PCR AWARDS ISSUE #186
3 Years Running
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TheEditor A night to remember WELL, WE MADE IT. We put together an awards show in the midst of being acquired by a new publisher and managed to create what I personally think is one of the best PCR Awards this brand has ever had. By “We” I really mean the amazing events staff at Biz Media and our parent company Datateam, the excellent sales team who got so many great Awards Partners on board and our delightful designers and production staff that brought all the fantastic creatives to life. The PCR team also had some great feedback on the night and in the days that followed, and we could not be happier hearing that the channel enjoyed themselves so much. So one final time for 2019, I would like to say a huge congratulations to all our winners, and a big thank you to all our Awards Partners: Tenda, AOC, HANNSpree, Exertis, CMS Distribution, ASUS, Ci Distribution and Ortial Technologies. I can’t wait to see how we top this year’s show in 2020. You can check out our big Awards roundup on page 16 as well as an array of snaps from the evening’s festivities on page 49. For those that want even more visual delights, you’ll find a mountain of pictures at Facebook.com/PCRmag where you can tag yourself and your company. Awards celebrations aside, elsewhere in this issue you’ll find opinions, analysis and products centred around print and storage. Both sectors are experiencing continued change as technological innovation forces them to adapt and diversify, so pull up a chair and find out how these markets are making sure they thrive in today’s market.
“We couldn’t be happier hearing that the channel enjoyed themselves so much at the PCR Awards 2019”
Laura Barnes, Editor
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Contents April 2019 The value of print
A look at how printer sales are faring in the channel.
PCR Awards review
We roundup all the winners from this year's show.
2019 In My Team
The team from NFON UK reveal what they've been working on.
Life in the Channel
Lexmark's Sammy Kinlaw talks about its new cloud services.
Regulars 10 Industry opinion from Ortial Technology, Engage Hub, Comms365 and Kingston Technology 15 Number Crunching 28 Sector Guide: Storage 34 Crowdfunding Corner 37 Sector Guide: Printers and print accessories 46 Appointments 48 Events 49 Logging Off
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The value of print In this day and age, businesses and consumers alike are becoming more conscientious when it comes to saving paper. But are retailers still finding value in stocking printers and ink? Laura Barnes investigates...
here’s no question that everyone should be doing their part of help reduce waste, recycle and save paper. The WWF urges both individuals and businesses to save paper where they can and try to buy from responsible sources. Couple this with the fact that technology has evolved to a point where a lot of documents that once needed to be printed can now be sent digitally, and it’s not
hard to understand why retailers may not see as much value in stocking printers and print accessories as they once did. Tech for Techs (TFT) – a community for technicians of all kinds, including on-site call out services, retailers, resellers, managed service providers, vendors and distributors – reports that a number of its members are struggling with printer-related sales. TFT’s founders Phil and Jenni Griffiths,
Retail Analysis The TFT founders also note that within retail stores themselves there is less of a need to have a printer for things such as printing customer receipts. “When you go in a lot of stores today, they will give you the option of emailing your receipt rather than printing one. Even in our retail store, Chips Computers, we can text our customers their work order number, updates on repair progress and notices that they need to contact us as soon as possible,” they point out. “Customers also have the option of signing TOS digitally rather than on printed paper. Repair reports will automatically get emailed rather than printed. In total, all of that combined can save up to ten sheets of paper for each customer.” Ease of use Another point made by TFT is that, despite how far technology has evolved, setting up printers can still be a tricky business. “Other than doing the obvious, of making things better value for money or bundling things together, it’s going to be hard for the printing sector to change the way people want to live.
“While some people may find the set up of a printer easy, a lot of people can struggle, especially the elderly” Chips Computers
who also run computer repair service Chips Computers, tells PCR that over the last few years they have seen a steady decline in printers and printer related sales. “Other members of Tech For Techs are saying much the same,” says the couple. “The main reason is we live in a digital world and paper is soon becoming a thing of the past. Just like optical media – when digital cameras started becoming mainstream in the late 90s – everyone wanted to be able to print their own pictures at home and show them off to family and friends. Then, in the early 00s, other digital devices, like photo frames, started to appear on the market. This was soon followed by smartphones and tablets and people were suddenly able to share pictures and content of high quality around the world in seconds. “No longer did you need to print and fax the item or even post it. Even if you do want a photo, you can generally get them done online and posted to you cheaper and with better quality than you could do yourself.”
“Printing is not convenient, especially in the aspect of setting up a printer for the first time,” they tell PCR. “Sometimes to get a printer set up by a proper engineer, it can cost as much as what the person has paid for the printer itself. While some people may find the set up of a printer easy, a lot of people can struggle, especially the elderly and people with disabilities.” TFT suggest that instructions need to be a lot clearer and seeing as most computers don’t come with a CD drive anymore, replacing CDs with a USB drive to install instead could help. Despite these fair points about the struggles of setting up both consumers and office printers, the situation does make a strong case for the continued need for retailers and resellers who can combine set-up services with their printer sales. This is further bolstered by new research on the print industry by IT market intelligence company Context, which found that sales of printer hardware through distributors in the UK were up by 10.5% year-on-year in 2018.
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Retail Analysis This was mainly driven by the positive performance registered by the vendors which account for 79.1% of the British market; HP (sales up by 63.3%), Canon (up 14.8%) and Brother (up 35.3%). The research also found that it was, in fact, the retail chain that drove most of the printer hardware sales in 2018, with year-on-year growth of 17.9%. This was followed by the corporate reseller segment, which registered a growth of 10.8%, the small and medium reseller sector saw growth of 5.9%, while consumer-focused online retailers were up 2.6%. Business-focused online retailers were the only segment in the channel which registered a negative year-on-year performance in 2018, seeing sales down 0.3%. What’s selling? What’s even more interesting about Context’s report is that it drills down to what type of printers have been selling well and what models are proving difficult to shift in the current climate. Sales of multifunction printers (MFPs) were up by 14.4% year-on-year with continued growth for both laser and inkjet MFPs, which saw sales increase by 15.4% and 14.3% respectively. Sales were also driven by the double-digit increase of consumer-targeted devices (up by 16.3%) primarily because the ASP is continuing to decrease. Consumer printers steadily increased their market share in the UK (64.8% in 2018) and drove overall imaging growth in 2018. Things didn’t fair quite as well for single-function printers, or SFPs, during the same period of time, with sales down by 6.6% (down 14.8% for inkjet SFPs and down 4.7% for laser SFPs). This was mainly driven by the negative performance of business-targeted devices, with sales down by 12.1%. Context notes that, according to a particular UK distributor, this pattern confirms that the shift from single to multifunction devices is continuing and is likely to be further consolidated going forward, particularly for lower spec models for which there is not a high demand from resellers. Looking at first two months of 2019, and we can see some of the struggles that TFT mentions about selling printer hardware come through in the data.
“The retail chain drove most of the printer hardware sales in 2018 and, so far, is still driving sales in 2019, with a growth of 18.9% year-on-year” Context
Context reveals that sales of printer hardware through distribution in the UK were down by 3.8% year-on-year, mainly driven by the negative performance registered in February (which was down 12.3%). However, so far in 2019, the retail channel is still driving printer hardware sales with growth of 18.9% year-on-year; followed by the corporate reseller, which registered a modest growth of 2.4%. The small and medium reseller channel registered the strongest decrease in the first two month of 2019 (down 37.6%), followed by the business-focused online retailers (down 18%) and consumer-focused online retailers (down 11.4%). Moving on to single-function printers and 2019’s troubles continue, with sales down by a whopping 24.6% year-on-year (sales for laser SFPs registered a drop of 25.7% and inkjet SFPs down by 19.8%) in both business- and consumer-target segments, with sales down by 27.4% and 24.5% respectively). However, there is some hope for multifunction printers for the year ahead, as so far in 2019, sales are up by 1.5% year-onyear with continued growth for both laser and inkjet MFPs (sales were up by 2.7% and 1.3%, respectively), and driven by the consumer-targeted devices (sales up by 5%). What all this shows is that there are certainly parts of the print sector that are suffering from the fight against electronic documentation, but delving deeper into the stats show that the retailer and corporate reseller channels are still able to utilise the need for printer hardware throughout this year and beyond – as long as they target the right users.
