Technology Reseller v49

v49 · 2022 THE MAGAZINE & ONLINE CHANNEL RESOURCE FOR MSPS, IT RESELLERS & IT SUPPORT PROVIDERS PAGE 32 VIRTUAL DESKTOPS Q&A VIEW FROM THE CHANNEL PAGE 38 PAGE 25 Talking AVD with Nerdio CRO Joseph Landes How Apogee plans to turn itself into a managed IT services provider With Lucy Randall, Business Director, Jigsaw24 Work from anywhere. Work with Video. Video chat with your colleagues using MobeXWeb. The new desktop feature from NTA is perfect for connecting face to face from wherever you call your office. Away from the office? MobeX has you covered.

Thursday 26th May 2022 The Hilton London Bankside 2022 VENDOR AWARDS Audio Visual Vendor of the Year Cyber Security Vendor of the Year Sponsored by CMS Distribution Hosted Cloud Services Vendor of the Year Sponsored by Konica Minolta Communications & Networking Vendor of the Year Sponsored by CMS Distribution Software Vendor of the Year Computing Vendor of the Year Sponsored by Beehive Research Document Print & Workflow Vendor of the Year (Scanners/MFPs/MPS) Sponsored by Henley Executive TECHNOLOGY RESELLER SPECIAL AWARDS TR Award for Sustainability Sponsored by Philips Monitors TR Award for Innovation Sponsored by Spitfire TR Award for Best Marketing Campaign Sponsored by GetCrisp TR Award for Technical Services & Implementation Provider DISTRIBUTOR AWARDS Audio Visual Distributor of the Year Sponsored by Digital Wholesale Solutions Cyber Security Distributor of the Year Cloud Services Distributor of the Year Sponsored by Intelligent Billing Communications & Networking Distributor of the Year Sponsored by IP Netix Software Distributor of the Year (Cloud, Hybrid & On-Prem) Computing Hardware Distributor of the Year (Device & Infrastructure) Document Print & Workflow Distributor of the Year (Scanners/MFPs/MPS) Sponsored by NTA IT Industry Distributor of the Year Sponsored by Epson RESELLER AWARDS SMB Reseller/MSP of the Year (Turnover up to £10 million) Sponsored by Voiceflex Enterprise Reseller/MSP of the Year (Turnover £10 to £50 million) Sponsored by Union Street Corporate Reseller/MSP of the Year Sponsored by Brother Public Sector Reseller/MSP of the Year Sponsored by Fortinet Technology Reseller/MSP Solution Install of the Year Sponsored by Digital Wholesale Solutions PEOPLE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Sponsored by Evolution Capital Outstanding Industry Leadership Award 2022 Sponsored by Apogee PRODUCT AWARDS Computing Device of the Year Software Product of the Year Sponsored by Snom Communications Product of the Year Sponsored by IP Netix The Shortlists for all the awards are now available online... Every industry deserves a special Awards Programme and Awards Evening to celebrate the achievements and success of both customers and people involved in this vibrant technology sector. In association with: MAGAZINE &WEBSITE If you no longer wish to receive Technology Reseller magazine please email your details to [email protected] COMMENT 03 The first thing I would like to do this month is thank the judging panel of our inaugural Technology Reseller Awards for the time they so generously donated to the cause. Reading entries and supporting material, perhaps doing some research on the side and working out a fair score for each submission is not an easy task. Nor is it a quick one. So, sincere thanks to the following for their support, in alphabetical order: Edward Armitage, Independent, IT Services; Matt Atkinson, Founder & Consultant, Utelize; Mark Curtis-Wood, Co-founder, Growth Mentors Limited; Paul McGlone, Coach, ICT Sector; Nick Powell, Owner, Kiss Less Frogs Ltd; Phil Reynolds, Chairman and Director, Oak Innovation; Ian Trim, Sales Director, QD Tech Ltd; and Frances Weston, Managing Director, Econocom North America, UK & IRL. I would like to add a special thank you to Adrian Barnard who as Chairman of the TRA Judges ensured that everything went smoothly and to schedule. No mean feat. I must also thank you, our readers, for taking part in the awards that were decided by public vote. They wouldn’t mean anything without your participation and your votes gave them real validity. So thank you. You can find shortlists for all the 2022 Technology Reseller Awards on pages 16 and 17. There’s much more to see in this issue, but one thing that arrived too late for inclusion in our news pages was the announcement that Kaseya is to acquire Datto, another provider of automation, software and security solutions purpose-built for managed service providers. I recently and separately interviewed both Tim Weller, CEO of Datto, and Mike Puglia, Chief Strategy Officer at Kaseya (featured in last month’s issue). Neither gave any hint that an acquisition was imminent, athough Mike Puglia did make a point of saying that MSPs had too many tools and would gain efficiencies by consolidating them and dealing with fewer suppliers, adding that Kaseya’s goal was to provide MSPs with everything they might need, so perhaps I should have guessed. 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 round-up of the month’s best new products and services 07 Working Together This month’s new distribution agreements 08 Distributor News Supply chain challenges dent confidence of MSPs 12 Reseller News Unipart strengthens SAP system integrator capability 16 Technology Reseller Awards Who’s in running for an inaugural Technology Reseller Award? 20 Cybersecurity Why MSPs should embrace Digital Risk Protection 25 Q&A With Aurelio Maruggi, CEO of Apogee 32 View from the Channel With Lucy Randall, Business Director, Jigsaw24 34 Business Briefing The benefits of smart financing 36 Cybersecurity F-Secure introduces its new B2B brand, WithSecure 38 Virtual desktops Technology Reseller discusses Azure Virtual Desktops with Nerdio CRO Joseph Landes 44 Storage VAST Data’s next generation hardware brings new opportunities for the channel 45 Sustainability What IT decision-makers really think about sustainability 46 Managed Services 20 ways MSPs can increase their teams’ productivity 48 People New faces, new places v49 · 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 SHORTLISTS NOW ONLINE

