www.technologyreseller.co.uk THE MAGAZINE & ONLINE CHANNEL RESOURCE FOR MSPS, IT RESELLERS & IT SUPPORT PROVIDERS PAGE 34 Q&A SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY RESELLER AWARDS 2024 PAGE 8 PAGE 31 What you need to know Joel Chimoindes on his first 10 months as CEO of Nuvias UC Jed Ayres enlists channel to expand ControlUp footprint AWARDS 20 24 Royal Lancaster Hotel London Thursday 23rd May 2024 TECHNOLOGY RESELLER MAGAZINE I N PRI NT & ONLI NE IN PRINT & ONLINE SINCE 2016 BRINGING SUPERFAST Wi-Fi BEYOND YOUR DOORSTEP Enterprise Grade Wi-Fi 6 Technology We deploy, support and manage your entire Wi‑Fi infrastructure, backed by our High Speed Data Connectivity. Your Boardrooms with our Microsoft Teams Room Solutions! Page 18
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technologyreseller.co.uk 03 If you no longer wish to receive Technology Reseller magazine please email your details to [email protected] COMMENT Can it already be three weeks since the New Year? Age really does make time fly. As do deadlines. One very important one that still seems some way off, but will inevitably be upon us much sooner than expected is the March 15 deadline for entries to the Technology Reseller Awards 2024. Hopefully, you will have already started compiling yours. Even if you haven’t there is still plenty of time to get the ball rolling. But start now to avoid last minute panic. This week we have also opened the voting for the Distributor Awards, which are decided by vote. This is your chance to recognise the distributors that have helped you most – or that you have enjoyed working with most – over the last 12 months. They may have helped you win or fulfil a big contract, enabled you to develop new business opportunities or provided vital back-up in skills and expertise. Or you might just appreciate hearing a friendly, helpful voice at the end of the line. Whatever the reason, please visit www.technologyresellerawards.co.uk to cast your vote. It only takes seconds. Still on the subject of distributors, this month’s Q&A is with Joel Chimoindes, CEO of Nuvias UC. He highlights the vital role of distributors in helping resellers and MSPs to acquire skills so that they can address growth markets before developing their own in-house capabilities. His top tip for 2024 is CCaaS. Another area with huge potential is Digital Employee Experience (DEX). As Jed Ayres, the new CEO of DEX leader ControlUp, explains in our interview with him on page 31, in an age of remote working DEX solutions have the ability to deliver a much improved user experience across devices, networks and applications. He has just appointed DataSolutions, a Climb Company as ControlUp’s UK and Ireland distributor, so you can expect to hear much more about this growing company in the year ahead. In the meantime, don’t forget to complete your Technology Reseller Award entries to celebrate your achievements over the last 12 months and to give you and your colleagues the recognition you deserve. 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] www.technologyreseller.co.uk No part of Technology Reseller can be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. © 2024 Kingswood Media Ltd. Design: Sandtiger Media www.sandtiger.co.uk technologyreseller.co.uk Comment Register online To receive your regular FREE printed copy of Technology Reseller Magazine simply fill in our online registration form at www.technologyreseller.uk/register Read Technology Reseller online, on tablets and smart phones www.technologyreseller.uk Join us : Follow us 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 Declouding powers MSP budget rise 06 Distributor News Giacom scales with intY acquisition 08 Q&A With Joel Chimoindes, CEO of Nuvias UC 12 Working Together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements 16 Cybersecurity Infinigate experts share their 2024 predictions 18 Cover Story 2Connect Microsoft Teams Room solutions 20 Telephony NTA introduces team inbox solution for WhatsApp and launches new call bundles 22 View from the channel With Kelly Tedesco, MD of NG Bailey IT Services 24 Reseller News Who’s been bought by whom 28 Cloud marketplaces Pax8’s observations from Canalys Foum EMEA 2023 30 60 seconds with… With Richard Eglon, CMO, Nebula Global Services 31 Software How DEX leader ControlUP is enlisting the channel to expand its UK footprint 34 Technology Reseller Awards 2024 Voting for the Distributor Awards is now open 36 Insight Part two of our interview with ManageEngine 39 Ask the experts What to look out for in 2024 42 People New faces, new places TECHNOLOGY RESELLER MAGAZINE I N PRI NT & ONLI NE IN PRINT & ONLINE SINCE 2016 SINCE 2016 AWARDS 20 24 Royal Lancaster Hotel · London Thursday 23rd May 2024 Enter & Vote now trawards.co.uk
01732 759725 04 NEWS Looking forward to growth Almost half (45%) of MSPs expect their final 2023 results to show revenue growth of 1020%, with 26% predicting growth of 0%-10% in the last year, according to the latest MSP Pricing Plans & Models Report from Syncro. On average, 39% of an MSP’s annual revenue comes from monthly recurring managed services contracts, 24% from hourly work and 25% from project-based work. In 2023, 63% of MSPs increased their prices. ····· In the dark about switch-off Gamma Communications plc is warning that 30% of UK businesses are in the dark about the discontinuation of BT Openreach’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) due to be completed by December 2025. According to its report, The Big Switch-Off: Are UK Businesses Aware and Prepared?, only 54% of businesses that currently rely on legacy services for customer communications, order taking, internal communications, security and lift operation are currently aware of the Switch-Off. Three quarters (74%) of businesses are yet to complete essential migration tasks and 49% haven’t started researching alternatives. Gamma warns that scrambling to adopt new digital solutions at the lastminute could overwhelm providers. www.gamma.co.uk ····· S-RM highlights value of cyber insurance Last year, the direct cost of a cyber incident went up by 11% to an average of $1.7 million, claims cyber security consultancy S-RM in its annual Cyber Security Insights Report 2023. This figure rises to an average of $2.7 million for organisations that don’t have cyber insurance – 69% more than for those that do. The top three factors contributing to higher cyber incident costs are