Technology Reseller v62

IN PRINT & ONLINE v62 · 2023 THE MAGAZINE & ONLINE CHANNEL RESOURCE FOR MSPS, IT RESELLERS & IT SUPPORT PROVIDERS PAGE 26 PAGE 39 WORKPLACE Q&A MSPs PAGE 14 With Lance Williams, Chief Product Officer, Distology Special report from Kaseya DattoCon Europe in Dublin TD SYNNEX entices hybrid workers back into the office Unleash the power of Cloud Communication Cloud-based comms Deep data and analytics Cost effective bolt-ons Want to understand how Exertis Voice can benefit your customers? See page 18 WI TH CyberSmart is the most efficient and complete method for channel partners to deliver Cyber Essentials to their clients With its step-by-step process, CyberSmart makes obtaining cybersecurity certi cations simple. The CyberSmart device-based application ensures ongoing compliance and security by scanning for vulnerabilities every 15 minutes. The CyberSmart dashboard provides real-time reporting and remediation in just a few clicks. SCAN TO BOOK “We've been working with Brigantia and CyberSmart for over two years. CyberSmart is an essential component of our cybersecurity packages, and the support we receive from Brigantia in helping to promote both CyberSmart and Cyber Essentials is invaluable.” Euan Stewart, Chief Technology Of cer, Soconnect Book a demo with Brigantia to find out more 03 If you no longer wish to receive Technology Reseller magazine please email your details to [email protected] COMMENT Just returned from a family holiday on a Greek island. Not a bad place to be in a heat wave. On about the third day, my two eldest children noticed that their younger brother hadn’t so much as dipped a toe in the beautifully cool sea. Cue much teasing from his siblings, and the likelihood that he would now make a point of staying well away from the water for the remainder of the holiday, regardless of how hot he became. Some might say in doing so he was cutting off his nose to spite his face. No doubt, he would say he was asserting his independence. To which one might say, what price independence? This is a burning question for many MSPs too. As we report on page 39, Kaseya last month held its first joint Kaseya DattoCon conference since acquiring Datto last year. At the time, not everyone was happy with Kaseya’s move. Some MSP customers feared that they would come under significant pressure to take on more and more of Kaseya’s Complete IT offering. Cross-selling is a big part of the company’s business model, as it is for any platform provider, including Giacom, which has just launched its new Cloud Market (see page 12). There are good reasons why an MSP might want to standardise on solutions from a fully integrated, automated offering. There are also reasons why they might want to maintain their independence, choose best of breed providers and avoid getting too dependent on one supplier. Who’s to say which is the right approach. A quick look at my diary tells me that we are now less than two months away from Technology Live, taking place at the Business Design Centre, Islington on September 12. Hopefully, you’ve already marked the date in your diary. Online registrations are now open, so please register for your free ticket as well. Every time I check, interesting new exhibitors seem to have been added – all offering new business opportunities and/or better ways of doing things. See you there! 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 v62 · 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 Reseller News Core to Cloud adds managed services to cybersecurity offering 08 Distributor news SYNAXON launches project support service in UK 09 Working together A round-up of the month’s new distribution agreements 12 Technology platforms Giacom consolidates four platforms into one 14 Workplace Technology Reseller visits TD SYNNEX’s new Basingstoke office 22 Opinion Nathaniel Comer makes the case for ethical IT asset disposal 23 Events The first Exertis Pitch & a Pint of 2023 24 Tech Live 2023 Online registrations now open 26 Q&A With Lance Williams, Chief Product Officer, Distology 30 Cybersecurity Arctic Wolf opening doors with $1 million warranty 32 60 seconds with... Jed Ayres, CEO, IGEL Technology 35 Events Paul Johnson’s Golf Society bulletin 36 I couldn’t do my job without… Chris Thomason outlines the six things he depends on to do his job 39 MSPs Technology Reseller reports from Kaseya DattoCon Europe 42 People New faces, new places Headline Sponsor Business Design Centre · London · 12 September 2023 23 ICT · MANAGED IT · MOBILE · PRINT

