Technology Reseller v69

Leading change. Together. Join us as we drive growth for our business partners in print and beyond. Our partner programme offers expertise, collaboration and support. Turn to page 18 to find out more. Scan the QR code to find out how to become a Ricoh Partner THE MAGAZINE & ONLINE CHANNEL RESOURCE FOR MSPS, IT RESELLERS & IT SUPPORT PROVIDERS PAGE 37 EVENTS MSPs CYBERSECURITY PAGE 10 PAGE 30 Heimdal Security celebrates a memorable first 10 years Ski Club Network hits the Italian slopes for inaugural event Kaseya’s Fred Voccola on why this is a golden age for MSPs TECHNOLOGY RESELLER MAGAZINE I N PRI NT & ONLI NE IN PRINT & ONLINE SINCE 2016

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Did you know that Openreach are in the process of closing their legacy copper network and all analogue and digital ISDN lines will be switched off before the end of 2025? Blue Wildebeest [Connochaetes taurinus] The Great Migration is the largest herd movement of animals on the planet involving an astonishing 1.2 million Blue Wildebeest. Migrate Your Broadband Today! 03 If you no longer wish to receive Technology Reseller magazine please email your details to [email protected] COMMENT The entries for the Technology Reseller Awards are now in and I’m pleased to say we’ve received even more entries than last year. Fortunately, we had already added new faces to the judging panel in anticipation of a bumper workload (see pages 34 and 35). Even so, this year’s judges face a daunting workload. Their help and involvement in the awards are much appreciated by everyone at Technology Reseller and Kingswood Tech Events. Thank you, too, to everyone who took the time to submit an entry, and good luck! I look forward to raisjng a glass to your success at the Technology Reseller Awards Dinner in London on May 23. In the meantime, don’t forget to vote for the distributor that has impressed you most over the last 12 months. You can do so online at any time before 5pm on April 26. A big attraction of Awards Dinners is the opportunity they provide to socialise with peers from across the industry in a more informal, relaxed environment. This is something many business leaders struggle to find the time to do. For example, in this month’s View from the Channel (page 24), Chris Brassington, CEO of ebb3, points out that face-to-face engagements are the best way to build connections with partners, customers and vendors. Like many others we have interviewed, he cites having more opportunities for such interactions as the one change he would like to make to his job. One of the strengths of Technology Reseller is that we cover a broad spectrum of technologies, which allows us to bring together people from diverse sectors to explore opportunities to do business together. We aim to do this through the Technology Reseller Awards, through our Tech Live exhibition, which returns to the Business Design Centre in London on September 17 (see page 20), and through our Golf Society and the newly launched Ski Club Network. In Ethan White’s report on the latter’s inaugural meeting at the Italian ski resort of Sauze d’Oulx (see page 10), he writes: “For many, it wasn’t the conversations they knew they were going to have that made this trip so memorable, but the unexpected ones.” As he rightly says, that’s not something you’ll get on Zoom or by staying in your own bubble. 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. © 2024 Kingswood Media Ltd. Design: Sandtiger Media 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 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 Bulletin The true cost of cloud laid bare 08 Distributor News Ascentae opens smart workplace experience centre 09 Working Together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements 10 Ski Club Network Ethan White’s report from Technology Reseller’s inaugural Ski Club Network event 12 Reseller News CSA acquires additional cybersecurity expertise 16 Opinion Petra Goude explains how GenAI can help address the COBOL skills crisis 20 Tech Live What returning exhibitors love about the event 22 60 seconds With Mark Walsh, VP EMEA, Tintri 24 View from the Channel Chris Brassington, CEO of ebb3, gives his view from the channel 26 IT Management AI pilot launched for GoTo unified IT management and support offering 30 MSPs Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola on why this is a golden age for MSPs 32 Telecoms How Voip Unlimited can help resellers win business without losing margin 34 Technology Reseller Awards Meet the judges 36 60 seconds With Rowan JeffreysHoar, Director of Indirect Sales at Ricoh 37 Cybersecurity Heimdal Security’s first 10 years 40 Data Centres How Schneider Electric is helping the University of Lincoln meet net zero targets 42 People New faces, new places TECHNOLOGY RESELLER MAGAZINE I N PRI NT & ONLI NE IN PRINT & ONLINE SINCE 2016 AWARDS 20 24 Royal Lancaster Hotel · London Thursday 23rd May 2024 Vote now

