News in the Channel - October 2022

News in the Channel magazine for everyone working in the channel – manufacturers, distributors, VARs, MSPs, system integrators and other resellers and dealers


October 2022

Cybersecurity Growth The future of & Opportunities for


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Welcome to News in the Channel While our first issue may come out during an economic storm, the sector is more than resilient enough to weather it.

new developments in videoconferencing and how digitisation is coming to the legal sector. Also, as the past few years have demonstrated, businesses in the channel are immensely resilient and, when faced with unprecedented economic situations, can adapt quickly and find new ways to sell to customers and bring in revenue. There is also a camaraderie in this industry that is seldom seen elsewhere, with businesses prepared to help each other out if they can – knowing that we are all in this together and a strong channel benefits everyone. I’m sure that it is these qualities that will come to the fore in the industry again over the coming months – or however long it takes for this economic storm to blow over. Here at News in the Channel , in future issues we will be looking to give readers the latest news and product releases along with insights into the industry from leading players and features containing practical advice that can be applied to your business – whether that is sales tips, new products to feature or ways to run more efficiently and more – to help you to not just survive but thrive, now and in the future. I hope you enjoy the issue. If there are any topics you would like to see covered in future issues, or you wanted to get involved in editorial or advertising, please contact me – it would be great to hear from you! Email me at

Welcome to the first issue of News in the Channel , a brand new magazine for everyone working in the channel – manufacturers, distributors, VARs, MSPs, system integrators and other resellers and dealers – bringing together the best of the channel in one easily-digestible read. What a time to be launching a new magazine! Our first issue lands during what can reasonably be described as a “difficult” time for the UK economy and the businesses operating within it. With many businesses in the channel – and beyond – still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, they are now being tested by rising costs across the board, from fuel and energy through to raw materials and products. While there were already problems for the sector early this year – increased shipping costs, for instance – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March served to make matters a whole lot worse as energy costs were sent soaring and they have yet to come back down, nor do they look likely to in the next few months. With the government’s mini-budget in September seemingly making the situation worse – at the time of writing the pound is still at low levels against the dollar, which many materials and goods are priced in – it means that the current difficult economic climate is set to continue for some time to come. But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Elsewhere in this issue, we cover more positive stories, such as

Dan Parton

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News You should know p6

Digitisation – p40

Videoconferencing Solutions – p19

New in the Channel Hot products p12 Video- conferencing Solutions The two main choices p19 Interview Alex Tatham p29

The era of legal sector digitisation has arrived and could become a key source of business growth for the reseller community in the years to come. But only if they can provide the right solution.

Konftel’s Jeff May explains why there are two choices emerging for video meeting room investments – and the advantages and disadvantages of both.

IT Law Legal issues for Software providers p34 Rising Costs Impact on the Channel p35 Digitisation Canon scanning p40

Interview – p29

Industry expert Alex Tatham says that while it is a tough time for technology resellers, there are still nevertheless opportunities for new sales to be grabbed and to grow the business.

IT Law – p34



Software Prima Software merger p42 Security Hybrid working p45 On the Move Appointments p46 Business Intelligence Data driven p50






Rising Costs – p35

Rising costs have impacted the channel in many ways – from the price of raw materials to the cost of energy and fuel to increasing inflation – but what effect it is having on businesses and how can they try to mitigate it?

Phil Parkinson, head of the Commercial Law team at Blacks Solicitors, shares advice on what software providers need to be aware of in their day-to-day work and how to identify what may cause potential issues later down the line.



Software – p42

On the Move – p46

HR changes at Konica Minolta, Northamber, Exclusive Networks, Nectere, Exertis, Brother UK

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of News in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2022 In the Channel Media Ltd.

Cybersecurity Growth The future of & Opportunities for Cover Story – p21 Prima Software has recently announced news of a merger with Foresight Technology, and now plans to develop its range of business intelligence and advanced reporting solutions for the reseller channel.

Exclusive Networks Fortinet The future of cybersecurity and opportunites for growth

Trend of searches on Stock in the Channel before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (Feb 2018 - Jan 2021) With many organisations committed to hybrid working, James Stacey asks how IT resellers can help their customers maintain system security when workforces are dispersed.



Insider Information – p50




Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:

Source: Stock in the Channel


In the first of a new series, Wickus Bester analyses data from Stock in the Channel to reveal trends in the market. Here, he looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the UK laptop market.

