News in the Channel - issue #16


Issue #16

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Looking to an AI future Artificial intelligence is more than just a buzzword, it has many practical applications for businesses in a range of sectors, and resellers should be getting to grips with it now if they don’t want to be left behind.

In many conversations with people in the sector – from manufacturers to resellers and end users – artificial intelligence (AI) comes up more than any other topic currently. Ever since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022, AI has been at the forefront of many people’s thinking. The potential for AI is becoming clearer too, and the applications it can have to revolutionise business in the coming years. While it may have initially been seen as a threat to many jobs, it is now being seen more as an enabler – taking over mundane, repetitive tasks to free employees up to work on more business-critical functions and helping to provide greater analysis of data to help businesses make better decisions and achieve those marginal gains that can be crucial. Those are just a couple of examples – there are plenty of others I could mention. AI was one of the main topics at the 2024 HP Amplify Partner Conference, held in Las Vegas recently. The conference showcased HP's commitment to its ‘Future Ready’ strategy, emphasising partner readiness for emerging opportunities like AI and hybrid systems, as well as showcasing more than 100 AI-enabled products, including an extensive range of AI PCs. Read more on p20. Another topic that crops up with increasing regularity in conversations is sustainability. Driven by regulation and, increasingly, customer demand, becoming more sustainable

is – or should be – a priority for everyone in business. A part of this is the circular economy, which sees devices have a life beyond their initial three-to-five-year tenure in a customer setting, whether that’s for another customer, remanufactured or recycled – and this is something resellers have a crucial role in developing. Read more on p34. Of course, with increasing numbers of devices being used by businesses in a wide range of sectors that need electricity to run, then the need for the supply of it to be reliable becomes ever-more imperative to avoid costly episodes of downtime. This is where uninterruptable power supplies come in – and this market presents opportunities for resellers to sell to their clients. Find out more on p27. These are just three emerging trends in the channel, and all are likely to become increasingly significant over the course of 2024 and the years beyond. It means that resellers need to be getting involved in these – especially AI – now, or, if they are involved, upping the significance they place on it. Those that don’t face the risk of being left behind – and quickly. As ever, I hope you enjoy the issue. If there are any topics you would like to see covered in future issues, or you would like to get involved in editorial, send a news story or propose an op-ed, please drop me an email at

Dan Parton

HP Amplify Partner Conference showcases more than 100 AI-enabled products – p20


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News You should know p6 Cradlepoint’s Channel Strategy EMEA channel programme p14 Network Security Benefits of security integration p17 HP Amplify Partner Conference 2024 Turning up the volume p20 Uninterruptible Power Supplies Keeping the lights on p27 Data Centres The challenges of AI workloads p32 Circular Economy Pre-owned and recyclable p34 Cloud Scaling systems to meet needs p39 Transformative Technologies Opportunities for innovation p40 Health Sector: Secure Networks Cyberattack targets p44 DC/PoS Pointing the way p48 On the move People updates p50

HP Amplify 2024 – p20

Data Centres – p32

HP’s Amplify Partner Conference 2024 was held in Las Vegas recently and included the launch of a range of innovative products, including AI PCs, as well as new AI-focused training and benefits for the company’s Partner Program.

The surge in data means that data centres are more critical than ever, and so are the power and cooling requirements for them, which means a holistic approach is imperative.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies – p27

As more business is conducted electronically – in a range of sectors – the need for uninterruptable power supplies becomes ever more important, which presents opportunities for resellers.

Health Sector Networks – p44

With healthcare settings now producing huge amounts of data, they are becoming an increasing target for cyberattacks, which means that network security needs to be a focus – and this presents opportunities for resellers.

Richard Evans, CTO at Cinos, offers insights into the latest trends reshaping the industry and how channel businesses can seize opportunities for innovation and growth. Transformative Technologies – p40



DC/PoS – p48

Circular Economy – p34

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 elliot@ Head of 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. © 2024 In the Channel Media Ltd.

Point of sale systems are no longer just about sales, it is increasingly about data capture, and using that data to help businesses to run more efficiently through inventory management and providing insights into things like sales trends to help maximise selling opportunities.

Sustainability is a priority for many businesses now, and many are looking towards buying pre-owned equipment, or ensuring that devices are recycled at the end of their life and resellers have a key role in this developing circular economy.

Cradlepoint's Channel Strategy – p14

Cradlepoint, a part of Ericsson, has recently developed a channel programme in EMEA, and attracted key partners, including Softcat, resulting in a year of growth for the company, including the launch of a new global MSP programme.