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Where are you on the storage upgrade cycle? Mark McCarter, Ortial Technologies’ Director of Product Development, discusses why the company is seeing a huge spike in demand for SSDs...
t Ortial we firmly believe that there has never been a better time to upgrade your PC’s storage. Over the past 18 months we have seen prices cut by half for standard SATA drives and even the faster NVMe drives have seen significant price drops. We know the cost per GB is still higher than standard hard disk drives but let’s look at why we believe the higher cost is worth it.
capacities up to 960GB, it offers a fine combination of performance and value. With the added benefit of a 10 year warranty, it’s an ideal tool for gamers, professionals and consumers in need of a low cost, high capacity storage solution to improve their existing system.
Storage is no longer the bottleneck In the last six months we have seen a huge spike in demand for our recently launched NVMe range of SSDs. They offer speeds up to five times faster than our current fastest 2.5” SSD. What was once Why improved speed is in such high demand perceived as a nice to have solution is quickly becoming a feature Speed is the headline you read most when looking at SSD but what that anyone buying a new performance PC or laptop does this mean in real word terms? demands as standard. Well if you use an SSD for your operating system Storage has, for a long time, been the bottleneck in then you will certainly notice much quicker boot many systems. This is no longer the case. As times. If you’re a ‘gamer’ then you will also see “Customers want anyone buying one of the latest Macbooks will much reduced game loading times. These quality their laptops to feel testify, it boots in seconds, and programs open of life improvements can be difficult to more responsive and instantly. Although it sounds a small change it rationalise on paper, but ask any gamer about boot quicker, and we all adds up to create a customer experience that waiting for a new area of a map to load or makes using the technology we interact with waiting for the extended initial load time on designed the Ortial Plus every day more enjoyable. their favourite game and it’s clear to see why this SSD range for this demographic is demanding this improved level of very reason” performance to facilitate fewer interruptions to the Advice and support The question we ask all our customers is “Where are flow of their game. you on the storage upgrade cycle?” We listen to how SSDs are silent in use and certainly more resilient to they currently use their systems, what their frustrations are being dropped, thanks largely to the lack of moving parts with the way they currently work, and we offer advice to help them when compared to HDDs and have lower power consumption. get the best from their system. SSDs are certainly the best choice if you value performance above Of course storage is just one part of the system. Other things will cost per GB. affect performance such as the CPU speed and the amount of RAM. At Ortial, our customers are not just gamers on the bleeding edge Ortial currently has over 5,000 lines of 2.5” / M.2 SSDs and RAM of technology, we have many customers who just want their laptops in stock ready to ship next day through our distribution partner to feel more responsive and boot quicker, and we designed the CMS Distribution. Ortial Plus range of SSDs for this very reason. Available in multiple
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The golden opportunity of chatbots Karen Waters, Product Director at Engage Hub, looks at how chatbots can be used to improve customer experience...
he chatbot has come a long way since ELIZA was developed in 1966. Improvements in NLP (natural language processing) and automation mean that they are now able to engage in meaningful, flowing conversations with customers in real-time, delivering human-like interactions without the waiting times associated with contacting a call centre. As a result, all kinds of businesses are looking into how they can use chatbots to improve customer experience. But advances in technology does not guarantee success. Why implement a chatbot at all? The Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule, applies to customer service just as it applies to so much else. 80% of enquiries received by a customer service team will be on 20% of the topics they cover. Customer service staff may well be trained to answer a wide variety of questions and tackle in-depth inquiries, but the simple fact is that they will be answering the same questions again and again. This isn’t the greatest use of trained staff, and repetition like this can severely affect morale. If these enquiries can be automated, then this can make a huge difference. It doesn’t have to be all of these routine enquiries – if half of the simplest enquiries can be farmed out to a chatbot then this can slash waiting times, improve morale, and make for an overall better customer experience. A chatbot can do what an online FAQ was supposed to do. But it’s not just these simple enquiries that a chatbot can help with. First line support, for example, is usually a checklist of the most common and most easily-solved problems, a perfect job for a chatbot. It can also easily handle more complex decision trees – guiding a customer through more complex support more effectively than a troubleshooting document or staff working through a script. These are the basics, but there are also opportunities beyond this to bolster the customer experience, such as offering recommendations based on a few questions or previous purchases. Getting it right Once an organisation has decided exactly how a chatbot can help, there are key considerations that will be the difference between
success and failure, beyond technical integration. As with any new initiative, there needs to be clearly defined objectives that will determine whether it is a success or failure. Without metrics, assessing success can be swayed by such things as sunk costs. These metrics can be, for example, direct consequences of a better IVR system, such as cutting waiting times by 20%, or more indirect, such as increasing sales by 50%. When will a human take over? Angry customers are not going to be placated by a chatbot – in fact, it will only make things worse. Similarly, anyone with a complex query is only going to be frustrated by a bot. The rules as to when a customer should be connected to a trained customer service agent need to be defined and refined as time goes by using data produced by the system. Establish integrity. Consumers are used to being asked for their security details by a customer service agent. They may be more reluctant with a chatbot, whether using instant messaging or voice recognition. Your customers need to be able to trust a chatbot and this may not be immediate. This can be overcome by using tokens so that a Facebook account can be used for login (if using a chatbot that lives on Facebook). Ensure understanding. Advances in technology are making it easier for chatbots to understand slang, strong accents, and even intent when the wording is unclear due to typos, spelling errors, or background noise. Use your brand. A chatbot is an ambassador for your brand just as much as any customer service agent. This should be reflected in the bot’s tone, whether that’s through text or voice. There are people who can help chatbots learn both how to speak like your brand and better understand the most common enquiries. However, it’s important to make sure that customers know that they’re speaking to a chatbot. People don’t like to feel that they have been fooled and can find human-like behaviour from bots unnerving. According to Oracle, around 80% of businesses will be using chatbots by 2020. Chatbots are an opportunity that shouldn’t be squandered and not a cheap replacement for customer service staff. Done right, they will give customers a much-improved experience and allow your staff to concentrate on the more complex queries.
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Creating a successful IoT initiative
Nick Sacke, Head of Product and IoT at Comms365, outlines why collaboration is key to creating a well rounded business case for a successful IoT deployment...
ndustry analysts are predicting great things for IoT, with statistics from Vodafone stating that the number of IoT adopters around the world has more than doubled since 2013, clearly demonstrating that the business case for IoT deployments is gaining momentum. However, a bleaker picture of the market is provided in the statistics from Cisco’s IoT deployment survey, stating that 60% of IoT initiatives stall at the Proof of Concept (PoC) stage. A PoC is a crucial component of an IoT deployment as it provides the foundations for the fundamental design of the project, as well as the business goals it will address and how soon that deployment will provide a return on investment. It’s also a fundamental factor in ensuring that the project can be rolled out fully beyond the pilot stage, so it’s imperative that multiple factors are considered at the PoC stage, to ensure the project does not prematurely stall.
to name a few – all of which provide opportunities to generate new revenue streams and positively impact the relationship with the end-user. IoT security is a key area where CSPs and resellers can diversify their offering by upskilling and offering solutions to protect the networks and the substantial volumes of data being created as the result of an IoT deployment. In particular, security is a sensitive topic for businesses of all sizes, so by reassuring companies that their data can be fully protected, this will go a long way to put them at ease and feel confident about proceeding with an IoT initiative. However, in order to appropriately monetise areas such as security, CSPs and resellers must ensure that they invest in training and skill developments, as well as partnerships to become experts in these areas. Only then will they be able to offer a complete end-to-end IoT service solution.
