WHY YOU NEED A DEDICATED DOCUMENT SCANNER Page 32
BULLETIN BOARD : The latest news and products from across the Channel – pages 6-10 IT SECURITY : Hybrid World Security – page 16 2022 REVIEW : With ECI, Exertis, PaperCut, SYNAXON, TD SYNNEX, Vivitek & Zyxel – pages 30-35 INDUSTRY EVENTS : Network Group Awards – pages 36-37 CELEBRATING TECHNOLOGY : Ingram Micro Festival of Technology – pages 40-45
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That was the year that was This year has been another that has sent unexpected challenges for businesses in the channel – but as ever, they have risen to it.
about our commentators’ perspective on the year on page 30. Speaking of cloud technology, while it is now well established, there are still many businesses that have yet to transition to it, especially SMEs. This is something that resellers can play a core role in for their customers and guide them through every step of the process. See more on p12. Something else that has returned this year is the in-person event. After two years of virtual meetings, many people have taken the opportunity to get back to face-to-face interaction in 2022, and we review two recent events, Ingram Micro’s Festival of Technology and Network Group’s Annual Exhibition, Gala and Awards on pages 40 and 36 respectively. Elsewhere in the issue, we investigate IT security – something that has become more difficult for many IT heads following the pandemic and the rise of home and hybrid working in the past three years. But resellers can help them to ensure that their business critical information stays safe. See page 16 for the full feature. So, what will 2023 bring? Experience tells us that it is difficult to predict – although that is something we will be asking businesses to do in our next issue, which will be out in early January. I hope you enjoy the issue. As always, if there are any topics you would like to see covered in the coming issues, or you wanted to get involved in editorial or advertising, please contact me at email@example.com
As the nights draw in and the shops are stuffed with Christmas products, another year draws quickly to a close, so it is a good time to reflect on the past 12 months. As with 2020 and 2021, this year has been like few others and presented challenges to businesses in the channel and their customers that couldn’t have been predicted. January somehow seems a very long time ago – after all, the country was still under strict COVID social distancing restrictions back then and there was much uncertainty about the future. But as restrictions were gradually lifted, and the country returned to something like normal, so did trading conditions. This gave rise to some much-needed optimism in the channel and some confidence that many businesses could focus again on growing sales and profits and get back to pre-pandemic levels, especially as it was made clear by the government that lockdowns were a thing of the past. It wasn’t to last and, yet again, something unexpected changed the complexion of the year and the economic outlook: Russia invaded Ukraine, which sent fuel prices rocketing, along with inflation, and caused businesses in the channel to adapt again. That said, many businesses in the channel have enjoyed a successful year, with several customer trends ensuring healthy sales, such as the continued growth of hybrid working and the adoption of cloud technology. You can read more
News You should know p6 New in the Channel Hot products p10 Cloud Tech Migrating businesses p12 IT Security Hybird world security p16 Data Storage Providing the best fit for end users p29 Review of 2022 Impact on the Channel p30 Network Group Awards Celebrating success p36 Ingram Micro Festival of Technology Celebrating technology p40 UC&C Providing solutions p46 On the Move Appointments p48 Business Intelligence Notebook market p50
IT Security – p16
Network Group Awards – p36
Threats to IT security have continued to increase in the past couple of years, and with a more dispersed workforce now than ever before, those in charge of IT have more to consider – and resellers have an important partner in ensuring businesses stay safe.
The Network Group Annual Exhibition, Gala & Awards took place recently, showcasing those who have excelled in the past year and provided great opportunities to network and catch up with friends.
Review of 2022 – p30
It has been another year of unexpected
events impacting on the channel, but, as usual, businesses have shown their resilience.
Adopting Cloud Technology – p12
Data Storage – p29
Cloud technology may be well established, but there are still many businesses, especially SMEs, that still need to migrate over to it, and this is something resellers can play a core role in – and really should do.
David Treadwell, solutions director at Titan Data Solutions, talks about how IT resellers can provide the best fit management solutions to their end user customers and what they should look for in their distributor suppliers.
UC&C – p46
Ingram Micro Festival of Technology – p40
Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ newsinthechannel.com Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ newsinthechannel.com Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ newsinthechannel.com Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of News in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2022 In the Channel Media Ltd.
Ingram Micro’s recent Festival of Technology brought together leading players in the sector to showcase cutting edge technology that resellers should be looking to offer customers.
UC&C is a fast-growing set of technologies and provides huge opportunities for resellers to sell into customers in the coming months and years.
