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It’s good to chat Artificial intelligence is becoming more mainstream and will make an impact in the channel in time – but there are other technologies that present opportunities now.
to generate a small part of his article in last month’s issue. Indeed, there are thoughts that it could be used to generate content for newspapers and magazines in the future. However, that is some way off yet – there is no substitute for a human-generated interview and reportage – and critics point out that its copy often needs significant editing by a human journalist. Well, at least I hope that it is some way off from generating content… While ChatGPT and their ilk – Google and others are working on their own versions – are still emerging technologies and will undoubtedly have a greater impact on the channel in the years to come and provide new solutions for end users and opportunities for resellers there are plenty of technologies out there that present opportunities for resellers to make some money. For instance, data destruction can provide a profitable revenue stream for businesses in the channel. Businesses are generating more data than ever before, but when that has to be disposed of, great care needs to be taken, due to compliance issues, data protection and security – and specialists can make money from this. More on page 16. Elsewhere in the issue, we have an interview with Phylip Morgan and Chloe Cameron from Pax8, which has had dramatic growth since it launched in the UK two years ago. In it, Phylip describes how Pax8 is looking to fix what they see as a broken channel. Read more on page 12. As ever, I hope you enjoy the issue. If you have issues you want us to cover in future issues, or you want to get involved in editorial or advertising, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m old enough to remember when artificial intelligence (AI) was still the stuff of science fiction. Now, I’m worried it might take my job. Unless you’ve been living under a rock this year, you’ll have heard of ChatGPT, the AI app that gained more than one million users within a week of its launch and has rocketed the company behind it, OpenAI, into the top 50 of global websites, with traffic increasing by 3,572%, from 18.3 million to 672 million visits after ChatGPT’s release at the end of November. ChatGTP is an advanced chatbot that can help with anything from coding to content creation using its vast database of knowledge. It can also ask follow-up questions and learn from its mistakes. Our resident data analyst, Wickus, has been getting excited about it, as have many others around the world. He even used it
CALLING ALL BRANDS
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News You should know p6 New in the Channel Hot products p10 Profile Pax8 p12 Data Destruction Effectively and securely p16 2023 Challenges Exertis asked p21 Cover Story Safer data centres p22 Adaptive Digital Workplaces Bringing Efficiency p24 Billing Stick it on the bill p26 Hyperscale Coming of age p37 Peripherals Don’t overlook them p42 UPS Market Realise the promise p46 SYNAXON Progressive partners p50
Billing – p26
Profile: Pax8 – p12
Pax8 might be relative newcomers to the UK and EMEA markets, but they are determined to shake the sector up and bring better services to customers by taking a different approach to the norm.
Billing software is becoming increasingly important for businesses that want to differentiate themselves from their competitors or become more efficient.
2023 Challenges – p21
With a new year comes new expectations and challenges. Exertis has spoken to a range of its partners about where their tech focus will be.
Data Destruction – p16
SYNAXON has helped its partners to weather the storms of recent years and now, with the channel in a healthier place, they and SYNAXON are primed to grow and take advantage of new opportunities. Progressive Partnerships – p50
With businesses producing more data than ever before, the need for it to be destroyed effectively and securely has never been more important – and legislation means it must be taken seriously. This means there are opportunities for resellers in this market.
People Moves Appointments p52 Business Intelligence Predicting trends p56
UPS Market – p46
Hyperscale – p37
Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ newsinthechannel.com Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ newsinthechannel.com Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ newsinthechannel.com Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of News in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2023 In the Channel Media Ltd.
Data is crucial to the running of many businesses, which means a power outage can be hugely disruptive – and makes ensuring there is provision to stop it is imperative.
With businesses using ever-increasing amounts of data, hyperscale data centres are coming of age – which is creating threats and opportunities.
Cover Story: Safer Data Centres – p22
Hyperscale and colocation data centres are being impacted by the growth of cloud computing.
Eect on Microsoft and Logitech Webcam Sales
Peripherals – p42
Leading brands recover
Peripherals can easily be overlooked by resellers and dealers, but there are opportunities to be had and they can add to the bottom line, especially in the era of hybrid working.
Implied Sales Average Price
Other Brands’ Sales of Webcams
Leading brands recover
Implied Sales Average Price
Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street,
Business Intelligence – p56
Resident analyst Wickus Bester looks at the peripherals market, and how rising prices, and the increasing return to the office for many employees, is affecting it, while looking back over recent years for tips on how to make the best of the situation.
Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:
Vertigo Ventures changes name to hivve
International ImpactTech provider Vertigo Ventures has changed its name to hivve. The update comes into effect across the company’s global entities, including the UK,
mainland Europe and Australasia. The name change is part of a wider
rebranding initiative as the business further invests into developing its ImpactEcosystem, a family of products that helps individuals and organisations meet increasingly complex impact reporting requirements. The Ecosystem comprises products such as ImpactReviewer and ImpactTracker, which empower users to understand, capture, analyse and demonstrate the social, economic, cultural and environmental impact of their activities. “The business has undergone substantial transformation from our 2009 origin as a sustainability consultancy, developing into a
global provider of cloud products and other services,” said Laura Tucker, CEO at hivve. “This new branding better articulates our identity as a rapidly growing SaaS business expanding into new territories around the world, while preserving the values of sustainability, collaboration and authenticity that have underpinned the organisation since inception.” In 2022, the business continued its international expansion into territories such as the US, Poland and the Philippines, and the rebrand marks the next phase of growth for hivve’s technology, client base and community.
Laura Tucker CEO hivve
Arrow Electronics and Synopsys sign pan-European distribution agreement
Global technology provider Arrow Electronics has signed a pan-European distribution agreement with Synopsys, Inc. to deliver the Synopsys Software Integrity Group’s portfolio of application security (AppSec) testing solutions to resellers in EMEA. Arrow and Synopsys will enable customers to enhance the security of their software through the integration of Synopsys’ AppSec portfolio of security solutions. Arrow will resell and deliver joint Synopsys solutions and services, integrate them into DevSecOps workflows and help ensure an optimal customer experience. This will also promote a streamlined procurement experience, enhanced security execution, cloud migration and digital transformation projects. Resellers in Arrow’s network now can sell solutions from the Synopsys portfolio, including: l Coverity® , which offers a fast, accurate and scalable static analysis solution that helps development and security teams address security and quality defects early in the software development lifecycle, track and manage risks across the application portfolio and ensure compliance with security and coding standards l Black Duck® software composition analysis, which helps teams manage the security, quality and license compliance risks that come from the use
of open-source and third-party code in applications and containers l WhiteHat™ Dynamic , which rapidly and accurately identifies vulnerabilities in websites and applications l Polaris Software Integrity Platform® , which provides an integrated, cloud- based application security testing solution optimised for the needs of development and DevSecOps teams with software-as-a-service capabilities for dynamic analysis and software composition analysis l Code Dx , which integrates application security test results into a centralised location and automates the most time- intensive tasks to speed up testing and remediation l Defensics® , which offers a comprehensive, versatile and automated black box fuzzer that enables organizations to efficiently discover and remediate weaknesses in software l Seeker® interactive application security testing, which helps teams automate web security testing within DevOps pipelines l Code Sight™ IDE-based analysis, which performs static analysis and SCA with remediation guidance to address identified vulnerabilities in real time as developers code.
Kaseya expands global partner program
Kaseya, a provider of unified IT management and security software, has expanded its Kaseya + Datto Global Partner Program and its increased investment in channel partners, through doubled marketing development funds (MDF) and a larger team. “Since the Datto acquisition, we’ve been building on their highly successful Global Partner Program to extend its benefits across all of Kaseya,” said Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola. “We’re excited to take the programme to a whole new level with enhanced benefits across all tiers along with a significant increase in our company’s investment in the programme, including growing the team that directly supports our customers to 60 world- class channel professionals.” The Global Partner Program is a tiered system with partners moving up depending on their annual spend – Silver ($1K), Gold ($25K), Platinum ($100K) and Blue Diamond ($250K). Now, customers can combine their Datto and Kaseya spend, meaning that
many of them will qualify at higher levels. Depending on their level, customers get free services such as enablement team support, live technical webinars, 24/7/365 customer support, free passes to industry events, and much more. At DattoCon 2022, Fred announced an increase of more than 300% in the resources for the programme allowing for more assistance in event planning and execution, as well as twice the amount of MDF to directly assist partners in the acceleration of their business. Furthermore, those in the partner programme will get to work directly with Kaseya’s MSP Enablement team to make their events and webinars more strategic to yield the desired results.
Fred Voccola CEO Kaseya
All levels will get access to Powered Services Jumpstart and its marketing
automation tool that allows MSPs to customise sales sheets to their business. This platform will also include exclusive content to assist MSPs through M&A deals.