Network Security – p17

As the threats to cybersecurity continue to grow, so often does the number of security tools businesses use – but this is where channel partners can help, says Jessica Kingham, director, channel and alliances UK&I, Barracuda Networks Inc.

Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street,

On the Move – p50

Kinly promotes Justin Paveley to project delivery director • Syniti promotes Javeed Nizami to new role • ANS appoints Kyle Hill as technical services delivery director • Workspace 365 appoints new chief product officer

Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:



Logicalis first Cisco global partner to achieve Sustainable Campus Access Add-on specialisation

Logicalis, a digital managed services provider, has become the first partner globally to achieve Cisco’s Sustainable Campus Access Add-On specialisation, reflecting the business’ commitment to sustainability. Having already secured the Cisco Environmental Sustainability Specialisation across 15 territories, Logicalis now adds another feather to its cap by supporting customers in reducing carbon emissions associated with their digital infrastructure. Logicalis achieves this by empowering its customers to adopt sustainable business practices while providing leading managed service solutions. These include: l  Power consumption monitoring and reporting: Logicalis helps clients keep a close eye on the power consumed by their devices l  Equipment refresh: Outdated equipment is replaced with more energy-efficient alternatives, contributing to overall power savings l  Responsible e-waste recycling: Logicalis provides responsible e-waste recycling options for its customers. Logicalis validated its sustainability competency within the context of campus access managed services by passing a rigorous Cisco audit. This involved demonstrating capabilities such as optimising hardware usage, minimising energy consumption, leveraging telemetry for efficient product tracking and reporting and ensuring

effective disposal of end-of-use equipment. Logicalis’ sustainability reporting capabilities include its Digital Fabric Platform (DFP). Launched in 2023, the DFP gives CIOs a real-time view of how their digital ecosystem performs across five metrics including sustainability, reliability, security, economics and user experience. The platform benchmarks customers against industry standards and provides recommendations for how to reduce power consumption and effectively refresh, recycle, and consolidate equipment. “We are thrilled to have achieved Cisco’s Sustainable Campus Access Add-On Specialisation, building on our established sustainable campus customer solutions,” said Toby Alcock, global CTO at Logicalis. “This achievement highlights Logicalis’ continuous efforts to push the sustainable agenda forward and our commitment to being an example for others in the tech industry. We look forward to continuing our work with Cisco to drive sustainability initiatives forward.” Denise Lee, vice president of Cisco's Engineering Sustainability Office, added: “Sustainability is core to the partnership between Logicalis and Cisco. This recognition of Logicalis' expanding capabilities in sustainability managed services highlights how they are adding purpose-driven business opportunities to their portfolio of solutions. We are thrilled to continue this partnership and for the impact yet to come.”

Toby Alcock Global CTO

Denise Lee vice president, Engineeing Sustainabilty Office

ANS and Solgari partner to support businesses with digital transformation

Solgari and ANS have launched a new strategic partnership to empower businesses and their customers with the latest customer service and engagement capabilities. The partnership will support customers on their digital transformation journey, ensuring they have access to tailored technology to meet unique needs. Solgari provides AI Customer Engagement solutions for Microsoft Dynamics365 CE and Teams, connecting businesses to customers. ANS aims to make tech accessible for all businesses. This marks a significant step in ANS’ growing Partner Programme, which

strives to help channel partners expand their product offerings in cloud, security and digital services. The partnership will enable both companies to leverage their complementary expertise and capabilities, taking Dynamics365 to a new level by unlocking data and delivering the highest levels of customer experience, which is a top priority for both businesses. This news follows the recent partnership announcement from ANS with independent technology provider Global 4, supporting ANS’ wider growth strategy. ANS’ Partner Programme provides channel




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John Colgan, CEO at Solgari, added: “We are thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with ANS, combining our AI- powered customer engagement solutions with ANS' expertise in delivering Microsoft- focused services and applications. Together, we're empowering businesses to significantly enhance their customer and employee experiences and maximise their existing Microsoft investments.”

resellers with access to the best technology solutions and digital services. “I’m delighted to welcome Solgari to our Partner Programme,” said Ryan Martin, head of indirect at ANS. “Both ANS’ and Solgari’s products and services complement each other perfectly. Together we’ll be able to leverage expertise and experience to deliver best- in-class tech and customer experience. I’m excited to see how our partnership evolves.”

