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All I want for Christmas...

November 2020

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Editor Michelle Winny 0759 529 8729 Graphic Designer Steve Williams


Advertising & Commercial Partnerships Sarah Goldhawk 0787 259 4600


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TheEditor Keeping track over Christmas


CR’s November issue has a decidedly festive feel and in order to stay fit and healthy over the Christmas period we bring you our healthcare and wearable tech special focus. After researching and writing on the topics for this issue, I decided it was time I try a smart watch with health tracking capabilities. I’ve never owned one before but I found it quite intriguing monitoring how many steps I’d taken over the course of the day, how many calories I had burned and my sleep pattern. Previously I never felt the need to own one of these but now I couldn’t imagine life without it especially with working from home and the risk of being too inactive, not drinking enough or indeed drinking too much! But unsurprisingly COVID-19 features considerably as a driver for wearables and healthcare monitoring devices as we all focus on staying fit and well to ward off any contagion. But as is the nature with all devices the risk of anyone getting hold of our private and personal data is a serious concern, which is why we also focus on securing personal data in this issue. This month’s retail analysis focuses on why now is the time to win customer loyalty through digital retail, as lockdown restrictions and concerns over social distancing keep shoppers away from high-streets and preferring to shop online. With so much content and data out there these days the need for memory is a vital part of all devices from personal tech to gaming, which is why we bring you the latest in Memory & Motherboards in our 12days of Christmas, gifting sector guide. This just leaves me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Michelle Winny, Editor Editorial: 0759 529 8729 Advertising: 0787 259 4600



Michelle Winny


Sarah Goldhawk


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06 Retail analysis: Online shopping - now’s the time to win customer loyalty 10 News: Round up of October’s industry news headlines 14 Industry Opinions 25 The Big Interview: Seagate’s Alessandra de Paula 30 GEKKO 32 Top 5 Tech: Trend Micro’s James Munroe 34 Tech’s impact on healthcare 38 Wearables market overview 41 Sector Guide: Memory & Motherboards 44 Life in the Channel: Okta’s Stevie Dennis

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Retail Analysis

Online shopping: Now’s the time to win customer loyalty Online shopping is now bigger than ever as more consumers seek the comfort and convenience of shopping from their homes. But getting the customer experience right is vital as consumers look to challenge their conventional high-street traditions and are more prepared than ever to trial online shopping, especially with Christmas just around the corner and the threat of a second Coronavirus lockdown looming, as Michelle Winny finds out 6


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Retail Analysis

-commerce has hit an all time high as consumers look to shop online to fulfill their purchasing needs, much more so now than ever before in the wake of COVID-19. Reports confirm that many UK online retailers have just completed their most successful quarter due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Econsultancy reports that 77% of British consumers now do at least part of their shopping online. This figure is up from 61% in 2019. Scott Frankling, marketing executive at Target Components says: “Throughout the pandemic, people have been upgrading their home tech, be it bigger and better monitors, better home networking (something that’s a lot easier thanks to Mesh WiFi technology) or new accessories. And that’s not likely to change anytime soon; the uncertainty of when we will return to ‘normal’ is driving sales of products that enhance our current experience and comfort, with laptops, larger format and 4K monitors, and gaming accessories leading the way. Target has seen a huge and consistent uplift in these categories to our customers, both online and retail. “The last weekend in November (now being referred to as Cyber Weekend, rather than a single day) is likely to see massive sales online. With less money spent on going out and activities this year, personal items like wearables, speakers and headphones, standalone smart devices and home entertainment are likely to be major winners again, with sales spilling over well into 2021”, adds Frankling. Rob Shaw, MD EMEA, Fluent Commerce says that retailers need to plan and prepare for busy retail periods ahead to avoid past pitfalls: “We have seen retailers overwhelmed with volume on previous Black Fridays and in the lead up to Christmas; websites crashing, products selling out way too early and grumpy customers. It happens every year and this year will be no different. In fact, store closures and supply chain disruptions will put more pressure on retailers to deliver this year than ever before. “To prepare for higher demand, retailers must make sure they have enough stock and can sell stock across all locations. Don’t stop selling before the last piece is gone, no matter where it might be located. By selling from your warehouse, your stores and involving drop ship vendors you can make sure that every order can be fulfilled. “With a complete view of your inventory and a good handle on stock available to sell you can ensure you don’t overpromise and under deliver. If you don’t want orders crisscrossing the country to keep down shipping costs, set up rules as to how much stock is ready to sell in each of your stores and regions and offer personalised availability to customers, depending on their location. “To avoid delays for customers and keep down costs for the business, ensure that all staff in stores participating in click & collect or shop from store programmes are trained on how to pick, pack and fulfill orders,” Shaw adds. But on the downside high street store are suffering major losses as lockdown measures and fear of the virus drive footfall away from local stores. “Back in March, retailers across the country were forced to close their stores and rely entirely on driving sales through online channels, leading to online sales surging and physical footfall dropping to recordbreaking lows. Since then, restrictions have eased but the retail landscape remains very much the same. In fact, footfall is still around 40% below what it was before the lockdown period as half of Britons are still wary of venturing out to the shops and prefer the convenience and comfort of shopping online – almost half (49%) of UK consumers plan to continue using online services even after restrictions are lifted, says Andre Hordagoda, CEO of Go Instore. The customer experience as we knew it is no longer recognisable,

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Retail Analysis deterring shoppers from retuning in-store unless they have too as Hordagoda describes, “Even when shoppers do go in-store, they are greeted by an unrecognisable experience and the many perks of visiting a physical store have diminished. Browsing, trying on, touching items and shopping in large groups are all things of the past as limitations prevent customers from shopping in a pre-pandemic way.” “Retailers need to come to terms with the fact that consumers choosing online over in person is the new normal and it is here to stay. In an attempt to survive in today’s retail landscape, retailers must consider adapting their strategies and replace the lack of physical footfall with digital footfall – especially with the prospect of further social distancing and another lockdown. Retailers must invest in online and digital experiences to keep up with customer behaviour and continue to connect with consumers via the channel they are spending most of their shopping time,” says Hordagoda. However online shopping cannot replicate the human touch as Hordagoda explains, “There is one thing the comfort and convenience of online shopping cannot replace about shopping in-store, the human element. At the end of the day, people buy from people. Of course brands are aware of the importance of the human touch – this is why they invest in talented salespeople and empower them to inspire others to buy products, but in this chaotic retail climate, many highly trained staff are not utilised via online channels. And we know this is where consumers are currently. Retailers need to invest in omnichannel experiences and recreate the personalised experience they offer instores via online channels. Live-video solutions can deliver in-store experiences to online customers and allow shoppers to reap the benefits of a personalised customer experience while shopping from a distance. The highly talented salespeople, are also given an additional tool to do what they do best, connect to customers and convert calls to sales.” “By delivering a fantastic digital customer experience, brands can ensure shoppers will increase spending, return, engage and transition into brand advocates at a time where brand loyalty is more important than ever,” Hordagoda adds. Whilst Patrick Smith, field CTO for EMEA at Pure Storage agrees, saying the retail sector needs to be agile, flexible and responsive to the changing landscape caused by the pandemic, “Businesses have been put to the test by the Covid-19 pandemic like never before. It has thrown curveball after curveball, and made forecasting with certainty near impossible. Agility and the ability to adjust strategy at the drop of a hat has become invaluable. If an organisation is



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moving into the New Year with a rigid, inflexible strategy, they’re setting themselves up for a potential fall in what promises to be another unpredictable year.” “Technology is a key enabler to combat the travails that the pandemic has brought and ensure agility. To overcome the current challenges, businesses need to recognise that now more than ever, innovation and transformative technology are vital for survival.” Speaking about business lessons learnt from the crisis, Smith says: “For those businesses that hadn’t already embarked on digital transformation, the pandemic forced them to overhaul their IT, and at speed. Whilst this is a good thing, and these businesses will start to feel the benefits of digital transformation, many companies may have over rotated in their technology choices. To try and guarantee continuity, some opted for infrastructure beyond their needs, choosing expensive solutions with vast capacity. Previously there were immense cost pressures on companies who could get by using legacy technology. But with the immediate need to transform fast and worry about cost later, some over-rotated to unsustainable technology choices. Businesses therefore need to refocus on the medium-term, rebalance and opt for the solutions that fit these needs.” Businesses should now plan to move forward Smith advises, “Organisations are ‘reading the room’ and are laser focused on prioritising the customer experience. Every business decision maker is also a consumer used to immediacy and ease of use; no one is willing to pay for a product or service that has below average user experience. Moving forward, it’s essential that businesses are investing in innovation that not only improves the product, but also the overall customer experience. In order to do this, it’s important to get the best out of the customer data: analyse and manipulate it to truly understand their needs.” Smith predicts that ecommerce business over the next 6-12 months will need to keep a close focus on security, “Cybersecurity and ransomware in particular will continue to be areas of concern in the coming months. Whilst in many cases the pandemic has bought out the best in people, it has also bought out the worst in hackers trying to take advantage of people’s good will and vulnerability. It is also a time to go ‘back to basics’ around cyber security awareness amongst employees. At a more corporate level, I predict that we’ll see a continued rise in devastating ransomware attacks, which in turn will lead organisations to approach their backup technologies and services with much more respect and reverence, considering they sit as an organisation’s last line of defence.”

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RDS’ full HD resolution Super Fine TFTs RDS’ Super Fine TFT (SFT) Tianma Displays are available in a rage of sizes including 11.6”, 13.3”, 15.6” and 18.5” with features such as LVDS or eDP (Display Port) interfaces, backlight luminance from 400cd/m2 up to 1500cd/m2. Excellent daylight/outdoor viewing is assured with anti-glare surface coating. The wide temperature range of -30oC to 85oC guarantees stable performance even under harsh conditions. Tianma’s wide-angle technology and Super Fine TFT (SFT) provides ultra-wide viewing angles of 88degrees in all directions without any significant change in brightness or colour. These wide viewing angles also allow flexibility in design as a display can be mounted in either portrait or landscape orientation.

iPhones could lose up to 35% of their value in coming weeks


ith the 2020 Apple Keynote just around the corner, Apple fans are eagerly awaiting news about the latest handsets. However, those who are looking to get their hands on the new model need to be aware of the best time to trade in their old device to get the highest return, as the value of older iPhones is set to plummet by up to 35% in the coming weeks. The news comes as tech site musicMagpie releases its 5th Annual Phone Depreciation Report, updated with the latest depreciation statistics for 2020. The annual report uses trade-in data from musicMagpie, a UK based tech recycler, to track the value of the most popular handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google, OnePlus and Huawei. When a new iPhone is released, on average we see the value of its predecessors drop by 11% in the first month alone, and by a total of 17% after three months. The biggest drop from previous releases was by the iPhone XS and XS Max, which both dropped by over 35% in value in the three months following the release of the XR. With this year’s anticipated first 5G-enabled Apple phone due to hit the market, the rate of depreciation could be even higher than previous years due to the new phones having this standout feature. According to this year’s report, while handsets are becoming increasingly expensive, the pricier models are unsurprisingly retaining their value much better than cheaper handsets. Of all the handsets released in 2019 onwards, the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro managed to retain their value the most in the first six months after release, dropping by only 34% and 35% of their original values of £729 and £999. Cheaper models like the Google Pixel 3a, costing just £399 on release, lost almost twice this, at 64%. As in previous years, Apple continues to hold the top spot for the brand, which retains the most value, with iPhone losing an average of 43% of their value in the first 12 months, and 61% by the end of a standard 24-month contract period. Samsung comes in a close second, with handsets depreciating by an average of 64% in 12 months and 76% in 24 months. Huawei is bringing up the rear, with their handsets losing 74% of their value in the first 12 months and 88% by the end of a standard 24-month contract period. musicMagpie confirmed that the iPhone 7 was the most commonly traded-in handset in the past 12 months. And in good news for consumers, the handset was among the top 10 for retaining value, only losing 44% of its value in the first 12 months. 10


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Zoom’s future of virtual communication


evelopments to Zoom’s virtual meeting platform were unveiled at its virtual summit: Zoomtopia 2020 this month. Additions such as OnZoom will let users create and host free, paid, and fundraising events. You can also sign up for new experiences with additional functionality like gifting tickets and an attendee dashboard to keep tabs on favorite events and brands. New end-to-end encryption (E2EE) now comes as an optional feature meaning that all meeting participants will have a cryptographic key known only to the devices of those participants. With E2EE, no third party – including Zoom – is given access to the meeting’s private keys. Zoom is also adding new enhancements to its SDKs, making video-based applications customisable and UI and session control can also be customised. First and third party developed apps have also been bought into the meeting experience with the arrival of Zapps. Users can now add a custom background theme for their meetings or create layouts where participant videos are embedded within a scene that everyone shares, like a classroom or courtroom.