NormCyber achieves Fortinet accreditation
Managed security service provider for mid-sized organisations, NormCyber, has announced it has achieved Security Operations, Operational Technology (OT), and Cloud Security specialisations as part of the Fortinet Engage Partner Programme. NormCyber is the first MSSP in Europe and only one in six firms across the wider EMEA region to achieve all three specialisations, demonstrating its commitment to helping midmarket organisations bolster their cyber resilience with state-of-the-art tools and practices. A Fortinet partner since 2019, NormCyber has undergone rigorous sales training and multiple technical exams to achieve Advanced status in all three specialisations, proving its ability to deliver the full spectrum of Fortinet’s security solutions with certified staff to handle various implementation requirements. In a fast-moving industry, specialisations focused on market opportunities enabled by the Fortinet Engage Partner Programme help partners to be recognised and valued by current and potential customers as trusted partners which have the expertise, services and technologies they need to fulfil their business needs. “Today, with mid-sized organisations facing
a complex web of cyber security risks and an overwhelming choice for tools, NormCyber prides itself in standing out in the midmarket with its clear and straightforward approach, and with its commitment to partnering with best-of-breed solution providers,” said Paul Cragg, CTO at NormCyber. “Fortinet’s solutions fit perfectly into our strategy and so we take great pride in being the first cyber security services provider in Europe to achieve this hat-trick of specialisations, particularly as it speaks to our SOC team’s strengths.” Guillaume Schlienger, EMEA MSSP security operations leader at Fortinet, added: “Fortinet has developed a very strong relationship with NormCyber since the moment we started working together back in 2019. Their flexible and customer-centric approach to solving the complex cyber security challenges that mid-sized organisations face has enabled them to grow exponentially as a Fortinet partner, and we were delighted to recognise them as our first partner in Europe to achieve these specialisations.”
Paul Cragg CTO NormCyber
TD SYNNEX and VMware give partners opportunity to offer free security self-assessments
TD SYNNEX is giving VMware partners the opportunity to offer customers three high-level security self-assessments worth £27,000 as a way of seeding new business potential. The three surveys being made available cover Ransomware, Cyber Security and vSphere+. The assessments have been created by CapametriX, a specialist consultancy that VMware has been working in partnership with. Sam Darling, cybersecurity business development manager, UK, TD SYNNEX, said: “The CapametriX self-assessment surveys enable the partner to position themselves as a trusted advisor on security to the customer. “They can also take that further and become an authoritative source of intelligence and insight in the vertical market segments in which they focus by aggregating of all their clients’ completed self-assessments and then benchmarking the position of their customers in specific areas. They could, for example, demonstrate to a client in financial services that their stance on multi-factor authentication, identity protection, or some other facet of
security, is not as strong as the one being taken by their peers.” While the self-assessments focus on specific areas, there will also be opportunities to ‘cross-pollinate’, he noted. “We have already been working with a limited number of partners to take the self-assessments out and our experience shows that, in addition to the survey area covered, discussions soon open up on other aspects of cybersecurity, virtualisation and management. The conversion rate has been high.” The assessments are based on solid industry standards and best practices. The cybersecurity evaluation and consultation, for instance, is modelled on the NIST Cybersecurity framework, which sets out standards, guidelines and practices for the protection of critical infrastructure. It enables organisations to quickly assess their core cybersecurity capabilities, confirm strengths and identify any gaps and weaknesses. It generates a recommended action plan that can be used to mitigate risk and improve performance.
Sam Darling cybersecurity business development manager TD SYNNEX
Exertis Enterprise signs Veeam to cybersecurity portfolio
Exertis Enterprise has added Veeam® Software, a leader in modern data protection, to its portfolio – increasing its cybersecurity offering. The partnership is focused on opportunities in the UK and Exertis is an official Veeam Distributor. The vendor provides organisations with resiliency through data security, data recovery and data freedom for their hybrid cloud. The company offers a single platform for all workloads (cloud, virtual, physical, SaaS and kubernetes) that gives businesses the peace of mind their apps and data are protected and always available so that they can keep their businesses running. Veeam’s software is infrastructure-agnostic, allowing for avoidance of proprietary hardware lockin, thus optimising TCO and data mobility. “We are delighted to start this new partnership with Exertis Enterprise and welcome them as a distributor in the United Kingdom,” said Alex Walsh, Channel and Alliances director UKI, Veeam. “Exertis Enterprise is demonstrated experts in cybersecurity and as more businesses focus
on the protection of their business-critical applications and data to provide cyber resiliency against ransomware attacks and cyber threats, it was a natural choice for us to begin this partnership together.” Dominic Ryles, director of sales and commercial – security at Exertis Enterprise, added: “As the global impact of ransomware continues to rise exponentially, there is a fundamental need for organisations to secure their last line of defence by investing in advanced technologies that prepare for potential attacks. I’m excited to announce that we have joined forces with Veeam to deliver modern data protection to our channel partners, enabling them to use a single platform to own, control, and protect all of their customer data, anywhere, across all workloads. “This is an exciting addition as we continue to expand our cybersecurity portfolio to enable our channel partners with the most secure, advanced, and powerful solutions on the market to reduce downtime and data loss, whilst meeting stringent SLAs and generating an additional profitable revenue stream.”