Cover Story – p32
Canon: 6 reasons you
need a dedicated document scanner and a guide to what’s available
On the Move – p48
HR changes: Graham Charlton to become CEO of Softcat as they look to the medium term and Mick Harrison joins XBM as service director.
Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street,
Business Intelligence – p50
In the second part of his look at how consumer behaviour was affected by COVID-19, data analyst Wickus Bester investigates broader changes in the notebook market.
Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:
Westcoast and KOMSA agree partnership
alliance for privately owned global ICT brands, with a workforce of more than 2,200 employees, a combined turnover of more than EUR5.5 billion and brings together more than 400 technology partners with 30,000 retail partners and some 75,000 points of sale. “In combination with the logistical strength of both companies, the joint technology expertise to link IT and TC and the expertise around repair and refurbishment, we help industry, trade and business to participate in technological progress,” said Joe Hemani, chairman and founder of Westcoast. “KOMSA also contributes extensive knowledge in the area of unified communications into our partnership, and also its specific know- how in setting up agile structures is of strategic importance for Westcoast. “The fact that we are thus participating in KOMSA beyond the partnership is a strong signal and confirms our continued commitment and trust in the ICT industry. We will bring our know-how from the highly competitive IT market to the world of telecommunications, which will improve the customer experience and range of available services. With access to the German growth market, where we have not been significantly active to date, we are also strategically expanding our market position.” The merger is still subject to the approval by the competent authorities. The first closing is expected for January 2023. Within the process, KOMSA’s founders and owners will settle the company succession: Westcoast will take over their shares step by step by 2025 at the latest.
Westcoast (Holdings) Ltd and KOMSA plan to establish a close strategic partnership to form the largest private sales, marketing and service partner for global brands in the technology industry in Europe. The companies say that retail as well as technology partners will benefit from the strategic partnership of the two leaders in their respective markets. “The main driver is the convergence of the IT and telecommunications infrastructure, which opens up completely new applications and productivity gains for the companies,” said Pierre- Pascal Urbon, CEO and CFO of KOMSA. A current example is the integration of cloud- based collaboration software such as Microsoft Teams into the infrastructures already existing at the company level. “In order to realise the productivity gains, you need the right equipment, services as well as professional advice,” said Pierre-Pascal. “By merging with Westcoast, we are able to enrich our sector expertise in telecommunications with IT. This is of high strategic value to us, as it allows us to offer our customers a unique range of services and pass onto them the efficiencies generated by the merger. “In addition, the merger gives KOMSA access to markets in the UK, Ireland and France, where it has not been significantly active to date. The company will use the regional expansion to strengthen its business relationship with technology partners and to market the lease and operation of smartphones (device-as-a-service) on an international scale.” The partnership will create the largest European
Demand for MPS continues to grow, say Brother
benefitting from a three-month notice period. An increase in MPS page volumes is also matched by an uptick in devices currently used as part of MPS contracts, up 25% in the quarter compared to this time last year. This has helped Brother to retain its position as the number one provider of single and multifunction colour laser printers, after securing the top spot in early 2022. “The continued increase in demand for print via MPS, highlights its growth in popularity as firms focus on driving productivity and cost-efficiency,” said Greig Millar, general manager for sales, services and solutions at Brother UK. “This also points to an opportunity for print partners, with customers looking to adapt print infrastructure as their hybrid working arrangements evolve. MPS contracts also benefit resellers as much as the businesses they support, as securing
Brother UK has posted a successive record- breaking quarter for its managed print services (MPS) division, signalling the growing popularity among businesses for contract printing. The number of pages printed via Brother’s MPS contracts over the past three months grew by 13%, surpassing the previous record levels achieved in April. The business attributes the rise in page volumes to significant demand from the grocery and healthcare sectors, with channel partners providing support for GP surgeries and pharmacies in particular. Growth in demand for MPS follows the launch earlier this year of PrintSmart Essential, a print subscription service for SMEs. The solution allows firms to pay a small monthly fee for their ink and toner supplies, device installation, supplies recycling and maintenance services, while
Greig Millar general manager for sales, services and solutions Brother UK
latest figures proves that it pays dividends. “The immediate priority for resellers looking to tap into this opportunity is embracing MPS and its benefits and understanding how to relay those to customers. We’re helping to make it more accessible with the launch of low-cost options like PrintSmart Essential that’s specifically designed to support small businesses with lower volume requirements, which is a key area of growth. This is alongside continually evolving our portfolio of devices to support the modern world of work.”