Sony launches Apple TV App Sony Europe is giving access to the Apple TV app on select Sony smart TVs so that viewers can enjoy Apple TV+, Apple TV channels, new movies, and personalised and curated recommendations. The Apple TV app is available in Europe on Sony’s XH90 series via a software update. The app features Apple TV+, Apple’s new video subscription service featuring original shows, movies and documentaries with the likes of ‘The Morning Show,’ ‘See,’ ‘Defending Jacob,’ ‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Greyhound,’ ‘The Banker,’ ‘Boys State’ and ‘Beastie Boys Story.’ Also the Apple TV app, gives access to Apple TV subscription channels, where viewers can watch content ad-free and on demand, directly. Family Sharing, gives up to six family members access to share the subscription channels using their personal Apple ID and password.

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New range of gaming furniture developed by ASUS and IKEA


amingfurniture developed by ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) will be available at IKEA through a new partnership between the leading tech specialist and home furniture giant. This new and exclusive range of gaming-furniture is designed to “enhance the gaming experiences” in the home - and inspire players to discover “new and exciting” ways to embrace their gaming lifestyle. With an estimated 2.5-billion gamers around the world, and many more joining the fun, the demographic makeup of the player community is continually evolving and growing in diversity. ROG and IKEA say they want to combine their design expertise to create products that improve the gaming experience. Gamers in China will be the first to see the results of this unique collaboration as early as February 2021, with the collection expected to reach the western market by October 2021. “With the rapid growth of the gaming market across the world and a fast growing number of people playing, IKEA is curious about how home furnishing could improve the gaming experience and life around it, by developing a new range of affordable and ergonomic gaming furniture and accessories, designed to increase performance while also blending in beautifully to homes,” said Ewa Rychert, global business leader of workspace, IKEA.

IBM and ServiceNow help businesses harness AI IBM and ServiceNow are developing a new joint solution, which will be a mix of IBM’s AI-powered hybrid cloud software and services with ServiceNow’s workflow and IT service and operations management products. A combination of IBM’s Watson AIOps and ServiceNow’s workflow capabilities and ITSM and ITOM Visibility products will help customers prevent and fix IT issues at scale. Businesses that use ServiceNow ITSM can push historical incident data into the deep machine learning algorithms of Watson AIOps to create a baseline of their normal IT environment, with the ability to help them identify anomalies outside of that normal, which could take someone up to 60% longer to manually identify, according to initial results from specific Watson AIOps early adopter clients. The joint solution will help enhance employee productivity, provide greater visibility into operational footprint and help users respond to incidents and issues faster.

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BullGuard launches latest Internet security protection suite BullGuard’s latest 2021 suite of antimalware solutions features Dynamic Machine Learning capabilities and Multi-Layered Protection. Users can expect more online protection by blocking malicious behaviour before it can do damage, even when malware attempts to intentionally take a consumer’s device offline. You can also expect to find enhanced Multi-Layered Protection, which uses six layers of protection – Safe Browsing, Dynamic Machine Learning, Sentry Protection for Zero-Day Malware, an On-Access AV Engine, a Firewall and a Vulnerability Scanner – to defend the user’s devices from malware, without the need for user interaction. The six layers work in tandem to create a buffer between the Internet and each device the software is installed on, catching inbound and local malware, any erroneous outbound communication to the Internet, phishing scams and more.

Vestel’s digital partner VIP program launch


urkish Display manufacturer, Vestel Visual Solutions has launched a new sales support mobile app and web page called VIP. The new channel partner VIP portal offers insight into useful sales information such as stock availability and pricing of the latest Vestel AV products, after-sales support, product & training videos and content and case studies. Visitors can also locate Vestel’s communications guide, marketing assets and tiered sales incentives, with prizes including Love2shop vouchers or a FHD or UHD TV on the portal. There is also access to a dedicated account manager, as well as faceto-face or online training. “We have ambitious growth targets here in the UK, none of which can be achieved without the vital support of our partners (we aim to achieve double our growth YOY in 2021 with the introduction of VIP); which is why we’ve invested in this project and in building the new Partner Portal,” said David Flintoft, sales & marketing director, Vestel. “We engaged with partners throughout its development to help us shape the content and incentives according to their needs. We will continue to introduce new features throughout this year and beyond, to enable our resellers to focus on what they do best – growing their business.” November 2020 | 11

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ESET takes part in global operation to disrupt Trickbot ESET researchers have participated in a global operation to disrupt the Trickbot botnet, which has, since 2016, infected over a million computing devices. Along with partners Microsoft, Lumen’s Black Lotus Labs Threat Research, NTT and others, the operation impacted Trickbot by tanking their command and control servers. ESET contributed to the effort with technical analysis, statistical information, and known command and control server domain names and IPs. Trickbot is known for stealing credentials from compromised computers and, more recently, has been observed mostly as a delivery mechanism for more damaging attacks, such as ransomware. ESET Research has been tracking its activities since its initial detection in late 2016. In 2020 alone, ESET’s botnet tracker platform analysed more than 125,000 malicious samples and downloaded and decrypted more than 40,000 configuration files

used by the different Trickbot modules, giving an excellent viewpoint of the different C&C servers used by this botnet. “Over the years we’ve tracked it, Trickbot compromises have been reported in a steady manner, making it one of the largest and longest-lived botnets out there. Trickbot is one of the most prevalent banking malware families, and this malware strain represents a threat for Internet users globally,” explains Jean-Ian Boutin, head of threat research at ESET. Throughout its existence, this malware has been distributed in a number of ways. Recently, a chain we observed frequently is Trickbot being dropped on systems already compromised by Emotet, another large botnet. In the past, Trickbot malware was leveraged by its operators mostly as a banking trojan, stealing credentials from online bank accounts and trying to perform fraudulent transfers.

Acer’s new Spin 7 notebook New ASUS RT-AX82U home gaming router with fast 5G support he ASUS RT-AX82U Gaming Router is the newest router from ASUS



cer’s new Spin 7 convertible notebook offers fast 5G connectivity supporting both mmWave and Sub-6 frequencies. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform, the notebook features a 360-degree hinge that can be used in clamshell or tablet mode. With a lightweight 1.4kg and 15.9mm thin profile, the steam blue device is encased in a luxurious magnesiumaluminium alloy chassis for a sleek, professional look. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx 5G Gen 2 compute platform offers extreme battery life and connectivity. Aside from the immersive visual experience offered by the device’s Full HD IPS display, integrated Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology delivers high-fidelity sound for a surround-sound experience. The Windows 10 Pro device’ battery life lasts up to 24-hours, while a fingerprint sensor means more secure logins through Windows Hello. The integrated Qualcomm X55 5G modem supports both mmWave and sub-6 frequencies. Support for the sub-6 spectrum provides a reliable data connection, while the mmWave spectrum technology enables users to take advantage of fast 5G speeds when the correct infrastructure is available. 12


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designed for home gaming. Featuring next generation speeds and easy control of gaming modes via the ASUS Router App and a subtle Aura RGB lighting effect. This is an ideal home router for those with current gaming consoles and those about to get the new next-generation WiFi 6 supporting models. This Gaming Router is a refresh of the RT-AC86U, featuring improved speeds with WiFi 6, a low profile design for those who want a strong, well performing router. It comes with all the same great features as the AX82U and also includes an Nvidia GeForce Now recommendation.

KLEVV Launches gaming memory KLEVV’s latest gaming memory launch with the CRAS XR RGB and BOLT XR Series features a circular RGB light diffuser design. With 16.8million colour support, it makes eye-catching RGB light flows along the specially designed illuminated bars. Customisable colours and effect can be synced with branded motherboards using RGB control software from ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light, or ASRock Polychrome RGB synchronisation. CRAS XR RGB also supports Razer Chroma software, which allows advanced lighting effects to be integrated right into compatible game titles. Supporting memory kits are available at speeds of 4,266MHz at CL19-26-26-46, and 4,000MHz at CL19-25-25-45 in either 16GB (8GBx2) or 8GB capacities, and 3,600MHz with low latencies of CL1822-22-42. All kits are available in either single DIMM or dual DIMM packs with various capacity options for users to choose from. 32GB (16GBx2) kits are available at 3,600MHz for PC builders and markets that prefer extra high capacity. For a minimalist design, KLEVV’s BOLT XR series features simple embossed patterns on its aluminum heat spreader surfaces, while the black bar along its spine offers an easy-to-install surface without sharp edges.

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Keeping memories alive Philip Bridge, President at Ontrack offers some important tips on how to prevent the loss of important data on PCs and laptops


ata loss is any process that results in your stored data being deleted, corrupted or made unreadable. It can be caused either intentionally or unintentionally and can occur due to a variety of reasons, but the most common are a logical failure, accidental deletion, malware/ransomware attack or physically damaged media. The sad reality is that you’d have a tough time nowadays finding a person who’s never experienced data loss. We’ve all known that sinking feeling when a power cut or crash sends an unsaved word document spinning into the void, or when an Internet connection cuts out and a web page full of forms is wiped blank. The loss of personal photos, movies, music or files can be extremely stressful for consumers. Unfortunately, the subject of data recovery is a technical one and often comes hand in hand with complicated jargon. We’ve seen many different data loss situations over the years, including ones where recovery is no longer possible because DIY efforts by the user have ended up causing more damage. So, what should users do?

Power off

Don’t be tempted to simply turn the PC or device off and on again. If you suspect you’ve lost data, it’s best to power off the system immediately and refrain from turning it on again – then seek professional help. Even when the device seems to be sitting idle, it is continually writing data and has the potential to overwrite the data that’s been lost or deleted. Even seemingly small tasks such as browsing the Internet and checking emails can make the situation worse and hinder data recovery efforts.

Don’t take chances

Attempting data recovery at home is possible – especially with reputable data recovery software – but it must be remembered that there is usually only one chance for data recovery. It can, though, be a real help in situations where you’ve got external storage (USB hard drive, SD card, etc.) and have accidentally deleted data or formatted the device. However, please do not use the data recovery software on 14


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the same system that has lost the data, as this will write more data to the drive and could quickly destroy lost or deleted files by overwriting them. Also, refrain from any DIY software method if you suspect the drive is physically damaged.

Keep it closed

A quick online search brings up many DIY video guides with a lot of views claiming they can show how to open a hard drive and fix problems like ‘buzzing’ and ‘clicking’ noises, which are usually signs of physical failures. However, be warned: opening the hard drive outside of a cleanroom environment can cause irreparable damage to the data. Hard drives are delicate, complex devices and having a great deal of precision and experience is a requirement to recover data from them. It’s always best to call in the experts rather than cutting corners and risk losing the data permanently.

Step back from the freezer

There is an old but recurring myth that putting a broken hard drive in a freezer will bring it back to life. Believe us when we tell you, it doesn’t work and is an extremely bad idea! When you take the drive out of the freezer, it will start returning to room temperature, and in doing so, condensation will begin to appear both inside and outside the drive. The water will cause significant damage to the drive. Prevention is always better than a cure. The best solution to ensure you protect yourself from data loss is to have a timely backup. The 3-2-1 backup rule is a viable method for all to implement. The idea is that valuable data should be stored on three different systems. The first is the one the user uses daily, e.g. a laptop. The other two are backups, e.g. an external hard drive or the cloud. A three-time data storage statistically minimises data loss. Suppose the data is saved to disk one and backed up to disk two. If the failure probability of disk one and disk two is 1/100, the probability of simultaneous failure of both drives is 1/100 x 1/100 or 1/10,000. With three backups, the probability decreases to one in a million. You may think that using the 3-2-1 backup rule seems over the top, but when it comes to important data and memories is it worth the risk not to?