Enterprise mobility solutions provider Spectralink is bringing the benefits of cloud-based collaboration tools to ‘deskless workers’ in healthcare, manufacturing, retail and logistics by launching its DECT devices integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway. Mahendra Sekaran, Vice President of Teams Engineering at Microsoft, said: “Spectralink DECT integration with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway enables Teams users to use their DECT devices as another Teams endpoint, while getting access to all of Teams collaboration capabilities. Frontline workers rely on these devices to get their work done, and this new integration allows them to stay connected with their colleagues while on the go.” 01732 759725 04 INNOVATIONS What’s New Teams on the go Network roll out Altnet provider Digital Infrastructure (and full-fibre broadband provider BeFibre), which in December 2021 announced £100m of private investment to support its goal to deliver FTTP connectivity to 80 towns and 1,000,000 properties by 2027, has announced new locations in the roll-out of its next generation full-fibre network. These are Oundle, Maltby, Dinnington, Hyde, Hattersley, Heysham, Skelmersdale and parts of Rotherham and Lancaster. Digital Infrastructure/BeFibre has already started building its network and offering a choice of four broadband packages with speeds of up to 900Mbps in Brentwood, Worcester, Clacton on Sea, Crewe and Nantwich. It expects to create up to 500 engineering and white-collar jobs to support the growth of both organisations and the business supply chain by the end of 2022. Precise locating Reliance Protect, a provider of lone worker solutions, has launched a next generation keyfob-style personal safety device, Pulse+, combining proven technology from the company’s Ultra ID device with new features to ensure those in need are helped as quickly as possible after activating an alarm. For example, use of the latest 4G technology enables Pulse+ to make alarm calls and send a user’s current location in parallel, rather than in sequence as with traditional lone worker devices, while built-in WiFi locating technology ensures more accurate positioning of lone workers within buildings. Chris Allcard, Lone Worker Services Director at Reliance Protect, said: “While GPS is a great location finding technology when used outdoors, its capabilities are significantly restricted when a device is used indoors – at best it will give an inaccurate location position and in many cases will not provide a location position at all. At this point, older technology lone worker devices have to rely on sending a previous last known location. Pulse+ utilises both GPS and WiFi locating technologies to quickly generate accurate location positions regardless of whether the user is indoors or outdoors.” lone-worker-devices/pulse-3/ Gotta scoot Sharp Consumer Electronics is bringing out a range of e-scooters and an accompanying app, Sharp Life, that lets users keep track of battery levels and distances travelled, lock/ unlock scooters remotely and control headlights, gear settings and other functions. Both the EM-KS1 and the EM-KS2 incorporate a folding function and practical hanger that enables them to be easily carried and stowed away when not in use, as well as a USB charging port built into the handlebars for powering/charging a smartphone. The EM-KS1 (£399.99) and EM-KS2 (£549.99) have top speeds of 25 km/h and 35 km/h respectively and maximum loads of around 120 kg, compared to the industry standard of 100 kg. Always-on sanitiser To help alleviate concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, NB Data is introducing the HiHo Solutions S.O.H. Pure Air & Surface Sanitising System. Its micro-mist atomiser technology sanitises the air and surrounding surfaces, making any interior space clinically clean, fresh smelling and safe from COVID-19 (whilst in continuous use). Available in various sizes, the S.O.H. Pure can sanitise a room in just a few hours. Testing times Fluke Networks is adding extra functionality to its LinkIQ Cable+Network Tester through new software available as a free upgrade to existing customers. Version 1.1 offers expanded network testing, including verification of connectivity and response times to key network devices with one touch of the screen; two-pair cable performance tests up to 100 Mb/s; support for 12 languages; and a new version of LinkWare PC software, the industry’s de facto reporting solution. Robert Luijten, Field Marketing Director, Fluke Networks, said: “Our network test features give systems integrators and network administrators visibility into network connectivity and response times of key resources, allowing them to verify and troubleshoot end-to-end network issues.” 05 INNOVATIONS Just the ticket NinjaOne’s IT-service desk solution, Ninja Ticketing, has officially exited beta and is now generally available to customers wanting a flexible, easy-to-use ticketing solution built specifically for IT workflows. Already used by more than 350 customers as their primary ticketing software, Ninja Ticketing has received constant community-led updates since debuting in September, including enhanced cross-platform integration between ticketing and other NinjaOne solutions, allowing tickets to be mapped to users, managed organisations, locations and devices. Other improvements in the most recent 5.3.1 platform update include remote tools and one-click remediation, automated proactive ticket creation, closed-loop ticketing and end-user self-service. Marketing community Partner strategy specialist Coterie has set up a dedicated forum for partner and channel marketers in conjunction with the University of Huddersfield. Funded with a £194,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant from Innovate UK, the Coterie Community is billed as the first vendoragnostic community run for (and by) its members. It will bring together partner marketers from vendors, ISVs, resellers, systems integrators and service providers to share research, training, tools, templates and to create safe, friendly discussion forums. Helen Curtis, Founding Director at Coterie, said: “This isn’t about just another general B2B marketing community, this is about developing innovative ideas, underpinned by sound academic research that helps to take partner marketing to the next level and finally get it noticed.” RPA guarantee Intelligent Automation and RPA provider Laiye is hoping to allay businesses’ fears about process automation by committing to refund 100% of licence cost if its solutions do not achieve the customer’s goals within an agreed time frame. Pre-agreed business metrics on which the money-back