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Everything, everywhere all at once The needs of customers are constantly evolving; for instance, many now wanting their technology provided as a service, and this is something businesses in the channel are responding to.
upsell or provide additional services to customers. While many businesses in the sector now provide some element of ‘as a Service’ those that don’t will need to catch up to avoid being left behind. Businesses also need to consider ‘as a Service’ for anything they sell. There is evolution in the public sector too. While there are hurdles businesses in the channel must negotiate to access this market, the investment in time to do this can be well worth it. The public sector’s needs are changing and, while many are looking for ‘as a Service’ provision of their software, IT etc, they are also looking increasingly towards digitalisation. While the public sector may be behind the private sector in this, it is catching up, presenting channel partners with a range of opportunities. For more on this, see p43. And, going back to my initial example of evolution in the sector, hybrid working has become the norm, post-pandemic, and this has changed how peripherals are sold. Many people now have permanent arrangements for working at home for a at least some of the week and are now seeking to upgrade their equipment so that it is equivalent to what they have in the office, having, in many cases, made do with whatever they could get during the initial lockdowns. All this, of course, provides opportunities for resellers. With evolution comes opportunity – it just needs to be grasped. As ever, I hope you enjoy the issue. If you have topics you want us to cover in future issues, or you want to get involved in editorial or advertising, please drop me a line at email@example.com
Evolution is a constant in business whatever sector you may be in, but in the channel, it seems to have speeded up in recent years – think of the rise of hybrid working. Another part of the channel that has evolved at increasing pace is ‘as a Service’. It started mainly with Software as a Service (SaaS) but is now being expanded to pretty much every aspect of the channel, from storage to firewalls. The desire from customers for subscription and managed service models seems set for further growth in the coming years, according to our commentators in our feature on ‘as a Service’ on p31.
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It appears to be a win-win for all concerned. Resellers receive a regular, predictable revenue stream, while customers get added value services and simpler administration as they only deal with one company for their needs, rather than the several they might have had to have dealt with in the past. It also enables closer working relationships, which means there are often chances for resellers to
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News You should know p6 Profile: Tanium Converged endpoint management solutions p12 Back-Office Software The latest trends p16 Storage SSD vs HDD p21 MSP Priorities Kaseya research p22 The Rise of ‘as-a-Service’ Presenting opportunities for resellers. p31 Peripherals in the Hybrid Workspace Upgrading home workspaces p33
Profile: Tanium – p12
The Rise of ‘as-a-Service’ – p31
Tanium’s converged endpoint management solutions are giving
In recent years, the ‘as a Service’ model has growth in the UK, as resellers look to provide not just products but longer-term relationships and services to customers. It is now spreading to all areas of the channel and presents opportunities for resellers.
customers much needed protection from security threats, as well as saving CIOs money. Todd Palmer, Tanium’s SVP of global partner sales, is on a mission to spread the word in Europe.
MSP Priorities – p22
Managed service providers are increasingly looking to automation for growth, but cybersecurity is also a priority
People Moves Who’s moving p38 Business Intelligence Metrics on the market p41
Search Trend of Competing Processors
Storage – p21
AMD Ryzan 7 5800X3D processor 3.4 GHz 96 MB L3 Intel Core i7-12700K processor 25 MB Smart Cache Box
Top Trending April winners p42 Public Sector Get into the market p43 AI and the Office of Tomorrow Automation and machine learning p46
Business Intelligence – p41
When looking for storage options, businesses have had the choice of HDD or SSD for some time – but what are the differences between them, and which is the best for customers?
News in the Channel’s resident analyst, Wickus Bester, looks at a metric that scores a product on Stock in the Channel on how popular it is and what the data means over time – and when it comes to the Stockies Awards.
Back-Office Software – p16
Public Sector – p43
Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ newsinthechannel.com Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 elliot@ newsinthechannel.com Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ newsinthechannel.com Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ newsinthechannel.com Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of News in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2023 In the Channel Media Ltd.
Back-office software concentrates on the processes required to run a business successfully, making it more efficient and processes faster. What are the latest trends and what do customers need – and how can resellers ensure that customers get the right solution?
Mesh Architecture? What is Cybersecurity What is it and what does it mean for business? For resellers, the public sector provides a range of opportunities – and not just with digital transformation – if they can get into the market. Guide: Cybersecurity – p23
What is Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture? And what does it mean for business?
AI: Office of Tomorrow – p46
Ruban Rajasooriyar, managing director of digital document management expert DocTech, discusses how automation and machine learning look set to revolutionise the workplace of the future.
