the month’s best new products and services 07 Distributor News Exclusive Networks records first €1 billion quarter. 09 Working Together A round-up of the month’s new distribution agreements 10 Reseller News Digitopia launches world’s first Metaverse Readiness Index 18 Managed Services MSPs face growing compliance and supply chain challenges 29 Storage Hammerspace appoints Spinnaker to drive EMEA sales 32 View from the Channel With Adrian Overall, CEO of CloudStratex 34 Security How Pindrop is helping to tackle voice fraud 40 IP Telephony Snom celebrates first 25 years 44 Unified Communications Voiceflex expands offering with unified communications as a service 46 E-commerce Introducing Doji, the next generation marketplace for used mobile phones 47 Partner Programmes What the changes to Microsoft Partner Network mean for you 48 IT Support NerdApp targets IT service providers 50 People New faces, new places v48 · 2022 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) Thursday 26th May 2022 The Hilton London Bankside 2022 Thursday 26th May 2022 The Hilton London Bankside VOTE NOW FOR YOUR FAVOURITE DISTRIBUTOR

The VSP E1090 storage array is one of several new products launched by Hitachi Vantara as part of a unified hybrid cloud operating model designed to bring cloud-like agility to private data centres and easier management of both on-premises and cloud IT resources. The mid-range storage array features new virtual storage capabilities that enable clients to scale performance and capacity by clustering up to 65 nodes and 130 controllers. Powered by Hitachi Ops Center, VSP E series solutions operate as a single virtual system to hosts, delivering federated management, data mobility, data protection and automation across all nodes in a cluster, including virtualised 3rd party arrays. 01732 759725 04 INNOVATIONS What’s New Zoom contact centre Described as the first omnichannel contact centre optimised for video rather than just voice, Zoom Contact Center meets the need for an all-in-one unified communications platform and multi-channel contact centre solution that supports video and voice (with SMS and webchat currently in beta). Zoom claims that by combining unified communications, contact centre capabilities and the usability of the Zoom platform, Zoom Contact Center removes the barriers that force teams to work in silos, increases employee collaboration and productivity and reduces the burden on IT teams. Initially available in the US and Canada, Zoom Contact Center will be rolled out to other regions throughout 2022. Storage array Mobile printing Brother has enhanced its RuggedJet (RJ) mobile print range with two new models for customers in the field service, retail and warehousing sectors. Suitable for everything from shelf labelling, price markdowns and click and collect through to the printing of quotes, estimates and invoices, the RJ3230B and RJ-3250WB (replacing the RJ3050 and RJ-3150) have print speeds of up to five inches per second, an upgraded 16-hour battery life and multiple wireless connectivity options. They meet IP54 standards of water and dust resistance and can withstand drops of up to two metres. Plug and play video New from Trust, the IRIS plug and play videoconferencing solution is a quick and easy way to video-enable any small or medium-sized meeting room. Features include: a 4K camera with a 120 degrees wide angle view and 5x digital zoom; and an integrated microphone with a pick-up range up to 5 metres and built-in noise cancelling technology. With the optional speaker tracking mode, the camera automatically turns, tilts and zooms in on the person speaking. IRIS is available from Amazon for £719. Accounts payable Quadient has enhanced its Intelligent Communication Automation portfolio, which already includes the YayPay accounts receivable (AR) solution, with a cloud-based accounts payable (AP) solution. Available in North America since 2012 and now launched in the UK, Beanworks by Quadient provides accounting teams with a faster, more secure way to approve invoices and pay vendors from anywhere. Features include automatic data capture, multi-level invoice approval channels, purchase order matching and integrations with financial software including QuickBooks, Sage 50, Sage 100, Sage 200, Sage 300, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Xero and NetSuite. 5G rugged tablet Panasonic has added 5G support to its best-selling fully rugged tablet, the TOUGHBOOK G2. Already featuring eSIM, future-proofed wireless communications capabilities and double RAM and storage, the addition of 5G support makes the TOUGHBOOK G2 the perfect partner for mobile workers requiring high bandwidth connectivity in extreme environments. The addition of an optional emissive backlit keyboard featuring an additional USB Type-A and Type-C port enables the tablet to be used as a regular notebook. Prices start at £2,908 (ex VAT). Price promise Security camera specialist i-Pro is bucking the industry trend of rising prices and component shortages, with a commitment to maintain existing prices for its i-PRO cameras, including models with an AI engine, and the launch of a new quick delivery service for all key models in the i-PRO range. This offers 2 to 4 days availability from the European warehouse and 2 to 4 weeks from the factory. To meet customer demand for more flexibility, i-Pro has also launched an unobtrusive black finish that enables i-PRO Standard Series dome and bullet models to blend discreetly into the background. 