ISSUE November 18
DIVERSITY ISSUE #182
THE WOMEN IN TECH SPECIAL
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TheEditor Changing the channel
PCR has been championing women in the channel for years now, and every year we’ve found that the act of highlighting issues that surround women in the industry throws up a mixture of emotions and opinions. While on the one hand we’re greeted with companies eager to talk about how important diversity initiatives are to their business, on the other, we’re still hearing from the odd person annoyed that we’re continuing to bang on about it. Having been away from PCR for a couple of years, when I returned in July, I heard an organisation that had previous heavily criticised our celebrations of women in the channel had now launched its own event doing the very thing it had originally dubbed “sexist”. After my initial surprise, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat victorious. Despite the bashing they dished out at the time, they’ve now evolved to understand why this is all so important. And that’s what this issue is all about. It’s the evolution of the tech channel, where people are paid and treated equally. PCR’s Women in Tech special is not about man-hating, it’s about making the tech industry a more pleasant place for everyone. It’s about ensuring the future of the channel is one full of businesses growing and technology advancing because more young women see a bright future for themselves if they take up a career in it. Within this issue you’ll find some fascinating insights from women in the channel across our opinion pages (p10-13), various profiles (Retail p23, In My Team p33 and Life in the Channel p42), and our big feature on supporting women in the industry (p24). As well as this, we’ve rounded up a list of talented women who have had a great year in the industry (p16). This list features female channel stars that you, our readers, have put forward for the hard work they do and the impact they have made on you. So, thank you to everyone involved for helping us to shine a light on as many amazing women as we could.
“This issue is about the evolution of the channel and making the tech industry a more pleasant place for everyone”
Laura Barnes, Editor
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TOP 25 WOMEN IN TECH
Contents November 2018 Making progress
We find out what the industry is doing to support women in tech
The power of 5G
How the next-gen mobile network will benefit us all
Regulars 6 Retail Analysis: The problem with serial returners 10 Industry Opinions from Ivanti, Softwire and intY 14 Number Crunching 24 Retailer Spotlight: Chips Computers 32 Appointments
In My Team
The Westcoast Cloud team on its personal approach to customers
This month's bumper sector guide features gift-worthy tech
32 Events 40 Crowdfunding Corner 42 Life in the Channel: Evoko's Sofie Berglund 45 Logging Off
PCRmag November 2018 | 5
Return to sen
As more retailers consider banning serial product returners, some experts are warning that it could end up doing more harm than good. Laura Barnes looks at what other solutions are available…
espite its somewhat lax returns policy, back in May, retail giant Amazon made a bold move against “serial returners”. Those customers that had a habit of regularly returning goods found themselves banned from the website. According to WSJ, accounts are being closed for activities that include “requesting too many refunds” or “sending back the wrong items or violating other rules”.
Skip ahead to October, and a new report from retail ERP platform Brightpearl revealed that 45% of retailers are planning to follow in Amazon’s footsteps and ban shoppers who deliberately and regularly buy multiple items with the intent to return some of them. With over one-third of UK retailers saying that they’ve seen an uplift in serial returners over the last 12 months, many are feeling the strain. A quarter of
taking to combat serial returners – and how consumers are reacting to them. The worst offenders are shoppers aged 18-34, where over a third of respondents confessed to having intentionally bought more items than they intended to keep. However the research shows that most shoppers are broadly in favour of bans for serial returners, with 56% agreeing it’s a fair policy. However, there are clear differences in attitudes depending on age groups, with 18-24s much more likely to be unconvinced. Overall, just 7% of respondents disagreed about banning serial returners, whilst one in ten said they would never shop with an online retailer who imposed bans for returning too many items. Brightpearl outlines that part of the ongoing problem of serial returning lies in the fact that many retailers do not currently have the right technologies in place to identify repeat offenders, with 59% of respondents saying that they cannot identify – or do not know whether they can identify – who their serial returning customers are. “In today’s consumer-led retail environment, intentional returning could spell disaster for retail business owners if
“As returns increase, so too does the industry’s need to adapt, protect itself and strategise” Ben Whitaker, B-Stock
they do not have visibility over regularly returning customers. Without this, retailers will struggle with the definition and consistent application of their returns strategies – and could face a resulting backlash from shoppers,” says Derek O’Carroll, CEO of Brightpearl.
retailers told Brightpearl that introducing lifetime bans for problem shoppers is “a necessary move to protect their slim margins”. In addition, one-third of UK retailers would impose bans to save time and administration resources – showing that chronic returns deliver many knock-on costs. Of the brands Brightpearl spoke with, a whopping 67% of consumer electronics firms plan to implement similar measures to Amazon. Returns cost approximately £60 billion in the UK yearly, according to KPMG, £20 billion of which is generated by items bought over the internet. In association with Onepoll, Brightpearl surveyed 4,000 online shoppers and 200 retail decision makers to examine the measures that retailers are
OVERSTOCKED While returns are clearly causing a headache for retailers, the solution may not lay within the banning of shoppers, but rather how returned stock could be utilised to regain some of that lost money, while still keeping consumers coming back for more. Returns and overstock specialists B-Stock believes that retailers should “get ahead of the returns game”, especially in time for Christmas. EMEA director Ben Whitaker says that European ecommerce platforms can expect to see a whopping 25-40% returns rate. Looking at the video games industry as one example, a total of 23.7 million physical video games were sold in the UK during 2017, according to GfK, meaning the potential for recouping that return rate remains high, points out Whitaker.