01732 759725 04 BULLETIN Civo gives short shrift to egress fees concession Mark Boost, CEO of cloud-native service provider Civo, has reacted with scorn to Microsoft’s announcement that it is removing egress fees for customers that move data from Azure to an alternative cloud provider or data centre, following similar moves by AWS and Google Cloud. He said: “Don’t be fooled by Big Tech’s apparent rush to abolish egress exit fees. Azure is racing on the heels of AWS and Google Cloud to remove charges only for data transfer out of the cloud to ensure compliance with the fast-approaching European Data Act.” He added: “If you look deeper, the change comes with strings attached. Azure is only removing egress fees for storage data for exiting customers, with charges still applying for egress from other Azure services, and customers have to cancel all Azure subscriptions before claiming the credit. Clearly, in the mind of the hyperscalers, flexibility still comes at a price.” Egress fees are just one complaint against the ‘Big Three’ hyperscalers. In a recent Civo survey of 500 IT professionals that use AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, 64% said they had experienced a rise in cloud costs in the last 12 months; 47% said they were considering a move away from the cloud because of the expense; and 37% said that the cloud had failed to live up BU L L E T I N continued... The true cost of cloud laid bare Technology research company Dark Matter has launched Clouded II, a feature-length documentary sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise that exposes the economic and environmental costs of cloud. Released to mark the launch of Clouded.TV, a new online channel supplying content about the cloud, Clouded II includes insights from a range of experts on the inefficiencies and spiralling financial cost of cloud computing as well as the huge amounts of energy, water, heat and waste associated with data storage and data hoarding. Featured expert Gerry McGovern said: “The growth of data is scary. By 2035 we will be producing about 2,000 zettabytes of data. Typically, you store 10% of that, and need over a billion servers. You would need to cut down 20 trillion trees to print one zettabyte. There are only 3.5 trillion trees on the planet. We need to think about what we truly need.” to its promise of cost-effectiveness. In addition, 42% said they found it hard to predict their cloud bill every month, with 28% reporting that they had received an unexpectedly large bill for cloud services. More than half (57%) of hyperscaler users say they are now taking steps to manage or reduce their cloud service costs. Boost said: “The cloud is broken. That is the stark truth we all need to face up to. The hyperscalers have not delivered on their lofty promises of low costs at scale that they set out more than a decade ago. Instead, users are left with high prices, overly complex solutions and ‘black-box’ proprietary tech that make it very difficult to move anywhere else. When you are in, you are in! This situation can be hugely damaging, especially for smaller businesses, making it very difficult for them to build a bespoke, affordable approach to cloud that suits their needs.” .... Mobile technology key to deskless worker engagement Deskless workers feel considerably less valued at work than desk-based colleagues, warns workplace culture and recognition specialist O.C. Tanner. Just 43% of deskless workers, such as construction workers, delivery drivers and frontline employees, surveyed for O.C. Tanner’s 2024 Global Culture Report admit to feeling valued and appreciated compared to 61% of desk-based employees. Robert Ordever, European MD of O.C. Tanner, said: “Reaching and engaging deskless workers who tend to lack regular access to technology and tools is often seen as too difficult. These deskless workers will be the last to hear company news, struggle to complete basic administration, and lack influence and opportunities. But this status quo isn’t a given, it’s been allowed to take hold due to poor leadership and a mismanaged culture.” In its report, O.C. Tanner recommends equipping deskless workers with mobileenabled tools as one way to ensure they feel as valued and recognised as desk-based colleagues, along with greater use of traditional offline methods such as team meetings, thank you notes and notice boards. It also advises training leaders in how to show their appreciation of deskless workers more effectively. .... Microsoft margins slashed for competing cloud infrastructure providers Microsoft has also come under attack from CISPE, an association of cloud infrastructure service providers in Europe, which claims that unfair software licensing terms for popular Microsoft software and preferential pricing on Microsoft’s own cloud infrastructure are squeezing the margins of competing cloud infrastructure providers that supply the company’s software as part of a cloud migration. In a presentation to the European Commission department for competition (DG COMP) and the UK’s CMA, CISPE said such practices were limiting choice for customers and destroying the ability of other cloud providers to compete. Examples from its own members include the case of a European member that had seen margins for selling Microsoft products, such as Windows Server, SQL Server and remote desktop services for productivity tools, fall from around 25% in Mark Boost 05 AD NIMANS Meet, create and collaborate better. Elegant design. Easy to install. Simple to use. Neat Bar and Neat Bar Pro allow your customers to focus on what matters, People. They focus on whoever’s talking and reveal the expressions of others, enabling remote participants to engage in more natural, free-flowing conversation. The ‘go to’ place for Neat.