01732 759725 04 NEWS : RESELLERS Cyber Advisor first for Sandra Quinn Sandra Quinn of Outsource Group has become the first woman in Northern Ireland to become an assured Cyber Advisor (Cyber Essentials). Cyber Advisor, the National Cyber Security Centre’s new Industry Assurance scheme delivered in partnership with IASME, is designed to provide small and mediumsized organisations with trusted and costeffective cyber security advice and support. To gain accreditation, cyber advisors are assessed on their knowledge of Cyber Essentials’ technical controls, their competence in providing practical, handson support and their ability to understand and work with small and medium-sized organisations. Outsource Group, headquartered in Antrim, is licensed to assess and certify against all levels of the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme and provide guidance and assistance to organisations aiming to achieve certification. Quinn said: “I am delighted to be the first female in Northern Ireland to have achieved the status of Cyber Advisor (Cyber Essentials). As a female working in the male dominated tech industry, I know the challenges that we can face, and I hope that I can help to lead the way for other females in the tech industry.” To this end, Quinn recently completed the Empowering Women to Lead programme, a three-month crosssector initiative, backed by industry and government, which aims to support the creation of a network of empowered female leaders in digital transformation and cyber security across the UK tech sector. Formed in 2000, Outsource offers a broad range of managed services, focused on IT security, design & implementation, pro-active monitoring & support services, telecoms and IT consultancy. It recently added a suite of cloud services with the launch of OSG Cloud, becoming NI’s only MSP with Dell Cloud Solutions Provider status. Sandra Quinn Kerv Transform partners with cybersecurity specialist Chorus Kerv Transform, the IT managed service and cloud transformation practice of Kerv Group, is adding top-of-the-line threat detection and response services to its managed services offering through a new partnership with cyber security specialist Chorus. A member of the Microsoft Intelligence Security Association (MISA), Chorus has a dedicated CyberSecurity Operations Centre (CSOC) equipped with the latest Microsoft technologies and automation. The combination of its own managed security services and Chorus’ 24/7/365 CSOC will enable Kerv to provide customers with comprehensive protection, proactive threat detection and incident response to safeguard their data and ensure business continuity. Nicholas Cothill, Managing Director of Kerv Transform, said: “We needed a partner that could provide Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) services from a cutting-edge 24x7x365 cybersecurity operations centre manned entirely in the UK, and Chorus was the perfect fit.” Kerv Transform is one of six business practices within Kerv Group, which since being founded in 2020 has increased turnover to £80 million through a combination of organic growth and seven acquisitions. Core to Cloud adds managed services to cyber security portfolio Core to Cloud is continuing its evolution from a cyber security solutions provider into a fully managed services provider with the launch of three new managed services – Dark Web Monitoring, fully Managed 24/7 Detection and Response and Crisis Simulation as a Service. Founded in 2015 by business partners James Cunningham and Mark Liddle, Core to Cloud provides network visibility, validation, governance and control and incident response solutions and services to more than 200 private and public sector clients, including Fat Face, GFK, University College London and over a quarter of the NHS Trusts in England and Wales. It also works with National Services Scotland. James Cunningham spusu enters UK with BT Wholesale partnership International telecommunications provider spusu is bringing its MVNO mobile services to the UK through a new partnership with BT Wholesale. The MVNO agreement will give spusu customers in the UK access to EE’s 4G and 5G combined network with the promise of competitive mobile plans, with unlimited packages starting at just £19.90. The family-owned brand, which was launched in Austria in 2015 and in Italy in 2020, has won awards for best mobile provider in 2022 and best customer support in 2021. Ricoh strengthenes IT services footprint Ricoh has strengthened its IT services capability in Ireland with the acquisition of PFH Technology Group, a provider of IT infrastructure, cloud and managed workplace services. Founded in 1985 by Paul Hourican, PFH is headquartered in Cork, with additional offices in Dublin and Galway. It has a workforce of over 750 employees, more than 1,000 customers and accreditations with leading vendors such as AWS, Citrix, Commvault, Dell, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), HP Inc., Lenovo, Microsoft, Pure Storage and VMware. PFH will continue to operate as a separate entity, with Hourican stepping down as Chairman to take up an advisory role. Alberto Mariani, Senior Vice President, Digital Innovation at Ricoh Europe, said: “This acquisition reaffirms Ricoh as a leading workspace value-added integrator. We are seeing significant customer demand for a single partner who can offer the full spectrum of infrastructure, professional and managed services. Our ability to meet these requirements is strengthened further by welcoming PFH’s talented team to the Ricoh family.” 05 NEWS AD DWS TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW We connect technology resellers and MSPs to the best IT, Comms and Cloud products and services, making it simple for you to create brilliant technology solutions for UK businesses. Power in Partnership. DWS, Giacom and Union Street have come together under one brand. Giacom.