guarantee will be based could include employee productivity, cost reduction, increased revenue, reduced error rates, improved customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) or better compliance and auditability. Ronen Lamdan, CEO of Laiye International, said: “We have absolute confidence in our solution to not only tick off project milestones, but also to achieve the concrete business objectives our customers care most about.” Laiye is initially offering the guarantee to customers in the healthcare and e-commerce industries. Going for growth Eighteen new early-stage tech start-ups have joined Manchester’s Enterprise City Exchange scale-up support scheme, delivered with the support of Tech Nation. They will join 13 existing members now entering a second term on the six-month programme. The third cohort of Exchange start-ups from the healthtech, proptech, edtech, fintech, agritech, and e-commerce sectors will be hoping to scale, secure funding, grow operations and expand their teams during the course of the scheme. They will be following in the footsteps of PixelMax, the 3D virtual workplace business, which raised £2 million and reached an £8 million valuation while on the programme; My First Five Years, an early-years edtech start-up that secured £1.4 million in investment; and Sparkbox, a data analytics and business intelligence start-up, which raised £1.5 million to support its next phase of growth Sound thinking EPOS has launched new Meeting Room Solutions designed to reduce the cognitive overload that can occur when the human brain has to process the speech of those who are physically present and of those who are participating remotely via speakerphone. The effort of doing this, suggests EPOS, can make it hard to maintain focus and increase stress levels. Meeting Room Solutions, like the new EXPAND 40 Series Bluetooth speakerphone for small-tomedium-sized meeting rooms, incorporate EPOS BrainAdapt technology which uses unique algorithms and acoustics to support the brain’s natural way of processing sound, helping users to adapt to a hybrid meeting environment and reduce cognitive load. Bluetooth cut Snom is reducing the entry price point of its flagship IP phone functionality with the launch of two variants (the D385N and D785N) that come without the largely unused Bluetooth functionality. It is also introducing a new entry-level model with colour screen, the D713, for use in large hotels, hospitals and call centres with hundreds or thousands of workstations. Snom has launched the Bluetoothfree phones following a survey of Snom partners in which 97% of respondents said they had never used the integrated Bluetooth function on the D385 and D785 and couldn’t foresee any use for it in the mid-term. Florent Aubert, Head of Product Management at Snom, said: “Adapting our two flagship devices, while maintaining the customary range of functions, has enabled us to get even closer to our customers by offering them exactly what they want from both models – and at an unmatched price.” Helen Curtis

01732 759725 06 INNOVATIONS Charging into the gap EV charging software platform Monta and charge point manufacturer CTEK are working together to provide a complete EV charging package, from charge point installation and management to payment and customer support. By making it easier for businesses to install, manage and gain revenue from company EV charge points, they hope to address the current shortage. Sales of plug-in cars grew by 280% between 2019 and 2021, but the number of public charge points increased by less than 70%. The four-minute recovery Nebulon, provider of an infrastructure operations SaaS that transforms an on-premises server estate into a cloud operating platform, has unveiled Nebulon TimeJump, which it describes as ‘the first and only combined server and storage solution architected to offer complete ransomware recovery in less than four minutes’. Nebulon TimeJump provides four-minute restore capabilities not just for critical application data but also for infected operating systems, enabling application infrastructure to be brought back online near instantly. Damon Dance, Director of Sales at Inca Cloud, said: “Being able to recover quickly is imperative when ransomware strikes, but recovery tools aren’t accessible when their supporting infrastructure is infected. Nebulon is our antidote to the paradox of management tools depending on the infrastructure they manage. If/when our infrastructure is ever compromised, Nebulon TimeJump will get our infrastructure back up and running so we can restore operations in minutes.” Orange without the squash OGIO Europe has released its Pace Pro backpacks in a bright, limited edition desert orange colourway. OGIO launched the Pace Pro range in navy blue and black colourways last summer and now plans to introduce a series of eye-catching colours and designs for its backpacks, brief packs (a modern take on the traditional briefcase) and pouches (a cross-body bag). Become a data expert Certification provider CompTIA is launching a data analytics qualification with a view to bridging the UK’s data skills gap. In a recent CompTIA survey, 60% of companies said they have increased their focus on data to understand customers better, but an investigation from the UK government revealed that 46% of businesses have struggled to recruit for roles that require data skills. At the same time, 70% of workers expressed interest in data skills training and almost half (46%) stated that the need for data skills at work has increased. CompTIA’s Data+ certification helps organisations translate data into good decisionmaking by enabling decision-makers to mine, analyse and interpret data in a clear, consistent way. In the future CompTIA plans to introduce other data-related certifications covering data science, systems and foundational knowledge. certifications/data Billing consultancy Union Street Technologies has launched a new consultancy service to help reseller partners maximise the revenue potential of their customer base whilst driving down costs. The ‘ProfitaBILLity’ service will review billing processes; identify areas where revenue is being lost and margins could be increased; highlight instances of mis-billing or overspending that should be corrected; and explain how Union Street software can automate parts of the billing and ordering process and ensure no revenue is missed when