01732 759725 06 BULLETIN continued... 2018 to double-digit negative in 2023, with the biggest margin reduction, from over 20% to 0%, occurring in 2019 when Microsoft changed its licensing terms to favour those licensing software on Azure. As an example of feature discrimination, CISPE referenced Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and restrictions to the multi-session capabilities of Windows 10/11 virtual machines operating outside Azure Virtual Desktop that it says significantly increase the cost to customers that choose competing cloud infrastructures. It adds that with multi-session capabilities allowed on Azure a customer can run a typical virtual desktop implementation for 32 users using just three virtual machines, whereas licensing restrictions on multi-session use of Microsoft software outside Azure mean CISPE members must provision 32 virtual machines to support the same number of users. Even with lower cost hardware (VM cost per hour), the cost of supporting 32 users for a CISPE member is 2.5 times higher than what Microsoft charges. Francisco Mingorance, Secretary General of CISPE, said: “These figures are just the tip of the iceberg and demonstrate the stark reality of selling Microsoft software. It is clear that there is a straightforward competition case here and that if these unfair licensing practices are not immediately ended by Microsoft voluntarily, legal and regulatory action should swiftly follow.” .... ORP using AI for turtle conservation Purple Transform, a developer of AI to enhance human decision-making, is working with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP) to support sea turtle conservation in the Maldives. Five of the seven species of sea turtles worldwide are found in the Maldives, and all five are at risk of extinction. As part of Project SEUSS (Safeguarding Ecosystems Using Sustainable Solutions), ORP will use Purple Transform’s proprietary AI platform, SiYtE, to monitor sea turtles and their habitats, including nesting activity and hatchings. SiYtE, which uses AI and machine learning to analyse and visualise real-time data aggregated from CCTV cameras, IoT sensors and other sources, will be used to track nesting patterns, monitor sea turtle populations and detect potential human interference. It will also strengthen ORP’s sea turtle veterinary programme, by aiding analysis of blood samples and the monitoring of sea turtle behaviour after rehabilitation. .... Fees eat up cloud budgets More than half (53%) of EMEA organisations exceeded their budgeted spend on cloud storage in 2023, with half of all cloud storage costs in EMEA going to data access and usage fees rather than capacity, reveals the 2024 Global Cloud Storage Index from Wasabi Technologies. Nonetheless, EMEA companies still see the value of cloud storage services, with 91% planning to increase their cloud storage budget in 2024 and 92% planning to increase the amount of data they store in the public cloud. Andrew Smith, Senior Manager of Strategy and Market Intelligence at Wasabi Technologies, said: “Organisations worldwide are increasing their use and budgets for public cloud storage solutions, and Europe is no exception. Like the rest of the world, European cloud storage users continue to struggle with storage fees, but despite this the region continues to show a healthy preference towards ‘cloud-first’ decision-making when it comes to IT services adoption.” Almost half (44%) of EMEA organisations pursue a ‘cloud-first’ strategy for IT services adoption. Almost all (99%) of EMEA respondents have adopted or are planning to adopt AI/ML in 2024 and 96% believe they will face new cloud storage concerns as a result. These include the requirement to store data across a wider range of locations e.g. core data centres and edge/ remote locations (46%); new data backup, protection and recovery requirements (43%); and new or increasing storage migration/movement requirements (42%). Jon Howes, Wasabi Technologies VP & GM of EMEA, said: “Wasabi’s annual research once again shows that progress towards off-premises cloud storage solutions is a direction nearly all enterprises are taking. However, the evergrowing frustration with unnecessary fees and vendor lock-in, as highlighted by the investigation by the UK’s market watchdog, provides a navigational challenge for cloudfirst organisations in EMEA.” .... Employers see value in snooping on home workers Nearly half of enterprises (44%) are collecting data on employees’ home working hours, with an additional 33% planning to do so in future, claims Kinly, a provider of audio-visual integration and collaboration services. Its Trusted Connections 2024 study, based on a survey of 425 enterprise AV professionals in the UK, Germany, Nordics and Netherlands, suggests that this is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, 65% of enterprises are encouraging staff to install Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can be used to monitor their home working environment: 28% say they are already collecting environmental data from people’s homes, with a further 36% planning to do so in the future. In addition, 33% are investing in analytics platforms to monitor remote workers. Respondents pointed out that at-home tracking systems are not just about making sure staff are working, but also about helping businesses meet their obligations to protect employee wellbeing. One third (32%) of those surveyed say their organisations are now collecting wellbeing data such as ‘tiredness indicators’ from remote staff, with a further 37% planning to track this sort of data in future. 07 BULLETIN More than a quarter (28%) say their organisations are collecting environmental data from people’s homes, such as lighting and air quality, while 36% have plans to collect this data in the future. Tom Martin, CEO of Kinly said: “With so many employees working from home, businesses can no longer guarantee a high-quality work environment. The result is people working longer hours, in conditions that wouldn’t have been acceptable at the office. IoT technology is becoming an increasingly popular way to address this, using at-home AV equipment to monitor everything from air quality to working hours and screen time. Of course, adopting this tech means being transparent with employees. It cannot be used without their express consent.” .... Out of control Nine out of 10 organisations believe that the complexity of their technology stack has increased in the last 12 months (88%); that the explosion of data produced by cloud-native technology stacks is beyond the ability of humans to manage (86%); and that the number of tools, platforms, dashboards and applications IT teams rely on adds to the complexity of managing a multicloud environment (85%). On average, organisations use 10 different monitoring and observability tools to manage applications, infrastructure and user experience. The average multicloud environment now spans 12 different platforms and services. (Source: Dynatrace State of Observability 2024) .... Guidelines key to AI success More than a quarter (28%) of UK workplaces have adopted AI, with 79% of AI users saying it is already improving their productivity. Even so, 46% of UK workers say they’ve received no guidance from their organisation on how to use AI tools at work. Desk workers at companies that have defined AI guidelines are nearly six times more likely to have tried AI tools, compared with desk workers whose companies have no guidelines around AI usage. (source: Workforce Lab from Slack, a Salesforce company) .... Cyber alert app The Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland has launched a free iOS/Android app that consolidates cyber and fraud threat intelligence from multiple sources and automatically delivers alerts to organisations throughout Scotland. The Cyber and Fraud Centre Threat Intel app applies three levels of threat severity to help users prioritise responses and gives users the option to customise alerts based on their industry sector, with bespoke alerts for the private sector, public sector, third sector and academia. The app also connects recipients to the Centre’s Incident Response Helpline, which provides support for organisations that have been affected by a cyber-attack. .... FormulaE partners with Google Cloud Formula E, the world’s first all-electric motorsport, has signed a multi-year technology partnership with Google Cloud, marking what it hopes will be the first of many such deals with technology leaders. The partnership builds on a relationship that began last summer when NEOM McLaren Formula E Team driver Jake Hughes set a new indoor land speed record of 218.7km/h with the help of a gen AI ‘DriverBot’ created by Google Cloud for Formula E’s GENBETA race car development programme. This harnessed real-time data from Hughes’ car, alongside historic race data, to help smash the existing Guinness World Record by more than 50 km/h. The new partnership will enable Formula E to use Google Cloud infrastructure, gen AI tools and data and analytics technologies to make further technological advances through its GENBETA programme; to create highly targeted marketing campaigns by analysing massive datasets of fan behaviour, preferences and demographics; and to build pathways into motorsports and science for young women through Formula E’s FIA Girls on Track programme.

