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Intelligent design Artificial intelligence has been arguably the story of 2023 and its rapid advancement – and increasing number of commercial applications – means that it needs to be embraced by resellers as part of their offering to customers.
November 30 marks a year since OpenAI released ChatGPT on a largely unsuspecting world. The artificial intelligence (AI) based large language model chatbot was an instant hit, garnering more than one million downloads within its first week. Since then, AI technology has developed rapidly, and the number of businesses offering products or services that use AI in some form has mushroomed. While there was talk about it being the start of the demise of humankind from some, that simply isn’t true and, more and more, it is becoming clear that AI can help businesses to become more efficient. AI won’t take everyone’s jobs either – more freeing them up from some of their mundane, repetitive tasks to focus on more rewarding work.
having an impact. For instance, it now allows automatic tracking and framing of multiple subjects and real-time translation of video calls, as well as helping to automate many of the tasks involved in setting up and managing hybrid meeting rooms. Read more on p20 Likewise in retail, AI is helping businesses to become more efficient – something managers are searching for in a tough market. Now, AI-enabled chatbots make it possible for retail brands to be available 24/7, ensuring that customers can place orders and seek assistance at any time of the day. This can be a game-changer in terms of accessibility and handling large volumes of inquiries simultaneously. Read more on p26. AI can also help with disaster recovery. While AI presents threats to businesses as it can be used by bad actors to create ever- more sophisticated ransomware and the like, it can also be used to repel it. As such, it will be an integral part of disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) offerings in the future. Read more on DRaaS on p38. With the development of AI, it makes it one of the most exciting times in the channel for some time and it will be interesting to see how the technology develops in the next couple of years to help businesses. For resellers, now is the time to get involved with AI-based products to ensure that, as it becomes a much bigger factor for businesses, they are ideally placed to provide the expert advice and products that customers are demanding. I hope you enjoy the issue. As ever, if there are any topics you wish to see covered by News in the Channel , or you want to get involved in editorial – I’m always on the lookout for op-eds – please drop me a line at email@example.com.
Working on features for News in the Channel recently, it seems that AI crops up in almost every conversation. The technology is impacting on every aspect of the channel. For instance, in our feature on videoconferencing and how many businesses are looking to upgrade their tech for this, as well as the meeting spaces they use for them to ensure that everyone, be they online or in person, has the optimal experience, AI is
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News You should know p6 Microsoft Windows 11 Windows on the world p12 Profile: Kaseya Taking opportunities p14
Microsoft Windows 11 – p12
Retail – p26
Cloud Adoption The risk of not adotping p17
Retail is a fiercely competitive market – on and offline – and businesses in the sector are looking for any advantage they can to get ahead of their rivals. Increasingly it is technology that is providing that, which gives resellers opportunities.
Microsoft has updated Windows 11 with a raft of new features to help businesses to become more efficient in a hybrid world, including harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.
Videoconferencing Time to upgrade p20
Videoconferencing – p20
Retail Savvy shoppers p26 Profile: Egress Keeping email comms safe p34
Videoconferencing has become an established part of working life, which now means that many businesses are looking to upgrade their equipment and create dedicated hybrid meeting rooms.
Disaster Recovery as a Service Digitalisation changes disaster recovery p38 People Moves Who's going where p44 Data Storage Head in the clouds p47 Opinion Why AI is now the biggest story p51
Profile: Kaseya – p14
Kaseya has enjoyed a buoyant year, helped by investment in its MSP partner programme. And, while the economic outlook may be uncertain around the world, Kaseya’s Greg Jones is confident that with it will come opportunities for growth that can be taken.
People Moves – p44
Tony Beller – Tanium, Simon Bennett – TD SYNNEX, José Van Dijk – Cisco and new key leadership appointments at Panasas.
Profile: Egress – p34
Data Storage – p47
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Egress has had a successful year – culminating in winning a prestigious award – but this is on the back of a lot of work to improve email security and is something that businesses in the channel can look to offer customers.
We’ve all heard outlandish statements about the value of data, but those predictions of skyrocketing value are starting to come true.
Cover Story – p22
Partner with Fortinet to increase revenue, expand your business and provide your customers with comprehensive cybersecurity solutions designed to protect their networks, applications and data from evolving threats.
5 Reasons to take a closer look at
Disaster planning has been put in place by many businesses over the years, but as digitalisation changes the way we work, it also changes disaster recovery – and making it much more complex. Disaster Recovery as a Service – p38
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Opinion – p51
Jack Hayes, founder of AI Speakers Agency, on the growing popularity of speakers and experts in artificial intelligence and why, post-COVID, virtual events are here to stay.
Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:
Businesses unprepared for AI energy demands
Organisations are unprepared for the massive energy requirements and data demands of artificial intelligence (AI), a report released by Pure Storage, in partnership with Wakefield Research, has found. The report, ‘ Drivers of Change: Meeting the Energy and Data Challenges of AI Adoption ,’ revealed the importance of reassessing data infrastructure to truly reap the benefits of AI, keep energy costs in line and stay on track with corporate environmental goals. The survey of 500 IT buyers at companies with 500+ employers across the US and Europe, found that: l F or 88% of those who have adopted AI, the need for computing power is up dramatically and 47% have had to double their computing power or more since adopting it l 73% of IT buyers were not completely prepared for the energy requirements of AI l F or 73%, AI requires or will require data management upgrades of some kind. Among specific upgrades: data management tools (48%), data management processes (46%) and data storage infrastructure (46%) l A s a result, 96% have already or plan to update their IT infrastructure, with 29% of IT buyers saying AI has or will require a complete overhaul l 8 9% have found ESG goals more difficult to meet because of upgrades to their IT infrastructure after AI adoption. However, 60% of those who have already adopted
AI technologies (or plan to in the next 12 months) stated they invested in or will invest in more energy-efficient hardware to meet ESG goals. AI adoption is on the rise across industries, yet most organisations lack the necessary infrastructure to handle the high-performance data demands and energy requirements essential for maximising its benefits. This limitation poses a challenge to the successful implementation of AI to support critical corporate initiatives, including those aimed at achieving environmental goals. Nearly all IT buyers feel pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, most agree that meeting IT goals is impossible without properly preparing IT infrastructure to support AI. The demand for smarter infrastructure has never been more pressing. Legacy systems often cannot support the massive AI data pipelines required to get the most from machine learning. As AI continues to accelerate in adoption, IT teams require an efficient, reliable and high-performance infrastructure to ensure effective deployment. “Planning for change and ensuring flexibility are key to navigating AI adoption,” said Rob Lee, chief technology officer, Pure Storage. “As power and data demands increase exponentially in the age of AI, investing in and deploying the right AI-ready data infrastructure is not only essential to effective deployment and energy efficiency, but to driving the most value out of AI projects.”
DRIVERS OF CHANGE: Meeting the Energy and Data Challenges of AI Adoption The age of artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked growing excitement across industries with new tools like ChatGPT promising a competitive edge. However, as organizations feel the push to integrate AI into their operations, their supporting infrastructure may not set them up for success.
Most organizations lack the necessary infrastructure to handle the high-performance data demands and energy requirements essential for maximizing AI’s benefits. In fact, legacy systems often cannot support the massive AI data pipelines required to get the most from machine learning models. And while AI brings immense promise, its impact on energy requirements can be surprising. These hidden costs of AI pose a challenge to the successful implementation of critical corporate initiatives, including those aimed at achieving environmental goals. As AI continues to accelerate in adoption, IT teams require a meaningful data strategy to ensure they can efficiently and effectively operationalize AI through the right infrastructure.
The challenge for IT leaders is not just about creating a durable AI architecture; it’s also about embracing AI in a way that aligns with their priority ESG objectives. To help pinpoint the hurdles of AI adoption in parallel to organizational sustainability goals, Pure Storage has partnered with Wakefield Research to survey more than 500 IT buyers at companies of 500 employees or more in four major global markets (US, UK, France, Germany). The survey found that for 88% of those who have adopted AI, the need for computing power has surged dramatically. In fact, nearly half (47%) have had to increase their computing power by double or more since adopting AI. Moreover, nearly 3 in 4 IT buyers (73%) whose companies have implemented AI were not completely prepared for the energy requirements .
IT BUYERS (73%) WHOSE COMPANIES HAVE IMPLEMENTED AI WERE NOT COMPLETELY PREPARED FOR THE ENERGY REQUIREMENTS. 3 in 4
Rob Lee chief technology officer
Vertiv Introduces Vertiv™ DynaFlex BESS
Vertiv has launched the Vertiv™ DynaFlex BESS, a battery energy storage system designed to enable energy independence and bolster sustainability efforts at mission critical facilities. DynaFlex BESS provides flexibility in the use of utility power and is a critical step in the deployment of a dynamic power architecture.
The system allows organisations to leverage the capabilities of hybrid power systems that include solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cells and other forms of alternative energy. The lithium-ion batteries in the DynaFlex BESS provide utility-scale energy for long duration support, allowing seamless and repeated transitions between energy sources. When paired with the optional Vertiv™ DynaFlex EMS (Energy Management System), theDynaFlex BESS enables advanced energy management strategies, such as demand management and sharing or selling energy back to the grid that can result in a reduction of utility energy consumption and costs and potentially generate revenue for the parties involved.
