Technology Reseller v59

IN PRINT & ONLINE v59 · 2023 THE MAGAZINE & ONLINE CHANNEL RESOURCE FOR MSPS, IT RESELLERS & IT SUPPORT PROVIDERS PAGE 30 PAGE 34 Q&A View from the Channel COLLABORATION PAGE 26 With Darren Ellis of Park Place Technologies ClickShare addresses meeting equity with CX-50 2nd generation How Corelight helps detect early signs of a data breach Are you in danger of partnering with an unreliable wholesaler? With this and other obstacles in your way, how do you know who’s the right provider for you? OUT THERE IT’S A

HV.Select just got... Reduced licence cost New inclusive features Two licence types to suit your customers New payment terms on hardware Comms | Cloud | Hardware | Billing Boost your IP Voice portfolio with DWS 03 If you no longer wish to receive Technology Reseller magazine please email your details to [email protected] COMMENT The Technology Reseller team visited ISE 2023 en masse at the beginning of February. And what an event it was. The Panasonic stand alone will live long in the memory thanks to its partnership with Frameless, provider of London’s first (but not only) immersive digital art experience. Across the aisle, Epson was showing its own take on this new trend. Trade shows have never looked so good. ISE’s audience is famously knowledgeable and most visitors are more interested in the small details than the bigger picture. When allowed to, they like to get right up close to displays not just to look for joins and flaws but also to detect heat levels. This is an increasingly important consideration for businesses with net zero ambitions and, as you would expect, sustainability was a major theme at this year’s event. Indeed, Sony had designed its whole stand to highlight its credentials in this area. You can read more about this on page 36. Some of the most interesting developments at ISE were in the professional broadcast arena, or at least where it intersects with business communications, in the form of in-house production studios that enable organisations to create their own content and communicate with customers and prospects in a more professional fashion. Panasonic and Sony were both showing their capabilities in this area – but you had to fight through the crowds to get a closer look. Elsewhere, there were significant developments in unified communications and collaboration, from purpose-built all-in-one collaboration displays like the Lenovo ThinkSmart View Plus (see page 35) to meeting room devices designed to enhance meeting equity between remote and in-office participants, like the ClickShare CX-50 2nd generation (see page 34). I’m not sure this can ever be achieved fully but the addition of dual-screen support to this popular wireless meeting solution is definitely a step in the right direction. In the meantime, there will be no shortage of businesses offering their own solutions to the problem of meeting equity. One such is Jugo, which describes its offering in this area as an ‘experiential platform’. To find out what that means turn to page 19. 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. © 2023 Kingswood Media Ltd. Design: Sandtiger Media v59 · 2023 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] Account Manager: Jeff Root 01732 759725 · [email protected] Art Director: Nick Pledge 07767 615983 · [email protected] ISSN 2632-9301 (Print) ISSN 2632-931X (Online) 04 News OQC and Equinix to democratise quantum computing 08 Working together A round-up of the month’s new distribution agreements 09 Distributor news Midwich launches new lease and hire purchase offering 11 Reseller news Ekco makes third UK acquisition in last 12 months 16 Business development Business Doncaster supports innovation at local cyber firm 19 Collaboration Introducing Jugo, the immersive experiential platform 22 Cybersecurity Fast growing Core to Cloud opens Dundee office 26 Q&A Matt Ellison on the benefits of Corelight network detection and response 28 Managed services Opportunities and challenges for MSPs in 2023 30 View from the Channel With Darren Ellis of Park Place Technologies 32 60 seconds with... Dave Reynolds, Managing Director UK, Xelion 33 UC&C IP Evolve announces 2023 partner award winners 34 ISE 2023 ClickShare launches CX50 2nd generation for bigger meeting rooms 35 Meetings New collaboration products from ISE 2023 36 Displays Highlights from Sony’s ISE 2023 stand tour 39 Events Kingswood Tech Events updates 40 Cybersecurity Why South West IT is putting its trust in ThreatLocker 42 People New faces, new places 2023 GLOBAL MSP BENCHMARK SURVEY REPORT

Distributor marketplaces can aid transition to services Westcon-Comstor has produced a new report highlighting the role distributor marketplaces can play in helping channel partners make the transition to services and subscriptions. Based on a survey of almost 300 channel partners in the UK and Australia, Navigating the shift: The role of distributor marketplaces in Partner Success reveals that while almost all respondents are moving to recurring revenue models, 78% believe they have ‘more to do’ to make the shift to services and subscriptions. Among the challenges they face is the need to manage a complex multivendor portfolio (cited by 52%), which is where a significant majority (60%) believe distributor marketplaces offering a single platform to buy hardware and software can make a difference. Half (49%) of partners surveyed by Westcon-Comstor already use distributor marketplaces, citing self-serve stock availability (49%), online ordering (49%) and pricing (42%) as the biggest benefits. Westcon-Comstor believes there is scope for distributor marketplaces to offer a richer set of services and capabilities than is being provided today, with respondents also looking for better access to customer data (cited by 55%), market data (39%) and customer success training (46%). Mark Loparow, Director of Business Growth at Truis, said: “A distributor marketplace that can truly help us manage the complex multi-vendor environment we operate in would be highly beneficial, not only for managing our complicated technology purchases but for helping us deliver long-term business growth. Plus, our teams have different needs so breadth in capabilities is important. Simplified sales processes, self-serve capabilities plus the data insights and information we need to achieve customer success, now that would be a game changer.” https://westcon-comstor.foleon. com/channel-research-report-2023/ navigating-the-shift/ ······ Technical debt putting brakes