News in the Channel - issue #9


Issue #9

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Strive to modernise With more businesses looking to digitalise their operations – and the PSTN switch-off likely to help fuel that in the coming years – now is an ideal time for resellers to be talking to customers about making the leap to digital.

other sectors. Now, healthcare organisations are embracing digital technologies and even artificial intelligence to help improve their services. This means there are plenty of opportunities for resellers to sell to into this sector – if they can get into it in the first place. Find out more on p18. But modernising IT equipment and ensuring infrastructure is up to date – as well as the maintenance of it – can be an expensive and time-consuming thing to do in-house, especially for smaller companies. With time and budgets often tight, managers may feel there are better ways for their IT team to spend their time. This is where Device as a Service (DaaS) can provide benefits – and it is something increasing numbers of businesses are looking to do. DaaS is a solution that resellers should seek to get involved in (if they aren’t already) and there are plenty of ways to put an offering together. Find out more on p22. Businesses will continue to modernise and digitalise in the coming years, which means resellers will have plenty of opportunities to help them on their journey. As ever, it is relationships with customers that will be key to success. Resellers must ensure they act as partners with businesses in this, providing options and solutions that are tailored to individual businesses. Get it right and it will be a long-term relationship that will bring profits to both sides. As always, I hope you enjoy the issue and find it useful. If you have topics that you want us to cover in future issues, or you want to get involved in editorial or advertising, please drop me a line at

Digitalisation is occurring to many business processes in all sectors throughout the economy, although some are quicker at adopting digital technologies than others. But those businesses that are lagging in digital adoption will have to catch up – and fast. Not just for the risk of being left behind in terms of efficiency and service provision, but because they could find some of their services are unavailable in the near future. Of course, this means there are plenty of opportunities for resellers to sell new technology into existing and new customers. For instance, the public switched telephone network (PSTN), which has underpinned communications in this country for many years, is being switched off in 2025, being replaced by Voice over IP services, which are faster and more reliable. Moreover, in September, there is a stop-sell on related products, which will impact those still using PSTN technologies quickly. Yet many businesses are not aware of this, or, if they are, they aren’t aware of the impact it could have. This is where resellers need to come in and provide advise to them, as well as solutions. Read more on p38.

Dan Parton

Every quarter we make an award for the best campaign run in the magazine. This quarter Exertis has been chosen as the winner. See page 47 for more details. Thanks for the support.

winner Q2 · 2023

best campaign

One of the sectors that has been largely slow to modernise its IT systems and digitalise has been healthcare. But, post- pandemic, this is changing – as it is in many


Support your Channel Distributors and Resellers by using the new FREE Stock in the Channel functionality: “Authorised Distributors”. Click here to learn more

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News You should know p6 People Moves Who's going where p12 Interview: Alex Tatham Return to Westcoast p14 Healthcare Resellers can make it better p18 DaaS Cost and efficiency savings p22 Giacom Rebrand New cloud platform strategy p26 5G Standalone A game changer p28 Exertis Voice Digital transition p30 Profile: Integral Memory 35 years at the cutting edge p34 PSTN Switch Off Making the switch p38 Product Launch: PFU, a Ricoh Company New smart meetings p42 Opinion Climate considerations p44 Samsung One Partner programme p46 The Stockies 2023 nominations p48

Interview: Alex Tatham – p14

PSTN Switch Off – p38

Alex Tatham has recently returned to Westcoast after a year away in a new and expanded role and is focused on making Westcoast thrive and take advantage of the opportunities presented by its deal with Komsa and in the channel in general.

The PSTN switch-off is coming in 2025, with a stop-sell from September this year, but many businesses are not prepared for this – and resellers have a vital job to ensure customers are not just aware of it but equipped to deal with it.

Giacom Rebrand – p26

Giacom has recently rebranded as the company seeks to drive its new cloud platform strategy to enable the rise of digital managed service providers.

DaaS – p22

Stockies AWARDS


A reminder of the first Vendor & Distributor of the Year Nominations for the only awards where nominees and winners are based on empirical data, rather than judges opinions. Speciality Peripherals & Accessories Storage & Security AV Print & Scan Printer Consumables UC&C Networking & Hardware The Stockies – p48

Device as a Service is growing in popularity as end users take advantage of the cost and efficiency savings it can bring, as well as helping towards sustainability goals, which means it is something resellers should be looking to provide.



Product Launch: PFU – p42

Healthcare – p18

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 elliot@ Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of News in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2023 In the Channel Media Ltd.

With hybrid working becoming the norm, PFU (EMEA) Ltd, a Ricoh company, has launched the first of a raft of products in its new smart meeting category to help users experience a greater collaborative experience in meetings.