01732 759725 06 NEWS : RESELLERS Tata to scale Azure Open AI capabilities Coupa adds Unite marketplace to e-procurement platform Coupa has added Unite’s B2B Marketplace Mercateo to its e-procurement and spend management platform, giving Coupa Advantage customers access to 50 million products from over 1,500 suppliers in 14 countries. Coupa Advantage connects customers and vetted suppliers to simplify buying, selling and sourcing processes and leverages the Coupa community’s $4 trillion collective spend to negotiate discounts and preferred terms. Unite Executive Board member Christel Constant said: “Connecting Unite’s Mercateo B2B Marketplace with the Coupa BSM platform will provide customers with access to a one-stop shop for procurement matters. We’re excited to be part of Coupa Advantage as a trusted supplier partner. We look forward to our relationship with Coupa to further help customers gain best-in-class pricing and assortment.” Modern Networks extends reach into the South West Modern Networks Ltd, a provider of IT and telecoms to the commercial property market, has acquired the Bluegrass Group, an Exeter-based IT services provider with which it has had a long-term relationship. The acquisition increases the Modern Networks headcount to more than 165 across sites in Hitchin, Cambridge, Guildford and Exeter. Modern Networks CEO Matt Reeve said: “Our intention is to expand the business in the South West region, and we very much look forward to building relationships with our new colleagues and customers in the South West and beyond.” The acquisition of Bluegrass will enable Modern Networks to realise operational efficiencies, expand its presence in the South West and provide faster onsite response times to both new and existing customers in the region. Modern Networks provides fibre broadband, IT support, telecoms and cybersecurity services to over 2,000 commercial properties, 160 shopping centres, 60 retail parks, 45 business and science parks, plus a mix of 250 enterprise clients including architects, accountancy firms, not-for-profits and travel companies. Modern Networks is backed by private equity firm Horizon Capital which acquired a majority stake in the company April 2021. The Bluegrass team A great opportunity IT solutions and managed services provider Ultima is partnering with Commvault to offer advanced data management solutions, including backup, archiving and recovery capabilities and advanced analytics and reporting tools. Oylum Tagmac, Senior Director of Partner Management International at Commvault, said: “We are excited to work with Ultima to deliver innovative solutions that help businesses protect and manage their data more effectively, while also reducing costs and improving operational efficiency.” In a deepening of its partnership with Microsoft, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced plans to significantly scale its Azure Open AI capabilities. To this end, it has announced plans to train and certify 25,000 associates on Azure Open AI and launched a Generative AI Enterprise Adoption offering. This proprietary transformation framework enables TCS and client teams to work together on AI-led solutions to business problems at TCS Pace Ports, the company’s innovation and research hubs located in New York, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Amsterdam and Tokyo. As part of their co-innovation, teams can develop proofs of concept on Azure Open AI, create solution roadmaps, gather stakeholder feedback, train the models, build sufficiently strong guardrails and deploy the solutions. Siva Ganesan, Head, Microsoft Business Unit at TCS, said: “Generative AI upends how enterprises can grow revenue, create new innovations and get more work done— it’s a game-changer that has the potential to do all of this faster, better and more cost-effectively. With TCS Generative AI Enterprise Adoption, our joint customers can unlock new growth opportunities and embark on an exciting journey of innovation, guided by our AI expertise and in-depth knowledge of Microsoft Cloud.” TCS can also help clients accelerate software development and boost programmer productivity through advisory, set-up and rollout services around GitHub Copilot, a generative AI tool built on Azure OpenAI language models that helps programmers develop code faster and with less effort. TCS is a member of Microsoft’s AI Council and has a Partner Designation in Data and AI and Microsoft specialisations in AI and machine learning on Azure and analytics on Azure. Its Microsoft Business Unit has over 50,000 Microsoft-certified associates and has completed more than 1,000 Azure engagements for hundreds of global customers. An Azure Expert Managed Service Provider, TCS has all 6 Microsoft Partner Designations and a record 17 Microsoft Advanced Specializations. Continuous visibility Red Helix, a UK cyber security managed service specialist, has added continuous Extended Detection & Response (XDR), Network Detection and Response (NDR) and Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) solutions to its portfolio through a partnership with CyGlass. Marion Stewart, CEO of Red Helix, said: “The XDR, NDR and CDR solutions from CyGlass are the best in class. Providing these solutions as a managed service means that many more companies can benefit from this important protection.” 07 NEWS : RESELLERS One Connectivity, two offices One Connectivity, the 30-strong, Castle Donington-based business communications and IT services provider, is marking its 10th year in business with the opening of a second office in Sheffield that will enable it to extend its geographical reach and work more closely with northern customers. Evolve launches partner programme for its network and IT services Evolve, a provider of managed network solutions and IT services, has launched a reseller programme and portal for its global SD-WAN, business-grade connectivity and Guest Wi-Fi solutions. All three of the company’s core products – EvolveISP (connectivity), EvolveWAN (network performance) and EvolveODM (Guest Wi-Fi with separate internet access) – are available to resellers via a disruptive pricing model. In the next 12 to 18 months, Evolve aims to expands its reseller offering with mobile and IT services. All services are available via the Nexus reseller portal featuring a sleek interface and streamlined ordering process with no more than six steps to completion. Key features include: real-time order tracking and order automation through UK-based infrastructure providers; instant visibility of faults and how they are