Business objectives Whilst it’s true that IoT can address multiple core business objectives, including enhanced business insight and efficiency, it is not a miracle technology that will provide business benefits in isolation. Collaboration is key to creating a well rounded business case for a successful IoT deployment. By gaining consensus for the project across all departments, stakeholders across the business can buy into the project from day one, alleviating any potential negative cultural elements such as internal competition, envy and distrust between departments. Combined with an appropriately planned and executed PoC, this will maximise confidence in the project from the start, and also ensure that the business does not experience the negative ‘silo’ effect of a deployment.
Making the business case In order to identify the objectives that are to be achieved from the project, the business challenges for the end-user customer must first be pinpointed, so they can be measured during the PoC and throughout the project. By working towards specific outcomes, such as optimisation and realignment of business processes, employee wellbeing and cost savings – data gathered by the IoT solutions platform – can be analysed, converted into insight and validated in the PoC phase. This offers the opportunity to dynamically ‘tune’ the solution structure, and focus to ensure tighter alignment with business case outcomes. With defined parameters in place that can be analysed, the IoT business and use cases can be expanded further as more quantifiable IoT data is delivered for analysis and insight. By encouraging regular sharing of this insight amongst stakeholders, the focus towards common goals is maintained, and each stakeholder has continued visibility and involvement in how the solution is impacting the business. This collaborative process lays the foundations for a stronger commercial case to expand the deployment of IoT in the business.
The role of the channel Of course, the sheer logistics of implementing and supporting IoT projects may be daunting for any organisation. There are numerous aspects involved in a full end-to-end IoT deployment including devices, network access, security, applications and data analytics –
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The background voices of digital transformation Robert Allen, European Director of Marketing and Technical Services at Kingston Technology looks at how data centers have become the world’s biggest consumer of memory...
security far beyond the regulations of GDPR alone. This had led to a ew product features are often designed so the user is need for new innovations, such as self-encrypting drives, which offer unaware of their complexity, usually only by enabling a data protection without performance reduction. single toggle switch or checkbox. This apparent simplicity Mobility means there is still a lot of demand for removable storage, hides the hard work needed to make that feature possible be that in phones, cameras, USB sticks or external SSDs. Even with all – the efforts of hundreds of experts over years of painstaking research, the cloud capabilities we have, there will always be demand for and the contributions of many companies, the majority of which removable storage. Pretty soon, 1TB of information will be squeezed receive no stage time at all, but without them, the devices that the into a postage stamp-sized storage device. modern world depends on would not be possible. Despite the growth in cloud services, consumer technology and Smartphones for example are typically built with hardware IoT, internal storage is more relevant than ever. That’s not supplied by a multitude of different companies – the display, just in laptops and desktops, embedded storage is now modem, processor and storage are products in their own found in a diverse range of gadgets and electronics, right. The cloud services that are interwoven with including TVs, industrial controllers, telemetry modern software also have to be reliable enough to devices, human machine interfaces, automotive, always work, which is only possible if they’re “Despite the growth in industrial sensors, education tablets and more. hosted in data centers that take full advantage of cloud services, consumer Digital transformation is about the the latest innovations. technology and IoT, proliferation of technology into every corner of Today, we see an endless need for our own society. It’s happening everywhere around us right products to offer the best possible performance internal storage is more now, and affecting us all. Whether it’s media and security. The growth in these high relevant than ever.” shifting to online models, council and government performance cloud applications has increased services to the web, or high street shopping to demand for data center capacity and performance, e-commerce, the foundations of this new informationwhich has helped SSDs become commonplace in these based world comes from the continued innovations of environments, as well as the enterprise. companies like Kingston. The fast performance of SSDs leads to significant benefits for Without the products built by vendors such as ourselves, used in many use cases and applications. This includes front end web, media billions of devices across every country and continent, this world streaming, data warehousing, AI/data mining, virtualisation/VDI, would go offline. As this technology-led revolution continues, channel OLTP acceleration, caching layer and high-performance computing demand will continue to grow and change. (HPC). The user may only ever see a webpage, but the layers of New challenges are to be expected for any firm that has a part to hidden magic behind it is the result of significant effort. play in supplying the products that make a digital world possible. With growth for computing capacity, data center is likewise now the They’re challenges that are worth rising to – a data-first world brings world’s biggest consumer of memory. And the same is true of users’ solutions to age-old problems, and could lead to improved health, devices. Workforces are now more mobile, handling an increasing greater equality and a better society. amount of data on the move which intensifies the significance of data
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Having a CCTV security system installed in a house is the biggest deterrent to burglars.
Here are some of the most interesting stats and facts from the tech channel…
CRUNCHING 17% 2024 ££ £
According to Newzoo, overall games revenues are forecast to grow in excess of 10% between 2017 and 2021, with much of this growth attributable to the largest games sector, mobile, with a forecast CAGR of over 17%.
59% of mobile network operators expect to launch commercial 5G services by 2024, reports Syniverse.
Revenues for SSD upgrades were up by 22% across Western Europe in 2018, according to CONTEXT.
Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in autotech across Europe, Asia and North America has steadily increased in the last few years, reaching a record 166 transactions in 2018, reveals a new report from GP Bullhound. www.pcr-online.biz
According to IDC, the total global volume of data will reach 163 zettabytes in 2025. For reference, one zettabyte equates to a million petabytes, or a billion terabytes.
April 2019 |
And the winners are... In March we celebrated another amazing 12 months in the PC and tech industry. Hosted by the Sinnerman himself, comedian and The Chase star Paul Sinha, the PCR Awards 2019 highlighted the cream of the crop across the retail, reseller, channel services, distribution and vendor sectors. Here are all the winners from this year’s show…
RETAILER CATEGORY SYSTEM BUILDER
“We’ve had a very lucky history at PCR but it never gets any less humbling. Every time we’ve walked away with an award we’ve felt blessed to do what we love and get recognised by our peers.” Craig Hume, Managing Director
ONLINE RETAILER Box
“To be shortlisted amongst five major brands was enough for us, but to win... we’re blown away. We’ve been established for a long time but this is the first time we’ve really put ourselves out there.” Antonia Dickinson, Senior Category Manager for Monitors and Projectors
INDEPENDENT RETAILER Geeks on Wheels London
“I’ve never won an Oscar, but I can imagine this is what it feels like! We thought we didn’t stand a chance, but here we are. This is a great event and great for networking.” Anthony Ryder, Founder 16
RESELLER CATEGORY SMB RESELLER SCAN
“It feels exciting to win. Every year we attend because it’s such a good networking event, so this is great.” Paul Nolan, Purchasing and Pro Gaming
CORPORATE VAR SCC
“It feels fantastic to pick up this accolade. It’s been a fantastic year for SCC. The competition was tough but the best team won!”