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Retail Analysis “As returns increase, so too does the industry’s need to launched two new products to help adapt, protect itself and strategise to overcome this retailers enhance and improve their challenge,” says Whitaker. “Margin compression at the online customer experience, while front end of retail and ecommerce also means fighting for also going a step further in terms of a finite number of customers and both platforms seeking the automatisation and accuracy of other ways to innovate. Returns could well be the answer their product catalogues. to that gap.” ‘Imaginize’ uses the latest in-house With more than 20% of consumer electronics purchases image recognition technology to returned on a regular basis, Whitaker says retailers must identify and recognise products using look at this “sooner, rather than later”. both their colour and their form. This “What is key to remember here is the fact that the allows items to then be automatically lifespan of some of these products are short initially, but classified and tagged, saving retailers time there is added value in the reselling market. and effort while improving accuracy and “Video games such as the FIFA series as well as potential findability (the metrics used to recognise how game of the year titles such as the recently-released PS4 easily and quickly customers are able to find what exclusive Spiderman game generate high pricing both inthey’re looking for). store and online, but also offer excellent rates of return to The product has been developed to meet the sell on,” he explains. “Popular titles can remain high-value growing needs of, and demands facing, the online retail in used condition for many years after.” industry. “It’s based on years of experience working with But it isn’t just video games that have this kind of retailers analysing and understanding how users interact potential, B-Stock suggests that the associated technology with catalogues, how they look for different types of also offers lucrative reselling opportunities, with clothing and the queries they use to define and label accessories such as earbuds, cases products,” says and batteries boasting some of the EmpathyBroker. highest return rates and therefore In addition to this, the new making up a large percentage of ‘EmpathyContext’ product products in the overstock and provides retailers with “greater liquidated market. personalisation through “Retailers need to know that understanding a user’s context trade buyers who purchase this and intent” in a bid to provide kind of stock want large quantities them with query results that of inventory sorted by condition. align to their individual needs. That means that even if returns The technology analyses aren’t in the most perfect information gathered from Angel Maldonado, EmpathyBroker condition, there is still a vast each consented query, click number of buyers out there who and purchase, which is then demand this kind of product,” says Whitaker. collected, processed and transformed into insightful “We see this kind of demand even more when it consumer behaviour data. The company says these insights comes to mobile phones, the iPhone X, despite being generate highly relevant, unique and contextualised results released almost a year ago, is still reaching more than while also creating dynamic and intuitive digital 60% of its value in resales. That kind of value simply experiences. cannot be ignored.” “We’re continually looking to innovate and support our retail customers and Imaginize and EmpathyContext SMARTER SHOPPING have been developed to do just that by improving If retailers are going to go down the route of keeping (or efficiency and accuracy while enhancing the customer even relaxing) their returns policy in a bid to make experience to make it an exciting, fruitful and joyful one,” themselves look more inviting to shoppers put off by the concludes Maldonado. threat of bans, another area that may help to make the While Amazon is usually seen as the leader of the pack whole process not only smoother but more economically when it comes to online shopping, there are very few other efficient is how they display products. retailers that have the kind of household name – or sheer “At a time when consumers are increasingly looking to volume of customers, for that matter – to be able to purchase online, retailers and brands need to ensure their confidently apply such a ban without the fear that they will customers can not only find the products they’re looking do more harm than good. for from a list of thousands but also ensure they have an Those that do want to drive ahead with clearing out the enjoyable experience in the process,” says Angel serial returners from their business need to make sure they Maldonado, founder of EmpathyBroker. implement the correct software to ensure they are heading The ecommerce search and discovery company recently down the right path.
“Retailers must ensure their customers can not only find the products they’re looking for, but have an enjoyable experience in the process”
PCR182.retail.indd 3 www.pcr-online.biz
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Equality is essential for women in tech to thrive Sarah Lewis, Women in Tech Ambassador and Director of Field Marketing at Ivanti, looks at the challenges facing women currently working in the industry and how we will all benefit from diversity improvements...
However, the greatest challenge identified by respondents was ith a workforce made up of only 17% women not to do with a lack of women in the industry, but in the way they according to the Chartered Institute for IT’s 2017 are treated; namely being taken seriously in the workplace. Diversity Report, the IT industry evidently needs to The feeling of disrespect that women feel can start from the very be doing a lot more to balance the gender divide. It moment that they decide to apply for a job working in the IT is promising, however, that we are seeing some movement across industry, with recruitment drives often being more strongly the industry with many programmes being set up to get more targeted at men than women. women of all ages excited by technology and IT. This can come down to the use of language, overall processes, A good example of this is companies sending female and even recruitment posts on social media. Our study also representatives to schools to engage with children and found that women already working in the technology teach them programming. Volunteer-led workplace often feel disrespected. In fact, 63 per cent of organisations like Code Club run after school respondents believe that gender perceptions stop them sessions, which further excites them. Initiatives from being taken seriously. like these, which are driven by volunteers, “It would seem that Between that and anecdotal examples we hear and campaigns from businesses and the things are on the right about at networking events, it is clear that a lack public sector, are slowly helping to improve of respect because of gender is a big barrier for the numbers. track, however there is some women. It would seem that things are on the right still a lot more to do” Lack of equality can also hold women back in track and that it should only be a matter of terms of progression in the industry, with a maletime before we as an industry start to benefit dominated culture often providing more opportunities from the fruits of our collective labour, however for men. there is still a lot more to do. One such example that garnered a significant amount of We are often quick to bemoan the lack of women media attention is of former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao who, while working in the industry, but at the same time conditions are working with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, not always ideal for those already working in tech. Findings from was reported to have said that she saw female junior partners our recent Ivanti Women in Tech report identified several key getting passed over for promotions in favour of their lesschallenges and difficulties facing women in the industry. experienced male counterparts. A few of the problems identified are inherent due to the Because of this culture, along with experiences of harassment dearth of women in technology – a lack of female role models from a co-worker, Pao filed a $16 million lawsuit against the and diversity within a company are identified by 43% and 32% company. During the trial, Pao was accused of both being ‘too of respondents respectively – and one would imagine that as quiet’ and ‘too aggressive’, not being a ‘team player’ and having more women are integrated into the industry those figures ‘sharp elbows’. should improve.