customers on contracts provides partners with clarity over their order book, recurring revenue from supplies, and an opportunity to build strong relationships and demonstrate the level of support they can offer. “We can attribute our own success, particularly when it comes to MPS, to providing more bespoke assessments and offering tailored solutions based entirely on extensive conversations with businesses. Getting under the skin of how they operate and identifying hidden pinch points is crucial, and our
Retailers turn to cloud faxing to keep confidential documents safe
“Even though email is a widely accepted and widely used communication method, it is flawed and susceptible to interception and hacking. Cloud faxing is more secure than email - not least because fax infrastructure has limited exposure to the internet and internet connected devices.” eFax identified the following reasons for faxing’s ongoing importance to retail organisations: l S ecurity: retailers are vulnerable to threats posed by cyber criminals – information on payables and receivables is especially valuable – and so must use communications systems that are secure against interception and data theft. Cloud-based fax uses encryption technology during transmission, providing the safety and security a retailer needs l Privacy: the retail sector operates on the slimmest of margins and any extra operating costs can impact the bottom line. Cloud- based fax systems do away with hardware and paper and are a scalable solution that can be costed against use l Flexibility: cloud-based faxing enables retailers and distributors to transmit and view faxes from any device or format, delivering considerable flexibility to any retail operation l Speed: cloud-based faxing is fast, which means retailers can adjust their operations and respond more quickly to changes and issues in the market. “By replacing expensive
Cloud-based fax plays an essential role in the day-to-day transmission of sensitive and confidential information across multiple sectors, due to its high levels of security and privacy, a survey has found. The survey of 1,000 senior IT and business decision-makers in SMEs, large enterprises and public sector organisations in the UK and Europe, conducted by digital fax services provider eFax, found that 68% of retail organisations surveyed said they intend to continue using cloud fax for at least the next five years, while 14% said they will continue using it for the foreseeable future. Among fax users in retail, 29% said they also send and receive confidential documents via password protected emails, while 32% said they also use email encrypted software. When it comes to fax, 32% use cloud-based fax systems, while 42% use a combination of cloud and traditional faxing. In addition, 17% of respondents remained wedded to their traditional fax machine. When asked about security, 62% identified security as ‘critical’ when it comes to considering cloud-based fax systems, with 21% identifying cloud-based fax systems as ‘extremely secure.’ “It’s clear from our poll that fax remains central to the day-to-day operations of many retail organisations by enabling the secure transmission of valuable and legally binding documentation,” said Scott Wilson, vice president of sales and service at eFax. “This arrangement is set to continue for years to come. “There are many different industries where fax is the most common means of communication. Regulations require that many documents be sent in a safe and secure environment. The information contained in these documents is often sensitive and confidential, so a completely secure communication method is needed, one that can transmit important information quickly and securely.
Scott Wilson vice president of sales and service eFax
fax infrastructures with a fully hosted secure
business fax solution, retailers of all sizes benefit from a significant boost in productivity, streamlined workflows and reduced costs,” concluded Wilson.
Titan Data Solutions and Hammerspace announce new partnership
finance, legal and media and entertainment, who have the same issues when working across multiple sites.” Enterprises, research organisations and content creators have experienced a massive change in how they create, process, store and share data. Data is scattered across storage clusters and cloud instances and often needs to be used by a remote workforce and applications. Hammerspace provides the solution to make
Titan Data Solutions has established a distribution agreement with Hammerspace, which provides a data orchestration platform enabling high-performance data ingest and efficient data management in a single global namespace for multi-site, multi-cloud and distributed workflows. Designed to make data a global resource across distributed or otherwise incompatible storage platforms, Hammerspace enables read/write data access to any user and any application, in any datacentre or any cloud, anywhere. “Data driven organisations need specialised storage to meet the performance and capacity requirements of their workloads. Titan is proud to provide the choice of storage needed for any environment,” said Steve Low, Titan co-founder and sales director. “These specialised storage solutions have also created a challenge in how to use data across data silos. We are thrilled to have Hammerspace available to provide the data access solution decentralised organisations need when working with data stored at the edge, in datacentres, or across different clouds. “It certainly meets the requirements of companies that we work with in life sciences,
Steve Low, sales director, Titan
data a global asset while leveraging the storage platforms where the data was created. “Hammerspace is
excited to team with Titan Data Solutions to bring the advantages of the Global Data Environment to innovative organisations in the UK and Europe,” said Jim Choumas, VP of Global Channel Sales at Hammerspace. “Data architectures are going through a paradigm shift. The incredible technical expertise of the Titan Team will help make global data a reality, faster.”