Dominic Ryles director of sales and commercial – security Exertis Enterprise
Redsquid partner with StayPrivate to enhance encryption services
Redsquid has partnered with security partner StayPrivate in a move to bring next generation email encryption into their managed services portfolio. With phishing remaining at the top of security threats, the partnership is designed to help overcome the security challenges that businesses in the UK face and allowing them to finally send secure emails in and out of organisations, as there continue to be a need to exchange personal and sensitive information via email. Adrian Barnard, CRO at StayPrivate, said: “We’re delighted to be working with award winning Redsquid. Helping them serve their clients better is our joy and with Redsquid using StayPrivate themselves it’s a mark of
confidence & surely the best reference a supplier can give its customers.” Sohin Raithatha, CEO of Redsquid, added: “Welcoming StayPrivate into our community as an innovative partner allows us to continue to bring the best cyber security solutions to our customers. We are always looking for the next generation of security tools that can take on the battle against cybercrime and are excited to bring their encryption solution to our customers. “Bringing StayPrivate into Redsquid helps us fulfil our purpose of making a difference to our customers with the use of technology, as we now will be able to provide them with even more cyber security technologies that can enable us to keep thousands of emails secure every day.”
Sohin Raithatha CEO Redqsuid
MSPs and their SME customers still prime ransomware attack targets
MSPs and their SME customers are being heavily targeted by ransomware and phishing attacks, according to new research. N-able’s analysis of its 2022 Mail Assure data compared to 2021, showed an increase in phishing attacks over the prior year, based on over 28 billion emails blocked by the cloud-based email security solution. Specifically, phishing attempts against businesses increased from 776 million to 913 million, an 18% increase year-on-year. There were also five million more attempts by hackers to install viruses on MSP customer servers. In a survey commissioned by N-able, MSPs reported that 82% of customers have seen an increase in attempted cyberattacks, with phishing revealed as the top attack vector. As email continues to be a primary delivery method for malware, with many ransomware attempts delivered this way, these types of targeted attacks can provide a rapid entry point to deliver the payload cybercriminals are desperately seeking. “Cybercriminals are clever, and phishing is, for them, not only cost effective but an incredibly efficient tool in their arsenal. These criminals will continue to deliver well-timed and well-planned spear- phishing attacks against strategically targeted individuals within an organisation to gain the right permissions to execute their actions and objectives,” said Dave MacKinnon, chief security officer at N-able. “To do this, actors will continue to
leverage highly specific spear-phishing emails with the intent of installing malware on even the most cyber-aware companies’ assets. It’s vital to stop as many attempts as possible at the front door, but this strategy on its own isn’t enough.” Lewis Pope, head nerd at N-able, added: “SMEs continue to be attractive targets for cyberattacks so having the right knowledge and education is vital, it’s imperative that MSPs continue to educate on security best practices. For example, the importance of moving away from legacy solutions to help certain defenses such as moving away from standard antivirus and adopting an endpoint detection and response tool. Not only to help prevent these targeted attacks, but to provide the rapid recovery that AV can’t. “Cyber resilience doesn’t need to be complex—an MSP can provide simple solutions to help reduce vulnerabilities and protect SMEs by implementing security controls aligned to the UK’s Cyber Essentials framework, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, CIS Controls, or the upcoming EU Cybersecurity certification framework. These solutions include the use of data protection, proper patch management, email security, 24x7 security monitoring for endpoints, the use of multi-factor authentication, and other tools along with complementary business processes. Not only can this help improve a SME’s cyber resilience but also improve operational efficiencies at the same time.”
Dave MacKinnon chief security officer
Lewis Pope head nerd
NEW IN THE CHANNEL
Datto unveils cloud-managed ethernet switches and secure remote access solutions
Datto has launched its second-generation family of cloud managed switches, along with expansion of the early access for its secure remote access solution, Datto Secure Edge. Additionally, Datto is giving partners new ways to purchase its networking gear. Now, MSPs and SMEs can choose to buy Datto networking solutions with an up-front payment option for hardware coupled with a support service subscription, or put zero down, and have the hardware cost spread out and added to the service subscription. Designed for easy and efficient remote management, Datto switches are all cloud- managed and can be set up and running within minutes. Datto switches come in low, medium and high-density configurations, and include scalable power over ethernet on all copper ports, which eliminates the need for additional and costly power runs or injectors to power endpoints, such as wireless access points, IP cameras, smart lights, point-of-sale systems and more. Four new models are: l DSW100-8P-2G, which includes 8 GbE
copper ports, and 2 SFP optical ports l DSW100-24P-4X, which includes 24 GbE copper ports, and 4 SFP+ optical ports l DSW100-48P-4X, which includes 48 GbE copper ports, and 4 SFP+ optical ports l DSW250-8P-2X, which includes 8 2.5GbE copper ports, and 2 SFP+ optical ports Datto switches complement their existing line of Wi-Fi access points, which support the latest high-performance Wi-Fi 6 standard, as well as their integrated secure router, which provides comprehensive firewall and routing needed for small- to medium-sized businesses. Datto has also expanded global availability of its cloud-based secure remote access solution, Datto Secure Edge, which gives workers next- generation firewall protection from the cloud and advanced networking capabilities needed for today’s SaaS work environments. SaaS and web-based applications often suffer from slow response times when working outside the corporate office. Datto Secure Edge improves latency issues by prioritising SaaS and business application traffic to ensure remote and hybrid workers enjoy a seamless experience while on the road or at home.