01732 759725 08 Justin Griffiths DISTRIBUTOR NEWS Managed DEX service launched by Infinigate UK&I Infinigate UK&I, part of the Infinigate Group, a value-add distributor of cybersecurity, secure networks and secure cloud, has launched a new managed service for optimising employees’ digital experience when using business-critical applications to boost productivity and reduce costs. Based on Riverbed’s Aternity AI-powered Digital Experience Management solution, the DX Insights service enables Infinigate partners to optimise customers’ critical network infrastructure by identifying users impacted by performance issues and underperforming devices, reclaiming unused software licences, running automatic remediation and assessing the impact of digital transformation initiatives. Justin Griffiths, MD at Infinigate UK&I, said: “DX Insights answers very real business needs, helping partners provide a service that is very relevant to their customers, to maximise business effectiveness and efficiency. The managed service option means it is easy to procure.” .... Origin Storage launches new e-commerce website Origin Storage, a manufacturer and distributor of aftermarket storage and memory upgrades and accessories, is positioning itself at the forefront of online IT procurement with the launch of a new ecommerce site based on Red Technology’s tradeit platform. The platform gives Origin Storage a suite of tools to enhance its online presence, including customer selfservice tools, site search and call centre functionality, plus full integration with its ERP system and Icecat product catalogues. .... Software PoCs made easy TD SYNNEX is making it quicker and easier for software vendors to provide scalable, cloud-based proof of concept demonstrations with the launch of TD SYNNEX Cloud Labs. This new service provides a virtualised environment where vendors and partners within the IT channel can showcase product features and services to end users without the need for costly lab environments and infrastructure management. Vendors pay only for the resources used. Peter Zonneveld, Vice President, Global Solutions Aggregation and Innovation at TD SYNNEX, said: “As cloud adoption continues to reshape business operations, the need for robust cloud-native infrastructure has become increasingly critical. Cloud Labs represents a significant leap forward in addressing the challenges vendors face in this landscape. According to CSO Insights, 92% of buyers want to know how the product can add value early on in the sales cycle. By providing a solution that meets a vendor’s needs wherever they are in their product lifecycle, we empower vendors to bring their solutions to market faster and more effectively.” [email protected] .... Westcon-Comstor and Cisco sign AWS Marketplace deal Westcon-Comstor has extended its partnership with Cisco to generate new growth opportunities for channel partners on the AWS Marketplace and to drive adoption of Cisco’s market-leading solutions. The appointment of Cisco as a launch vendor on Westcon-Comstor’s AWS Marketplace programme, following its recent Designated Seller of Record (DSOR) agreement with AWS, enables the distributor to privately list Cisco cybersecurity, observability and networking and collaboration-focused software products in AWS Marketplace. Partners in EMEA and APAC will now be able to transact and serve end-user Ascentae opens smart workplace Experience Centre Ascentae, a value-added distributor of smart workplace solutions, has opened a state-of-the-art Experience Centre in Clerkenwell, London, in collaboration with storage provider Your Workspace. Spread across two floors, the space provides a showcase for the latest innovations in collaboration technologies, intelligent meeting rooms, digital wayfinding, digital signage and hybrid working solutions from brands such as Huddly, Jupiter, MAXHUB, GoBright and Nureva. Jon Knight, Managing Director of Ascentae, says the unifying theme is Microsoft Teams certification and integration to support the seamless transition between remote and office work. He said: “We’ve carefully considered the Microsoft Teams eco-system experience to deliver an intuitive and user-friendly environment. From solutions that support how employees manage their in-office experience to technology that delivers immersive Microsoft Teams hybrid meetings, this space perfectly demonstrates the possibilities.” David Grant 09 WORKING TOGETHER customers as part of an integrated, endto-end digital sales process within AWS Marketplace and benefit from accelerated transaction times, expanded deal sizes, higher win rates and shortened sales cycles. David Grant, CEO of Westcon-Comstor, said: “End users increasingly want to procure in AWS Marketplace thanks to the flexibility and pre-defined budgets it offers. In giving our partners access to Cisco’s exceptional technology portfolio and equipping them with a simplified and streamlined route to transacting Cisco products on AWS Marketplace, we’re creating a new platform from which to drive growth and scale across the value chain.” Forrester reports that channel partners selling in AWS Marketplace can close deals up to 50% faster, while Canalys predicts that global sales of third-party vendor software and services through cloud marketplaces will reach $45 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 84% CAGR over the previous five years. .... New order picking system installed by Mayflex Mayflex, a distributor of converged IP solutions, has enhanced operations in the Central Distribution Centre (CDC) at its Birmingham HQ, with the implementation of a Swisslog Autostore order picking system and 14 Maybot robots. The investment will speed up the processing of orders, especially sameday despatch and trade counter orders, and enable Mayflex to consolidate orders to reduce the number of consignments customers receive. Sam Baldwin, Mayflex Operations & Services Director, adds that the new system is more energy-efficient and will enable the distributor to raise its accuracy rate from 99.93% to 99.96%. He said: “ That doesn’t sound much, but over a year that equates to a large number. The automation will also allow us to automatically choose the smallest possible outer box for each delivery, using less void filler.” Kiteworks extends Climb partnership