Vertiv Joins NVIDIA Partner Network

innovative solutions to their customers. “Vertiv has collaborated with NVIDIA in research, development and engineering for multiple years, designing innovative products and solutions that support the deployment of NVIDIA technologies globally,” said Giordano Albertazzi, CEO at Vertiv. “We have combined our leadership in power and cooling solutions with NVIDIA’s cutting-edge platforms to help meet the demands of the most compute- intensive applications and support the deployment of AI infrastructure across the globe. Now, we are collaborating to build state-of-the-art liquid cooling solutions for next-gen NVIDIA accelerated data centres powered by GB200 NVL72 systems.”

Vertiv is now a Solution Advisor: Consultant partner in the NVIDIA Partner Network (NPN), providing wider access to Vertiv’s experience and full portfolio of power and cooling solutions. NPN is a global program for technology partners that offer solutions built on, or powered by, NVIDIA technologies. Among leading software vendors, cloud service providers, solution providers and system integrators, Vertiv joins the network to offer its expertise in addressing the infrastructure challenges presented by accelerated computing. NPN provides access to a range of benefits, including technical support, training and collaboration opportunities, helping partners deliver

Giordano Albertazzi CEO

Ransomware still biggest cybersecurity problem for SMBs

Ransomware and malware continue to be big problems for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a new report. The 2024 Sophos Threat Report, “ Cybercrime on Main Street ” and the biggest threats facing SMBs, found that in 2023, nearly 50% of malware detections for SMBs were keyloggers, spyware and stealers, malware that attackers use to steal data and credentials. Attackers subsequently use this stolen information to gain unauthorised remote access, extort victims, deploy ransomware and more. “The value of ‘data,’ as currency has increased exponentially among cybercriminals, and this is particularly true for SMBs, which tend to use one service or software application, per function, for their entire operation,” said Christopher Budd, director of Sophos X-Ops research at Sophos. “For example, let’s say attackers deploy an infostealer on their target’s network to steal credentials and then get hold of the password

for the company’s accounting software. Attackers could then gain access to the targeted company’s financials and have the ability to funnel funds into their own accounts. There’s a reason that more than 90% of all cyberattacks reported to Sophos in 2023 involved data or credential theft, whether through ransomware attacks, data extortion, unauthorised remote access, or simply data theft.” While the number of ransomware attacks against SMBs has stabilised, it continues to be the biggest cyberthreat to SMBs. Out of the SMB cases handled by Sophos Incident Response, which helps organisations under active attack, LockBit was the top ransomware gang wreaking havoc, followed by Akira and BlackCat. SMBs studied in the report also faced attacks by lingering older and lesser-known ransomware, such as BitLocker and Crytox. Ransomware operators continue to change ransomware tactics, according to the report. This includes leveraging

Christopher Budd director, Sophos X-Ops research




remote encryption and targeting managed service providers. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of ransomware attacks that involved remote encryption – when attackers use an unmanaged device on organisations’ networks to encrypt files on other systems in the network – increased by 62%. In addition, this past year, Sophos’ Managed Detection and Response team responded to five cases involving small businesses that were attacked through an exploit in their MSPs’ remote monitoring and management software. Following ransomware, business email compromise (BEC) attacks were the second highest type of attacks that Sophos IR handled

engineering campaigns contain an increasing level of sophistication. Rather than simply sending an email with a malicious attachment, attackers are now more likely to engage with their targets by sending a series of conversational emails back and forth or even calling them. To evade detection by traditional spam prevention tools, attackers are now experimenting with new formats for their malicious content, embedding images that contain the malicious code or sending malicious attachments in OneNote or archive formats. In one case Sophos investigated, the attackers sent a PDF document with a blurry, unreadable thumbnail of an ‘invoice.’ The download button contained a link to a malicious website.

in 2023, according to Sophos’ report. These BEC attacks and other social

Netskope and Egress launch new partnership

Egress, a provider of adaptive cloud email security, has announced a partnership with Netskope, a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) provider, to enhance behavioural- based threat detection and response. The partnership enables Egress to aggregate Netskope’s User Confidence Index (UCI) as part of its Human Risk Management solution. Netskope’s AI/ML-derived UCI output is combined with threat intelligence sourced from the Egress platform and an organisation’s wider cybersecurity ecosystem to generate holistic human risk scores for each individual user. Netskope’s AI/ML capabilities provide per- user behaviour analytics that correlate multiple, disparate activities to detect the anomalies that indicate insider threats, compromised accounts and devices, lateral movement, data exfiltration and advanced persistent threats across organisations’ cloud-hosted platforms and applications. By consuming the UCI risk score through native API integration, Egress will now leverage Netskope’s live behaviour analytics as part of its adaptive security architecture, which automates personalised inbound and outbound email security controls based on real-time human risk telemetry. This integration is immediately available for all joint customers, who can benefit from: l Centralised threat intelligence that surfaces meaningful insights from the Netskope One platform to Egress Human Risk Management, elevating threat hunting capabilities and dramatically reducing time to response