Physical Energy Storage System
CMS Distribution Consumer Electronics portfolio covers a range of technologies, from traditional categories such as audio, to emerging technology areas such as energy efficiency, home technology and digital workplace. At CMS we pride ourselves in offering a diverse and competitive offering for all our CE customers, our coverage throughout consumer tech month allows us to showcase our vendors and their offerings throughout November. Consumer Electronics is a broad and expansive category, covering a multitude of technologies that help us in our everyday lives, moving and evolving quickly to keep up with an ever-changing world. From offering you the ability to take your office space to the next level with Jabra & iiyama, to giving your customers the next step of home technology with Energizer & Lorex. CMS is at the forefront of consumer tech industry, taking new technologies to the market for the benefit of our customers. Our expert Product Managers and Account Managers are always on the hunt for new and innovative tech for our business. We can advise and recommend based on our knowledge of the market and help with ranging decisions. Additionally, we have multiple product experts who are always on hand to ensure that your business has an optimised range to meet the needs of your customer. CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY MONTH with CMS Distribution
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industrial facilities, high-value manufacturing plants, data centres and other facilities where power plays a critical role. The system’s power conversion system is designed to support two millisecond output, virtually eliminating any delays while shifting the load between hybrid power sources. Paired with an uninterruptible power supply system, the reliable, highly efficient design of the DynaFlex BESS reduces the risk of data centre outages and diesel generator starts. The UL9540A-tested lithium-ion batteries in the DynaFlex BESS are designed to minimise fire risks, are free-standing with a small footprint, and are designed for modularity.
“Sustainability has become a core tenet of many organisations’ growth plans, but concerns about operational resilience and growing stress on the grid have limited efforts to adopt alternative energy sources,” said Peter Panfil, vice president, global power, Vertiv. “The Vertiv DynaFlex BESS opens the full energy management toolbox. It allows organisations to leverage the strengths of these new energy generation assets and relegates the traditional utility provider to a complementary role in a more dynamic, efficient and reliable mix of energy sources.” The DynaFlex BESS is designed for mission critical environments, such as commercial
Boom Collaboration announce UK distribution deal with Westcoast
Video conferencing manufacturer Boom Collaboration has appointed Westcoast as its official UK distributor Westcoast will supply the complete Boom Collaboration range, including 4K PTZ conferencing cameras, video bars, personal devices and audio speakers, to more than 5,000 resellers. Boom Collaboration was formed in 2020 by founders Fredrik Hörnkvist and Holli Hulett, in a bid to disrupt the sector and stand out from the crowd – creating high performance, high value advanced products. The Texas-based business has quickly developed an extensive conferencing portfolio and operates in 30 countries, with plans to extend to 20 more, having added 12 new markets this year. Its operation is underpinned by the creation of four logistics centres covering all corners of the globe. “Westcoast provides us with the perfect platform to officially launch the brand into the UK and open the door to sustained sales success – for all parties and most importantly their resellers,” said Fredrik. “We want to offer something a little different both in terms of our products and how we do business. We are not another ‘me-too’ brand.” Westcoast’s UC business manager, Sam Armstrong, added: “Boom Collaboration might be a relatively new conferencing name, but the company has quickly built an impressive reputation and a very comprehensive product portfolio, which covers everything from personal workspaces to huddle rooms and large boardrooms.
“There’s lots of innovation too such as intelligent video bars, expandable wireless audio and even a user-friendly multi-camera controller to facilitate live events. “Boom Collaboration can offer our resellers something different and it is a very welcome addition to our high calibre UC collaboration division across the UK and France and Germany. We are confident this new partnership will be a big success.” Holli agreed with the importance of building long-term relationships. “We are young and fresh with new ideas, backed by years of personal experience that already makes us experts in this field. We are not afraid to stand out, be bold, brave and loud and do things a little differently. A disrupter to take on the field. “It’s about offering the highest levels of support to resellers through the distribution channel and going the extra mile with Westcoast. We don’t want to just stay in the middle lane. “We recognise resellers have the relationship with customers. Together we can help them transition to the new world we live in. They can lean on us. We are happy to help.”
Holli Hulett Co-founder Boom Collaboration
Fredril Hörnkvist Co-founder
Acronis introduces new MSP Academy
topics or follow a structured learning path,” said Jon McCarrick, director of evangelism at Acronis. “The rapidly evolving technology and business landscape requires ongoing learning, and MSP Academy is designed to support the growing needs of MSPs.” MSP Academy's curriculum offers training covering all aspects of managing an MSP business. With content structured to cater to the fast-paced changes of technology, bite- sized modules ranging from three to seven minutes are available to deliver impactful insights. Participants can take an exam to receive a Credly badge to share with peers and customers, showing their qualifications and commitment to continuous learning by earning a degree from the MSP Academy. Upcoming initiatives for MSPs from Acronis include delivering hybrid boot camps in collaboration with cloud distributors, providing an immersive learning experience to keep learners at the forefront of industry advancements, and launching new online, hybrid and offline multilingual training options.