to UK&I In an extension of an existing relationship, Climb Channel Solutions and Kiteworks are bringing the latter’s Private Content Network (PCN) data privacy and compliance solution to organisations in the UK. PCN helps protect file and email data communications in highly regulated industries, such as education, financial services, healthcare, legal, pharmaceuticals and technology, by seamlessly and securely sending, sharing, receiving, tracking and storing sensitive content. Gerard Brophy, Chief Revenue Officer at Climb Channel Solutions, said: “We believe that the Kiteworks Private Content Network, with its focus on secure file sharing, transfer and data communications, is perfectly aligned with the evolving needs of UK businesses. Together, we’re poised to offer unparalleled solutions that not only enhance security but drive operational efficiency.” Westcoast to distribute Optoma DLP projectors and displays Westcoast has strengthened its growing AV business in the UK through a new distribution agreement with Optoma, the number one 4K UHD and DLP brand worldwide and the number one projection technology brand in EMEA, according to PMA Research. The partnership brings together Optoma DLP projectors, flat panels, interactive displays and AiO LED and software solutions with Westcoast’s AV expertise and supply chain management, finance, credit, logistics and installation services. Richard Carr, AV Director at Westcoast, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Optoma to build world-class large format display solutions for our partners’ projects. With Optoma’s exciting range of products and our complexity-cutting support services, our partners can be confident that they’re getting quality AV solutions that are easy for them to sell and effortless for their customers to operate.” Sol Distribution strengthens ties with HPE Sol Distribution has entered a strategic partnership with HPE Aruba, a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) that specialises in enterprise-grade networking technology and services, including wireless LAN, edge computing, security and management solutions. The agreement expands the range of HPE brands available from Sol Distribution to include Aruba, Silver Peak and Axis Security. Graeme Sutton, Managing Director of Sol Distribution, said: “We’re proud of our relationship with Axis Security, and I view this opportunity as a chance to further serve its client base and add brands such as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s Aruba product set to our offerings. In addition to continued Axis Security sales, we can now also sell the HPE Aruba Silver Peak product sets. This will enable our customers to utilise Sol Distribution as a one-stop-shop for all their networking requirements.” Titan Data Solutions adds Perifery media solutions to portfolio Perifery, a division of DataCore, has appointed Titan Data Solutions, a specialist distributor of end-to-end data management solutions and cybersecurity services, as an authorised UK&I distributor of its archive and workflow solutions for media and entertainment businesses. Building on an existing relationship between Titan and DataCore, the agreement gives Titan customers access to Perifery object storage solutions and workflow applications that enable media and entertainment organisations to manage and utilise their media assets more efficiently. David Treadwell, Solutions Director at Titan, said: “With Perifery’s solutions, I see great growth opportunities for partners to address the media-driven challenges their customers face. We have achieved great success with Datacore and are looking forward to extending our partnership into the Perifery division.” Working together This month’s round-up of new distribution agreements

10 EVENTS Technology Reseller and PrintIT Reseller magazines’ inaugural European networking event in the Italian ski resort of Sauze d’Oulx went down a storm. By Ethan White bookings for the inaugural trip. This eclectic group met at Gatwick early in the morning for a short flight to Turin. After checking in at our hotel, the socialising began. First up, we had to get the formalities of ski hire etc. out of the way. Then we split everyone up into groups for the ubiquitous quiz, which saw our very own Neil Trim evolve into Bamber Gascoigne! The evening very quickly descended into chaos as everyone’s competitive spirits kicked in. Overall, it was really good fun, despite a highly contentious tie-breaker being argued over late into the night. Apart from two days of epic skiing in incredible conditions, what really struck us was the number of different and wideranging business discussions this group had. Not only were there opportunities to learn from some very senior professionals and expand personal and professional networks, the high point was having the opportunity to start conversations with new people, which opened up so much potential for companies from very different IT disciplines to do future business together. For many, it wasn’t the conversations they knew they were going to have that made this trip so memorable, but the unexpected ones. You don’t get this from a quick coffee at an exhibition or a visit to a customer’s office. It takes sitting and talking with industry colleagues and peers over a few days in a non-office-based environment. This European Networking Event is now firmly embedded in the calendar and we are already planning for 2025. A big thank you to all those who came along and trusted us to put on a good show. And a special shout out to Knight Corporate Finance and IP Netix respectively for sponsoring the wine at dinner and picking up the tab for lunch on the first day. We’re delighted that everyone who joined us this year are keen to repeat the experience next year! If you would like to join us on the piste in 2025, please get in touch via email, [email protected], to register your interest and secure your place! A copier reseller, a fibre specialist, an IT recruitment head and a hardware distributor walk into a bar…. No, it’s not the reworking of an old joke, but the very start of a brand new outing for Kingswood Tech Events. In late February, over 40 intrepid adventurers placed their lives in the hands of the PrintIT Reseller and Technology Reseller team for four days of networking and fun in the Italian ski resort of Sauze d’Oulx. Back in the spring of 2023, we thought it would be a great idea to organise a skiing/ networking trip. The format was simple: get channel professionals on a ski lift, then in a bar, then in a restaurant, and you have the recipe for a successful networking event. We tentatively booked hotel accommodation for 17 people and very quickly realised we had massively underestimated how well our idea would be received and the number of resellers, vendors and distributors who would want to attend. In the end, we had a total of 41 A fantastic industry getaway! 