being managed, including geographical views; access to a dedicated support team and 24/7/365 escalation journey via a UK-based multi-lingual support desk; enhanced connectivity and reduced downtime, thanks to direct relationships with ISPs; and white-labelled collateral and marketing in a box. Evolve also boasts an exclusive hardware relationship with network management company Mako Networks, as its sole Platinum Partner globally. Evolve Business Group CEO Alan Stephenson-Brown said: “Evolve’s reseller channel and portal are raising the bar when it comes to connectivity, and setting a new standard for ease of use, customisable product suites and disruptive pricing structures. Each reseller has dedicated account management and a delivery co-ordinator to enhance personalisation and peer-to-peer relationships. I believe resellers will benefit from the granular view and extra level of support provided by the new portal.” Symatrix targets 60% growth in current financial year Symatrix, a Manchester-based Oracle HCM and ERP partner, is predicting revenue growth of 60% in its current financial year ending in February 2024, with annuity revenues accounting for 50% of total revenue. This follows revenue growth of 42% in the year to February 2023 and 18% in the year to February 2022. Symatrix has more than doubled headcount over the past 18 months to more than 100. In addition to its growth in the UK, Symatrix has been growing in India following the establishment of a wholly owned subsidiary, Symatrix Global IT Services, in 2021 and the opening of an office in Delhi. It has nearly doubled its team in India over the past six months and recently set up an intern programme to nurture new talent in the region. To manage ongoing growth in staff numbers, Symatrix recently appointed Helen Snowden-Smith as Head of HR on the Executive Committee. SOC demand drives growth for DigitalXRAID Cybersecurity managed services provider DigitalXRAID has reported year-on-year growth of 70%, driven in part by a 400% increase in its Security Operations Centre (SOC) business as customers seek 24/7/365 threat protection. In the last 12 months, DigitalXRAID has become one of only 10 companies globally to be awarded CREST OVS Accreditation for meeting the CREST gold standard in app penetration testing. It has also recorded new customer wins with Bark, the online marketplace for professional services, Thrive Homes, a professional landlord managing over 5,000 homes, and Wiltshire Council. BDR Group acquires TFM Group BDR Group, an owner-managed provider of unified comms, IT, mobile, cloud and security services, has completed the acquisition of Loughborough-based TFM Group, its second – but not last – acquisition of 2023. Established in 1995, TFM provides managed services to SME and enterprise customers. Its acquisition expands BDR’s SD-WAN capabilities, doubles its Mobile & IoT base and adds circa £5 million to its revenue. BDR Group is headquartered in Stratford-upon-Avon and employs 200 staff across several offices. Gateshead move for SmartIT ICT solutions provider SmartIT is moving into new premises in Gateshead, following year-on-year revenue growth of 28% and a 20% increase in headcount. The new office is just minutes from SmartIT’s old base and has capacity to support the continued growth of the IT infrastructure, IT support, data, voice, mobile and internet communications services provider. SmartIT is predicting growth of another 15% in the coming financial year. Six Degrees renews Expert status Integrated cloud services provider Six Degrees has renewed its Microsoft Azure Expert MSP status and gained new Microsoft Cloud Security and Threat Protection specialisations as testament to its technical capabilities and expertise. Six Degrees CEO Simon Crawley-Trice said: “I am delighted to have renewed our status as an Azure Expert MSP program member, and I look forward to enabling many more organisations to succeed through the intelligent application of Microsoft technology. We will work to attain further specialisations which align to our core capabilities across cloud, cyber security and connectivity.” The development team behind the Nexus reseller portal TFM Group Director Mark Fitton (left) and BDR Group MD Malek Rahimi Photo by BDR Group.

01732 759725 08 NEWS : DISTRIBUTORs Triangle extends FTTP offering to 57 cities Wholesale full fibre distributor and ISP Triangle Networks has increased the addressable market for its business fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) offering by as much as 700% by extending its availability to wholesale partners across CityFibre’s national network of 57 cities. Triangle Networks CEO Paul Anslow said: “We’re delighted to be opening up our Business FTTP product nationwide. At Triangle, we’re passionate about working with our partners to help as many businesses as possible access the transformational power of full-fibre connectivity. By leveraging CityFibre’s entire network platform in England, our partners will be able to deliver full-fibre connectivity to any business regardless of size.” This product extends affordable fullfibre connectivity to a new segment of SMBs, with symmetrical ultra-fast upload and download speeds, crystal clear VoIP services and an 8-hour business hour repair SLA. QBS expands into Turkey QBS Technology Group has completed a majority investment in the 32-person, Turkey-based cybersecurity distributor InfoNet, as part of its expansion into META. “Turkey has been on our radar for some time, but finding a company with the right fit was of utmost importance. With InfoNet, we have an established and successful distribution business with a large customer network and best-in-class products, as well as a very experienced management team and exceptional strong technical competency,” said QBS CEO Dave Stevinson. InfoNet’s product offering includes a number of new names for QBS Technology Group including Allot, Checkpoint, EfficientIP, Firemon, ForcePoint, Ipswitch/ Progress, Indeni, RSA and Trend Micro. QBS Technology Group (including QBS Software) is aiming to become a $1bn business by 2030. Climb announces first MSP partner day Climb Channel Solutions is to hold its first MSP Partner Day at Microsoft’s Reading offices on November 16. The event will enable established and growing MSPs to learn more about building a managed services offering for Microsoft 365 or Azure. In addition to sessions hosted by experts from Microsoft and Climb UK, there will be opportunities to network with staff from the two companies and complementary vendors. Renewables drive by