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A real use case for machine leaning Paul Lipman, CEO at Cybersecurity company, BullGuard explains how the company’s newly released product line is offering multi-layered cybersecurity using adaptive machine learning


achine learning (ML) has become such a commonplace term in corporate marketing that it has crossed into buzzword territory. So many companies are using these terms in their product brochures, websites or even in their company names, that it has become challenging to identify fact from fiction. Are these technologies being utilised to deliver truly breakthrough capabilities and performance, or are they simply window-dressing to something more mundane? The answer in cybersecurity is absolutely the former! The field of machine learning, which has been around since the 1960s, really took off in the last decade with the confluence of tremendous GPU-enabled compute power and new algorithm developments such as deep neural networks. This maturation of ML happened at just the right time for the cybersecurity industry. Over the last decade we have seen the volume, complexity and sophistication of threats increase exponentially. Historical techniques such as malware signatures, in which each malware sample or class of samples is recorded in a reference database, were quickly becoming insufficient to keep up with the escalating threat landscape. Vendors then developed heuristic-based approaches that rely on applying rules developed from expert human knowledge in order to ascertain whether a file or process is potentially malicious. This too has its limitations. Ultimately, we needed an approach that could learn to discriminate between “good” and “bad” efficiently, effectively and most importantly without requiring human knowledge or intervention. Machine learning was first applied in anti-phishing, where relatively basic algorithms could be fed large corpuses of “known bad” and “known good” emails. Models soon achieved tremendous accuracy and low false-positive rates and ML became the standard approach for anti-phishing. However, the anti-malware category has orders of magnitude more degrees of freedom than email. Models are trained on hundreds or thousands of parameters across billions of files and processes. At BullGuard, we continuously train our models against all new files and processes that have never been seen before across our customer base. This enables our models to be highly effective at detecting previously unseen threats (referred to as “zero-day”

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threats), continuously learning and improving the protections that we provide to our customers. This is not to say that malware signatures and heuristic engines are no longer needed. A true “defence in depth” strategy means never relying on a single approach to detecting and blocking threats. For example, in BullGuard’s just released 2021 product line, we combine a high-performance, low-footprint, traditional signature engine with a highly tuned heuristic engine and advanced dynamic machine learning. This ensures that we are providing customers with multi-layered protection - each layer contributing those aspects of security that it does best. Despite its impact on cybersecurity, ML is not a panacea. One key challenge is that humans are typically the weakest link in cybersecurity. Even the best cyber defences won’t protect against someone inadvertently sharing their credentials or falling prey to a social engineering attack. Applying ML systems to defend against the accidental or deliberate insider threat is a growing area of investment and research, going beyond the detection of malicious files and processes to the much broader problem of detecting anomalous and potentially malicious human behavior. There has been considerable concern regarding ML’s potential for automating work, creating unemployment and economic disruption. However, in cybersecurity the reality is the polar opposite. Alert overload has long been a major pain point for security and IT managers. ML removes the mundane work of sifting through countless alerts - and can proactively respond to cyber-events in real-time, bringing a human into the loop only when it makes sense to do so. This frees up security professionals’ time to focus on the truly important tasks, magnifying their impact and their value to the organisation. Implications for the channel are exciting. Machine learning enables security vendors to provide improved protection to customers and entirely new classes of products to address their problems. These improvements will drive increasing demand for many years to come, creating a tremendous opportunity for the channel to sell, implement, advise and train customers to ensure successful deployment and usage. ML represents a true win-win-win for the channel, vendors and customers. November 2020 | 15

21/10/2020 16:19


Saving our NHS: How tech will be the key enabler Zillah Moore, Director at Tunstall Healthcare discusses the impact that technology has had on healthcare, its role in safeguarding our services during COVID-19, and the benefits that technology has provided.


he NHS and the healthcare industry has been irrevocably changed by the COVID-19 crisis. Over the past few months, the UK’s healthcare workforce has worked harder than ever to supply consistent care to vulnerable people, whilst also coping with the increased pressure on services due to the influx of COVID-19 patients. The pandemic has emphasised the acute requirement for greater modernisation of healthcare provision, and technology enabled care services (TECS) have, and will continue to, play a major role in highlighting and supporting this development. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was a key feature of the NHS’ Long Term Plan, which set out ambitions for the improvement of the healthcare system and its services over the next decade. The plan highlighted the important role of technology in supporting better healthcare provision, by enabling a greater emphasis on person-centred and proactive care. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), for example, allows clinicians and other stakeholders to monitor vulnerable people in real-time remotely, confirm whether a user is at risk and have objective information to inform the specific care they require. We also saw development in the understanding and recommendations of how technology should underpin and be integrated into healthcare. This included greater connectivity between health and care professionals, improved communication channels between clinicians and the vulnerable people they support, and easier access for people requiring care. We were beginning to see healthcare leaders driving digital transformation forward, and adopting technology such as websites, apps and enhanced computer systems. How has COVID-19 affected the digital healthcare landscape? While the impact of the pandemic has had significant negative impacts on daily life and many elements of the healthcare sector, it has also placed a spotlight on the role of technology in safeguarding services, and its potential in a post-COVID world, leading to rapid acceleration of adoption. NHS healthcare service providers and decision makers within the Foundations and Trusts are recognising that technology can offer remarkable benefits through wider and more effective deployment, as well as through more advanced proactive approaches. Technological initiatives, which would previously have taken months to become operational have been established and mobilised 16


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within weeks. Greater application and integration of technology will allow the healthcare sector to redevelop, which is currently one of the key challenges faced by providers. This would deliver significant benefits, not only in improving patient outcomes and the quality of service-user experiences, but also in delivering cost avoidance, as demonstrated during the pandemic. Remote health monitoring services also enhance the prevention agenda and enable care to become more predictive and proactive, reducing the need for more complex, and often expensive, care later down the line. It also enables greater flexibility in terms of where care is delivered. For example, more people are able to access the care they need at home or in their community, rather than having to visit a hospital or clinic. TECS not only benefits clinicians and end users, but supports staff in the continued delivery of care. Remote solutions have reduced the added pressures on staff by enabling ongoing care provision for vulnerable people with complex requirements, and the need for face-to-face contact has been reduced, therefore keeping both service users and staff safe from infection. Technology connects people; it enables integrated care provision and empowers people to manage their own health and wellbeing. It must play a pivotal role in the way we remodel services in a postCovid-19 world to create a true ‘healthcare’ system.

Looking ahead

In order to safeguard our services for the future and protect the UK’s most vulnerable people, healthcare must receive greater support to truly become technologically enabled. The Government must not only support the digital infrastructure to assist providers in switching over to TECS platforms, but it should also ensure a minimum technology standard across healthcare services. Providers must work together to develop innovative models of care, which support more efficient care delivery and long term efficiencies, and it’s crucial that we see greater collaboration between the NHS and third sectors to enable further independent living. While the adoption of technology increases, this will only benefit the healthcare sector so far unless the workforce is digitally upskilled. This should be considered a priority so that the transformational benefits of digital technology are realised during COVID-19 and beyond. This can also be achieved through the evaluation of TECS and their impact so that providers can truly understand why technological integration is crucial.

21/10/2020 16:01


Securing personal data against insiders Samantha Humphries, security strategist at Exabeam takes a look at the various types of insiders that businesses need to look out for, before detailing how to build the best defence against the threat they pose.


hen it comes to data protection, threats posed by legitimate users are often far more elusive and harder to detect than traditional external threats. Just last month, Canadian online shopping site Shopify became one of the latest victims, announcing that two members of its internal support team were able to steal sensitive data from more than 100 of the platform’s merchants before eventually being caught. The matter has since been turned over to the FBI, highlighting the seriousness of the offence. But what can organisations do to stop insider threats, many of whom have the means and opportunity to take whatever they want, whenever they want? To effectively deal with an insider threat, businesses must first know exactly who/what they are dealing with. Threats come in various guises, but they can typically be broken down into four main categories:

Rogue employees

Rogue employees are individuals that intentionally set out to steal company data, either out of vengeance or for personal profit. Unfortunately, rogue employees nearly always have an upper hand because their legitimate credentials allow them to fly under the radar for much longer than other threats.


Third-party insiders may not be fully-fledged employees but they often act in a similar capacity, which makes them just as much of a threat. Some may even work on site and have advanced knowledge of internal processes, giving them ample opportunity to steal sensitive data.

Unintentional threats

While rogue employees clearly pose a serious problem, a less obvious threat is happy but careless employees. These individuals are the ones who unintentionally click on links in phishing emails, leave their access pass lying around, or connect to the company network via unsecured public WiFi, giving criminals and hackers the ‘back door’ access they need.

Compromised credentials

Often the result of careless employees described above,

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compromised credentials are a real danger, allowing outside parties to evade security systems by entering the network using legitimate means. Breaches involving credential compromise often take a long time to identify because they appear to be legitimate users simply going about their business as usual. Fortunately, businesses of all shapes and sizes now have a wide range of tools to use in the fight against insider threats, ranging from simple-but-effective measures like security training, through to powerful technology such as behavioural analytics: The simplest and perhaps most important step is to effectively train employees, in order to mitigate risky behaviour and prevent them from becoming unintentional threats (as described above). Well trained employees will not only be able to avoid many of the most common phishing attacks and social engineering attempts, they can also serve as a frontline defence against disgruntled colleagues by spotting suspicious behaviour, making training an essential component of every effective cyber defence. From a technology perspective, one of the most potent weapons currently available is user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA). A key advantage of this innovative technology is its ability to use machine learning to quickly create a baseline of ‘normal activity’ for a business’s entire complement of employees (both internal and third party) and machines. Once baselines have been created, any major deviations from them are automatically flagged as potential security alerts, which security teams can then investigate. For example, if an employee in customer services is attempting to access sensitive financial records they’ve never accessed before, or logging on at 2am when their normal behaviour is to only log in between 9am and 5pm, behavioural analytics technology will pick up on this. Automated alerts combined with contextual information can help businesses identify insider threats significantly faster than manual analysis and investigation, making it an effective way to detect insider threat attacks before major damage is done. In the ongoing battle against data theft, insider threats are one of the most potent enemies businesses face. However, by combining simple things like security training, with effective new technology such as behavioural analytics, many insider threats can be headed off much earlier than would otherwise be possible, keeping data safe and businesses’ reputations intact. November 2020 | 17

21/10/2020 16:23


Passport to freedom Husayn Kassai, CEO and Co-Founder of Onfido investigates how tech and healthcare are merging to re-introduce ‘normality’ post pandemic.


p until recently, that sense of ‘normality’ was beginning to With one eye on the economy and the potential fall-out postreturn for the UK public. Now, with the UK entering into a COVID-19, this has never been more critical. national three-tier lockdown system, what ‘could have been’ Increasingly, digital identities are being tied to a new concept feels uncertain. called a health passport. Simply put, a health passport is presentable Many companies are once again facing the headache of how to proof of health - whether it be their current health status, if the maintain their business remotely and stay afloat for the next individual has antibodies, or has had the vaccine. It is designed two financial quarters. While this time around many to help an individual prove that their test results belong to will be more prepared, after having implemented them, but without having to share any other personal remotely accessible services and COVIDinformation. An individual’s digital identity is bound “In what is a 19-compliant solutions, the challenge of to a test result, and this can be presented as a digital interacting with their employees and certificate showing only the information needed natural next step, digital customers in a ‘normal’ way persists. and nothing more, like a smartphone boarding identities are being used to But how do we go from surviving to pass. With any type of health passport technology, thriving? New developments in healthcare it must ensure that: information and data cannot help people return to and technology might have an answer? be traded; consumer privacy and rights are At the end of April, Microsoft CEO upheld; the system is easy for individuals to use; normal life without fear of Satya Nadella delivered the company’s first the system can operate at scale. virus transmission.” quarterly earnings report to Wall Street With up-to-date test results easily accessible, since the start of the pandemic. During this presentable and securely tied to an individual’s call, he said that he’d seen two years’ worth of identity, normality no longer feels unreachable. digital transformation in two months as businesses Employees can return to the workplace confident that the underwent wholesale change to retain their ability to risk of transmission is low without having to give up unnecessary connect with customers, albeit in a remote environment. personal information. Similarly, they can be deployed conveniently Since the start of the pandemic, there’s no doubt that technology for overseas travel, minimising fears of spreading or contracting the has been stretched, scrutinised and tested, but it has ultimately virus by fellow passengers and holiday-makers. Importantly, they’ve delivered against expectations. In many cases, it has been the sole been proven to work too. We’ve recently partnered with Sidehide vehicle for kickstarting the economy by supporting the re-opening and Delfin Health to bring health passports to the health and travel of businesses and public services. For instance, in August, the UK industries, to accelerate a return to the experiences and joys of economy grew by 2.1% thanks to the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme everyday life. which was made possible by technology, and more importantly, the In its ever-evolving state, the pandemic continues to bring us all adoption of digital identities in track and tracing. new challenges with many longing for the return to ‘normality’. In A digital identity allows an individual to prove their identity fact, research suggests that one-in-three miss the everyday meetings remotely and gives businesses assurance that the user is who they with their colleagues, while for Londoners, as much as 49% miss the claim to be and not a fraudulent attempt. In eating out, it provides office. However, any return to how life once was, needs to be done so restaurants with the peace-of-mind that diners can be contacted with privacy, security and minimal risk. in the case of virus transmission. While in other industries, like With this in mind, the development and adoption of digital financial services, digital identities have kept companies in touch identities has been a positive step. As seen in financial services and with their customers and provided remote accessibility where there the hospitality industry, this technology has enabled businesses to was none before. Until July, 58% of consumers suggested they could keep their services online, while as restrictions have lifted, allowed not effectively use online banking platforms. consumers to feel confident and secure in partaking once more in In what is a natural next step, digital identities are being used to everyday activities. Now, as they are being tied to health passports, help people return to normal life without fear of virus transmission. this is being taken one step further. 18


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2020 year of the eCommerce boom Cas Paton, founder and CEO of discusses the unmitigated explosion in online sales over the past year and how this has cast the future of Internet shopping


hile everyone expected that eCommerce would continue to be a growing market when we were all first going into 2020, nobody could have predicted just how wild this year turned out to be. Almost overnight, navigating the world of online shopping became customers’ number one priority, while businesses of every shape and size needed to demonstrate both competence and trustworthiness at fulfilling an enormous influx of orders. The world of eCommerce has grown far ahead of most analysts’ predictions during 2020, and the same could be said of OnBuy – we’ve grown in revenue 600% for the second consecutive year, as well as tripling our workforce and expanding worldwide. Because our success is our sellers’ success, it’s great news for everyone – as well as for customers who are searching not only for what they need, but also for what’s the most necessary ingredient in online shopping today.