TD SYNNEX to provide co-delivery services for Dell Technologies partners
technical and professional services team is able to deliver. We will be carrying out this work for and on behalf of partners and we’ll be making sure we pay the utmost care and attention to every detail of customer service. With the skills gap currently faced across the channel, we can support our partners and enable them to offer a full suite of services.” Andy Brown, technical services director, Advanced Solutions, UK and Ireland, TD SYNNEX, added: “Providing services with and through our partners is becoming an increasingly important element of our business. Yet our technical and professional services capability is perhaps one of our best-kept secrets. All of that resource is also available to our partners who have a need for additional pre-sales consultancy or support, or chargeable post-sales implementation, maintenance and servicing.” All the Dell contract work will be carried out on services that have been sold by partners. TD SYNNEX professional and technical services are available for partners to utilise and sell on to their own customers.
TD SYNNEX has signed an agreement to fulfil Dell Professional Services that are sold by their joint reseller partners in the UK. The partnership means that whenever partners sell a Dell Professional Services contract for server or storage products, TD SYNNEX can provide the support and service on behalf of Dell. The services on offer range from consulting to installation and deployment. To qualify for this partnership arrangement, TD SYNNEX’s Professional Services team had to attain an extensive array of Dell technical certifications. Amy Brady, Dell EMC business unit director, UK and Ireland, at TD SYNNEX, said that with a dedicated Dell Technologies sales team of 21, and a seven-strong technical pre-sales team, TD SYNNEX is ready to help Dell partners maximise their opportunities. “Adding co-delivery to our value-add offering means we can provide a true end to end service for our partners and their end users,” said Amy. “Being appointed to provide servicing on Dell servers and storage products demonstrates the expertise and high standards that the TD SYNNEX
Andy Brown technical services director TD SYNNEX
Building a Disruptive Technologies Business Unit that serves the channel
We’ve been on a journey since the business unit’s inception, introducing new and innovative tech into the UK
Exertis Partners with CT4 to bring Microsoft 365 Backup Services
Exertis has partnered with CT4 to distribute its SaaS solutions in the UK. Australia-based CT4 offers data protection services to simplify data control and safety processes. CT4’s Cirrus backup software – a trusted, cost- effective Microsoft 365 backup solution – makes CT4 a reliable provider of protection for clients’ data from accidental deletion or ransomware. “We are thrilled to be distributing CT4’s data backup services,” said Rik Hubbard, Exertis Cloud Services director. “The Cirrus Backup service forms a key part of helping our partners protect their customers’ Microsoft 365 data against accidental loss or malicious actors. The All You Can Eat value of the service makes this a simple bolt on to any user licence.” Dan Pearson, founder of CT4, added: “Cirrus provides an affordable and effective automated back- up of all Microsoft 365 data, one of the most used business tools in the world. The relationship with Exertis UK is a further step in our mission to become a global leader in delivering solutions to the data control challenges faced by modern businesses.”
market. Our team have engaged with several industry verticals including Manufacturing & Warehousing, Healthcare, Retail, and Smart Buildings, implementing solutions that drastically improve efficiency, safety, and sustainability, while driving cost savings. An important step in building an offering that adds value is selecting the right portfolio of vendors. We screened hundreds of vendors in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) space across US, EMEA and APAC. This has enabled us to identify a selection of reliable and scalable technologies for building an open eco- system of solutioning. The eco-system enables the delivery of customisable end-to-end solutions, from hardware, middleware, cloud, to front-end applications. In many instances we have worked with partners to help develop their own front-end applications for their end-customers. We have also engaged very closely with stakeholders in the industry to further adapt and improve the technologies in our eco-system to deliver on specific customer requirements. Examples of this include working closely in the Manufacturing & Warehousing space for tracking of hand-held devices and terminals for loss prevention. The project currently involves use of prototype technology for pilots spread across several partners. Another project involves custom AI & machine learning development for Computer Vision solutions in Retail for analysing customer preferences. For new partners entering the IoT and AI space, understanding the complex ecosystem and delivering the critical infrastructure needed can seem like a daunting task. To break down this barrier we’ve invested in a team of technical and commercial consultants with domain expertise and experience that help partners cut through the noise and implement the best-fit solution. This is also backed by end-to-end support from Ingram Micro’s industry-recognised leadership in procurement, to solution design, pilot proposals, deployments, and managed services. As a result, we act as a singular and comprehensive place for both, partners who are just starting this journey, and partners who already have an established IoT strategy. Talk to our team today – OG-AIOT@ingrammicro.com Bhavesh Patel Senior Executive – Ingram Micro UK’s Disruptive Technologies Business Unit
Dan Pearson, CT4
Konica Minolta supports young people exploring careers in the digital world
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd supported the recent Tameside HACK event – a coding competition that encourages 11–18-year- olds to discover and explore the array of career opportunities available in the digital world. The eighth Tameside HACK was run by Konica Minolta customer, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, in Greater Manchester. The two- day event took place during the half-term school holiday on October 26-27 at the ICT department of Tameside College. During the event, participants worked in teams and were mentored, to find solutions to technology challenges, which this year focused on cyber security, sustainability, mental health and gaming. Konica Minolta presented a prize to the Best Newcomer at the event, joining other supporters such as Quest Media, Nequinox, Barclays EagleLabs and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation. “It is important to support initiatives such as the Tameside HACK, that engage the next generation of talented technology professionals, helping them to discover new career opportunities and putting them on the right path, through education and skills development,” said Jason Barnes, head of public sector at Konica Minolta.