Healthcare organisations are digitalising their systems and, increasingly, the healthcare services they deliver, which means there are opportunities for resellers to capitalise on – if they can get into the sector.

Exertis Voice – p30

Exertis and Poly have recently launched Exertis Voice, which offers the best of UC, SaaS and deep analytics to provide a digital solution that can help make the transition from analogue to digital seamless.

Sunil Kotecha spotted a developing trend in the memory market back in the late 1980s and took a risk to capitalise on it. Thirty-five years later, he and his business, Integral Memory, are still at the cutting edge of the memory sector. Profile: Integral Memory – p34

Samsung One – p46

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

The Samsung One partner programme has recently launched,offering a range of benefits to resellers in one place.

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



Cradlepoint announces 5G SASE strategy for cellular and hybrid WAN Security

Cradlepoint, a cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions provider, has announced its phased rollout strategy for the industry’s first 5G-optimised Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution designed for the enterprise and purpose-built for Wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) deployments. With unique cellular capabilities and the simplicity of Cradlepoint’s cloud-based management platform, NetCloud Manager, Cradlepoint 5G SASE features zero trust, cellular intelligence, along with cloud and SIM- based security. As enterprises evolve beyond fixed sites to include mobile and IoT, they are looking to the flexibility and agility of Wireless WAN and 5G. With IoT device deployments projected to reach 30 billion by 2027, and the perennial IT talent shortage, the seamless integration of 5G-centric SASE solutions to manage Wireless WAN infrastructure is critical. As an industry leader in Wireless WANs and with the recent acquisition of Ericom, Cradlepoint is positioned to deliver a comprehensive 5G-optimised SASE solution that enables organisations to seamlessly address the security challenges of extended networks. Cradlepoint 5G SASE will be delivered in phases over the next 12 months: l  Cradlepoint cellular intelligence: Available now, cellular telemetries, such as signal strength and data plan usage can be leveraged for SD-WAN traffic steering. As 5G Standalone networks become mainstream, Cradlepoint’s network slicing capabilities will work with carriers’ services to offer prioritisation and slice-based isolation l  SIM-based security: Cradlepoint offers SIM

management and GPS tracking to secure the physical devices and to detect rogue movement. Cradlepoint’s vision for the future is to work with carriers for tighter SIM-based security, using SIMs as the basis for authentication, regardless of the connecting hardware l  Connect-and-go zero trust security: Creating WANs in just a few clicks, 5G SASE replaces complex VPNs. Zero trust shrinks the lateral attack surface—devices connected to a Cradlepoint router are immediately dark to the outside world and other sites. Soon, this capability will be delivered from the cloud, offering an easier deployment option l  Cloud-delivered security: Ericom’s full suite of SSE solutions, including SWG, CASB, RBI and DLP protects users browsing in fixed and mobile environments from threats such as phishing and ransomware. Cradlepoint will integrate these capabilities with its existing zero trust and SD-WAN solutions into Cradlepoint NetCloud, for a single pane of glass user experience for IT teams. “As enterprises evolve and become more diverse in terms of their connectivity to branch, mobile and IoT, they need a more 5G-centric approach to security and management. An updated approach to SASE is essential for today’s modern organisation to defend against elevated attack surfaces,” said Todd Krautkremer, CMO, Cradlepoint. “Current SASE solutions are not optimised for 5G. Cradlepoint’s strategy is to provide lean IT organisations with a security solution that is aligned with the realities of a changing business and network profile.”

Todd Krautkremer CMO


Embed Signage partners with Vestel for new Android 9 SoC displays

Vestel’s new MB400 Android 9.0 SoC displays are now fully compatible with Embed’s digital signage software. The move sees Vestel’s latest SoC displays capable of integrating Embed’s scheduling, visual builder, widgets, apps, plug-ins, analytics and more. Vestel’s MB400-based display ranges will launch throughout 2023, denoted by a + suffix on the model range, with Exertis UK

already holding stock of the PR+ series high- brightness displays boasting 700nits and 24/7 operation capability. The MB400 Android SoC delivers high- performance playback with robust reliability in a signage-ready, commercial device, making Vestel display and Embed software a very attractive display + CMS software package offering. “When it comes to Android SoC displays,



this is by far the best performance product we’ve tested so far,” said Drew Harding at Embed. “We are delighted to be working with Vestel on this range of displays and have plans to integrate our CMS further across Vestel’s comprehensive display ranges and screen sizes.” In addition to the Android SoC product range, resellers and end users can still opt for the OPS or SDM options running Windows OS in certain Vestel displays. This option offers enhanced capabilities within Embed, including connection to external sensors such as

presence or lift/place + learn. It also enables control content changes over IP from another compatible Embed device or external control systems such as Crestron. “We are extremely pleased to add Embed Signage capability to our SoC display ranges this year,” said Tim Matthews, senior product manager at Vestel Visual Solutions. “The package offers resellers and end users an ever more flexible display and CMS solution package, making for an unbeatable combination of features, performance and exceptional value.”