MSP SPECIALIST Sweethaven
“Sweethaven has been through quite a journey over the last five years so to get MSP Specialist is quite an honour. This is a fantastic networking event, and it’s great to see so many friends from the channel.” Melissa Rambridge, Director www.pcr-online.biz
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CHANNEL SERVICES CATEGORY DEALER SERVICES PROVIDER Exertis
“Services is something that we as a business have been focusing on. We’ve put a lot of energy and effort into it. It’s really exciting to win. We weren’t expecting it but we’ve put a lot of effort into the category so it’s great to be rewarded.” Liam La Cumbre, Commercial Director, Consumer Business
MARKETING & PR Gekko
“It feels phenomenal to win for a second year in a row. The competition was tough, but it’s great to win against such big channel names.” Daniel Todaro, Managing Director
DISTRIBUTION CATEGORY Sponsored by AOC SOFTWARE, SERVICES & SUPPORT Ingram Micro Cloud
“This was a surprise. We deserved it, but we weren’t expecting to win it. The competition was quite tough in this category, so we are very proud. It wouldn’t have happened without our channel partners supporting us. It’s been an amazing night.” Ovi Gherghel, Head of Sales 18
HARDWARE DISTRIBUTOR Exertis
“it’s been really strong competition and everyone has done a fantastic job. Our focus in the market has been key to winning. We really help to educate our customers and that’s come through with this award.” Mike Buley, Consumer MD
CONSUMER ELECTRONICS DISTRIBUTOR CMS Distribution
“We are so proud to win at the PCR Awards 2019. We’re over the moon. It’s been a huge team effort. We’ve worked really hard during this year and this award means so much to all of us at CMS.” Tony Scully, Sales Director
VENDOR CATEGORY SOFTWARE, SERVICES & SUPPORT VENDOR BullGuard
“We are absolutely delighted to win for a second year in a row. It’s a great testament to the value that we bring to the independent channel. It’s been great to network with our colleagues in the industry.” Pete Morley, Country Manager UK www.pcr-online.biz
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PERIPHERALS & ACCESSORIES VENDOR ASUS
“This event is fantastic. We’ve attended for the past few years because it’s great for networking. Winning is amazing. We’re really pleased because there was stiff competition this year. It’s also great to see four of our customers win other awards tonight.”
“It’s been great winning this award tonight. We are delighted to share this success with all of our loyal customers.”
Jim Knee, Business Development Manager
Alicia Sheppard, Sales Director
NETWORKING VENDOR Tenda
PCR COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2019 Exertis
“We’ve been fortunate to win a few awards tonight but this is an award for the whole company. Everyone has worked collectively to win this. It has been great to see people coming out and celebrating success. Tonight shows that the industry is still very strong.” PCR Awards 2019 Partners We would like to say a very special thank you to all our Awards Partners who helped to make the night such a success. HEADLINE PARTNER
DISTRIBUTION CATEGORY PARTNER
AFTER PARTY PARTNER
PHOTO BOOTH PARTNER
DINING ROOM PARTNER
RETAIL CATEGORY PARTNER
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Triple Threat After taking home a whopping three awards at this year’s PCR Awards, Exertis’s UK Consumer MD Mike Buley tells Laura Barnes how the distributor plans to continue its successes throughout the rest of the year and beyond... Those that attended this year’s PCR Awards will have noticed one company in particular that may have somewhat stolen the show. Not only did our panel of 30+ industry experts find their success over the past 12 months so impressive that they ended up winning awards in two separate categories on the evening – Distribution and Dealer Services – but the PCR team couldn’t deny the fantastic 12 months Exertis has had in the channel, and as such, the distributor also walked away with the most coveted award of the night – PCR’s Company of the Year 2019. To find out more about how Exertis feels after becoming the triple threat of the PCR Awards, Laura Barnes spoke with the company’s UK consumer managing director Mike Buley, who outlines how hard Exertis has worked to get recognition for its partner services, what we can expect from this year’s Plug In To Exertis conference and exhibition, and how the distributor is planning to continue its successes throughout the rest of 2019. One of your wins on the night was for Dealer Services Provider, which could be seen as a surprise for a distributor. How has Exertis made such an impact in the dealer services side of things over the past year? We have a continued strong presence in retail which is brought by years of experience in providing the right products, solutions and value-add services for varying types of customer. Consumers are now more empowered than ever, and technology has the means to meet and exceed their expectations. Exertis are well placed with our range of retail services to help our partners in areas such as drop ship, category management and marketing, to name a few. We have continued to expand our service offering both organically and through acquisitions, meaning we have the flexibility to offer bespoke solutions for all of our partners. As you
mentioned, this might be a surprise to some that the award has gone to a distributor but to us this is what we do day in day out, so we are delighted to see our hard work recognised. You also won the Hardware Distributor award. What have been some particular highlights for Exertis in the hardware sector? The pinnacle has to be our improved market share in what is unarguably a very tough market and economy. Listening to our customers and being very close to our vendors means that we respond quickly to market trends and adapt our services and portfolio accordingly.
“We’re thrilled to have won not one, but three awards. Exertis has a team of such talented individuals and this is a really exciting time for the business.” An example of this was announcing our intention to distribute a wide range of core electrical products with both established and emerging vendors – starting with Hoover – one of the most iconic brands in the domestic electricals market. To support our next phase of growth we made five key management appointments within our retail business unit to focus on engagement and specification. Alex Croft, commercial director and Jon Sutherland, sales director are
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The distributor will be hosting its annual Plug In To Exertis conference and exhibition on 16th May at Silverstone Circuit.
based in Harlow. Both take on an expanded role responsible for the following categories: gaming, leisure, peripherals, Microsoft, software, core electricals and accessories. Glen McClelland, our sales and commercial director based in Harlow, is responsible for premium audio and own branded products. Liam La Cumbre, our commercial director based in Basingstoke, is responsible for consumer, commodity networks and smart tech, and supporting computing, TFT, print, components, and mobile. Mike Harris, out sales director based in Basingstoke, is responsible for computing, commodity networks, components, mobile, consumer, visual, smart tech, print, accessories, UC devices, premium and own brands. You also came away with the biggest award of the night, Company of the Year. What does that mean to Exertis? It was fantastic to hear our name read out as winners amongst other great companies who were considered in the same categories. We were thrilled to have won not one, but three awards, particularly Company of the Year. Exertis has a team of such talented individuals and this is a really exciting time for the business. We have established a great platform for growth with the opportunity to build on our success by enabling our customers to innovate in what remains a transformative time for retail.
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How important are industry awards to the company? The industry awards provide a great opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication our whole team put into making Exertis the leading distributor in the UK. We would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees. After a tough year it is great to see everyoneâ€™s hard work recognised and celebrated.
â€œThe exhibition at Plug In To Exertis has become so big that this year we will need to spill into the garages at Silverstone.â€? Tell us about the Plug In To Exertis event. How has it grown and what new things can we expect this year? Plug In to Exertis has continued to grow bigger and better year-on-year, not only increasing the number of attendees that will join us on the day but also the amount of brands we
will have exhibiting this year. The support from our vendors has been phenomenal, so much so that we have had to expand our exhibition area. The exhibition has become so big that this year we will need to spill into the garages at Silverstone to fit in all the brands that are supporting this year’s event. In terms of new additions this year – firstly, more brands – we hope to have 120+ there, we are introducing some dedicated zones this year for premium audio and gaming as well as numerous services stands highlighting everything from our enterprise services through to retail services, hopefully showing partners how we can go further than ever before in enabling them to grow their business. We will also see the return of the popular fully automated smart home environment. What else does Exertis have planned for the rest of 2019? We will continue to develop our unrivalled service proposition with a continued momentum to grow and enable our partners to do the same. Consistently offering the right products, solutions and services to meet each individual partner’s needs has allowed us to build strong relationships and trust with all of our partners and we want to develop and continue this throughout the rest of 2019 and further. Utilising different areas of our business, for example our global supply chain
team, along with broadening the breadth of our product portfolio into different areas, will allow us to provide more support for partners. This is just the start of the journey for us and we are excited to see what the future holds.
NEW RECRUITS Exertis has bolstered its retail business unit over the past 12 months with a number of new recruits including (from left to right) sales and commercial director Glen McClelland, commercial director Alex Croft, and sales director Mike Harris.