Westcon-Comstor Westcon-Comstor has set a target to meet 100% of its electricity needs worldwide through renewable sources by 2030. Purchased electricity currently accounts for around 70% of the distributor’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions. A move to renewable energy will play a big role in helping Westcon-Comstor meet its targets to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and become Net Zero by 2050. SYNAXON launches project support service in UK Miguel Rodriguez Paul Anslow Rachel Paterson Significant growth for mobile distributor, Mdee Mdee, a mobile airtime and services distributor of BT and EE products, is looking to build on recent growth in partner numbers and deal sizes by investing in new business development staff. Part owned by BT/EE, Mdee has seen a 32% increase in connections in the last six months, compared to the same period in 2022, and increased its headcount by 18%. This includes a doubling of personnel in the BT Business Manager and Sales Support teams to support strong sales growth for BT products, including BTnet, BT Cloud Voice and Broadband. Mdee makes it easier for partners to profit from connecting airtime by doing everything from quote building and sales process management to stock control, billing and white-labelled marketing. All the reseller has to do is sell. Channel services company SYNAXON is helping reseller partners deliver infrastructure solutions involving Lenovo servers and storage through the launch of its Project Support service in the UK. Removing the need for partners to recruit and retain highly skilled technical personnel, the service gives partners direct access to certified solution architects who can work with them on projects, from initial briefing and conception to configuration, delivery and support. In addition, SYNAXON negotiates the best hardware prices and provides extended warranty on accredited products delivered as part of the solution. Miguel Rodriguez, Managing Director, SYNAXON Hub, said: “Today’s complex hybrid infrastructures and distributed networks make it difficult for partners to keep up with the pace of development and change and maintain key vendor certifications. SYNAXON Project Support solves that problem.” SYNAXON Project Support will be offering accredited support on other vendors later this year. AWS Accelerate programme launched by TD SYNNEX TD SYNNEX UK and Ireland has launched a business development programme for Amazon Web Services (AWS). The AWS Accelerate programme has three stages – Discover, Develop and Specialise – with different levels of support, benefits and access to tools and services such as the StreamOne Ion cloud orchestration platform and TD SYNNEX’s professional services capabilities. Rachel Paterson, AWS Business Unit Manager, UK at TD SYNNEX, said: “With customers of all sizes now migrating workloads to the cloud, there is a real need for partners to have an in-depth understanding of the capabilities of leading hyperscaler solutions. The TD SYNNEX AWS Accelerate programme is designed to enable partners to identify and address new business opportunities, equip them with the knowledge and skills they need, and provide support for them as they develop and grow their AWS business.” Dave Stevinson 09 WORKING TOGETHER continued... Sean Remnant Ignition Technology James Griffin Redstor Infinigate Cloud announces first security hardware offering Infinigate Group has strengthened its cloud solutions portfolio through a new distribution agreement with unified cybersecurity provider WatchGuard – the first security hardware offering for Infinigate Cloud. Building on a successful partnership with Nuvias, now an integral part of the Infinigate Group, the partnership with Infinigate Cloud will help WatchGuard drive growth of its subscription service model for SMB partners. Integration with CORE, Infinigate Cloud’s marketplace & integrations platform, will give resellers a seamless process for purchasing WatchGuard network security, advanced endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication and Wi-Fi products and services alongside Microsoft 365 and Azure. Distology expands cyber security offering with Vercara Distology is strengthening its solutions portfolio through a new partnership with Vercara, provider of a global cloud platform that provides layers of protection to help businesses secure their websites, apps and networks from the DNS level, where DDoS attacks and malware infiltration often occur, to the IP level where identity and reputation are established. Lance Williams, CPO of Distology, said: “We’re proud to support Vercara in the next chapter of its development. This partnership will help ensure that more organisations across Europe have access to the unparalleled platform and service levels offered by Vercara, particularly its new DNS detection and response managed service, UltraDDR.” QBS targets Java opportunities Azul, the 100% Java-focused company, has appointed QBS as authorised distributor of its OpenJDK-based products in EMEA. These include Azul Platform Core, which provides a stable and secure Java runtime for typically 70% less cost than Oracle; its flagship product, Platform Prime, which enables the world’s largest companies to optimise their infrastructure and reduce cloud costs by up to 50%; and Azul Vulnerability Detection, a new SaaS product that leverages Azul JVMs to detect vulnerabilities at their point-of-use in production to improve enterprises’ software supply chain security. Simon Taylor, Vice President of Worldwide Channel Sales at Azul, points out that Azul’s line-up creates lucrative new services for VARs to offer clients at a time of major changes in Oracle Java pricing and a rapid increase in the adoption of OpenJDK-based Java runtimes. He said: “Organisations across EMEA are struggling with out-of-control Java support and cloud costs that eat into their margins and restrict their ability to modernise applications and infrastructure in a dynamic and competitive world. Azul is 100% focused on providing partners with a unique opportunity to solve challenging customer Java licensing, security and cloud cost challenges while driving improved customer success across all types of partners including VARs and alliances. Our partnership with QBS provides greater reach for Azul across the region and unlocks high-value, highvolume growth, and high margin potential for both channel licence and services revenue.” Catalyst cases added to CMS offering CMS Distribution is bringing Catalyst’s range of waterproof and shockproof cases for Apple