Security – p45



KLM UK extends relationship with PaperCut MF

Epson’s heat-free print solutions are now available to the Scottish public sector for the first time through the National Framework for Managed Print Solutions, the only compliant route to procuring managed print solutions in Scotland. The public sector can procure Epson MPS solutions from one of its approved subcontractor reseller partners, including Active Office, Carbon Group, Highland Copiers, Metrik Solutions and Social Print & Copy. Epson’s heat-free inkjet printers consume up to 83% less energy than laser printers and use up to 96%1 above fewer consumables. The broad geographic coverage of Epson’s resellers means that Epson can offer Scotland’s public sector the same quality of service across all of Scotland. The combination of a sustainable printing portfolio delivered by Epson’s resellers, all experts in their field and entrusted members of their local communities, is unique among other printer offerings available on Procurement Scotland. “Epson’s inclusion in Procurement Scotland demonstrates just how important sustainability is becoming in the procurement criteria for the public sector,” said Dominic Kennedy, public sector account manager for Epson UK. “We are privileged to be on this framework and to be delivering cutting-edge solutions with all the personable qualities of a local service thanks to our resellers in Scotland.” In addition to MPS solutions, a comprehensive catalogue of Epson imaging technologies is also available to purchase as part of Epson’s placement on Procurement Scotland includin all A4 and A3 printers, large format printers, label printers and its sheetfed and flatbed scanners. between 5,000 and 20,000 sheets of paper. To bring that down, PaperCut MF will work with a new Maintenance, Repairs and Operations process scheduled for 2025 that will help KLM UK to reduce print output by 60%. “PaperCut MF will play a key role in our long-term strategy to drive down print costs and volumes, while ensuring print is easy and secure for all of our team members,” said Mark Walker, IT Manager at KLM UK. “Furthermore, as the airline industry emerges from the pandemic, PaperCut has shown that it can scale easily to our new needs as driven by our site expansion and evolving IT estate.” Sustainable heat-free printing now accessible to Scotland’s public sector

PaperCut has extended its relationship with aerospace maintenance firm KLM UK Engineering Ltd, in line with the engineering company’s long- term strategy to reduce its print output by 60%. The additional licences procured by KLM UK for PaperCut MF – which provides print management for printers and MFDs – will also support its growing print estate located across its recently expanded site in Norwich, which accommodates 500 users, 500 endpoints and 54 virtual machines hosted on 12 physical hosts. KLM UK provides maintenance for various aircraft. Each aircraft check currently generates

Flexson, an Exertis brand and creators of innovative solutions for Sonos products, has won the award for Best Rack or Mounting Product at the Smart Building Awards 2022, for its Flexson Wall Mount for Sonos Ray. The Flexson Wall Mount for Sonos Ray is perfect for a home cinema setup, and is precision engineered for sturdy positioning anywhere on the wall. Flexson’s cable management system channels cables though a non-intrusive hole and chases them into the wall for a tidy installation. The Flexson SRWM has multiple fixing points and a one- part design for a quick and easy installation. The one-part design also helps to reduce the amount of package needed for shipping. Flexson is dedicated to creating high-quality accessories for the whole Sonos range. Its expert product designers are committed to devising innovative and practical solutions to create sleek installations and help customers make the most from their wireless sound system. Flexson Wins Best Rack or Mounting Product at the Smart Building Awards 2022



Valsoft enters MPS space with acquisitions of MPS Monitor and Euroform

Canadian software company Valsoft Corporation Inc has entered the managed print service space by acquiring Italy-based MPS Monitor s.r.l and Denmark-based Euroform A/S, two leading developers and providers of remote monitoring and management and managed print services SaaS solutions for the print industry. Valsoft has acquired 100% of MPS Monitor and Euroform and will be leveraging the leading market positioning, product strength, and expertise of the two combined companies to provide an integrated SaaS offering to dealers and managed print providers across the world. “We are very excited to enter the printing management vertical through our acquisition of both EuroForm and MPS Monitor,” said Michael Assi, CEO of Aspire Software, the operating division of Valsoft. “The talented teams, company values, and

established position in the market of these great companies combined, will make this a platform acquisition poised for continued future growth and continuous product innovation for years to come.” Valsoft’s entry into the MPS market will be led by Nicola De Blasi, who will maintain his role as CEO of MPS Monitor, while also taking on the role of CEO of Euroform. “This is an extremely exciting moment in the history of MPS Monitor and Euroform, our customers and our combined team,” explained Nicola. “We’re about to embark on a whole new chapter supported by the resources, experience, and global footprint of Valsoft. With the formation of Managed Print Services Vertical, Valsoft has created a solutions powerhouse that’s ready and able to address the challenges of managed print customers and providers globally.”