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Storage Whether you’re looking to stock SSDs, portable hard drives or NAS, here are some of the latest storage products of the market... Ortial vPRO SATA III 2.5 Performance Class SSD Specs: 3D NAND Flash technology, up to 560MBs read and 520MBs write speeds, throughput speeds (IOPS) up to 100k read and 90k write, 120GB, 240GB, 960GB and 2TB capacities, TLC flash media type, SMI controller. “The Ortial vPRO performance class solid state drive is the perfect companion for server, laptop and desktop upgrades as well as gaming systems providing superior stability, durability and power efficiency. With latest generation 3D NAND Flash technology the Ortial vPRO offers high storage density, excellent reliability, power efficiency and performance compared to traditional 2D NAND.” Contact: CMS Distribution
Kingston IronKey D300S Specs: 32GB / 64GB / 128GB capacities, USB 3.1 interface, FIPS 140-2 L3 hardware encryption, virtual software keyboard, epoxy sealed IXP82 waterproof zinc case. “An encrypted USB drive that uses FIPS 140-2 Level 3 256-bit hardware encryption and digitally signed firmware to reassure administrators that their users can work with USB drives, even when sensitive data is being handled. The devices are tamper resistant, all encrypting of data is on the D300S itself and each drive has a unique serial number and barcode for easy auditing.” Contact: Simms, Exertis, Memory Bank, Hahnel, Ingram Micro UK, Hammer, Tech Data
Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go Secure Portable Hard Drive Specs: 2TB and 1TB capacities, USB 3.1 interface, LED indicator, 283g in weight. “Verbatim’s Store ‘n’ Go Secure Portable Hard Drive with keypad access is here for your peace of mind. The AES 256-bit hardware encryption seamlessly encrypts all data on the drive in real-time with a built-in keypad for password input. The hard drive does not store passwords in the computer or system’s volatile memory making it far more secure than software encryption. Also, if it falls into the wrong hands, the hard drive will lock and require re-formatting after 20 failed password attempts.” Contact: Verbatim GmbH 28 | April 2019
Sector Guide Patriot Scorch 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD Specs: Ultra-fast PCIe gen 3.0 x 2 NVMe 1.2 interface, read speeds up to 1,700MH/s, 3x faster than SATA SSDs. “The Patriot Scorch M.2 Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) SSD is the perfect solution for consumers and professionals looking to get blazing fast start up times and instantaneous access to their data for better productivity and reliability from their SSD. Powered by the Phison 5008 controller, the Scorch M.2 uses an ultra-fast PCIe gen 3.0 x 2 NVMe 1.2 interface to deliver read and write speeds with high performance.” Contact: Target Components
Netgear RN620 series Specs: Quad-core 2.4GHz Intel Xeon processor, 8GB DD4 ECCC memory, 2 x 10GBase-T ports, 4K multi-streaming, storage going up to 112TB, up to 120 users, best-in-class data protection, ReadyNAS OS 6 (featuring encryption, anti-virus, unlimited snapshots, cloud-managed replication and instant provisioning). “10 Gigabit Ethernet is quickly becoming the standard for business networks, driven by a proliferation of wireless mobile devices demanding higher speeds, along with faster computing end-points. The RN620 series meets the demand of next generation networking with ease, integrating dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, offering best-in-class data protection and speeds, customisable bay size and capacities, and seamless file sharing between Windows, Mac and Linux. The RN620 series is a no-compromise, high-performing data storage system that excels in capacity, performance and security.“ Contact: Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Exertis
ADATA HD830 External HDD Specs: 2TB / 4TB / 5TB capacities, USB 3.1, aluminum and anti-shock silicone, USB 3.1 cable included. “Whereas other external drives might be durable, the ADATA HD830 is virtually indestructible. It features a robust triple-layer construction and sturdy aluminum exterior that can withstand 3000kg of downward pressure. What’s more, it’s waterproof and dustproof.” Contact: Spire Technology, Tech Data
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Sector Guide Ortial Pro SATA III 2.5 Enterprise Class SSD Specs: 3D TLC NAND Flash technology, data transfer speeds up to 520MBs read and 490MBs write, throughput speeds (IOPS) up to 98k read and 50k write, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities, wear levelling, SMI controller. “A key part of any datacentre or desktop environment, the Ortial Pro enterprise class solid state drive instantly upgrades servers, desktop and notebooks. Designed to enable advanced storage and improve everything from boot times, to read/write speeds, the Ortial Pro offers wear levelling, high speed capacities, superb reliability and intelligent TLC caching and DRAM cache buffer to boost read/write performance.” Contact: CMS Distribution
Seagate 14TB SATA3 IronWolf NAS Hard Drive Specs: 3.5” form factor, 14TB capacity, SATA III - 6Gb/s interface speed, 256MB cache, 690g in weight. “IronWolf is designed for everything NAS. Get used to tough, ready, and scalable 24x7 performance that can handle multi-drive environments across a wide range of capacities. AgileArray enables dual-plane balancing and RAID optimisation in multibay environments, with the most advanced power management possible.” Contact: Spire Technology
Freecom mHDD Slim Mobile Drive USB 3.0 Specs: 1TB and 2TB capacities, 5400 rpm disk speed, 2.5” SATA hard drive, 150g in weight, Type-C and USB 3.0. “Backup in style with this stunning mobile hard drive. Compact, lightweight and housed in a stylish brushed metal enclosure, the Freecom mHDD Slim Mobile Drive lets you take your digital life with you.” Contact: Verbatim GmbH
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Sector Guide XPG SX6000 Pro NVMe SSD Specs: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB capacities, M.2 2280 form factor, 2nd generation 3D TLC NAND flash, Realtek controller. “Boot, load and transfer faster with the XPG SX6000 Pro PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 solid state drive (SSD). With support for NVMe 1.3 and equipped with 3D NAND Flash, it offers up to four times faster performance than SATA SSDs and up to 1TB of capacity. What’s more, the SX6000 Pro is slimmer than standard M.2 2280 SSDs for a higher level of compatibility thanks to its single-sided design.” Contact: Spire Technology, Tech Data
Team L5 LITE 3D 480GB SATA 3 SSD Specs: 3D NAND, read/write speed 4x faster than traditional hard drive, up to 470 MB/s of reading speed, ultra lightweight and slim, 2.5-inch hard drive with just 7.0 mm thickness, SMART technology support. “The L5 LITE solid state drive uses SATA III 6Gbps specification with sequential read/write speeds up to 500MB/s. It not only greatly improves the performance of your PC or laptop, it’s also an amazingly priced upgrade with built-in SMART technology and 3-year warranty including technical support.” Contact: Target Components
Seagate 12TB SATA3 IronWolf Pro NAS Hard Drive Specs: 3.5” form factor, 12TB capacity, SATA III - 6Gb/s interface speed, 256MB cache, 705g in weight. “The 12TB Seagate IronWolf Pro is a high-quality HDD built for NAS storage that delivers incredible performance thanks to its easy to use 3.5-inch form factor that is just 26.1mm in height. The drive runs at 7200 rpm and its technical highlight is its 6Gb/s interface, which is the latest SATA III standard. This drive in particular has a storage capacity of 12000GB with a 256MB Cache.” Contact: Spire Technology
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Cubbit Cell data storage Cubbit believes it has unlocked the next evolution of data storage with its distributed cloud concept. Like Dropbox, iCloud and other conventional cloud storage services, Cubbit lets you access and share your data from anywhere in the world. But unlike the cloud, Cubbit is not based on any centralised data center. Its makers say this allows for an “unprecedented set of advantages for the user”, these include no fees, expandable storage of up to 4TB just by plugging in any USB hard drive, zero-knowledge encrypted – so that no one can access your data, and an ecosystem that is 10 times greener than conventional clouds based on data centers. The node of this network is the Cubbit Cell, which connects to your router to immediately give you 1TB of cloud space. Thanks to its cryptographic architecture, it’s mathematically impossible for Cubbit or anyone else to look at your files. Your data will be protected by AES-256 encryption, a militarygrade protocol used by the US government to protect top secret files. The encryption key is generated client-side and never known to Cubbit or anyone else. For more information visit http://kck.st/2XsB1YW