increased insurance premiums (37%), operational downtime (36%) and recovery and response costs (32%). https://www.s-rminform.com/cybersecurity-insights-report-2023 ····· Price hikes add to cyber woes Analysis by Veeam Software shows that last year, in the wake of a successful ransomware attack, 68% of businesses were forced to increase their prices by an average of 17%. More than three quarters (78%) also had to reduce their headcount. (Source: The Veeam Data Protection Trends Report 2023 www.veeam.com) ····· Seek and ye shall waste time App sprawl is causing 74% of workers to waste 1.5 days a week navigating disconnected collaboration tools. A survey of 3,000 US and UK workers by Asana’s Work Innovation Lab found that on average employees spend nearly an hour and a half a day looking for information needed for work, 57 minutes switching between collaboration tools and 30 minutes simply deciding what collaboration technologies they should use for a specific task. Over one third believe AI will help reduce the number of collaboration technologies needed, but only 28% say their organisation is well-prepared to deploy AI. ····· Businesses pick up tab for inefficient browsing A separate survey by AI-powered market research platform AMPLYFI found that workers waste 7.7 hours, the equivalent of one day a week, searching for information. Yet, still, 43% of decision-makers are unable to find the resources they need. Over half (57%) believe there are too many channels to visit in order to source the information needed for their job. Search engines (55%) are the most common source of information, with 41% of knowledge workers having 6-10 tabs open in their internet browser at any one time. Over half (57%) of respondents said they find contradictions in data across different channels, leaving them unsure of who to trust; 72% believe less than half the content they are able to access is relevant. Paul Teather, CEO of AMPLYFI, said: “AI is opening up new avenues for information gathering. Businesses can now harness a single source of information, conduct a lifetime of reading in 20 minutes, and create their own highly relevant content feeds, pulling from multiple sources across the internet. AI is ultimately allowing knowledge workers to put their fingerprint on the vast pool of data available.” Amplyfi.com NEWS Declouding powers rising IT budgets for MSPs Four out of five MSPs have increased their budgets for IT equipment in light of rising demand for enterprise IT, driven in part by declouding, claims ETB Technologies in a new report, A changing tide – booming MSP budgets and the role of refurbished IT. Of the 80% of MSPs with increased IT budgets, 67% have seen budgets go up by 50%, with 27% enjoying a rise of 60-70%. ETB, a supplier of refurbished servers, storage and network equipment, says rising demand for enterprise IT equipment is being driven by businesses that have started to take data management back in-house. Almost two thirds (62%) of MSPs say they are considering or have already begun the process of declouding. Nick Stapleton, Managing Director at ETB, said: “There’s a number of reasons why spending is on the up. Growing industry costs, increased security threats and structural change are just a few examples. While the change in budgets is significant, what’s clear from our research is that cost-efficiency, quality and service are key strategic considerations. Refurbished technology that is cheaper, more climate-friendly and just as reliable as brandnew equipment can play a huge role in the development and implementation of these strategies.” In Censuswide’s survey of 250 leaders of UK MSPs, 30% of respondents said they currently buy refurbished equipment, with 84% having bought refurbished tech in the past. https://www.etb-tech.com/ The Big PSTN Switch-off: Are UK businesses aware and prepared? Analysis of Business Awareness, Preparedness, and Recommendations Working smarter, together. A report by Gamma Communications in partnership with Cebr MSP & IT Professionals Pricing Report 2023 Your guide to the latest pricing strategies and trends shaping the industry today Nick Stapleton
technologyreseller.co.uk 05 NEWS Partner With Us Create strong recurring revenue for your business Turn Ai Voice Artists into Recurring Revenue Studio Quality Ai Voiceovers In Minutes Generate lifelike Ai voices for Phone System Greetings with Gotalk ai Voice Studio The Ai Voice Generator For Telecoms Scan the QR Code & Use Our Revenue Calculator Today Profitability from Day One Strong Recurring Revenue Lead the Market Time and Resource Savings Fully White Labelled Clients are Self-Served
01732 759725 06 DISTRIBUTOR NEWS Giacom empowers Vodafone partners with mobile self-service portal Giacom has announced a game-changing boost to partner empowerment with the launch of the Cloud Market for Vodafone Business portal. This gives Giacom’s Vodafone partners control over customer onboarding, service provisioning and the management of Vodafone mobile services, encompassing everything from the generation of quotes and the creation and despatch of contracts to in-life changes such as adjusting services, applying discounts, adding/ removing bolt-ons, re-signing contracts and performing SIM swaps. Supported by the automation of labourintensive and repetitive manual processes, the Cloud Market for Vodafone Business portal seamlessly integrates with Vodafone’s mobile management systems, delivering a significant reduction in order processing times. For example, re-signing 10 or more connections, which previously took up to 10 days to process, can now be done in less than an hour. Andrew Wilford, Giacom Managing Director – Mobile, said: “Through Cloud Market for Vodafone Business, we’re transforming the Vodafone partner experience by providing a robust solution that couples innovative technology with a comprehensive suite of customer management tools. This approach streamlines the provisioning and administration of mobile services, ensuring a productive and efficient route to market for our distribution partners.” Giacom.com .... DataSolutions launches accelerator programme to entice technology vendors to UK&I DataSolutions, a Climb company and specialist distributor of IT solutions, has launched a new programme to recruit a minimum of 10 vendors eager to expand their presence in the UK and Irish markets through a 2-tier channel model. Due to run for the next six to 12 months, the Amplify accelerator