NortonLifeLock completes Avast acquisition

Cyber safety provider NortonLifeLock has completed its previously announced acquisition of Avast. With the completion of the transaction, trading in Avast shares was suspended on September 12, and the shares were delisted from the London Stock Exchange on September 13. As it starts merging its operations, the combined company will soon announce a new name. It will also begin trading under a new stock ticker under the new company name on NASDAQ. Until that time, the combined company will operate as NortonLifeLock Inc. and continue trading on NASDAQ. “We believe that everyone deserves the freedom to live their digital lives to the fullest,” said Vincent Pilette, CEO of NortonLifeLock and the combined company. “Half a billion users trust us to protect and empower their digital lives, and now that NortonLifeLock and Avast have come together, we plan to redefine and reimagine Cyber Safety for consumers and small businesses around the world.”

Sustainable office technology supplier XBM Ltd has acquired iDOC Services Ltd, a London-based, UK wide reseller of Epson’s heat-free inkjet printers and other digital document solutions. XBM is Epson’s second largest MPS reseller – including heat-free inkjet solutions – and one of only three Epson Solutions+ Platinum Partners. Meanwhile, since its foundation in 2017, iDOC Services has established a diverse and loyal customer base, many committed to Epson’s heat- free inkjet solutions. “We want to lead the expansion of our business with future-proof technologies, and Epson’s eco-conscious print portfolio is standing out in this area,” said Richard Taylor, managing director at XBM. “Sustainability has never been more prominent in the print industry and acquiring XBM acquires iDOC Services

another dealer and customer base that shares this sentiment only strengthens our pursuit to become the UK’s leading managed print provider.” Mark Moore, the outgoing managing director of iDOC Services, added: “Our priority for the acquisition is ensuring the consistency of good service for our customers across the country, and with XBM I know we’re leaving them in good hands. It’s also important to know iDOC is remaining a part of the Epson family and that its legacy for reducing the environmental impact of its customers through the technology they use will live on through XBM.” Following it’s rebranding in 2021, XBM announced plans to expand rapidly through acquisitions and new business at their Q3 Launch in July, and this is the first publicly announced takeover since then.



Exertis Enterprise expands partnership with NetSecOps

Exertis Enterprise has expanded its partnership agreement with Progress, a provider of infrastructure software, to extend the coverage of Progress’ leading NetSecOps products in the UK. Through this expansion, Exertis Enterprise will have increased access to customer-valued Progress® WhatsUp® Gold IT infrastructure monitoring software and Progress® Flowmon® network visibility and security solution, after having previously offered Progress® Kemp® LoadMaster® load balancer for many years. The Progress portfolio offered through Exertis Enterprise includes the following products: l  WhatsUp Gold: A unified and easy-to-use IT infrastructure monitoring solution that helps IT staff proactively find and fix problems fast while providing outstanding value in time and cost savings. Customers have an at-a-glance dashboard and an interactive map for visibility into the status and performance of networks, servers, storage devices, network traffic,

device configurations and applications across on-premises and in the cloud with a single network interface l  Flowmon: A comprehensive network security and visibility solution with automated response across hybrid cloud ecosystems l  Kemp LoadMaster: Flexible application delivery and security solutions offering cloud- native, virtual and hardware load balancers. “We’re excited to extend our Progress portfolio, and we are looking forward to providing new and existing partners with access to its world-class infrastructure solutions,” said Dominic Ryles, director of sales and commercial – security at Exertis Enterprise. “Progress strengthens our security portfolio, and the two new additions, Flowmon and WhatsUp Gold, gives us the opportunity to better service our partners and their customers with Network Detection & Response services and Observability and Monitoring tools, in order to defend against the emerging threats which we see in the landscape.”

Dominic Ryles

Ingram Micro partners with Vestel

Ingram Micro has announced a new collaboration with technology provider Vestel focusing on leading- edge AV products. The collaboration creates a new opportunity for Ingram Micro resellers, within the Pro AV division, through Vestel’s extensive product portfolio, which includes a digital signage and interactive displays to support businesses across a variety of use cases. Jamie Fernandez, business manager at Ingram Micro, said the company was “delighted” to be working with Vestel. “Offering a range of 32in to 98in digital signage as well as interactive touch sisplay in stock ready for next day delivery, Ingram are supporting with an exclusive one year free Now Signage License on selected models providing the complete hardware and software solution.”