on digital transformation warns SoftwareOne Four out of five C-suite and IT decisionmakers in the UK and USA say they are having to make their budgets stretch further than ever, as they pursue digital transformation initiatives despite rising technical debt. SoftwareOne’s new study, CIO Pulse: 2023 budgets & priorities, shows that although 93% of C-suite and IT decisionmakers in the UK and USA expect their IT budgets to rise in 2023, they have a growing requirement to tackle the technical debt burden. Almost three quarters (72%) of CIOs say they are behind in their digital transformation because of technical debt, at a time when 92% are expected to deliver digital transformation initiatives that act as revenue generators. Causes of technical debt include multiple on-premises IT legacy systems, cited as a top three challenge by 51% of CIOs; rushed cloud migrations during the pandemic, cited by 38%, with 31% failing to optimise their workloads before commencing the migration process; and miscalculation of cloud budgets when provisioning (38%), resulting in overspend. Commenting on the findings, Craig Thomson, Senior Vice President of Cloud and Application Services at SoftwareOne, said: “Businesses are dealing with an uncertain economic environment, which makes planning big IT transformations (continued on page 6, column 1) NEWS 01732 759725 04 NEWS OQC to democratise quantum computing UK-based quantum-computing-asa-service company Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) is collaborating with Equinix on a project to make its nextgeneration quantum computer available to businesses worldwide later this year. The quantum computer will be integrated into Equinix’s Japanese data centre and leverage the company’s on-demand interconnection solution, Equinix Fabric, to enable organisations to access it on an ‘as a service’ basis as if it were on their own premises. This effectively democratises access to quantum computing, giving businesses the opportunity to experiment with the ground-breaking technology. OQC CEO Dr. Ilana Wisby said: “The world has been waiting for quantum computing to mature to the point where it can change our lives. Installing quantum computing in Equinix’s worldclass TY11 data centre brings us a step closer to this reality.” She added: “Quantum computing represents a major shift in terms of technology and process. Unlike traditional classical computers, quantum computers can crunch vast amounts of data at incredible speeds. We are excited to work with Equinix to help businesses around the world to build their quantum skillset and capabilities. The future is here, and we are setting the pace for the era of quantum computing.” Last year, OQC secured £38m of funding in the largest Series A round for a UK quantum computing start-up. Richard Ford continued... Consolidate to cut costs Over 30% of businesses believe that 30% of their budget is being allocated to tools and solutions that are not being used to their full potential, according to a Twitter poll by Integrity360. Almost 30% believe they have 31-40 tools and solutions within their tech stack that could be removed due to overlapping and unused features. Richard Ford, CTO of Integrity360, said: “These results are concerning, especially at a time of economic downturn when cyber security budgets are tight and risks are heightened. Yet budget is being spent on unnecessary and unused solutions. Consolidation of platforms and convergence of technologies can be a useful way to optimise spending in addition to improving overall security posture.” 05 NEWS continued... AD Print signage, shipping labels and visitor passes all with one roll See what you can do with the QL range from Brother. 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01732 759725 06 NEWS a challenge. Yet organisations need to move to the cloud and modernise legacy applications to remain competitive. We’re seeing a real need for a combination of innovation with optimisation. Our clients are looking for pragmatic step-by-step transformation initiatives, rather than wholesale megalithic projects that can be hard to get approved when budgets are under pressure.” Priorities for CIOs include application modernisation, with 82% planning to increase their investment in this area, and better cloud cost management including improved transparency and control of cloud costs. To this end, 80% plan to increase their investment in FinOps and 39% aim to use cloud native tools to reduce licensing costs. Dan Ortman, Global Practice Lead FinOps at SoftwareOne, said: “Adopting FinOps practices will help them optimise not just their spend but the processes, accountability and transparency required to get maximum value from their cloud investment. Once legacy IT is migrated and modernised and cloud is optimised, any savings can be reinvested into innovative projects that help the IT team to achieve more with less.” cio-pulse-2023-budgets-and-priorities ······ Control of cloud costs a top priority Only 40% of IT teams have complete visibility into where their data resides, according to a survey of 1,450 IT decisionmakers for the fifth global Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) report from Nutanix. The report attributes this failing to the diversification of cloud deployments, with 60% of IT teams now leveraging more than one IT infrastructure, be it a mix of private and public clouds, multiple public clouds or an on-premises datacentre and hosted datacentre. This figure is expected to grow to 74% in the near future. When Nutanix conducted the ECI in 2018, well over half of respondents said they envisaged one day running all workloads exclusively in either a private cloud or the public cloud. Now, rather than seeking to consolidate on a particular infrastructure or IT operating model, most enterprises are embracing a hybrid model where they run workloads across public cloud, on-premises and at the edge. This, it suggests, is creating the need for a single, unified control plane to manage applications and data across diverse environments. The survey highlights a desire to tackle cloud costs, with 85% citing them as a challenging IT management issue. Nearly half of respondents (46%) plan to repatriate some applications to onpremises datacentres to mitigate cloud costs in the year ahead. ······ ISO certification for IT asset management The ITAM Forum has met one of its foundational goals with the launch of the world’s first ISO/IEC 19770-1 certification scheme for IT asset management. As a