Umbraco launches UK data hosting option
Open-source CMS provider Umbraco has launched a UK regional hosting option to support Umbraco Cloud platform users. UK regional hosting is designed to support digital agencies that are developing websites and digital services on Umbraco Cloud, for clients whose data cannot leave the UK. The expanded regional hosting options will allow agencies the flexibility to select whether their Umbraco Cloud projects, data and environments are stored and served in the UK, Western Europe, or the US. The UK regional hosting option makes it easier for British organisations to start, develop and maintain Umbraco Cloud projects, with the reassurance that data will be stored within their own jurisdiction, in compliance with UK data privacy laws. Umbraco Cloud’s managed hosting infrastructure provides 24/7 service monitoring, automatic patching and single-click feature upgrades, allowing development teams to focus on creating their Umbraco CMS projects. “At the beginning of last year, Umbraco
Cloud was exclusively hosted within Microsoft Azure’s Western European region,” said Filip Bech-Larsen, CTO, Umbraco. “As more of our partners have moved to Umbraco Cloud to develop and host their projects, we saw that we needed to expand the regional hosting options to meet the data privacy requirements of countries outside of Europe. We added the US regional hosting option last September. The increased requirement for data sovereignty led a number of our partners to request that Umbraco Cloud also be locally hosted in the UK. The new hosting region provides companies with the reassurance that their information will be stored on servers located within the UK’s borders, with a provider that is compliant with UK data legislation. “Speed matters, and by providing access to a UK hosting option, Umbraco Cloud is now even faster for our UK-based customers. This not only improves service for the end customer but also accelerates development, meaning faster time to market and a better user experience.”
Filip Bech-Larsen CTO Umbraco
The Channel is broken Pax8 might be relative newcomers to the UK and EMEA markets, but they are determined to shake the sector up and bring better services to customers by taking a different approach to the norm.
For an attention-grabbing opening statement in an interview, Phylip Morgan, chief revenue officer at Pax8 EMEA, has one of the best: “In our view, the channel is broken,” he says. “In our industry, we have been saying for years that distribution is broken, and the technology provider is underserved. As we see it, Pax8’s purpose is to power a world of ideas.” It is striking stuff, but Phylip quickly looks to back up his bold assertion, adding that this message was accelerated by the pandemic, which made businesses from artisan coffee shops to small firms of accountants to plumbers tech companies overnight, as they had to conduct much of their business online, whether it was sales, marketing or anything to do with the supply chain. “That accelerated our message to the channel where we no longer think distribution is broken, we’re saying the channel is broken; the whole way about the servicing and supply of those end users that are serviced by the channel – by an MSP, a local computer shop or reseller – they are all underserved and we are here to fix it.” Pax8’s aim is clear: to simplify the way organisations buy, sell, and manage cloud
solutions by providing consolidated billing, automated provisioning and PSA integrations. The technology is backed by 24/7 support, expertise and educational resources. “We want Pax8 to be the world’s favourite cloud marketplace for technology providers,” says Phylip. “That’s our fix for the channel. We can do things differently to the rest of the channel and give customers three primary things. Number one, an account manager to help you grow your business. If you’re an MSP, reseller or whatever, we will take you towards the service model. We will also give you a bill that you can understand. And thirdly, we will give you integrations, APIs and everything that can make your business go like a rocket.” Employing the best But to do that, Pax8 needs to employ the best people, who can get things done, create fixes or develop new solutions. “Every person you speak to at Pax8 will care about you as an individual and be empowered to solve your problem,” says Chloe Cameron, chief people officer, EMEA, at Pax8. “That is at the heart of what we’re trying to do differently. People spend so much time on studies on productivity and the world of work but actually it’s about people operationalising
Phylip Morgan chief revenue officer Pax8 EMEA
Every person you speak to at Pax8 will care about you as an individual and be empowered to solve your problem. “ ”