Mimecast partners with Exclusive Networks to combat cyberattacks

Email and collaboration security company Mimecast has partnered with cyber security specialist distributor, Exclusive Networks, to enable more companies to work protected against cyberattacks. To support the UKI launch, Exclusive Networks has recruited and will continue to expand and enable a team that is dedicated to Mimecast. Once fully in place, it is hoped the extended channel team across both organisations will increase new business performance by more than 50% over the next two years and beyond. This partnership announcement forms a key pillar of Mimecast’s growth plans and is being rolled out in the UK and Ireland, the Middle East and Israel with further regional expansion plans being discussed for roll-out through to March 31, 2023. “This partnership will make it easier for the

channel community to do business with Mimecast by simplifying engagement and it will enhance their partnership journey from day one onboarding, through to technical and sales enablement, whilst at the same time activating additional resources, skills and services that extend our channel, drive demand and reach more customers that we can help work protected,” said Tom Corrigan, director, Distribution and Systems Integrators EMEA at Mimecast. Matt Paynter, vendor alliances director, Exclusive Networks UK and Ireland, added: “Partners will benefit from our services first approach, providing a breadth of services at every stage of the sales cycle to support business growth. It’s also an exciting time as we add to our Vendor eco-system, our portfolio offers multiple strategic alliances for Mimecast which opens more opportunity for our partners to explore.”



Value added distributor Northamber plc has signed a distribution agreement with Yealink Network Technology Co Ltd. The agreement sees Northamber promote and distribute Yealink’s range of voice and video solutions for Microsoft Teams and Zoom platforms. “Yealink is one of the most exciting providers of unified communication and collaboration solutions,” said Peter Dosanjh, director of AV at Northamber. “The new distribution agreement will deliver significant benefits to our reseller partners, combining the quality of Yealink’s video conferencing, voice communications, and collaboration products with the 42 years’ experience from Northamber. The partnership with Yealink provides a complementary offering to our existing portfolio and provides resellers with a complete workspace collaboration solution. This is combined with our high level of technical, finance, logistics and marketing support we deliver to all our channel partners.” Mark Sumner, Yealink business manager at Northamber AV, added: “Yealink works closely with Microsoft and Zoom to ensure its technology fully supports and complements the Microsoft Teams and Zoom Rooms platforms, with the aim of maximising the effectiveness of all platform features. Yealink solutions are certified for Microsoft Teams and Zooms Rooms, meaning a higher quality collaboration experience can be shared amongst users, whilst being easily managed with confidence.” Northamber signs distribution agreement with Yealink

AFL Hyperscale has announced a new partnership with Comtec, which will see the latter distribute a selection of AFL Hyperscale’s products and solutions, including the U-Series and H-Series ranges to their customers, as well as collaborate on co-branded campaigns and events. Comtec, part of the ETC Group, is one of the UK’s largest value-added distributors supplying communications products. “We are delighted to welcome Comtec onto the AFL Hyperscale Partner Program,” said Steve Neal, AFL Hyperscale and Comtec announce partnership

strategic sales director, AFL Hyperscale. “Comtec are a perfect partner for AFL

Total distribution™

Hyperscale’s differentiated group fiber connectivity product solutions and we very much look forward to our future collaborations, satisfying the many opportunities presented by the data center industry and its continued growth and vibrancy.” Comtec joined the AFL Hyperscale Partner program following their acquisition by ETC Group. ETC Group has been a French partner of AFL Hyperscale for several years. In addition, AFL Hyperscale’s specialist products and expertise will further facilitate Comtec’s presence in the data center sector. “We’re delighted to add AFL Hyperscale’s high performing connectivity solutions to our data center offering,” said Steve Melay, Comtec enterprise sales director. “Their collaborative and responsive customer approach aligns well with our own and we look forward to building on existing ETC relationship as we support our customers to scale up their datacentre infrastructure.”