management system like ISO 27001 and 9001, ISO/IEC 19770-1 specifies the requirements for an IT asset management system, including the people, processes and technology necessary to manage IT assets throughout the lifecycle. Previously organisations were unable to demonstrate the quality of their ITAM practices in a consistent, uniform and globally accepted way. The first two organisations to be certified are Softline Group Northern Europe and HDI Group, with others in the pipeline. ······ Calling time on passwords Passwords have outrun their course and it’s time to give users a simpler, more secure way to validate their identity. So says Entrust, following the publication of The Future of Identity Report by the Entrust Cybersecurity Institute. With 45% continued... Recycling server heat with digital boilers Deep Green is one of a growing number of tech firms seeking to create social value from the heat generated by data centre servers. The self-funded British start-up does this by installing an edge cloud data centre in a local business and using ‘immersion cooling’ technology to capture and transfer heat from the servers into the business’s hot water system. Deep Green says around 96% of the heat generated by one of its mini data centres can be recycled in this way. The first UK site to benefit from the technology is Exmouth Leisure Centre in Devon, which is using surplus heat captured from a 12-server Deep Green cloud data centre to cut its heated swimming pool’s gas requirements by 62%, saving over £20,000 a year and cutting carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes. It is not only swimming pools that can use this technology. Any organisation that has a consistent requirement for heat, such as a bakery, distillery, laundrette or block of flats, could use it to save money and reduce their reliance on carbon-intensive fossil fuel boilers. Mark Bjornsgaard, CEO and Founder of Deep Green, said: “Data is critical to modern society and demand for data centres is growing exponentially. However, this comes at a cost. Current data centre infrastructure is inefficient, using a huge amount of energy and generating a vast amount of waste heat. “By moving data centres from industrial warehouses into the hearts of communities, our ‘digital boilers’ put waste heat to good use, saving local businesses thousands of pounds on energy bills and reducing their carbon footprint.” In all, Deep Green says 30% of industrial and commercial heat needs could be met with its digital boiler technology. Mark Bjonsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, at Exmouth Leisure Centre. Deep Green’s computers are submerged in mineral oil that captures waste heat. Diagram courtesy of Deep Green. 07 NEWS of UK respondents resetting a password at least once a month (and 13% as often as once a week), the appeal of biometrics has never been greater. When given the option of biometrics or a password, 42% of UK respondents say they will always choose biometrics. There is also growing acceptance of electronic IDs (eIDs). Two thirds (66%) of UK respondents say they would use a digital form of governmentissued ID if one were available, with 55% citing convenience as the reason why. ······ Half of firms bust public cloud storage budgets Over half (52%) of organisations in EMEA exceeded their public cloud storage budgets in 2022, according to Wasabi Technologies’ 2023 EMEA Cloud Storage Index. The top reasons for exceeding budget include higher than anticipated storage usage (39%); higher than forecast data operations fees (37%); the migration of additional applications to the cloud (37%); hikes in storage list prices (37%); and higher than expected data retrieval (35%), API calls (31%), egress (26%) and data deletion fees (26%). Almost half (48%) of organisations’ cloud storage budget is allocated to fees, with 51% allocated to storage capacity. Overall, 87% of EMEA respondents migrated storage from on-premises to the public cloud in 2022. The top three reasons for doing so were infrastructure resilience (43%), avoiding the cost of refreshing old/purchasing new hardware (40%) and having to scale resources (38%). More than four out of five organisations expect to increase both the amount of data they store in the cloud in 2023 (83%) and their cloud storage budgets (81%). Even so, there are still concerns around storage, including a lack of cloud platform experience/insufficient training; unauthorised access or insight into one’s data; a lack of storage identity and access management policies/tools; and a lack of native backup, DR and data protection tools. On average, organisations in EMEA allocate 14% of their total IT budget to cloud storage. Consolidation of technology, cost savings and better customer support are top priorities for 2023 GoTo, the IT management, support and business communication specialist, has published the main findings from its IT Priorities: 2023 Report. The report, conducted by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by GoTo, looks at global trends among 1,000 IT decision-makers at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. Against a background of economic uncertainty, scrutinised budgets and overburdened resources, IT decision-makers are having to set goals and objectives to maximise their investment, grow their business and streamline their processes. Among respondents to GoTo’s survey the four main business objectives are to: n grow revenue; n improve operational efficiency; n reduce costs; and n increase customer satisfaction. The IT Priorities: 2023 Report identifies a number of key trends that will allow teams to achieve these objectives: n Consolidation for enhanced productivity and cost savings. Eight out of 10 respondents (83%) consider consolidation of communication, collaboration and IT management and support tools an important initiative for the year; 93% have completed, planned or are already undertaking these consolidation efforts. The top reasons given for consolidation are to increase employee productivity, to give the IT team solutions that are easier to manage and to make cost savings, with 41% saying they plan to switch vendors to reduce costs. n Taking responsibility. Nearly half (48%) of decision-makers say it is very important to consider reducing the burden on IT when choosing new software, up from 35% last year. Two thirds (68%) of company leaders say they are now more involved in the procurement process for IT products and tools than they were a year ago. n Supporting IT