NEW IN THE CHANNEL
Cradlepoint launches small-site router and modular modem
Cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network solutions provider Cradlepoint has launched the Cradlepoint E300 Series 5G Enterprise Router and the Cradlepoint MC400 5G Modular Modem. These new 5G wireless edge networking solutions are ideal for FWA, small sites, and mobile use cases that enable a modern, agile, and connected enterprise. According to June’s Ericsson Mobility Report , new 5G rate plans from wireless carriers, including speed- based tariffs, have unlocked new interest in FWA. FWA data traffic represented 20% of global mobile network data traffic in 2021 and 5G FWA is expected to grow to 110 million connections by 2027. The demand for 5G in various forms to meet the needs of agile enterprises is escalating. With Cradlepoint’s new E300 5G router and MC400 5G modular modem, enterprises will have more options to take advantage of 5G and FWA. Customers worldwide will be able to cost-effectively deploy smaller sites, pop-up deployments, IoT, and secondary 5G connections for applications such as public safety vehicles, and remote workers. “Fixed wireless access is taking off in the enterprise as businesses strive to reinvent themselves in the era of 5G,” said Donna Johnson, SVP of marketing
at Cradlepoint. The E300 5G router, for small-footprint sites, is based on proven second-generation 5G technology. Its all-in-one platform design is ideal for primary and failover connectivity. It also supports the company’s recently announced NetCloud Exchange software for secure connectivity, SD-WAN, and Zero-Trust Networks Access. Meanwhile, the MC400 5G is a modular modem that supports up to two carriers utilising two SIM cards. It allows customers to add or field-upgrade a second 5G modem to any Cradlepoint 5G-ready or optimised router. Benefits include: l Higher availability: add a second 5G link for high-speed primary and failover connectivity l Ultimate WAN Diversity™: Combine 5G with dual-modem, dual-SIM, and multi-carrier functionality with Ethernet; and Wi-Fi as WAN l Flexibility: auto-switch SIM cards between carriers upon reaching a data plan cap. Cradlepoint’s E300 5G router and MC400 5G are controlled and managed by the Cradlepoint NetCloud platform, which also provides cellular intelligence, security, SD-WAN, remote troubleshooting and analytics and insights solutions.
Donna Johnson SVP marketing
Konica Minolta announces commitment for the deployment of AIRe Link on RealWear headsets
Konica Minolta has announced a new commitment with the US-based assisted reality devices for frontline workers provider RealWear. The partnership extends Konica Minolta’s use of its remote visual support tool AIRe Link on smartphones and tablets for use with RealWear headsets. Konica Minolta AIRe Link is a remote support application that allows service specialists to see what customers see and to remotely guide them visually to fix an issue. Before the new partnership it was possible to use the application via any tablet or smartphone to which the customer received a link and could thus open the application in a browser. In this way, the problem can be solved more quickly and virtually. Remote support can also reduce travel times and costs as well as CO2 emissions. “Our experience has shown that the majority of issues can be solved using remote visual support in combination with a smartphone,” said Zdenek Vrbka, programme manager, Intelligent Connected Workplace, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe. “However, there are situations where the smartphone blocking one hand is an issue. That is
why we decided to partner with RealWear – one of the market leaders in the assisted reality market – to add a hands-free application to our offering.” Konica Minolta identified several hands-free use cases when using AIRe Link internally and in discussion with other manufacturing vendors: “For example, in one use case, an operator of a complex machine needs help with the machine configuration or a machine malfunction and needs both hands free to follow the instructions from the machine vendor. In another example, a junior field engineer is fixing a complex machine and needs advice from a more experienced colleague and needs both hands to fix the machine.” By extending AIRe Link with head-mounted wearables, customers can now use remote visual support in situations that require hands-free operations. Any user can now easily use AIRe Link on RealWear by downloading the free application from RealWear Cloud. Since the first deployment of AIRe Link in 2020, more than 6,000 technical experts are now using it, supporting thousands of customers and frontline professionals. Of these, 40% of are external customers.