Acronis has launched MSP Academy, an educational initiative aimed to provide managed service providers (MSPs) with business and technological knowledge, skills and tools necessary to excel and grow. Acronis has offered technology and business training on Acronis products for service providers for more than 10 years through Acronis Academy. Acronis partners that went through training and certification through the Academy in 2022 saw a 60% increase in revenue from Acronis product sales and a reduction in support incidents by 40%. In response to partner requests to expand the training portfolio beyond product training, Acronis delivered MSP Academy. MSP Academy is a learning platform created to address key challenges MSPs face. It covers various topics, from starting an MSP, running a successful MSP business, marketing and optimising the efficiency and productivity of MSP technicians. “MSP Academy offers a customised education experience, allowing learners to explore specific
Jon McCarrick director of evangelism
ManageEngine launches Endpoint Central MSP Cloud
ManageEngine has launched Endpoint Central MSP Cloud, which brings the advantages of the cloud’s scalability, flexibility and efficiency to the remote monitoring and management (RMM) of endpoints for managed service providers (MSPs). The launch also completes the first stage of the company’s vision for a unified platform for MSPs. “This cloud release enables service providers to focus on addressing their clients’ IT challenges and growing their businesses without the worry of operational complexities,” said Mathivanan Venkatachalam, vice president of ManageEngine. “Endpoint Central MSP Cloud delivers RMM capabilities for endpoints, enabling MSPs to automate everyday management and security tasks and allowing them to be available to help clients with their real-time requirements.” Highlights of Endpoint Central MSP Cloud include: l Extensive support for devices and operating systems l A single agent for a wide range of capabilities across device management, security and compliance l Integral remote access and
troubleshooting without the need for additional setup or agents l Extensive third-party patch automation across varied device types and environments l Strong third-party integrations and a vast API ecosystem to promote interoperability with MSPs’ existing technology stacks. Today, MSPs build their own tech stack consisting of a range of specialised tools from various vendors to effectively manage, maintain and secure their clients' IT infrastructures, and to optimise and run their own operations. This increases the total cost of ownership and the complexity, forcing MSPs to juggle between multiple tools and bear with weak integrations. “We have built a diverse ecosystem of solutions catering to the varied needs of MSPs, including for identity and access management, RMM and professional service automation, and we plan on bringing all of them to the cloud,” said Mathivanan. “With this release, we are on the brink of delivering a single cloud platform that will enable these solutions to work together seamlessly, eliminating integration headaches and empowering MSPs to maximise their revenues with minimal effort and investment.”
Mathivanan Venkatacchalam vice president
Cyber threats predicted to continue to rise in 2024
Cloud service attacks and ransomware threats are likely to continue to grow in 2024, meaning cyber resilience should be a priority, according to KnowBe4’s 2024 cybersecurity predictions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Predicted cybersecurity trends for 2024 include: q Cloud service attacks A rise in attacks on cloud services means that we will see successful attacks on either cloud providers or cloud-based applications or both. This will potentially result in loss of availability of services, breach of personal data and intellectual property. The UK is the most targeted country in EMEA and therefore has a higher likelihood for attacks. w Collaboration and information sharing We will see an increased focus on collaboration and information sharing between national and international cybersecurity agencies; and ultimately between public and private partnerships to combat cybercrime, address nation and state threats, and to proactively detect and respond to emerging cyber threats. e Legislation on AI Much needed legislation on AI, more specifically generative AI, will come to fruition throughout Europe in the next year. The laws are vague now leaving them open for misinterpretation and abuse. The Digital Service Act and the proposed European Union AI Act are some of the legislation that will force generative AI providers to be more transparent and adhere to disclosure requirements, which will bring about clarity in terms of what is and isn’t allowed. Similarly, Africa lacks AI legislation. However, three African countries, Mauritius, Egypt and Kenya, have made efforts to advance policy documents dedicated specifically to AI. In contrast, the Dubai International Financial Centre has already enacted amendments to its Data Protection Regulations. New requirements on the processing of personal data via autonomous and semi-autonomous systems, like AI, were introduced and were applicable as of 1 September. r Ransomware attacks to aim for supply chain services Ransomware cybercriminal groups will continue to increase their attacks but will be more targeted and work to attack supply chain services to disrupt and damage organisations
around the world. t Internal training and AI to lessen the cybersecurity skills gap According to ISACA, the EU currently has a shortage of 260,000 to 500,000 tech workers. Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report shows that the demand for cybersecurity skills has grown by an average of 35% in Africa in 2022 alone, and a study by Trellix found that 66% of IT managers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia think that their organisations do not have the right people or processes in place to be cyber resilient. This skills shortage is not going to be filled any time soon, leaving organisations vulnerable to cyberattacks. Organisations will have little choice but to employ tech workers with less desired qualifications and certifications to attempt to combat cybercrime. In addition, they will continue to fill the skills gap by training employees across departments to become the human firewall against cyberattacks; and using AI-powered defence for better threat detection and incident response. y Disinformation campaigns to lead to extortion schemes Disinformation campaigns will be used to launch attacks or distract from ongoing attacks. We can expect to see related service offerings on the dark web, giving rise to disinformation as a service. This will impact politics and the private sector. Disinformation becomes a tool for cybercriminals seeking to extract money from legitimate private businesses through extortion schemes. Attackers will increase their use of deep fakes, including video and voice. u Privacy by demand Privacy regulations are forcing organisations to adapt and we will see privacy by design and user experience privacy gain traction. In particular, the use of generative AI in organisations, ethical considerations and privacy by design will become more prevalent. i Cyber resilience will become a priority Ensuring that organisations continue to function despite cyberattacks will continue to be a top strategic priority for many, acknowledging that having such a strategy in place is vital. Organisations will place greater emphasis on developing and nurturing a security culture, as it’s one of the best ways to protect their data and systems from cyberattacks and to ensure that attacks are detected and reported quickly if successful.