l Improved detection of suspicious user activity to automate defenses against advanced inbound and outbound email threats l No administrative burden from real-time policy management that dynamically adjusts according to everyone’s risk score via an adaptive security architecture. “With the rapid adoption of cloud platforms and applications, organisations have struggled to contain cyberattacks and insider threats,” said Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress. “Every part of an organisation’s technology ecosystem presents risk – with email at the top of the list as the riskiest application. By combining the deep behavioural analytics generated by Netskope and Egress, joint customers will benefit from unprecedented visibility into human risk and automated defenses that eliminate advanced email threats, tailored to each individual employee.” David Willis, vice president, technology alliances at Netskope, added: “Behavioural patterns can disclose indicators of compromise within every platform and application. Enterprises are vulnerable to employees falling victim to inbound email attacks, making cybersecurity mistakes, and knowingly or unknowingly exfiltrating data. [This] announcement marks an exciting development for joint Netskope and Egress customers, who can now enhance their human risk scoring using Netskope One insights and continuously extend their behavioural-based threat detection and response across their cloud environments.”

Tony Pepper CEO

David Willis vice president, technology alliances



SYNAXON UK adds Origin Storage to portfolio

SYNAXON has added Origin Storage to its portfolio, giving partners access to pricing and availability on the company’s range of leading brands on its EGIS platform, and a number of Origin products available via SYNAXON Hub. A specialist in data storage and security, Origin’s vendor partners include DataLocker, iStorage, Lexar, QNAP, Samsung and more. Origin also offers its own-brand memory and accessory products and is a well-known and established supplier to many UK resellers. All products available from Origin Storage will now be available to SYNAXON partners through EGIS, with selected lines also being offered from SYNAXON Hub, giving partners fast access to the company’s best-selling products. “Origin’s outstanding range of portfolio of vendors and its own products adds a new dimension, both to EGIS and the SYNAXON Hub,” said Mike Barron, SYNAXON UK managing director. “It gives our partners access to a range of advanced storage and data security solutions that address the dynamic storage needs of today’s customers.

It brings new potential for partners to differentiate and we look forward to working with Origin to introduce its exciting range to our MSP and reseller community. “With EGIS, it’s not necessary to trawl around all the different distributor websites, seeing the best availability and pricing. All the information partners need is available in one place, and by making use of EGIS for all their product needs, they save time, reduce their costs and can deliver a better service to their customers. The SYNAXON Hub is another extremely valuable resource for our partners – one that they increasingly making use both to meet the most pressing needs of their customers and deliver a great service to them.” Stuart Eling, managing director, of Origin Storage, added: “Over the last two decades, Origin has become a trusted supplier to some of the biggest names in the market. We’re looking forward to working with the SYNAXON team to spread that renown to more partners and giving them the opportunity to experience the quality of our products, the high levels of service, and the competitive pricing that we can offer them.”

Mike Barron managing director

Evolve IP develops AI voice with AI studio innovation

Evolve IP has launched an AI-powered in- queue, on-hold call solution, which can help transform the customer experience and increase reseller revenue streams. AI Studio enables the creation of professional welcome greetings, auto-attendant, interactive voice response and call menu recordings, mixing them with licence-free music ready to play to queuing and holding callers. AI Studio, part of the Anywhere Product Suite, is a dynamic white-label offering, developed from a new partnership with industry experts PromptVoice. It combines professional voice artists with AI voices as part of ‘light touch’ management, with recordings available in minutes. Evolve IP’s solutions director, Scott Rixon, says an improved caller experience plus new opportunities to market and upsell to a captive audience are some of the many benefits, along with simplified call management, particularly outside of business hours. Increased customer satisfaction, more repeat business and more regular monthly reseller revenue streams can also be generated.

“Anywhere AI Studio represents a major step forward to deliver a wealth of choice and AI recordings in minutes all from a simplified and streamlined management platform,” he explained. “This improves the caller experience, provides enhanced customer satisfaction and a lucrative monthly recurring revenue stream for resellers – where ‘freemium’ upgrades can help win more up-sell business. “It’s a perfect fit for any business of any size and a welcome addition to our powerful Anywhere Product Suite, and work from anywhere ethos.” PromptVoice head of channel, Laura Maddocks, said the new solution is designed to transform outbound communications in a fast, easy and effective way, delivering greater and more professional impact. “It’s a solution that provides much more than just high-quality recordings,” she said. “There’s a fully integrated AI scripting tool to speed up scripting, voice and music selection – plus over 10,000 professionally scripted and pre-recorded messages to simply use or tailor to exact requirements."