teams with better IT support tools. Two thirds (65%) of organisations have seen an increase in their IT workload in the past year and 92% want to reduce the burden on IT through their software choices. Changes or upgrades to digital tools are being driven by the preferences of the IT team in 40% of organisations. n Hybrid work is still the preferred way to work. While there are now almost twice as many in-office workers as there were last year (36% vs. 19% in 2022), hybrid work remains the gold standard, with half of respondents splitting their time between home and office. Year-over-year results show a decrease of 10% in the number of businesses that have official rules on the number of days an employee must be in the office, meaning that employees have more flexibility than ever. n Finding new ways to prioritise the customer. Businesses can only function if employees have the right IT support and communication tools, and for customer-facing teams this means having the right technology to seamlessly support customers. Two thirds (66%) of respondents plan to spend more this year on customer experience (CX) technology than they did in 2022. n Partners have a key role in decisionmaking. Over the last year, there has been a 55% increase in the use of technology partners, with 44% of businesses now consulting channel partners when choosing new business communication and IT support tools, compared to 27% who prefer to go directly to the solution provider. For more insights, please visit: ······ Metaverse training centre to open in September ARuVR, an end-to-end, enterprise-grade Extended Reality (XR) training platform, has announced a three-year partnership with City, University of London to provide its award-winning platform, AR/VR hardware and expertise to engineering, computer science and applied mathematics undergraduate and postgraduate students within the School of Science and Technology. Officially opening in September 2023, with funding from the Office for Students (OFS), the Interactive Ethical Learning Design Studio will be the UK’s largest bespoke Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Metaverse design training centre, capable of training up to 50 students simultaneously.

01732 759725 08 WORKING TOGETHER Drata partners with Distology to bring compliance platform to EMEA Drata, a continuous security and compliance automation platform, is partnering with Distology to bring its integrated risk and compliance offerings to the VAD’s community of IT resellers across EMEA. Drata simplifies compliance with standards and regulations such as ISO 27001 and GDPR through an automation-led approach and continuous control monitoring. George Bonser, Drata VP of Sales in EMEA, said: “Accelerating our global presence with new partnerships, resources and EU data hosting is vital for Drata as we continue supporting our customers with scalable compliance programmes customised to their specific needs. Distology unlocks new opportunities for us to work with its trusted network of resellers while we bolster our own partner ecosystem.” Distology CEO Hayley Roberts added: “This partnership brings a much needed risk and compliance automation offering for channel partners of all kinds and will help even more companies adhere to stringent compliance regulations.” Ignition Technology appointed sole UK distributor by Orca Security Orca Security has appointed Ignition Technology as its sole distribution partner in the UK, Ireland and France. In this role, the specialist distributor for disruptive and fastgrowth SaaS-based cybersecurity vendors will build channel engagement and stimulate market demand for Orca’s industry-leading agentless Cloud Security Platform. Sean Remnant, Chief Strategy Officer at Ignition Technology, said: “The modern enterprise relies heavily on cloud services, yet so many organisations are still playing catch up on cloud security, leaving them vulnerable to attack. With Orca’s cloud security and posture management capabilities, channel partners will be able to help their customers identify security gaps and mitigate risk.” Exclusive Networks extends SentinelOne practice across North America Exclusive Networks has extended its international distribution agreement with SentinelOne to cover the North American market. The newly expanded partnership will focus on driving net new partner recruitment, enablement and momentum in support of SentinelOne’s hyper-growth plans for the region. Exclusive Networks has been a SentinelOne partner since 2016, helping to establish and scale the company’s channel presence across EMEA and APAC. Exclusive will now extend its international SentinelOne practice throughout North America to help SentinelOne penetrate new markets. Denis Ferrand-Ajchenbaum, SVP Global Business Development and Ecosystems at Exclusive Networks, said: “The expansion of our partnership with SentinelOne in North America means Exclusive has now achieved global distribution status with one of the fastest growing vendors in cybersecurity. SentinelOne has moved the needle beyond XDR into cloud security and, with its new Zero Trust, CNAPP, Patch Management and Threat Simulation offerings, has an amazing value proposition that allows Exclusive Networks and our North American channel partners to take advantage of the growing cloud security market, which is even larger than endpoint security. Our extended partnership represents a real opportunity for us to provide our exceptional valueadded services to an even greater global ecosystem.” Climb targets resellers with expanded Malwarebytes offering In an expansion of its partnership with real-time cyber protection company Malwarebytes, technology distributor Climb Channel Solutions is offering the full Malwarebytes for Business portfolio to VARs in the UK and Ireland. This expands an existing MSP partnership between Climb and Malwarebytes, giving more partners the opportunity to offer the company’s cyber protection solution to their customers. With additional threat prevention modules and services such as DNS filtering and managed detection and response (MDR) partners can tailor products and services to each customer’s specific needs. Paul Sexton, Channel Manager, UK&I at Malwarebytes, said: “Partners play a vital role in our company’s future and our mission of serving under-resourced IT teams. A benefit of Climb is that they not only provide an easy way to purchase and deploy solutions, but also help educate their partners.” Jane Silk, VP of Sales EMEA, Climb Channel