Customer confidence is everything

Customers are completely correct in wanting to know that the businesses that they buy from are on their side. The events of 2020 have made managing our budgets more crucial than ever, and everyone wants to see their spending power move towards the retailers who deserve it most. Consumers have no tolerance for price inflation, profiteering off the pandemic or struggling to find what they need in stock. This puts enormous pressure on the vendors and retailers who make the goods we need available, of course – especially when those same sellers can have the rug pulled out from under them when trying to do business. OnBuy’s commitment has been empowered by 2020 to bring trustworthiness and a fair deal to the fore. We’ve worked with our seller community to connect them to logistics partners and integrations specialists able to help them meet the rising sweep of demand in consumers today – as well as adopting a zero-tolerance stance for inflated prices on the essential products we know our customers need to feel safe, secure and satisfied. 2020 has shone a spotlight onto the world of logistics as never before, inspiring those businesses already active in getting customers their products fast to scale up and get smart. At the same time, gaping holes in those frameworks that haven’t kept pace or suffered cutbacks have led to plenty of frustration, dismay and more than a few horror stories.

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While customers appreciate the difficulties facing fulfilment and delivery services, they’re also relying on eCommerce for their essential goods and little luxuries alike, and this seems to be something that will continue long after the current health crisis has faded – even in territories classically seen as more wary of online shopping overall. Having faith that goods will make their way to customers safely isn’t just a buyer’s concern, but a seller’s issue too. OnBuy’s partnerships with fulfilment specialists, including Royal Mail, have been enhanced by our partnership with CedCommerce to bring leading eCommerce integrations online for our sellers – as well as alliances with partners like DHL, SmartFreight and Huboo to specialise in fast-moving product dispatches that buyers rely on. In an era of sweeping change, consumers have spoken in one voice when it comes to making trust their chosen commodity of 2020. They want to know that they’re putting their money towards businesses who are honest, transparent and on the level – the key factors with which OnBuy was founded in 2016. As many of us spent this year shifting our focus back to our local communities, the appetite for supporting independent businesses with entrepreneurial spirit has never been stronger. Growing mistrust of Silicon Valley giants and corporate behemoths has led many customers to shop around, and the need to know that those companies from which people are buying are ethical is very apparent. OnBuy is a UK-based business that doesn’t hold stock of its own, and never will. Instead, it’s a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs to reach an audience of millions. The consistent growth in uptake for OnBuy in both customers and sellers throughout 2020 has been sensational, not least since it’s proof of the hunger in the market for an honest deal at a fair price from an independent merchant. What could be greater? Well, how about taking that outlook worldwide? As 2020 begins to swing to a close, the changing mindsets we have all adopted could well go global – OnBuy certainly intends to, with plans to unlock the potential of 525 million product listings worldwide to become the world’s first truly global marketplace. All this, but with trust, faith, honesty and transparency at our core – issues that, as 2020 has proven, are the biggest appeal of online shopping of all. November 2020 | 19

21/10/2020 16:12


The silent physician Royce Lye, managing director at BenQ UK discusses HealthCare technologies to consider when choosing digital displays


germs found on the display. echnology has always redefined society and propelled us Very few technology manufacturers globally are incorporating into the future, providing us with new opportunities to nanoparticle layers into their products, as it requires extensive better our lives. And as consumers, we’re continually striving testing and a unique process to guarantee the longevity of the to experience technologies, which are big, bold and beautiful formula. This technology is, however, certified against the two mostsearching for the next best thing or most convenient use. common types of bacteria, E. coli and S. aureus. But now in the changing face of the global pandemic, We’ve all heard of blue light, with it being a buzzword we’ve all had to slow our pace of life and refocus our not so long ago, but being over exposed to blue light attention to the fundamentals of living; health and from extended periods of screen time has been human interaction. These two aspects are, first proven to cause macular degeneration, as too and foremost, the backbone to keeping our much exposure causes damage to the light nation safe so now is the time we all must “We’ve all had to slow our sensitive cells in the eye’s retina. begin to consider technologies that protect In addition to this, digital displays our wellbeing. pace of life and refocus our produce flickering, which occurs 5.8millon For years people have worried that attention to the times across a standard 8-hour working day technology would take over jobs and and often impacts productivity by leaving replace the human race, but it’s more fundamentals of living; users feeling fatigue with headaches or apparent than ever that humans need health and human blurred vision. technology to enable us to create better With these elements in mind, it’s important environments and enhance the human interaction.” to consider Low Blue Light and Flicker Free interactions we so readily desire. technologies to create the most comfortable Working from home and returning to the viewing experience possible. office has changed the mindsets of the masses. Sensors are built into almost every technology device We’re no longer so confident to touch items straight nowadays, whether that’s on your car or home. But building after others have engaged with them and our screen time sensors into your screen technology can prevent damage from use has dramatically increased as travel restrictions moved in-person elements you can’t see. meetings online. A built-in ambient light sensor detects the changing light We’ve been so good at choosing hardware devices to suit our levels and the colour temperature in your viewing environment, environments or software to connect us instantly, but how about automatically adjusting on-screen brightness and colour temperature technologies to protect our health? This is the next focus we as to fit your surroundings. It also gradually adjusts brightness based individuals and businesses should be seriously considering. on your usage time, protecting your eyes from strain. Just like you would have in your home, air-quality sensors can Antibacterial digital displays be built into your screen technology to monitor the C02 levels, Interactive touch screens are now commonly found in businesses, particulate matter (PM) detection and humidity of a room, which but with concerns over transmission and incorrect cleaning practices can directly impact health and performance. the convenience of using the touch function becomes less appealing A recent study suggests that ensuring adequate air ventilation to us. Therefore, using a screen with a coated antibacterial surface is rates in the working and learning environment can not only improve - now more than ever - imperative to reduce the spread of germs. our overall health and productivity, but also reduce absences and Germs can live on the surface of glass for up to 10 days and, if left, transmission of infectious diseases. When used with an Android can result in the spread of disease. To reduce or prevent the spread platform, these sensors can use a traffic light system to indicate when of germs, silver nano-ionic particles, similarly found in surgical the air quality is diminishing before it has an effect on the wellbeing face masks, food containers, water filters and medical devices, are of those in the room, allowing you to take appropriate action. embedded into the screen surface to break down and absorb any 20


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Okta, Inc. has appointed Susan St. Ledger as president of worldwide field operations to its executive management team. She will start at Okta on February 1, 2021. Charles Race, Okta’s current president of worldwide field operations who is retiring, will continue to lead worldwide field operations until that date. Okta Inc. has also appointed Alvina Antar as its new chief information officer.

Thomas International

Thomas International has appointed Sabby Gill as its new CEO. Gill joins Thomas from Sage, where he held the position of executive vice president and general manager for UK & Ireland. Prior to joining Sage he held senior roles at Epicor Software, IGT, HP, Oracle and Peoplesoft. He is a member of the UK&I Digital Economy Council and was a board member of TechUk, as well as the northeast regional-vice chair of the CBI. Gil brings with him a wealth of international experience in the software industry. With over 35 years of experience in the technology sector, Sabby will help Thomas capitalise on the huge growth opportunities it sees in helping businesses around the world transform their performance through smarter people decisions, looking beyond just skills and experience to unlock the true potential of people. 22 | November 2020

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This month’s movers and shakers in the tech industry...


Connectivity solutions specialist, CommScope Inc. has appointed Charles “Chuck” Treadway as president and chief executive officer. This appointment comes as a result of longstanding, former president and chief executive officer Eddie Edwards stepping down after 15 years of service to the company. Treadway has a successful background in growing multiple global businesses in a range of industries, and will bring strategic, operational expertise to his new role at CommScope. He has served 17 of the last 20 years as CEO of global businesses located in the U.S., China, and Latin America. Most recently, Treadway served as CEO of Accudyne Industries. The Company also announced that Frank M. Drendel, has been named chairman Emeritus. Mr. Drendel founded CommScope in 1976 and has served continuously as its CEO and chairman of the board since. Drendel has driven CommScope from a small coaxial cable business established at his kitchen table into the diversified, global communications infrastructure business that it is today.

Keller Lenkner UK

Kingsley Hayes, data breach and cybercrime specialist, has joined Keller Lenkner UK as head of its data breach team where he will continue to pursue multi-party data breach claims against global organisations including Ticketmaster, British Airways and Marriott International. Joining the firm in September, Hayes brings 4,000 clients to the firm working between Keller Lenkner’s Liverpool and London offices. Andrew Nugent Smith, managing director at Keller Lenkner UK, said: “Kingsley brings a wealth of data breach expertise to the practice with an impressive portfolio of multi-party actions against national and global organisations who have failed to adequately protect consumers’ personal data. Keller Lenkner is committed to protecting consumer rights and we are pleased to now offer clients data protection expertise.

20/10/2020 09:18

Partner content from

Opportunities are calling for resellers and managed service providers BullGuard’s Small Office Security endpoint protection platform


any small businesses either choose to have no endpoint security or use a scaleddown, badly fitting enterprise solution or a patchwork of consumer products with no control management. Until recently they have had no other options. So, it is hardly surprising that many have concluded that cybersecurity is complex, costly and a diverting management headache that eats into precious time. Is it any wonder then that lots of small businesses cross their fingers and think “It won’t happen to me…” until it does? But Managed Service Providers (MSPs), or resellers who want to move into service provision, can effortlessly meet the cybersecurity needs of small businesses and open up profitable new revenue streams with BullGuard Small Office Security, an endpoint protection platform unlike any other. Small Office Security has been developed exclusively for small business in response to demands from our channel partners whose business customers need best-in-class, robust and rigorous endpoint security that also provides comprehensive, yet simple management. • Dedicated MSP functionality in Small Office Security enables remote management of all customer endpoint devices, including Windows, Android and macOS devices, regardless of whether employees are in an office, working remotely, or travelling. • An easy-to-use, centralised Cloud Admin Portal enables MSPs to manage multiple client accounts and all their endpoint devices within a single platform and see the status of all clients and their devices at-a-glance. • MSPs deploy BullGuard Small Office Security on behalf of their clients and remotely carry out tasks such as activating and deactivating devices, scanning for threats, applying updates, or locking a device if it is lost or stolen. • Management processes are applied across devices simultaneously and can’t be interfered with by end-users, ensuring cyber protection is always set at the highest levels.

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• Set-up and software deployment is both effortless and quick. MSPs can set up new customers within minutes, with simple enrolment via an email invitation. • At the core of Small Office Security is BullGuard’s multi-award-winning, multi-layered Internet Security, also renowned for its light software footprint. • A range of flexible billing options are offered to suit individual business needs. Subscriptions are available for one, two, or three-year durations, or monthly subscriptions are also available. Small Office Security provides a great opportunity for MSPs who are already working in the small business space and a lucrative and compelling option for those who would like to enter this market. BullGuard is widely acclaimed for providing the best channel support program in the industry and for its dedication to the channel, winning the PCR Best Service and Support Vendor Award in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and the PCR Company of the Year Award in 2020. Small Office Security is a 100% channel solution, only available through reseller partners. It’s not available as a direct sale online platform because we aim to protect our partners’ margins and profits. In keeping with BullGuard’s strong partner reputation, we aim to deliver the best up-front and downstream renewal margins, making Small Office Security the perfect opportunity to drive additional revenue and profit. BullGuard’s sales and technical support are also recognised as the best in the industry. Each partner has a dedicated Account Manager with support including new business generation tools and sales leads to assist partners with growing their business. If you would like to find out more please visit www.bullguard. com/business/partners or contact your preferred BullGuard distributor.

