News in the Channel - issue #15


Issue #15


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Knowledge is power Data is crucial to the running of many businesses today, but that means it must be kept safe and managed correctly if it is to deliver value. And resellers have a vital role in this.

For businesses today, data is king. Businesses are producing more data than ever before and in mind-boggling amounts too. Globally, north of 20 zettabytes worth of data are created in a year – a zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes. That’s 22 numbers in a row. It is huge. Like, really huge. And it is only going to get bigger over the coming years as more business is conducted online, generating more data. But of course, with all this data flowing around the world, it means there are increasing numbers of criminals out there looking to steal it. Numerous surveys and studies have been published recently that have outlined the scale and scope of the problem of cybercriminality in this country and around the world. Not only that, but the types of threats are also changing too. For instance, ransomware attacks are on the rise and attackers are now demanding greater sums from businesses for it, according to a survey by Arctic Wolf.

patch or remedial measure. With the growing threats to security, it stands to reason that more measures are taken to safeguard a company’s data. But as well as that, the data needs to be managed effectively, and that is another growing area for the channel. Good data management can harness the data produced and use it to deliver insights that can deliver value to a business and help it to become more efficient and such like. Customer demands are changing – including the increasing influence of AI – and resellers have a vital role to play in terms of ensuring customers have the right data management solutions in place. Read more on p34. Elsewhere in the magazine, we have an in-depth interview with Ralf Jordan, Lenovo’s vice president channel EMEA. While he admits that the past couple of years have not been easy for the PC sector, this is set to change in 2024, which is good news for manufacturers and the channel alike. Find out the causes for his optimism on p14. We also cover Microsoft Surface’s recent expansion of channel access to allow all resellers in the UK to purchase the full Surface for Business portfolio of devices and accessories from authorised distributors, which means resellers are no longer required to become a Surface Authorised Partner to sell Surface devices and accessories to customers. Find out more about this, and how resellers can get involved, on p24. As ever, I hope you enjoy this issue. If there is something you would like to see us cover in the upcoming issues, please drop me an email at I’m always on the lookout for content too – be it news, features or opinion pieces – so it would be great to hear from you.

Dan Parton

It is now the case that all businesses must consider the risk of a cyberattack, no matter their size, and prioritise cybersecurity. This is something resellers have to emphasise, including the need to keep it updated – a lot of attacks come through vulnerabilities in systems that have previously been disclosed but the business hasn’t implemented the right


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00 03


Product Review – p20

ISE Review – p46

News You should know p6 Lenovo Rising to the challenges p14

Product Review Zyxel Networks XMG-100 Series p20 Microsoft Microsoft Surface for business p24 Eaton UPS Backup power when you need it most p27 Sustainability Channel ecosystems p32 Data Management Making data pay p34 Ingram Micro The power of AI is human p38 Compliance MSSPs can capiatise p41 ISDN Switch-off Facing the moment p45 ISE Review We visited ISE, Barcelona p46 On the move People updates p50

High-powered Power-over-Ethernet support for multiple devices is increasingly in demand from businesses and home offices, and Zyxel Networks’ new XMG-100 series is designed to fill that need.

News in the Channel went to Barcelona to visit the Integrated Systems Europe conference and bumped into Holger Graef, general manager EMEA for Vivitek to discuss panels and projection.

Sustainability – p32

Sustainability continues to rise up the corporate agenda, but resellers can help to meet customer expectations by working with vendors.

Eaton UPS – p27

The need for reliable power supplies has never been greater, thanks to more business than ever being conducted online – so uninterruptable power supplies such as those provided by Eaton are becoming crucial to business.

Microsoft – p24

More resellers than ever in the channel can now sell the Microsoft Surface for Business portfolio – and many are already taking advantage of being able to sell this best-selling range of products to their customers.



Data Management – p34

Ingram Micro – p38

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 elliot@ Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of News in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2024 In the Channel Media Ltd.

With businesses producing more data than ever before, the need to manage it effectively to ensure it can be harnessed and deliver value is imperative and resellers have an important role to play in this.

Artificial intelligence’s time is now, and, in tandem with humans, it can deliver real value to businesses, as Sanjib Sahoo, EVP and CDO at Ingram Micro, explains.

Compliance – p41

New compliance regulations for businesses that come in this October present MSSPs with opportunities to sell to customers, says Innes Muir, regional manager, MSSPs, UK, EIRE and RoW, Logpoint.