Zdenek Vrbka programme manager
Speak to an expert Basingstoke 01256 707 070 Burnley 01282 776 776 store.exertis.co.uk
ADOPTING CLOUD TECHNOLOGY
Cloud setting in Cloud technology may be well established, but there are still many businesses, especially SMEs, that still need to migrate over to it, and this is something resellers can play a core role in – and really should do.
While the pandemic markedly increased the uptake of cloud technologies by businesses, there are still plenty of small and medium-sized companies that have yet to take the plunge and still rely on things like physical servers. There are many reasons for this – from not understanding the technology to worries over cost – but there are more compelling arguments for migrating, and this something that resellers need to emphasise to customers. “Cloud is bigger than we can imagine,” says Ovi Gherghel, director cloud and cyber security, UK&I at Ingram Micro UK. “When speaking about cloud, we need to look forward and at the opportunities ahead of us. I’m not exaggerating when I say cloud is growing. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that in 2023, worldwide public cloud spending will grow 20.7% to total $591.8 billion, up from $490.3 billion in 2022.” But there are still quite a few MSPs that haven’t embraced cloud too, Ovi adds. “Everyone is selling some sort of cloud today, but you can’t do it only through hardware. I think there is a lot of room for MSPs to build a cloud practice.” However, Ovi notes that building a cloud practice isn’t straightforward. “There are loads of cloud providers and if as an MSP you want to do it right, you have to think about what the end customer wants to achieve,” he says. “The end customers are the ones driving demand in the market.” This is where companies like Ingram Micro come in and can provide the support and expertise in the cloud that MSPs need. “When customers go to the MSP and ask about cloud, that is when the MSP comes to Ingram Micro,” Ovi says. “We want to support MSPs to retain their business and the best way to do that is to make their customers more dependent on the services and new products they can offer. The smart MSPs react fast, and we are there to support them in building that cloud practice and helping them to be proactive rather than reactive to customer demand. “As an MSP, to start building a cloud practice you will need someone to support you along the way. If you want to move software from on-premises to the cloud, you must be aware that there are different options. We have all the expertise behind to support an MSP that wants to build a cloud practice
and provide the right advice to the end customer on which platform to choose. “The MSP also has to think about the kind of applications that can be run on those platforms, how do you do the lift and shift from on-premise to cloud? How do I secure that? This is what we do at Ingram Micro; we can hand-hold partners from pre- assessment to post-deployment. “It is important to understand the services you can wraparound a cloud offering. The more software introduced to an end customer, the more managed services and professional services that can be sold into that customer. “We work with hundreds of vendors to support our MSPs to make the right decision for their customer. In this multi-cloud world, there is no-one- size-fits all and that is where an MSP can bring real value to the end customer by offering a solution to the customer’s need rather than trying to sell a product and wraparound some services afterwards.”
Ovi Gherghel director cloud and cyber security, UK&I Ingram Micro UK
There are loads of cloud providers and if as an MSP you “
want to do it right, you have to think about what the end customer wants to achieve. The end customers are the ones driving demand in the market.
Understanding business needs But for MSPs to sell cloud services effectively to SME customers that have yet to migrate to the cloud, they need to understand the requirements of their business, says Raymond Ma, general manager of Europe, Australia & New Zealand, at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “SMEs that need to migrate their existing infrastructure to the cloud can start by developing a full understanding of their current and future business requirements. This includes their infrastructure, security and application environments,” he says. “Assessing their existing IT portfolio will help to determine what is best suited to a public cloud platform or SaaS alternatives. “The assessment can start with the finance
ADOPTING CLOUD TECHNOLOGY
Trends One of the current trends among customers, which is borne out of good practice, is to migrate the lowest-risk, lowest-value apps to the cloud first to assess the new infrastructure, Steve adds. “Once established, the most mission critical apps and services can be moved across. Customers are demanding ease of migration, with limited disruption to the business and the assurance of business continuity throughout the entire migration process.” Raymond adds that with hybrid working now the norm, businesses of all sizes are moving more of their critical business infrastructure online and using hybrid cloud solutions. “This enables businesses, especially SMEs, to scale their workloads based on compliance, policy, and security requirements while replicating business-critical data to the cloud,” he says. “We have seen more businesses across different industries – such as retail, financial, manufacturing, media and entertainment and gaming - adopt a hybrid cloud approach in order to enjoy the benefits of public and private cloud. Hybrid cloud deployments benefit from public cloud’s agility, elasticity, and cost-effectiveness without compromising the robust data security provided by the private cloud.” Future Raymond adds that demand is growing and will become core to many more businesses in the short- to medium-term. “As businesses migrated their critical businesses online during the pandemic, business decision makers worked closed with trusted cloud service providers to manage their online footprint in a cost-effective, resilient yet secure way,” he says. “Cloud computing and data- based intelligence services are in a pivotal position to capture such growing demand and future trends in the post-pandemic world. “Looking forward, we believe we are just at the beginning of the cloud and digital intelligence era. By providing our technologies, solutions and domain expertise via the cloud to enable the digital transformation of different industries, more private and public sector organisations will embrace and adopt the cloud for their core businesses in the next 18 months.” Steve adds that the migration to cloud services by SMEs will continue for the foreseeable future, but there will be a focus on certain aspects. “Businesses often respond to evolving economic circumstances by ensuring that their IT can support the business to give it the agility it needs to navigate change and challenges swiftly,” he says. “Given the current global uncertainties, we think in 2023 there will be a focus on cloud security, backup, and scalability.”