Kinly and Utelogy form strategic partnership

Kinly has formed a strategic partnership with workplace software specialist, Utelogy. The partnership strengthens Kinly’s end-to-end capabilities with the addition of remote monitoring and management as a service, increasing uptime and productivity for Kinly customers. The partnership strengthens Kinly’s value proposition with the addition of agnostic, non- intrusive remote management software that pre- empts and solves issues, without impacting the end user. Not only does the software provide automated remote diagnostics and room readiness capabilities, but it also gives the end user room and device usage data, which provides the agility for informed business decisions to be made in real time. Combined with Kinly’s expertise in UCC technology design and deployment, the inclusion

of Utelogy software delivers a best-in-class managed service portfolio that maximises uptime, productivity and ROI. Kinly is now positioned to provide Utelogy licenses to its customers and offer 24/7 monitoring as a service, meaning there is no need for customers to upskill their IT teams. Jean-Paul Lemmens, global procurement director, Kinly, said: “We look forward to combining Kinly’s know-how and extensive partner network with Utelogy’s expertise in remote management and monitoring to maximise efficiency and revenue for Kinly customers worldwide.” Kevin Morrison, CEO, Utelogy, added: “We are excited to extend the benefits of Utelogy’s software into an expanded customer base by leveraging Kinly’s international reach and expertise in AV and UCC technologies.”



VOW Wholesale announces enhanced suite of initiatives as part of its service offering

through seamless real-time tracking l VOW Specials for bespoke product sourcing, whereby customers can raise a request via VOW’s Self-Serve Portal, which will then be handled by a dedicated team to source and quote on non-stocked items, saving resellers precious time and resource. “We understand and recognise that times have been tough for our resellers over the past few years, and the challenges seem to keep on coming,” said Adrian Butler, VOW Wholesale MD. “We are determined to support our loyal customers with positive steps forward. We have listened carefully to the open and honest feedback we have received, which has helped us identify some crucial steps towards a more sustainable and collaborative future for resellers, VOW and the industry as a whole. “With our experienced teams behind each initiative, I am excited to see where these developments will take us. We see great positivity for the future, and we will continue to move forward and make improvements utilising the feedback and support we gratefully receive from our valued customers. Now more than ever we are stronger together.”

VOW has announced it is expanding and enhancing its value added services to help customers to weather the current economic climate and rising costs in many areas. On top of its existing service offering, VOW has announced a suite of supportive measures, which includes: l An Incremental Growth Rebate to facilitate improved commercial terms to help soften cost of goods increases. This scheme allows resellers to gain up to a 30% rebate on incremental purchases in the Traditional and Facilities categories l The re-introduction of timed AM dealer drops to provide greater all-round service flexibility and enable qualifying resellers the option to receive deliveries at a time that then allows for better planning of onward delivery on their own vans l Improved order tracking visibility through commencement of end-to-end scanning for all deliveries made via Truline. This development provides complete visibility of all orders within VOW’s Self-Serve Portal,

Zyxel launches Just Connect campaign

Networking, security and cloud-based management solutions provider Zyxel has

“The whole idea of the Just Connect programme is to get across just how easy it is to deploy and manage Zyxel networking solutions”, said Rachel Rothwell, regional director for the UK and Ireland at Zyxel. “With a growing range of devices that can be pre-configured and automatically installed, and a proven management platform in Nebula, we have a really strong value proposition, both for customers and MSPs. We are already weaving the Just Connect message into our communications and we expect that to raise awareness and boost uptake of Nebula even more.” Zyxel has a really good proposition for MSPs, she added. “We only launched our MSP Evolve partner programme in April and we have already signed- up more than 50 partners. By placing Nebula at the heart of their managed services offering, MSPs can provide a great service and experience for customers, while reducing their own costs and growing their business.” The Zyxel MSP Evolve programme makes it as simple as possible for resellers to get their managed services business up and running. It provides partners with exclusive pre- and post- sales support and access to exclusive educational resources on the Nebula cloud.

launched its Just Connect programme to raise awareness of its easy-to-deploy and manage solutions among end user customers and partners. The campaign places a strong emphasis on Nebula, Zyxel’s managed services platform that provides simple remote monitoring and management of the network from any device. Zyxel has seen exponential growth in the use of Nebula over the past 12 months with many MSPs adopting it as their standard management platform. Across the EMEA region, activation rates and the number of devices registered on Nebula have both grown by more than 100% year-on-year. The Just Connect campaign focuses on SMBs and mid-sized organisations and the partners that target these markets. Part of the campaign targets the education market – a strong area of adoption for Zyxel’s solutions. A schedule of email and social media communications, alongside a series of webinars is now being rolled out. Zyxel has also made sales and marketing resources available to partners and provide rapid onboarding for new partners though its distribution network.