Lenovo – p14

While the PC market has been challenging in the past couple of years, there are now grounds for optimism and Lenovo is well placed to help resellers capitalise on the developing opportunities in the market, according to the company’s vice president channel EMEA.

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

ISDN Switch-off – p45

The ISDN switch-off is coming and resellers should help businesses to be prepared in advance and monitor where and how their systems could be affected.

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



Exertis Cloud strengthens security portfolio with Nord Security

Exertis Cloud has formed a strategic partnership with Nord Security, a global leader in cybersecurity. This brings NordPass, a next-generation password manager, and NordLayer, a secure cloud access platform, directly to Exertis Cloud's network of channel partners. By joining forces, Exertis Cloud and Nord Security empower businesses to effortlessly strengthen their cloud defences. NordPass simplifies password management with AI- powered features like automatic filling, breach alerts and secure sharing; boosting employee productivity and password hygiene. NordLayer, meanwhile, establishes a robust zero-trust security perimeter for cloud access, offering advanced encryption, threat protection, and centralised user management. “Exertis is thrilled to announce its partnership with Nord Security, home to the world’s most advanced VPN service, NordVPN,” said Sarah Potter, commercial director of cloud & software at Exertis. “This partnership means we can now offer our customers two industry-leading cybersecurity solutions. These Nord Security solutions strengthen Exertis' hand-picked vendor lineup, enabling partners to bolster their MS 365 and Azure offerings and deliver comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to their customers.”

NordLayer is a business-oriented cybersecurity solution enabling organisations to establish secure access to the internet, company network and resources and help accomplish compliance requirements for any way of working. It has a two-minute deployment, 24/7 support, and an intuitive interface and supports all key OS versions, infrastructure, and applications and adapts to existing technology stacks. It can also be configured manually to suit customer's needs. The tool allows upscaling and downscaling the number of users and servers with zero stress. Users can activate new features, add or remove members or servers with a click, and easily integrate it with user management providers. NordPass is a password management solution that provides customers with an advanced password security tool. “By joining forces, Nord Security and Exertis Cloud aim to empower businesses with cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions,” said Aivaras Artiskevicius, channel distribution manager at NordLayer. “Together, we provide Exertis Cloud's extensive network of channel partners with unparalleled tools to secure their cloud environments with ease and efficiency, contributing to a safer digital landscape for businesses.”

Sarah Potter commercial director, cloud & software

TD SYNNEX adds Trillion dark web protection to cybersecurity portfolio

TD SYNNEX has formed an alliance with specialist ISV Crossword Cybersecurity to give partners access to Trillion, the company’s advanced dark web data mining platform for businesses. Ideal for managed security services providers (MSSPs), Trillion proactively scans for customers’ employee usernames and passwords that are being shared on the dark web. It also provides information on where and how the information was sourced. Full enablement and support on the solution will be provided for Trillion by TD SYNNEX’s specialist security practice in collaboration with Crossword Cybersecurity’s own UK-based team. Channel programmes for managed services providers and reseller partners are available for Trillion, which

becomes part of a wide-ranging portfolio of security solutions and services available through the TD SYNNEX security practice. “The dark web has become a distinct and growing threat to organisations and Trillion is a valuable addition to our expanding security portfolio,” said Alison Nixon, director, security, UK, TD SYNNEX. “It enables MSPs and partners to offer monitoring of the dark web and thus help their customers to be aware that information is out there that could be used to break their own or their customers’ network and data protection. “The wide-ranging portfolio of best-of-breed cybersecurity solutions and services – from leading and specialist vendors, developers and service providers – that TD SYNNEX now offers, enables partners

Alison Nixon director, security UK



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being extremely effective, Trillion is also very scalable and affordable. We see this as an opportunity for MSSPs and partners addressing every sector of the market to add value for their customers by keeping them one step ahead.” Stuart Jubb, Crossword Cybersecurity’s group managing director, added: “Trillion has been designed to provide organisations with the proactive protection from the potential threats that exposure of information on the dark web can bring. Our alliance with TD SYNNEX will allow us to reach out to partners and enable more organisations to benefit from knowing exactly what information from their files has found its way onto the dark web.”

to take a comprehensive cybersecurity and data protection proposition to their customers. Whether they are already established as an MSSP, or just starting to build their own practice, we can provide the expertise, enablement and support they need to grow and develop their business.” This new addition is, in part, a response to partner feedback. “Within the TD SYNNEX security practice, we are acutely aware of the growing threat that the dark web poses and in recent times it’s come up more often in conversations with partners,” said Nixon. “If data is out there on the dark web, that’s just as dangerous for small as well as large organisations and, in addition to