26th FEB 29th FEB •SKI CLUB NETWORK• Companies in attendance: n Blabbermouth Marketing n FuseGenie n Henley Executive n Voiceflex n ProVu Communications Ltd n F One Technologies Ltd n Zerographic Systems n Toshiba Tec UK n Carritech Limited n PCL Direct Group n ABC Managed Services n Data Direct Thames Valley Ltd n Vorboss n GetCrisp n Nuvem Solutions n Gigabit Networks n Giacom n Stitch AI n Waterloo Business Management n Avalon Events n Converged Comms n Knight Corporate Finance n IP Netix n Navigate Digital n PRAGMA 01732 759725 11 BUSINESS BRIEFING AD Nimans The ‘go to’ place for Microsoft Teams Certified solutions The ‘go to’ people for Microsoft Teams Certified solutions Headsets, Handsets, Audio Conferencing and Meeting rooms solutions.

CSA acquires additional in-house expertise 01732 759725 12 RESELLER NEWS Conscia enters UK with ITGL move Conscia, a European provider of IT infrastructure solutions and cybersecurity services, is spearheading its entry into the UK market with the acquisition of ITGL, a digital transformation provider and fellow Cisco Gold Partner with a 70-strong team and sites in Portsmouth and Oxford. Headquartered in Denmark, Conscia employs over 1,000 people in six countries and serves more than 1,000 customers including five of the six top Nordic banks and three out of every four hospitals in the Netherlands. ITGL is its 17th acquisition in the last 10 years. The move will give ITGL access to additional cybersecurity solutions and enhanced managed service offerings to support clients’ increasingly complex network, data centre, cloud, IoT and mobility requirements. Neil Pemberton, CEO of ITGL, now operating as ‘ITGL, part of Conscia’, said: “By tapping into Conscia’s international network and by leveraging its size and market position, we can deliver extra value while continually expanding and developing the business. Conscia has a strong track record for incorporating new companies and we are excited about what this will mean for ITGL and its new and existing clients.” ... New chapter for Avoira Andrew Roberts, longstanding managing director of Avoira, has acquired the Bury-headquartered technology solutions provider from Nycomm Holdings Ltd. Avoira was initially acquired by Nycomm Holdings in 2017, joining Salfordheadquartered telecoms distributor Nimans in the group. Nycomm subsequently sold Nimans to Midwich in 2022, leaving Avoira as Nycomm Holdings’ only trading business. Roberts has reinvested the funds secured from the sale of his Nycomm shareholding in Avoira and will remain at the helm of the business, with David Bennett stepping down from the NonExecutive Director role. Roberts joined Avoira – then trading as Pennine Telecom – in 1978 as an apprentice radio service technician, rising to become managing director and leader of a management buyout in 2003. Having started out as a two-way radio specialist, Avoira expanded into the telecoms sector in the ‘80s, before embarking on a wider diversification strategy under Roberts’ leadership that has seen turnover grow to £26.5m and headcount rise to 160 across offices in Bury, Bristol, Leeds, London, West Lakes (Cumbria) and Warrington. Today, Avoira’s offering encompasses AV and video-conferencing, customer experience and speech analytics, IT services and cyber security, radio and critical communications and unified communications, contact centre and connectivity solutions. ... Redsquid continues buy and build strategy Redsquid, the Hertfordshire-headquartered MSP, is continuing its buy and build strategy with the completion of its sixth acquisition to date and its third in seven months. The addition of Epoq IT, a Woodburn Green-based MSP, in February, following those of Covue and Connect2 in July 2023, will strengthen Redsquid’s presence in its local area. Sohin Raithatha, CEO and co-founder of Redsquid, said: “We have had a close relationship with Epoq over the years and have followed the strong partnership they have with their customers. With the acquisition, we look forward to introducing the rest of Redsquid’s technology portfolio into their customers’ organisations so they can benefit from the simplicity of having one unified partner through their Digital Transformation.” ... Fifth acquisition in 24 months expands MSP’s reach Managed Service Provider Orbital10 has expanded its coverage in SouthWest England with its fifth acquisition in 24 months, snapping up Yeovil-based cybersecurity and IT support company MCS Computer Support. The addition of MCS’s cybersecurity and support capabilities follows Orbital 10’s previous acquisitions of PC Logix IT services, Tantra Apple Mac services, Think Rethink printer services and Geek Guru IT and cybersecurity services. It continues the Group’s dual-growth strategy: to grow the customer base through the provision and support of a full suite of technology; and to acquire or merge additional businesses into the Group. Orbital 10 CEO Mark Salvin said: “We are continuing to introduce additional services so customers can have one point of contact for all their technical issues and requirements, acting as a technology partner not just a supplier. Different technologies require specialist knowledge as well as evolving, resilient security measures to ensure businesses remain protected and compliant.” Andrew Roberts Cyber Security Associates (CSA), the cyber division of connected cloud solutions provider FluidOne, has acquired specialist cyber risk consulting firm SureCloud Cyber Services from governance, risk and compliance specialist SureCloud. The acquisition will enable CSA to provide customers with a more comprehensive range of cyber security solutions including CREST and NCSCcertified CHECK penetration testing, which it previously sourced through external suppliers. FluidOne invested in CSA as a Centre of Excellence for cyber security in 2020 and now runs it as a separate division on the basis that IT MSPs shouldn’t ‘mark their own homework’. Led by Dave Woodfine, the former commander of the MOD Cyber Defence Unit, CSA excels in Monitoring and Detection, with a particular strength in managed services using Microsoft Sentinel and the wider Microsoft suite of security products. The addition of SureCloud Cyber Services’ expert team of 28 employees adds in-house expertise in penetration testing and cyber risk consulting. The acquisition of SureCloud Cyber Services, following that of CNC in December, takes the FluidOne group to £109m in revenue and 500 employees, with over 50% deployed in IT and cyber security. continued...