Scott Rixon solutions director



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I n a digital realm far away, lived Frog Prince Ltd, a company bound by a wicked spell of incumbent technology. Trapped in a stagnant pond of legacy systems, Frog Prince Ltd yearned to break free from the constraints that kept them from realizing their full potential. Their dream was to migrate to the cloud and evolve to the dashing prince of a company they once were. F ortinet, a wise and powerful princess in the kingdom of cybersecurity, caught wind of Frog Prince Ltd’s plight. Recognizing the potential for transformation, she embarked on

a quest to help them migrate to the cloud and regain their former glory. A pproaching the pond, Princess Fortinet knew that breaking the spell required a special touch. In her hand, she held the magical solution FortiSASE—a powerful spell breaker capable of bridging the gap between on-premise and cloud environments. W ith a gentle kiss, Princess Fortinet activated FortiSASE, initiating a seamless and secure migration process. Frog Prince Ltd freed of the shackles of incumbent technology leaped into the cloud, leaving behind the stagnant pond of legacy systems, now enabled to roam the kingdom and work from anywhere with the magic of FortiSASE.

F ortiSASE’s enchanting capabilities provided Frog



Prince Ltd with a secure and scalable connection to the cloud. It ensured that the migration was smooth, protecting the data and applications as they transitioned to a more agile and dynamic digital realm. A s the transformation unfolded, Frog Prince Ltd emerged from the cloud—a dashing prince of a company once more. Free from the constraints of the wicked spell, they were able to navigate the digital landscape with renewed agility and resilience. P rincess Fortinet, with her cybersecurity prowess and the magic of FortiSASE, had not only broken the spell but had also empowered Frog Prince Ltd to thrive

in the modern era of cloud computing. The kingdom celebrated the successful transformation, marking a new chapter in the digital fairy tale. T he moral of the story: In the ever-evolving digital kingdom, the right cybersecurity solution, represented by FortiSASE, can break the shackles of incumbent technology, enabling companies to migrate to the cloud and emerge as dynamic and secure entities. With the right magic, any Frog Prince of a company can transform into a dashing prince once more, ready to conquer the challenges of the digital landscape.

Become a Fortinet partner to discover how to provide your customers with comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to protect their networks, applications, and data from evolving threats.



Straight to the point Cradlepoint, a part of Ericsson, has recently developed a channel programme in EMEA, and attracted key partners, including Softcat, resulting in a year of growth for the company, including the launch of a new global MSP programme.

Cradlepoint, a major US player, has recently made more of a move into EMEA, attracting key partners along the way, helping to grow the company. Sarah Ralston-Good, enterprise partner sales lead at Cradlepoint, – who has a 20-plus year career in the channel sector – joined Cradlepoint more than a year ago and has been key in developing the channel strategy and in this feature, she explains how this was done. Meanwhile, Thomas Rowley, chief technologist – Network & Connectivity at Softcat, explains why the company has partnered with Cradlepoint, and what the future holds. Q How did you go about developing the channel programme? What was the biggest challenge? Sarah Ralston-Good: “The biggest challenge with any new channel programme is selling a new brand into an established channel market. While Cradlepoint is extremely successful in the US, we were not as well known among the value-added reseller, service provider and system integrator community. “Overcoming this challenge relies on gaining the trust of the C-Suite and leadership teams within these communities. Part of this strategy has relied on my over 20 years of experience in the industry, but even more helpful has been the fact that partners’ customers have been asking for the solutions Cradlepoint offers. This is because they know our 5G for enterprise and private networks strategy solves the problems they currently face around connectivity.” Q How do you build successful channel partnerships? SR-G: “Building successful channel partnerships begins with personal connections. Nothing compares to meeting potential partners face-to-face. Listening is key; partners have so much knowledge about the market. They are the closest to their customers and understand their challenges. By understanding these problems, we can show we offer the solutions they need to meet them. For example, one of the challenges we see