programme will give selected vendors access to DataSolutions’ network of 700 resellers, partners and MSPs, as well as its marketing expertise, support and resources, to help them identify business opportunities and grow sales. Francis O’Haire, Group Chief Technology Officer at DataSolutions, said: “Breaking into new markets can be challenging and we have seen many vendors struggle to fulfil their potential on an international scale. But there is vast opportunity in the UK and Ireland as one of the largest markets in the world.” He added: “Not only are we helping vendors to establish and expand their presence in the UK and Irish markets, we are also identifying cutting-edge solutions for resellers that could be transformative for their customers.” Three levels of marketing support will be available through the programme, including activities such as branding, digital strategies, content creation and demand generation campaigns. At launch, DataSolutions had already recruited Flexxible, a provider of automation, observability, and management for hybrid digital workspaces, and Jscrambler, which develops a monitoring framework to safeguard client-side applications. www.datasolutions.co.uk/amplify .... TD SYNNEX introduces three-day course to help partners on the road to net zero carbon TD SYNNEX is building on its own carbon reduction initiatives with the launch of a three-day course to enable channel partners to carry out their own scope 1, 2 and 3 assessments and formulate and Brigantia celebrates successful year Giacom scales Microsoft Cloud portfolio with acquisition of intY UK Brigantia describes 2023 as ‘one of its most successful years to date’, with new vendors, record-breaking partner events and a growing team contributing to the ongoing growth of its partner community and helping to pave the way for continued success in 2024. In the last 12 months the cybersecurity distributor has expanded its portfolio with four new vendors – ITagree, Octiga, Conceal and Next DLP. Together, they offer innovative solutions to insider threat, Microsoft 365 security, customer contracts, ransomware and credential theft at the browser’s edge. In addition, Brigantia hosted a number of successful events for the cybersecurity community, in particular its annual partner conference at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, which attracted a record number of delegates, and an email security summit at the Imperial War Museum. Sales Director Angus Shaw is looking forward to continued success over the next 12 months by focusing on Brigantia’s strengths. He said: “In 2024, we will continue to remain front and centre of unique and innovative cybersecurity solutions and continue to provide value-added support to our partners.” www.brigantia.com Angus Shaw Cloud marketplace provider Giacom has added another string to its bow with the acquisition of Microsoft cloud services provider intY from US company ScanSource. The acquisition, which includes intY’s UK revenues, partners and business operations, expands Giacom’s capabilities in the cloud services market, solidifies its position as the largest provider of Microsoft licensing to the SMB-focused UK channel and presents significant cross-sell opportunities. Giacom says that intY’s 1,500 partners can look forward to seamless continuity of service and access to a broader range of products and services through the company’s cloud marketplace, including cloud, communications, hardware and billing solutions. CEO Terry O’Brien said: “The integration of intY’s expertise and capabilities will strengthen our ability to support partners in this critical growth sector of the market, while further establishing Giacom as the go-to provider for Microsoft cloud services to the SMB-focused UK channel.” www.giacom.com Terry O’Brien
technologyreseller.co.uk 07 DISTRIBUTOR NEWS execute a plan to move their business towards net zero carbon. The Net Zero Academy, accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and delivered by specialist consultancy Arete Zero Carbon, is a simpler, more accessible alternative to TD SYNNEX and Arete Zero Carbon’s existing full Net Zero Carbon Assessment service. Channel partners spend two days in the classroom at TD SYNNEX’s Basingstoke office and one day at home or in the office for online learning and assessment. At the end of the course, successful participants receive an official IEMA Certificate. Sophia Haywood-Atkinson, Business Unit Director, Services, UK at TD SYNNEX, said: “The Net Zero Academy will equip channel partners to make a proper carbon assessment of their own business and set out a realistic plan to reduce emissions and move towards net zero. That’s increasingly important now that customers are looking much harder at the commitment of their suppliers to sustainability and with regulations and directives such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the NHS PPN 06/21 directive starting to come into force.” https://uk.tdsynnex.com/ .... Westcon-Comstor first with Zscaler professional services Westcon-Comstor has become the first distributor authorised to deliver Zscaler professional services to help drive adoption Sophia Haywood-Atkinson of the cloud security vendor’s zero trust portfolio in EMEA. Covering Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA), Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) and Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX), the agreement will enable Westcon to harness the combined power of different Zscaler offerings and deploy tailored solutions to partners and customers. Martin Flensburg, VP, Business Operations, Global Supply Chain Solutions and Services at Westcon-Comstor, said: “This agreement exemplifies how we are adding value to the channel and specifically to our partners through innovative collaborations, ultimately bringing enhanced security and efficiency to end-user businesses while enabling partners to maintain strong relationships with their customers.” www.westconcomstor.com .... VMWare award for Arrow VMware has recognised the essential role Arrow plays in equipping customers with the skills required for the successful implementation of multi-cloud strategies by honouring its Enterprise Computing Solutions Education Business EMEA with the VMware EMEA Learning Partner of the Year Award for 2023. arrow.com .... TD SYNNEX builds on Dell partnership with APEX Flex on Demand services Building on its strong partnership