provisioning new products and services. Chief Financial Officer Kevin O’Brien said: “Channel businesses are faced with a very hard choice of balancing rising costs with winning and maintaining customers in a highly competitive and price-sensitive market. Enhancing the billing process is something that’s perfectly possible for most resellers, but it can be a resource-hungry exercise. The ProfitaBILLity service offers a convenient and costeffective way for resellers to outsource this task to Union Street.” Going mobile Enreach is moving into the mobile market with the launch of its own SIM and Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) products for small and medium-sized businesses. With Enreach Mobile and FMC, SMEs can give their workers one number that enables them to be reached wherever they are, with a choice of plans to meet different needs. Enreach Mobile and FMC are designed with mobile-first businesses in mind, with unified communication solutions built directly into the fixed voice and mobile cores, eliminating the need for an additional app. Mobile numbers, calls and call recordings can be integrated into CRM, ERP or vertical market solutions. Winning design The mobile phone-sized MAXHUB UC-M40 has been awarded a Red Dot Design Award in the product design category. Featuring a 360° field of view, the all-in-one camera comes with intuitive controls, such as a one-tap mode for instant meetings, and advanced features like AI auto-tracking and two-direction simultaneous voice tracking. Kevin O’Brien 07 WORKING TOGETHER Dell Technologies has appointed Westcoast, the UK’s largest privately owned distributor, as UK distribution partner for its end-to-end IT solutions. These include Dell’s Client Solutions product portfolio (notebooks, workstations, desktops, monitors and accessories) and its IT Infrastructure Solutions portfolio (storage, server, data protection and HCI). As Dell’s distribution partner Westcoast will help resellers offer the Dell Technologies ecosystem to their customers as an end-to-end solution, rather than just a single device, supporting resellers though the whole sales cycle with pre-sales and licensing support, bespoke quote management tools, financial solutions, expert support and complementary partnerships, such as Microsoft, Google and Intel. Ingram Micro is strengthening its portfolio with Mersive Technologies’ Solstice BYOM (bring your own meeting) conferencing and collaboration platform, which enables rich content sharing from any device and seamless support for any major video conferencing service. Solstice also features Active Learning video routing for multi-screen environments and the Solstice Cloud analytics and management portal. Chris Charran, Mersive Technologies Regional Sales Director UK and Ireland, said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer our Solstice solutions to Ingram Micro customers. Users want to do more than simply connect to a display via a cable. They need plug and play tools and resources that can provide effective teamwork in any meeting room or education environment. Together with our state-of-the-art analytics, customers have everything they need to optimise productivity.” CMS Distribution is expanding its enterprise solution offering through a new distribution agreement with Fujitsu that gives partners access to the latter’s full suite of industry-leading tech solutions. Nick Bailey, Alliance Director at CMS Distribution, said: “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Fujitsu. There is a huge opportunity in the server, storage, hyperconverged and supercomputer categories, along with third party software offerings such as Microsoft and Nutanix. Together, we can offer greater choice, performance and value to channel partners throughout the UK and Ireland.” Premium audio solutions brand EPOS has expanded its existing, five-year-plus distribution partnership with Ingram Micro to cover the UK and Ireland, as well as Europe and the US. Commenting on the extension, EPOS UK Sales Director Jane Craven said: “I’m delighted to announce Ingram Micro as EPOS UK’s new distribution partner. Ingram Micro already has strong partnerships with EPOS in several countries including the USA, Germany and Switzerland and are perfectly positioned to handle the ever growing global distribution demands of our authorised channel partners.” Ingram Micro has become a Pan European distributor of mobile accessories vendor Telco Accessories. Focusing on three main categories – Power, Connect and Protect – Telco’s brand portfolio includes: Gecko Covers, offering everyday protection for tablets, e-Readers and laptops, with more than one million sold every year; Xtorm, currently Europe’s No 1 Power Brand with a wide range of power banks, solar chargers and cables; LINQ byElements, which provides hubs, HDMI adapters and other connectivity solutions for mobile computing; and Njorð byElements, a range of fashion accessories for Apple devices crafted from sustainable materials like genuine Icelandic salmon leather. The agreement with Ingram Micro will extend Telco Accessories’ reach in Europe, increase its penetration of countries where it is not yet fully represented (including the UK) and enable it to tap into new market sectors. Olivier de Coster, International B2B Manager at Telco Accessories, said: ‘’Partnering with a strong player like Ingram Micro Pan EU is a first step in rolling out our strategic B2B plan to bring our quality solutions to the European enterprise market. Our expertise in Power, Connect & Protect answers the needs of governments, large enterprise, SMB, as well as the Education & Healthcare markets.’’ Exertis has announced a partnership with NAND flash memory solutions provider Solidigm, a standalone subsidiary of SK Hynix Inc since its acquisition from Intel late last year. With a mission to revolutionise paradigms in Solid State Drive (SSD) memory technology, Solidigm has a broad technology portfolio encompassing both performanceoptimised and value-optimised SSD drives for the datacentre, the edge and everything in between. The new partnership with Solidigm builds on Exertis’s longstanding relationship with the former Intel brand. Umar Qadir, Sales and Marketing Manager at Solidigm, said: “We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Exertis team and growing our relationship and business to new levels under the new Solidigm Brand and SSD Products. The new partnership is an exciting opportunity to bring inventive, industry-changing data storage solutions that transform the way data is used in the datacentre and client side of the business. We are looking forward to increasing our breadth in the market and accelerating growth together.” Tech Data’s audio visual (AV) distribution specialist Maverick AV Solutions has signed an agreement with video device company Neat to distribute its complete product portfolio to customers in 18 countries across Europe, including the UK and Ireland, as part of its ‘Smart Meetings’ portfolio. Simon Kitson, Smart Meetings Director for Maverick AV Solutions, said: “Our Smart Meetings initiative is all about helping our customers identify the technology they need to fit their specific meeting space requirements, and Neat’s portfolio of devices is a perfect fit. Neat Board, Neat Bar, Neat Bar Pro and Neat Frame especially are beautifully designed, simple to deploy and use for Microsoft Teams and Zoom. They are an exciting addition to our portfolio and will help our IT and AV partners to introduce more meeting equity for their clients.” • Working together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements Umar Qadir

01732 759725 08 NEWS : Distributors Chip and skills shortages dent channel confidence Most VARs, MSPs and system integrators are looking forward to another year of single figure growth, according to a survey of UK partners by Nuvias Group. New research by the distributor reveals that 75% of respondents grew by between 2% and 10% in 2021, with 62% expecting to increase revenue by the same amount this year. More than one third (35%) say they expect to grow by more than 10% in 2022, slightly lower than the 40% who were predicting that level of growth in 2021’s survey (in the end, only one quarter of those anticipating growth of more than 10% last year achieved it). Nuvias attributes the decline in expectations to a more realistic understanding of the long-term ramifications of the pandemic and other challenges, such as the global chip shortage, the shift to hybrid working and the difficulty in recruiting people with the right skills. Interestingly, competitive bidding emerges as the biggest challenge, cited by 62% of respondents this year, compared to only 18% in 2021. The role that distributors can play in helping the channel to overcome these obstacles is highlighted by the fact that half of respondents are looking to Nuvias for help with pre-sales support and marketing and lead generation. More than one third (38%) value its assistance in supply chain/ order tracking. On a more positive note, there are growth areas, notably cybersecurity, which is seen as the biggest opportunity by 78% of respondents, followed by cloud security (56%) and, in distant third place, network visibility (27%). Network visibility is cited by three times more respondents this year than last (27% vs. 10%), most likely because of the need to manage extended networks to support hybrid working practices. Overall, respondents are ambivalent about hybrid working. While 40% find it beneficial for productivity and 30% for strategic thinking, 40% say that it makes running their business harder. One fifth (22%) find the inability to see customers and colleagues in person frustrating. Mark Glasspool n Nuvias Group has increased its footprint in Eastern Europe with the acquisition of Netsafe, a fast growing value-add cyber security and networking distributor operating in Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Bulgaria. Netsafe will continue to operate under its existing brand as a Nuvias Group company. Commenting on the acquisition, Nuvias Group CEO Simon England said: “Nuvias sees significant promise and opportunity in the Eastern European market. With Netsafe we have a platform for considerable growth in this region. We have a very strong match in our philosophy and approach to specialist value-added distribution, making for a solid base for accelerated growth.” PSCo underpins Brompton Technology partnership with £2m LED investment In a new partnership between the two companies, specialist LED distributor and tradeonly rental company PSCo (part of Midwich) is investing £2 million in cutting-edge LED video processing products from Brompton Technology paired with Absen LED cabinets. Ideal for virtual production and broadcast applications in the film, TV and live event sectors, Brompton Technology’s LED processors are able to realise reactive, photo-real VFX backgrounds that sync perfectly with the camera for fully immersive filming. Tessera LED processing products in particular are leading the way in virtual studio development with features that help create a real-time rendered virtual world such as High Dynamic Range (HDR), ultra-low latency and high frame rate. To meet current demand for virtual production and broadcast applications, PSCo is taking delivery of 300sqm of Brompton-Absen LED cabinets in June 2022. The stock is available now to pre-order for purchase or rental, on a first-come, first-served basis. Stuart Holmes, Director of PSCo, said: “This exciting new partnership with Brompton Technology offers our rental partners greater choice across our LED range, as well as meeting increasing demand for LED in virtual studio and broadcast applications. Our £2m investment in the new Brompton-Absen cabinets will offer an alternative to existing Brompton-powered LED cabinets whilst addressing the shortfall in stock across the market.” Starting this month, PSCo will be hosting regular training courses at Innovation House in Bracknell to help customers understand the unique capabilities and powerful feature set of Brompton Technology-powered LEDs. [email protected] • 01344 592 222 New trade-in options offered by Tech Data Tech Data has expanded its range of trade-in deals for the assured recycling and asset disposal of enterprise and infrastructure equipment from brands such as HPE, IBM and NetApp, after striking new partnerships with third-party recycling and refurbishment companies. Mark Glasspool, Tech Data Services Director, UK and Ireland, said: “There is tremendous interest in recycling and re-using IT equipment and with the enhanced range of options we are launching our partners can help their customers to extend the lifecycle of their IT products and find really competitive trade-in options when they need to update or refresh their