devices, Including iPhones, Apple Watches, AirPods and AirTags, to UK retail customers in the Apple, consumer electronics, telco, outdoor and travel channels. Ignition Technology to boost Mastercard security ambitions Mastercard has appointed Exclusive Networks and its SaaS-focused cybersecurity division Ignition Technology to extend the reach of its growing, multi-layered cybersecurity portfolio across EMEA. Ignition Technology will drive partner engagement in the UK, Nordics, DACH, France and Middle East, while the broader EMEA market will be served through Exclusive Networks. In an attempt to broaden its security proposition from transactional payments to integrated solutions that enable customers to identify vulnerabilities, manage risk and defend against cyberattacks, Mastercard has been building a cybersecurity offering through acquisitions such as RiskRecon (cyber risk assessment) and most recently cloud-based cyber security company Baffin Bay Networks. Sean Remnant, Chief Strategy Officer at Ignition Technology, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Mastercard to scale out its channel presence across EMEA and can’t wait to bring the power of the Mastercard brand to our partner ecosystem. Its risk assessment and cloud-based threat protection services are valuable additions to our portfolio, enabling our partners to address the escalating cybersecurity challenges of their customers by reducing cyber risk and increasing cyber resilience.” Tenable Nessus added to X-OD delivery platform Exclusive Networks has added Tenable Nessus to its X-OD digital delivery platform, enabling partners to generate recurring revenue by providing ‘vulnerability assessment as-a-service’ to customers through a subscription-based consumption model. Tenable’s vulnerability assessment solution is used by tens of thousands of customers worldwide to protect their operations from cyber threats, but this is the first time it has been available as a service. Guy March, Senior Director of EMEA Channels at Tenable, said: “We expanded our partnership with Exclusive Networks last year and a key driver was how we could differentiate commercially by using X-OD. As more and more end user organisations adopt flexible subscription-based models for their cybersecurity requirements, it is imperative that Tenable and its partners are positioned to address this growing opportunity. With Nessus now available as part of the Exclusive X-OD portfolio, our partners are well equipped to take advantage of the flexible subscription economy.” Pax8 partners with Redstor Pax8 has added the Redstor AI-powered cloud backup solution to its cloud marketplace. Guaranteeing instant recovery of files across cloud infrastructure, SaaS business apps and on-prem data, while eliminating the need for hardware and mitigating against cyber risks, the solution helps MSPs to tap into new revenue streams by protecting critical applications and workloads such as Azure VMs, Salesforce, QuickBooks and Xero, all with 30-day free end user trials. It also helps MSPs to optimise efficiency by enabling them to manage customers and the protection of their data from a single app, instantly recover customer data from the cloud and enjoy seamless billing integration with Pax8. Working together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements

01732 759725 10 WORKING TOGETHER ...continued James Griffin, CEO of Redstor, said: “We’re seeing unprecedented demand for our software, especially around the protection of M365, Google Workspace, QuickBooks Online and Azure VM environments. The Pax8 partnership expands our ability to bring a smarter backup product to the thousands of global MSPs who need and deserve a better solution for the protection of modern workloads.” Wib appoints first distributor for UK&I Fast growing API security company Wib has appointed Kite Distribution as its first UK & Ireland distributor as it seeks to build a channel presence in EMEA and raise awareness of its API security platform. Claimed to be the industry’s first holistic API security platform, this gives security teams and developers confidence in the integrity of every API by providing continuous and complete visibility and control across the entire API ecosystem. Stuart Nairne-Clark, Business Development Director at Kite, said: “As the market for API security matures, we see a massive opportunity for channel partners and as such needed a vendor partner that we could build a proposition around. It was clear that Wib had the most comprehensive and advanced API security solution on the market.” Black Box products distributed by AVM AV solutions distributor AVM Ltd is to distribute Black Box networking and connectivity products, including highperformance KVM switches, throughout the UK. AVM Technical Director Chris Athanasiou said: “We are thrilled to join forces with Black Box as a distribution partner in the UK. Black Box’s reputation for delivering highquality networking and connectivity solutions perfectly aligns with our commitment to providing our customers with the best-inclass technology products. This collaboration strengthens our ability to cater to a broader range of customer requirements while ensuring the highest levels of service and support.” Arrow to distribute Trellix across EMEA Arrow Electronics has announced an expanded distribution agreement with Trellix, a global cybersecurity company and extended detection and response (XDR) provider, that will see it distribute the full suite of Trellix products in 17 countries across EMEA. Trellix was founded last year after its parent company acquired the enterprise businesses of McAfee and FireEye and combined both brands’ detection, remediation and response capabilities across endpoint, messaging, data, network and cloud services. In February, Trellix launched the Xtend Global Channel Partner Program to drive adoption of Trellix XDR. Jabra partners with TD SYNNEX TD SYNNEX UK and Ireland has added Jabra headsets, speakerphones and video collaboration solutions to its offering for B2B and AV partners. Jabra products will be available to all partners from TD SYNNEX, whether their relationship is primarily with TD SYNNEX Endpoint Solutions or the company’s specialist audiovisual business unit, TD SYNNEX Maverick. Tukans helps bring Blaze Audio to UK Danish amplifier manufacturer Blaze Audio has appointed York-based AV, UC and digital signage distributor Tukans to distribute its full range of commercial audio products in the UK. Set up in 2021 as a subsidiary of Pascal A/S, an OEM manufacturer of amplifier