05 INNOVATIONS Easy listening Fed up with poor sound quality in virtual meetings? If so, you may want to try out Clarity voice isolation technology from audio technology brand IRIS. Available via a desktop download, Clarity by IRIS removes background noise and interference from both sides of a call using a combination of advanced psychoacoustics, machine learning and AI. It works with more than 800 VoIP platforms, including Zoom, Teams and WhatsApp, and is available for £7.99 per user, per month, with discounts for annual licences. Meet and drink Costa Coffee is installing sound-proofed pods in select branches so that customers can work and conduct video meetings in privacy while they enjoy a café latte. Bookable Framery Pods from My Work Booth come with a stool, table, light, power socket, charging points for mobile devices and constant fresh filtered air. They can be booked and paid for via the My Work Booth app and accessed with an emailed QR code. The first four Costa Coffee branches with Framery Pods are located in Media City Salford and Portland Street in Manchester and Broadgate and Tooley Street in London. Additional sites will be added in the coming weeks.. Enhanced protection Arctic Wolf, which recently became the cybersecurity partner of Wolverhampton Wanderers, has strengthened its cyber security offering with the acquisition of Tetra Defense. With more than 100 cyber security investigators, Tetra Defense adds incident readiness and response to the solutions already provided by Arctic Wolf’s cloud-native security operations platform. These include Managed Detection and Response, Cloud Detection and Response, Managed Risk and Managed Security Awareness. Combining these solutions with incident readiness and response gives customers enhanced security before, during and after an incident, while also providing additional data and threat intelligence. In its partnership with Wolves and the club’s IT solutions partner Silverbug, Arctic Wolf will provide 24x7 monitoring, detection and response, as well as ongoing risk management and security awareness training. Going with the flow Asana has enhanced its work management platform for teams with the launch of Asana Flow, a suite of tools for building cross-functional workflows. The core component is Workflow Builder, powered by Asana Work Graph process mapping, which enables customers to build connected workflows up, down and across an organisation so that teams can see clearly who’s doing what, by when. Additional functionality is provided by a library of workflow templates, integrations with 200-plus work applications, reporting & analysis and a customisable dashboard that helps users prioritise tasks and collaborate with colleagues. Timeless design As part of its multi-year partnership with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team, global audio brand EPOS is launching a co-branded headset featuring accents in iconic Aston Martin British Racing Green. The ADAPT 660 AMC also boasts superb call clarity powered by EPOS AI machine learning algorithms; four adaptive ANC microphones that monitor a user’s environment and adjust settings accordingly; a dedicated Microsoft Teams function for collaborative working; Alexa Voice Assistant compatibility; and a 30-hour battery life. DNS as a service N-able, a provider of security, backup and remote monitoring and management services to IT services providers, is empowering MSPs to deliver advanced security protection to hybrid workers (both on and off corporate networks) through DNS-as-a-service. N-able DNS Filtering helps MSPs protect themselves and their customers from phishing, ransomware, zero-day social engineering and other attacks from within N able’s N-central and RMM dashboards. Key features include real-time identification of malicious websites; multi-client management from a single platform and single screen; a fast, redundant Anycast network; and ondemand reporting and analytics. The Global Cyber Alliance claims that more than a third of all cyberattacks are deployed via DNS. Beware slow start-up times A computer that takes longer than five minutes to start will produce at least 450 tons of CO2 emissions per year, the equivalent of 50,636 gallons of petrol. This is one of several thought-provoking statistics in Quantifying e-Waste in Corporate IT from Digital Employee Experience (DEX) management software provider Nexthink. Based on data collected from 3.5 million anonymised devices, the report highlights simple steps businesses can take to reduce the environmental impact of corporate IT. These include educating workers about smart computing habits; checking installed applications and eliminating ‘heavy emitters’; and keeping devices for longer. Nexthink’s research shows that 20% of devices that are replaced perform perfectly well and don’t need to be changed. Of the 80% of machines that do have a low performance score, 98% can be fixed with a simple RAM upgrade or by optimising startup performance. Three simple fixes IT can make to prevent their businesses from wasting millions and polluting the environment. Quantifying e-Waste in Corporate IT Nexthink Insights