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With hybrid working here to stay, many employees are upgrading their home workspaces, and peripherals are playing an important part in that – giving resellers opportunities that shouldn’t be missed. Peripherals: Hybrid Workspace – p33
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RM Technology and Comms-care start relationship to transform UK schools’ connectivity
RM Technology, which supplies technology solutions and strategies to the education sector, and Comms-care (an Ingram Micro company), a strategic service partner to the IT channel community, have announced that Comms-care will be RM Technology’s preferred installation partner for the Department for Education (DfE) funded Connect the Classroom (CTC) initiative. This collaboration will enable schools to take advantage of future proofed IT infrastructure and benefit from the speed and capability of full fibre broadband at speeds of 1 Gigabit per second, which is 20 times faster than the average internet speed in the UK. RM has supported schools on DfE’s CTC initiative since 2021, working on the DfE grant funded project to co-create and deliver brand new IT infrastructure that sets the foundation of future proofed network connectivity. With a joint mission to drive digital transformation, the collaborative relationship this year will see RM and Comms-care support more than 150 schools by implementing installation and infrastructure commissioning as well as involving the rollout of wireless solutions and refreshed network equipment. The timeframe to implement and deliver at speed this kind of complex infrastructure transformation has only been made possible thanks to RM’s deep expertise
and widespread UK customer footprint. RM currently supports more than 8,000 UK schools in achieving their digital goals. Backed by Ingram Micro, Comms-care has the engineering capabilities to enhance RM’s existing offering so that schools can transform their IT infrastructure in a relatively short period of time. “RM is delighted to be working with a like-minded company leading the charge to meeting the demand for robust and reliable internet connections within our UK schools, that will enable and support a better learning environment for thousands of children,” said Jason Tomlinson, managing director of RM Technology. “UK Schools are facing significant challenges that could be improved by better broadband and facilitating and improving pupil access and outcomes.” Alex Wilmot, managing director of Comms- care, added: “The ability for the education system to realise the benefit of technologies like these affords increased efficiencies in teaching, improved accessibility, and greater inclusion for students which in turn create positive outcomes at all levels.” The relationship will help schools meet the latest Wi-Fi 6 standards – with RM Technology delivering the consultancy, design, management and training that each school will need, while Comms-care is responsible for implementing and activating each installation.
Jason Tomlinson, managing director RM Technology
Alex Wilmot managing director Comms-care
Cradlepoint acquires Ericom Software
Cradlepoint, part of Ericsson, has acquired Ericom Software and its advanced enterprise cloud security platform to solidify Cradlepoint’s SASE and zero trust offerings for hybrid 5G and wireline environments The Ericom acquisition is a key part of Cradlepoint’s strategy of building a full-stack enterprise security service optimised for 5G. Ericom’s zero trust and cloud-based security solutions will form the basis of the new Cradlepoint NetCloud Threat Defense cloud service, expanding the company’s mobile- capable and router-integrated SASE and zero trust portfolio of solutions for fixed-site, remote worker, in-vehicle and IoT use cases. Ericom provides organisations with a broad set of integrated security controls
aligned with providing the security aspects of Gartner’s SASE framework, including secure web gateway, remote browser isolation, cloud access security broker, zero-trust network access and more. The cloud-based security solution is delivered on a high-availability and distributed cloud network deployed across various tier-1 cloud infrastructure partners, giving it a global presence and the ability to enforce security policies close to users and the data and applications they need to access. “The combination of Cradlepoint’s expertise in enterprise networking and Ericom’s innovative SSE and zero trust security solutions will create a powerful capability to meet the increasing demand for cloud-
David Canellos CEO Ericom
based secure network solutions,” said David Canellos, CEO of Ericom. “The acquisition enhances our ability to meet the cybersecurity needs of global enterprises as they accelerate their rapid adoption of 5G technologies. We look forward to this exciting new chapter and its opportunities.” Cradlepoint provides 5G for business solutions and is a main driver of Ericsson’s enterprise aspirations. Its SD-WAN and security strategy is based on the belief that enterprises will not deploy multiple vendor solutions to address their wireless and wireline network infrastructures. As a result, Cradlepoint will offer the NetCloud Threat Defense cloud service built to interoperate
with the company’s recently announced NetCloud Exchange SD-WAN offering. While optimised for 5G, NetCloud Threat Defense will be for enterprise-wide deployment across any infrastructure. “Cradlepoint is pleased to welcome Ericom and its advanced, cloud-based security and zero trust products and technology to our family of enterprise wireless solutions,” said George Mulhern, CEO of Cradlepoint and SVP of Ericsson’s Enterprise Wireless Solutions group. “We can now deliver a comprehensive SD-WAN and SASE solution for Wireless WAN and private cellular networking, leveraging 5G while addressing the wireline needs of enterprise customers.”