Konica Minolta launches AccurioPress 6272P press

Other features include: l V acuum paper feeding for smooth paper processing throughout the production process. For offset pre-printed and coated stock, as well as under conditions of high humidity, an optional heating unit can be added l The Screen-Enhancing Activity Digital for advanced colour processing l Simitri HD toner to ensure highest image quality as well as razor-sharp reproduction of text and line drawings l Paper weights of between 40 and 350 grammes in sizes up to 324x483mm l A stacking unit and a wide variety of finishing options with an interface to third parties (e.g., Plockmatic and GBC) l Konica Minolta’s own controller technology, as well as powerful software tools such as AccurioPro offering advanced functionality and full connectivity from input to output. “Many years of knowledge and global expertise are combined in the TD-502 tandem relay unit to ensure that this system fulfils customer demands in high-volume printing environments,” said Malcolm Smith, category manager of production and industrial print, Konica Minolta. “The Konica Minolta AccurioPress 6272P will provide another key pillar in our growing production press portfolio for our customers to maximise and ignite the print opportunities that are everywhere.”

Konica Minolta has launched its AccurioPress 6272P press, which is designed to help customers rethink monochrome print possibilities. Aimed at commercial printers, print-for-pay services and central in-house printing facilities, the fully configured digital production press has dual-engine technology where more than 15,000 images an hour can be printed in one integrated production process. The tandem engine AccurioPress 6272P is the further development of the well-established AccurioPress 613P, where two engines are connected via the tandem relay unit TD-502 to double the benefits and sustain today’s high volume monochrome printing environment. The combination provides twice the speed and double the productivity, as well as undisturbed printing without bottlenecks or shutdowns. Independent front-to-back alignment and a distortion adjustment function ensure accurate duplex registration. The optional Intelligent Quality Care Unit IQ-501 maintains consistent and stable quality without complexity. The standard paper cooling system enables all output to be processed immediately offline after printing. The newly developed pass-through mode secures the production in the case of a machine error. Another benefit is that, with the TD-502, customers can upgrade their existing AccurioPress 6136P and enhance productivity doubling it to that of the AccurioPress 6272P.

AccurioPress 6272P

OneSpan enables secure face-to-face transactions

Digital agreements security company OneSpan’s secure Virtual Room cloud service, which enables organisations to deliver live, high-touch assistance to their customers in a high-assurance virtual environment, is now available to buy. This customer engagement solution gives organisations the ability to balance identity security, authentication and e-signature solutions from the broader OneSpan portfolio with a high-assurance virtual experience. Virtual Room complements digital-first transaction experiences by providing a unique opportunity for organisations to create personalised, high-touch, human-assisted interactions, and by improving the customer experience, increasing agreement completion rates, and reducing security risks and fraud. “Today, businesses requiring a high degree of security and regulatory compliance rely daily on a variety of technologies that use insecure, shared links and expose users to elevated risks including

data breaches and compliance violations in the anywhere economy,” said Matthew Moynahan, OneSpan’s president and CEO. “This should not be the case. Organisations and their customers want to be confident that the person joining a virtual meeting is the person they claim to be. And multi-million-dollar business agreements transacted digitally should not be subject to fraud fallout. “Today’s off-the-shelf video conferencing tools do not offer optimal security. As the complexity and value of transactions increase, customers want a live interaction rather than relying on a virtual assistant or self-service experience. We built Virtual Room for these scenarios to help our customers complete an agreement or transaction where they need a personal touch and where security is paramount.” Virtual Room can be used for multiple high- value customer agreements, including account opening and maintenance, wealth management, and car financing.

Matthew Moynahan



Konftel 800 speakerphone gains new ‘lecture mode’ boost

Konftel’s flagship conferencing speakerphone has been boosted by a new ‘lecture mode’ wireless headset feature, which creates more user freedom especially for teaching and training. The Konftel 800 can now link to an approved wireless headset to provide a teacher or presenter total freedom of movement and position within a room. This new feature is available via a free software upgrade. “Wherever they are located, perhaps facing a whiteboard, they can still have perfect microphone pick-up and be heard clearly by all remote participants,” said Konftel product manager, Torbjörn Karlsson.

speakerphone microphones are unmuted and all participants in the room can be heard. But through the headset, the remote participants can always be heard. In addition, Konftel has developed a special ceiling mount kit for the Konftel 800, providing an alternative to traditional desktop placement. The innovation addresses growing demand for smarter and more flexible room configurations, where up to three devices can be connected from above. “You can move furniture and rearrange the room every day without any technology hassle,” said Karlsson. “It’s perfect for larger spaces and multipurpose rooms, where daisy-chain capabilities make sure every inch of the room is covered by audio. “With the speakerphones mounted to the ceiling you’re clearing the table from devices and cables, for a really neat and tidy room appearance. It also elevates the video meeting experience. The user can forget about where the microphone is placed and focus on the interaction with remote participants on the screen. The audio pick-up and distribution works it’s magic without anyone noticing.”