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east Seagate’s marketing director, Alessandra de Paula focuses on China’s data savvy SMBs and the lessons they can offer in post-pandemic growth The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the world economy but are there any positives we can take from this global crisis? The pandemic has affected companies of all shapes and sizes across the world, and for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) the Coronavirus-induced challenges are particularly great. However, in the midst of the chaos, there are opportunities for SMB leaders to re-stabilise and reinvigorate their organisations - and data plays a leading role. Data has long been considered one of the most valuable assets to help businesses grow. Companies have told us that the use of DataOps leads to measurably better business outcomes, including a boost in customer loyalty (71%), revenue (73%) and profit (72%). And the opportunity for data-led success is vast. Over the next two

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years, enterprise data is projected to increase at an annual rate of more than 42%, however only 10% of organisations report that they have fully operationalised DataOps to date. Now in today’s challenging environment, data can help businesses recover – and it is vital that company leaders understand and act on the opportunity and value it presents. Seagate Technology surveyed SMBs around the world on the role that data management is playing in their COVID19 recovery, and the results offer business leaders some interesting learnings. China’s SMB market stood out in particular for its forwardthinking approach to data-led growth. The survey asked SMB leaders whether they were using data to inform their COVID recovery – 83% of Chinese respondents said yes, versus a global average of 65%. This eastern market is noticeably ahead of the curve.

global average was just 51%. Whatever the drivers behind Chinese data savviness, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to practical policy implications. Nearly eight-in-ten Chinese small business leaders said they had a data storage policy in place, but the global average was only six-in-ten. In the UK, one in three said they did not have one at all. A business’s data storage policy is fundamental to its ability to use data, and it should be the first port of call for any business looking to get on the path to maximising their data’s value.

So what else did the data uncover, and how can the rest of the world’s small businesses catch up? It is no secret that insights from data can be enormously valuable for companies developing their business strategy. Firms not using data at all risk missing out – on potential revenue streams, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and more. By not using data to inform their recovery strategy, firms place themselves at an immediate – and often unnecessary – disadvantage. Chinese SMBs seem to recognise the advantage offered by data-led insights better than most. According to the survey, 69% of Chinese respondents said they believed data could play a valuable role in long-term business growth – while the 26


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thebiginterview Why is it important to have a robust data storage policy? Lacking a policy entirely is an accident waiting to happen. Without any proper control and monitoring of data, businesses risk breaches and leaks. Yet it is also a missed opportunity – without robust procedures to validate data’s value, it becomes useless. And when employees need access to it, they will waste time searching for the right data, rather than putting it to work. A good data storage policy sets out rules and procedures for all staff, empowering leaders to manage their businesses data and put it to work. This should interest business leaders by the lone fact it has a very real impact on their bottom line. Moreover, without useful data, firms cannot make use of cutting-edge innovations like AI and machine learning, or automation – putting them at a real disadvantage both now and in the future. While six-in-ten SMBs globally say they have a data policy; many such policies will not be completely comprehensive, meaning lots of businesses either need to develop a policy from scratch or upgrade their existing one. What steps should small businesses consider when looking to develop a robust plan? Firstly they should ensure their policy is comprehensive. A good data policy covers how data is collected and stored, who handles that data and what training they have, and provides sturdy security measures – both in terms of software and in terms of procedures. Policies for how data should be inputted are essential, but businesses should also empower their staff in understanding how and when to retain data, versus removing it. Small businesses should also factor in any regulatory or legal requirements their firm must abide by. These are often sectorspecific, and unsurprisingly are more stringent in finance and law. They should also seek legal advice if they are unsure.

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It is also important to appoint a dedicated team responsible for implementing data storage policy. Creating senior-level responsibility ensures the oversight necessary for a reliable and properly enforced policy. Lastly, keep communications clear and consistent. IT policies are notoriously difficult to engage staff with, so dedicated training at the outset is a clear must-have. Also, consider tagging-on IT communications to other major company announcements to avoid IT fatigue. How can SMBs avoid being limited by their size when it comes to data? While small businesses often lack the budget to match the IT investments of larger organisations, their size can also act as one of their greatest strengths. Where larger organisations must manage vast workforces, SMBs can focus on smaller teams. In the same way SMBs often have more nimble business strategies, so too can they have more nimble data strategies, as shown by those in China. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the SMB leaders surveyed considered customer acquisition and customer retention as the two most valuable forms of data to their business. But it is vital they explore all options – data led insight can be used to develop better products and services, carry out financial analysis, bolster employee productivity, develop more impactful and cost-effective employee benefits and retention schemes, sharpen hiring and talent development, and more. But all of this must be built on the solid foundation of their data storage policy. Recent McKinsey & Company research found the majority of UK small businesses currently view the UK economy as very or extremely weak. This dismal outlook makes it all the more important for small business leaders to act now. The UK’s small businesses would do well to look east for inspiration.

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19/10/2020 14:25

New PCR awards 2021 Live and Streaming: Entries Now Open! What: The PCR Awards will be back but for the first ever will be streaming as a live presentation. Category entries are now open! So don’t miss this golden opportunity to submit your nominations now. To find out more on how to enter visit: Deadline for entries is 4 December. To enter the awards or register for updates visit:

Why: The live event will celebrate the industry’s retailers, resellers, distributors, channel service providers and vendors that have made the biggest impact on the channel over the past year. PCR’s 2020 event saw a revamp to the look and feel of the awards, with a new logo and style. But for 2021 this will be furthered as a live broadcast presentation for your convenience and safety. Last year we bought you a few new awards and again this year you will also see a few new categories now added to highlight the changing tech and IT channel landscape. When: Thursday 25th March 3pm

CATEGORIES INCLUDE: VENDOR CATEGORY: • Security software vendor of the year – NEW for 2021 • Security hardware vendor of the year – NEW for 2021 • Smart home vendor of the year – NEW for 2021 • Networking vendor of the year • Business peripherals vendor of the year – NEW for 2021 • Business monitors vendor of the year – NEW for 2021 GAMING VENDOR CATEGORY: – NEW for 2021 • Gaming peripherals vendor of the year • Gaming monitors vendor of the year RETAILER CATEGORY: • Gaming retailer of the year – NEW for 2021 • Repairs services of the year – NEW for 2021 • System builder of the year • Online retailer of the year • Independent retailer of the year

RESELLER CATEGORY: • SMB reseller of the year • Corporate VAR of the year • MSP specialist of the year DISTRIBUTION CATEGORY: • Software and services distributor of the year • Hardware distributor of the year • Consumer electronics distributor of the year CHANNEL SERVICES CATEGORY: • Dealer services of the year • Marketing and PR agency of the year PCR COMPANY OF THE YEAR

For Sponsorship opportunities please contact: Sarah Goldhawk Sales Manager - magazine/website advertising, event partnership PCR

Don’t miss this legendary event that continues as the pinnacle of the tech channel’s social calendar in it’s new virtual format

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Smart Watches, Smart Choice Daniel Todaro, GEKKO’s managing director discusses the growing trend in smart watches, as we all look to monitor our health more closely and the wider acceptance these devices are gaining in the wake of COVID-19


ockdown turned the attention of many to fitness and general wellbeing to make the most of the limited options available to exercise our bodies and minds. Therefore, what easier way to monitor this than through a Smartwatch, to give us that additional incentive or red flag to get up and be active within the constraints we all encountered. As a result, the market experienced a 20% surge in sales for Smartwatches during the H1 period that included lockdowns across much of the globe. The Wearables market is forecasted to grow in 2020 by 27%, with average selling prices dropping 4.5% but increasing to be a market worth over £18 billion. It is fair to say that the popularity of smartwatches has been driven by advances in miniaturisation, through smaller and smarter sensors enabling ergonomic product design in devices. In fact, research and advisors, Gartner, are predicting that 10% of all wearables may be discreet and nearly invisible in the near future. Beyond the hardware, is the trend in development of apps and services to complement wearables. Apple’s recent announcement of Fitness+, Amazon’s new Halo, and Fitbit’s Fitbit Premium, connect users with health and fitness content giving consumers guided workouts, coaching and diet advice, while incorporating data from their wearable device. For many this creates greater advocacy towards a brand’s ecosystem, making the software equal to the hardware when consumers make a choice on which wearable is right for them. You will not have missed that Apple launched the 6th incarnation of its watch, which over its product lifecycle has contributed considerably to the smartwatch market. Indeed, Apple holds the largest share of a category that shipped a staggering 92.4 million units in 2019. Fast-forward to Q1



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2020 and the increased popularity in the Apple Watch saw 4.5 million units shipped, holding a 26.8% share of the market. Whilst not to undermine this impressive lion share of the market that Apple holds, it’s important to note that there are other equally as good, if not better, wearable brands and devices available on the market. In total, all brands contributed to global sales across the category and in some instances shipping more than Apple when you include all Fitness wearables from Trackers, Body Sensors and Smart Wristbands. The other significant market leaders in the smartwatch category are Fitbit, who shipped 2.5 million units in the q2 2020, as well as Samsung who held a 10.8% share in the first quarter of 2020. Other more sports focused brands, such as Garmin, extend the Smart watch category towards the pro athlete types that would never consider any mainstream or ‘lifestyle’ brand. Also, let’s not forget the many ‘challenger’ brands that are impacting on the market and chipping away at the category leaders share. These include the Chinese company Xiaomi, whose Mi Band fitness tracker has been witnessing great success creating a market share of 20.4% in Q2 2020. Put all these brands together and the category is forecasted to grow having already successfully shipped across all brands 33.7 million devices in Q2 2020. The value of this market has developed 34% year-onyear as more consumers adopt smart devices for health and leisure reasons. The integration of smartwatches into our lifestyles has become ‘normal’ to many across all generations who now couldn’t live without these devices. This growth in popularity and acceptance across all demographics and wider markets will see the category grow further and ship a forecasted 156

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million units in 2021, an increase of 14.4%. This increase will certainly see the smartwatch landscape potentially change with shifts in operating systems as Google’s planned acquisition of Fitbit enables it to bolster its health and fitness offerings. As you can imagine, an aggressive acquisition strategy is likely to be on the cards adding more OEM manufacturers to its list of Google Wear OS providers. The competition will undoubtedly get fierce with Samsung’s Tizen also looking to gain share with its own fitness-focused Galaxy watches. Therefore, the need to innovate and compete against challenger brands becomes even greater and adoption will be greater if the integration and compatibility of your smartwatch fits in seamlessly with your other devices. Fitbit, who you could argue created the category, has recently launched the Sense product that responds to the growing desire from consumers to better understand their lifestyle and increase wellbeing. Features include Stress Management, Compatible ECG App, Skin Temperature Sensor and Sleep Tools for Better ZZZs. All bundled up in a competitively priced and design-led product that is compatible with all iOS and Android devices and can be customised to mix and match with colours and accessories to broaden, not only compatibility, but also its appeal. Pre-empting this battle is perhaps the reason why Apple has launched the lower priced Watch SE that sits between its premium

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and entry-level legacy devices. This will enable the brand to benefit from the growth, to be stimulated through an aggressive land grab dominated by Google, Fitbit, Samsung and challenger brands such as Xiami and Huawei. It is widely recognised that the market for basic smartwatches and bands will benefit from the youth market whom these challenger brands offer a cost effective entry into the category and perhaps also those late adopters to the category. With the gifting season upon us, against the backdrop of Covid-19 and people not being able or perhaps opting not to go to gyms, the options for smart health to increase its reach are obvious. Extending this to the older generation who perhaps value the peace of mind of understanding vital statistics without the need to book appointments and venture into surgeries may increase forecasted growth. What we do know, it is the established users who remain an important sector, as they demand that their smartwatch does more and we are less coy about wearing these daily in place of a traditional timepiece. In fact, according to market research from Kantar, British consumers are not shy in admitting they use a fitness tracker, with 15% happy to claim publically to owning a smartwatch. Adopting them as a lifestyle choice to be used more widely across families and friends, thus increasing acceptance and contributing to the wearables success story.