is the current strain on connectivity networks due to IoT device deployments. As a result, we focus on offering easy-to-deploy solutions to address these demands. “Another crucial aspect is our willingness to collaborate on test deployments and actively listen to partner feedback. This approach fosters trust and helps us refine our offerings. For instance, when we partner with a titan partner like Softcat, we are still agile enough to offer a white glove service for our training and certifications programme via Cradlepoint University, providing partners with a seamless onboarding process.” Q What can channel partners expect to see in the coming months? SR-G: “In the coming months, our signed and certified partners can expect more leads; meaning qualified opportunities with the support of our field sales teams. They will be privy to market trend information ahead of the curve that we have invested in to support our partners in their markets. We are blowing the doors off our global and regional partner summits, a key platform we use to communicate to our channel partner community. We will be giving our partners access to industry first insights and activities, as well as accelerating their sales and enhancing their customers experience, by deploying our cellular based secure wireless solutions portfolio.” Q How have the demands of Softcat’s customers changed over the years? Thomas Rowley: “Undoubtedly, the connectivity needs of businesses have undergone significant transformations in recent years. With the surge in IoT device adoption, companies now seek robust connectivity infrastructure to fully capitalise on their deployments. Take, for instance, manufacturers who can remotely monitor their machinery using these devices. The true value of the collected data lies in transmitting it in real time to its intended destination from any location. Therefore, businesses require networks that provide high-speed connectivity

Sarah Ralston-Good

Building successful channel partnership begins with personal connections. Nothing compares to meeting potential partners face-to-face “ ”



Q How do you see the market developing over the coming years? TR: “The market holds immense potential in the current landscape. Traditional connectivity via public 5G is continuing to grow and connect the previously unconnected. We are also witnessing an acceleration in IoT deployment, and it's projected that by 2030, more than 50% of global data will be generated from these devices. Organisations must ensure real-time data transmission and viewing capabilities to unlock the unique use-cases IoT can offer. That's where 5G connectivity comes in with its high speeds, ample bandwidth and low latency, enabling seamless support for many devices. “Organisations are also now seeking suppliers that offer added value beyond just connectivity. Features like SD-WAN, zero trust networks and cloud-based management software empower IT teams to manage networks more effectively. As we move forward, these enhancements will play a significant role in shaping the market and delivering exceptional solutions to meet the evolving demands of businesses.” Q Which sectors are of the most interest? TR: “There is significant potential in almost every sector right now. However, there are a few that really catch our attention. For instance, manufacturing stands to benefit greatly from significant IoT deployments, allowing manufacturers to closely monitor machine operations and digitise previously analogue systems and processes. Many sectors, from shipping ports to utility companies, use these devices to run processes more efficiently. For example, many meter readings are still analogue; attaching a device that can digitise these readings saves huge amounts of time instead of waiting for an engineer to go round and check manually. Outside of industrial organisations, enterprises are also beginning to adopt 5G connectivity to unlock new and innovate ways to differentiate in the market and optimise business operations.” SR-G: “The public sector also has a lot of potential. Rapid digitisation within police forces requires support for in-car Wi-Fi, video data transmission from bodycams, and secure connectivity for evidence from crime scenes. These critical applications demand secure and reliable connectivity solutions, and we are eager to meet these needs in the public sector.”

with minimal latency, catering to diverse use cases, both remote and on-premise.”

SR-G: “We are also seeing demand from end users for simplified management systems, which is where our NetCloud platform adds value. The ability to manage multiple routers remotely means small teams can more effectively manage huge IT estates. For example, Cradlepoint has one client with routers in 1,300 vehicles across the UK. Manually updating and managing these would be impossible, but NetCloud allows the team to ensure their network is secure while enjoying connectivity on the move.” Q How has Softcat evolved to accommodate that? TR: “We recognised Softcat needed to adapt its offering to meet this new demand. Recently we decided to rebuild our networking and connectivity portfolio from scratch and introduce innovative technologies and services that meet customer challenges and unlock their ability to innovate. Areas such as secure 4G/5G connectivity, starting with Cradlepoint, were one of the newer technologies in the portfolio. This proactive step means Softcat remains at the forefront of the industry and can cater effectively to customers’ shifting requirements as we continue our value-added focus customer first approach.” Q Why did Softcat choose Cradlepoint to partner with? TR: “The decision rested on Cradlepoint’s unwavering commitment to excellence, customer satisfaction and clear understanding of the industry vertical outcomes their technology can help achieve. This decision was further reenforced by the strong partnership Cradlepoint has with Ericsson enabling solution coverage across public and private 5G technologies. The team at Cradlepoint supports Softcat’s sales teams, valuing their feedback and promptly adjusting training as needed. It is this collaboration that ensures a strong partnership. “Furthermore, Cradlepoint stands out from other alternatives due to its genuine enterprise-grade 5G solution. Unlike off-the- shelf devices, their product ensures superior connectivity performance alongside additional enterprise grade tooling, such as SD-WAN and security functionality, making it a perfect fit for Softcat's customers.”