But Chloe is careful to point out that while the company drives towards psychological safety for employees, it doesn’t mean they are afraid to have difficult conversations when necessary. “You need to know if the experiment has failed, but you need to create the safety,” she says. “It’s not ‘you failed’, it’s that the hypothesis was wrong, and we’ve learned something and now we try something else.” Living it Phylip adds: “Pax8’s values of advocate, innovate, celebrate and elevate are things that we live. “We all love what we do, and while we work hard, we also work smart. We don’t want people to get burnt out, so we call out people that are working crazy hours. We live these values of a great life work balance, noting it’s that way around: you got a life first and you happen to work here. So that’s the way that we approach it. The big thing for us is that we live these values. In 1985, Peter Drucker [late Austrian-American management consultant] uttered his famous phrase ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. It’s about time we all lived it as organisations. “We’re passionate about the soft skills of business and the hard skills. We can talk about the hard things like strategy, execution and cash, but equally important, if we believe that culture eats strategy for breakfast, are the soft things of culture cohesion and the human element.” Chloe says that human element is something that her team obsess over and are constantly seeking feedback on and question to ensure they are still getting it right, and how the culture and working environment can be improved. “While we have an amazing team of engineers who are constantly innovating on the platform, an amazing team who are constantly in the channel community, speaking to partners, finding out how we can serve them better, our mission in the people operations team is to make Pax8 the best place to work,” she says. “While Phylip’s team are promoting this world’s best marketplace, I’m trying to build the world’s best company to work for.” Getting the right fit This ideal extends to recruitment. “We don’t hire for culture fit, we hire for
Chloe Cameron chief people officer, EMEA Pax8
collaboration and empowering them to do their best work.” Chloe adds that this means building up large amounts of trust and psychological safety in the workplace. “Whenever anyone walks through the door, their trust bucket is full,” she says. “Trust is something you receive from day one. That’s really important because I want employees to tell me everything that’s weird or wrong or broken or why on earth do you do it that way? There’s no ‘well, once I pass my probation, then I can give you my list of recommendations for improvement’. That’s not how we do things here. “It is not just the culture where we make it safe to speak up, but operationally, we try to avoid burdensome processes and layers of approval. One of our key statements is forgiveness, not permission. “We do have rules and procedures around the things that really matter. But what is fundamental to us is that we hire adults, we trust them, you cannot have a genuine culture of innovation if you don’t have psychological safety. Not only does it make it an unpleasant place for people to work and it can damage your company, as your ability to service your customers is compromised because you’re stifling what is the lifeblood of any technology business, which is our ability to make changes and adapt to the marketplace.” Phylip adds that it is all about correcting rather than punishing when something doesn’t work. “At Pax8 we say, ‘what do we reward and what do we correct?’ I want to be correct. If something’s wrong, I want it brought to my attention and it can help me be better tomorrow.”
While Phylip’s team are promoting this world’s best marketplace, I’m trying to build the world’s best company to work for. “
culture add,” Chloe says. “We look for what people bring to the business that isn’t already there.” Chloe adds that Pax8 looks to have as low a voluntary churn of employees as possible. “Any organisation needs to self-regulate,” she says. “You shouldn’t expect to keep everyone, but we currently have an organisation that’s grown 800% in its first year and our retention rate is above 85%, which I’m proud of. Sometimes it’s time for people to move on, if they decide they want to go and do something else they go with our blessing. It’s all about a healthy, self-righting culture.” Focus on growth Pax8 has enjoyed rapid growth in terms of sales and personnel in the past two years since it launched in the EMEA region. Phylip says that there are several thousand partners signed up to work with Pax8 across the EMEA region. He adds that growth is still on the agenda for the commercial side of the business, as given his earlier assertion that the channel is broken, he views there being plenty of scope for that. “What customers want is great technology being delivered to them in a friction free painless way,” he says. “Nobody wants to be on a phone call for two hours to tech support trying to get something fixed, or queuing for a credit note or whatever. To quote John Street, Pax8’s CEO, the vision is for us to be the world’s favourite cloud marketplace for technology providers. “Because the MSP is underserved, our mission is to provide a full suite of technology services in every geographical territory. “We are helping MSPs with things like migration services so that they don’t have to
John Street CEO Pax8
have their tech team doing all the consultancy migration support if required. They can back a lot of those services to ours so they can scale their business far more quickly by investing in sales and marketing people rather than technical engineering people, and it is easier to fill the sales roles than the technical engineering ones.” Phylip adds that the main priorities for Pax8 in the coming one-two years are to expand its geographical reach, then expanding its range of partner services. While some will be done organically, he also expects that mergers and acquisitions will be a key way to move into some new territories or buy additional technologies to help serve Pax8’s partners. In just two years, Pax8 has made a big impression in the market, and with the company’s ambition – underpinned by its culture and philosophy – then it is certainly set to continue to be a disruptive influence on the market in the future.