10 | November 2018
The manner in which Pao was presented is a textbook example of many of the kinds of gender perceptions that result in women feeling disrespected. In workplace situations where women are faced with these challenges, there exists something of a dilemma. The first option is to stay in your current workplace, stay true to yourself, call out the people who aren’t taking you seriously and encourage decision makers to take a stronger stance on the treatment of women in the workplace. This can be difficult for a variety of reasons, especially if this kind of behaviour has been cultivated over several years, and anybody who tries to change things could be wrongly seen as something of a bad apple if they are challenging the status quo of a ‘boys’ club’ office environment. Alternatively, the other option is to find a new role at a different organisation that has a more positive attitude towards female empowerment and does more to discourage any negative perceptions of women who might have to work differently, for
example if they require flexible working so that they can balance their career and a family. That can be equally as challenging as fighting the status quo because finding a new job can be tough and it can be difficult to find a forward-thinking organisation that supports diversity simply by reading a job description. For those seeking to do the latter, attending female-focused professional networking events, along with utilising websites like Glassdoor, are both great ways of finding companies in IT that work in a positive way for women by taking advantage of word-of-mouth. Regardless of your role, industry and gender, you will want to feel respected and valued in your professional environment. Based on the findings of our Ivanti Women in Tech report, unfortunately, this is not the case for a large number of women working in IT. While getting more women into the industry is an understandable focus of many Women in Tech initiatives, the entire industry will benefit by also paying greater attention to those who are already working within it.
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We should actively encourage older women to join the IT industry Inspiring the next generation is clearly important, but Softwire CEO Zoe Cunningham believes the skills gap and gender imbalance needs to be addressed sooner rather than later...
It is this tenacity, combined with an ability to apply knowledge, here are two recurrent themes that dominate tech industry interact well with clients and colleagues, and have good project recruitment – the skills shortage and lack of gender management that is required. Then the specifics of software diversity. It is over fifty years since the inspirational Dame development can be quickly layered over the top. And that is Steve Shirley founded the company that became the FI where the new Apprenticeship Scheme offers a chance to plug the Group, yet young women are still self-selecting out of the IT skills gap. business. To be fair, many young men are doing the same – a fact Not only is Software Engineer one of the agreed apprenticeship that is very significant in the escalating skills shortage. roles, but the scheme can be used to train individuals of any age, not In a society where teenagers know they face over fifty years in the just 16-19s. workforce and are, therefore, encouraged to ‘follow their This opens the door for companies to actively look to passion’, IT rarely figures. IT is still not a dream career encourage older women into the industry – and provides despite the great work of companies such as “Many older these women with a chance to retrain whilst still working TeenTech, which are dedicated to showing how technology can be used in business, from Formula women have the and earning, a key consideration for anyone looking for a career change. And the IT industry has an advantage over 1 to film-making, in a bid to inspire new recruits. attributes to others when encouraging women – flexible, mobile and Furthermore, while inspiring the next generation make great collaborative working is already embedded in the culture. is essential, companies need skills today, not just in developers” There was a golden era when women in IT believed true seven or ten years’ time. So, where is that talent change was on its way, but it never quite happened. Despite going to come from? There is, in fact, a huge pool of huge efforts the gender imbalance within the IT industry untapped expertise that, while not armed with the continues. Unless companies actively begin to recruit older women specific technical skills required to hit the ground running, have a into the business in numbers, women who can create a strong wealth of soft skills – from communication to emotional intelligence foundation of role models as well as subtly shift the perception away – that are essential to software development: older women. from a male dominated environment, bright young girls are going to Whether looking to return to work after a career break or wanting continue to pursue other areas. to move away from their first career, there are many older women – This is a great industry to work in for both genders but relying on and men – who have the attributes and transferable skills required to enticing the young into the industry has not worked. make a great software developer. And, critically, while it does not The new Apprenticeship Scheme provides a great opportunity to necessarily require a maths background, it does require the right attract an older generation of women – enabling the industry to attitude: the ability to look at a problem and be willing and able to begin to address both the skills shortage and the gender balance. take the time to work towards a resolution.
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The importance of empowering families to decide what's best for them CEO of intY Craig Joseph outlines why it’s imperative that tech companies understand that employees have a life outside of work and why equal pay is so important...
read a shocking statistic the other day – only 17% of employees in the UK technology sector are women. I realise that the technology industry is renowned for being dominated by men, but I didn’t think that the percentage was so high. I’m the CEO at intY, the world’s leading cloud services distributor, and after reading this statistic, I decided to analyse our staff. Out of intY’s 59 staff members, a third are women, 25% of board members are women, 50% of the management team are female and 31% of women hold senior positions. Five of our female staff have also been shortlisted for awards to celebrate their hard work. Furthermore, earlier this year, we publicly revealed the gender pay gap families to decide what works best for them without at intY, showing that female staff are paid 3% more than relying on a stereotypical breadwinner or primary male staff. This is based on the median measure, “I believe that caregiver role. which is the level of pay that separates the top half pay for like-forEvery industry needs to understand that of earners from the bottom half. When comparing employees have a life outside of work, and like-for-like jobs, women and men at intY are like roles should if an employee or their partner is pregnant, paid exactly the same because I believe that pay be equal, a company needs to do everything it can for like-for-like roles should be equal, regardless regardless of to assist. of gender. The technology industry also needs to ensure At intY, we remunerate people for the skills, gender” that they are taking more steps to encourage knowledge and experience required for the role and women into a career in the sector. Companies can do gender bears no relevance. We also provide a very this themselves by holding specific open days for women, or generous package including enhanced maternity, paternity and by discussing as an industry how to include more women in shared parental leave. tech – anything that can be done that means we aren’t We do this because we understand and believe that equal discouraging anyone from a job in technology. pay and flexibility with childcare is important, empowering
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Here are some of the most interesting stats and facts from the tech channel…
CRUNCHING 2.5 50 63% A vulnerability that allowed attackers to directly take over user accounts potentially affected 50 million Facebook users.
According to a recent report from Ivanti, 63% of women working in technology feel that they aren’t taken seriously in the workplace.
In Q2 2018, cryptomining malware grew by 86% with more than 2.5 million new samples, according to McAfee.