Businesses facing multi-cloud challenges must consolidate to a single provider – report

There is a need for IT decision-makers across the UK and Ireland to consolidate operations to a singular private cloud, rather than spreading their operations inefficiently across multiple cloud providers, a new report has claimed. Businesses choosing to spread their operations across multiple cloud platforms are currently running into issues when it comes to efficiently extracting data and insights across their operations. With 70% of businesses using different analytics platforms per cloud, operators are finding it more and more time-consuming when it comes to receiving insights due to the mass of data being stored in different clouds rather than being readily available. These findings come from the latest SAS report, A Silver Lining from Every Cloud , which looked at challenges businesses face when relying on multiple public and private cloud platforms to host data and applications. The report surveyed more than 200 key decision makers in the UK and Ireland in data, analytics and cloud services, each from companies with 3,000+ employees. The report found that 42% of businesses relied on at least two public cloud providers for business applications, analytics and hosting business-critical data. Eight in 10 businesses admitted needing to pull regular snapshots of data into a common pool – wasting time in consolidating data and in the costs of running multiple cloud platforms. Additionally, cloud proliferation was highlighted as the leading cause for most organisations facing several significant operational challenges when it comes to extracting insights from data.

“Businesses often invest extensively and indiscriminately in their cloud infrastructure without considering the potential operational and security implications of hosting multiple clouds,” said Mark Appleton, chief customer officer at ALSO Cloud UK. “Consequently, these environments are often inadequate when it comes to addressing the specific challenges businesses face in their cloud operations. “Storing data across multiple cloud platforms may seem appealing at first glance, but ultimately this consumes more time when analytics operators need to utilise and gather insights from multiple data sources. They have inadvertently made it more difficult to use the data they have curated, often leading it to go wasted in storage rather than actively recycled back into informing operations.” Appleton also highlighted the increased cybersecurity risk of investing in multiple cloud platforms. “Instead of facilitating business operations, the infrastructure merely increases the security risks as multiple providers become vulnerable to cyber threats,” he said. “With a wider attack surface, malicious cyber actors are more likely to be able to infiltrate networks, meaning businesses are inadvertently putting their data at greater risk. “The solution for IT operators lies in consolidating various environments into a single cloud platform. By doing so, businesses can achieve a more streamlined and efficient operation that better caters to


Mark Appleton chief customer officer ALSO Cloud UK

their cloud needs, whilst tightening their cloud network security against outside threats.”



Operational efficiency emerges as key driver in modernisation investments, research finds

Increased business resilience was the most common benefit from digital projects in the past 12 months, while increased profitability, employee productivity and application performance are the expected benefits for the next 12 months l  Pressure to embrace new technologies: IT leaders are most commonly under pressure from the wider business to adopt serverless computing (identified by 42% of respondents), edge computing and IoT (40%) and low- or no-code technologies (39%). And while AI demonstrates a huge promise in accelerating and transforming businesses, it is still early days. IT teams are under less pressure today to adopt large language models such as ChatGPT, with 35% under pressure to adopt this technology. Web 3.0 and augmented or virtual reality were less of a priority l  Developer productivity in the spotlight: Digital transformation projects are a key focus for developers. Pressure from developers on their organisations to support agile development and innovation

Despite shifting digital transformation goals, enterprises are still investing heavily in IT modernisation and implementing new projects, research has found. Cloud database platform company Couchbase, Inc’s sixth digital transformation survey of IT leaders found that a focus on operational efficiency is influencing how global enterprises invest in digital transformation initiatives. Nearly 60% of enterprises surveyed reported that their key modernisation goal is to improve business resilience and efficiency in the face of the evolving global economy. Findings also revealed that enterprises’ top IT investment priority in 2023 is empowering developers to build modern applications. The survey of 600 senior IT decision makers, including from the UK, found that enterprises plan to invest on average $33 million in the next 12 months. At the same time, 78% said their main priorities for transformation have changed in the last three years, and 54% reported their digital transformation focus has become more reactive to market changes and customer preferences, in order to help the wider organisation stay agile. While these changes in digital transformation goals have helped businesses build resilience and weather a dynamic economy, they have not drastically slowed transformation: 53% of enterprises are either on target or ahead of their planned progress. “IT modernisation and digital transformation are vital strategic initiatives for an enterprise – whether helping to adopt new technologies like generative AI, creating new services or building resilience in times of uncertainty,” said Ravi Mayuram, CTO at Couchbase. “These survey results show how an efficient approach to digital transformation, taking full advantage of advances in data, cloud and AI can help with business resiliency, and at the same time pursue new growth opportunities. And rightly so, empowering developers has emerged as a key priority for enterprises, demonstrating their commitment to innovation.” Other key findings included: l  Modernisation enhances business resilience: 57% of respondents said their enterprise’s key digitisation goal is to improve business resilience and efficiency in the face of an evolving global economy.