Nobody wants to be on a phone call for two hours to tech support trying to get something fixed, or queuing for a credit note or whatever “
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Appetite for destruction With businesses producing more data than ever before, the need for it to be destroyed effectively and securely has never been more important – and legislation means it must be taken seriously. This means there are opportunities for resellers in this market.
Data is being produced in ever increasing quantities by businesses, as technology evolves to enable them to drill down into sales and product data like never before. This means that it has to be stored securely, but also disposed of securely when it is deemed no longer of worth to the business. Breaches of data security are regularly in the headlines, and can cause severe damage to a business, both financial and reputational. The costs of a data breach rose by 13% from 2020 to 2022, with the global average cost being about $4.35 million, according to data from IBM. Additionally, in 2021, researchers at the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo found that one-third of online equipment resellers had erased data using insecure methods or not erased it at all – so a gap for the service exists in addition to the need. There are also the legal considerations, such as GDPR, as Lawrence Maidment, head of data media services at Titan Data Solutions, notes: “The implications of an infringement of breaching DPA 2018 (GDPR) are costly and apart from the lasting damage to corporate reputation, the financial impact could be devastating.” Lawrence adds that while most large organisations are acutely aware of the
risks posed by the disposal of data bearing IT assets and have robust policies and procedures in place to ensure that they are protected from the risk of a data breach, tape media often seems to sometimes be treated as an afterthought and the fact that it can hold huge amount of data can be overlooked. “I have seen numerous incidents of used tapes being sold by brokers, non-specialised disposal companies and even non accredited ITAD’s over the years,” he says. “We have also seen many examples where used cartridges have been cleaned up and repackaged for sale as new and still have the original users’ data on the tape. “It is vital that any company disposing of tape works with a proven partner who fully understands the product and can be trusted to use approved equipment and processes for the job. “There are various secure ways available to dispose of data on tape and Titan is well placed to help advise and provide the appropriate methods, services and equipment for any requirement.” Methods of destruction There are various methods of destroying data, as Richard Miller, managing director of Addition International, explains. “Secure destruction falls predominately into three main
Richard Miller managing director Addition International
areas: off-site, on-site and recycling. “With off-site, there is a secure collection from offices of all redundant assets, which are brought back to the facility and securely wiped with industry standard software and the constituent parts broken down and recycled. All data holding components, HDD and the like should be shredded to secure level required. “On-site is for the more security conscious facilities, where data can’t leave the facility. This is usually for data holding component parts HDD/Media/SD card/USB/CD/FD and the like, being shredded to the secure level size. “With wipe and recycle, again facilities may realise some rebate on hardware, therefore wiping and recycling hardware can secure the data but render the hardware operable for charity, school or resale.” But as Richard notes, it must be ensured that shredding is done correctly and down to secure sizes, otherwise there is the risk it could be pieced back together. “The main issue is it does not remove any of the data stored, instead, it makes it a more complex jigsaw,” adds Gavin Griffiths, managing director of Insurgo Media Services Ltd. “We also have issues concerning the CM Chip which is around 1mm in length and width and a few microns thick that is contained in all modern tape formats. The CM chip holds varying amounts of data depending on the generation and can also be written to by companies that wish to add more information to the chip.”
recorded data is removed and renders the tape unusable, the internal CM chip still needs addressing, especially in the more modern tapes, as degaussing does not impact the chip.
Gavin Griffiths managing director Insurgo Media Services
There’s no coming back from 800 degrees and it’s a good way of achieving nothingness. But unfortunately, you’ve got environmental “
“Degaussing also needs to be paired with another disposal method either landfill or incineration. Incineration is total as there is no coming back from 800 degrees, and it’s a good way of achieving nothingness,” says Gavin. “But unfortunately, you’ve got environmental impacts that come with it, and you can’t dispose of a tape wholly in waste to energy plants. “We also have information from the NSCS website talking about cold spots aspect in some plant designs and that data bearing surfaces can be inadvertently protected from heat. They advise companies to make sure any incineration facilities used are aware of this problem and ask how they can prevent a failure of this nature before using them to dispose of data bearing assets. “I guess there is an element of risk in every stage of data disposal aspects, and if a failure point were to happen in each, companies could be exposed.”
impacts that come with it.