Stuart Jubb group managing director

crosswordcybersecurity. com

Evolve IP launch card payment solution to combat radical compliance changes

Evolve IP (EMEA) has launched a seamless end-to-end secure solution to address major payment card information (PCI) changes happening in March. Significant reforms are about to come into force that require businesses to have an evidence-based process for card payments, particularly over the phone. Ignoring the impending rule changes could expose businesses to sanctions, fines and irreversible reputational damage. To help address this, Evolve IP has launched Anywhere Secure Call, the latest addition to its Anywhere Product Suite. This innovation is powered by technology partner BroadSource, which work to drive collaboration in the cloud by helping the globe's most sophisticated service providers automate, integrate and differentiate their cloud collaboration solutions. Anywhere Secure Call has been designed to simplify PCI compliance and redefine the card payment landscape. It’s cost-effective, simple to set up, flexible and has been built from the ground up, ensuring proof of active adherence. The critical differentiation lies in ensuring customer payment card details are not stored within recorded voice communications. It intelligently directs all transactional voice calls to a designated, PCI-compliant segment of its network automatically. In the event of a PCI audit, businesses need only prove the compliance of this specific component, simplifying the overall process. This innovative approach allows businesses to demonstrate that the relevant voice traffic is isolated from

their intricate network infrastructure, effectively ‘de-scoping’ the compliance challenge. Many organisations are still unaware and unprepared for the radical changes they need to introduce, according to Evolve IP’s UK solutions director, Scott Rixon. “From Spring, businesses will need to prove their innocence by providing real-life data and proof of their compliancy, rather than simply verbally defending any guilt that has been implied,” he said. Anywhere Secure Call is priced on a per-user basis rather than a per-transaction percentage, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes. Whether a small business with just one seat or an enterprise call centre with hundreds, the solution caters to diverse organisational needs. “At Evolve IP, we believe solutions should work for everyone but currently, that’s not always the case,” said Rixon. “Some PCI solutions require a minimum deployment of say 50 users, which simply isn’t viable for a small business. Equally, other options need to have the ability to scale up to larger enterprises. Also, we even know of some models based on a low cost of entry but then charge higher transaction fees. “Now any business that needs to take card payments can just enable Secure Call, from a small florist to a gardening company. It can be as simple or sophisticated as required and can even be plugged into a CRM database to automate the whole process. We are covering all angles. But time is running out. Don’t wait any longer.”

Scott Rixon UK solutions director



Redsquid becomes a certified B Corporation

Redsquid has become a certified B Corporation, joining a global community of businesses that balance purpose and profit. B Corporations are companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders, including workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. Redsquid underwent a rigorous assessment process that evaluated its performance across five areas: governance, workers, customers, community and environment. The company scored 93.6 points, well above the 80 points required to achieve the certification. The assessment was led by a dedicated team of Redsquid employees who worked for two years to document and improve the company's policies and practices on various aspects of sustainability and social responsibility. “We are thrilled to join the B Corporation movement and to be part of a global network of businesses that are using their power as a

force for good,” said Sohin Raithatha, CEO of Redsquid. “This certification is a recognition of our commitment to create positive impact for our stakeholders and to align our purpose and profits. We believe that being a B Corporation will help us attract and retain the best talent, enhance our reputation and trust with our customers and partners, and drive innovation and growth in our industry.” Redsquid plans to use the B Corporation certification as a catalyst to further enhance its environmental, social and governance strategy and to set ambitious goals for the future. The company will continue to monitor and report on its performance and impact, and to seek new ways to improve its operations and services in line with the B Corporation principles. “We are proud of what we have achieved so far, but we know that there is always room for improvement,” said Sohin. “We are excited to embark on this journey of continuous learning and improvement, and to collaborate with other B Corporations and stakeholders to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”

Sohin Raithatha CEO

Exclusive Networks and SentinelOne accelerate adoption of XDR strategy across EMEA