George Mulhern CEO, Cradlepoint, SVP, Ericsson’s Enterprise Wireless Solutions
Financial sector set to drive growth in security spending in Europe
Growing security needs, new regulations and the increasing risk of ransomware attacks due to the current geopolitical situation continue to drive European security spending, according to IDC’s Worldwide Security Spending Guide . IDC says that total European spending will grow by 10.6% in 2023. Spending in the region will continue to see almost double-digit growth over the forecast period, with total spend reaching $71 billion in 2026. The UK, Germany and France are the top spenders on security, together accounting for more than half of the European security market. In Central and Eastern Europe, Czech Republic will have the fastest growth in 2023, at over 12% YoY. “IDC research shows that ongoing disruptions and a dynamic threat landscape have led European organisations to rethink their cyber resilience and proactively ensure their organisation maintains good cyber hygiene,” said Romain Fouchereau, research manager, IDC European Security. “Adopting zero-trust principles to harden security measures and implement secure access controls across networks, applications, and devices has become a top priority, with a defined strategy and support from senior management for new investments and initiatives.” European spending on software will lead YoY growth in 2023, with about 11%, but security services will see the largest spending
in 2023, reflecting its key role for European organisations across industries. “We’re seeing that in addition to software and hardware, European companies also have a very real need for security services to guarantee their continued operations and regulatory adherence,” said Vladimir Zivadinovic, senior research analyst, IDC European Data and Analytics. “This is especially true for organisations with limited competencies in security, especially SMBs in less digitally mature verticals such as media, manufacturing and healthcare.” In 2023, the finance sector will have the highest spending in Europe, driven by the need for data protection and regulatory compliance. At the same time, market dynamics are pushing financial institutions to increase their responsiveness and agility. Security services will be pivotal to unlock the full potential of their internal IT teams to focus on new services and improved customer experience. Finance will be closely followed by manufacturing, with the government sector having the third-largest spending in 2023. Manufacturing will continue to focus on protecting its industrial assets, which will be increasingly connected with the enterprise IT network. The government sector will continue to invest in data protection and in executing its digital transformation initiatives, which are being targeted by ever more sophisticated ransomware attacks.
Romain Fouchereau research manager IDC European Security
Swiss technology provider ALSO expands to the UK The ACMP is entirely proprietary and has been developed in-house in close
Switzerland-based technology provider ALSO Group is expanding its operations in the UK, offering direct access to its ALSO Cloud Marketplace (ACMP) platform. The ALSO Cloud platform not only connects more than 100 vendors including Microsoft, Adobe, Dropbox and IBM with resellers, it also automates the processes for renewing subscriptions, managing, upgrading and invoicing licences according to the changing needs of customers. As a result, resellers can improve service quality, boost efficiency and reduce costs for themselves and their customers. “Resellers in the UK don’t want to incur high costs and put up with time-consuming inefficiencies when managing IT licences and provisioning managed services for their customers,” explained Mark Appleton, chief customer officer at ALSO Cloud UK. “The ALSO Cloud Marketplace meets this pressing need – it provides ICT resellers with an unprecedented level of automation. Its subscription renewal feature enables them to align the end-dates of customer subscriptions as a way to automate and streamline the entire renewal process. This improves efficiency for the reseller, increases transparency for their customers, decreases churn and reduces costs as well.”
collaboration with partners. It has been built from the ground up for the specific needs of channel partners, including easy onboarding, intuitive usage and white labelling. “Our platform’s open APIs allow our reseller partners to connect quickly and easily to automate their own ERP and billing systems as a core part of their own IT back-office set- up,” adds Mark. “The ACMP ensures that all relevant information is available from our system and automatically shared with the reseller for them to use for billing and reconciliation.” The platform is fully scalable so that resellers of any size can connect to and use it as part of their service provision systems. It also has the highest level of cyber-security measures in place to minimise the risk of vendor fraud. “The UK is the biggest IT services market in Europe and represents a significant growth opportunity,” added Mark. “It’s a competitive market but we believe we can establish ourselves here – and we have the expertise, experience, resources plus an aggressive five-year plan in place to do so. We’re here for the long haul and are signing up new partners to work with.”