infrastructure. By doing this, partners can get a better return on their investments while moving towards their sustainability goals.” Midwich announces 2022 charity partners Over the last two years employees at specialist AV distributor Midwich Group have raised more than £45,000 for mental health charity Norfolk and Waveney Mind, through initiatives like an annual quiz, festive raffle and physical activity challenges. They have also donated 315kg of goods for its shops and provided more than 100 hours of volunteering. In the last 10 years, the distributor, which recently confirmed 14 new charity partners for 2022/23, has raised in the region of £200,000 for local and national charities including Nelson’s Journey, Big C, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH) and East Anglian Air Ambulance. Channel Partner Challenges Challenges around competitive bidding jumped from 18% in 2020 to 62% in 2021. Shifting the focus of competitive bidding from price to value, based on a differentiating service offering is how partners can ensure ongoing profitability and sustain revenue streams. Distributors can support partners by complementing their service offering. The ramifications of the pandemic were underestimated. For example, adjusting to a new remote operating model was not a negligible challenge, requiring a change to the way of doing business and related supporting tools. Additionally, the disruption to the supply chain, although anticipated, had far-reaching repercussions, resulting ultimately in semiconductor shortages,

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01732 759725 NEWS : DISTRIBUTORS 10 Tech Data sets up DEI BRG Tech Data is taking steps to ensure people of all races, religions and cultures feel welcome and represented within the company by establishing a business resource group (BRG) focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The third Tech Data BRG to go live in the UK and Ireland, Embrace will hold ‘drop-in’ meetings every 6 to 8 weeks where anyone from minority groups or anyone affected by issues of racism or prejudice can share their experiences and make their voices heard. David Watts, Tech Data Managing Director, UK and Ireland, said: “Tech Data is committed to maintaining a culture that celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion and we are really looking forward to getting Embrace underway and seeing how it can make a positive difference, not only for those employees who belong to racial, cultural or religious minorities, but for everyone in the UK and Ireland organisation.” Tech Data already has BRGs for the empowerment of women (Elevate) and LGBTQ+ co-workers (SPECTRUM). David Watts Synaxon launches 60-day EGIS trial SYNAXON UK, the channel services company, is offering new partners extended 60-day trials of its EGIS stock and availability platform, which now includes access to the full range of online capabilities offered by distribution partner Exertis. Resellers can use the platform to check availability and pricing for thousands of IT and office products and place and manage orders with more than 40 distributor partners that provide live data feeds for the platform. Mike Barron, Managing Director of SYNAXON UK, said: “Now that we are providing access to the full capabilities of Exertis, it’s the perfect time for partners to give EGIS a try. The 60-day free trial is a zero-risk offer for them, and we will provide full training so they can really see how EGIS can benefit their business.” Mike Barron Ignition Technology expands into new markets across EMEA Ignition Technology, the specialist valueadded distributor for emerging disruptive cybersecurity vendors, with established operations in the UK&I, Benelux and Nordics, has extended its operations to France, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. Acquired by Exclusive Networks in July 2021, Ignition has made a series of strategic hires to support its extended geographical reach. Appointments include: n Rodolphe Moreno, Country Manager for France, to establish Ignition’s first foothold in Southern Europe; n Phil Starr, Regional Manager for the Middle East, following more than 5 years’ experience in channel management and account director roles at Ignition in the UK; and n Tony Coleman, Regional Manager for sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Dave Risk has been promoted to lead the company’s established operations in the UK&I. Peter Ledger, Managing Director of Ignition Technology, said: “Having successfully integrated Ignition as a specialist entity within the wider Exclusive Networks business, we’re now focusing our efforts on scaling the Ignition offering in line with Exclusive’s global operations, with an initial focus on EMEA. This allows us to expand the addressable market for our disruptive, high-growth vendors, grow new partner ecosystems, accelerate new commercial opportunities, and rapidly scale sales momentum across key regions.” One of the first companies to benefit from Ignition Technology’s larger footprint is SecurityScorecard, which has just given Exclusive Networks sole pan-EMEA distribution rights for its cybersecurity risk rating platform. This gives customers a continuous view of their cybersecurity environments, risk profile ratings and access to expert guidance. Ignition Technology will spearhead partner recruitment, enablement and market demand across the UK&I, France, Middle East, Nordics, Baltics and Benelux. Other markets will be covered by Exclusive Networks teams including DACH, Iberia, Italy and Turkey. Denis Ferrand-Ajchenbaum, VP Global Ecosystems & Alliances at Exclusive Networks, said: “The ability comprehensively and continuously to monitor, assess and address cybersecurity posture is a game changer in helping build cyber resilience, mitigate risk and deliver peace of mind. With SecurityScorecard channel partners now have an additional weapon in their cyber armoury to deliver even more value to their customers.” Pax8 secures new funding for growth and innovation Pax8, the fast growing cloud products marketplace, has raised $185 million in new equity capital from new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2, increasing its valuation to $1.7 billion. Following the funding series led by Softbank Vision Fund, with additional contributions from existing investors Catalyst Investors, Sageview Capital, Blue Cloud Ventures and Liberty