Powering the World with Innovation Samsung, technology giants in innovation, are not just limited to popular smartphones, computing, and household appliances. Behind these consumer products lies a global leader in semiconductor technology – Samsung Components. With a rich history of innovation and excellence, Samsung Components have become an integral part of the technology that powers our modern world. As Google continues to release exceptional smartphones every year, we cannot help but get excited about the launch of their latest offering, the Google Pixel 7a. This device boasts impressive features and a pocket-friendly price tag making it a popular choice among customers worldwide. Equipped with the state-of-the-art camera, it takes exceptional photos and videos even in low-light conditions. First and foremost, Samsung's component division is responsible for producing cutting- edge semiconductors, memory chips, and display panels. These components are present in a wide range of devices, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and gaming consoles. The sheer quality and reliability of Samsung's components have made them the sought-after choice for many leading technology brands. The device is smaller and more compact than previous Pixel models, making it easier to hold and use with one hand. With a long-lasting battery, users can enjoy a full day of usage without the need for recharging. The Google Pixel 7a is an exceptional smartphone that offers users an impressive set of features, a compact design, and a competitive price. Contact your dedicated Exertis Account Manager today to learn more about how we can assist you with your purchase. Built to perform. Priced just right. Super fast, secure and full of essentials.
One of Samsung's standout components is their memory chip technology. Samsung is a pioneer in the development of NAND and DRAM memory chips, which play a vital role in enhancing the performance of electronic devices. Their memory chips offer high-speed data access, increased storage capacity, and improved energy efficiency. As a result, devices equipped with Samsung memory chips have faster processing speeds, smoother multitasking capabilities, and enhanced battery life. Moreover, Samsung Components also prioritize sustainability and environmental stewardship. The company actively takes
measures to reduce its carbon footprint during the production of components, striving to minimize waste and energy consumption. This commitment to eco- friendly practices not only benefits the environment but also sets an example for the industry on how technology and sustainability can go hand in hand.
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MICROSOFT WINDOWS 11
Windows on the world Microsoft has updated Windows 11 with a raft of new features to help businesses to become more efficient in a hybrid world, including harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.