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Top 5 Tech

Trend Micro’s James Munroe Trend Micro’s James Munroe gives his take of the five pieces of tech that have shaped his life



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Top 5 Tech


A number of years ago I remember being in Ostend with my wife for a weekend away and in one particular bar they were playing a number of great and obscure soul tracks I had never heard, and I had to keep asking the bar staff what they were playing. I was eventually recommended Shazam by one of the bar members and it blew me away. After all these years it is still my most used app today and I can be frequently found with my phone up to a speaker in a restaurant or public place trying to find the name of the record – much to the embarrassment of my children.


There is actually a book called, ‘Football Manager Stole My Life’. I relate to this so much as will anyone who has played it. I’m definitely not a gamer but I think I discovered Championship Manager around 1992 like so many of my friends and it became an utterly unhealthy obsession – with me not being able to sleep at night after playing for so long and on odd occasions getting up early before work to play. When I started to consider IT as a career I stopped playing. My record was taking Mansfield Town from League Two to Champions League glory and playing for over 20 seasons! I actually went back to this a couple of years ago on holiday and just couldn’t get into it as it has become far too complicated or I’m just too old now!


Being a fanatical music and sports fan, I still love YouTube for its sheer breadth of content and the fact that you can pretty much find any song you can think of. Nothing beats a rare Friday night by myself trawling YouTube for forgotten records or goals from a favourite footballer from the 80’s or 90’s. One song or clip will inevitably take you into a completely unknown direction. I also hate anything to do with DIY and home improvement, so on the rare occasions I have to do this I will always turn to YouTube first.


A couple of summers ago we had a blisteringly hot day and lightening took down the entire East Coast Main Line. I got stuck in Newcastle and had to get a bus to York and from there an Uber home. Despite very heavy Friday afternoon traffic the driver got me home in super quick time and when I asked what he was using he said Waze. I loathe driving and take the train whenever I possibly can but Waze has really blown me away. How out of date do I sound with this?


Everyone is surely going to have this in their list right? I love technology that is simple and user friendly – I still remember getting my first iPhone 2 and instantly falling in love with how intuitive it was. I’m still a huge advocate and user. Having recently upgraded to the 11 it’s astounding how good the camera is. It is a fantastic bit of kit and I really can’t imagine using another device.

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Tech’s impact on healthcare

Going viral Michelle Winny speaks to the channel to find how COVID-19 has been a catalyst for a much needed move towards a more modernised, digitised healthcare system and how tech is enabling this


he ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic is having an enormous impact on the healthcare technology market although economists say it’s too soon to say to what extent this impact is exactly having. According to Signify Research, Philips Healthcare reported an 80% increase in order intake for Connected Care, “namely ventilators and patient monitors in its Q1 2020 orders versus Q1 2019.” Whilst Health Europa says, “reports estimate that the healthcare information technology market could cross USD $441.8bn (€372.25bn) by the end of 2025.” “A connected environment will be the future of healthcare”, says Simon Applebaum, managing director, Spirit Digital. “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, wearable technology and healthcare mobile apps are just some of the advancements changing the future of healthcare. These technologies enable data to be linked together, healthcare



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professionals to rapidly share information and facilitate smoother communication between teams and patients,” he says. According to Alan Hayward, sales & marketing manager for SEH Technology, tech has quickly become a huge part of healthcare and future developments are set to transform how doctors practice medicine, “One of the biggest impacts technology has had is the ability to store and access data. Using secure networks, doctors can now retrieve patient data from anywhere at any time. This also means that professionals can share medical information rapidly and easily with each other, resulting in better patient care.” Speaking about the future of healthacre technologies, Hayward says it’s AI that will have the biggest impact going forward: “With rapid growth and exciting opportunities surrounding AI, the healthcare industry can use this technology to reduce and mitigate risk in a number of ways.

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Tech’s impact on healthcare Firstly, doctors can automate reminders for patients, either to prompt them to take medication at a specific time or remind them to book an appointment. AI can also deliver personalised dosage recommendations based on patients unique needs and environmental factors. Finally, it can identify people who are at a high risk and in need of medical intervention, triggering staff alerts to create incoming care plans.” Hayward explains how Big data technologies have also become a staple in the healthcare market, “This technology allows professionals to gather big data in a fraction of the time. It’s ideal for those conducting research studies or clinical trials, as it allows for the instant collection of data from a diverse and vast population. Data collection of this scale also allows healthcare professionals to stay on top of emerging trends and techniques, but also recommend preventative steps for patients.” Alan Lowe, CEO at Visionable says, “Emerging innovation in this space is allowing new ways of positioning multidisciplinary care teams around patients. It is transforming stroke pathways. It is facilitating connected ambulances.; and it is supporting new models of care delivery around the patient.” Ewa Ebelewicz-Plaza, business line manager at Future Processing Healthcare belives tech’s impact on healthacre has been monumental, “The amount of data generated in healthcare is massive - according to in 2020 it will reach 2,314 exabytes of new data; and this is where we arrive at the world of Big Data, which has significant benefits for healthcare. When it comes to new drug discovery, big data significantly reduces the time and cost of the process. Having access to accumulated data and appropriate models for analysis scientists can come up with diagnoses and new treatments more quickly and efficiently. Big data helps healthcare organisations optimise their workflow to reduce the operational costs. Using the analogy of Industry 4.0, healthcare is on the brink of its 4.0 version.” “With the massive amount of healthcare data generated and stored in the cloud come benefits but also issues related to privacy and patient data security. On the one

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hand robust healthcare data analytics enables the discovery of new drugs and treatments more quickly and efficiently, on the other to obtain datasets necessary for machine learning to train algorithms is not a simple task. Blockchain could be a solution to provide a new model of healthcare data exchange. The data will not belong to a particular institution but to the blockchain itself and patients will have more control over how their data is used and shared. What the healthcare world needs is a single global database to be used for research and clinical trials and Blockchain could be the answer”, Ebelewicz-Plaza explains. He continues with telemedicine and mobile apps: “The current Covid-19 pandemic has speeded up the adoption of telehealth services and it looks like telemedicine is here to stay. In fact it is expected to become a $13 billion industry by 2023. It provides solutions to some challenges healthcare is facing, like the rapidly aging society with chronically ill patients unable to travel, who benefit from tele or virtual visits to physicians, or being monitored via remote devices. Mobile healthcare is becoming more and more promising as the number of healthcare apps available just on Google Play in the second quarter of 2020 has reached 46,360 which constitutes a 7.1 percent increase over the previous quarter.” “According to Global Market Insights, healthcare IT market size is valued at USD 187 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at over 15.6% CAGR between 2020 and 2026. That is a huge pie and to be honest, our goal is to cut out a significant slice of it,” adds Ebelewicz-Plaza. Speaking about the pandemic’s impact on health tech, he says: “We have been observing the trends on the market brought about by the pandemic situation. A logical consequence was the sharp increase in the demand for telemedicine and mHealth equally so for healthcare institutions, professionals and patients. Actually we have been involved ourselves in a project which due to that demand has grown very fast and is currently on the forefront of mHealthcare innovation. I am talking about Bleepa - a CE marked instant messaging system which facilitates the sharing of clinical-grade medical images between personal devices, such as smartphones and tablets offering the highest standard of security - which we are developing with our partner Feedback Medical. The mobile application was initially meant for clinicians as a safe and reliable way of sharing and discussing patient medical imaging examination data, as it combines its basic function of a messenger with advanced radiological features e.g. a viewer of high quality scan results, which already on the outset of the pandemic got upgraded to cater for the needs of hospitals preparing to face the influx of covid-19 patients. Very quickly Bleepa was introduced into two NHS trust hospitals and is likely to replace pagers in the UK National Healthcare System as it was awarded a place on the NHSx National Clinical Communication Tool Framework. “In my opinion, the case of Bleepa is a perfect example of how the pandemic stimulated the need for health tech. It is definitely worth following”, Ebelewicz-Plaza adds.” November 2020 | 35

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Here are some of the most interesting stats and facts from the tech channel…

CRUNCHING Over one-third (34%) of Brits say that the self-checkouts cause significant anxiety due to hygiene concerns and proximity to other shoppers, according to research conducted by Ubamarket. The study also found: 50% of people in Britain (over 23 million) haven’t used cash at all since the start of lockdown and have relied exclusively on card and contactless payments. 43% of Brits (over 20 million) want their shopping experience, moving forward to require as little human interaction as possible. 38% of Brits found that since lockdown, they have used online shopping more but have found it to be inefficient due to insufficient delivery slots and replacement items, whilst 4 in 10 Brits will no longer use cash when shopping or when in bars or restaurants due to concerns around the transfer of germs.


Almost 9 out of 10 large businesses are relying on bad supplier data, according to a new HICX survey, putting them at major risk of fraud. Researchers spoke to some of the largest US and European businesses at the height of the Covid-19 crisis, with 89% admitting they were reliant on “bad data” that was responsible for them lacking oversight into their supplier base.


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According to the Global Information Security Survey by Ernst and Young about 6 in 10 organisations (59%) have faced a significant cybersecurity or privacy incident in the past 12 months, and 48% of executive boards believe that cyber attacks and data breaches will more than moderately impact their business in the next 12 months.

Most Brits would be willing to part with various aspects of their digital identity if they were financially compensated, according to research of over 2,100 UK consumers by Okta and Juniper Research. The survey finds that almost two-thirds would be willing to sell their purchase history (63%), location data (62%), browsing history (59%) and details of their online media consumption (59%). Over half would also be happy to share their social media activity, including what they post on social platforms (56%) and who they follow or engage with (56%).



TunnelBear’s recent global survey found that nearly half (45%) of respondents in the seven countries surveyed do not trust the integrity of information they find online. In fact, two in five (44%) people globally report that they, or someone they know, have experienced internet censorship, with 58% of Brits claiming to have experienced, or heard of someone who has experienced, online censorship in the UK.

44% 58%

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PCR-SEP20 RDUK:Layout 1 28/08/2020 08:51 Page 1


Keeping track The wearables market is booming and as we all attempt to stay fit and healthy in the fight against Coronavirus its health monitoring devices that are taking the lead, as Michelle Winny explores



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earables are cooler than ever despite a rollercoaster ride in both popularity and user practicality over the past decade - things have moved on since Google glass and it’s privacy issues. With fashion now embracing wearables into the haute couture fold and with the emergence of technologies like eTextiles, that use novel bioactive inks combined with screen printing, we can expect to be wearing smart clothing very soon. In fact Forbes reports the arrival of the Neviano smart swimsuit. This application integrates a waterproof UV sensor that communicates with your smartphone to tell you when UV levels are high, meaning it’s time to apply more sunscreen. But more pertinently, using intelligent textiles in a facemask could see a significant application of technologies like this in the near term in the fight against COVID-19 until a vaccine is safely found. The popularity of wearables is undeniably gaining, not just with millennials but also across all age ranges particularly for healthcare monitoring. Following in the wake of the Coronavirus we are all much keener to keep track of our health and so the global wearables market has flourished during the pandemic. According to statistics portal, Statista the wearables segment is expected to be worth £479m in 2020 with 8.3 million users and it’s smart watches and fitness trackers that continue to be the predominant leaders. Whilst International Data Corporation (IDC) reports global shipments of wearable devices are expected to total 396.0 million units in 2020, according to new data from the Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. This is a 14.5% increase from the 345.9 million units shipped in 2019. The research firm predicts shipment volume to reach 637.1 million units in 2024. According to IDTechEx, the pandemic has created many new opportunities with product types emerging, such as, “acute care, with wearables for remote patient monitoring, allowing for vital signs to be observed during times of social distancing.” For the health conscious, maintaining good health has been demonstrated as one of the best ways to protect against the worst of COVID-19, so devices that help track health statistics have unsurprisingly proven rather popular. IDTechEx also reports that wearable technology will be key in long-term healthcare, to help patients manage chronic conditions, enabling healthcare professionals to, “Continuously collect and analyse complex streams of data, for example, data from blood glucose monitors, pacemakers, insulin pumps, CPAPS, or sleep monitors.” These devices will allow doctors to determine if a patient’s symptoms are either improving or deteriorating, and pinpoint the possible causes, all in a shorter period of time than current technology and scheduled visits to the doctor’s office allows.