with Dell, TD SYNNEX is now able to offer Dell Technologies’ APEX Flex on Demand services in the UK, backed by the expertise and support of its own cloud, infrastructure and professional services teams. Dell’s pay-per-use flexible consumption model combines elastic capacity with the reassurance of on-premises deployment, allowing customers to acquire the Dell products and services they need to support business demands, paying only for actual usage with no large up-front capital investment. Simon Bennett, Managing Director Advanced Solutions, UK and Ireland at TD SYNNEX, said: “With Dell APEX, our partners can deliver the very best and most appropriate technologies and solutions alongside the experience and expertise of our cloud, enterprise infrastructure and professional services teams. Partners can create solutions that meet exact customer needs and provide both the flexibility of the cloud and the peace-of-mind of on-premises deployments.” He added: “Dell APEX is multi-cloud by design and our unique capabilities on all three of the major public cloud providers makes TD SYNNEX ideally suited to supporting partners in taking this attractive value proposition to market. Our teams have the know-how to support partners in making the very best use of multiple platforms alongside on-premises systems and bringing all of that together to deliver the best of both worlds.” https://uk.tdsynnex.com/ Pax8 EMEA partner event to take place in Berlin Following the success of last year’s inaugural Pax8 Beyond event in Denver, the cloud commerce marketplace is holding its first EMEA version in Berlin on October 13-15, 2024. Addressing the core themes of Community, Education and Innovation, Beyond EMEA 2024 at the InterContinental Berlin is expected to attract more than 500 IT service providers, vendors and media over three days. Harald Nuij, Chief Executive Officer at Pax8 EMEA, said: “The IT Channel is heavily focused on collaboration and community, with channel partners working together to drive innovation, streamline operational efficiency and elevate profitability. Beyond EMEA will bring together our amazing partners from across the region, offering an opportunity to connect and learn, helping drive forward the future of the channel.” www.pax8.com .... Simon Bennett Martin Flensburg
01732 759725 08 INTERVIEW Technology Reseller (TR): You’ve been in the distribution business for 28 years. How do you think it has changed in that time? Joel Chimoindes (JC): I don’t know that it has changed much, because alongside volume distribution there have always been areas of specialism in distribution – I try to avoid ‘value-add’ because it’s one of the most overused terms in the industry. When I started out, I was in a specialist distribution business, Imago, and its particular product expertise at the time was in monitors with speakers on the side, multi-headed graphics cards that we were selling into the finance industry and digital editing cards that cost five thousand pounds a card. Then we got involved in video conferencing via PictureTel which was deemed very specialist at the time. My point is that products mature, but while they’re in the early stage of the adoption curve, there’s a space for specialist distribution to help the channel with knowledge, expertise and support services. Then, as those products become more day-to-day, partners take on that responsibility themselves – they skill up, they educate and they deploy their own services. Once they have matured completely, people move on to new areas. With the exception of video conferencing, those technologies that I referred to as specialisms in 1998 are runof-the-mill in the IT world now. So, I don’t think the mechanisms of distribution have changed; specialism is still at one end of the scale and volume at the other, and that’s always been the case. What has changed is the amount of acquisitions and mergers. Go back 10 years and there were probably around 30 sizeable AV distributors in Europe. Now there’s probably about eight, and those eight continue to acquire smaller distributors. That has been a big change. Has it been a good thing? As companies acquire, they add focused expertise and customers and, in a lot of cases, profit to expand the business. So, on the one hand, I think it’s great because those businesses can offer scale in more areas, but it can reduce choice in some areas as well. Coming back to my original statement, I do think there always will be a place for specialism in distribution. And, for us that means making sure that we are the number one go-to partner in those areas where we can enable our partners to reach revenue quicker. TR: Do you plan to take Nuvias UC into new areas, as other distributors in your areas of the market have done, or are you going to remain focused on existing areas of expertise? JC: When I joined, I was really clear about what our strategy would be moving forward and how we would stay wedded to that. To that end, our strategy is based on four pillars, the first of which is telephony. That is the heritage of the business and we still do a lot of work in the telephony sector, especially around more complex areas, for example with Broadsoft. Second is the video and meeting room space. We all know about the explosion of that market post-COVID, but it’s definitely going through a maturing phase now. Pre-COVID, the addressable market worldwide was about 140 million meeting rooms and that’s now down to 90 million. Microsoft will tell you that only 16% of that addressable space has adequate video, which sounds great as an adoption opportunity, but we’re seeing average sales price (ASP) come down as well, which means the channel has to sell a lot more in that space to achieve revenue growth. Our third area is UCaaS, with companies like Zoom. That market is really important to us and is growing at 12-13% CAGR. The fourth area is CCaaS (contact centre as-a-service). Contact centre Technology Reseller talks to Joel Chimoindes, CEO of Nuvias UC, about his first 10 months in charge of the specialist distributor of voice, UC and CCaaS solutions and his plans for 2024. In March, Nuvias UC, a Rigby Group business appointed Joel Chimoindes as CEO, taking over from Jeremy Keefe who had led the business for the previous two and a half years. Previously Vice President of Maverick AV Solutions Europe, Chimoindes has 28 years’ experience in specialist AV and unified communications distributors, including