The new Windows 11 update delivered more than 150 new features for users, including a revolutionary AI personal assistant. We spoke with Keith Toh, category manager Windows Pro and Edu Device Partner Solutions Sales at Microsoft UK to find out more. News in the Channel: Windows 11 is the best Windows yet, which features do you predict to most benefit end users over the next six to 12 months? Keith Toh (KT): Windows 11 Pro is built for secure hybrid work, and we continue to innovate to bring the best of hybrid work experiences to our fans. On September 26, we announced our best and most ambitious update – 150 features to be exact – to Windows 11, which are now available in the UK. The feature that is generating buzz among our fans is, of course, Copilot in Windows. Copilot in Windows is an AI-powered intelligent assistant that helps you get answers and inspirations from across the web, supports creativity and collaboration, and helps you focus on the task at hand. For instance, Copilot can help you draft a Linkedin post or even a work proposal (best when integrated with Microsoft 365) so you don’t have to start from scratch, saving minutes if not hours of time. With Copilot in Windows, you can use natural language to turn on features that you may not even know to help you be more productive. Examples are setting ‘Focus Time’ features by just prompting ‘help me focus’ or
organising your windows with Snap Assist by asking Copilot to ‘organise my windows’. Existing Windows 11 features will continue to benefit end users. Some popular features include ‘Search on the Taskbar’, which delivers faster, more relevant, and consistent results across the web, apps and files, including dynamically updated search highlights. Snap layouts enables you to drop open apps into pre-configured layouts that automatically adjust to the dimension of your screen and with seamless redocking, your snap groups and other open apps stay in place when you plug into a different monitor so you can pick up where you left off. What impact will AI and Copilot have on the way we work? KT: Eight months ago, we introduced Copilot for Microsoft 365 to reduce digital debt and increase productivity so people can focus on the work that is uniquely human. Just like the question suggests, what everyone wants to know now is: will generative AI really transform work, and how? New data shows that the productivity gains are real. We conducted research using a combination of surveys and experiments
Keith Toh category manager Windows Pro and Edu Device Partner Solutions Sales
Copilot in Windows is an AI-powered intelligent assistant that helps you get answers and “
to deeply understand how Copilot is transforming work – learning with and
alongside our customers as we scale. Already, Copilot makes people more productive and creative, and saves time. Early users don’t want to go back to working without it: 77% said they don’t want to give it up. And this is just the beginning. As use of generative AI at work spreads, the real opportunity is to not only transform personal productivity but lift the capability of the entire organisation. Copilot sets a new baseline – one where every employee gains the skills to write, design, code, analyse data, and more. And it amplifies expertise, taking work from good to exceptional. Across our research 1 , here’s what stood out: l 70% of Copilot users said they were more productive, and 68% said it improved the quality of their work l Overall, users were 29% faster in a
inspirations from across the web, supports creativity and collaboration, and helps you focus on the task at hand.
1. What Can Copilot’s Earliest Users Teach Us About Generative AI at Work? (microsoft.com)
MICROSOFT WINDOWS 11
Information Protection, which helps prevent data leakage by separating work and personal data and applying specific policies
With Windows 10 becoming EOL in 2025, What are the benefits of transitioning to Windows 11?
KT: First of all, Windows 11 have min. hardware requirements. By transiting to Windows 11, one can be assured of devices that are built for modern work purposes. This means devices with better performance, battery life, cameras, mics and also modern security features at a chipset level, Secondly, Windows 11 comes with out of the box features that enhance productivity, security and IT manageability. Forrester did research in early 2023 on the total economic impact on organisations that have adopted Windows 11 and the general findings are: l Reduced the risk of a successful security attack by 20% l Increased productivity for security and IT teams by 20% l Reduced the number of incoming help desk tickets by 80% l Decreased in time for deployment of devices by 25% l Increased end-user productivity by 15%, with Copilot we expect productivity gain to be even higher l Three-year 250% ROI and payback in less than six months. Now obviously the data varies from company to company and customers who are interested to build a ROI report specific to their organisation can get it free of charge at Windows 11 Devices Calculator.
series of tasks (searching, writing and summarising) l Users were able to get caught up on a missed meeting nearly 4x faster l 64% of users said Copilot helps them spend less time processing email l 85% of users said Copilot helps them get to a good first draft faster l 77% of users would pick Co-pilot over a free weekly lunch. How does Windows 11 take security to the next level to provide the most advanced protection? KT: Windows 11 Pro takes security to the next level by providing multilayered protection to help protect your data, employees and apps against common security threats. It is the most secure version of Windows to date, with hardware-backed protection built-in and enabled by default. According to a Techaisle survey, users experienced a 58% drop in security incidents using Windows 11 devices. Additionally, research by Techaisle showed a 3.1 times reduction in firmware attacks and 2.8 times fewer instances of identity theft with Windows 11 Pro. This advanced protection offers greater security for your organisation, employees and customers. For instance, Windows 11 Pro comes with several enhanced security features to provide advanced protection for users. These include hardware and software features like secure boot, virtualisation-based security, hypervisor- protected code integrity, and Windows Hello using the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) on by default in many regions 1 . Windows 11 Pro also includes features such as BitLocker to Go, which extends BitLocker encryption to removable storage devices, and Windows
Windows 11 Pro takes security to the next level “
by providing multilayered protection to
help protect your data, employees and apps against common security threats.
Taking opportunities Kaseya has enjoyed a buoyant year, helped by investment in its MSP partner programme. And, while the economic outlook may be uncertain around the world, Kaseya’s Greg Jones is confident that with it will come opportunities for growth.
The economic outlook for the UK, as well as the rest of the world, has not been optimistic for some time. While in the UK a recession has been avoided, economic growth is small, which means that businesses are looking for any way they can get a competitive advantage. This growing economic pressure is creating opportunities for tech firms such as Kaseya, something that hasn’t been seen to such a degree before, according to Greg Jones, VP of business development, EMEA at Kaseya. “We've seen very different trends this year than what we normally see in the marketplace around downturns or recessions,” he says. “Technology is always in a great place to ride any economic storm. But when we look back at 2008, the last big dip, is it is a very different marketplace now to then. Then, one of the first things to go was some of the IT budget around what some businesses saw as luxuries back then, whereas we are seeing the opposite now; many businesses are leaning into technology to drive growth, automation, profitability and productivity. “While some larger scale enterprise projects may be being delayed, we're not seeing that in the SME space. There are still huge opportunities out there and we believe we are in a golden age for our managed service providers (MSPs), and that will continue for a long time.”