Exclusive Networks has announced an acceleration of its extended detection and response (XDR) strategy with SentinelOne, a global leader in AI-powered security and Exclusive’s top endpoint security partner to deliver best-in-class XDR solutions across EMEA. Through this partnership, Exclusive Networks will offer partners access to Singularity™ XDR, SentinelOne’s pioneering security platform, which provides a unified view of security threats and incidents across endpoints, identities and cloud to protect the entire enterprise. Exclusive Networks will also provide its expertise in XDR strategy, sales acceleration and technical implementation to help partners manage the platform effectively. With the most comprehensive portfolio of cybersecurity vendors, Exclusive Networks will realise XDR as a strategy for channel partners. Together with Netskope, Mimecast, Exabeam and Extrahop enterprises gain complete

visbility by adopting integrated solutions that specialise in being the best. “We are excited for this next chapter in our SentinelOne partnership,’ said Paul Eccleston, SVP EMEA at Exclusive Networks. ‘SentinelOne has disrupted the market with its pioneering AI-powered security platform and continues to innovate in securing the endpoint against threats. In deepening our ties and combining our expertise and best-in-class portfolio with SentinelOne’s technology, we can enable our reseller partners to realise an XDR strategy.” Daniel Kollberg, SVP EMEA at SentinelOne added: “Exclusive Networks is a leading cybersecurity distributor with a deep understanding of the XDR market, and we are thrilled about this next phase of our long-standing partnership. In expanding our footprint, we can arm more partners with tools and intelligence they can use to help enterprises break through their toughest security challenges.”

Paul Eccleston SVP EMEA



Business views wireless connectivity as a route to productivity but challenges remain

New research from Panasonic Connect Europe has revealed that businesses expect wireless technology investment to boost their productivity by 32% on average in the three years after implementation, with 36% of respondents saying that 5G is the most important wireless technology investment for their business, with private campus networks more popular than public networks. The survey, carried out by Opinion Matters and commissioned by Panasonic Connect Europe, questioned more than 300 senior decision makers with responsibility for wireless and network technologies, across the UK, France and Germany, in the retail, logistics and supply chain, manufacturing, education, location-based media and entertainment and public sector and emergency services sectors. The research also found that 22% view WiFi 6 as the most important type of wireless technology. Interest in Bluetooth and Long- Range Wide Area Networks (LoRaWAN) were similarly high (21% respectively), as organisations seek the right technology for specialist applications in their own sectors, such as supply chain logistics and manufacturing. Overall, there is rapid progress being made with investment in wireless technology, with 41% of decision-makers having already made the decision to invest in wireless projects or are

in the planning process. An additional 38% of respondents are already at the implementation stage. However, there are challenges to overcome, with 24% of those surveyed admitting to concerns around IT security while 22% are worried about interoperability and connectivity issues with their existing IT infrastructure. One in five are troubled about the manageability of the wireless network technology and a similar percentage report a lack of confidence in IT resources, knowledge and skills. “This research highlights that this is a crucial period in wireless technology investment and decision making,” said Jan Kaempfer, marketing director for Panasonic Connect Europe. “The advent of 5G, the evolution of WiFi, and the innovation around Bluetooth and LoRaWAN are all driving the connected world in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Clearly, business leaders believe wireless connectivity presents enormous opportunities, but there are also challenges to overcome. “Businesses have a lack of internal expertise and resources and there is a role for technology providers to play in supporting organisations with expertise and education to instil greater confidence and plug some of the resource gaps. But overall, the picture for wireless is very positive, with a strong appetite for innovation and advanced deployment.”

Midwich launches new investment arm

Midwich Group plc has launched Midwich Ignite – the Group’s new corporate venture capital arm, which will invest in, and support, entrepreneurs to propel innovation within the industry. Focusing on investments in high-growth start-ups and scale-ups within AV and the wider technology ecosystem globally, Midwich Ignite will operate as a standalone enterprise and will utilise the Group’s connections and expertise garnered over 45 years. Midwich Ignite is seeking to invest in forward- thinking companies shaping the future of the industry. Key sectors include emerging AV technologies, smart and connected spaces, hospitality and event technology, and robotics and automation.

“Having worked in the AV industry for many years, both as a value-add distributor and as an investor, I am excited to be heading up this new venture, bridging the gap between finance and deep industry knowledge to help drive innovation in our industry and support those entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of technological transformation,” said Alex Kemanes, managing director of Midwich Ignite. Stephen Fenby, managing director of Midwich Group plc, added: “Midwich is deeply embedded in the AV industry, with thousands of customers and vendors, and a large, knowledgeable and highly connected team. Midwich Ignite gives us the opportunity to promote innovation in the industry by leveraging our extensive capabilities.”

Alex Kemanes managing director

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Rising to the challenges While the PC market has been challenging in the past couple of years, there are now grounds for optimism and Lenovo is well placed to help resellers capitalise on the developing opportunities in the market, according to the company’s vice president channel EMEA.