£60 billion Flurry Analytics has estimated that Apple’s new iPhone XS generated 7% more revenue in its first week of sales compared to the combined sales of the iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus in the equivalent periods last year. 14
PCR182.numbers.indd 1 www.pcr-online.biz
Product returns cost UK retailers around £60 billion a year and can account for up to 10% of their business, according to Yocuda. www.pcr-online.biz
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01462 814000 www.mentor-distribution.com email@example.com
A great year for women in tech Whether it’s at the CEO or exec level, women in the tech channel may be outnumbered but they are certainly not out-gunned. PCR asked readers to put forward the most inspirational, impactful and influential women in the channel, and you answered…
t the centre of PCR’s Women in Tech special issue, this feature is designed to shine the spotlight on some of the most inspirational, influential and impactful female execs working in the tech industry. A key part of the thinking behind putting this together was a desire to highlight achievements of the past year from women on all rungs of the corporate ladder. We wanted to highlight not only managing directors and CEOs, but also people making waves at the exec level who are relatively new to management roles, or even new to the channel. In order to formulate the list, we thought the fairest and most ‘real’ way of approaching this would be to ask our readers to put forward suggestions of women that have, in whatever capacity, done something great this year. We asked for stories of success, and you answered.
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After an avalanche of emails, we’ve been through the information and whittled it down to these 25 women who have made an impact in the UK channel over the past year, as well as over their careers. Of course, we know this is not a scientific method, but the main spirit of the piece is to highlight the good work being done by women in an industry in which they find themselves a little outnumbered gender-wise, shall we say. The list features founders, CEOs, heads of departments and managers, all of which have done something awesome in last 12 months, whether that’s delivering growth for a business unit or company, a creative achievement, participation in a wider tech initiative or community project, or mentoring younger colleagues. In alphabetical order by company name, here are your Top 25 Women in Tech:
B2B Marcom – BenQ Charlotte launched Google Jamboard into the UK market with a number of successful events, including Google Cloud Next 2018. Interacting with both end-users, resellers and distribution she ensures BenQ’s message is consistent and aligned while working closely with Google. As the only marcom person in the UK, she managed the launch as well as supporting the firm’s resellers and distributors for content, communications and events. In the past year Charlotte has also worked extensively on marketing BenQ’s corporate range of interactive flat panels to enterprises across the UK.
Senior Channel Marketing Manager – BullGuard Lucy was brought into her current role to deliver a global channel marketing strategy for BullGuard’s AV business. She built the channel marketing strategy from the ground up since the position’s inception, put in place a solid tiered partner program, and actively sought and recruited new partners. Additionally, she has worked on a raft of enablement tools and sales incentives to deliver partner growth and implemented a brandnew communications platform for the firm’s channel partners. As a result of the combined efforts of channel marketing and sales, the business has witnessed double digit growth year-on-year.
Product Marketing Executive – Buy It Direct Meghann started at Buy It Direct as an apprentice in June 2015. After learning the ropes with basic administration, she soon moved on to looking after some of the firm’s smaller categories, and recently was promoted into her current role. She now looks at the customer journey for the monitor category throughout the business, oversees the marketing strategy on the range and owns the full P and L. Her work on the website has resulted in ‘huge improvements in SEO and over double the amount of traffic in a short space of time’, while revenue for her category has over doubled in the last six months.
Business Development Director – Centerprise International Laura-Jane (known as LJ) has had a rapid rise to director of Business Development, and is seen as a driving force and true ambassador of women in tech within Centerprise International. After a BSc (Hons) at Brunel University, she’s had a career driving sales and ‘inspiring those around her and being a passionate advocate for those with a quiet voice’. This year LJ has positioned Centerprise within every Lot across two strategic Government Framework Agreements – the only company to achieve this, become a Finalist in the Women in Business Awards, led multiple STEM initiatives on Ci’s behalf, and much more.
Marketing Executive – ComputerWorld Systems Megan joined ComputerWorld three years ago after leaving university. Over the last 12 months, she has taken responsibility for the firm’s marketing strategy. Working with her sales counterparts to deliver campaigns, she has planned two large scale events and delivered presentations covering Microsoft Teams functionality. Megan personally manages the firm’s corporate website, it’s Office 365 site, knowledge sharing blog ‘Define Tomorrow’, pay per click campaigns, event planning, logistics and marketing, vendor engagement as well as call scripts and sales enablement tools. She also volunteers as a VMware User Group leader.
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VP of enterprise channel, Europe – Dell It’s been a big year for Dell’s UK/I channel business. According to IDC, the first half of 2018 delivered 64% year-on-year growth. With Sarah at the helm of the European enterprise channel, Dell has added more partners to its program and its partner Net Promoter’s score increased by 28 points, which it claims is an industry high. As well as this, the team she leads has raised over £700k for charity. “It’s been an incredible year for me this year and for the amazing team of people that I work with here at Dell EMC,” says Sarah. “Together, we have made a difference for our customers, our partners, our community and also our business.”
Commercial Marketing Manager – D-Link UK Dhara has pioneered a series of radio and press campaigns to launch new D-Link products this year, reaching nearly 4.5million national and regional listeners across the UK and featuring in over 20 publications. At the beginning of 2018, she was set the task of increasing B2B sales revenue by 15%. Proposing a strategic initiative which was a synergy of sales and marketing campaigns focused around increasing current revenue and on boarding new partnerships. Leading a team of six in the project, an increase of 8.5% YoY was achieved in the first six months. Dhara is also a keen fundraiser and organises company-wide initiatives.
Group Marketing Director – Exertis Group With 47 people in her department, Fiona is responsible for the marketing of a £3bn company that has over 350 brands in its portfolio, tasked with building a strong brand presence for the company and also for emerging brands in the consumer space. She has ensured that marketing has an influential presence in the boardroom in terms of company strategy. She recently led the team in running the Plug In To Exertis event, which had 106 vendors and over a 1,000 visitors attending. Respected by her peers, vendors and suppliers for her expertise and knowledge of the channel, Fiona is a strong advocate of diversity.
Manager, Innovation – EY Shamira is part of a team that leads the development and integration of AI backed natural language technology within EY. For the last year she has delivered the first rollout of natural language in EY’s practice globally. Recently, her team’s work was recognised by way of winning EY UK’s ‘Pursuing Innovation’ award in a global internal competition. She is a regular panel speaker and founder of the ‘1 million women in STEM’ campaign. “In six months, I have, alongside the team, worked to embed it nationally, train 250+ people and are nearing efficiency savings of millions. Most importantly, I have helped empower people through tech.”