This has helped 2023 to be a very successful year for Kaseya. The company has grown organically by 30%, with staffing increased to more than 5,000 in 33 offices across the world, according to Greg. “It means we can support partners on the ground in the regions that they need,” he says. “We've had a very buoyant year, even though we are said to be on the edge of a global economic downturn.” Looking to MSPs Greg adds that some of this desire for technology from end users is a continuation from the COVID pandemic, where many businesses adopted more technology in their everyday operations such as videoconferencing and cloud networking and have become more productive and profitable as a result and want to accelerate this. As a result, they are looking to MSPs to achieve this. “SMEs are looking more than ever to MSPs to help them with digital transformation,” says Greg. “It's not around leading edge or bleeding edge technology, some of it is basic technology improving business processes, such as using the likes of Teams and Zoom, but changing business processes and driving automation to make operational efficiencies and free up staff to do other things. That's key. We're transacting with more than 55,000 partners across the globe now and we're seeing issues around staffing has been challenging.” Another growth area for Kaseya’s partners – in all regions – has been in co-managed IT security, Greg adds. “The co-managed space is really interested,” he says. “Co-managed is basically where an MSP works with a business that either has an IT department, an individual or a champion, on their security. “Larger players and SMEs alike are now asking for co-managed help from MSPs because off the back of COVID they realised they were not as agile as some of the competitors. The smaller players in the
Greg Jones VP, business development
market were slower to get up and running and operational, because they didn’t have the in-house expertise. It can also be expensive for smaller businesses to cover an IT function in terms of holidays, sickness, maternity, paternity etc and they are looking for that outsourced co-managed function. “Whereas the larger ones weren't driving efficiencies, arguably because they're big ships and it takes longer to turn, and need the high-end skills help. “Many organisations are now saying they need help and support for digital transformation to make them more agile, but also, at both ends of the spectrum, to automate the lower valued work – the mundane, laborious stuff – to free up employees’ time within their business, or the very high end of the skill set that they don't have within their business to deal with.” To help MSPs to take advantage of such opportunities and attract new customers to grow their business, Kayesa has revamped its partner programme this year. “We've put more money than ever before into our marketing development funds to help partners attract new business,” says Greg.
“We also launched our remote IT and security management certification (RITSM). That is to help attract new tech talent, talent that we possibly wouldn't have drawn in in the past, and helping them understand what an MSP is, what a service provider is and how to deliver a service. That's a huge programme. “We're passionate about making sure that our business model is aligned to support our partners, because if there's a disconnect between those, it has a huge impact on our business because MSPs are our go to market strategy,” says Greg. “All our products and services, our enterprise grade technology that we supply to the SME world needs to be fit for purpose in terms of what they want and as does everything around that in how we support them. “Our partners are saying to us they are struggling making decisions around business continuity and disaster recovery today and signing contracts because they don't know where their customers are going to be in six months or a year. They don't know if they purchase on premise devices, if it will move to the cloud or vice versa? So we've introduced flexible spend around our devices now, so
Our partners are saying to us they are struggling making decisions around business continuity and “ disaster recovery today and signing contracts because they don't know where their
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that customers can make decisions today and it doesn't matter where their end customers devices go because it's flexible enough to accommodate that.” Cyber threats Another priority for MSPs is cybercrime, which is accelerating quickly. “The threat landscape is evolving faster than ever and will continue to accelerate with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning helping bad actors and criminal organisations,” says Greg. “So while this is worrying, in one way it is good for MSPs and service providers protecting businesses. About £40 billion now is being spent in the UK SME space on security alone. “MSPs should be focusing on security and cyber resiliency irrelevant of where they are in the market: they should all be allocating time to work on cyber resiliency. If a business has zero in their budget or millions, they still need to allocate time to security issues for every employee of the business, not just the security team, not just the helpdesk, but also the executives, back office, admin, finance function because you are only as strong as your weakest link. Only by allocating time can you improve or measure or monitor it. That is my tip to all MSPs – there are so many cyber threats out there and the development of AI and machine learning is helping bad actors to provide ever more convincing threats, so it must be a focus.”