Ravi Mayuram CTO

(44%), and empowering developers to build more applications to meet

customer needs (44%) were the top two drivers behind individual transformation projects. Furthermore, enterprises’ top IT investment priority switched from improving application performance in 2021 to empowering developers in 2023 l  IT spending under increased C-level scrutiny: 49% of respondents say their CFO is managing budgets in more detail and asking more questions about IT investment, while 37% say the pressure to achieve transformation with less budget and staff resources has increased in the last 12 months. And 35% say their IT department is under more strain than at any point in the last five years. This suggests that IT leaders are looking for ways to show cost efficiencies and reduce total cost of ownership l  Enterprises report project challenges, significant delays: Issues such as a lack of buy-in within the business, an inability to secure or stay within budgets and reliance on legacy technology meant a majority of enterprises experienced projects failing, suffering significant delays or being

Read in full



cancelled. This cost organisations on average $4.4 million and forced 68% to push digital transformation goals back by more than three months l  High expectations and hopes for creative modernisation projects: While there have been challenges, research showed that 38% of IT teams are focusing on tangible modernisation projects that will provide immediate results. Furthermore, 100% of enterprises have implemented or identified opportunities for creative digital transformation projects that seemed impossible at the end of 2021. This suggests that modern tech continues to

push the boundaries of what is possible for business transformation, drive innovation and inspire new next-gen apps. “It’s clear that IT and business leaders recognise the importance of investing in modernisation to drive transformation and achieve their short- and long-term goals efficiently,” said Ravi. “Organisations must make sure they are giving development teams the tools required to build modern, powerful and innovative applications to meet any use case in a cost- effective way. This will help them meet their customer demands faster and continue to maintain their leadership position.”

E-commerce fraud fast becoming a crisis for merchants across the globe E-commerce fraud is growing fast and

automation helps teams scale and frees up fraud investigators from mundane tasks enabling them to focus on informing product development, identifying other sources of profit erosion, and other more important strategic tasks that drive growth. With the economy in an uncertain place, enabling growth must become the priority.” Ravelin’s Global Fraud Trends 2023 survey also examined the most effective tools for fighting fraud. Machine learning and two-factor authentication (2FA) are being adopted more regularly by e-commerce businesses to help with the issue. Almost half (48%) of UK businesses say ML is one of the most effective tools in their arsenal, with 75% of UK merchants saying 2FA is crucial. From feedback across regions, the survey found that there isn’t a singular ‘one and done’ fraud strategy that’s most effective. Different solutions are effective at fighting different frauds, and having a robust tool stack allows teams to consider the complex nature of fraud. The survey, which spoke to 1,900 global fraud professionals, also examined the increase of ‘newer’ types of fraud that are prevalent globally. Policy abuse is experienced by 40% of businesses spoken to. The UK has the biggest problem with this type of ‘friendly fraud’ with 52% of merchants experiencing it. Reseller and bot activity sits at 53% globally whereas ‘fraud as a service’ schemes were an issue for 56% of those spoken to. Social engineering via customer service was experienced by 45% of the companies who took part in the survey.

financially impacting businesses across the globe, according to research from Ravelin. In the past 12 months, merchants have seen a huge leap in online payment fraud (up 59%), account takeover (51%), promotion abuse (52%), refund abuse (53%) and customer fraud/friendly fraud (40%). Merchants are now throwing more and more money at the crisis and expanding fraud teams in a bid to mitigate losses. Globally, 75% of all online merchants say fraud budgets will grow this year. In the UK, 62% will be spending more on managing fraud. This rises to 70% in France, 74% in Germany, 69% in the US and 84% in Canada. In the UK, 58% of online businesses polled plan to grow their fraud teams in the next 12 months. In other parts of the world, the trend is even more pronounced, with 80% of merchants in Germany, 72% in the US and 86% in Australia expecting teams to grow. But when it comes to tools for tackling fraud 78% of businesses opt for in-house solutions, which are expensive to maintain and quickly become unsustainable as a business grows. In the UK, the figure is 80% while in France it’s 81% and in Germany 77%. “Over the years merchants have built up fraud investigation teams which they’re justifiably proud of,” said Martin Sweeney, CEO of Ravelin. “But fraud continues to grow and mutate: simply throwing more people and money at the problem won’t make it go away. Losses will continue to grow. “Businesses need to get on the front foot managing fraud: using automation to nip fraudulent transactions in the bud. Better