Thomas Rowley

We are also witnessing an acceleration in IoT deployment, and it's projected that by 2030, more than 50% of global data will be generated from these devices. “





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Security integration key to addressing cyber threats

As the threats to cybersecurity continue to grow, so often does the number of security tools businesses use – but this is where channel partners can help, says Jessica Kingham, director, channel and alliances UK&I, Barracuda Networks Inc.

As organisations’ digital footprints grow across cloud, on-premises and hybrid environments, it’s inevitable that they need to continuously adapt their security to protect their employees, apps and services. For many IT teams this translates into a series of new security tools, each intended to address a specific concern or gap. As the volume and severity of cyberattacks continues to rise, Gartner estimates that end user spending on security and risk management will reach $215 billion this year, up by 14.3% from 2023. The good news is that there are many high quality security tools and services for organisations to choose from. Unfortunately, this is also the bad news. The vast array of options that organisations need to evaluate, choose from and implement creates its own challenges. Not all solutions integrate easily with each other and this can lead to visibility gaps. Further, managing a multitude of disparate security tools, often from different vendors, can use up valuable resources and time for the IT team. Channel partners have an important role to play in helping organisations to navigate through this complexity and embrace a more streamlined approach. The challenge of disparate security tools Organisations have different security needs, and these change over time. The associated stack of security products and services aslo tends to build up. Barracuda’s research has found that 47% of UK organisations with 100- 750 employees rely on security products from between 10 and 30 different vendors. The result is a complex, fragmented security infrastructure that obscures visibility of activity and potential threats. Many organisations can become stuck in a counterproductive loop: the more they spend on new security tools, the more

complex their stack becomes, and the more their security team struggles to manage everything, reducing the time available for security remediation and often leading to the introduction of additional tools. Breaking out of this cycle requires security integration. An important first step is to ensure your security tools, even if they are from different vendors, can communicate and share data and intelligence with each other. This reduces operational costs as well as the need for manual intervention to monitor or aggegrate data from different sources. Moving towards integration Channel partners can be expert advisors, helping organisations to achieve a more integrated approach and select the security solution that’s right for them. For many, the way forward could be to introduce a platform-based approach to security. This integrates various security domains – email, application, network and endpoint security – giving security teams centralised management and control that offers greater visibility over security operations and leads to stronger and more adaptive security responses. This approach can also bring cost benefits and enables organisations to scale and adapt quickly when new threats emerge. Helping customers take on a platform approach can open the door to longer-term contracts and provide potential for renewal as organisations scale or their security needs change. It enables partners to build their value proposition as strategic advisors and can provide a route to new revenue streams. Security complexity is not the inevitable outcome of an complex cyberthreat landscape. Partners can support customers in exploring platform-based security options to find the one that best helps them to build resilience, reduce costs and future-proof their protection in an ever-changing world.

Jessica Kingham


research has found that 47% of UK organisations with 100-750 employees rely on security products from between 10 and 30 different vendors.


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Turning up the volume HP’s annual Amplify Partner Conference 2024 was held in Las Vegas recently and included the launch of a range of innovative products, including AI PCs, as well as new AI-focused training and benefits for the company’s Partner Program.

Dave Shull president of HP Workforce Solutions

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been the talk of the tech world for some time, and the technology is developing at an unprecedented rate. It was perhaps unsurprising then that AI was one of the main focuses for HP’s annual Amplify Partner Conference, held this year on March 6 and 7. Held among the bright lights of Las Vegas in Nevada, USA, more than 1,500 partners from across the world came together at the Amplify Partner Conference to listen to HP’s plans, as well as to witness the unveiling of a raft of innovative new products and services – all of which will be available soon to partners to sell to customers. The conference boasted an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, including industry luminaries such as Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Intel’s Patrick Gelsinger, NVIDIA’s Jensen Huang and others. These sessions offered invaluable insights into the latest trends, innovations, and strategic initiatives driving the industry forward. There was also a sprawling 30,000sq ft innovation showcase, where HP unveiled its latest cutting-edge products and solutions tailored for AI and hybrid systems. With more than 100 AI-enabled offerings on display, attendees were treated to a firsthand experience of HP's commitment to driving

innovation in the technology landscape. For instance, HP launched a comprehensive range of AI-enabled PCs that aim to enhance productivity for users by making their lives easier through efficiency. There are also plans for an AI training and certification program for partners through its HP University, demonstrating the faith that HP has in AI as an increasingly important technology for across the business spectrum. In addition, a raft of updates to the HP Partner Program were announced, as was a range of colour printers. The conference showcased HP’s commitment to its ‘Future Ready’ strategy, emphasising partner readiness for emerging opportunities like AI and hybrid systems. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, HP aims to equip partners with the tools and resources needed to thrive in today's rapidly evolving market landscape. AI impact But it was AI that took centre stage at the HP Amplify Partner Conference. To kick things off, HP announced new findings from its Work Relationship Index , a comprehensive study that surveyed more than 15,600 respondents across 12 countries, which revealed that while the world’s relationship with work is strained