spells at Imago, under Ian Vickerage; Horizon Technology Group, Tandberg’s first distribution partner anywhere in the world; AVnet, following its acquisition of Horizon; and Tech Data, where Chimoindes had a European role with responsibility for high value areas such as unified communications and cloud, solutions aggregation and professional services. In 2016, Chimoindes left Tech Data Group to set up the service-led distribution business Beta Digital Media Solutions, specialising in content creation services for digital signage resellers, before rejoining the Group in 2017 as European Commercial Director of its specialist AV business unit Maverick AV Solutions, later being promoted to VP of Maverick AV Solutions Europe. The opportunity to take up the CEO role at Nuvias UC came at a good time for Chimoindes – he turned 50 in 2023 and was looking for a fresh challenge within distribution. “I’ve always looked at Nuvias UC and the Nuvias Group as a specialist business and I was attracted to the role because I really wanted to be in an environment where, one, I was testing myself in my first CEO role; and, two, where we could be super-focused and nimble with that. Because I was turning 50, I’d already made a list of things that I wanted next in my career, and Nuvias UC felt like a great organisation to join and help move to the next level.” With Joel Chimoindes, CEO of Nuvias UC Q&A Joel Chimoindes
technologyreseller.co.uk 09 INTERVIEW Continued... TR: What are the fastest growing parts of your product portfolio now? And do you expect that to continue? JC: CCaaS is the main area. It is a £1.7 billion business in Europe today and is set to grow at 17% to 18% over the next three years. That presents a lot of opportunities, not just with the CCaaS service but also with the ecosystem that sits around that, whether that’s attaching hardware or delivering implementation services. And, of course, UCaaS continues to grow. While we’ve seen the ASP for the average seat price come down, the opportunity for continuous deployment around a set of UC solutions is key. TR: It’s interesting what you said earlier about there being fewer meeting rooms globally. What do you think the future of work is going to be and what impact might that have on your specialisms? JC: Without a doubt, we’re in a flexible working mode now. There are numerous benefits to having people in the office – faster decision-making, water-cooler discussions, the energy you get from colleagues. And as much as I love video technology, it’s very difficult to replicate those benefits consistently over video or UC. At the same time, employees require and expect flexibility. At Nuvias UC, we favour three days in the office and two days at home (unless we are visiting customers or vendor partners, of course), but I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all approach. Every company will be different and the divisions within those companies – finance, operations, marketing etc. – might also be different. So, we will continuously evaluate what we do, especially by division. The UC market – and let’s use that as a catch-all for telephony, meetings, chat, communications – is going to have to continue to develop to meet customer demands around flexibility and work. The growth stats for Teams and Zoom show how far that’s come already. And that will continue to grow. The next leap is around AI. We spend a lot of time talking about AI, the technology, and perhaps not enough time talking about the gain for people, which is increased productivity. In our business, we’ve already started to implement things like Copilot and Zoom AI to be able to summarise meetings, which is a fantastic tool, and we’re also using AI for data analysis and data crunching. We’re a great example of how CCaaS is now a solution for businesses of any size, not just (very) large enterprises, and as we deploy a new CCaaS solution internally, we can start to use AI to build great customer interactions that feel very natural and help customers get the answers they want really quickly. We can also use it to improve our sales capability. As we bring new people into the business, AI can help us analyse the sales calls they have and provide advice on how they can do better next time. What we’re doing is obviously being replicated by other businesses, so the opportunity for the channel to help technology has been around for 10, 15, 20 years, and CCaaS offers the ability to deploy that in the cloud and provide much better functionality and a much better customer experience. What’s interesting for us is how that technology scales down to the mid-market and smaller companies, which is a much bigger opportunity for the channel. CCaaS is a really big focus for us. Underpinning all of that is our services capability, which is designed to extend a partner’s capacity or capability in areas where they haven’t skilled up yet. CCaaS is a great example of that. So, to answer your question, we are really focused on those four pillars and we’re working with our key vendor partners on expanding their solutions inside those ecosystems and taking them to market. But we will be doing that selectively. Our role is not to offer every competing vendor. We want to be super specialist at the portfolio vendors that we bring on in those four technology areas. TR: How important is your services capability to overall revenue and is that side of the business growing? JC: It’s roughly 30% of our business right now and it’s definitely growing. Our service strategy is designed to extend the capacity or the capability of our partners, for example with implementation, migration and device management services. In Germany, we recently completed a 13,000 Skype for Business to Teams migration on behalf of a reseller for a very large engine manufacturer, and we are running a 24/7 managed service for those Teams devices as well. What we’ve also done is aggregate our services delivery teams across Europe. Before, we had a good service business in the UK and a very service-rich business in Germany from our acquisition two years ago of Alliance Technologies, now Nuvias UC Germany. From January, our services capabilities are going to be aggregated into one services team across Europe, giving us the ability to scale resources better, address customer needs much faster and crosspollinate our services into different regions, including France and the Netherlands where we also operate.