Solutions, said: “We’re excited to expand our Malwarebytes offering to include the full portfolio for VARs as well as MSPs. Our partnership with Malwarebytes has grown in a short time and our teams enjoy working together to ensure we offer the best solutions to our customers.” malwarebytes/ Scylla anomaly detection offers new possibilities for Exertis partners Addressing the growing takeup of video analytics for threat detection, Exertis has added Scylla’s Anomaly Detection System (ADS) to its security offering. Scylla’s AI solutions enhance security in retail outlets, sports venues, airports and other video-monitoring environments through anomaly and behaviour detection, face recognition, object detection and tracking and perimeter intrusion detection, with seamless integration with CCTV, UAV and thermal cameras. Dominic Ryles, Director of Sales & Commercial – Security at Exertis Enterprise, said: “This addition to our vendor portfolio gives our channel partners the opportunity to open up new revenue streams and bolster existing video solutions with robust AI-powered technology, to deliver meaningful insights and detect objects, actions and behaviour anomalies.” Optoma appoints Solstice AV as distributor Optoma has appointed Solstice AV to distribute its award-winning range of laser projectors and interactive flat panel displays across the UK. Established in 2020, Solstice AV is a complete solution provider for projectors and interactive displays, as well as LED displays, digital signage and professional TVs. Its services extend from specifying, sales support and marketing to installation, servicing and warranty post-sale. With this agreement, Solstice AV will stock and distribute Optoma’s 5-Series Creative Touch Interactive Displays, winner of a Best of Show award at ISE for the second year in a row, and its range of laser projectors, including popular WUXGA models and Full HD 1080p projectors, such as the new eco-friendly ZW350e and 4K UHD ZK507-W. Working together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements George Bonser, Drata Sean Remnant, Ignition Technology Denis FerrandAjchenbaum, Exclusive Networks 09 DISTRIBUTOR NEWS Continued... QBS appointed preferred EMEA distribution partner by ShareGate ShareGate, provider of an out-of-the-box solution for Microsoft 365 migrations and management, has built on its seven-year relationship with QBS by selecting QBS as its preferred EMEA distribution partner. Key features of the management solution include smooth migrations for SharePoint, Teams and Planner; frictionless provisioning with customisable templates; automation of IT tasks to clean up, organise and govern tenants; centralised reporting; flexible permissions management; and agile administration. Andree Dumitrescu, Managing Director of QBS Software, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the preferred EMEA distributor of ShareGate, a strategic vendor I successfully onboarded in 2016. Since then, ShareGate and QBS have collaborated to develop a successful channel strategy for customers seeking an Office 365 management and migration solution. With the current focus and investment in personnel and processes, we are confident we will be able to expand ShareGate’s customer base and help them fully exploit the potential of their product.” eSentire MDR added to Exertis Enterprise portfolio Exertis has expanded its Enterprise cybersecurity portfolio through a new relationship with Managed Detection and Response (MDR) provider eSentire. This will give Exertis partners access to eSentire’s 24/7 multi-signal MDR, offering 24/7 advanced threat detection, investigation and complete response, with coverage across network, endpoint, log, cloud and identity data sources. Customers benefit from around-theclock monitoring and support, delivered by eSentire’s Cyber Resilience team. This includes 24/7 SOC cyber analysts, elite threat hunters, Threat Response Unit (TRU) experts and a dedicated cyber risk advisor. Because eSentire has global alliances with best of breed technical partners including Microsoft, AWS, CrowdStrike, VMWare Carbon Black, SentinelOne, Lacework and Sumo Logic, customers can partner with Exertis and eSentire for a fully managed solution or choose to bring an existing licence for 24/7 protection under eSentire MDR. Dominic Ryles, Director of Sales and Commercial – Security at Exertis Enterprise, said: “Security expertise continues to be incredibly challenging to recruit, train and retain. To ensure our channel partners and their customers can continue to scale their business ambitions securely, complete attack surface visibility, 24/7 protection and rapid threat intelligence operationalisation are paramount. We are thrilled to partner with eSentire, the global leader in Managed Detection & Response (MDR) to bring enterprise- grade cybersecurity services to our Enterprise portfolio.” TD SYNNEX to build ZAGG’s UK presence TD SYNNEX has signed an agreement with ZAGG to bring its mobile and tablet accessories to more partners across the UK. ZAGG provides mobile cases, tablet keyboards, screen protectors, power management solutions and personal audio products under its own name and the InvisibleShield, Gear4 and mophie brands (also available from TD SYNNEX). To start with TD SYNNEX will focus on ZAGG productivity and protective equipment for Apple devices, aiming to strengthen ZAGG’s market presence through excellent stock availability, advanced logistics, detailed specification data and credit and finance options. Adobe deal opens up new markets for Pax8 customers Pax8 has added Adobe digital marketing and media solutions to its cloud marketplace, making it easy for MSPs across the UK and EMEA to buy, sell and manage Adobe products and solutions. The two Adobe solutions available through Pax8’s marketplace are Adobe Creative Cloud, which delivers creative apps and services in a single, secure, integrated platform, and Adobe Document Cloud for automated digital document and signature workflows. Harald Nuij, Chief Executive Officer of Pax8 EMEA, said: “This is a hugely significant moment for Pax8 in the EMEA region. Adobe’s solutions are the best in the world for empowering creativity and driving brand identity. Adobe’s game-changing innovations will truly diversify what our Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can offer their customers, making them more competitive and allowing them to target new markets.” TD SYNNEX launches TOUGHBOOK programme TD SYNNEX has launched a new programme for SMB