Retail Sales Manager – Intel Rachel works closely with Intel’s key retailers and partners in the UK, and has a pivotal role in developing sales and marketing strategies to grow the firm’s PC business, collaborating with multiple stakeholders in order to ensure that the team around her is also a success. In the past year she created marketing collateral to support Optane product launches, executed a series of customer roadshows (which were ranked 4.9/5 by RSP’s and exceptional feedback from Customer Training Management), and handled deployment of Cloud Connected IPOS (Intel Point of Sales) in the UK market. Rachel is praised for her passion and can-do attitude.
18 | November 2018
Director, Field Marketing and Women in Tech Ambassador – Ivanti In her role as the director of Field Marketing, Sarah manages Ivanti’s marketing and SDR teams for UK, Ireland, Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, and also oversees Australia and New Zealand’s marketing and SDR operations. Sarah masterminded Ivanti’s ‘Women in Tech’ initiative that launched in September 2017 with the @TheTechieGirls Twitter platform, to promote diversity in the industry and within the organisation. The platform organically grew to over 700 followers in less than a year, and following that, Sarah went on to establish Ivanti’s Women in Tech blog, and has recently written Ivanti’s Women In Tech Report.
UK and I regional director – Kingston Technology Kingston Technology prides itself on diversity – the gender ratio for its EMEA HQ based in the UK is 47% female and 53% male, and the UK team has 70%/30% ratio of women/men. “I am proud to lead a team where there is no perception of boundaries or a glass ceiling for either gender,” says Ann. “I believe that this is one of the reasons that we thrive as a team and we can focus on delivering the channel programmes and services to our partners to help them to grow. This has resulted in both revenue and units growth for Kingston and our partners year-on-year despite some challenging market conditions.”
Executive Director - Marketing, Smart Devices & Global Media – Lenovo Anjana has spent over 15 years in strategy, marketing, sales and operational roles, the last ten years of which have been at Lenovo. She is responsible for marketing across several countries, leading the development and growth of Lenovo’s consumer tech, including smartphones, laptops and AR. Recently she is credited with driving the global launch of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, devising successful joint marketing programs with global alliance partners to position Lenovo products and boost sales, pioneering strong working practices with China Product Development teams, and implementing Lenovo’s Top Customer Loyalty Program.
Head of Marketing – Network Group Tirene describes her role as one of the most diverse, interesting and professionally challenging marketing roles in the channel. Her responsibilities involve overall group strategy, creating discrete marketing programmes for partners, and delivering marketing support and services to group members. This year, her team embedded Terra Computer as a Preferred Partner within the Group. “Through our campaigns this year, Terra have become Continuum’s Server Partner with access to a vast network of MSP’s beyond the Group, and have grown their business within the Group by 300%,” says Tirene.
Product Marketing Manager – Ortial Technologies Sophie heads up the division of Ortial that won the 2018 Storage Awards Marketing Team of the Year. Her brand-building strategy for the memory, data storage and networking component product ranges saw a 70% growth for the company in the year since she joined. She did this via a combination of social media marketing, email campaigns and traditional strategies such as event attendance, third party advertising and case studies. “You have to be a bit of a Jacqueline of all trades when you are dealing with a relatively new brand,” says Sophie, “But I am really proud of how we have built a strong profile in a relatively short space of time.”
November 2018 |
SARAH YULE Director of Sales – ROLI
Sarah describes the last year as one of many challenges and many triumphs. She aided the drive to supply new music creation products to tech channels and partners across EMEA. While recruiting and growing her EMEA team, she has personally driven a plan and pitch to secure ROLI into retailers such as John Lewis in the UK, Apple stores across EMEA, top 5 FNAC stores in France, APR’s across Europe, and Virgin megastore in UAE. “We have created a great bond in the team.” Says Sarah. “I want to be the best mentor and manager that I can. I aim to drive my team powerfully, enabling them to act autonomously, supporting them when they need it.”
Senior Marketing Specialist, UK&I Marketing – Symantec Achieving global recognition within her organisation, Liza was awarded the Consumer Business Unit’s ‘Eagle’ award (for the team mate that ’kills it whilst flying under the radar’) for her strong commitment and teamwork ethic. This year she has implemented a successful digital marketing strategy that helped increase Norton’s online market share, rolled out a brand new retail/POS activation with a key partner across 50 of their UK stores, launched new digital media and PPC campaigns, and audited and overhauled richer content across multiple retail platforms. She has received seven other EMEA awards, including ‘most valued player’.
Head of Marketing Services – Tech Data Celine leads Tech Data’s Marketing Services team. Her department serves campaigns for over 6,500 resellers, 200+ vendors and the internal Tech Data business. She is praised for having stabilised her team and improved team morale within 12 months. Specifically, she reduced staff turnover through the creation of opportunities for further career development whilst supporting four members of the team into developing into more senior positions. She also increased ROI between Jan 2017 and Jan 2018 – her team delivered 959 campaigns which yielded an ‘estimated return of 15:1 ROI and contributed to almost £180m of revenue returned’.
Chief Marketing Officer – Tectrade With over 20 years experience in IT marketing working for companies such as Siemens and BAE Systems, Marie joined data protection and recovery specialist Tectrade in February 2018. In six months, she has repositioned the organisation with a new proposition development, content generation and campaigns that have yielded great sales results for the firm. She has also overseen the launch of a new Tectrade website and has worked with the UK’s trade IT and channel media to hugely raise the company’s profile. She is the brains behind the company’s ‘Zero Day Recovery’ branding for its fast data recovery solution.
Global CISO – Thales eSecurity Passionate about data security, Bridget was the previous head of information security at University College London and a security researcher at government DEFRA. Prior to this, Bridget gained a masters degree in physics and astrophysics from the University of Birmingham. Today, Bridget is the Global CISO at Thales eSecurity, which provides data security solutions and services. Bridget feels promoting the growing need for the UK cyber security sector to bridge the current skills gap could drive uptake of women in the IT security profession.
20 | November 2018
EMMA LATTIMER Marketing Manager – TP-Link
A seasoned marcomms manager, Emma has been focusing on ways to leverage the TP-Link social media platforms to grow the digital footprint to increase brand awareness and generate demand for B2B and SOHO products. She has been instrumental in finding new and innovative ways of launching new products, such as the Archer C5400X – TP-Link’s first router developed specifically for the gaming market. To complement the traditional press and blogger outreach, Emma worked with an esports professional to live stream a Q&A on Twitch that focused on the importance of a solid network to the overall gaming experience.