01732 759725 06 INNOVATIONS Picky eaters Sustained Choices aims to help UK consumers make more sustainable food choices by providing them with reliable, accurate information on the environmental impact of retail grocery items. The iOS/ Android app enables consumers to pick foods with a lower environmental impact by giving each one a rating and providing at-a-glance information on how it performs across seven key areas of impact, including land and water use, ocean pollution and global warming. Table displays Sharp has launched a new series of Interactive Touchscreen Tables for a range of applications from business and architecture to healthcare and education. Available in three models – the Early Years, Agile and Flex – all feature a dynamic 32inch full HD screen with an intuitive touch display supporting up to 40 simultaneous touch points for more engaging teamwork and learning. Each Touchscreen Table is available as a battery-powered or plug-in device with a lightweight stainless-steel frame and easy-lock wheels for stability and mobility. Agile and Flex tables have a built-in adjustable camera, microphone and speakers and integrated Android 10. The Flex Table also offers electronic height-adjustment and a tiltable screen from horizontal to vertical in 18-degree increments. Threat protection As part of its evolution into a cybersecurity company, VPN service provider NordVPN is integrating comprehensive Threat Protection into the NordVPN app. Available for macOS and Windows users, Threat Protection blocks web trackers and malicious ads, displays a warning prompt before loading a suspicious web page and scans downloaded files for malware. Sales automation Software as a Service (SaaS) provider Adventoris has added two new modules to its e-commerce platform for distributors and wholesalers. SwiftCloud already enables a distributor’s customers to see products, communicate with the company and place orders via an app. Now, with the launch of Email Ordering and Telesales modules, it is integrating other sales channels. Adventoris CTO Aman Shergill said: “When a customer sends an order through to your business via email, it is often the case that the order will be keyed in manually by a member of staff. Our Email Ordering module eliminates the need for manual intervention by pulling data from your customer’s order and placing it in your ERP system, whether it be a text file or a PDF.” He added: “Our Telesales Portal allows sales teams to input orders within seconds and with minimal stress, increasing the overall efficiency and enabling a higher volume of orders to be processed.” SwiftCloud can save customers over 50% in ordering time and deliver a 15% uplift in basket sales. All in one place The product of a partnership between Vodafone Business and RingCentral, Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral brings together Vodafone’s mobility and 5G capabilities and RingCentral’s unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) capabilities in a single app. Accessible on any device, its expanded portfolio of UC&C features, including team messaging, HD video meetings and cloud telephony, can be run independently or integrated with business applications, including Microsoft 365, CRM/ERP systems and helpdesk services. Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral also includes real-time analytics, extensive call management and team collaboration and task management capabilities. vodafone-business-uc Know your footprint Following a successful crowdfunding campaign in December 2021, Novus has launched a green banking app that helps UK consumers make more climate-conscious purchasing decisions. Through a partnership with sustainability-as-a-service provider ecolytiq, Novus provides users with carbon footprint calculations for each transaction in real time. Shruti Rai, Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer at Novus, said: “Being aware of your environmental footprint is the first step towards a more sustainable and carbon-neutral life. Instead of just advising people to eat less meat or travel less as a one-size-fits-all solution, we want our community to be able to identify specific areas where they can change their lifestyle to live more sustainably.” • Professional meetings New from Vestel, the VHuddle Pro meeting room solution bundles VHuddle Pro software, a Vestel IFM 4K HDR Interactive Display with plug-in Windows 10 OPS PC module, and a 4K webcam. VHuddle Pro software streamlines every stage of the set-up process, from scheduling meetings and booking rooms to one-click launching of pre-selected apps from the applications bar, while the Windows 10 OPS PC module provides a familiar workspace experience, including access to Office 365 and Teams. The series offers a choice of 55, 65, 75 and 86-inch ten-point touch IR interactive multimedia displays, with support for 4K HDR imagery and 4K HDR video at 60fps. 07 NEWS : Distributors First €1bn quarter for Exclusive Networks Exclusive Networks achieved its first ever €1bn quarter in Q4 – its first full quarter as a public company following its successful IPO in Sep 2021. The 14.1% year-on-year rise in Q4 revenues to €1.0 billion was generated by existing vendors (46%), vendor expansion (31%), new vendors (6%) and acquisitions (23%). Revenue for the year as a whole rose 15.1% year-on-year to €3.3 billion. Jesper Trolle, Chief Executive Officer, said: “For the first time in its history, Exclusive Networks exceeded E1 billion of Gross Sales in a quarter. This is not just a symbolic milestone in our journey but again demonstrates our success in addressing the compelling demand for cybersecurity solutions and offering the optimal go