The past couple of years have not been easy for the PC sector, as Ralf Jordan, Lenovo’s vice president channel EMEA, admits – but this is set to change in 2024. “Last year, the market in the PC space was very challenging, where we as an industry had high inventory levels but demand softness coming in,” he says. Ralf adds this was a legacy from the years of COVID followed by the supply chain issues of 2022. “2023 was a year of cleaning up from the problems in the market of the previous years and consolidating our position in the market, and I believe we have done that successfully,” he says. “We kept the number one position in the PC space for the year. And in the infrastructure market, we took market share in what I believe is quite a challenging market environment with high interest rates and inflation becoming a much more important factor than in the past.” But while 2023 had its challenges, it was nonetheless a good year for Lenovo, and Ralf is optimistic that 2024 can be even better for the company as well as the wider channel. “I go into 2024 very optimistic and seeing a lot of opportunity for the channel,” he says. “I believe that in the PC world, there are drivers

that will see the market start to grow again. For example, there is the upcoming Windows 11 refresh, you have AI PCs, all of that is coming and will drive demand in 2024. “Also with the infrastructure market, one of the main themes I see for 2024 is that the market isn’t about hybrid or multi-cloud – one or the other – anymore, it exists as an integral plan. This is across the board too – large enterprises and SMBs.” Ralf adds that in most situations now, they are talking about a combination of on-premise, public and private cloud. “The good thing about that for the channel is that it represents a lot of opportunity, because all of that needs to be managed, secured and serviced,” he says. “I think that's where ultimately it will drive business.” On the edge Another driver of business will be edge computing. “Edge will be a key driver this year – this is something that most companies in the sector are predicting, that most of the compute power tomorrow will be installed at the edge,” Ralf says. “That's different from the past. Compute is coming to storage and to data. And when you think about edge,

Ralf Jordan vice president channel EMEA

Compute is coming to storage and to data. And when you think about edge, you talk about different physical places and different contacts in the end users. “ ”



single-site businesses too. “It's really going to go to both extremes, from global accounts to small SMEs,” he says. Sustainability But with edge meaning bigger compute, it can also consume more resources, Ralf notes. “Therefore, sustainability, or ESG, becomes even more important because some of the technology can conflict with ESG goals,” he says. “That's as well an area where Lenovo can differentiate together with its partners.” Lenovo has long been committed to reducing its carbon impact and has committed to being net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The company is innovating to this end too, such as with Lenovo’s Neptune liquid cooling technology to stop systems overheating, which uses liquid to remove heat, which is much more efficient than traditional air cooling. “At the end of the day, as well our corporate responsibility, it is the responsibility of all of us together to ultimately save our planet,” says Ralf. Home comforts It is commitments such as this that helped to bring Ralf back to Lenovo in September 2021. But his history with Lenovo goes right back to when he joined the company after it bought IBM’s PC division back in 2005. During the latter period of his original time at Lenovo, he worked as a GM in emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa, before leaving to pursue opportunities at competitors. But eventually the pull of Lenovo was too much, and Ralf came back. “The journey that Lenovo is on in terms of expanding and changing the way the company is perceived from a leading PC vendor into something much more than that – addressing infrastructure, services opportunity etc – is a very exciting play,” he says. “It’s is a great opportunity, and my heart is with the channel, my experience is with the channel and that's why I thought it's a great reason to join and be part of that journey with Lenovo.” It is a decision Ralf has not regretted and he is enjoying life back at Lenovo. “When you have a heart for the channel, Lenovo is a very good place to be,” he says. “It's a channel- centric company and the go to market that we have is very exciting, especially with the transformational journey we are on and that makes the job interesting.”

you talk about different physical places and different contacts in the end users. Internally I'm quite often talking about it's like a new sandbox, where you can position yourself. “Lenovo has, I believe, one of the best edge portfolios in the industry and all of them purpose built and secured. Whatever demand is out there in terms of infrastructure, we can help.” Ralf adds that edge is integrated into vertical solutions, which means it requires specialist skills and a deep understanding of the industry. “All of that represents an opportunity for the channel,” he says. “We are not talking about one size fits all, we are not in a world anymore where you have one design and setup, now you have to understand much more a business and what are the important drivers, what workloads need to be considered, how secure it needs to be from a security regulations point of view – we are in a world where regulations are playing an important role and I believe customers quite often don’t know all about that. That's the opportunity that the channel has. “But it may also require the need to work with more vendors than in the past. There is a trend for implementations to be unique to specific industries and customer requirements. To be a good advisor, you need to know your customer, the industry and ultimately where and how the customer can benefit from the new technological possibilities that are out there. “When we talk about specialisation requirements, we are already seeing channel partners are working together to bring a solution to the end user. And I believe the specialisation requirement will emerge even more: it's not that you may be perceived as a one stop shop for everything, but you need to be open to partnering with others to get the required skill sets needed to provide the solution.” Ralf adds that edge isn’t just going to be for large businesses with multiple sites – he believes it will have applications for smaller