Mark Appleton chief customer officer ALSO Cloud UK
Westcon-Comstor launches PartnerCentral
Westcon-Comstor, a technology provider and specialist distributor, has launched PartnerCentral, a multivendor marketplace where partners can configure, quote and order complex hybrid solutions—software, hardware, services or a combination of all three. PartnerCentral is more than a marketplace, representing a transformative shift in the way Westcon-Comstor works with its partners. It gives Westcon-Comstor partners access to intuitive data insights that makes it more than a simple way to procure services and products. As part of its marketplace capability, Partner Insights gives partners the business and customer insights they need to capitalise on new opportunities and market trends. PartnerCentral is a gateway to Partner Success, where users can better understand their customers’ product lifecycles and be more responsive. Built in close collaboration with Westcon-
Comstor’s leading channel and vendor partners, PartnerCentral has been developed with users in mind and focuses on providing access to educational resources, digital tools and data-driven processes essential to Partner Success. PartnerCentral is designed to accelerate and simplify the move to cloud and ‘as-a- Service’ business models by: • Simplifying the procurement and management of recurring subscription and as-a-Service offers at scale, making it easier to provide these services to end customers • Providing a single platform for hybrid procurement, so partners can purchase hardware, software and services, with a mix of subscriptions and one-off purchases, on platform. This makes the process far simpler despite the potential for increased complexity • Making self-service easy from one intuitive interface, allowing partners to better
control procurement, user management, cloud usage and more • Automating pricing, quoting and ordering processes, improving quote accuracy, speeding up sales cycles and helping track orders with ease • G iving partners access to valuable data insights through Partner Insights, including descriptive analytics to help spot new opportunities, understand customer and wider industry trends and manage product renewals and subscriptions proactively • Educational tools and materials to give partners the best understanding of the solutions they provide and how to market them. “Our partners want us to provide a digital interface to help their transformation into more efficient, data-driven businesses,” said Patrick Aronson, CMO, Westcon- Comstor. “They want insights which help them understand the opportunities before
their customers ask for them. They want a marketplace to help them easily procure and manage hardware, software and services. But they have made it very clear through our development process: they don’t want Westcon-Comstor to stop providing the industry-leading value and expertise that has been our hallmark for almost 40 years—and the foundation of Partner Success. We are bringing a new marketplace to the channel community, but we’re doing it in a way which ensures we keep, and build on, our value- added, customer-focused heritage.” Rakesh Parbhoo, CTO, Westcon-Comstor, added: “With PartnerCentral, we’re building on the business transformation journey we have been on for the last five years, shifting to the second wave of a more automated, digital engagement. In doing this we are giving our partners the support they need to evolve their offerings at the right time and at the right pace.”
Rakesh Parbhoo CTO, Westcon-Comstor
SCC acquires Vohkus for undisclosed sum
SCC has acquired £100 million turnover IT reseller Vohkus for an undisclosed fee. It is the first acquisition since SCC announced a £300 million technology investment programme to underpin its continued growth, targeting significant purchases in a multi-year strategy aimed at consolidating the company’s position as Europe’s largest private investor in technology. Vohkus, based in Fareham, is an established IT product reseller, with 160 employees serving customers across the UK since 2001. Key to the acquisition is SCC and Vohkus’ shared values and entrepreneurial spirit, with a strong focus on people- and customer-centricity. The acquisition represents an opportunity for SCC to scale its presence in the country and bring its range of product and services offerings to Vohkus customers. SCC also gains a talented and experienced team of professionals recognised for delivering best- in-class customer service. Vohkus co-founder, Ritchie Sharma, will retire from the company, with Frank O’Leary (co-founder), Lance Forster, Ian Hounsome, and Graham Gaut guiding the business day-to-day. “Vohkus prides itself on creating long-term trusted relationships with its people and its customers,” said James Rigby, SCC CEO. “It
was apparent from our first conversation that Vohkus shares our strong entrepreneurial culture, with exceptional customer experiences at the heart of everything it does. The long tenure of Vohkus’ people and the talent it has within its growing services business will add tremendous value to SCC. In return, we can help scale Vohkus as part of the SCC family.” Adam Clark, chief revenue officer at SCC, added: “This deal offers a platform for Vohkus to leverage SCC’s in-house services capability, providing both scale and market- leading capability in support of customers’ complex transformation initiatives. Like SCC, Vohkus has a strong partner eco-system, long-serving staff, and enduring customer relationships. The opportunity to grow together is massive.” Frank O’Leary added: “This is a pivotal moment for Vohkus. It represents significant opportunity to strengthen our product business further while significantly expanding our services offerings. This will be to the great benefit of our customers, many of which are currently undergoing major IT transformations.”