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01732 759725 14 RESELLER NEWS He added: “The latest acquisitions provide extensive cross-selling opportunities as well as new business sales. We are already in talks with new potential acquisition opportunities, and we are keen to talk to more business owners who are thinking about an exit strategy.” ... New look, same service Frog IT, a provider of managed IT services and solutions in the Cambridge area, has re-branded as inTEC BUSINESS Cambridge, a year after being acquired by inTEC Group in February 2023. As a Microsoft Solutions Partner for Modern Work, inTEC specialises in the design, implementation and support of a wide range of cloud services and business applications including IT managed services, infrastructure support, hosted collaboration and communication solutions. ... CWCS Managed Hosting to open new Nottingham data centre CWCS Managed Hosting has acquired a 9,300ft building in Nottingham to support growing demand for its managed hosting and data centre services. Headquartered in Nottingham, with locations throughout the UK and USA, CWCS provides 24/7/365 enterprisegrade infrastructure for mission critical data systems, websites and applications through a choice of cloud, bare metal, dedicated servers and colocation services. Karl Mendez, Managing Director of CWCS Managed Hosting, says opening the new data centre this year will enhance its ability to provide customers with a choice of services. He said: “In the last three years, we have embarked on an ambitious growth strategy to expand our portfolio of services through company acquisitions. There’s an increasing demand for hosted solutions, especially private cloud and server colocation where customers want their data in a redundant and secure data centre facility with technicians available 24/7, and that’s exactly what we can offer. Opening a new data centre in Nottingham ensures we can continue to meet the individual needs of our customers.” Sync brings all teams together under one roof Apple authorised reseller Sync is moving all its business operations to new headquarters in the Arbeta building on Northampton Road, Manchester. Sync will be taking three units spanning 12,300 sq ft. and, in addition to its own state-of-the-art facilities, will be able to make use of the building’s collaborative working spaces, meeting rooms and onsite amenities. The relocation, due to be completed this summer, brings all the company’s teams together under one roof and lays the foundation for its pivot away from the consumer sector and its further expansion into the enterprise, education and public sector. As part of the move, Sync will close its Deansgate service centre on March 28, before re-opening it in the summer, once the relocation is complete. Tom Crump, Chief Sales Officer at Sync, said: “The company has recognised the evolving landscape of consumer and retail dynamics, prompting a strategic shift towards education, enterprise and the public sector. As we move into this exciting new phase at Arbeta, we are also recalibrating our focus to align with the evolving needs of the market.” Sync provides hardware, software, training and technical support to organisations across the UK. It has over 200,000 devices under management and combined annual revenues of over £200 million. ... Core to Cloud expands offering with new vendor relationships Cybersecurity services and solutions provider Core to Cloud is enhancing IT teams’ ability to navigate the complicated threat landscape through new partnerships with SenseOn and AppOmni. The SenseOn consolidated threat detection platform leverages Deep Learning to automate the analysis of vast, complex datasets, providing real-time threat detection, investigation and autonomous response capabilities. Its consolidated approach to cybersecurity across identity, endpoint and network interactions increases visibility of the IT infrastructure, while reducing the need for IT teams to manage multiple point products, helping to minimise noise and alert fatigue. AppOmni, a SaaS security posture management (SSPM) pioneer, helps businesses secure their SaaS applications by providing centralised visibility, configuration management and threat detection. Its platform continuously scans and secures the most widely adopted enterprise SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow and others. ... Evolve IP to hold 2024 Partner Day Fast-growing white-label cloud collaboration provider Evolve IP is holding its 2024 Partner Day at the Williams Racing F1 Experience Centre in Grove, Oxfordshire on April 18. Partners will have the opportunity to find out more about the company’s expanding product roadmap, take part in a variety of F1-inspired activities and talk to technology partners exhibiting at the event. These include Akixi, iTel, Dubber, Enghouse, Broadsource, Snom, PromptVoice, PRD Intelligence, Jabra, Yealink and Tango Networks. partner-day-2024 Dark web partnership for DigitalXRAID Award-winning MSSP DigitalXRAID is enhancing its SOC service through a partnership with dark web intelligence company Searchlight Cyber. This will enable the full-service cybersecurity consultancy to use Searchlight’s extensive dark web dataset to proactively safeguard clients’ digital assets (continuously or as part of a one-off engagement e.g. a security audit or incident response) and to offer dark web monitoring as a standalone service through Searchlight. Karl Mendez continued...