department. For example, building an enterprise resource planning system in the cloud can simplify business functions, better align teams across HR, production, customer relationship management and supply chain management. By optimising resources and integrating SAP instances, businesses can drive efficiency and maximise their profits.”
Raymond Ma general manager of Europe, Australia & New Zealand Alibaba Cloud Intelligence We believe we are just at the beginning of the cloud and digital intelligence era “ ”
Emphasising benefits These are benefits that resellers need to
emphasise, as is the ability to scale usage of it. “In a way, cloud computing is like electricity,” says Raymond. “SMEs can consume the computing power in a highly scalable way, while benefitting from an ‘as-needed’ payment model. This gives SMEs the option of buying IT resources when they need to. This enables them to scale their computation resources effectively and efficiently should there be a spike in online visits or orders through the store due to unexpected reasons, such as a flash sale, an event or festival.” Steve Holmes, PaperCut’s EMEA regional director and GM, adds that another selling point is its flexibility. “Like many enterprise-scale organisations, SMEs need access to their data in real-time and wherever their staff may be; especially in this era of hybrid working,” he says. “In addition to that access and flexibility, many SMEs will be looking to keep costs down and therefore will be interested in cloud solutions with no additional overheads for storage maintenance and no hardware maintenance. When you hear a customer say they’re looking to move away from servers and IT infrastructure, that’s your pitch opportunity. “While each customer’s reasons for migrating services and apps to the cloud will differ according to the needs of their business, dealers should centre their discussions on the core benefits of data security, scalability and enhanced collaboration. They should also focus on the value of the automated software updates, optimised process efficiency and operational cost reductions.” Steve adds that it is important for resellers to be part of a customer’s journey to using cloud technology and act as an adviser to them, as well as a retailer. “Many dealers pride themselves on their ability to add value, and the cloud migration project is a terrific opportunity to demonstrate how well they can do that,” he says. “For most companies, moving to the cloud will be a daunting prospect because so much hinges on how smooth the process will be, and how effective the cloud will be once the migration is complete. Dealers need to be able to advise, inform, reassure, and address issues swiftly as they arise if customers are to feel comfortable about transitioning to the cloud.”
Steve Holmes EMEA regional director and GM PaperCut SMEs will be looking to keep costs down and therefore will “ be interested in cloud solutions with no additional overheads
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Staying secure in a hybrid world
Threats to IT security have continued to increase in the past couple of years, and with a more dispersed workforce now than ever before, those in charge of IT have more to consider – and resellers have an important partner in ensuring businesses stay safe.