to market platform to guide customers in the ever-changing environment with best-inclass solutions. “The migration to cloud and its associated complexity represents a great growth opportunity as it allows us to get even closer to vendors, partners and end customers.” He added: “During the quarter and in continuity with our third quarter 2021, demand was strong in the enterprise market and with a higher number of large contracts, notably in the Americas and EMEA. Over the year, we increased our global partner network by 12% and expanded our geographical presence with strategic vendors, such as Fortinet, F5, Juniper, Netskope and Palo Alto. “Within the quarter, we also added the solutions of new vendors Security Score Card, Docker, Salt Security and Entrust to enrich our cybersecurity offering. And in December 2021, we successfully closed the acquisition of Networks Unlimited, a major Sub-Saharan value-added distributor that enables us to get a deep footprint in 38 African markets with cybersecurity and infrastructure solutions.” Smithie UK and Data Direct portfolios added to EGIS platform SYNAXON UK is extending the range of products available to partners on the EGIS stock and procurement platform through new partnerships with Data Direct, a distributor of copier and workplace supplies, and Smithie UK, the specialist distributor of data storage, LED lighting products and Apple and PC accessories. Mike Barron, Managing Director of SYNAXON UK, said: “Data Direct is another great signing for SYNAXON UK and one that makes our proposition and our EGIS platform even more enticing and essential for print and office supplies resellers. Data Direct has an exceptional reputation and a superb back-room set-up, making it an extremely good fit for SYNAXON UK and its partners.” He added: “The Smithie portfolio adds further depth and a new dimension to the comprehensive range of well over two million SKUs already available on EGIS. Smithie makes our proposition even more appealing to even more partners, helping us to close in on our goal of making EGIS the undisputed number-one stock and procurement platform in the UK IT and office products channel.” Partners can now directly access current stock and full pricing details for over 40 popular distributors on EGIS, covering everything from toners and cartridges to IT infrastructure products. Jesper Trolle Mike Barron Midwich collects donations for Ukrainian refugees AV distributor Midwich has collected more than 50 boxes and bags of warm clothes, dry blankets, sanitary products, torches, medical supplies, sleeping bags and other items for women and children escaping the conflict in Ukraine. The items were donated by staff after Communications and PR manager Ben Thompson spotted a Facebook post appealing for donations. “I knew my colleagues at Midwich would support the appeal and within days we had a mountain of essential items collected, and it just kept coming. People were going out in their lunchbreak to buy items to donate, which is amazing,” he said. Midwich volunteers (left to right), Hannah Moody, Christina Barnes, Katie Ford, Lesa Orford and Rachel Curson Pax8 report Cloud marketplace Pax8 has released a new report on the changing tech landscape, the role of digital transformation (DX) in SMBs and how this affects the buyer’s purchasing journey. Almost two thirds (63%) of the 400 leaders surveyed say their main objective in implementing digital transformation is to help them adapt to change, with 84% stating that they plan to buy more IT solutions relating to their DX initiatives. Three-quarters of SMB leaders identify cloud computing (75%) as a priority when investing in digital transformation, followed by 5G Networks (41%). PSCo first with ground-breaking Epson projector PSCo, Midwich Group’s specialist LED distributor and trade-only rental company, has become the first UK rental partner to stock Epson’s new EB-PU2200 Series 20K projector for large auditoriums, live events, concerts and conference rooms. Epson’s EB-PU2200 range of high lumens 3LCD projectors includes 13,000lm, 16,000lm and 20,000lm models, offering WUXGA resolution with 4K enhancement, HDR and advanced installation features. The first units of the black chassis 20,000lm model will be available exclusively to PSCo rental partners from May 2022 for rental or purchase. EB-PU2220B projectors are claimed to be the world’s smallest and lightest 20,000 lumens models, being 60% smaller and 50% lighter than their predecessor, the EB-L20000U. Stuart Holmes, Director of PSCo, said: “We are delighted to be named as the first UK rental partner to stock Epson’s impressive 20,000lm model. This investment in our projection fleet underlines PSCo’s intentions to provide our customers with world-leading technologies across our product categories. Epson’s new 20,000 lumens projector is a game changing product for the market – a more compact, space-saving, lighter, reliable and versatile high lumens projector which I know our rental partners are very excited to get their hands on.” Craig Waters, Sales Manager for Video Projectors at Epson UK, added: “The EB-PU2200 Series illustrates how we’re addressing the demands for lighter and more flexible solutions that don’t compromise on the quality people expect from Epson. This new and improved product series, together with PSCo’s longstanding expertise, will help us to bring projection further to the forefront of the professional AV industry.”