Global Ventures, Kristin Bannon, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join the Pax8 Board of Directors. She said: “Through its marketplace, Pax8 is empowering SMBs with technology solutions they would otherwise not have access to, while simultaneously granting software vendors distribution capabilities to a hard-to-reach customer segment. I am thrilled to join the Pax8 Board and partner with the company on its hyper-growth technology strategy.” Pax8 simplifies the IT buying experience for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) through the IT channel ecosystem by connecting 20,000 managed services partners to a transactional cloud marketplace that provides billing, provisioning, automation, PSA integrations and pre and post-sales support. Pax8 CEO John Street said: “As we continue to evolve our technology and marketplace to meet the needs of SMBs, the new investment will provide capital to accelerate innovation and continued expansion into new global markets. This strong funding round reflects the powerful work Pax8 is doing to enable and grow SMBs through our partners, employees, technology, education and support.” 11 NEWS : DISTRIBUTORS In today’s world, more and more of us are working from home, so your customers are looking for reliable professional printing from a compact, stylish machine. With Brother's new feature rich, fully connected, A4 business inkjet printers boasting unrivaled build quality, you’ll be able to carry out any work-related task from the comfort of your home. As well as a wide range of professional specifications, created to help you print and scan a variety of documents and high yield in-box ink cartridges you will also make huge savings on print costs. Visit BrotherZone for more information mini-business PRINT COPY SCAN FAX WIRELESS S PRINT COPY CAN FAX WIRELE S Your perfect home office business partner Professional, feature rich connected devices with low running costs.

12 01732 759725 NEWS : RESELLERS Unipart strengthens its SAP system integrator capability Unipart Group, the global logistics, consulting and manufacturing organisation, is accelerating its transformation into an IT services-led business by transitioning to SAP’s business transformation-as-a-service, RISE with SAP. In an evolution of its existing 21year relationship with SAP, Unipart will deploy the SAP S/4HANA intelligent ERP system as part of RISE with SAP, while also strengthening its capability as a SAP Systems Integrator to help its own customers embrace cloud innovation. Unipart hopes that by providing access to a single Digital Core platform delivering automated and simplified business processes, real-time data insights and near real-time sales and process visibility, RISE with SAP will give it the flexibility and bandwidth to scale its business, while also enabling it to expand its IT services offering beyond logistics and to a wider customer base. Yiannis Levantis, Group Chief Information Officer at Unipart, said: “Reinvention is part of our DNA. As we look to shift our business model towards being an IT services company first, with deep expertise in logistics, manufacturing and supply chain, expanding our capabilities alongside SAP has been the next step to make this a reality.” MKCL acquired by Flex IT MKCL, a European IT hardware reseller and provider of logistics, web portals and demo pool management for vendors, has been acquired by Flex IT, a specialist in IT lifecycle management and the circular economy. With offices in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Bulgaria and the UK, Flex IT has provided sustainable hardware solutions for organisations in the commercial and public sectors for 30 years. The acquisition of MKCL, a trusted brand in the European IT landscape for more than 20 years and a provider of circular IT through platforms like, will increase FlexIT’s stock of used IT products and strengthen its service offering for IT vendors and channel partners. Flex IT CEO Leon Timmermans said: “We are very pleased that MKCL is becoming part of our Group. As well as allowing us to help companies achieve their circularity ambitions, it will strengthen our circular IT offering in Europe and is an important milestone in our goal to become the largest demo partner in Europe.” Located in Bad Oldesloe, near Hamburg, MKCL will continue to trade under the MKCL name. Leon Timmermans Telefónica Tech UK&I expands services portfolio with Incremental acquisition Telefónica Tech is adding enterprise applications and advanced data capabilities to Telefónica Tech UK&I’s portfolio of services through the acquisition of Glasgow-based Microsoft partner Incremental in a deal worth up to £175 million, including contingent payments linked to future performance. Incremental was formed five years ago with the backing of Maven Capital Partners and Scottish Investment Bank, since when it has made a series of acquisitions including the strategic bolt-on of data specialist Adatis in October 2021, increasing headcount to 350. José Cerdán, CEO of Telefónica Tech, said: “We warmly welcome Incremental Group, and are delighted that this acquisition enables us to strengthen our position as a leader in the UK market for IT services. We are now able to provide end-to-end Microsoft services, including digital transformation, managed services and data analytics, and achieve attractive cross-selling synergies with Telefónica Tech UK&I, complementing and positioning us as a leading Microsoft-focused company in the UK.” Incremental was advised by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP. Microsoft Defender users targeted with new SOC services Security Operations Centre-as-a-Service and Managed Detection and Response provider e2e-assure has launched new cyber risk management services for users of Microsoft Defender tools. Covering endpoints, email, OneDrive, SharePoint, Office 365 and third-party apps, e2e-assure’s 24/7 SOC services add value to Microsoft Defender tools by reducing workloads and the need for inhouse resources. CEO Rob Demain said: “Many organisations have access to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools at no additional cost through their Microsoft licence package. However, many lack the people, time and expertise to respond to alerts flagged by Defender for Endpoint, meaning that they are unable to make the most of this valuable security tool. Our goal is to reduce risk