Sustainability, or ESG, becomes even more important because some of the technology can conflict with ESG goals... ...At the end of the day, as well our corporate responsibility, it is the responsibility “

of all of us together to ultimately save our planet.




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CONTINUED AI influence

A part of that transformational journey is the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI). Ralf cites an article by Gartner, which predicts that by 2025, 80% of end users will implement some form of AI and machine learning. “That's coming from a very low base at the beginning of 2023,” he says. “It shows that AI is everywhere. The important part is that the possibilities around AI are massive potentially for Lenovo as a vendor. On the one hand, we have a portfolio that has more than 70 AI infrastructure platforms. But even more importantly, it's about helping customers, and that's the role that I see for the channel to show customers how they can leverage and drive business impact with AI. We need to make it practical and real and to drive benefits.” Ralf adds that Lenovo has been investing in AI for some years – there are four Lenovo AI centres of excellence situated around the world – and the company has the Lenovo AI Innovator programme. “This has more than 150 solutions that are industry-based; healthcare, manufacturing, retail to name just some of the key industries where already today those solutions are tested and can be implemented, running on Lenovo hardware,” Ralf says. “It also gives the channel an opportunity to lead the discussion of AI. It is going to be important to do this and help businesses understand how it can be used to drive and optimise website traffic, for example. It's about ongoing learning and helping to visualise the benefits that the technology can bring to different businesses.”

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Positive outlook The rapidly accelerating potential for AI is helping to fuel Ralf’s positivity for Lenovo and the wider channel in 2024. “We are in an environment where skilled resources are critical; we don't have enough skills in many technologies to really satisfy everybody. But the good thing if you are a channel partner is you can really play within that environment, create your value proposition, be focused, be adaptable, be flexible, and then make a lot of money,” he says. “When it comes to Lenovo as a vendor partner, I believe we have a portfolio and there are not so many players left in the industry that is really spending. Lenovo is also a challenger in the infrastructure market too. “I mentioned about the new sandbox on edge. That enables partners to have fresh discussions and really position themselves differently to many others in the market. I believe Lenovo has a very strong portfolio that enables channel partners to win. I'm very positive about the prospects for 2024.”

There are four Lenovo AI centres of excellence situated around the world – and the company has the Lenovo “

AI Innovator programme.



O nce upon a digital age, in a bustling city, lived Hansel and Gretel, a brother and sister who worked for a large tech corporation. The company was known for its cutting-edge innovations, but it also faced constant threats from the dark corners of the internet. O ne day, the wicked Cyber Witch devised a cunning plan to infiltrate the corporation’s secrets. Instead of a gingerbread house, she created a virtual candy land full of tempting phishing emails and messages. These digital sweets were designed to lure unsuspecting employees into her trap. H ansel and Gretel, diligent

workers of the tech giant, received an enticing email from an unknown sender. The message promised a shortcut to success, tempting them with promises of promotions and exclusive projects. The email was filled with promises that seemed too good to be true. D espite the warnings from the company’s cybersecurity team about phishing attempts, Hansel and Gretel couldn’t resist the allure of these digital treats. They clicked on the email, unknowingly stepping into the Cyber Witch’s web. A s they entered the virtual candy land, the malicious code started to weave around them, capturing every click and keystroke. The more they explored, the deeper they fell into the trap, leaving breadcrumbs of sensitive information behind.