01732 759725 10 INTERVIEW customers with AI is phenomenal. In our industry, especially in the areas that we focus on, the effect of AI on people’s productivity is going to be huge. I often reference a reseller friend of mine who told me that one of the big differences post-COVID compared to pre-COVID is that now, when he goes to an end user to talk about a project, HR is involved in the decision-making process. And HR is involved because they want to understand whether the technology deployment is going to make employees’ lives easier or more complex. That’s a very different conversation to before, when decisions were with IT and potentially communications, with some input from finance. The portfolio of skills an AV or UC partner now needs to interact with an organisation has changed massively over the last five or ten years. To start with, a partner basically needed either great AV or great UC skills. Then, in 2007/2008 when devices began to be integrated into networks, that partner needed to develop IT networking and security skills. In 2015/2016, with the birth of platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, partners had to develop platform knowledge. Then, when COVID happened, they had to develop people knowledge as well. That folio of skills has developed massively over the last 15 years. TR: What other challenges do your reseller and MSP customers face right now? JC: Stating the obvious, the macroeconomic climate has played a big part in decision-making processes this year, especially at an enterprise level. When you have solutions that start to mature, like in the collaboration space, demonstrating your value in that space can become harder. If an end user can buy a solution for £1,000 from an online etailer, a specialist integrator really needs to be able to justify their value to the end user. So, we’ve got a maturing of the market in certain areas, and we’ve got new areas like CCaaS that are starting to come into the mid-market and below. Gaining skills and knowledge in those is going to be absolutely key. TR: How have these challenges affected your business over the last year? JC: We’ve had a tough year because the market has been tough for our partners and our vendors and because we’ve been through a transition in the last 10 months. I’ve come in and we’ve brought on board a new team, a CFO and a CIO who have helped to transform our logistics capability and implement a digital transformation strategy. Most recently, Wayne Gratton has joined as CCO to ensure a seamless flow between vendor management, marketing and partner enablement to help partners and vendors get to revenue quickly. TR: What has your digital transformation programme involved? JC: We are rebuilding our automation platforms from start to finish, from quote all the way through to order and invoice, to make sure we have more people focused on partner and vendor development than on processing pieces of paper. We have an ERP upgrade as well which, combined with our implementations of CCaaS and AI, will really help with automation and productivity. TR: What are your other targets and priorities for 2024? JC: At a technology level, to expand our ecosystems around the meeting space, UCaaS and CCaaS, and to expand our services capability there as well. We will continue to evolve the operations side of our business, our digital transformation, and this January we are launching a new channel enablement engine, Pathfinder+, to help partners make money in areas they may not have invested in before, like CCaaS. When you work with vendors on new partner acquisition, they will often ask you to find 100 partners to sell their solution. That can be quite easy to do, but the reality is it rarely generates the desired revenue and opportunity. Pathfinder+ is a nurture programme where we work with new and existing partners to provide them with the skills, the capability, the resources and the opportunities to help them get to revenue in new areas. We’ll run that with specific vendor partners and work with our reseller community to identify partners that want to grow and develop a business in specialist areas. This is very different from just recruiting 100 partners. It is a much more measured approach to generating opportunities that we can nurture and grow together. It’s something I’ve done in previous businesses and when you’re patient and get it right, it’s really beneficial for the reseller, vendor and the distributor, especially in new areas of business and especially, as we talked about earlier, when times are tough. Another priority is to continue to aggregate our different geographic businesses together to build a ‘one Nuvias UC’ team and to create a culture in which everybody has a voice, everybody feels included and everyone can contribute to the business. So far, we’ve done a lot to make sure there is trust throughout the business, because when you have trust, you can do anything. The other priority for me is creating an environment where people enjoy coming to work, no matter how tough it can sometimes be. Creating that environment for our people is absolutely key. TR: You’ve mentioned the success of your acquisition of Alliance Technologies in Germany. Are you considering M&A to expand your geographical coverage and gain additional capabilities? JC: M&A is never out of the question, but it’s not a focus for the short-term. Through the regions in which we operate today – the UK, DACH, Benelux and France – we already address 75% of the European market opportunity in UCaaS, CCaaS and meetings. So, our main focus this year is to be super-focused on our strategy and our capability in existing territories. continued...