create more value for the business than just being sat in an account.” Greg adds that outsourcing is another growth area. “It's very unusual now to find a business that doesn't outsource something, whether that be sales, marketing, HR, admin or legal services,” he says. “That is going to continue to accelerate because the world is changing in terms of the younger generation coming through into the workplace and getting into positions of spending power, that they get the outsource culture and the ‘as a service’ model. We're seeing a lot of opportunity around outsourcing for many MSPs. “With good documentation and business processes within your MSP business, the opportunities are endless around outsourcing. It can accelerate your business faster than anything else.” Adaptability is another key consideration – for MSPs and customers alike, he adds. “For me adaptability and agility are paramount in businesses in today's digital age,” he says. “Businesses must be able to adapt and pivot on the fly. The pandemic showed the world that things can change overnight and businesses need to be that agile now.” Taking opportunities This is indicative of the opportunities that are in the market for MSPs and Kaseya to make more sales and grow, despite the prevailing economic conditions. “Many businesses flourish on the back of chaos,” he says. “For me, it's a time to get rid of that head trash and look at things differently, to look for opportunities in different places.” “When making big plans around anything, I consider it from three perspectives: what does my plan look like if the world stays the same today when I'm working on the plan? What does that look like if we enter some uncertainty or there's massive pullback in the market for whatever reason? What happens if it goes the other way and we're in a kind of business utopia? That's the way I'm looking for it for SMEs as well as service providers.” With careful planning, then MSPs can continue to find and take advantage of opportunities in the market, backed by the expertise of Kaseya. Greg is confident that Kaseya can look forward to another years of strong growth, as can its partners, whatever the economic headwinds.
That is my tip to all MSPs – there are so many cyber threats out there and the “ development of AI and machine learning is helping bad actors to provide ever more convincing threats, so it must be a focus.
Seizing opportunities Another key area of opportunity is in
automation, he says. “Automation is going to be the gift that keeps on giving for businesses – it's not a one off because the technology is developing quickly. “For many businesses, rather than having money in the bank, they are better off spending that to drive automation as it will
Avoid danger with the cloud
Jake Michael writes for CirrusHQ on the importance of SMEs adopting cloud technology to remain competitive.
Cloud technology has become increasingly popular in the UK in recent years, but still 58% of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK have yet to implement cloud technology, and a third are not utilising it at all. This reluctance to embrace the cloud stems from various concerns, including security, time intensity and budget constraints. A notable knowledge gap also exists among smaller enterprises on how the cloud works. It is crucial to address these concerns and shed light on the dangers businesses face by not leveraging its capabilities.
and proactive monitoring. SMEs are often challenged in implementing such security independently and therefore could benefit from adopting the cloud. This will allow them to access skilled security professionals, offering robust defence mechanisms against cyber threats. Dealing with system disruptions On-site IT systems are susceptible to interruptions due to power outages, hardware/software issues and system upgrades, which can greatly slow down work operations and risk businesses losing revenue and customers. The cloud can help to mitigate these issues by allowing users to access data from any location, even during power outages, which ensures an uninterrupted and efficient network service. The cloud promotes a seamless service that invests in vigorous backups of data to minimise the interim during system upgrades that are more likely to occur in traditional IT setups. Reduced dependence When an IT infrastructure is limited to being on-site, a business is dependent on employees or technicians who may not be available if there is a sudden problem with the system. Cloud adoption helps to create a smooth operational experience for SMEs by offering support from cloud service providers to contribute to a more resilient and well-supported IT infrastructure. These professionals can help to address challenges, providing a cost-effective alternative to outsourcing IT support independently, and countering the potential limitations of in-house IT support availability during crises and the high costs associated with outsourcing. Cloud gains SMEs stand to gain the most with the cloud as it provides increased storage space, remote data access and cost reduction, eliminating reliance on hardcopies, manual backups or local infrastructure, thus safeguarding against data loss events.
Reduced agility Operating outside of the cloud poses
challenges in resource scaling, which risks a business losing out on opportunities to gain new customers and the ability to recover from losses. In contrast, the cloud allows businesses to add resources seamlessly. This dynamic scaling allows organisations to increase or decrease their resources based on demand, which means they can be more flexible in adapting to market changes and allow them to efficiently seize opportunities. The cloud can scale these resources without disrupting ongoing operations, allowing businesses to remain agile, responding promptly and seamlessly to evolving market dynamics. Less flexible workforce Businesses were once tethered to specific locations and equipment, hindering them from being mobile and expanding their outreach. But the cloud has liberated them from working in one physical location and empowering employees to work from anywhere. This helps to foster a dynamic and responsive workforce capable of engaging with customers and exploring new opportunities on the go. Data is more vulnerable One common reason why SMEs are hesitant to adopt cloud services is concerns about being more vulnerable to hacks. But the cloud can enhance security measures compared to on-site solutions and safely store data through encryption, regular security updates
A notable knowledge gap
also exists among smaller enterprises on how the cloud works. It is crucial to address
these concerns and shed light on the dangers
businesses face by not leveraging its capabilities.
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