L ittle did they know, Fortinet, the Digital Woodsman and defender of the digital realm, was monitoring the company’s cybersecurity landscape. Fortinet’s advanced threat detection capabilities detected the unusual activity and swiftly intervened. With a virtual axe, Fortinet cut through the malicious code, neutralizing the threat and rescuing Hansel and Gretel from the clutches of the Cyber Witch. F rom that day forward, Hansel and Gretel became advocates for Fortinet within the organization. They shared their harrowing experience with their colleagues, emphasizing the importance of having a robust cybersecurity solution to defend against the tempting treats that the Cyber Witch scattered across the digital landscape. T he moral of the story: In the vast digital forest,

where phishing emails and smishing messages abound, always be wary of the tempting treats that may lead you into the clutches of the Cyber Witch. Trust in cybersecurity solutions like Fortinet to be your Digital Woodsman, ready to cut through the threats and keep you safe in the digital wilderness. Stay vigilant, follow cybersecurity best practices, and remember that not every sweet offer is what it seems.

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


Power for the people

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) systems – which pass electric power along with data on twisted-pair Ethernet cabling to allow a single cable to provide a data connection and enough electricity to power networked devices – are becoming increasingly demanded by businesses as more devices become networked. To this end, Zyxel Networks has recently launched the XMG-100 series of 2.5GbE unmanaged switches. With the advent of WiFi 6 and WiFi 7, the 2.5G standard has emerged as the new baseline for Ethernet switches, so this product is a well-timed entrant into the market. Aimed at the home and small business markets, these user-friendly, plug-and- play devices are designed to provide high throughput and high-powered PoE support for multiple devices. Available in 5-port and 8-port versions, they provide simple set-up and fast 2.5G speed performance across all ports, making them ideal for connecting devices such as the latest WiFi 6/6E or WiFi 7 access points, IP surveillance cameras, VoIP phones, media players, and smart home devices such as LED lights and security sensors. The XMG-100 switches also come with an additional 10G (SFP+) fibre uplink port allowing easy connection to equipment such as NAS devices and small servers for the rapid transfers of large files and video and image content. Easy to install Support for PoE++ allows multiple devices to be powered directly from the switch, making it easy and convenient to connect and use multiple devices in a small workplace or home. The 5-port (XMG-105HP) and 8-port (XMG-108HP) PoE models have total power High-powered Power-over-Ethernet support for multiple devices is increasingly in demand from businesses and home offices, and Zyxel Networks’ new XMG-100 series is designed to fill that need.

budgets of 70W and 100W respectively. A non-PoE version of the 8-port switch (XMG- 108) is also available. These zero configuration switches can be installed and used with customers’ existing Cat5 cables, keeping costs down and further simplifying deployment. Energy-saving design A fanless design, combined with a solid metal case and efficient heat dissipation, ensures that the XMG-100 series runs silently while also saving energy. With a wide operating temperature range of -20°C to 40°C and a small form factor, the XMG-100 series can be easily placed on desktops, mounted on walls or confined spaces. At-a-glance l Provides 2.5G speeds along with 10G uplink connectivity and PoE++ capabilities l Simple to use – plug-and-play l Ideal for connecting devices such as WiFi 6/6E or WiFi 7 access points, VoIP phones and media players l Runs silently l XMG-100 series can be easily placed on desktops, mounted on walls or confined spaces l Multiple devices to be powered directly from the switch l 5-port (XMG-105HP) and 8-port (XMG- 108HP) models have total power budgets of 70W and 100W respectively l No licence needed l Competitively priced.






Advice for resellers These new products offer resellers

need more bandwidth for their network with demands coming from online gaming activities, multimedia streaming services or faster wireless network connectivity being the likes of devices including WiFi 6/6E AP, 2.5G CPE, 2.5G NAS/Server, 4K streaming, desktop with 2.5G NIC, gaming console, VR gaming, and so on,” he says. These products can also be upsold and added to a bundle with other products, Luke adds. “These are unmanaged products, no need of license to have the most from this product,” he says. “Resellers can use this as an unmamaged switch to connect to 2.5G PoE++ access points to get the most out of newer families of access points like WiFi 6/E or even some WiFi 7 APs. “There is no need to bundle with software but could be sold into or with WiFi APs as a simple plug and play switch. Nearly all our newer APs. have a 2.5G interface which is supported on this switch also. Some higher end models are, including: WAX640S-5E and WAX620D-6E, WAX650S, but also the lower end NWA90AX pro and NWA50AX Pro.” The XMG-108 is available for £139, XMG-105HP is priced at £119 and XMG-108HP at £159 including VAT. too. With 2.5G it means they are at the forefront of technology, which also means they should have a relatively long lifespan in the field. Its simple plug-and-play nature will also be popular with users as it doesn’t require expertise to set up and use. In all, it could be a useful addition to resellers’ product lists, especially those that focus on the smaller end of the market.