Managing Director – UKFast Gail Jones, co-founder and managing director of Manchester-based technology brand UKFast, has driven the firm to the £47 million turnover business it is today. Focused on innovation and efficiency, she works closely with the research and development team and spearheads the operations side of the business. Gail also leads the way in UKFast’s diversity and community projects which, in the past year, saw the firm pledge 5,000 volunteering hours, launch the Community and Education Awards and open six Raspberry Pi cafes to help improve digital skills in schools. Gail has strived to create an inherently inclusive environment for UKFast.
UK Territory Manager – Wasp Barcode Technologies In the last 18 months Wasp has been in a period of corporate transition, and as part of changes made Sonia was promoted to manage the team at Wasp UK. Under her stewardship in the last year, the division has handled new product launches into the channel and to direct customers, and is prepping its cloud software launches for Q4. “We had fantastic record-breaking sales in 2017 and 2018 is proving to be equally outstanding due to new product launches and a dramatic marketing approach to both the channel and direct business of the company,” says Sonia.
Founder and CEO – WERKIN WERKIN is an ‘LGBT+ female-founded tech company dedicated to helping companies manage, measure and scale diversity and inclusion programmes’. As well as being founder and CEO of the firm, Hayley is an Ambassador for LBWomen, and Sponsor of the inaugural Global Mentoring programme. In 2018 she was named We Are Tech Women’s Tech 50 Awards Champion, Silicon Republic Women Invent Top 100, Brummell Magazine’s Inspirational Women, a leading Queer Scientist and nominated as Inspirational Role Model at the DIVA Awards. Hayley is also a longtime mentor.
Founder and MD – Zaboura Maggie is founder and MD of Zaboura, a boutique communications agency representing big brands such as Kingston. This year the firm has snapped up Netgear as a client. Maggie says: “We are proud to say that we are delivering campaigns that are being implemented through every customer touchpoint from social, to creative, to influencer marketing. We won new clients like Netgear and others from the clutches of ‘Goliath’ agencies because of our 360 campaign approach, which are now being deployed and adopted globally because we focus on KPIs and delivering value. In times of budget cuts and austerity, brands are choosing the ‘Davids’ to deliver.
November 2018 |
Sales Hotline 01925 286 900 Delivering Value in Distribution
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Chips Computers Jennifer Griffiths, Co-Owner and Head Technician of Chips Computers, reveals how the PC repair store’s services have changed over the years, and what it’s like working in a male-dominated industry... Can you give us a brief history of Chips Computers? Chips Computers started as a PC repair call-out service in 2005. In 2013, [co-owner and husband] Phil and I decided we wanted a shop. Computer Fairs were dying a death and it was costing as much to have a stand every Saturday and Sunday with limited space as it would be for a store’s rent where you could have room for retail, repair and building. To me it just made sense to have a store and leave the Computer Fairs but keep the callout side of things. Since then we have collected numerous awards for what we do. How have your service offerings evolved over the years? In days gone by, we used to have a lot of repairs due to viruses. We are seeing less of the traditional viruses (trojan) and more of ransomware and scams. In addition to this we see a lot more issues after Windows updates with Windows 10 than with previous OS updates. Unlike other stores, we specialise in Windows-based computers and recommend local stores for anything Apple or
Android related. Reason being, we believe in working together and keeping trade local. What are your top selling products? Our top selling products are custom PCs, followed by branded laptops. This is followed by Bullguard Internet Security and compatible inks. We have also had an increase of people purchasing and having us fit SSDs. On the peripherals side of things, I have seen an increase in gaming keyboards and mice since we started offering our Cooler Master line. Do you think there’s more support for women in the industry than when you first started out? Women are a minority for the most part in our field. Many people (mostly older men) think I am the receptionist and ask for my husband still. When I tell them I am qualified, they may or may not talk to me. Also, with representatives from manufactures, sometimes they look to the men and overlook women in the industry. Maybe more women would get into the computer industry if they were treated with more respect.
As it is now, if you are not a gamer or one of the guys, so to speak, you don’t get very much respect. If I was to employ someone though, I would do it on merit and not sex, religion or politics. What’s in the pipeline for Chips Computers? In January of this year, we launched Tech For Techs. This is basically a review/business advice website with a social aspect. We have done this to help people in our industry get the right advice and products for their needs. In the future we hope to get a larger store for Chips Computers as well as having a dedicated studio for reviews and a function room for events.
Address: 13 Heywood Street, Brimington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S43 1DB Tel: 01246 200214 Email: sales@WeFixAnyComputer.com Web: www.wefixanycomputer.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ ChipsPCandLaptop
November 2018 | 23
Women in Tech
PCR182.supporting.indd 1 www.pcr-online.biz
Laura Barnes speaks to some of the leading voices in tech distribution, manufacturing and PR to find out what they are doing to support women in tech...
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Women in Tech
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L-R: Intel’s Jennifer Shileika, Zaboura’s Maggie Zaboura and Westcoast Cloud’s Georgie Ellis
s you will have no doubt figured out at this point in the magazine, this month we’ve dedicated the pages of PCR to women working in the tech channel. Along with highlighting some of the top female talent in the industry, we wanted to make our readers aware of what the channel is actively doing to not only encourage more women to get into the industry, but to make sure those that are working in tech understand the various initiatives out there to help them achieve their goals. We spoke to some of the leading voices in tech distribution, manufacturing and PR to find out what they are doing to support women in the channel and why we must continue to shed light on the subject. Why is this important? Speaking to the likes of distributor Westcoast, PR agency Zaboura, and vendors Intel, Symantec and TP-Link, the first thing we asked was why it was still so important to support women in the tech industry. “When you’re selling a solution, you have to be an excellent storyteller. You have to be unique and do things differently. And for that you need diversity. Recognising talent, of any gender, and finding opportunities for individuals to thrive is key to success. For me, it’s irrelevant of gender – it’s having diversity that really matters,” says Georgie Ellis. head of cloud sales at Westcoast Cloud. “That said, there aren’t enough women in tech. We need to engage earlier and make sure that a career in technology is advertised as an opportunity at a school level. Women have another outlook to bring to the table – and true success is taking lead from a range of people and leveraging talent. When you’re selling a solution, you need to build excellent, on-going relationships with your customers. Due to the natural emotive qualities of women, we have advance skills in nurturing relationships and an unequal passion for our customers.”