To take advantage of the new function an approved wireless

Konftel 800

headset needs to be connected to the speakerphone. The first release will only support the Jabra Engage 65. Support for other

headsets will come with future firmware releases. While the presenter is speaking, the Konftel 800 will automatically mute all its microphones and only

keep the headset microphone open. When the person stops talking, the

Snom releases new headsets and conference systems

IP communication specialist Snom has launched its A330 M/D headset and C300 speakerphone to capitalise on the sustained demand for working from home and hybrid working solutions. Thanks to state-of-the-art D/A converter technology and optimised speakers, the Snom A330 M/D is a mono- or binaural USB headset that delivers outstanding HD audio quality. The headset features passive noise cancellation which minimises numerous acoustic disturbances. Thanks to the USB audio interface, the A330 is independent of any system, meaning it can be used as a headset with almost any communication software platform such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet and more. The entire voice band is recorded via a high-quality microphone, it is then digitised and transmitted in real time via USB to an IP desk phone or computer. Call functions, mute and availability are displayed via LEDs on the right earcup and microphone arm and can also be controlled via the integrated remote control. The headband padding, soft artificial leather, and memory foam of the adjustable earcups

ensure maximum comfort for the user – even over several hours. Meanwhile with the compact, 200g Snom C300 conference speaker, the manufacturer is offering a full-duplex hands-free device with Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC technology that can be used anywhere, as well as a USB audio interface that can be used on a PC, smartphone or tablet. An external headset can also be connected via the integrated connection. Equipped with six microphones and integrated echo cancellation (AEC), the new Snom C300 features Plug & Play. This is operated via seven touch keys on the device or via a smartphone app. All operating processes are confirmed via the LED status display and announcement. Of course, it is also possible to connect headphones if privacy is desired during a call. A powerful 3.7 V and 5.200 mAh lithium-ion battery ensures 24 hours talk time and more than five days standby time. A USB port for charging the device or a smartphone completes the profile of this portable conference speaker.

Snom A330M



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Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 now available

Lenovo’s ThinkBook™ Plus Gen 3 is available for purchase having been unveiled earlier this year. Featuring an industry first 17.3-inch ultra-wide primary display with a 21:10 aspect ratio, it also includes an 8-inch secondary touch- enabled screen that enhances productive and creative multitasking. Work from anywhere has amplified the need for highly efficient productivity technology but often requires multiple devices and larger workspaces. ThinkBook Plus Gen 3’s flexible displays create a larger mobile work area thanks to more screen real estate and extra multitasking scenarios: l Supported application sub tools can be shown on second display l Full width video conferencing adding a chat window or notepad on the second display

l The integrated digital pen with ColorKing+ plug-in by Ufro enables faster, more accurate colour matching. Capture colour from virtually any surface with the pen and instantly find the closest PANTONE colour based on substrate l A ‘waterfall’ capability is very useful during document editing as source pages can extend from the main to the second display l A ‘Magic Launcher’ can place frequently used application icons on the second display for quick access l The calculator function makes navigating spreadsheets or financial applications a breeze l Smartphone mirroring onto the second display improves multitasking and synergy across devices.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3

Overland-Tandberg broadens product portfolio

Data protection and storage solutions provider Overland-Tandberg has expanded its product portfolio to cope with growth in demand. The ‘Olympus’ Server line consists of tower and rack configurations for businesses that require value, flexibility, and a range of performance needs. The rackmount dual socket servers R700 and R800 offer a mix of features to maximise performance, scale to meet future demands and adapt to virtually any workload. The proprietary RDX® QuikStor® System backup and business continuity options are available for the tower server T400 and T600 models. Meanwhile, primary and secondary storage solutions under the ‘Titan’ brand offer scalable, intelligent and cloud integrated products to accelerate critical workloads from core to edge to cloud. The Titan T2000 series offers SAN & DAS solutions optimised to small to medium-sized business demand. Data protection products for