James Rigby CEO, SCC
Report: 78% of channel partners have “more to do” in shift to services and subscriptions
Most channel partners have started their migration to subscriptions and services, but only 21% say that they have gone as far as possible, leaving 78% part way through this journey and facing a variety of challenges in realising full migration, new research has found. The findings were published by technology provider and specialist distributor Westcon- Comstor in its report Navigating the shift: The role of distributor marketplaces in Partner Success . The report, conducted over the past three months, reveals that while almost every channel partner is shifting to subscription and recurring revenue models, the vast majority say they are facing myriad challenges and have more to do to make the shift. The report, based on a survey of almost 300 channel partners in the UK and Australia, explores the challenges of a changing market and business models, looking at macroeconomic factors and changes specific to the channel—plus what is needed from distributor marketplaces. With the shift to subscription and recurring revenue models comes complexity, and this is reflected in the challenges partners face; 52% cite the need to manage a complex multi-vendor
portfolio as the biggest challenge they face. Channel partners are looking to distributors, and in particular distributor marketplaces, to help overcome these challenges, with 60% believing that a single platform to buy hardware and software will help accelerate this shift, although only 49% of partners are currently using distributor marketplaces. Those partners who have started to use distributor marketplaces cite self-serve stock availability (49%), online ordering (49%) and pricing (42%) as the biggest advantages and are looking for better access to customer data (55%), market data (39%) and customer success training (46%). There is a promising opportunity for distributor marketplaces to offer a richer set of services and capabilities than what is being provided today, that will truly help them on their growth path within this new model. “We see the B2B world evolving much as the B2C world did. We all know how important marketplaces, e-commerce and digital interfaces have become,” said Patrick Aronson, CMO, Westcon-Comstor. “Our experience is that channel partners are keen to modernise and embrace the recurring revenue and subscription business model.”
Patrick Aronson CMO Westcon-Comstor
Nebulon expands zero-trust edge solution with two-person commit
Nebulon’s Two-Person Commit policy includes three parties: ‘requestor’, the user that requested an action; ‘approver’, a user that is approving the request; and ‘arbitrator’, the Nebulon customer satisfaction team. The role of the arbitrator is to ensure that the requestor and approver are distinct individuals. Meanwhile SSO for Microsoft Azure Active Directory environments allows users to sign in and access their Nebulon-based infrastructure using their Azure Active Directory credentials. Nebulon SSO also supports the mapping of Active Directory groups to other groups in Nebulon’s cloud (NebulonON) to further simplify user and group identity management. This new authorisation capability improves perimeter protections by separating the responsibility of identity management and infrastructure management, simplifying username and passphrase management and improving identity protection when paired with multifactor authentication.
Nebulon, Inc, a data centre cyber security provider, has announced two new zero-trust offerinags: Two-Person Commit and Single Sign-on (SSO). This advances Nebulon’s security offering, which includes advanced authentication and authorisation, always-on encryption and four-minute ransomware recovery. Two-Person Commit is a security policy with its origins in military protocol. This policy protects organisations from accidental or malicious destructive actions by providing an additional layer of security for Nebulon-based clusters or groups of clusters. Once a user enables the Two-Person Commit security policy, certain operations in the cluster group must be approved by two people in the organisation, including deleting clusters, volumes, snapshots and disabling the security policy.
Siamak Nazari CEO, Nebulon
Finding the endpoint
Tanium’s Converged Endpoint Management solution is giving customers much- needed protection from security threats, as well as saving CIOs money. Todd Palmer, Tanium’s SVP of global partner sales, is on a mission to spread the word in Europe.
Todd Palmer is enjoying being back on the road again. The senior vice president of global partner sales at Converged Endpoint Management (XEM) solutions provider Tanium has been on a mini European tour recently, taking in several European countries, including England, where the company is looking to expand rapidly in the coming years. After the years of COVID, where he was grounded in the US, Todd is racking up the air miles again – he reckons he is on the road about 80% of the time – and is relishing meeting people again and spreading the word about Tanium and how the company’s XEM solution can help businesses. This was showcased recently at Tanium’s Converge World Tour, which kicked off at the London Landmark Hotel on April 18, and showcased Tanium’s XEM solution, which Todd says is needed more than ever by businesses now. “Over the past 12 months the level of threat has quintupled; the threat to companies now is amazing,” he says. “Cyber threats are here to stay, and we’ve got to learn how to manage them and run profitable businesses
that are still open for partners, co-workers and contractors to be able to work with and communicate with you but remain secure from attack.” This is where Tanium comes in, providing a converged solution that integrates IT and security in one easy-to-use platform – something that Todd says is not done by others in the sector. Converging on threats “The cybersecurity industry is a collection of individual point products and it’s been that way for a long time,” Todd says. “There’s been a threat and a company has come up with a fantastic individual point product to solve that specific issue.” However, while this may solve a specific problem, it doesn’t make a business more secure from new threats. “If you look at businesses out there, I would venture that over the last five years, their cybersecurity budget has quintupled, yet many don’t feel any safer today than they did before. It’s because it’s flawed; the individual point products don’t integrate or operate together, there’s no context. In a typical security threat
Todd Palmer SVP global partner sales
If you look at businesses
out there, I would venture that over the last five years, their cybersecurity budget has quintupled, yet many don’t feel any safer today than they did before.