On the security side of things, Symantec’s director of security response Orla Cox, reveals that while women represent half of our global population, studies show that only 10% of the global cyber security workforce are female, while projections estimate there will be an excess of 1.5 million cyber security jobs in 2020. “A rich balance and inclusive culture which embraces diverse points of view, backgrounds and perspectives allow the industry to make decisions that serve the needs of a broad spectrum of customers and tech users,” says Cox. “By including a diverse range of perspectives, it allows the industry to respond to new trends more rapidly, stimulate innovation and perform better. At Symantec, gender equality and the advancement of women in technology is an issue we care deeply about. With the current shortage of skilled professionals in cyber security notably, there is a unique opportunity to attract more women to STEM fields and bridge the diversity and gender equality gap.” TP-Link country manager Will Liu touches on the benefits of a more diverse workforce. “A recent report about the UK market by PwC shows that only 15% of people working in STEM are female and only 5% of tech leadership rolls are held by women. Yet, according to Tech City UK and the innovation charity Nesta, this sector grew 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy and offers higher than average salaries,” says Liu.
“Finding opportunities for individuals to thrive is key to success” Georgie Ellis, Westcoast Cloud
November 2018 | 25
Women in Tech “In terms of benefit to the business, a diverse employment strategy has been shown to improve decision making and problem solving as well as providing valuable insights into your target demographics.” Maggie Zaboura, MD of PR agency Zaboura, adds: “We’re seeing more female leaders in classic boys clubs such as finance and politics, but we still can’t say the same for tech. “Women make up only 19% of the UK tech workforce, and are still heavily underrepresented. There are just 24 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies now, down 25% from last year. I’m seeing more women in their 50s being asked onto boards but it’s not just about the board – it’s about fair representation and diversity throughout an organisation. And it’s not just about improving opportunities for women, but for business, too. Gender equality in any environment broadens ideas and problemsolving, better reflects the consumer market and deepens the well of resources.” According to Intel’s UK sales director Jennifer Shileika, having a team that reflects the world around you is important. “Our commitment to diversity comes from our conviction that reaching a critical mass of women and underrepresented minorities in our industry brings significant benefits. Research shows that people in diverse, inclusive teams are more open to new ideas, more creative in their problem solving, more engaged and higher performing. You can’t innovate and have an impact on the world’s population if your organisation isn’t reflective of the world’s population,” she states. What initiatives are out there? While it seems the industry is in agreement that companies should be as diverse as possible, we’re not going to see real change unless tech firms are actively working towards this goal. So, we asked the contributors to this piece what their company is doing to actively support women and what projects they’re personally involved in. “Symantec is highly involved in wide variety of groups and partnerships to attract young women to STEM fields like technology and cyber security, including the Symantec Women’s Action Network (SWAN), in which I participate actively,” says Symantec’s Cox. “SWAN is a global group for women in Symantec; we play an integral role by building cultural awareness and providing opportunities to serve as cultural community ambassadors, mentor women in cyber security, volunteer and advocate on issues, including advocacy for female employees to help them grow in their careers.
L-R: Symantec’s Orla Cox and TP-Link’s Will Liu
have an impact on the world if your organisation isn’t reflective of the world’s population” Jennifer Shileika, Intel
“Symantec also partners with the Anita Borg Institute for “Women in Technology” to advance women in computing. Through the TechWomen program, Symantec mentors are paired with emerging leaders to expose them to female role models. We also work in partnership with PowerToFly and recently hosted a “Meet Women Leaders of Symantec” event aimed at engaging and recruiting women in technology.” Intel’s Shileika says the global company takes a holistic approach to this challenge, targeting efforts across hiring, retaining and progression which have been successful in the UK. “In the last three years we have achieved a 40% female hiring rate and women in middle or senior grades now account for more than 50% of our UK workforce. “We also know that it’s not enough to focus solely on driving diversity. Ensuring we have an inclusive workforce is the key to lasting impact. Every day we continue to create an Intel where all of our employees are able to bring their full experiences to work.” TP-Link’s Liu comments: “TP-Link is an equal opportunities employer that takes diversity seriously, from the recruitment process through to employee retention, the business has developed a robust series of policies and procedures that encourages the best quality candidates to apply for jobs and then ensure they grow and remain within the business.” Westcoast Cloud’s Ellis reveals the company’s plans for a new programme: “The Westcoast Cloud team is really diverse and we’re lucky to have a lot of talented women. As we move forward, we’re committed to support diversity and are looking to start a ‘Women in Business’ apprenticeship programme to encourage young women to join our industry.” Meanwhile, Zaboura outlines the work she has been doing with organisations that help young women get into STEM.