electronics for the pro audio industry, Blaze Audio has two main products, the PowerZone series of two and four channel ultra-compact power amps and the PowerZone Connect series of fully matrixed DSP amplifiers. Michael Dagnall, Sales Manager at Tukans, said: “The PowerZone Connect amplifiers are packed with features but have been designed to be really easy to configure via their built-in web interface accessible through any smart device with Wi-Fi. Blaze is the cornerstone of our audio offering”. (left to right): Michael Dagnall of Tukans with René Bahn, Niels Tholander Lorentzen and George Tennet of Blaze Audio SolarWinds turns to Kite Distribution SolarWinds has appointed Kite Distribution as a value-added distributor of its entire suite of IT management and observability solutions for cloud, hybrid and on-premises in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Kite will help recruit and train new MSPs, resellers and SIs and provide them with services, from marketing and technical support to personalised assistance in growing their customer base. SolarWinds solutions enable IT service and operations teams and DevOps and SecOps professionals to understand the challenges they face in maintaining highperforming IT infrastructures, applications and environments. Infinigate Cloud and Barracuda in new collaboration Infinigate Group is extending its relationship with Barracuda Network in the UK to include distribution of the company’s SaaS offerings through its business unit specialising in secure cloud solutions, Infinigate Cloud. The extension means the value-add distributor of cybersecurity, secure networks and secure cloud is now able to distribute Barracuda products to the Microsoft reseller channel via MSP, Resell and Cloud Marketplace channels. New integrations with Infinigate Cloud’s CORE service delivery platform will streamline the purchase, provisioning and delivery of Barracuda Network products, giving Microsoft CSP partners that are also Barracuda Certified partners a single place to transact both Microsoft and Barracuda, while enabling any Microsoft CSP partner to purchase Barracuda security products and services through the Azure Marketplace. Partners that deliver MSP solutions based on Microsoft Cloud can continue to use the existing Barracuda MSP portal to manage their services to customers, but will receive integrated billing, resulting in time savings on back-end operations. Titan to broaden Spectra Logic reseller base Spectra Logic, a leader in data management and data storage solutions, is looking to broaden its reseller base across EMEA through a partnership with Titan, a specialist distributor offering endto-end data management solutions and cybersecurity services. Targeting horizontal and vertical markets, such as media and entertainment, life sciences and HPC, Titan will distribute the entire Spectra product portfolio, which includes solutions for hybrid cloud, object storage, data management software, S3 and NAS storage, tape libraries and a complete digital archive solution. Chris Athanasiou AVM Ltd 11 BUSINESS BRIEFING Why Choose Want to understand how Exertis Voice can benefit your customers? 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01732 759725 12 TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS Giacom prepares for next stage of growth with rebrand and launch of Cloud Market partners on that journey. In Giacom we have a brand that is reputable, recognised, trusted, well known.” Giacom has revenues of circa £390 million and over the last five years has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 13%. This has given it roughly 5% share of the estimated £10 billion that UK SMEs spend annually on the technologies in which Giacom specialises. Currently just 50% of SMEs’ total spend goes through the channel. The other £5 billion is spent direct with vendors and carriers – money that O’Brien believes small businesses with fewer than 250 employees should be spending with local, trusted resellers and MSPs. “We want the channel to be the place that small business buys all its cloud, connectivity, IT and comms,” he said. Great opportunity Nathan Marke, Giacom Chief Operating Officer, believes channel businesses have a great opportunity to capture a bigger share of SMEs’ spend, not least because the current procurement model is clearly not working, contributing to the UK’s poor productivity – the second lowest in the G7 – and exposure to cyber crime. “Entrepreneurs are going into an O2 shop and they’re buying a phone and they’re buying some SIMs. They’re going to PC World and buying some laptops. They’re getting a credit card and they’re buying some Microsoft licences, some backup. They bring it all back to their business and they try to make it work. And, no surprise, it doesn’t work very well,” he said. Part of the problem is that very few SMEs have in-house IT expertise. A study commissioned by Giacom three years ago found that less than 1% of all SMBs and just one third of businesses with 50-250 staff employ a dedicated IT person. This means they rarely get the advice they need around how to improve efficiency, productivity and security through technology and automation. “Small businesses aren’t going to solve those problems with the way they currently procure. The channel is the answer to fixing these problems for small businesses,” Marke said. He estimates that there are 15,000 resellers/MSPs of a reasonable size in the UK. Giacom deals with 5,000 and the fastest growing of these are nearly all MSPs. “They will go into a customer and say for £200 per month, per employee I will manage all your existing stuff. I’ll give you a brand new suite of SaaS solutions that all work together. I’m going to secure it for you. And I can do all that on a really flexible month by month subscription basis. That’s where we’re seeing the fastest growth. That’s what we see these MSPs building and then adding on professional services, managed services, security services.” Marke adds that for smaller MSPs this can be difficult. They need to be able to deliver subscription services to hundreds of customers and they need to be able to take a whole suite of products to market. Yet, it’s almost impossible for them to contract directly with the vendors of those products. This is where Giacom comes in, using its £250 million buying power to negotiate better pricing on behalf of its partners and making it easy for them to quote, order, provision, support, bill and, ultimately, scale through automation and digital portals. Cloud Market takes this to the next level. It