partners seeking accreditation on ruggedised devices from Panasonic TOUGHBOOK, the distributor’s only specialist vendor partner dedicated to rugged notebooks and tablets. The exclusive partner programme gives resellers access to TOUGHBOOK specialists, fast-track bid pricing for qualified SMB deals (for between ten and 40 devices), enhanced pricing and regular communications about new product launches, key initiatives and incentives. In return, partners need to ensure at least one member of their team attends each of the training events and webinars TD SYNNEX is running on Panasonic TOUGHBOOK solutions. James Reed, Managing Director – Endpoint Solutions, UK and Ireland, TD SYNNEX, said: “More customers now want rugged, robust and reliable mobile products that are optimised for working on the go – and that’s exactly what TOUGHBOOK gives them. We are seeing a growth in demand for these hard-wearing, hard-working devices and we want to bring more partners on board to take advantage of that.” First hosted event of 2023 a success for SYNAXON Channel services group SYNAXON’s first hosted event of 2023 saw 40 of its most active MSPs, resellers and suppliers come together at Molineux, home of Premier League football club Wolverhampton Wanderers, to hear about the latest offerings from supplier partners, Barracuda, Pax8 and OpenText. SYNAXON outlined plans to develop its key offerings – SYNAXON Hub, SYNAXON Managed Services and the EGIS e-procurement platform – and organised round-table discussions on subjects such as extended detection and response (XDR), how to add value with cybersecurity and the challenges of managing a growing portfolio of cloud customers. Mike Barron, Managing Director of SYNAXON UK, said: “It was great to bring some of the key members of the SYNAXON UK community together to share their current ideas and experiences. SYNAXON is all about helping partners find new ways to develop and grow, and everyone benefits from these gatherings in different ways.”

01732 759725 10 DISTRIBUTOR NEWS ...continued (L-R) Elle Bennett, Abbie Lock, Simon Munday, Rebecca Pendlebury and Evie Lamb of the Mi Finance team. Altnets celebrated as one of top SMEs in the UK Brighton-based telecoms distributor Altnets has been ranked 35th in the inaugural Elite Business 100 (EB100) list of growing businesses. EB100 ranks companies across a range of criteria, from their longevity in the marketplace and year-on-year growth to how they embrace innovation and contribute to their local region. Altnets Co-Founder Sam Bangle said: “The team at Altnets is proud not only to provide exemplary service and products for its clients but now to be named as a Top 100 UK business. We’ve worked really hard to grow the business over the past year and after making some strong appointments to the team are on track for this to continue. Our aim is to be the number one choice for UK alternative network service providers looking for a supplier to support their telecoms build.” Founded in late 2020 to meet the needs of ISPs as the nation upgrades to full fibre broadband networks, Altnets provides a complete procurement service including consultancy, design, specification, product procurement, supply chain management, planning, forecasting and scheduling. RM Technology and Comms-care working together to transform connectivity in UK schools Infinigate nets SonicWall partner awards The Infinigate Group has received two 2023 SonicWall Partner Awards in recognition of its achievements in delivering leading-edge cybersecurity solutions. These are the EMEA Distributor of the Year award and the award for Distributor of the Year across France, Germany and Switzerland. Mathias Bachsleitner, Executive Vice President, Global Partnerships & Alliances at the Infinigate Group, said: “The Infinigate Group is proud to receive this honour. Our teams are all about creating growth opportunities for our vendors and partners through our knowledge of the market and our specialist services. We are delighted to be partnering with SonicWall to deliver the cybersecurity needed for the era of hybrid work.” AWS Premier Tier status TD SYNNEX has achieved Premier Tier Services Partner status in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN). To earn AWS Premier Tier Partner status, companies must complete a rigorous approval process through accreditations and certifications; demonstrate a long-term investment in their relationship with AWS; have extensive expertise in deploying customer solutions on AWS; and have a team of AWS Trained & Certified technical consultants with deep expertise in project management and professional services. Midwich launches new lease and hire purchase offering Midwich UK&I is helping customers acquire new technologies or upgrade assets without impacting working capital with the launch of a new lease and hire purchase offering led by the experienced finance team at Group company Nimans. An expansion of Midwich’s previous leasing services, Mi Finance will be available to customers of Midwich, Nimans and Sound Technology, with plans for a roll-out to the wider UK&I group of companies in the near future. Three product options are currently available including finance lease, hire purchase and operating lease, with a fourth product in development. Simon Munday, Mi Finance Manager, said: “We are really excited to bring this proposition to market. We are constantly looking at ways to increase our service offering and Mi Finance is our answer. We work as an extension to our customer’s team, taking the administration out of their hands, offering quotations, managing proposal acceptances, completing documents and arranging swift payments. The service is also available as an offering to facilitate transactions with the end client.” Alex Wilmot RM Technology, a supplier of technology solutions to the education sector, has designated Comms-care (an Ingram Micro company) as its preferred installation partner for the Department for Education-funded Connect the Classroom (CTC) initiative. RM has supported schools on DfE’s CTC initiative since 2021, working on the DfE grant-funded project to co-create and deliver brand new IT infrastructure including full fibre broadband at speeds of 1 Gigabit per second – 20 times the average internet speed in the UK. With a joint mission to drive digital transformation, RM and Comms-care will support over 150 schools this year with installation and infrastructure commissioning and the rollout of wireless solutions that meet the latest Wi-Fi 6 standards and refreshed network equipment. RM Technology will provide the consultancy, design, management and training that each school will need, while Comms-care will be responsible for the implementation and activation of each installation. The timeframe to implement and deliver this kind of complex infrastructure transformation is only possible because of RM’s expertise and widespread UK customer footprint (RM currently supports more than 8,000 UK Schools in achieving their digital goals) and the engineering capabilities of Comms-care (backed by Ingram Micro). Alex Wilmot, Managing Director of Comms-care, said: “Comms-care is delighted to begin this relationship with RM Technology. The ability of the education system to realise the benefits of technologies like these affords increased efficiencies in teaching, improved accessibility and greater inclusion for students, which in turn create positive outcomes at all levels.”