Martin Sweeney CEO




Third of government IT departments still need disaster recovery plan

More than a third of government IT departments need a documented

done to improve disaster recovery planning and preparedness,” said Mark Appleton, chief customer officer at ALSO Cloud UK. “By investing in disaster recovery planning and preparedness, government organisations can help minimise the costs associated with unexpected events and ensure they can continue providing essential services to the public." The report also noted that 33% of government organisations require more than a day to recover from severe data loss, despite 82% reporting that less than one day is an acceptable level of downtime for critical systems. “The fact that many government organisations require over a day to recover from severe data loss suggests that there may be room for improvement in disaster recovery procedures and testing,” added Mark. “Government organisations need to have robust backup and recovery plans in place to minimise the impact of such incidents and ensure that they can recover as quickly as possible. Implementing regular testing of backup and recovery solutions or investing in cloud-based disaster recovery solutions can help minimise downtime in the event of an attack.”

disaster recovery plan, and many remote government workers must be equipped with backup and recovery solutions, according to an Arcserve report. Many government IT departments mistakenly believe they are not responsible for recovering data and applications in public clouds, which is concerning. These findings come from the latest Arcserve Survey, revealing several weaknesses hampering the fight against ransomware attacks and ability to recover data in many government departments. Government organisations have come under increasing criticism in recent months for failing to have a well-designed disaster recovery plan in place to help ensure that they can continue to provide essential services and protect critical data during a disaster. “The fact that a significant percentage of government IT departments need a documented disaster recovery plan and that many remote government workers need to be equipped with backup and recovery solutions suggests that more needs to be

Mark Appleton chief customer officer ALSO Cloud UK

Custodia partners with Intelligent Voice to enhance compliant voice capture

Regulated digital data capture, validation and archiving specialist Custodia has integrated Intelligent Voice’s AI-powered speech recognition voice analysis solution into its Software as a Service platform Compliance Cloud One (CC1), transforming data capture for businesses operating in regulated industries such as finance, energy and healthcare. CC1 monitors, records and captures data across all sources, providing a single repository and view of all business data. Sources include text, instant messaging, screen share, video, social media, as well as CRM and HR. The integration of Intelligent Voice brings conversational intelligence capabilities to CC1. This includes speech to text, it is trained in 25 languages, industry jargon and lingo, voice analytics and biometric identification, sentiment and behaviour analysis. This solution streamlines compliance processes, eliminates data silos, records information rapidly, assures, reconciles, validates and monitors data, while maintaining complete visibility over the entire compliance

ecosystem. “Accurate voice capture has been a huge challenge in many business environments,” said Chris Hartley, CEO of Custodia. “Background noise combined with language, industry jargon and lingo, as well as the prevalence of hybrid working, have all played a part. Using natural language processing and biometric technologies, Intelligent Voice’s solution overcomes this. “Our strategic partnership with Intelligent Voice adds substantial value to our compliance solutions, easily accessible through CC1, allowing businesses all over the globe to meet increasingly complex regulatory obligations.” Ben Shellie, CEO of Intelligent Voice, added: “Through our strategic partnership with Custodia, Intelligent Voice is revolutionising compliant voice capture by transforming it into strategic data deliverables. Our AI- powered speech recognition and voice analysis solution, integrated with CC1, offers businesses the tools they need to access previously untapped data.”

Chris Hartley CEO




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Simon Wort joins ITS Technology Group as CRO

Wholesale full fibre provider ITS Technology Group has appointed Simon Wort as chief revenue officer, a newly created position with responsibility for its go-to-market functions, including marketing, sales and business development. Reporting into CEO Daren Baythorpe, Simon joins ITS from Arrow Business Communications where he was chief commercial officer, having navigated the business through significant revenue expansion, investment and a series of acquisitions. ITS has consistently doubled revenues year on year and made its first acquisition late in 2022 to bolster its dark fibre capabilities. In the past 12 months ITS has doubled its own full fibre footprint known as Faster Britain in the marketplace with particular focus on the North and Northwest, Midlands and London. As a result of this growth, it has also increased headcount, making several key appointments around delivery, customer service, product and sales. Simon’s appointment is the result of an

organisational change to place further focus on revenue generating activity with heads of marketing, channel, infrastructure as well as recently appointed head of public sector, Andrew Bell, becoming his direct reports. Daren said he was “delighted” to welcome Simon to the team. “As a business we have invested heavily in increasing our delivery capabilities to rollout full fibre where our partners need access for their end users,” he added. “Simon’s experience and ‘people first’ approach will bring a lot to the table. I am excited to see how he will drive further value into our go-to-market strategy and roadmap, while aligning us for our next stage of growth.” Simon added: “ITS’ commitment to people, partners, innovation and market excellence align perfectly with my own values. It has built a powerful wholesale business connectivity proposition and I am excited to join at a pivotal time as it continues to scale at pace. I am looking forward to working with the team to build on our Faster Britain brand, market-leading partner portal and customer experience.”