MobiScribe e-ink notepad The MobiScribe aims to combine the simplicity of reading and writing on real paper with the ease of access of digital notes. “Why is it that even in the digital age, so many students, editors, artists, business people, doctors and lawyers would rather print out dozens of pages in order to write on them? No one likes killing trees, but most of us just simply do our best thinking on paper,” says MobiScribe. “People prefer paper. It just feels right. It is how we learned to be productive in school, and it is how our minds enter a creative space that is free from distraction. This is ever more the case now when Netflix and Youtube apps are a finger-length away from productivity applications.” Writing and reading with the Mobiscribe promises to feel and read like true pen-to-paper, whilst also offering up easy notesharing and access. Specs include a 6.8-inch screen, anti-glare, pressure-sensitive stylus, touchscreen, Android apps, multi-format support, Wi-Fi and extremely low power consumption. For more information visit https://igg.me/at/mobiscribe/x
Micro Drone 4.0 “When we started building our 4th generation drone, we wanted it to be small, smart, capable of autonomous flight, able to capture smooth video, and priced affordably under $200,” says drone maker Extreme Fliers. What the company ended up with is the new Micro Drone 4.0 quadcopter, which has been designed solely for the masses and promises to bridge the gap between “cheap drones that owners are disappointed with and expensive professional-level drones that everyday users do not need or are scared to fly”. Micro Drone’s out-of-the-box features are easily upgraded with artificial intelligence. The standard hardware-based features allow you to get flying quickly, safely, and conveniently with Micro Drone 4.0 while its upgradeable features powered by Neurala computer vision AI software enables intelligent tracking, smart modes, and autonomous maneuvers. It comes with a full HD aerial camera, image processing by Sony, electronic image stabilisation, wireless streaming by Qualcomm and onboard memory. For more information visit https://igg.me/at/microdrone4/x
With so much talent in the channel, it can be difficult to sift out the freshest gear and potential tech giants of tomorrow. Stay ahead of the curve with PCR’s Crowdfunding Corner…
MOFT laptop stand While the laptop is a game-changing device, some find that its low screen positioning and fixed keyboard forces them into awkward postures, potentially causing neck and shoulder pain as well as diminished comfort. With traditional laptop stands often being too bulky to carry around, MOFT has designed one to be as portable as the device itself. Weighing a mere 2.3 oz and only 1/9-inches thick, the MOFT is a self adhesive stand that attaches directly to the bottom of a laptop and stays with the device wherever it goes. The MOFT stand is constructed with unique PU and fiber glass material and can hold up to 18lbs. It is compatible with a wide range of laptops, fitting any device up to 15.6-inches. What’s more, the stand is equipped with two elevation adjustments, making it easy to find the ideal height and comfort. The high-lifting mode applies a 3-inches elevation to your computer screen at a 25-degree angle while the low-lifting mode raises the device by 2-inches at a 15-degree angle. For more information visit http://kck.st/2Qxl1jI
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Printers and Accessories From home to business use, traditional to 3D printing, we take a look at some of the most innovative products in the print sector today…
Lexmark B2236dw Specs: Print speed up to 34 pages per minute (A4, mono), 2-sided printing integrated, 8 seconds to first page (black), 256MB memory as standard, 1GHz Dual Core MHz processor. “Compact, connected, and affordable, the highperformance Lexmark B2236dw is part of Lexmark’s Two Series range, designed to enable microworkgroups looking to simply and securely print all within a compact and easy-to-use device. The printer features monochrome output up to 34 pages per minute, standard Wi-Fi connectivity and twosided printing.” Contact: Exertis, Westcoast
Epson WorkForce WF-2860DWF Specs: 4-in-1 colour inkjet printer, wireless printing, LCD touchscreen, compact design, ability to print from smart devices. “The Epson WorkForce WF-2860DWF is a compact, 4-in-1, colour inkjet printer, which features wireless, double sided A4 printing and allows you to print easily from your smartphone or tablet. Print, scan, copy or fax with a 30 page automatic document feeder and fast print speeds of up to 33 pages/min monochrome, or 20 pages/min colour. The printer also features a 61mm colour LCD touchscreen for ease of use.” Contact: Target Components
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MakerBot Replicator+ Specs: Print and mobile software, fused deposition modeling, 640 x 480 camera resolution, USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. “MakerBot’s award-winning desktop 3D printer is engineered for fast and reliable 3D printing. To ensure easy, accessible 3D printing, the MakerBot Replicator+ comes with the Smart Extruder+ and all the standard features of its predecessor. A few of those features include an LCD display, an on-board camera, as well as USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet connectivity.” Contact: MakerBot
Verbatim BVOH Filament Specs: 0.5kg material weight, 182m filament length, 176°C melt temperature, 200mm spool diameter. “A high quality water soluble support material that can be used with a number of different polymers and easily dissolved in cold water. This environmentally-friendly material provides support for printing objects with overhangs or particularly complex structures. Verbatim BVOH follows the tightest Japanese quality controls as standard, ensuring excellent layer-forming and adhesion properties.” Contact: Verbatim GmbH
InkLab Compatible Inks “High quality compatible ink cartridges and refills for the latest Epson, Canon and HP printers.” Contact: Target Components
Lexmark MB2236adw Specs: Monochrome LCD display, print speed up to 34 pages per minute (A4, mono) with 2-sided printing integrated, copy speed up to 34 copies per minute (mono), scan speed up to 23/25 sides per minute (A4 mono), 7/8 sides per minute (A4 colour), 512MB memory as standard, 1GHz Dual Core MHz processor. “Compact, connected, and affordable, the highperformance Lexmark MB2236adw is part of Lexmark’s Two Series range, designed to enable micro-workgroups looking to simply and securely print, copy, fax and scan, all within a compact and easy-to-use device. The device includes Wi-Fi, two sided printing, scanning and fax.” Contact: Exertis, Westcoast
XZYPrinting Da Vinci Nano Specs: 4.7kg in weight, prints biocompostable DEHPfree PLA filament, 120 x 120 x 120 mm removable print bed. The da Vinci nano has been designed to make 3D printing accessible for everyone. Safe and portable, its micro-design makes it a perfect 3D printing companion for any child. It comes fully assembled with auto-leveling software and an auto-feeding filament system, making setup, calibration and maintenance a breeze.” Contact: XZYPrinting
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Epson Expression Home XP 452 Specs: Compact design, mobile printing with iPrint app, comes with individual ink cartridges, memory card slot. “If you’re looking for a high-quality, cost-effective printer for the home, the XP-452 small-in-one is sure to tick all the boxes. Smart savings can be made with this printer, as you only ever replace the colour used. What’s more, it gives you plenty of choice as Epson Connect has lots of mobile printing options. You don’t even need a PC to print photos; just insert a memory card into the slot.” Contact: Target Components
Xerox AltaLink C8055 Specs: Copy, email, print and scan functions, maximum copy resolution of 600x600dpi, speed of up to 50.55ppm, minimum 250GB HDD/Intel Atom Quad Core 1.91 GHz/2 MB Cache/8 GB system memory, 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet, high-speed USB 2.0 direct print, Wi-Fi Direct with optional Xerox USB wireless adapter, NFC tap-to-pair. “Xerox AltaLink devices provide new levels of capability and connectivity for mid-size, large work groups and busy offices. With AltaLink, your extended workforce has instant and secure access to the documents, data and workflows it needs to work faster and more efficiently – from every location and with any device.” Contact: Xerox
Verbatim PET-G Filament Specs: 1kg material net weight, 69 MPa flexural strength, 90% transparency, 50 MPa tensile strength. “An easy-to-print filament with high impact strength. This hydrophobic filament has excellent flexibility, prints with almost no warping or shrinkage and is odour neutral. It is an ideal material for mechanics concept modelling, food containers as well as medical objects. As with all Verbatim filaments it is made to the high Japanese quality control standards and tight tolerances ensuing consistent feeding and stable prints.” Contact: Verbatim GmbH
IN MY TEAM