backup and recovery purposes are offered with the Titan T3000 series. Unified Storage flash arrays (T5000) and scale-out NAS solutions (T6000) round out the portfolio. All Olympus and Titan solutions can be customised to meet the different challenges of storing, managing, protecting and unlocking value in every kind of data. The new server and storage products are powered by Dell with the full breadth of proven technologies, including server, storage, and data protection options complemented with different Pro-Support options to meet customers’ SLA requirements. “Addressing the ever-increasing demand for storage in today’s IT environments, driven by explosive data growth from various applications, the internet of things and big data, we added server and storage solutions to our product offerings from SMB to Enterprise customers,” explained Eric Kelly, CEO and chairman of Overland-Tandberg.

Eric Kelly

Ricoh launces Pro VC70000e inkjet press

Ricoh has launched its fully automated and media versatile Ricoh Pro VC70000e high speed inkjet press in a move to support organisations in attracting new business and talent. The continuous feed press offers high quality, image driven, customised marketing, direct mail and publishing applications. The latest model in Ricoh’s continuous feed portfolio boasts significant upgrades to hardware, software and workflow

designed to support productivity and quality enhancements and the migration of analogue to digital production. The Ricoh Pro VC70000e’s software advances include production automation tools as well as business intelligence capabilities via the Ricoh Pro Scanner Option and RICOH Supervisor™. The Pro VC70000e is field upgradeable and interchangeable with existing Pro™ VC70000 models.



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In-room PC solutions or bring your own meeting? The choice is yours! Konftel’s Jeff May explains why there are two choices emerging for video meeting room investments – and the advantages and disadvantages of both.

There are two distinct choices available when investing in video conferencing technology; a dedicated in-room PC solution such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams Rooms, or Bring Your Own Meeting, where users bring their own laptop and use apps of their choice. Choosing the right video and audio end points for room coverage, ease of use and high performance are all critical factors in any conferencing blueprint. Equally remote workers should have an equal voice and video experience, as those in the office. But first it’s important to assess some fundamentals as installation and operation of equipment can sometimes be overlooked in favour of product specifications. Both Bring Your Own Meeting or a dedicated in-room PC-based system where all the hardware is already in place offer great quality meeting experiences. But it’s essential that the differences in operation and any restrictions of each are fully explained and understood before investments are made. There are advantages and limitations of both, depending on user and company expectations.

lot of meeting rooms and want to have a consistent approach, whether it’s the biggest boardroom or the smallest huddle room. This is easier for an IT department to provision and manage. However, this approach is not universal and is more restrictive as it doesn’t fully support different meeting platforms, which is a key requirement for many organisations. It’s generally more expensive too. Functionality between apps that might be allowed is very limited, to just joining a call but no ability to share content. Bring your meeting to life A standard in room solution has a PC at its heart such as from Lenovo and Dell. But to bring the system to life high quality cameras and speakerphones need to be ‘attached’ and connected. So Konftel has created an Attach video kit portfolio specifically adapted for in room situations, blending conference cameras and speakerphones with a special, long USB audio cable, for an optimal in room experience and installation flexibility. Our Attach range comprises five separate kits optimised for in room systems and tailored for specific room sizes. Bring Your Own Meeting alternative The Attach in room solutions provide an alternative to Konftel’s original Bring Your Own Meeting concept. This involves a user bringing their preferred collaboration app or cloud service with them on any laptop with a USB port. Plug it in and they’re good to go. Our One Cable Connection Hub offers simple connection to the conference camera, speakerphone and screen via any laptop with a USB port. It’s plug-and-play and requires no extra drivers if there is a modern version of Windows as the operating system on the computer. Users can also opt to connect the screen directly to their laptop, usually via HDMI. Bring Your Own Meeting offers flexibility and choice and gives the user complete control about

Jeff May

In-room popularity It’s clear that in-room PC-based solutions,

which often adopt one single preferred meeting platform, are a popular choice for some. These preconfigured rooms are convenient, simple to set up for remote management by IT. Extra features are sometimes available too. The three main categories are: l Microsoft Teams Room l Zoom Rooms l Open PC platform (such as Intel NUC) with preferred meeting apps. An in-room PC setup typically comprises a main screen, PC, video camera, audio device/devices with a control pad or wireless keyboard and mouse. Users simply enter the room and start their meeting at the touch of a button once the room invite has been confirmed in their booking calendar. This method is popular with organisations who perhaps have a



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