01732 759725 08 NEWS : Distributors Cloud services platform launched by CMS CMS Distribution has launched a fully featured cloud platform that enables the channel to provide a full range of cloud services under their own brand, without the time, cost and complexity of running their own infrastructure. Services available from CMS Cloud powered by Flexiscale include pre-packaged virtual appliances, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Hosted Desktop and Hybrid Working Solutions. Nick Bailey, Director of Vendor Alliances at CMS Distribution, said: “With CMS Cloud we have the perfect vehicle to help VARs and resellers of all sizes to address their customers’ digital transformation needs, whilst keeping the full relationship with that customer. Offering this service means that our partner base can more easily move to consumptive IT and all the benefits that go with that.” David Pratt, Flexiscale Sales and Marketing Director, added: “This is a huge opportunity for the channel, opening up new revenue streams in the lucrative cloud services market. The value-added solutions that the partnership between CMS and Flexiscale brings arm the channel with a compelling solution to compete and win against the hyperscalers, whilst giving end customers tailored, value-add cloud solutions. The recurring monthly revenue cloud model plays well in uncertain economic times, whilst providing a predictable revenue stream. Additionally, end customers no longer need to make upfront capex investments in expensive hardware, software and support and instead can move IT costs to an easyto-manage predictable monthly operational expense.” GoTo distributor of the year ASM Technologies was named UKI Distributor of the Year 2021 at the UKI & Nordics Partner Summit held in March by GoTo, previously known as LogMeIn. The awards honour the top distributors and resellers of the company’s UnifiedCommunications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) products, GoToConnect and GoTo Contact Center, based on last year’s sales figures. The UK Partner of the Year 2021 (in conjunction with ASM) was awarded to ComputaCenter; Top Deal of 2021 (again in conjunction with ASM) went to Softcat; GoTo Partner of the Year 2021 was won by dgtek Technology Solutions. Hikari and Tech Data bridge skills gap with Microsoft Power Centre of Excellence In co-operation with Hikari, a specialist provider of Microsoft Power Platform services, Tech Data has launched a Power Center of Excellence that enables solution providers in Europe to deliver high-speed app development and business process automation (BPA) for their end user customers. Microsoft’s Power Platform offers a set of tools built on the Azure cloud platform that can be used to automate processes, build solutions, analyse data and create virtual agents or applications with little or no coding required. Through its investment in the Power Center of Excellence, Tech Data is enabling its partners to accelerate their ability to deliver solutions covering business intelligence and insights consulting, lowcode app development, BPA and innovation as-a-service based on the Power Platform. The Power Center of Excellence is available to all Tech Data partners and their end customers through an automated engagement process that seamlessly passes requests for Power Platform services to the Power Center of Excellence’s team of business consultants and engagement managers. Denis Fouquet, Tech Data Vice President, Cloud and Software Solutions, Europe, said: “Post-pandemic, there is an increasing market demand for solutions that harness data to provide quick and easy access to actionable insights and efficiencies through digital innovation. The Power Platform Centre of Excellence opens a route for partners and end customers to address this opportunity by bridging the digital skills gap and accelerating their ability to develop apps and implement business process automation at high speed without the need to invest in their own consulting practices.” Market intelligence as a service Tech Data has launched a market intelligence as-a-service offering in conjunction with MarketsandMarkets. The pan-European agreement will enable Tech Data partners to integrate exclusive market intelligence and advisory consulting services into their offerings for business customers including analysis on megatrend categories such as artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, connectivity, robotics, smart manufacturing and wearables. Customers will also be able to access consulting and advisory services, with insights from industry experts, to inform their planning and technology investment decision-making. Craig Smith, Tech Data Vice President, Analytics and IoT Solutions, Europe, said: “This agreement will help partners and end customers to equip themselves with robust, data-driven insights which will be a crucial differentiating asset as they guide business customers to make the right growth technology investments.” Mark Glasspool Craig Smith Tech Data expands services portfolio Tech Data has expanded its value-added services offering with new options for retailers and webstores and for partners wanting to offer installation and maintenance services on power protection solutions. For the former it has launched specialist sales training and customised merchandising services delivered in partnership with Retail Profiling Group. Available through Tech Data’s consumer services business unit, merchandising services range from a simple display refresh through to customised point-of-sale (POS), branded bay and demonstration units and the design and construction of entire category sections. For the latter it has introduced a range of installation and maintenance services on power protection solutions, covering all makes and models of UPS, as well as installation services for backup generators, cooling system, fire suppression equipment and replacement batteries. Maintenance options include fast response times to emergency call-outs, preventative maintenance visits (in or out of normal working hours), 24/7 support and remote monitoring. Mark Glasspool, Services Director at Tech Data UK, describes Tech Data’s services portfolio as the company’s ‘best kept secret’ and an area in which it aims to be more proactive. “We have always offered config services, for example, but we’ve been largely reactive. We’ve updated and simplified those services, invested in resource and streamlined processes, so we can work more closely with partners on opportunities. We have capacity to grow that business significantly and that’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for our partners, and we will also be bringing forward some new offerings.” Services offered by Tech Data include pre-delivery configuration, virtual warehousing, bill-and-hold (supply chain management), third-party logistics (3PL), managed print, trade-in for used devices, tech-as-a-service subscription options and now retail merchandising and power protection installation and maintenance services.