technologyreseller.co.uk 11 BUSINESS BRIEFING AD Nimans even greater opportunities for resellers! At Nimans we’re going even further to make connectivity even simpler! With an even more compelling portfolio of connectivity, UC platforms and hardware, so now there’s even more reasons to connect with one of our connectivity experts. Get in-touch 0161 925 1530 [email protected] www.nimans.net/connect Formerly Beyond Connectivity
01732 759725 12 WORKING TOGETHER LED Studio products now available from ADI Global Distribution ADI Global Distribution has taken on distribution of the award-winning LED Studio EDGE (indoor), AEGIS (outdoor) and V-Poster (all-in-one, movable) displays in the UK, Spain, France, Benelux and Nordics, focusing mainly on solution sales for security and commercial installations. With stocking locations in multiple countries, ADI is well placed to support LED Studio as it continues to make narrow pitch LED display technology more accessible through energy/resource-efficient designs and the use of scalable modules that fit established aspect ratios and resolutions. Customers can access LED Studio products at local ADI branches or online through the ADI Digital Branch. Chris Godfrey, senior category manager EMEA Pro AV at ADI Global Distribution, said: “ADI is committed to providing our customers with a rich portfolio of the products they need to build complete solutions, and we’re excited to expand our offering with LED Studio’s displays.” www.adiglobal.com Sony targets growth in Ireland with Peats partnership Sony is furthering its penetration of the Professional AV market in Ireland by appointing established technology products distributor Peats as an accredited distributor of its displays, software and accessories. Moya Kelleher, Sony Head of Sales – UK & Ireland, said: “We are pleased to confirm that Peats is now an accredited distributor for the Sony Professional Products and Solutions portfolio, expanding our existing distribution network. With their extensive experience in consumer and audio-visual markets, we look forward to working closely with them to support our local partners and drive our continued growth in the Irish market.” Founded in 1969, Peats (formerly Peats Wholesale) Ltd supports its distribution activities with a range of services including sales, marketing and logistical support and advice and guidance for AV integrators, installers and service providers. www.peats.ie Nuvola Distribution and Ribbon Communications to hold launch webinar Ribbon Communications and Nuvola Distribution are marking the start of their relationship with a launch webinar on February 6. Nuvola will offer the complete Ribbon portfolio of Secure Cloud Communications solutions, with a strong focus on Ribbon SBCs (session border controllers) and analytics solutions for channel partners. TD SYNNEX brings StarTech range to UK TD SYNNEX has been appointed a UK distributor of StarTech.com connectivity accessories, including docking stations, display adapters, AV cables, network products, ergonomic furniture and mounts. Partners will benefit from TD SYNNEX’s stock holding and delivery capabilities, along with flexible finance and services for the trade-in and recycling of equipment. Xiomara Carrillo, Chief Sales Officer at StarTech.com, said: “StarTech.com’s partnership with TD SYNNEX will make it easier for IT professionals in the UK to solve their unique hardware connectivity challenges by providing them with access to our full range of performance accessories.” https://uk.tdsynnex.com/ ControlUP appoints DataSolutions to extend channel reach DataSolutions, a Climb company and specialist distributor of innovative IT solutions, has entered into a strategic distribution partnership with ControlUp, the industry leader in Digital Employee Experience (DEX) management. ControlUp’s DEX platform provides a comprehensive view of every aspect of IT infrastructure, from cloud data centres and VDI environments to physical endpoints and unified applications, monitoring and analysing thousands of metrics every three seconds to ensure that any issues affecting the user experience are identified and proactively dealt with. DataSolutions Group Cloud Sales Director Brian Davis said: “DEX solutions ensure that employees have seamless, productive and satisfying digital interactions within their work environments. The right DEX solution can boost team morale, free up resources for IT teams and even contribute to long-term business success.” (See interview with ControlUp CEO Jed Ayres on page 32) https://www.datasolutions.co.uk TD SYNNEX to unlock potential of Palo Alto Networks TD SYNNEX has inked a European distribution agreement with Palo Alto Networks that will enable partners to access and resell the vendor’s full range of cybersecurity hardware and software backed by industry-leading threat intelligence and state-of-the-art automation. Existing and new partners will be able to access Palo Alto Networks solutions through TD SYNNEX’s digital commerce platforms; take advantage of specialist sales and advisory support from the distributor’s cybersecurity experts; and make use of educational resources, training and certifications delivered via cybersecurity enablement programs and the TD SYNNEX Channel Academy. Claudette Atkinson, Senior Director of Distribution EMEA & LATAM at Palo Alto Networks, said: “With their robust digital capabilities and ‘always-on’ marketing approach, TD SYNNEX will help us unlock Palo Alto Networks’ potential in this space. Together, we’re ensuring more partners and customers engage with our platform story, delivering next-generation solutions to address today’s security challenges for all customers.” www.TDSYNNEX.com Avitor and MAXHUB seal partnership Avitor AV & IT Distribution is partnering with CVTE Group brand MAXHUB to distribute its range of unified communications solutions and displays in the UK and Ireland. Jared Huet, Director of Avitor Distribution, said: “We have been monitoring the rise of MAXHUB in Europe for some time now and are absolutely convinced by the quality of MAXHUB’S products and its innovative strength, which represents an incredible value proposition.” MAXHUB offers a complete range of meeting room solutions, from cameras and displays to Microsoft-certified Teams room systems, as well as commercial displays, interactive panels and all-in-one LED solutions. www.avitor.co.uk Working together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements Moya Kelleher Sony Geoffrey Peat