Simon Wort chief revenue officer

Ricoh UK appoints new chief executive officer

Ricoh UK has appointed Glenn Griggs as its new chief executive officer, succeeding Phil Keoghan who was promoted to lead Ricoh Northern Europe in April 2022. Glenn was previously board director of sales, leading a team of more than 250 Ricoh sales employees across the UK and playing a pivotal role in steering the business’ transition to a digital services company across multiple divisions and service offerings. Under his leadership, the business received numerous industry awards demonstrating Ricoh’s commitment to customer centricity. “I’d personally like to thank Phil for his committed and successful stewardship as CEO of Ricoh UK and Ireland and wish him well in his new role within the Northern European region,” said Nicola Downing, CEO, Ricoh Europe. “Glenn has a wealth of experience and brings with him a strong vision and history of driving growth. I look forward to working with Glenn and his team to continue driving our people-first approach across all areas of our business.”

Phil added: “I’m confident that the UK business will continue to thrive under [Glenn’s] leadership, delivering innovative solutions and excellent service to our customers. I am looking forward to working with Glenn and the rest of the leadership team across the region to achieve closer cooperation and driving efficiencies through knowledge sharing and creating additional value for our customers across Northern Europe.’ Glenn said he was “delighted” to be appointed CEO. “We’re in an auspicious moment for Ricoh and I’m confident we have a bright future ahead,” he added. “In my role, together with my executive team, I will lead wholeheartedly with a people-first strategy. My ambition is for all Ricoh UK employees to feel empowered, proud and confident that their contributions are making a difference. I will continue working hard to ensure our organisation reflects society, our customers, and our partners, championing diversity, inclusion and equity.”

Glenn Griggs chief executive officer



Sharp Europe appoints new president

Sharp Europe has appointed Joe (Yoichi) Tomota to the position of president to lead its business, which includes its established Document Solutions portfolio, expanding IT services division, Energy Solutions business and Sharp NEC Display Solutions in Europe. Joe has extensive international experience with nearly 30 years of expertise in industrial design, innovative technology development, manufacturing and sales. His career at Sharp has included 10 years at overseas subsidiaries and roles that championed innovation in MFP controls, large display formats and substantial time as part of the business planning function at Sharp Corporation. His most recent role was as vice president at Sharp Europe. He lives in the UK and is based at Sharp’s European headquarters. “These are exciting times at Sharp Europe as we evolve our business to meet the changing needs of businesses and society,” said Joe. “I am passionate about how

innovation and technology can constantly provide new value to businesses and I’m looking forward to bringing new products and services to market that will achieve this. “But our business is now equally as focused on services. We first established our own pan-European IT Service Centre in Warsaw in 2021, which is run by Sharp employees who provide customers with up to 24/7 multi- language helpdesk support for IT Services. We have made key acquisitions in recent years further developing our IT services business across the UK and Switzerland and have launched IT services divisions in the Netherlands and Belgium this year. A priority of mine is to continue to extend and expand this in existing and new European markets. “Alongside accelerating innovation, we need to do what we can to protect the environment and ensuring Sharp Europe takes responsibility for this is another of my key priorities.”

Joe (Yoichi) Tomota president Sharp Europe

Brother UK strengthens leadership team

Brother UK has further strengthened its leadership team with two senior promotions to support the firm’s strategic growth plans. Stuart Maclean and Mike Anderson have been appointed new roles, both reporting directly to managing director, Phil Jones. Stuart has been promoted to chief financial officer from his former role as head of finance and corporate planning. In the new position, Stuart will be responsible for overseeing the business’ financial activities including auditing, strategy and delivering profitability across the firm’s categories. He will also continue his role as head of European finance shared services,

leading a team of 33 across 13 countries, including the UK. Mike has become chief marketing officer after eight years as head of marketing at Brother UK. He will have full responsibility for the business’ marketing operations, developing strategies to drive Brother UK’s growth and will oversee a team of 25. Mike’s new role follows the retirement of sales and marketing director Andy Forsyth. “As the print sector rapidly evolves, we’re more determined than ever to grow and add value to our internal team to better serve our partners and end users,” said Phil.