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For remote patient healthcare monitoring, the new era of 5G will be instrumental. According to RCR Wireless news, “It’s the speed, bandwidth and connectivity promise of 5G that will serve as the basis of reimagining how the healthcare industry approaches wellness. By collecting data continuously, rather than at a single point in time, 5G will allow the healthcare provider and the patient to recognise health trends early, and identify issues more accurately than ever before.” As the healthcare industry drives toward more personalised care, 5G can help to incorporate more data into the decision process, leading to more successful diagnosis and treatment. Given all this it’s no surprise that big players like Amazon are keen to get in on the action, with it recently entering the wearables market with the launch of Amazon Halo. This is a subscription-based fitness-tracking wristband that measures body composition, activity, sleep, and tone of voice and no doubt there will be more tech players keen to follow. Whilst Samsung’s ECG feature on its Galaxy watch, which has only recently gone live in the US, detects for rapid heartbeat or palpitations. This is aimed at anyone with a heart condition or can detect the onset of other medical conditions. Results are taken from readings on the phone using your finger and thumb and documented in the Samsung Health Monitor app, where you can also log any symptoms such as dizziness or fatigue. Currently ECG monitoring is a key feature found on high-end devices. The Apple Watch Series 5 and 6 has the feature, and according to the Fitbit Sense health watch, which received FDA clearance in September 20 the ECG feature will land on the device in October this year. But for many others, brand regulatory issues have stood in the way of wider integration of this capability. Electronic tattoos as a wearable device can also now be used to monitor vitals and other functions within the body. Made from a thin rubber patch containing a circuit of flexible electronic components, these devices have already been adopted into the sporting world as they can measure lactate levels and pH values to gauge muscle fatigue and hydration in athletes. According to dynabook’s Nick Offin, “assisted reality is opening up some new opportunities in wearable tech.” Offin explains, “this is different to augmented reality, as it allows a person to view information within their immediate field of vision, hands-free. “Unlike virtual and augmented reality, which 40


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change or potentially block a user’s field of view, assisted reality doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t change what the person is seeing but adds an extra layer of information, whether it is through diagrams, texts or videos, without interfering with the user’s peripheral vision.” Designed to assist field workers with handfree capabilities, dynabook has developed a portable mobile edge-computing device with smart glasses. Offin explains, “The Remote Expert function enables workers to show the situation they’re facing, instantly and in real time. Colleagues can then respond with training, support and data, all instantly heard and seen on the device”, which could be a pretty essential piece of kit for key workers out in the field, in the fight against the pandemic and other critical situations. So beyond smart watches, fitness trackers and health monitors what else is out there? Here’s one for the Christmas wish list, according to an article in the Independent a pair of boots called the Ecto One that are claimed, “can let you walk in virtual reality” have been developed by American company, Ekto VR. “The boots have two rotating plates which can twist to the direction that the wearer is walking in.” “When the player puts their foot on the ground, a set of wheels pulls their legs backwards as they walk forwards, which allows the player to keep moving while also staying in one spot.” Hearables are already on the horizon to be the next ‘big thing’. According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global hearables industry was pegged at $21.20 billion in 2018, and is anticipated to reach $92.46 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 17.2% from 2019 to 2026. The research firm puts this market growth down to “increased demand for wireless headphones and infotainment devices, emerging hearable computing and rapid technological advancements in voice user interface, and advent of miniaturised wearable electronic devices for health monitoring.” However, the research firm reports the segment is not without its issues, saying, “adverse effect on the hearing ability due to overuse of headphones and high cost of industrial hearables restrain the growth to certain extent. Nevertheless, a surge in focus toward adoption of hearing devices to prevent hearing loss in industrial application is expected to offer a number of opportunities to the key players in the market.”

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Sector Guide

12-days of Christmas Memory & Mother Boards With the festive season just around the corner, PCR brings you the latest in Memory & Motherboards in our 12-days of Christmas, gifting guide

Spectrix D60G DDR4 RGB Memory “The XPG SPECTRIX D60G DDR4 memory features a dual RGB light strip design that gives it the largest RGB surface area of any memory module. Now available in 3600Mhz, ideal for AMD Ryzen systems and the latest Intel chipsets.” Specs: Model - DDR4-3600, Speed - PC4-28800, Size- 8GB x 2, Latency- CL14-15-15, Voltage - 1.45V, Heat Sink Colour Tungsten Grey Contact: VIP Computer Centre Ltd

Gigabyte B450M-DS3H “The Gigabyte B450M-DS3H motherboard supports all AMD Ryzen 3000 processors and is backwards compatible with AMD Ryzen 2000 and 1000 processors. The rich list of features on this motherboard includes, Ultra Durable Armor for PCIe/ memory slots, USB Type-C interfaces on select boards, refined audio quality, high speed Ethernet, and the latest standard WIFI design. This makes the Gigabyte B450M-DS3H perfect for users looking to build an amazing value AMD system, packed with features.” Specs: Type 288 Pin DDR4 Unbuffered DIMM, Frequency 3200, 3600, Capacity: 8Gx1, 8Gx2, 16Gx1, 16Gx2, Voltage: 1.35V, Timing: 16-18-18-38, 18-22-22-42, Dimension: 133 x 33 x 5 mm, Gigabyte: B450M-DS3H, Supports AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen/2nd Gen Ryzen/1st Gen Ryzen/2nd Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics/1st Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics/ Athlon with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors, Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display, Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support, RGB Fusion supports RGB LED Strips in 7-Colours, Realtek Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software Contact: Exertis

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Sector Guide KLEVV X series CRAS X RGB memory module “The KLEVV X series includes the CRAS X RGB gaming memory module, supporting full range RGB control from ASUS/MSI/GIGABYTE/ASROCK as well as RAZER RGB software. It features light diffusion technology to maximise the compelling RGB lighting effect. This module supports Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) 2.0 for one-click overclocking. Its high quality and reliability are achieved through rigorous test procedures, whilst offering reduced voltage and lower power consumption. Being QVL listed it works with major motherboards/ platforms.” Specs: 288 Pin DDR4 Unbuffered DIMM, Frequency: 3200, 3600, 4000, 8Gx1, 8Gx2, 16Gx1, 16Gx2, 8Gx2, 1.35V, 1.4V, Timing 16-18-18-38, 18-22-2242, 19-25-25-45, RGB Support: ASUS Aura sync, MSI Mystic Light Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, Asrock polychrome RGB Razer Chroma, Dimension, 133.5 x 51 x 8mm. Contact: Integral Memory Plc.

KLEVV X series BOLT X “The KLEVV X series BOLT X Pure aluminum heatsink supports Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) 2.0 for one-click overclocking. The same rigorous test procedure ensures the highest quality and reliability. Reduced voltage & ultra-lower power consumption make it a low cost option to run. QVL approved, this device is equipped to work with mainstream motherboards. Specs: Type: 288 Pin DDR4 Unbuffered DIMM, Frequency: 3200- 3600, Capacity: 8Gx1, 8Gx2, 16Gx1, 16Gx2, Voltage: 1.35V, Timing: 16-18-1838- 18-22-22-42, Dimension: 133 x 33 x 5mm Contact: Integral Memory Plc.

MSI Z390 gaming pro carbon “Inspired by the curve and shape of supercars, the MSI Z390 gaming pro carbon offers colourful customisation with MSI Mystic Light RGB, tuned for better performance by Core boost, DDR4 Boost, M.2 Shield Frozr, Intel Gaming LAN, Front USB 3.1 Gen2 connector. Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience.” Specs: Supports 9th/8th Gen Intel Core/Pentium Gold/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket, Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 4400(OC) MHz, Mystic Light: 16.8 million colours/29 effects controlled in one click, Mystic Light extension supports both RGB and rainbow LED strip, Lightning Fast Game experience: 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready, M.2 Shield Frozr, Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2 Set Core Power Free: Core Boost, 8+4 pin CPU power connector, Game Boost, DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor, Audio boost 4 with NAHIMIC 3, Pre-installed I/O Shielding: Better EMI protection and more convenience for installation Contact: Exertis



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Sector Guide ASUS Prime series Z490M-PLUS “ASUS’ Prime series is expertly engineered to unleash the full potential of 10th Gen Intel Core processors. Boasting a robust power design, comprehensive cooling solutions and intelligent tuning options, Prime Z490 series motherboards provide daily users and DIY PC builders a range of performance tuning options via intuitive software and firmware features. Specs: Intel LGA 1200 socket: Ready for 10th Gen Intel Core processors, Enhanced power solution: 8+1 DrMOS power stages, 6-layer PCB, ProCool sockets, alloy chokes and durable capacitors for stable power delivery Comprehensive cooling: VRM heatsink, hybrid fan headers and Fan Xpert 4 ASUS OptiMem: Careful routing of traces and vias to preserve signal integrity for improved memory overclocking, Ultrafast connectivity: Dual M.2, 1Gb Ethernet, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C support Contact: Exertis

Team T-Force XTREEM ARGB DDR4 Gaming Memory “Team Group’s T-Force XTREEM ARGB DDR4 gaming memory’s full mirror reflection design concept leads the world in RGB memory design and creates an incomparable RGB lighting effect using optical technology and reflection. With OC profile support, overclocking is super-easy without the hassle of manually adjusting the BIOS and is compatible with both Intel & AMD platforms. The 3200MHz to 4000Mhz speeds are ideal for those wanting smooth gameplay, but also provides reliability and fast responses in other resource-heavy programs. Specs: RGB memory design, OC profile support, Compatible with both Intel & AMD platforms, 3200MHz to 4000Mhz speeds Contact: Target

Patriot Viper Steel Series 3200GHz 64GB DDR4 “Patriot Memory’s Viper Steel memory modules are designed for the latest Intel and AMD platforms with true performance in mind, providing the best performance and stability for the most demanding computer environments. Using a custom-designed, high performance aluminum heat shield for a clean, sleek steel-look inside any motherboard, the Viper Steel is made to ensure rock solid performance even when using the most taxing applications. Built from the highest quality Build of Materials, these memory modules are hand tested and validated for system compatibility with speeds from 3000MHz up to 4400MHz with XMP 2.0 support.” Specs: Designed for latest Intel and AMD platforms, Aluminum heat shield, Speeds from 3000MHz up to 4400MHz, XMP 2.0 support Contact: Target

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Sector Guide Intel i7-10700K Desktop PC “Designed for resource-hungry applications, this overclockable 3.8GHz 10th Gen Intel i7-powered full tower PC appeals to gamers, content creators, video editors and graphic designers alike. Featuring a Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 dual-fan graphics card with 256GB WD Blue NVMe M.2 alongside a 1TB 2.5” SSD, ASRock Z490 Steel Legend motherboard, 32GB DDR4 3000MHz memory, and Cooler Master watercooling, all wrapped in the beautiful Antec P120 Crystal chassis. This processing powerhouse is also upgradable and comes with Windows 10 Home and a 3-year warranty as standard.” Specs: Overclockable, 3.8GHz, 10th Gen Intel i7-powered full tower PC, Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 dual-fan graphics card, 256GB WD Blue NVMe M.2, 1TB 2.5” SSD, ASRock Z490 Steel Legend motherboard, 32GB DDR4 3000MHz memory, Cooler Master watercooling, Antec P120 Crystal chassis, Upgradable Pre installed with Windows 10 Contact: Target

ASRock 4X4 BOX-V1000M Embedded Industrial PC “ASRock Industrial’s range of fanned and fanless embedded Box PCs include Intel powered NUC Boxes and AMD Ryzen powered 4X4 Boxes, designed for entertainment, industrial usage, business applications and healthcare. These barebones units are configurable to specific applications and operating systems with room for up to 64GB memory and M.2 slots.” Specs: Wireless 4X4 110 x 118 x 67mm frame, 2.0GHz AMD Ryzen Embedded V-Series processor, Vega 8 graphics, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB3.2 & 2.0, DC Jack, Gigabit LAN connections, low-powered, high-performance. Contact: Target

Asus TUF GAMING B550M-PLUS (WI-FI) TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) distills essential elements of the latest AMD platform and combines them with game-ready features and proven durability. Engineered with military-grade components, an upgraded power solution and a comprehensive set of cooling options, this motherboard delivers rock-solid performance with unwavering gaming stability. Specs: Asus TUF GAMING B550M-PLUS (WI-FI), AMD B550, AM4, Micro ATX, 4 DDR4, HDMI, DP, XFire, AX Wi-Fi, 2.5GB LAN, PCIe4, RGB Lighting, M.2 Contact: Spire



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Sector Guide Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB Memory Kit (2 x 8GB) “CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB PRO Series DDR4 overclocked memory lights up your PC with mesmerising dynamic multi-zone RGB lighting, while delivering the best in DDR4 performance.” Specs: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB Memory Kit (2 x 8GB), DDR4, 3000MHz (PC4-24000), CL15, XMP 2.0, Black Contact: Spire

Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB Description: CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB PRO Series DDR4 overclocked memory lights up your PC with mesmerizing dynamic multi-zone RGB lighting, while delivering the best in DDR4 performance. Specs: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB, DDR4, 3600MHz (PC4-28800), CL18, XMP 2.0, Ryzen Optimised, DIMM Memory Contact: Spire

Crucial 8GB DDR4-2666 UDIMM “Crucial Desktop Memory is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to improve your system’s performance. Load programs faster, increase responsiveness, run dataintensive applications with ease, and increase your desktop’s multitasking capabilities. Make everything on your computer faster and multitask with ease.” Specs: Speed - DDR4-2666, CAS latency – 19, DRAM family – Crucial, Density - 8GB, Brand – Crucial, Module type – UDIMM, Extended timings - 19-19-19, Technology - DDR4, Voltage - 1.2V, PC speed - PC4-21300 Contact: G.SKill

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Life in the channel

Okta’s Stevie Dennis

Stevie Dennis, Regional Alliances Manager UK & Ireland at Okta, an independent provider of identity for enterprise, gives her take on learning from experience, post Covid-19 remote working relationships and embracing diversity. 46


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Interview Tell us a bit about your experience in the channel and your current role at Okta Working in the Alliances team at Okta is my perfect job! Previously I was an Account Director at Nebulas (now Orange Cyber Defence) and I was a customer (and massive fan) of Okta, so taking this role was an obvious career move. I felt I had a head start in my Okta role as I could leverage my experience as a customer to build on the mutually successful relationships with Okta’s existing partners and know what is needed to attract new ones. Having previously worked at a successful partner of Okta I have a unique insight to what we can do to improve the interaction, and ultimately results of our partners now and in the future. What is Okta’s vision for how it engages with its channel partners? Okta’s goal is to make it simple, exciting and rewarding to work with us. Partners are integral to the success of vendors like Okta so our relationship with them is a critical success factor for our business. We make it simple to understand our technology and its benefits, and simple to transact with us; are fun to work with, share success and pull together when challenges arise; and the rewards of our success are there to see. Market leading products, clear and effective communication and relationships across both end users and complimentary vendors mean success for partners and for Okta.

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In what ways have you seen the channel sector evolve over the course of your career? The changes that I have seen in only 6-7 years are astonishing and fall into two very distinct parts. Both are very much centred around attitude changes. Firstly, I see that partners are now a lot more committed to understanding and meeting the business needs of their customers and creating real value propositions for them. This means that the communication loop between us and our partners must be truly two-way and real-time – we keep each other informed and aware of progress and changes and jointly agree the actions to be taken to resolve any issues. This creates trust between both parties, and it is those partners that are managing to achieve this that are now seeing the success they want and creating the backbone of the channel in the UK&I.

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Interview Secondly (and this is a little more personal), I remember vividly the attitude towards women in the channel only 5 years ago for stepping into the then male dominated domain of Cyber Security. Thankfully, we now work in a much more diverse and aware industry, and now I am happy to see a much more diverse circle of people being appreciated and valued across Vendors, Distributors, Resellers and GSIs. Has this been impacted by the shift to remote work? Not really, the big change that remote working is driving is the shift from some face-to-face to all screen-to-screen interaction. We are all generally just as effective working remotely, but the lack of face-to-face contact can change the dynamics of relationships. It further reinforces the need for timely and effective communication, and for that communication to perhaps be a little more considered than in pre-Covid times. The channel is, as a result, more important than ever at the moment. Our partners have spent years building their relationships and with everyone working from home, building new relationships can be challenging, and companies are quite rightly more cautious than ever with who they trust, and where they spend their money. The working relationships that our partners have spent years nurturing, are vital for our joint success. Talking about remote work, what is Okta’s view on whether people should be returning to the office? Okta’s number one priority is ensuring that our teams, partners and customers stay safe. We won’t be going back to the office until there’s a publicly available treatment to COVID-19. With that in mind, we are expecting to work from home for the foreseeable future, with the time beyond that being very much focused on ‘Dynamic Work’, a framework that we started adopting in Okta UK last year and one that rethinks the traditional workplace to empower employees to truly be their most productive and successful selves wherever they work . We all work differently, no matter what sector we work in. And while some sectors are more prepared than others, it’s clear that our working cultures require a more dynamic approach - COVID-19 only accelerated this vision. The Okta platform is designed to support digital transformation and diverse working capabilities so it is perfect for both us and our customers as we all evolve to the optimal flexible working

methods. I think that the way we work in the future is likely to look very different to the office life that we have all experienced before and that will come with many benefits. What are your experiences of gender diversity across the industry? The industry has come a long way in improving gender diversity and diversity overall but there is still a way to go. Women are still underrepresented in front line sales jobs and at an exec level, let alone the technical areas. In my opinion, gender diversity within teams leads to more collaboration, adds fresh perspective and increases the likeability of an organisation. It also makes it a more desirable place to aspire to work, and could help us with our extensive ‘New Hire’ program. The focus on women in the industry is increasing. I am truly fortunate to work with some incredibly talented and inspiring people and can say that at least half of the people I admire and learn from daily are women, both at Okta and our partners. As an industry leading technology company, we are in an enviable position to lead in this area and to demonstrate the hugely positive benefits that gender diversity can bring to organisations. How do you think the industry can improve its gender representation and encourage more women to take up channel positions? We have to make our recruiting pitch attractive to talented and successful women, both those entering the workforce for the first time as well as those who have had successful careers elsewhere in technology or other industries. Promoting successful women in the Channel and highlighting their achievements will create role models for the future, and naturally encourage more incredible women to join. I’d like to think I am evidence of this. The reason that I decided to move to Alliances from End User sales, was entirely down to one role model I was lucky enough to encounter whilst at Nebulas. Having a strong positive female role model who was successful and respected was a clear demonstration that there is a place for women in this industry at all levels, and that the glass ceiling is there to be smashed. In the Alliances Team, as elsewhere in Okta, not just gender diversity but diversity overall is part of our daily life, and one that, if we all truly support it, is going to create an unstoppable team.

“The big change that remote working is driving is the shift from some face-to-face to all screen-to-screen interaction. We are all generally just as effective working remotely, but the lack of face-to-face contact can change the dynamics of relationships. It further reinforces the need for timely and effective communication, and for that communication to perhaps be a little more considered than in pre-Covid times.” 48


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* ZOTAC Extended 5 Year Warranty subject to product registration within 28 days of purchase. For registration please go to ZOTAC website ©2019 ZOTAC Technology Ltd. All rights reserved. All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. ZOTAC Technology Ltd. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness or reliability of information, materials and other items contained on this print, image, website, or server. No liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein.







<Logging off>\\| Out and about in the industry

<Biggest tech trend news from October 20> PCR rounds up top tech trend news headlines for the shift towards home/remote working Zoho CRM offers free remote sales office for rest of 2020 Zoho Corporation, is offering free access for its Remote Sales Office, a CRM toolkit, which will be offered to all businesses for the remainder of 2020 to help adapt to remote working and the UK government’s new tier-system lockdown. Remote Sales Office is the latest programme to be introduced by the company to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Zoho CRM’s Remote Sales Office is an add-on for its CRM, consisting of Zoho Cliq, Zoho Meeting, and Zoho ShowTime. The package is designed to make remote work experience for sales teams much simpler, by improving communication, collaboration and staff onboarding processes. Sridhar Iyengar, MD, Zoho Europe, said: “Covid-19 and remote working have accelerated the trend in cloud and digital adoption, and as a result, customer expectations and customer journeys have changed drastically.

Netgear’s latest Soho switches NETGEAR’s latest network switch technology is designed for home and small office setups upgrades in the shift towards continued remote working. “I really think that technology is transformative,” said Doug Cheung, NETGEAR SMB Product Line Manager, speaking on episode two of the Switched on Thinking podcast. “Do we still have to work from nine to five? Do we need to have employees come to the same location, Monday through Friday? I think these are questions that businesses big and small are actively working on. Work from home is here to stay. It’s only a matter of how we make it work for both the employer and the employee.” Installing new unmanaged switches is a simple solution that improves network performance. NETGEAR 300 Series Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switches are plug-and-play, and can expand network connections to multiple devices, instantly. This makes them ideal for home offices that require reliable, high-speed connections for workstations, servers, NAS storage, PCs and more.

Accenture and ServiceNow launch dedicated business group Accenture and ServiceNow have teamed up in a new business group to help clients adopt digital workflows including self-service and remote work programs. “With a move to the cloud, organisations can reimagine their operations, reskill their employees, and become more sustainable. 50


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Working together with ServiceNow to automate complex processes and create better experiences across industries, we will help organisations deliver greater 360-degree value that benefits all - their customers, people, shareholders, partners, and communities,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture. ServiceNow’s CEO Bill McDermott said: “Leaders in every organisation know that their 20th century technologies are too slow, too siloed, too stuck in the status quo to meet the dynamic digital demands of employees and customers today. Speed, agility, and resilience are what’s needed now. The Accenture ServiceNow Business Group will help every organisation become a 21st century digital business.”

Natterbox links voice component of Microsoft Teams to Salesforce Natterbox is bringing together the use of Microsoft Teams and Salesforce to enable organisations using both services to gain greater visibility of all calls. When using Microsoft Teams as a communication tool and Salesforce as a CRM platform, the Natterbox integration will enable sales and service users to make and receive calls using Teams, all while making the data visible within Salesforce. The Natterbox CTI dialpad embedded in Salesforce now talks directly to Microsoft Teams. This allows your sales and service agents to click-to-dial, screenpop, voicemail drop and make notes from within Salesforce all while using the Teams platform.

NEXT MONTH December/January – Remote/Home Working A new focus for PCR is our spotlight on the shift towards Remote/ Home Working that has come in the wake of Coronavirus restrictions. We will be covering: • Remote/home working • Cloud based services for storage (Dropbox, Google Cloud) • File transfer eg We transfer, Dropxox • Virtual meetings eg Teams, Zoom • Sector Guides: Laptops, peripherals, software, IoT If you would like to get involved in our remote/home working issue, please contact Michelle Winny for editorial or Sarah Goldhawk for advertising:

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PCR2021 Calendar 210mm x 265mm v2:Layout 1 01/10/2020 11:31 Page 1




■ File transfer eg We transfer, Dropbox ■ Virtual meetings eg Teams, Zoom


FEATURES: ■ Remote /home-working ■ Cloud based services for storage (Dropbox, Google Cloud)

SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Laptops ■ Peripherals ■ Software ■ IoT

FEATURES: ■ PCR's 30 under 30 2021 list ■ Sustainability in the tech industry

FEATURES: ■ Distributor profiles ■ Marketing and PR agencies ■ Dealer services ■ Automation

■ Content & User Interaction ■ Audio Tech SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Distributor top products ■ Autonomous devices drones, robotics, procesing devices ■ Amplification and listening devices (Speakers, microphones, headsets & earphones)


■ The evolution of eCommerce


ESPORTS FEATURES: ■ Current state: esports market ■ The importance of Gaming security

APRIL PCR AWARDS FEATURES: ■ PCR Awards 2021 Winners ■ PCR Awards live presentation review


JUNE EDUCATION FEATURES: ■ The latest educational tech products and innovations ■ Selling IT to schools

AUGUST SMART TECH FEATURES: ■ Current state: Smart tech


SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Pro gaming machines ■ Pro gaming components & storage

SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Printer & accessories ■ Business machines, monitors and peripherals

■ Security Tech Hardware

SECURITY FEATURES: ■ Security market ■ Privacy and Passwords

30 UNDER 30

SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Networking ■ Storage ■ Tablets

SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Smart Home (white goods, home automation & controls) ■ Smart cameras

SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Wearable & Fitness tech ■ Memory & motherboards

FEATURES: ■ PCR's Top Women in Tech 2021 list ■ Diversity in the tech channel


SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Gaming components ■ Gaming peripherals & monitors

FEATURES: ■ PCR Awards 2021 Winners ■ PCR Awards live presentation review


SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Security hardware ■ Security software ■ Barcode scanners, biometrics such as retina scanning, fingerprint readers

SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Refurbished Tech

SECTOR GUIDES: ■ Coolest Christmas gifting

FEATURES: ■ Consumer spend ■ How to prepare for the festive season

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT: ■ Sarah Goldhawk ■ ■ 0787 259 4600

FOR EDITORIAL CONTACT: ■ Michelle Winny ■ ■ 0759 529 8729

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