We find out about NFON UK’s new Cloudya telephony solution and how the cloud is making it possible to streamline the delivery of data and voice... Who makes up the NFON UK team? Across our London and (new) Manchester office we now have 40+ members of staff. The five-strong marketing team is headed up by Chris Selby-Rickards and is based in London. What projects are the team currently working on? Last year we launched our newly-developed telephony solution, Cloudya, which provides an integrated user interface via one single login. It’s an important milestone in the history of the NFON Group. It is laying the foundation for dynamic and constant development on the way to comprehensive UCaaS offerings from NFON AG – including screen sharing, chat and video. It’s a strategic focus for the business, so we are working hard to promote the product across conferences and partner events. What are the biggest challenges in the cloud telephony sector at the moment and how is NFON overcoming them? Historically it was about education – cloud telephony was a new concept so we needed to educate the market. However, in the last five years there has been a marked adoption of cloud-hosted telephony solutions. Put simply, just as cloud computing has changed the world of data, it is now
doing the same with voice. The cloud makes it possible to streamline the delivery of data and voice and, crucially, enable organisations to have what they really want – one supplier for their voice and data. What does the company have planned for the rest of the year and beyond? Cloudya is an ongoing strategic focus, but we also see huge opportunities in the contact centre market with our Ncontactcenter proposition. New digital channels and touchpoints are quickly emerging, changing the way consumers interact with brands. Digitisation has become vital to succeeding in a highly-competitive market, and the most straightforward way towards digital excellence points directly to cloud technology. Of course, it’s our job to promote our products and engage our partners in a fun and innovative way. We have some great campaigns planned, including the launch of a ’take your pick’ game whereby we are sending actual boxes to partner offices and when they hit targets the best performing salesperson can open one up and win a huge prize! And finally, who in the team makes the best cuppa? Now that we have our new fancy coffee machine (talk about staff investment!) it is all about the cappuccinos for us!
More information at www.nfon.com/gb www.pcr-online.biz
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â€œI joined Lexmark because it presented an opportunity to totally change print dynamics in the channelâ€? 42
LIFE IN THE CHANNEL
Lexmark’s Sammy Kinlaw The print manufacturer’s VP and Global Head of Channel talks about the company’s new cloud services and how it’s planning to disrupt the home office and SMB space... Tell us a bit about your work history and role at Lexmark... I had the pleasure of starting my career with IBM. It was a fantastic start and I use lessons learned from IBM to this day. My time at IBM was spent in the enterprise space and in my last role, I lead the Southwest Region as a business unit executive. I transitioned from IBM to Lenovo, where I held a variety of executive roles including leading the retail, VAR and distribution business units in the PC and server groups. My last years are Lenovo were spent leading the entire channel for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. I’ve now been at Lexmark for 13 months where I’m responsible for the worldwide channel and OEM business. I joined Lexmark because it presented an opportunity to totally change print dynamics in the channel. Our products are fantastic, and we have prioritised the channel as our primary route to market. I’m looking for double digit worldwide growth in the channel for 2019. Lexmark recently released its new Cloud Services, can you tell us a bit more about that and how it benefits retailers and resellers? Cloud Services has been a really exciting development for Lexmark. We see it as a real opportunity to
empower our partners and their customers alike. We’re providing them with scalable tools that allow them to manage print output direct and act as a real differentiator for sales teams. What Lexmark Cloud Services does is enable our partners to offload the physical infrastructure their customers traditionally needed to run a secure print network and reduce the demands on internal IT departments. The result is better printing for users through tools like secure print release, and simpler management for IT with easy scaling and fast onboarding and management of users and devices. We’re offering our partners the tools to remotely provision and support their customers’ print infrastructure, providing a new revenue stream and an improved service. Devices can be managed from anywhere in the world without the need to go onsite. The nature of the service also enables small-medium size customers, who often have constrained IT resources, with a level of print infrastructure they wouldn’t traditionally be able to access as it would require complex IT provisioning. By managing this at a reseller level, costs can be reduced and impact on IT minimised. We plan to use our PartnerNet Portal to educate our partners on these opportunities. We’ve built a range of training modules that provide all the necessary support our partners need to be successful with Lexmark Cloud Services.
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The company has also recently expanded its enterprise product range. How important is this sector of the market? Today’s print market roughly equates to 34 million devices per year – most of which is A4. As Lexmark, we compete in the top half of those. We don’t produce devices for the consumer – our focus is businesses and enterprises. Some of our products were used at that level, but they weren’t necessarily designed for that and our footprint has traditionally been limited in that space between the consumer and enterprise business. The latest devices in our range, our Two Series devices, aim to fill this gap, providing a solution for a micro or SMB workgroup, or even small team in an enterprise. The range was built for the channel and will enable us and our partners to broaden Lexmark’s offering to a greater range of businesses and use cases. The new products allow partners and retailers to knock on the
markets as end users look for savings and efficiencies in hardware. Lexmark will be a disruptor in the home office and SMB space. As with our Two Series devices, we now have new products that compete in new price bands. Lexmark has major expectations for the channel that will drive both unit and revenue growth. I highly encourage partners looking for growth in the print space to consider our programs and offerings. What does Lexmark have planned for the year ahead and beyond? The Two Series product line was recently unveiled in Europe. Current offerings include Mono SF and MFP models. This is a channel-only offering intended for the small business community that is a key part of our growth strategy for this calendar year. Later this year we’ll also be unveiling new single and multifunction colour versions of the Two Series models as well.
“Managed print will become more important to small and medium business vertical markets as end users look for savings and efficiencies in hardware.” door of an end-user that they perhaps couldn’t sell to last year with a competitively priced solution and device. We also believe we’ve got a much better offering than our competition – particularly with our print speeds and feed quality in the Two Series range. The other core benefit that I believe makes us stand out is that all of our products, whether they are for a large enterprise or small one, come with exactly the same security features as standard, and all are built to be just as durable and reliable. What direction do you see the print market moving in and what will be its biggest disruptors over the next few years? Partners are looking to increase their value to end users. I see a convergence of new VARs selling print and our historical business solutions devices and copier dealers expanding their focus on the Internet of Things. I also think managed print will become more important to small and medium business vertical
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Lexmark continues to evolve and grow its value space by expanding its cloud-based solutions. Cloud Fleet Manager, Cloud Print Manager, and Cloud Connect are recent additions that distinguish us as a manufacturer by providing value beyond the box. Expansion of coverage for our smaller partner community is on the horizon as well. At the beginning of April we opened doors to a new inside sales centre that further supports partners in Spain, Germany (DACH), France, Italy, and the UK. This additional coverage shows our commitment to the SMB partner community and will yield both unit and revenue growth for Lexmark and our partners. The management of partner incentives and programs is very important to me. My commitment to the channel is to constantly evolve programs based on mutual success between partners and Lexmark. I realise speed, execution and partner profitability are primary drivers of interest in our brand.