Stuart Maclean

Mike Anderson

Andy Evans promoted to lead TD SYNNEX Maverick Europe

TD SYNNEX Maverick, a specialist business of TD SYNNEX, has promoted Andy Evans to the position of vice president, Maverick, Europe. Andy will now lead the overall growth strategy for Maverick in Europe, with a focus on deepening the distributor’s specialist capabilities, reinforcing vendor relationships and empowering the Maverick team to deliver best-in-class smart signage and collaboration offerings to partners across Europe. Andy previously served in commercial director roles at integration businesses

including market leaders Electrosonic and Kinly, and held senior positions at Viju and Cisco. “Since joining the company earlier this year, I have learnt first-hand about the immense power, knowledge and experience of our team and the continued potential for growth in our business,” Andy said. “In my new role, I am looking forward to enabling the whole Maverick team to realise the many opportunities in front of us in the smart signage and collaboration space.”

Andy Evans



Go West (again) Alex Tatham has recently returned to Westcoast after a year away in a new and expanded role and is focused on making the company thrive and take advantage of the opportunities presented by its recent deal with Komsa and in the channel in general.

Alex Tatham is in fine form. Back at Westcoast after a year away, he is relaxed, happy and enthused about his new role and the prospects for the company. You sense he has come back home – and is ready to help

Account managers change and they say, ‘Alex, can you help me with this? I've just inherited this account. Who do you know there?’ I’m using my network a lot at this point.” Komsa Alex will also be getting involved with Westcoast’s German partner Komsa and ensuring that Westcoast customers can take advantage of their products going forward. The merger of the businesses was announced in October 2022. “Komsa is a very different business to Westcoast,” says Alex. “They have a significant mobile business, as well as voice and unified comms. That's something Westcoast will be taking advantage of going forward as a new part of our business.” Alex adds that while the convergence of communications has been talked about for many years, it is only now, post-Pandemic, that it is starting to happen. “Most people can do most of their telephony using their IT devices, but with a call plan attached to it,” he says. “Westcoast, along with many others, threw their PBX system in the bin; no one has a desk phone anymore at Westcoast. “Then we've got the PSTN switch off coming in September 2025 and stop-sell later this year. There are 200 million lines in our country alone, and it will happen in France and Germany as well. The world is switching off, so there's a big job to do to convert everyone. Convergence is gathering pace and that's going to transform a lot of the voice reselling market as you can’t just sell PBX systems anymore. I think you're going to see them absorbed by IT companies and IoT resellers and they'll all set up voice practises within them. “Voice is a huge area and there's so many things that are going to stretch together. But perhaps most importantly for Westcoast is that Komsa is a large HP/Poly distributor and we're looking forward to being able to distribute HP/ Poly products later this year.” Alex adds there are no plans to fully merge Komsa into Westcoast. “Komsa is a

take the business to new heights. He had previously spent 15 years at

Westcoast, including in the roles of sales and marketing director of the wholesale business and latterly as managing director of the UK business. “When I joined the business, it was about £600 million turnover, and when I left it was £3.6 billion – a fair bit of growth and most of that was organic,” he says. Alex left to join one of Westcoast’s customers, NSC Global Services, where he experienced a different role to what he had been used to. “It was incredibly different from selling hardware and consumables mostly in the UK to selling services for a global business,” he says. “But what a learning experience it was, and I am happy to have done so because learning about services and how people do services has been important and I will be able to bring that experience to what I am doing now.” He had been happy at NSC Global Services, but when Westcoast’s founder and chairman Joe Hemani called Alex with an offer of a new role that goes across the group, it was too tempting to turn down. “I said I'd be delighted to return, and I am delighted to be back,” he says. “Joe’s only instruction to me was, ‘Alex, do what you do’, which shows me that he trusts me to go and help with new and existing customers and help our people.

Alex Tatham executive director

Komsa is a very different

business to Westcoast. They have a

significant mobile business, as well as voice and unified comms.



different business to Westcoast, particularly in Germany, although they have a subsidiary in Poland, which is more like Westcoast in terms of what they do,” he says. “Our job is to make sure that we help each other; we already do some business in Germany in print and consumables, and you can see that comms is going to be big so they will be helping Westcoast with its UC strategy.”

better because people are beginning to see where the land lies in this country.”