WORKING TOGETHER 09 Alexis Brabant, Arrow Electronics Arrow Electronics has announced an EMEA distribution agreement with Network as a Service (NaaS) provider Megaport. The agreement makes Megaport’s Software Defined Network platform available to companies in EMEA looking to modernise their networks, accelerate digital transformation, reduce operating costs and increase speed to market. Megaport’s NaaS platform provides private, scalable, on-demand connectivity to the world’s leading cloud service providers. Benefits include improved network performance; lower egress costs to cloud on-ramps; point-and-click, real-time network provisioning to support interconnection between branch locations, data centres, cloud providers and IT services; secure, private hybrid cloud and multi-cloud connections to more than 360 service providers, 700-plus enabled data centres and 230-plus cloud interconnect points. Alexis Brabant, Vice President of Sales for Arrow’s enterprise computing solutions business in EMEA, said: “After security, cloud optimisation is a top priority for the CTO, and having the best cloud connections to optimise costs is top of mind for most organisations going through digital transformation. We’re pleased to be working with Megaport to help them expand and deepen their channel relationships.” CMS Distribution is entering the large screen AV market through an exclusive distribution agreement with StarBoard, a provider of interactive displays, flipcharts, whiteboards, projectors and software for education and collaboration. The partnership, which marks StarBoard’s re-entry into the UK market, will enable CMS to provide resellers with multi-vendor solutions combining StarBoard devices and complementary products from brands such as Jabra, StarTech and MSI Cubi. Nathaniel Alabaster, AV Product Sales Manager at CMS Distribution, said: “This new addition to our portfolio creates multiple mutually beneficial opportunities to provide full-scale turnkey solutions to our customers. At CMS, we are committed to broadening our expertise in the tech industry, and entry into this growing market is a great step towards achieving that.” Tech Data has added AuthN passwordless multi-factor authentication (MFA) to its cybersecurity portfolio following an EMEA distribution agreement with cybersecurity software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider IDEE. With a user-friendly password- and token-free authentication process, AuthN drastically reduces the risk of phishing, hi-jacking user profiles and the spread of ransomware in organisations – the World Economic Forum claims that around 80% of cyberattacks are password-related. Sam Paris, Tech Data Vice President, Security and Networking, Europe, said: “While prevalent today, traditional password authentication systems look set to become a thing of the past for enterprises and wider society. With IDEE’s AuthN we are helping partners to prepare for this change with a scalable and easyto-deploy solution that meets all major integration standards. It’s a compelling MFA alternative that opens up new opportunities for our partner community.” Available as a white-label solution for partners who want to offer cybersecurity subscription-based services under their own brand, AuthN works in conjunction with other SaaS offerings and is available with pre-configured integrations to reduce complexity and time to market for Tech Data partners. For customers that cannot mandate the use of smartphone authenticators and do not want the complexity, costs and risk of additional devices, such as fobs, keys or cards, IDEE also offers phone-free MFA. Northamber is to promote and distribute refurbished notebooks and PCs to the IT reseller channels following an agreement with Danish refurbishing company Tier1 Asset, operating in the UK as T1A Limited. Each T1A refurbished computer undergoes a detailed process of value recovery, including full anonymisation and data erasure, quality checks and classification, and installation of genuine Microsoft Windows 10 licences. Mark Foster, T1A Country Manager EMEA, said: “We are proud to be working with Northamber, a trusted brand in distribution. We value this partnership because it facilitates the distribution of sustainable T1A notebooks and desktops to a large customer base, allowing users to choose a sustainable IT product.” CMS Distribution is offering integrators and partners in the UK and Ireland true storage and data management independence in a new partnership with 22dot6. Established more than 30 years ago, 22dot6 designs, manufactures and delivers storage and file management technologies to OEMs and end-user companies for installation in any off-theshelf commodity-based hardware. Nick Bailey, Director of Vendor Alliances at CMS Distribution, said: “The ability to offer what we see as game-changing technology to the channel at healthy margins for our value-added resellers is an opportunity not to be missed. 22dot6 brings a different approach to storage and data management with its software-defined solutions. Their cross-technology capabilities mean that resellers can offer customers the greatest breadth of solutions based on their needs and budgets.” Wire Technologies, a UK-based manufacturer of data transmission products and components for data centres and other critical IT networks has given Nuvias Group exclusive distribution rights in the UK. Spanning fibre and copper cabling, transceivers, racks, cabinets, Smart PDUs, Uninterruptible Power Supplies and more, Wire Technologies’ cabling and enterprise accessories portfolio complements Nuvias’ existing portfolio of intelligent network and cybersecurity solutions and makes it possible to provide comprehensive, all-inclusive packages that can be deployed out of the box. Gordon Lyon, Sales Director for Nuvias UK&I, said: “The partnership is focused on providing partners and their customers with complete and cost-efficient technology solutions so they can expedite their digital transformation projects. Wire Technologies have proven they can reliably deliver to our customer needs, which is what we need when stock shortages affect the market.” Working together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements

01732 759725 NEWS : RESELLERS 10 Cyber-Duck supports ambitious growth plans with office revamp Hertfordshire-based digital transformation agency Cyber-Duck has purchased the Elstree property that has served as its rented headquarters for more than a decade with the help of a £950,000 funding package from Santander UK. It now plans to restore the Grade 2-listed property – an old coach house on Watling Street, the Roman road running between Marble Arch and St Albans – and refurbish its interior to provide a hybrid working environment designed to foster collaboration, productivity, social interaction and staff wellbeing in support of the company’s ambitious growth plans. These include a 15% annual increase in headcount, from a base of 87 today (in the UK and overseas); the opening of an additional office in central London later this year and an office in Porto, Portugal in 2023; and expansion to the US by 2025. Cyber-Duck, started by Founder and CEO Danny Bluestone in his Mill Hill flat in 2005, has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years as organisation like Cancer Research Technology, Mitsubishi Electric, The Commonwealth, Sport England and the European Commission have drawn on its expertise in user experience (UX), service design, web development and DevOps to make the information they hold easier and quicker for people to access. Cyber-Duck increased turnover from £3.2m in 2019 to £6.7m in 2021 and is forecast to surpass £7.5m this year. Digitopia launches world first Metaverse Readiness Index London-headquartered digital maturity consultancy Digitopia has launched the world’s first Metaverse Readiness Index (MRI) to enable businesses to accurately measure and benchmark their preparedness for the metaverse – a digital twin of the real world, where people can do everything they do today i.e. go to work, socialise, shop and access entertainment. The Metaverse Readiness Index measures six dimensions (ambition, use cases, capabilities, technology, culture and governance) and awards five levels of readiness, from Complacent to Fluid. Halil Aksu, CEO and Co-Founder of Digitopia, said: “The metaverse is coming. It is a highly exciting proposition and we are already seeing a growing appetite for early adoption. The most forward-thinking and innovative businesses are already considering how they can leverage the virtual world and create an early advantage over their competitors. The Metaverse Readiness Index will show businesses exactly how they can get to where they need to be in preparation for the metaverse. They will be able to benchmark their progress against competitors and regularly track their performance.” Riverlite acquired by Xperience Cloud and IT services, ERP and CRM provider Xperience has acquired Riverlite, an East of England provider of cloud, cyber security and IT managed services. Hot on the heels of the acquisition of Bury St Edmunds-based Green Duck in October 2021, the Riverlite acquisition increases Xperience’s headcount to 150 (a rise of 42% in 12 months), expands its customer base to 1,150 clients across the UK and Ireland and increases annual turnover to approximately £21.5 million. Xperience CEO Iain O’Kane said: “Growth across the UK remains a strategic priority, and Riverlite is a natural fit as we share a similar culture and values. Importantly, it achieves a leading presence in the East of England and strengthens our existing team nationally. It also provides another Cyber Security and data platform, which given the events of last year and continued global threats is a genuine benefit for our clients.” North Wales IT business embraces employee ownership North Wales-based IT support services specialist Pro-Networks has become an entirely employee-owned business, following the retirement of Managing Director Paul Crudge who founded the company more than 20 years ago. Any member of the Deeside company’s 35-strong workforce who has worked there for at least 12 months becomes a beneficiary of an Employee-Owned Trust (EOT), which holds shares on employees’ behalf as long as they remain an employee of the company. New CEO Geoff Coote said: “By gifting his shares in Pro-Networks to the EOT for the ultimate benefit of our employees, Paul has ensured his positive and long-lasting legacy. Each and every one of our valued employees has a genuinely vested interest in continuing to serve our customers to the very best of their ability. We are very excited for what lies ahead.” The Pro-Networks senior management team: Simon Gainey (sales manager), Leanne Tutill (financial controller), Ian Traynor (non-executive director), Geoff Coote (chief executive officer), Stephen Blank (chair), Zig Kruschke (support manager) & Carl Jarvis (customer service and marketing manager). l to r: Paul Oggelsby, Managing Director of Riverlite; Iain O’Kane, CEO, Xperience; and Rod Jackson, Cloud and IT Services Director, Xperience Vectra honours top UK partners Threat detection and response company Vectra AI has honoured four UK partners in its 2021 ‘Partner of the Year’ awards. 