While home and hybrid working might be more convenient for workers in terms of work-life balance, it can cause major headaches for those in the business responsible for IT security, especially as cyberattacks are continuing to increase. The ENISA Threat Landscape 2021 report noted there was a 150% increase in ransomwear threats between April 2020 and July 2021 – and, with more IT outside of the traditional office security, this is a worry for all businesses that operate mixed working practices. “The hybrid and home working environments have made securing an IT system much more complex,” says Bart van Moorsel, cybersecurity solution design specialist for EMEA at TD SYNNEX. “When the pandemic first began, suddenly businesses were faced with a situation that employees needed to start working from home,” he says. “They just picked up their workstations and other equipment and went home. The security situation was in many cases not well prepared for the remote home working environment, where the IT environment is typically dressed up with a consumer broadband and router. Research from 2022 showed that 65% of customers have not changed their default password on their broadband router. “Now, as business takes place online more than before as employees are increasingly using
video conferencing applications and web-based collaborative platforms, it gives cyber criminals more inroads into an organisation. “There is also a misunderstanding around security products and zero trust as it is assumed that they provide far and wide security protection for a business. That is not true. These products do provide security for an organisation, but only to an extent. Employees also are responsible for ensuring that they are not opening phishing emails and clicking on malicious links. With increased reliance on web-based applications and platforms, and lack of education around cybersecurity, businesses are still struggling to get to grips with protecting their business.” Bart adds that there are additional threats to consider. For instance, on a home network, employees have other devices connected, which businesses do not have oversite on the security of. “These could be infected with malware without a business knowing,” he says. “Further, another security threat from the remote situation is data loss. The item businesses want to protect has now ‘left the building’. Employees are now using new tools from the cloud and web-based collaborate platforms to enable the remote working, but this gives cyber criminals more inroads. That also means that is it
Bart van Moorsel TD SYNNEX
The security situation was in many cases not well prepared for the remote home working environment “
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change to working practices for all,” he says. Andrew adds that there has been an influx of detection and response solutions (EDR, XDR, NDR, MDR) and services that focus on the endpoint, SaaS, cloud, network or service to address the new age of security risks. “The market is also seeing an increase in zero trust network solutions that allow for a different approach to today’s security challenges.” He adds that dealers can look to specialist providers to partner with to provide end-to-end solutions that offer protection to customers as part of an overall service. In terms of selling this to customers, Andrew believes that dealers should focus on the benefits of lowering risk, disruption and cost to their business. “Gone are the days of ‘if’ you get attacked, it is now ‘when’,” he says. “Customers need to understand that when that situation occurs, they are in the best position with the correct protection and partners to support them. Doing so will minimise any disruption, loss and cost to their business and customers.” Partnership Dave Prezzano from HP adds that its important for businesses to work in partnership with their security provider. “Making a business cyber-secure is never done and dusted,” he says. “The threat landscape is evolving rapidly, and the high-speed digital transformation of businesses is still playing out. “IT departments are under immense pressure to support workers while ensuring that business networks are secure and accessible anywhere, any time. Increasingly, office workers have high expectations that security be a help and not a hindrance to productivity; and to be productive, most organisations will need partners that take on tasks like device management, accessibility and more. Put simply: when it comes to cyber security, customers will have to rely on the expert advisory and professional services of IT resellers. “It’s often said that every company is now a technology company – but that doesn’t mean they should be their own IT services and cybersecurity shop. The latest HP Wolf Security’s Out of Sight, Out of Mind report shows that 91% of IT decision makers are spending more time on endpoint security now than they did two years ago. This indicates that IT solution providers will want to rely on computing products with built-in protection, like HP Wolf Security, to provide seamless and always- on defence for remote work environments. HP Wolf Security reduces the addressable attack surface and enables remote recovery from firmware attacks – essential in a distributed environment – and offers solutions such as self-healing firmware, in-
much harder for businesses to keep track of who has access to what data and what is done with that data.” Education Jason Manar, Kaseya CISO, adds that IT heads must constantly evaluate their security tool stack, policies and compensating controls, but equally important is ensuing that users are aware of security threats. “When talking about security for anyone’s entire environment, the frontline of any good security program is one’s end user – i.e., the human factor,” he says. “Having a robust education plan in place that addresses all facets of security for your employees is paramount when talking about securing any network or platform.” Jason adds that this could be through brown bag “lunch and learns” with the CISO, the CISO talking to every new hire, quarterly trainings, newsletters, or the CEO constantly bringing up cyber threats. “Almost equally important is creating a security- first mindset and culture that starts from the top down. C-level executives constantly set the tone and environment for their organisation. When you are incorporating security into not only key performance indicators, but one’s yearly evaluations and see the actions of C-suite level executives who are doing the same, it sends a compelling message from the top down that creates a security-first culture.”
Andrew Smith Kyocera Document Solutions UK
The market is also seeing an increase in zero “
trust network solutions that allow for a
different approach to today’s security challenges.
Dave Prezzano HP
when it comes
to cyber security, customers will have to rely on the expert advisory and professional services of IT resellers.
Enhancing security This also creates opportunities for resellers to sell enhanced security systems into businesses. Andrew Smith, group chief information and strategy officer at Kyocera Document Solutions UK, agrees that education is important, but it can also mean a change in the way systems are implemented. “It is important that customers understand this is not a pure technology problem but a risk and
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