I think our value proposition in an economic environment like this is really good; it is more secure, more efficient and can save customers up to 30% of their current spend. “
in an organisation, you’ve got to identify that threat, quarantine it, figure out which other machines are potentially impacted by it and quarantine those and then you’ve got to apply a type of a patch associated to that threat and push it out throughout your organisation.” Often, businesses can end up with a variety of individual point products that address different threats but don’t operate together. This is where Tanium’s approach differs, Todd says. Tanium has one platform, where additional technology and security can be turned on as soon as the need arises. “It is one user interface, so if there’s a patch, or a remediation, if there’s compliance or sensitive data, that all is one agent that does all that. And this is done at scale, which is needed because of the number of threats occurring. All this is done through one platform and one agent, creating a single pane of glass that IT ops, risk and cybersecurity teams can use to access real-time data about their environment. Tanium’s approach is to support collaboration between IT security and IT operations because they must be tightly integrated to form the strongest protection for the organisation. Tanium’s solution also fits with today’s hybrid workforce, Todd adds. “The challenging thing is in most large enterprises is that they have a variety of devices accessing their network, but they only know about 75% of those devices. And so how do you protect your business effectively if you don’t even know what is actually accessing your network and on your network? One of the beauties of Tanium is that I can discover
100% of the assets that are tapping into the network and 100% of the endpoints.”
Financial sense Not only is Tanium’s approach more time efficient, but it is also more financially efficient, Todd adds. “Economic growth is slowing around the world and businesses are looking for savings, and often one of the first places that people look to is the IT in an organisation. But how do you cut costs, while also still trying to grow revenues and keep pace in the industry? “The first place a lot of CIOs are going to look is at the proliferation of individual point products and how those can possibly be consolidated. Some have six or seven individual point products that all have different user agreements, licences and costs associated to it. “I think our value proposition in an economic environment like this is really good; it is more secure, more efficient and can save customers up to 30% of their current spend. That’s the value proposition that we have for customers right now. That’s why across the world, most of the biggest companies on the planet operate Tanium.” “Forrester reports Tanium driving ROI of more than 200% for customers, [and is] why eight of top 10 global financial institutions and seven of the top 10 global retailers trust Tanium to maximise their ROI and simplify their technology environments while defending their organisations against emerging threats and expanding their knowledge of managing risk, securing technology and unlocking innovation at
scale from a single intuitive platform.”
in the platform to solve other business problems. On top of that, there is the services opportunities for partners helping their customers maximise their investment in terms of implementation and integration. We have partners building robust managed services powered by Tanium technology or operating Tanium for their customers. “Aside from the annuity software sale and the tremendous opportunity around services, it is very compelling business-wise and financially for our partners.” New CEO Tanium is focused on growth across the board, which will be driven by its recently appointed new CEO, Dan Streetman, who has been tasked with taking the company to the next level. “Everyone at Tanium is really excited about Dan’s arrival,” says Todd. “He is a ‘go to market’ person, with great experience in scaling technology companies, and he has an extensive background in partners and the channel. Given we are a partner-first organisation and our go to market model it should be a match made in heaven.” Focus on scale Todd says that Tanium is now focusing on scaling its XEM platform across Europe and is targeting the 1,000-plus end point user market. “We are building a partner ecosystem and hiring people in a variety of countries throughout Europe,” says Todd. “It has been a great market for us – our business has doubled in the past couple of years in Europe, which we are very proud of. “This emerging market is a big opportunity for us. Although we have grown our business tremendously in Europe in recent years, we still have a small market share. Fast forward a couple of years we want to be the de facto leader in endpoint security and endpoint IT operations management, and I think we have a great opportunity to do that. “The team in Europe are excited about our future and opportunity ahead and hopefully our partners are too because we have a compelling value proposition for our partners. “We ultimately want to be a market share leader in the markets that we serve. We want to be the best place to work for our employees. From a partner perspective, we want to be the most compelling vendor that companies can partner with. Lots of work for us to do but lots of opportunities for us to grow too.”