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01732 759725 14 NEWS : RESELLERS Integrity360 grows European footprint Integrity360 is enhancing its position as an independent cybersecurity services specialist and increasing its European footprint with the acquisition of Caretower. With offices in London and Sofia, Bulgaria and reported sales of circa £28m in 2021, Caretower expands the group’s customer base to 1,500 organisations and increases projected group sales this year to £70m. Ian Brown, Executive Chairman of Integrity360, said: “The enhanced group is now clearly positioned as the leading independent cybersecurity services specialist throughout the UK and Ireland. With over 300 employees, including 200 cybersecurity engineers, analysts, consultants and specialists, the group provides businesses with a one-stop-shop for all their cybersecurity needs.” Digital Space partners with CyberQ Managed service provider Digital Space is strengthening its cybersecurity portfolio through a new partnership with CyberQ Group, an award-winning provider of cyber solutions and consultancy to enterprises and mid-market businesses. The relationship will give Digital Space access to CyberQ Group’s global Security Operations Centre, enabling it to offer customers fully compliant CREST and ISO 27000 managed security services and bespoke end-to-end security solutions, including Pen Testing and threat analysis. Paul Farrelly, Chief Digital Officer at Digital Space, said: “The partnership will bring together experts from across Digital Space and CyberQ to share knowledge and skills and provide a trusted roadmap of improvement for customers. We can help businesses be more reactive with 24/7 monitoring of systems, helping them to not only identify risk threats in real-time but to reduce costs as well.” Paul Farrelly Ian Brown CSI becomes Microsoft CSP partner Following rapid growth in its Azure practice, managed service provider CSI is helping customers embrace the cloud by joining the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme with direct billing, combined offers and services and direct provisioning, management and support of products and services. Jason Normanton, CSI Head of Cloud Services, said:“We’ve experienced 900% revenue growth in our Azure practice, so it made sense to become a direct Microsoft CSP partner to simplify our customer relationships and provide one point of contact for them. “During April we will also be introducing a digital commerce platform (online marketplace), which will facilitate the buying and selling of cloud solutions certified to run on Azure, as well as our own cloud-based services. Providing access to Microsoft Azure certified solutions at the touch of a button is an important value add to our clients.” Smartsheet platinum partner Cheetah Transformation has attained Platinum Partner status with global workflow management software provider Smartsheet. Coming just three years after the Londonbased company was formed, the recognition puts it in the top tier of Smartsheet partners worldwide. The Smartsheet dynamic work management platform enables organisations to work flexibly and at scale, with improved visibility of work status and progress. Third acquisition of 2022 for inTEC The inTEC GROUP of ICT specialists is continuing its ambitious growth strategy with the acquisition of Newcastle-based IT managed services provider Opal IT Limited. The Group’s 11th acquisition since 2016 and its third this year extends its presence in the North-East and increases its office footprint to nine locations around the UK and Ireland. Founded in 2008, Opal specialises in client server, desktop infrastructure, cloud hosting & cyber security and managed support for private sector businesses as well as several educational institutions. Opal IT Managing Director Andy Metcalfe said: “With our shared values, vision and ethos, this partnership will deliver long-term stability for the business and continued growth and expansion of our operations. We are confident that our team and all of our valued clients will reap huge rewards by us becoming part of the inTEC family and we are really looking forward to the months ahead.” Gold Microsoft Partner inTEC specialises in the design, implementation and support of IT managed services, IT infrastructure support, hosted collaboration and communication solutions, enabling new acquisitions to expand their product and service portfolios and instantly become fullservice ICT solutions providers. Paragon Group financial services offer boosted by Reason acquisition Digital customer communications and office services provider Paragon Group has gained new capabilities in experience design, software engineering and digital transformation with the acquisition of digital product development agency Reason. The latter’s strength in the retail and financial services sectors will enable Paragon to deepen its relationships in these markets, broaden its client portfolio and offer newly enhanced solutions and consultancy to more companies. Reason will join Paragon DCX, which brings together around 250 creative, data and customer communications experts, digital experience specialists and marketing automation experts to work on marketing and digital programmes for clients such as Arriva, Comic Relief, Coventry Building Society, Greene King, Goldman Sachs, Aviva, Health Education England and Great Western Railway. James Goldhill, CEO at Paragon DCX, said: “I’m excited to welcome everyone at Reason under the DCX umbrella. Reason is a well-respected name in the retail and financial services spaces, sectors we are actively developing. Working together with Reason and bringing on board a host of capabilities (technological and human), together we’ll be able to offer more and better services to clients in more than 20 countries across the world.” Reason Managing Director Peter Gandy said: “Paragon DCX is a great fit for Reason. The acquisition means we’ll be able to scale faster and take the company to another level. We’ll be able to share knowledge and expertise while remaining true to our shared core growth pillars: digital transformation, data and AI, agile delivery and service design.” Paragon Group has a turnover of €1.2 billion and more than 9,000 employees.