already replaces five previous portals for cloud, connectivity, comms, IT hardware and a knowledge base with a single platform and a single digital experience. Over the next two years Giacom plans to spend an additional £12 million on new features and new software tools to enable partners to be even more efficient. These include data-driven insights to drive sales opportunities; assisted sales journeys to make it easier to deliver complex solutions; provisioning for cloud and connectivity; partnerbranded storefronts with more self-serve opportunities for their customers; and a customer acquisition engine that matches SMEs with local resellers/MSPs. Summing up, Marke said: “We are one platform and we’re making it really simple for technology resellers and MSPs to provide everything they need to create brilliant technology solutions for small businesses. We’re 100% independent and we’re aiming to be the best people to do business with.” Digital Wholesales Solutions, a 100% indirect, 100% independent supplier of cloud, connectivity, comms and IT for small and medium-sized businesses, has entered an exciting new phase in its development with a change of name to Giacom and the launch of a single, unified cloud platform through which reseller and MSP customers can buy its full range of products and services. The name change and consolidation of five existing platforms into a single Cloud Market comes four years after the company split from Daisy Group, since when it has acquired the Giacom cloud marketplace and the Union Street billing business, while securing investment from mid-market private equity firm Inflexion. Giacom CEO Terry O’Brien said that despite relaunching as Digital Wholesale Solutions (DWS) in 2019, some people still associated the name with Daisy, which he felt was holding the company back. “The strategic imperative for us is to be indirect-only and independent, yet that association with Daisy kept dragging us back into potentially being seen as a direct organisation. So we needed to make that separation really clear. Another reason for the rebranding is that over one third of our revenue, and the fastest growing category in our business, is now cloud. The market transformation over the next two, five, 10 years will be to cloud and we want to be seen as an organisation that can take our All in one place Terry O’Brien 13 AD AD ? 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01732 759725 14 WORKPLACE Great Place to Work certification validates office-first approach to collaboration, development and learning at TD SYNNEX back into the office, so we wanted to create a modern office that was attractive to them.” The office layout and more egalitarian workplace culture – no manager has an assigned or dedicated office – created with workplace design specialist Area has also been implemented at TD SYNNEX’s refurbished Bracknell office and in premises across Europe. “We've got it in Germany; we’ve got it in Stockholm; they’ll be moving to it in France, in Bussy-Saint-Georges, when they relocate to new offices there; they’ll convert to it in Spain at some point. Ultimately, all countries will go to it,” explains Watts. Doing something right Acceptance of the new working arrangements in Basingstoke and Bracknell has been impressive so far. “We try to give co-workers flexibility, so all we ask is that they are in the office for 40% of every month, including at least one day every week because a manager should be able to have a team meeting once a week and expect everyone to be there. In fact, network log-ins show that many are spending more like 50% or 60% of their time in the office. So we're doing something right,” says Watts. For him, office life is essential for collaboration, corporate culture and career development, especially for people in front-office sales positions who get so much energy and so many opportunities to learn from being in close proximity to colleagues. “Younger people are realising that to develop their careers, they really need to be around co-workers. If I think back to when I started, I learned so much from listening to how other people conducted calls or from having my manager say ‘I think you could have done it better this way’. Our answer to people who say ‘Why do you want me in the office?’ is ‘teamwork, collaboration and career development’. My own personal one, from a mental health point of view, is that being in your comfort zone at home isn't necessarily a happy place. I've suffered a lot from depression during my life and sometimes the only thing that would get me out of the house was work.” It is perhaps significant that the most underutilised element of the Basingstoke office is the generous provision of formal meeting rooms, suggesting that what brings people in is the chance to engage informally with colleagues. Great place to work Further evidence of the success of TD SYNNEX’s approach is provided by its recent certification as a Great Place to Work for 2023, based on a survey completed by 957 workers (72% of the distributor’s employed UK workforce). Nine out of ten respondents say TD SYNNEX makes them feel welcome and treats them fairly regardless of their gender, race or sexual orientation. The creation of four Business Resource Groups (BRGs) to support female empowerment, LGBTQ+ co-workers, racial, cultural and religious equality and people with disabilities has clearly played a big part in the development of an open and inclusive workplace culture. This is reflected in the new office TD SYNNEX UK & Ireland’s shiny new office in the Maplewood building on Chineham Business Park, Basingstoke, to which the distributor relocated in January 2023, is the epitome of a modern workspace designed to entice hybrid workers out of their home offices and spare bedrooms and into a collaborative environment where they can work more closely with – and learn from – colleagues. Open-plan layouts divided into neighbourhoods, featuring bookable desks placed near windows (where you once might have expected managers’ offices), height adjustable options and widescreen displays with integrated videoconferencing, complemented by a wide choice of pods, booths and meeting rooms, plus cafes and gaming rooms for relaxation, combine to create a spacious environment optimised for collaboration and productivity. “I am very pro hybrid work,” explains UK and Ireland Managing Director David Watts. “It swings the pendulum more towards employees, and I am supportive of that. That said, we are an office-first company, and we want people to come The main attraction Reception