Servicing smaller companies But Tanium isn’t just for the biggest companies in the world. While in the past, Tanium did focus on the larger end of the market in Europe – users with 50,000 end points and above – this is now changing, Todd notes. “We had a white-glove support model, which was an on-premise-based solution that required support, but three years ago we created Tanium as a Service – now called Tanium Cloud – which requires zero infrastructure and now gives us the ability to service much companies, down to those with 1,000 end points,” he says. “That is the fastest growing part of our business by orders of magnitude – our number of customers has doubled in the previous year and our emerging enterprise business is growing triple digits. “The company realised we had to build a robust partner ecosystem to be able to serve and support customers at scale. That’s what we have been busy doing over the past three years.”
Dan Streetman CEO
He is a ‘go to market’ person, with great experience in scaling technology companies, and he has an extensive background in partners and channel. “
Tanium’s growth is coming in a wide range of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, government and defence, Todd adds. Todd adds that Tanium’s XEM solution offers a compelling value proposition for partners. “Tanium has five solutions or 13 modules,” he says. “If you are selling or recommending IT architecture, it is an annuity for your business; you can go in there, solve a problem for customers and sell them additional modules
BEST CAMPAIGN AWARD
Campaign of the quarter The winner of this quarter’s award is Ingram Micro for its Smart UPS campaign.
Connor adds that the objective of the campaign was to highlight the main benefits of Smart UPS. “Smart UPS underpins a lot of the technologies we supply – datacentre, security, etc – we’re encouraging resellers to think about full solutions in the campaign, considering multiple technologies as part of an advanced solution. It is about building trust for an end customer, with the reseller ensuring that solutions they are integrating are robust, in this case ensuring solutions have an uninterruptible power supply. This offers a better experience for the end customer. “The campaign has received positive feedback externally with our customers and vendors.” Connor adds that Ingram Micro “invested in this campaign because it’s a hot topic in the channel.”
winner Q1 · 2023
Connor Perry head of marketing – advanced solutions & specialty
“Smart UPS is one of our focus areas at Ingram Micro,” says Connor Perry from Ingram Micro. “With the reach of News in the Channel and Stock in the Channel, it made sense for us to promote it together. We had linked coverage on Stock in the Channel and through our Ingram Micro communications.”
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From G to Z… How Zebra Technologies are building on a legacy to deliver next generation desktop printing with more connectivity, performance and security.
Back to the front Back-office software concentrates on the processes required to run a business successfully, making it more efficient and processes faster. What are the latest trends and what do customers need – and how can resellers ensure that customers get the right solution for their needs?
With costs in many industries continuing to trend upwards, and inflation, while perhaps past its peak, is still running at levels rarely seen in a generation, businesses are looking for ways to save money and improve efficiency like never before. One area many businesses should be looking into is the back-office software they use – and this is where resellers can come in. Back-office software is something that can be overlooked as businesses, especially smaller ones, focus on the day-to-day running and making sales to generate a profit. Indeed, Paul Day, technical director of Filestream, a document management specialist, notes that not all businesses have an appreciation of the savings that can result from having efficient back-office software. “When it comes to document management, which is my specialist area, many reports find that it takes the average employee 18 minutes to find a document but with good back-office software it can be located in seconds and also give the company many bonuses such as data security for GDPR,” he says. “It is an investment which saves a lot of time, and therefore money, over time.” Paul adds that the return on investing in a back-office software can be measured in many ways. “Such as the speed of finding documents meaning employees are utilising
their time better and are available to do more work,” he says. “Better data protection protecting business from breaches and their reputation and negative exposure should they have a breach, data management such as setting up document retention policies. Workflow and AI are a huge saving as well on employees’ time. Therefore, as with much back-office software the greatest benefit is in using time more effectively. “For many businesses it’s about assessing which tasks waste time in the business and then don’t create anything productive. This could be answering the same questions over and over again or spending time searching for things online and offline because there is no system or structure. With documents, it’s about the ease of locating data and making sure it’s the latest version and that its secure. If a company is still very reliant on paper files, including masses of historical date or an archive, then think of the time wasted for an employee having to search through thousands of pieces of paper.” Finding the right solution David Holland of Exela adds that efficient back-office software has the potential to improve customer service by providing real- time access to critical data, but finding the right solution can be tricky. “With so many
Paul Day technical director
When it comes
to document management... many reports find that it takes the average employee 18 minutes to find a document...