AI PCs To this end, HP announced the launch of a new portfolio of AI PCs at the Amplify Partner Conference, which aim to leverage the power of AI to enhance productivity, creativity and user experiences in hybrid work settings. “At HP, our mission is to empower companies to capitalise on the power of AI, sparking ambitious and meaningful progress in every organisation,” said Alex Cho, president of Personal Systems, HP Inc. “We are proud to represent the industry’s broadest portfolio of AI PCs. By harnessing AI as a personal tool, we are creating more personalised and meaningful work experiences, revolutionising the way we interact with technology and each other in the workplace.” HP has introduced a new generation of AI HP Elite and Pro PCs, featuring Copilot in Windows7 and Windows 11 Pro8, and Z by HP mobile workstations. The solutions are equipped with AI capabilities powered by Intel® Core™ Ultra 5 and 7 processors or next- generation AMD Ryzen™ PRO processors with dedicated NPUs for tackling AI tasks with more personalised performance. HP Smart Sense is designed to automatically anticipate and adjust to individual PC usage behaviour, ensuring the best balance of performance and power. In addition, Poly Studio audio and Dynamic Voice Levelling, AI Noise Reduction and automatic framing offer improved, natural on-camera interaction and collaboration for a seamless user experience – something that is increasingly demanded by hybrid workers who want the same quality of experience wherever they are working. HP now has the largest portfolio of Intel® and AMD-based AI PCs14, demonstrating a commitment to innovation and performance. The lineup includes: l HP Elite 1000 Series G11 Notebook PCs: Designed to deliver a seamless blend of portability, performance, and up to 21 hours of battery life for work on the go. Harnessing the power of AI, users experience up to 80% better graphics performance, up to 38% less power for AI-enhanced collaboration, and up to 132% faster AI video editing compared to the previous generation. With HP Smart Sense, AI transforms the PC’s power so it runs up to 40% quieter. Over 70% of major parts contain recycled materials, including recycled fishnets in the keyboard. Additionally, power

– just 27% of knowledge workers reporting a healthy work relationship – and employee expectations are rising, AI is seen as a key to unlocking better relationships with work. “AI represents a significant opportunity to transform our work dynamics and unlock a more positive and productive environment for all,” said Dave Shull, president of HP Workforce Solutions. “To foster greater understanding and acceptance of AI – and ensure employees know how to reap its benefits – business leaders must take the initiative to educate employees on AI’s potential and spearhead its effective integration.” AI’s potential to foster healthier relationships with work is well understood by the workforce – with business leaders and IT decision makers leading the way. For instance, 54% of knowledge workers, 72% of business leaders and 70% of IT decision makers see the role AI can play in improving work-life balance. To a similar extent, employees believe that AI can streamline tasks and make their job easier (business leaders 75%, knowledge workers 58%). The gap between business leaders, ITDMs and knowledge workers demonstrates the need for business leaders to effectively communicate the benefits of AI and educate employees on how to integrate it into their work processes – to help drive better business outcomes at the same time as strengthening individuals’ relationships with work. The survey showed that uncertainty persists regarding how best to use AI and take full advantage of it: 42% individuals reported feeling unsure of when to use AI in the workplace and 41% said they felt ill-equipped to harness AI’s full potential in their role. With 73% of business leaders and 66% of knowledge workers advocating for proper AI training, there’s a clear call for organisations to prioritise upskilling initiatives to empower their workforce in embracing AI technologies. “In an evolving work landscape where businesses are striving to unlock heightened engagement, retention and productivity, as well as keeping their employees inspired, the strategic integration of AI emerges as a potent force for transformation,” said Stella Low, chief communications officer, HP Inc. “Knowledge workers around the world are looking to senior leadership to show them how to navigate the AI terrain effectively: the stage is set for business leaders to seize the opportunity to both empower their employees and drive success.”

Alex Cho president of Personal Systems

By harnessing

AI as a personal tool, we are creating more personalised and meaningful work experiences, revolutionising the way we interact with technology and each other in the workplace.

HP EliteBook 1040 G11 Notebook PC



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