15 RESELLER NEWS New Edinburgh office for Abacus Following growth of 15% last year and 21% in 2022, Abacus Group, the alternative investment firm-focused MSP, has opened a new office in central Edinburgh to expand its research and development and customer support capabilities for customers throughout the UK. The MSP, which also has a 40-person office in London, is anticipating growth of 19% this year and a 10-20% increase in headcount. It will be looking to recruit security analysts, cloud architects and systems engineers in the city. ... Apogee sponsoring charity abseil Apogee Corporation, an independent subsidiary of HP Inc, has signed up as lead sponsor of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust Charity Abseil, as part of its commitment to support the communities in which it operates. Taking place on June 15, the fundraising event will see novices and experts abseil 100ft down the side of Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Already, more than 100 people have signed up to take part in the challenge. Dom Gryszan, Director of Marketing at Apogee, said: “This is a really special event to be involved in. Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust are an incredibly important part of the community local to our head office, and this is a fantastic way to bring us together.” ... Tata helps Co-op with cloud-first strategy Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is expanding its 14-year relationship with Coop by moving the consumer co-operative’s IT systems from a traditional data centre model to a fully managed, scalable cloud environment powered by TCS Enterprise Cloud. Co-op is adopting a cloud-first strategy to provide a digital foundation for future growth, shrink its carbon footprint and improve IT resilience and agility. ... Marketing toolkit for ITS full fibre network Abzorb, a unified communications and mobile services provider, has created a marketing toolkit for its resellers, in association with business fibre network provider ITS Technology Group. The toolkit gives reseller partners the resources needed to conduct a ‘white label’ marketing campaign promoting ITS’s ultrafast, 10Gbps-enabled full fibre network for internet and cloud access. Ensor MSP Director Phil Norse said: “The marketing toolkit will be very beneficial to us because we can just add in our logo and send it out. By leveraging Abzorb’s and ITS’s marketing expertise, we will be free to focus on selling. The campaign is well designed and executed and we are looking forward to the new leads and business it generates.” ... Simpson joins the elite Simpson Associates, a data transformation partner specialising in data analytics, AI and managed services, has joined an elite group of Azure app migration experts to have Microsoft Advanced Specialisation in ‘Migrate Enterprise Applications to Microsoft Azure’. The Microsoft-focused digital transformation company already has designations for Data & AI (Azure) and Digital & App Innovation (Azure). lorna.appleton@simpson-associates. ... Global4 partners with ANS Independent technology provider Global 4 and cloud and digital services provider ANS Group have entered into a partnership that will enable both companies to leverage each other’s capabilities to meet the evolving needs of customers. ANS Group, headquartered in Manchester, offers public and private cloud, hosting, security, DevOps, applications and data services. Horsham-based Global4, which recently acquired telecoms, IT and office equipment provider Gemini, giving it a presence in the North of England and Borders, offers a complete service package across hosted telephony, IT, connectivity, energy, business mobile and security. As a member of the ANS partner programme, Global 4 will gain access to an expanded range of digital services, while ANS Group will benefit from opportunities for cross-selling and collaboration. ANS Group CEO Richard Thompson said: “Customers across the UK need assistance with digital transformation and together we can leverage each other’s expertise and experience to deliver worldclass services.” Richard Thompson ANTENNA platform extended to all UK CNI providers FourNet, provider of a secure cloud communications platform and network designed in partnership with the Cabinet Office and trusted by over 40 UK Government departments, is expanding ANTENNA to cover all UK Critical National Infrastructure providers. Hosted in Tier 4 Government Data Centres, the ANTENNA platform offers CNI organisations leading solutions, including next generation firewalls, enhanced SD-WAN security, endpoint, edge and cloud security and 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring and expertise, plus a full spectrum of services including voice, mobile, contact centre, video, messaging and collaboration solutions. Richard Pennington, CEO of FourNet, said: “Due to demand and requests from CNI providers, we are making our award-winning, highly secure ANTENNA cloud platform available to all UK critical national infrastructure (CNI) providers. “Because these organisations are delivering critical services that are fundamental to the smooth running of the country, our economy and the nation’s health and wellbeing, there are bigger barriers to digital transformation and a much higher responsibility and duty of care when it comes to cybersecurity, protection of data and digital resilience. That is exactly what ANTENNA has been designed and built for.” Richard Pennington