options on the market, it can be difficult for customers to know what features they need, and which solutions are best suited for their business needs,” he says. Different business departments can require different sorts of back-office software too. For instance, the financial department, which is there to look after the flow of money – take it in, pay it out, reconcile it and ensure there is enough to cover costs and produce a healthy profit – is well served, no matter what the size of businesses, David says. “Xero and QuickBooks are inexpensive and very effective for micro businesses and medium- sized enterprises. Meanwhile, SAP, Netsuite, Oracle and many industry-specific finance systems support larger and multi-national enterprises well.” David adds that most businesses, of any size, are aware of back-office systems that support their industry. “These systems are designed to manage inventory, warehousing and customer service,” he says. “For example, a retail business will have an ERP system that supports its needs in terms of stock management, and orders being tracked through warehouses and into customers’ hands. Whereas a manufacturing operation may use an MRP or MES-type system that is designed to track production. A professional services organisation may utilise a CRM system for managing customer information, and even project management or workflows. “Businesses usually prioritise adjusting their operational back-office systems, which they are familiar with, and which form the core of their business. This is why it is important for resellers to understand the industry-specific back-office systems that are available. Resellers need to understand their customer’s operational problems and needs.” David adds that not all areas of business are well served by back-office software, such as marketing and sales departments. “The functional requirements of back- office software vary quite significantly with enterprise size,” he notes. “Big marketing departments want to manage expenses effectively and evaluate the outcome of their spending. Sales departments aim to monitor the progress of each opportunity at an individual level. “Although there are numerous CRM solutions, some businesses opt for vendors of operational systems to install a ‘marketing module’. However, these modules are often inadequately designed since the developers lack expertise
David Holland chief strategist
in marketing. It is not simply the functional efficiencies that marketers need. They also need inspiration, insights and innovation. “Many small to medium-sized businesses may be unaware of available technology and its potential benefits. For instance, using a CRM system with marketing automation can greatly enhance their marketing strategies, surpassing what can be achieved manually. “Giving a small sales team well-targeted leads generated from effective marketing strategies can significantly enhance their success rate. “It is in this area of a smaller business that the back-office system can have the most impact on a business. Resellers who distribute marketing and sales systems must possess advanced marketing knowledge in addition to technological expertise.
Using a CRM system “
with marketing automation can greatly enhance their marketing strategies, surpassing what can be achieved manually.
and version control and speed of locating documents for legal and compliance.”
Future trends There are also trends that resellers need to be aware of, which can help them to maximise their sales. In the next 12-18 months. Paul says there are several trends in back-office software to look out for. “I see an increase in the update of software which allows for secure and safe hybrid working,” he says. “For many businesses this is now the normal yet with documents they can be easily lost as users keep local copies and version control and document security is a high risk to all companies of any size. “The time saved using back-office software in this context can give companies a return on investment once it’s installed. Cloud access to data is also on the increase as companies downsize offices therefore saving money on property expenses.” Another trend to be aware of is the implementation of technology based on artificial intelligence (AI), David adds. “AI can analyse financial data, create reports and generate sales and purchase orders that require approval, making it an ideal tool for those tasks,” he says. “AI is already used by many businesses in their operational departments. For instance, in healthcare, AI is used in diagnostic image processes and drug discovery. Similarly, manufacturing companies also use AI for tasks such as predictive maintenance, material forecasting, and robotics. “The marketing department is utilising generative AI for creating content, images and videos. Moreover, all the ad platforms rely on AI for their targeting models. “Overall, back-office software can be a great asset to any business. It is important for resellers to understand the needs of their customers and how they could benefit from such technology. AI has already made its mark in the operational departments of many businesses and is slowly expanding into marketing as well. “With so much potential, it will be interesting to see what trends emerge over the next 12-18 months when it comes to using back-office software solutions. Resellers should stay informed on these developments if they want to provide their customers with an efficient system that meets all of their requirements now and in the future.”
Selling the benefits Paul adds that resellers should approach conversations on back-office software with customers by identifying the benefits of having that software – as not all businesses appreciate the effects that can have on a business. “Often this will be about being more efficient, saving time, being more secure and therefore more responsive to customers,” he says. “However, it’s also important that the software actually works well. It’s not great when someone decides to invest and the software doesn’t work, isn’t compatible or the company investing doesn’t want to invest in any relevant training to educate staff. “For us particularly, we flex our message depending on a customer’s requirements; such as document security and GDPR for HR, AI and processing with workflow for finance,
It’s not great when someone decides to invest and the software doesn’t work, isn’t compatible or the company investing doesn’t want to invest in any relevant training to educate staff. “ ”
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