Another method is degaussing. This is where data stored on computer and laptop hard drives, floppy disks and magnetic tape, is exposed to strong magnetic fields that randomly changing the alignment of magnetic domains on the medium, meaning the data is unrecoverable. “Degaussing is probably the best data destruction method when done correctly,” says Gavin. “It should have some external check afterward to ensure its coercivity is the level required and data removed. If the
Gavin adds that he believes some companies will continue to shred and incinerate their data. “Some people in
environmental positions are not doing their duty to the corporate they represent because some do not recognise that they are burning harmful toxin into the environment.” Opportunities for resellers Insurgo has invented and patented a forensically proven method called KIT ® that
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100% securely erases data but enables the product to be recycled and resold back into the marketplace. “We have a three-stage Partnership programme that includes the likes of Iron Mountain, Procurri and Crown Records Management in which companies can heighten their environmental profile by offering their customers an eco-friendly option of tape media data destruction and recycling,” explains Gavin. “The partner programmes Insurgo operate are just some of those on the market that resellers can also tap into and benefit from.” Gavin adds that resellers could take several options in this program. “Resellers can only want to destroy tapes or resell the recycled tapes or both. Insurgo has started branding media for companies whereby they put their brand on the certified product with a lifetime warranty. With our partnerships, resellers have access other stocks of other technology partners, so that world also opens up to them. “We have 100% traceability, 100% security. And we are the only company in the world offering this to such a high level; we have patents granted in the UK, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico, Russia, China, South Africa and pending in over 40 other countries with no objections currently.”
environmental issues facing the world today,” says Richard. “The UN estimates that more than 57 million tonnes of ewaste is generated globally every year. If nothing is done, this will more than double by 2050, to 120 million tonnes, according to a World Economic Forum report from 2019. “In the UK alone, 1.5 million tonnes of ewaste are generated annually. A recent report by Material Focus stated that more than 200,000 tonnes of UK business electricals are improperly disposed of each year, including by fly tipping and landfill.” This means that the circular economy and putting electronic products back into the market for future use, will be increasingly important. “Not all ewaste, should be scrapped or rendered unusable,” Richard says.
The UN estimates that more than 57 million tonnes of ewaste is generated globally every year. If nothing is done, this will more than double by 2050, to 120 million tonnes, according to a World Economic Forum report from 2019. “
Tape media is a growing market – estimated to reach nearly $10 billion globally by 2030, with growth of about 12% year-on-year Gavin adds. “The market space is huge,” he says. “In my professional opinion, it will grow by more than the that which is forecast.” Waste not Another growing market is sustainability, and resellers looking to sell recycled products can tap into this. No only does it ensure plastic is reused and has a longer lifecycle, it also means it doesn’t contribute to the growing problem of electronic waste (ewaste). “Ewaste is one of the fastest-growing
“Technology lifecycle management services empower businesses and the public sector to measure and reduce the environmental impact of their technology.” Ongoing opportunities As this article shows, there are likely to be ongoing opportunities for resellers in the data destruction sector in the coming months and years as the amount of data that businesses produce continues to climb. There are various options for resellers but it is a vital service and one that can provide a regular income stream from regular customers.
TECH INDUSTRY CHALLENGES
New year, new tech
With a new year comes new expectations and challenges. Here, Exertis has spoken to a range of its partners about where their tech focus will be.
With a new year comes new challenges and focuses for the tech industry. And 2023 is no different; with the cost-of-living crisis hitting everyone, and sustainability at the forefront of most of our minds, how is the tech industry going to adapt? Experts predict that there will be a focus on cybersecurity, sustainability and automation, as well as streamlining the security process. We have spoken to a handful of our partners with Exertis about how they are approaching the upcoming year, and where their focus will be, so you know how you can future-proof your business with new tech. Increasing numbers of organisations are adopting more sustainable options for their tech. Buy-back programs
can be recycled into new components. Or adopting a cloud-based server to reduce the amount of physical components needed. A hybrid working method is also popular with a lot of organisations that are able to offer it. Having the correct hardware in place to allow access for employees to critical internal information wherever they need to work from is a must. Providing the correct security for this process is also important. Data breaches are incredibly dangerous and can be expensive – in money and reputational terms – both for individuals and organisations. Keeping your cybersecurity solutions up-to-date with backups and recovery software can help to ease the damage caused by breaches, and to reduce the possibility of one happening at all. The use of cloud software and services for security or to perform tasks that would usually be done by large amounts of physical hardware is becoming more and more appealing. This method reduces cost, improves scalability, and allows for simple, easy data management. There are also many developments upcoming soon that manufacturers are preparing for now. Developments in new WiFi bands will see faster, more reliable and more consistent internet connection, which will likely appeal to countless industries. Using DPUs in data centres is also becoming more common as fully programmable processors
are becoming more popular, allowing the option to trade back outdated tech which
can offload and improve application performance
with the use of AI. Even the way data is stored is developing, bringing new generations of pre-existing technology to continue to improve speed and reliability.
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