Agility Westcoast is well placed to capitalise on this, especially due to its agility – something that other comparably sized businesses often do not have. “It's one of the things that I think makes our business different to the others,” says Alex. “At Westcoast we can bend ourselves into the shape that customers or vendors require us to and take advantage of the fast-paced change that is going on. One of the reasons that Westcoast has been successful over the 40 years it has been in business is because of its agility.” Another reason is that the business is still independently owned, and managers are given space by the board to manage their employees. “The way that I've always asked our managers to manage is manage underneath their people. I e. How can we help them to hit their targets? How can we help them do their job as opposed to beat them up until they do? I want to try and engender a place where people have got plenty of room in which to do their job and to breathe and to be entrepreneurial within that and have a go, but also feel as though they can ask for help and the managers help them when they do. That, again, feels like a different type of business to many of our competitors.” Partner of the Year There is also an appreciation of the value of service provided, not just the quality of the products. Indeed, Westcoast recently won Microsoft Partner of the Year for Devices in the Distributor/Reseller category. “That was amazing to win a global award like that,” says Alex. “We were up against these global entities. It shows what Westcoast does so well and that we're a business that counts on the world stage now. We bend ourselves into the shape that our vendors want us to bend into, but also allows the vendor to work with us to

More opportunities Westcoast is also focusing on its core

competency as a retail distribution business, and Alex will be involved in this too. “We are selected by a lot of retailers to do their fulfilment for them and a lot of vendors the other way around,” he says. “I'm certain that there will be more retail opportunities coming through particularly as we expand into other parts, particularly telephony.” Another part of the Westcoast business that is growing quickly is cloud. “Our cloud business is doing well; its a £150 million business so far and is growing like crazy, largely with Microsoft but with all software. Whether it's subscription licencing or consumption-based licencing – i.e. how much have you used per head as opposed to an annual subscription – both types will be sold via Westcoast Cloud and that will include cybersecurity.” Market trends Alex’s optimism about Westcoast is indicative of his positivity about the channel in general. After the tough times of COVID, along with supply chain issues and rising costs, there is now a feeling that the market is set for growth for the foreseeable future. “Now people are coming back to the offices, there is a hybrid environment and that's how people are going to work in the future,” he says. “There's still probably less printing going on than there was pre-COVID, but I think that has stabilised. And now we're looking for efficiencies and how do we do this better. “We’re moving the office and print environment forward and things are getting

At Westcoast

can bend ourselves into the shape that customers or vendors require us to and take advantage of the fast-paced change that is going on.





manage and maintain it going forward. Those things previously done by system integrators are now being done by resellers and our job is to empower smaller resellers to be able to do this by offering that as a white box service that they can brand themselves. “As we sell almost 50% of the UK's laptops and PC devices, it's incumbent upon us to make sure that our service proposition is strong not just pre-sale, but also post-sale. That's something I'll be working on going forward.”

be able to develop a programme that they can then roll out across the world because we're big enough to do that. “For instance, we do Device as a Service, and we help Microsoft compete in different markets in many ways. That is one of the reasons that we won device distributor the year; we don’t just sell lots of PCs, but help Microsoft with a global view. Vendors particularly like that about Westcoast and that again comes from its agility. The future is Device as a Service. If you get a multinational end user, they're looking for all these devices to be managed: they need to know where they are, what software that is on them and who's using them all the time. “End users also need to ensure the devices are current and they haven't overspent on a bunch of obsolete machines – and that happens a lot. Retailers are increasingly looking for the range of post-sale services so they can offer a full device as a service proposition and if you could do it for PCs, then you could do it for other things as well. “We'll be looking particularly at PCs because we're so good at it, but also networking where we have a strong footprint. We are Aruba's partner of the year, for instance. And as WiFi 6 gets rolled out, you need to do site surveys and make sure that you add value by being able to manage the rollout and deployment of new WiFi capability and then

Future Alex is firmly focused on the future of

Westcoast and ensuing the business continues its impressive recent growth and capitalises on the opportunities in the industry and those presented by its partnership with Komsa. “Things are changing – we have artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more popular, for instance,” he says. “What's going to be the impact of AI? A lot of people are already looking at various elements of this. But what they are going to need is bigger computers, with more computing power at the edge because there's going to be so much more data created by this that will need to be processed. “It will also change all our jobs. And while that can be scary, from a computing and IT perspective there are lots of opportunities to do exciting things with this. I think the IT industry is in a great position to take advantage of AI and to extol its virtues, as well as help protect the world from its dangers. “That's clearly a direction that the whole industry will take and inevitably that will have an impact on Westcoast and what we do. Exactly how that looks and feels, it's a bit early to say, but that's going to happen. As I said, it pays to be agile and flexible because that will allow us to be able to take advantage in this area.”

I think the IT industry is in a great position to take advantage of AI and to extol its virtues, as well as help protect the world from its dangers. “ ”


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