technologyreseller.co.uk 13 `AD In association with: MAGAZINE & WEBSITE TECHNOLOGY RESELLER CATEGORIES – ENTRIES & VOTING are NOW OPEN VENDOR AWARDS n Cyber Security Vendor of the Year n Cyber Risk Mitigation Vendor of the Year n Cloud Services Vendor of the Year n UC & Collaboration Vendor of the Year n Networking & Connectivity Vendor of the Year n Software Vendor of the Year n Print & MPS Vendor of the Year n Document Workflow Vendor of the Year n MSP Platform Provider Vendor of the Year PRODUCT & SOLUTION AWARDS n Software Product or Solution of the Year n Remote Monitoring & Management Solution of the Year DISTRIBUTOR AWARDS – VOTING (OPENS SOON) n Cyber Security Distributor of the Year n SaaS/Software Distributor of the Year n CUC & Connectivity Network Distributor of the Year n Cloud Solutions Distributor of the Year n Hardware Distributor of the Year n Document Print & Workflow Distributor of the Year The distributor awards will be voted for categories by Technology Reseller magazine readers TECHNOLOGY RESELLER SPECIAL AWARDS n TR Award for Sustainability n TR Award for Innovation n TR Award for Tech Services & Implementation Provider n TR Award for DEI n TR Award for Use of AI n TR Judges’ Special Award RESELLER AWARDS n SMB Reseller/MSP of the Year ( Turnover up to £2.5m) n Mid-Enterprise Reseller/ MSP of the Year ( Turnover £2.5m to £10m) n Enterprise Reseller/MSP of the Year ( Turnover £10m to £20m) n Corporate Reseller/MSP of the Year ( Turnover £20m+) n Reseller/MSP Project of the Year ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS n Account Manager of the Year n Industry Leader of the Year If you’d like more information on the Awards, the Award categories or how to enter, please contact our events team: [email protected] or call 01732 759 725 AWARDS 20 24 Royal Lancaster Hotel London Thursday 23rd May 2024 The Technology Reseller Awards 2024 are here to recognise and celebrate the massive contribution that technology vendors, distributors, MSPs, resellers and service and maintenance companies make to UK plc and to the wider community. The Technology Reseller Awards will once again honour the achievements of businesses throughout the IT channel, highlighting best practice , sustainability and innovation to inspire everyone who works in, or with, this extraordinary, vital industry. trawards.co.uk
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15 BUSINESS BRIEFING more than 45 security tools, and that responding to a cybersecurity incident “required coordination across 19 tools on average.” Even day-to-day cybersecurity management is out of control. From 2018 – 2022, research showed that the average number of days that organisations took to patch vulnerabilities ranged from 146 to 292. Last year alone, the industry witnessed the disclosure of an astounding 26,447 vulnerabilities—the highest ever recorded. For the 60 percent of mid-market companies that have only 1 – 4 full time IT staff, this workload is unmanageable. This is where the ThreatDown Bundles offer award winning protection. Unlike tools built for large enterprises with an army of IT and security staff, ThreatDown solutions are packaged into four separate bundles that simplify security for ITconstrained organisations. Alongside our award-winning endpoint protection, every ThreatDown bundle comes with vulnerability assessment, application block and device control features, all packaged in a single pane of glass. Partner support Importantly, ThreatDown has invested significant resources into releasing tools that specifically support channel partners, like our new Security Advisor. With this powerful dashboard, available for our multi-tenant MSP console ThreatDown OneView, channel partners can receive comprehensive security evaluations—and recommendations—across their customers. But offering the most powerful and affordable cybersecurity for resource constrained organisations is only part of the solution for our channel partners. The other part is providing the tools for our partners to build growth, profitability, and customer loyalty with our award-winning program and solutions. The Malwarebytes Partner Program is designed to financially reward partners with tools to make selling ThreatDown solutions simple, including sales and technical trainings to help identify and close the most profitable deals, as well as benefits and rewards to compensate success. Malwarebytes partners also enjoy generous margin discounts, protected margins on deal registration, lead sharing, NFR licences and access to market development funds (MDF). We also support partner growth into services via our managed detection & response (MDR) offering. A simple approach You’re probably wary of anything sounding like another pitch for “more.” For so long the answer to cybersecurity challenges has been “more” – more point solutions, more complex interfaces, more consoles and subsequently more implementation time, more alerts and more headaches. Malwarebytes proposes something different. We continue to innovate our ThreatDown solutions and offer channel partners proven ways to grow their business with a strategy that cuts through the noise, empowers customers and beats the competition: Simplicity. https://www.threatdown.com The channel’s cybersecurity responsibilities grow every day—serve IT-constrained organisations with tailored cybersecurity plans, understand and prioritise current and upcoming threats, and manage a budget amidst new security software features, add-ons, and promises, all while tackling the most pressing need of all: Stopping cyberattacks. It’s enough to overwhelm even the best in the business. But channel partners—including managed service providers (MSPs), systems integrators (SIs), and value-added resellers (VARs)—don’t have to go it alone. For preventing threats, simplifying cybersecurity complexity, and reducing costs our ThreatDown solutions paves a way forward. Increasing attacks In 2023, history repeated itself. There were more ransomware attacks, higher costs for data breach recovery, and new types of threats emerging on the scene. In November, Malwarebytes tracked 457 public ransomware attacks—the second highest attack count of the year after the 556 attacks publicly recorded in May. According to IBM, the cost of a data breach hit $4.45 million, representing a 15% increase over the past three years. And throughout much of the year, organisations fell victim to a new ransomware attack vector, in which cybercriminals exploited zeroday vulnerabilities in common business software tools. Even more concerning was the rise of “Living-Off-the-Land” attacks, in which ransomware gangs abused legitimate tools already present on a machine—like PowerShell, PsExec, and WMI—to disguise their actions and slip past many security products that rely primarily on signaturebased detections. But that’s not all. Businesses were not only forced to contend with novel cyberattacks and vulnerabilities, but with the complexity of responding to them en masse. Improving response IBM Security already uncovered that the average organisation relied on How the channel succeeds with ThreatDown. By Brian Thomas New Threats & New Defences ThreatDown Security Advisor Brian Thomas is senior vice president of worldwide channel programs at Malwarebytes. Thomas brings more than a decade of channel, MSP and distributor leadership experience to the growing Malwarebytes Partner Program. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @Malwarebytes on Twitter.binfo.co.uk