RESELLER NEWS 11 Ekco makes third UK acquisition in a year Apogee to acquire Argon Business Systems Apogee has strengthened its managed IT services proposition with the acquisition of Argon Business Systems Ltd – its third acquisition since coming under the ownership of HP in 2018. Founded in 1983, Argon is a provider of IT services, MPS (managed print services) and other professional services to public and private sector organisations on the Isle of Man. Argon CEO Iain Fairbairn said: “This deal will enable the ongoing growth and development of the Argon team on the Island and expand our range of Managed IT Services into the Apogee customer base across the UK and Ireland. Working with Apogee, we will be able to extend the solutions delivered and the value we can offer to our wide-ranging customer base. Apogee’s investment recognises the strength of our economy, the many sectors represented and the opportunities that exist on the Island.” Since being acquired by HP, Apogee has focused on developing a broader services portfolio and an expanded presence in Europe. Flotek expands reach to North Wales Fast-growth MSP Flotek has announced its sixth acquisition since April last year in the form of ECS Solutions, a telecom service provider and system maintainer based in Chester. Following the company’s recent investment in South East telecoms specialist FlexiNet, the acquisition of certified Alcatel Lucent supplier ECS Solutions extends the Group’s IT and telecom service offering to North Wales, the Midlands and North West England and increases its turnover to £4.5m and its client base to 850 businesses. Flotek CEO Jay Ball said: “To date, our business growth has focused on South Wales and England, so this latest acquisition is an exciting step forward that significantly expands our reach across the UK.” Ekco has strengthened its cloud migration and security capabilities with its third UK acquisition in the last 12 months. Following its strategic investments in Frontier Technology and xTEN in 2022, Ekco has now acquired iSYSTEMS, a specialist in hybrid cloud, modern workplace, cyber security and data lifecycle management for mid-tier and enterprise organisations. Ekco UK MD Adam Bradley said: “Ekco acquired iSYSTEMS for their energy and passion in building long-term partnerships with customers in the mid-market and enterprise space. This customer-centric, collaborative mindset really aligns with our approach at Ekco. In addition, many of our customers want to move to hybrid and public cloud, primarily Microsoft Azure, and iSYSTEMS has a great level of experience in migrations of large, complex environments.” In the last few years, Ekco has made a number of acquisitions to boost its cyber security and managed cloud offering across 17 locations in Europe. It also has a presence in Malaysia through its acquisition of cyber security provider Caveo late last year. Bradley added: “Our buy and build strategy, as well as our focus on organic growth, helped us achieve a 97% increase in revenue last year. We now serve over 3,000 customers and employ over 600 people. Technology is constantly changing, which makes it more important than ever that customers have one provider who can meet all their IT needs. We remain focused on expanding and enhancing our services so our customers can benefit from the best technologies and expertise that suits their unique business requirements.” Rob Robinson, CTO at iSYSTEMS; Mick Cooper, MD at iSYSTEMS; and Adam Bradley, MD at Ekco UK Covenco unites the two sides of its business Sister companies Covenco365 and Covenco UK have announced their formal merger and the launch of a new brand, Covenco, with a combined, endto-end IT proposition connecting data management services with IT hardware supply and support. Through the two sides of its business, Covenco has over 32 years’ experience in Infrastructure and Data Management technologies, specialising in IBM hardware and data backup and recovery solutions. Each company will continue to serve existing clients as Covenco. However, the larger company now offers a broader range of end-to-end services, including new and used hardware, managed services and data backup, data protection and security. Mark Creasey, Covenco Group Chairman, said: “We believe this combined offering will allow our clients and staff to enjoy the benefits of an integrated, seamless and full-service solution. Merging under a single Covenco entity unlocks this unique opportunity to support our clients and our team further.” Covenco has offices in the UK, Spain, Denmark and the USA. It is fully ISO27001-accredited for data security and its UK data centres have two Petabytes of customer data under management at any time. Apple accreditation for Kingsfield IT Northampton-based public sector IT specialist Kingsfield IT has joined the Apple Consultants Network (ACN), a global community of independent technology service providers specialising in Apple solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Apple consultants are specially trained to help identify, set up and use Apple technology. Their responsibilities include the provision of outsourced IT support, onsite assessments, on-site installation/configuration and vertical industry expertise. Kingsfield Managing Director Brian Boys said: “As a busy small business owner, implementing new technology can seem impractical or even overwhelming. As part of the Apple Consultants Network, Kingsfield is here to provide outsourced tech support and on-hand expertise from our specialist team, so you can focus on growing your business.”