opportunities to sell into businesses. As Luke Harley, market development manager at Zyxel Networks, explains, there are several aspects resellers should look to highlight to customers. “High network speeds without the need of changing cable when using CAT5a cables and full speed 2.5G Ethernet ports for WiFi 6/6E router or AP connections, these even come with a 10Gb SFP+ fiber port to connect to servers or when using a 10Gb copper SFP connecting to high-speed ISP routers,” he says. “These switches are equipped with multi- gig ports supported up to 2.5G with auto- negotiation for 3-speed (100M/1G/2.5G) to optimise performance for network devices.” Luke adds that the products are ideal for home, SOHO or small office users. “Those who

Luke Harley market development manager

With PoE becoming increasingly popular with businesses and home workers – especially those who also like to game when not at work – these sorts of systems are likely to be in great demand this year and going forward as ever-more devices become networked. Zyxel Networks’ new XMG-100 series are an ideal addition to the market, and at a convenient price point for small businesses



AD EATON The race Lenovo’s partnership unlocks a world where cutting-edge technology meets precision, empowering data-driven insights that drive groundbreaking decisions, and where the thrill of victory becomes an undeniable reality.


to success


Innovative Solutions Lenovo’s cutting-edge solutions empower the F1 personnel to monitor crucial aspects of racing performance, including car performance, tire wear, fuel consumption, and aerodynamics. With forward-thinking approaches, Lenovo drive Formula 1 towards optimisation and innovation, embracing a new era of unprecedented possibilities.

Sustainability Lenovo’s Formula 1 partnership centers on sustainability. Through Asset Recovery Services (ARS), Lenovo aids F1 in responsibly managing technology hardware. Recycling and repurposing tech not only offsets costs but also advances environmental responsibility, aligning with our shared vision for a greener future.

Broadcast Room From network infrastructure to video streaming and content distribution services, Lenovo’s cutting-edge technology connects the track to the Media & Technology Centre, facilitating real-time on-screen graphics and data used by Formula 1 to deliver an immersive racing experience to fans worldwide.

Speak to an expert Basingstoke +44 (0)1256 841 000



Covering the Surface More resellers than ever in the channel can now sell the Microsoft Surface for Business portfolio – and many are already taking advantage of being able to sell this best-selling range of products to their customers.

Microsoft Surface has recently expanded channel access to allow all resellers in the UK to purchase the full Surface for Business portfolio of devices and accessories (excluding Protection Plans) from authorised distributors Ingram Micro, TD SYNNEX and Westcoast. This means resellers are no longer required to become a Surface Authorised Partner to sell Surface devices and accessories to customers. “We've made it a lot easier for all our resellers be able to purchase Surface for business devices and accessories,” says Clare Faulconer, SMB and Education Go To Market lead at Microsoft. “They can purchase them through our authorised distributors. “We have done this to bring a new breadth of resellers to sell Surface and remove a barrier to entry so they can sell Surface to customers. It means we can recruit and onboard new authorised partners and it helps expand that partner network for Microsoft Surface. “It also enables us to reach many more

customers, especially in that small business space. But for resellers, it means they can get the value of the full Microsoft stack solution through our three authorised distributors. That’s why we're excited to do this.” Many USPs Surface devices have been designed to adapt in versatile ways to how teams work, learn, and create. Flexibility comes in a variety of form factors, putting high-powered productivity at users’ fingertips—no matter where work happens. World-class security is built in; from chip to cloud, Surface devices are held to the same standard as all Microsoft software and services and work seamlessly with the Microsoft security stack. Business processes like deployment, management and scale are optimised for the software experience organisations rely on every day using Microsoft 365. “Surface devices, along with the whole stack of Microsoft products and the ecosystem, deliver value to our customers and they adapt in different ways,” adds Clare. “They are thoughtfully designed. The teams that make Surface devices are dedicated to the design, to crafting different experiences and adapting them to the different ways that customers can work. “They're also versatile and adaptable. Surface comes in a range of different form factors to fit different customers. You've got 5G connected devices for customers that like on the go tablet devices, versus traditional clamshell laptops, or even pen enabled creative canvases so customers can choose which devices work for them. “Productivity is another USP: it brings the best of the hardware and the software from Microsoft together, so multitasking becomes even more powerful, and the productivity comes with that for our customers whether they're taking notes, doing video experience or a multitude of other different uses.” Security is also a selling point for

Clare Faulconer SMB and Education Go To Market lead

Surface devices have been designed to adapt in versatile ways to how teams work, learn, and create. “ ”


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