through an always-on SOC. We provide remediation advice and with the managed service can get actively involved in the response, for example by suspending a user or isolating a device.” Keysource tender win Keysource, the global data centre and critical environment specialists, has won a multi-year tender to provide Cardiff University with 24/7 monitoring and planned maintenance of all M&E, UPS and close-coupled cooling in the university’s main Redwood data centre, as well as monitoring across other campus data centre and server room facilities. Keysource won the competitive tender on the basis of the value of its bid and its position as the top ranked supplier within the NorthEastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) Framework for the provision of Data Centre Management equipment and infrastructure. CCS Rebrands as Aurora Managed print and ICT provider Corona Corporate Solutions (CCS) has rebranded as Aurora and is marking its relaunch with new product and service offerings including a home worker solution and new range of service packages. 13 BUSINESS BRIEFING WWW.TELCOSWITCH.COM

01732 759725 14 NEWS : RESELLERS Barracuda helps MSPs prepare for possible NIS change Barracuda MSP is advising managed service providers that they have nothing to fear from a proposal by Julia Lopez, the Minister of State for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, to bring MSPs within the remit of NIS Regulations. If enacted, this would require MSPs to do more to keep customers’ data safe, for example by carrying out thorough risk assessments, with the possibility of up to £17 million in fines for non-compliance. JP Kehoe, Senior Director of Barracuda MSP company SKOUT Managed XDR EMEA, says that Barracuda MSP aims to prepare MSPs for any new regulations by helping them put the right skills and processes in place to secure their own environments and adhere to cybersecurity regulations like NIS. He said: “There are five steps to good cyber hygiene. First, establish what’s important to protect and build defence-indepth around your data. Second, monitor your environment to lower your response time. Finally, follow a framework to continue to secure People, Process & Technology (PPT).” He added: “There is nothing to fear from the new legislation for those companies who have taken the necessary basic cyber hygiene steps and Barracuda is clearly focused on assisting them to achieve this.” PfH framework success for Apogee Apogee is looking forward to reducing costs and improving efficiencies for social housing organisations after gaining first place ranking on Lot 2 (Multi-functional Devices and Managed Print Services) of the PfH Print Management Framework. A leading procurement provider within the UK’s social housing sector, PfH offers its 900+ members a range of procurement services including consultancy, technology, dynamic purchasing systems and dedicated frameworks offering best value from market leading suppliers. In 2021 alone, it saved members £18.5 million. Making waves Transparent IT EXPO 2022, held on the Princess Caroline at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, has been heralded a great success by Konftel, which was showcasing its latest conferencing technologies at the all-day event organised by IT, AV and networking hardware supplier Transparent Communications. Konftel UK Sales Director Jeff May said: “We had a fabulous day exhibiting with a mix of great visitors and decision-makers in a wonderful and unique venue. It was all superbly organised and the weather was kind too! Konftel’s latest video solutions generated lots of interest especially our C2070 and C50800 Hybrid systems plus the Konftel Personal Video Kit.” Headquartered in Portsmouth, Transparent Communications is a growing UK supplier of IT, AV and networking hardware with a portfolio of more than 100,000 products. Quantum win for Trams|Econocom Quantum, a provider of end-to-end management and storage solutions for video and unstructured data, has named IT solutions provider Trams|Econocom as its M&E Partner of the Year for a record ninth time in twelve years. The award was announced at the Quantum Elevate Partner Summit 2022 in Lisbon and presented to Nick Johnson, Sales Director of Trams|Econocom. Over the last 12 years Trams|Econocom has helped numerous customers in media, broadcast, postproduction, sports production and corporate video, including the BBC, Sky TV, Hogarth Worldwide, Burberry, SDI Media, Dyson and Pinewood Studios, to manage their unstructured data and media and entertainment workflows with Quantum storage solutions. Anniek Snauwaert, Quantum Sales Director M&E EMEA, said: “It is our honour to award Trams|Econocom the 2021 M&E Partner of the Year in EMEA. Trams|Econocom shares our relentless commitment to our customers’ success and an understanding of the technologies needed to build complex workflows with the confidence their video data is always accessible and protected.” Phil Cambers Trustack off to a flying start with Arctic Wolf Managed IT services provider TruStack has been named partner of the quarter by Arctic Wolf just nine months after starting to work with the security operations specialist. The award recognises the Cramlington-based company’s success in selling Arctic Wolf’s Security Operations Cloud, which provides 24x7 monitoring, detection and response, as well as security recommendations delivered through a concierge model. TruStack Commercial Director Phil Cambers said: “We came on board with Arctic Wolf last July, had our first sale by September, our second by November, and things have just gone on from there.” Every week Arctic Wolf analyses more than 1.9 trillion security events generated by IT systems for customers including Oracle Red Bull Racing and Premier League football club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Clare Loveridge, Arctic Wolf Vice President and General Manager EMEA, said: “Arctic Wolf is delighted to recognise TruStack as our UK Partner of the Quarter. TruStack has successfully introduced us into their customer base in the North-East of England and beyond and have also become an Arctic Wolf customer themselves. We look forward to many more successful quarters to come!” • Left to Right: James Mundle - Channel Chief, Quantum. Nick Johnson - Sales Director, Trams|Econocom. John Hurley - CRO, Quantum. Jamie Lerner - CEO, Quantum. Henk Jan Spanjaard - VP EMEA, Quantum.