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Distributed by Tel: 01282 776776
This month’s movers and shakers in the tech industry...
Maverick AV Solutions
Channel services group Synaxon has announced the appointment of Derek Jones as non-executive chairman of the UK organisation. Jones established Synaxon’s UK operations in 2008 and has steered the group through more than a decade of success. He is now taking up this senior executive role in which he will concentrate on broadening and deepening relationships between Synaxon UK and its channel partners and members. “I’m excited about taking up this new role, especially given the huge commitment that Synaxon AG will be making in the UK organisation over the coming year. For me it is a natural evolution and, after ten years of working extremely hard to establish Synaxon as the leading channel services group in the UK, one that I am relishing,” said Jones.
Maverick AV Solutions has appointed Anna-Marie Constantinou as its new business unit director for the UK and Ireland. She will join recently appointed business unit manager Wesley Joyce to head up a brand new leadership team at Maverick, which is a L-R: Wesley Joyce and Anna-Marie specialised solution business Constantinou of Tech Data. Constantinou joins Maverick from Tech Data’s Datech Solutions, where she was an integral part of the team for nine years, implementing strategies to revolutionise the business into a subscription sales model. Joyce will support the team to execute go-to-market strategies. He is one of Tech Data’s rising stars and has previously been nominated as one of PCR’s 30 Under 30. His experience is wide ranging, having previously worked in both sales and business development teams building skills in pipeline management and business planning execution.
L-R: Henry Stevinson, Marcel Albazi and Petros Papachristos.
QBS Software has appointed three new recruits to support the company’s next level of growth. Marcel Albazi takes up the position of front office, while Henry Stevinson has been named treasury assistant and Petros Papachristos becomes the company’s new marketing executive. They join QBS as it expects revenue growth to exceed 60% in FY2018/9. “It is my ambition that every physical worker is supported by their virtual worker to assist with the heavy lifting and the mundane tasks that every job involves. We are delighted to have Marcel, Henry and Petros join the company to support our next level of growth,” said Dave Stevinson, Group CEO.
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Nuvias EMEA distributor Nuvias has appointed Simon England as its new CEO. With a wide-spanning career in IT value-added distribution, England is tasked to take Nuvias into the next phase of its development, “leveraging the serviceled and solution-rich platform and completing the vision to become Europe’s leading high-value distributor”. “Nuvias is exceptionally well positioned in a market which continues to grow strongly and is transforming how IT services are securely delivered and consumed. Nuvias has a unique set of assets, from its expertise and reputation to its partner network and portfolio of market-leading vendors and services,” said England. “I am excited about the opportunity to build on these foundations and lead the senior management team to take Nuvias to its aggregate potential in EMEA.”
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Find out what tech and retail events you should be attending in the coming months…
INFOSECURITY EUROPE 2019
CloudFest is a series of conferences geared toward cloud, hosting and internet service provider professionals. The event focuses on three distinctive pillars – growth, connectivity, and learning – and offers attendees access to the latest technologies, innovations and trends that make modern, digital online communication possible. CloudFest takes place at Europa-Park, Germany’s largest-scale theme park. The event draws people from all over the industry – from hardware and data center companies, to application developers and content creators.
Over three days the infosec industry comes together as more than 400 international exhibitors of security solutions meet with over 19,500 industry professionals looking to learn about and buy state-of-the-art products. This interactive event offers visitors a unique opportunity to touch and test brand new products, and attend an extensive range of free educational sessions. Shaping future global industry trends, Infosecurity Europe offers the most cost-effective business and networking opportunities for the world’s information security community.
23rd-29th March, Europa-Park, Germany
4th-6th June, Olympia, London
LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL 2019
SYNAXON UK MEMBER CONFERENCE
London Games Festival features 12 days of activity including the Games Finance Market, EGX Rezzed, the Now Play This exhibition, BAFTA Games Awards, industry talks, cosplay parade and more. The event will run across various London venues and is delivered by Games London, the three-year initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie. Over 65,000 people attended 40 different events across 20 different venues during the 2018 festival.
All Synaxon member companies are invited to the annual two-day Member Conference. This takes place every summer at a prestigious venue, providing members with an exclusive opportunity to meet and network with leading suppliers and Synaxon UK personnel, and to hear from leading industry figures and motivational speakers.
2nd-14th April, various venues, London
20th and 21st June, Jury’s Inn hotel, Hinckley
CHANNEL LIVE 2019
11th-12th September, NEC, Birmingham
PLUG IN TO EXERTIS 2019
16th May, Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire
Plug In To Exertis offers up the opportunity for resellers and retailers to spend a day immersed in technology with four dedicated exhibition areas focused on business, AV, enterprise and consumer solutions. Plug In To Exertis will also offer a seminar programme, guest speakers and a host of show-floor features designed to inform, educate and provide opportunities for customers to increase their sales into existing clients or start conversations with prospective ones. Last year, Plug In To Exertis welcomed a record number of 1,100 attendees with almost 700 resellers and retailers in attendance and 116 vendors exhibiting.
48 | April 2019
Channel Live one of the UK’s leading ICT trade specific conference, exhibition, thought leadership and networking events rolled into one. At Channel Live, resellers, VARS and other channel partners openly discuss margin opportunities with vendors and solution providers.
IP EXPO EUROPE 2019
9th-10th October, ExCeL, London
IP Expo is back for its 14th year and promises to be “better, bigger and cooler”. If you’re in IT or cyber security, this is the show for you. IP Expo Europe has built a reputation as the best event for cloud, infrastructure and cyber security pros in Europe. It has now extended to include data analytics, AI and software development as well as IoT and Blockchain.
<Logging off>\\| Out and about in the industry
<Ainâ€™t no party like a PCR party > Aside from the accolades given out on the night, the PCR Awards 2019 offered up the chance for the industry to network, let their hair down and even have a little boogie. Here are some snaps of the channel celebrating their achievements:
April 2019 | 49
<Logging off>\\| Out and about in the industry
<Tectrade’s retail challenge for charity >
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Data specialist Tectrade has raised over £1,000 for DEBRA, the only national charity supporting people suffering from the potentially fatal skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Two teams of five Tectrade volunteers took over DEBRA charity shops in Merrow and Farncombe to compete in a retail challenge for sales supremacy, bringing their sales expertise to a new forum in an effort to raise money for a good cause. Team Merrow helped generate more than £500 in additional income for the shop, while Team Farncombe ended up with the greatest percentage increase with a 162% leap in daily revenue. “I am very thankful to the Tectrade team for getting so strongly behind this initiative, and it is a testament to the strength of character we have. Of course, there was the friendly competition between the two teams, but I am delighted that we have been able to contribute to such a worthwhile cause
and a charity that is important to us all,” said Alex Fagioli, CEO of Tectrade. Jenny Jackson, business development manager at DEBRA, added: “I’d like to thank Alex and both Tectrade teams who took time to volunteer with us and fight EB. That Tectrade enabled its employees to spend the day doing charity work is testament to its commitment to the local community and is an example for others to follow.” The event was a part of Tectrade’s ‘Giving Back to the Community Week’ where the company paid for 20 employees to take time out of the office to volunteer with a range of local charities that provide care for people in Godalming and the West Surrey area. Due to the overwhelming interest from employees to be involved, Tectrade will now be replicating this initiative in the summer to further support local charities.
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NEXT MONTH VR/AR Special For the March edition of PCR we will be delving into the world of virtual and augmented reality to look at the latest consumer VR and AR products as well as how this technology can be used at retail. Along with our usual mix of opinions, retail analysis and company profiles, the next issue of PCR will feature two sector guides, one focused on the latest VR and AR tech, and the other looking at memory and motherboards.
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