01732 759725 12 BUSINESS BRIEFING Neomounts has added versatile new conferencing solutions to its already wide range of floor stands and wall mounts. With the new additions to our line-up we expect this momentum to continue, reinforcing our position as a true specialist in high quality AV and IT mounts. You have a very broad product offering, with solutions for everything from tablets to video walls. Are there any requirements you don't cater for? ST: Our assortment covers every customer requirement and with constant updates, we are always focused to stay on top of trends – ensuring our range continues to meet the needs of our customers and their businesses. With nearly 600 products to choose from and a choice of good, better and best models across our ranges, we have something for all budgets and applications. What are the fastest growing parts of your portfolio, and why are they doing so well at the moment? ST: We are seeing growing demand for permanent and premium mounting solutions, driven by hybrid working – this is also driving the need for video conferencing solutions. At ISE we showcased our latest ranges, including our new collaboration solutions – View the lineup. Our new collaboration trolleys – both manual and motorised, in particular, attracted a great deal of attention due to the prominence of video meetings. They work well as bundled solutions, as a universally compatible video bar and multimedia kit enables the installation of a separate universal cam and multimedia device. Both motorised and manual options within the range are creating new opportunities for our focused resellers. We are always adapting our assortment to meet the latest trends in AV and IT and have many more developments to come in ergonomics, home, gaming, collaboration, flex desks, digital and education – with a big focus on esports as the market is demonstrating. Watch this space. What is your route to market in the UK and how has that evolved in the last few years? ST: Our goal is to be the preferred brand for mounting solutions, particularly when it comes to working with resellers who focus on display brands. To this end, we have been working with Northamber to market our products jointly with display vendors like Avocor for example, along with our partnership with video kit suppliers for our video conferencing collaboration. We are building a strong positioning as an accessories brand with value In its 5th year of being stocked at Northamber, Neomounts is the leading European manufacturer of affordable AV and IT mounting solutions, with the industry’s most comprehensive line-up of high-quality mounting solutions. In this Q&A, Suzanne Tiernan (ST), Head of Sales UK & Ireland, highlights key growth areas and opportunities for resellers. What impact has your 2021 rebrand from Newstar to Neomounts had on your business in the UK? ST: The brand refresh focus was to increase awareness and strengthen our position within the market. Raising the awareness of our range – offering a one stop solution, along with the tools, supply and service we offer. Since making the change, we have seen considerable growth, both across Europe and within the UK and Irish market. New conferencing solutions 13 BUSINESS BRIEFING added products and we are focused on reseller development – as demonstrated by our Partner Plus+ sales development programme. How does Neomounts support resellers, especially those that might be moving into displays for first time? ST: The service and support we provide is key to our growth. We can work with you to figure out your needs and then offer the right solution from our wide range of mounting solutions. With warehouses in both the UK and Holland, we can turn these projects around very quickly, with a next day turnaround for UK customers if required. Our Partner Plus+ sales development programme is key to educating dealers about of attaching a high margin accessory to their existing sales and working closely to develop this category. In addition, all products in the Neomounts range are designed with an eye for detail, quality, value for money and ease of installation. With a focus on rapid install, our Select range features a fixing template, magnetic level and easy bolt boxes to assist the installer. How long have you been partnering with Northamber and what role do they play in helping resellers exploit opportunities and win more business? ST: Neomounts has been partnering with Northamber for five years, and the sales support we have received from the team at Northamber has helped us to build the Neomounts brand across their reseller base and promote our mounting solutions when selling screens to enable video collaboration, as well as all elements of mounting. The Northamber experts are there to help you find the right mounting solution for your customers’ needs. With nearly 600 products, including its new conferencing solutions, Neomounts has a solution for every requirement. For more information or orders give them a call on 020 8296 7399 or visit