Women in Tech “There are a lot of amazing things happening right now that are encouraging more young women into the IT sector. And it’s not just IT – there are now all sorts of roles, in all sorts of industries, that are related to technology, and it’s easier than ever before to get a start,” she says. “I’ve worked with some fantastic organisations that encourage and teach young people – girls, especially – of all nationalities and from all different backgrounds how to code, such as Girls Who Code, that are so accessible. “There are so many meet ups and events that cover myriad of topics for everyone to get involved with. It’s about sparking interest and lighting passions in younger generations, showing them how incredible and wide-ranging their input can be, and giving them the confidence and drive to get involved.” Zaboura adds: “Everything is accessible if there is the appetite and the will to do it.” What more can the industry do? It’s great to see that the focus on encouraging young women to get into the industry is growing, and clearly there are many companies in the channel that are driving diversity within their workforces. But as we move into 2019, what more could the industry as a whole be doing to ensure we continue on the right path? “The industry needs to ensure diverse voices, backgrounds and perspectives are included,” says Cox. “We need to ensure young women can recognise themselves and feel confident aspiring to a career in technology by promoting role models they can relate to. This is particularly the case in technology, and notably in cyber security, wherein often experts quoted in the media or speaking at conferences are predominantly male.” Cox also suggests that the industry should partner with nonprofits to “channel the passion of young women” and close the STEM gender gap from a young age. “We should look at how we can attract and retain a diverse talent pool to create a culture wherein females can thrive. The industry should offer opportunities to develop and accelerate
should offer opportunities to develop and accelerate female talent” Orla Cox, Symantec
female talent. At Symantec, we provide leading female employees the opportunity to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, joining 18,000 primarily female attendees for the largest gathering of women in computing today. “Collaborating with key research, nongovernmental organisations, public policy and education partners, we support conversations and creating a voice internally and externally for women in tech.” While many commercial organisations and charities are promoting STEM within schools and giving children the opportunity to explore a profitable future in tech, Liu says that to get the most out of this ever expanding pool of talent, employers need to take a step back and think about their recruitment process, before they even review the interview process. “Are they attracting a representative sample of applicants, and once recruited, do the company policies and procedures support employee growth and development to improve retention?” asks Liu. “Like all industries, employers should be adopting HR best practices.” Zaboura agrees that employees need to think outside of the box when it comes to hiring. “I strongly believe that this doesn’t just apply to women, but the industry still hires by templates and quotas. They need to go beyond the CV and biases and hire and develop from varying backgrounds and education.” Shileika offers up a recent quote from Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Barbara Whye: “Industry-wide problems require industrywide solutions. Encouraging more women and particularly women of colour to pursue careers in STEM fields requires coordinated collaboration and a shared strategy with our peers.” “There’s still a lot of work to do,” notes Shileika. “It’s important that people, whether men or women, recognise their own role and contribution to the wider goal of achieving representation in the sector and each do what they can to improve our business practices and culture in a way that drives overall progress.”
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
November 2018 | 27
The power of 5G
The generation game
Vodafoneâ€™s chief technology officer Scott Petty introducing the first holographic call over 5G
Laura Barnes speaks to those in the know about the impact 5G could have on retail, storage, smart cities and our day-to-day livesâ€Ś
PCR182.5g.indd 1 www.pcr-online.biz
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The power of 5G
t this point in time, most people will have heard about 5G in some capacity. You’ll probably know that it’s the fifth generation of mobile networks, and will have no-doubt seen various comments thrown around about how amazingly fast it will be. But, do you know the ways in which 5G is set to impact various parts of our working and personal lives? PCR caught up with industry experts to uncover what 5G means for communication and streaming, how it’s going to affect the way we use storage, and how retailers can capitalise on super-fast connectivity. In the 1980s we saw the introduction of 1G, with the first mobile phone call made by Vodafone. At the time, the analogue network was voice only. In the ‘90s we saw 2G and the UK’s first text message – again, sent by Vodafone. With 3G launching in the early 2000s and 4G launching in 2013, the world started regularly using mobile phones for much more than phone calls and texting. These mobile networks enabled people to make video calls, stream content and utilise cloud computing. And as laptops became more portable and tablets offered an in-between option, it became imperative that mobile device users stayed constantly connected. Now, in 2018, not only has EE set up 5G trials in London, but Vodafone has continued its run of firsts by completing the UK’s first holographic phone call using 5G. In September, the company made a call from its Manchester office featuring England and Manchester City Women’s Football captain, Mark McCarter, Steph Houghton MBE. Using 5G technology, she appeared as a live 3D hologram on stage in front of an audience at Vodafone’s UK headquarters in Newbury. The call followed the announcement in June this year that seven cities would become Vodafone 5G trial areas by the end of the year. In Ofcom’s April 2018 auction, Vodafone secured the largest slice of the 5G spectrum and has since announced that Cornwall and the Lake District will receive 5G during 2019, and has also promised 1,000 5G sites by 2020. “5G will be the platform for big advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics, connected cities and selfdriving cars. It will enable many applications that we cannot imagine today,” Vodafone UK’s enterprise director Anne Sheehan tells PCR. “From paramedics who are in constant, real-time, video link conference with the emergency room, to roads that don’t require traffic lights because driverless cars are able to talk to one another about upcoming obstacles – 5G has the potential to make these seemingly far-fetched scenarios a reality.” Sheehan explains that it is not just businesses that are set to benefit from 5G, but consumers too. “Imagine a world where billions of connected devices, underpinned by a 5G network, are working quicker and for longer. Today’s digital innovation is
also enabling the smart home where everything is connected. It won’t be long before a drone drops off the shopping that your fridge and cupboards have ordered or a boiler has warned you that it is about to fail and has searched the internet for ratings and recommended you a plumber.” Mark McCarter, product development manager at memory solution provider Ortial Technologies, delves deeper into the consumer benefits of the new mobile network. “5G will have a massive impact on consumers with the faster speeds, greater capacity and lower latency of this network being its headline benefits. We can expect to see increased performance from mobile services first – no buffering of video services, fast download of movies to mobile devices, and increased 4K HDR broadcasts.” Another interesting use for 5G lies within the benefits it will bring to those creating these movies, TV shows and broadcasts. “5G would enable the broadcaster to only send the cameraman and reporter instead of a whole production crew. The footage can get back to the studio in a fraction of the time it takes a physical transfer. With a 5G-enabled camera you are ready to film as soon as you step out of the car. 5G could be the difference between an exclusive and a ‘me too’,” BT Sport’s director of mobile strategy Matt Stagg explained in a recent article in TVBEurope. “A live production needs bandwidth and latency, and while that can be enabled on 4G, it can’t be guaranteed. Using network slicing in a 5G core, we will be able to provide a dedicated broadcastOrtial Technologies grade network that will give that guarantee of performance.” As 5G helps people stream, download and connect to more things, what does this mean for the world of storage? Ortial’s McCarter believes that the services being created for 5G will only facilitate the necessity for increased storage and the processing of big data. “With the rise of AI and the drive towards an autonomous future for the car industry, this gives Ortial a great opportunity to be a key component supplier to any industry that needs large capacity storage or fast processing network products,” he says. “For example, autonomous vehicles will need the low latency/ high capacity data throughput to make decisions in real time, but they can’t do this without huge computing power on board to calculate hazards in the environment around it and as it monitors the many sensors built into the vehicle it will need to store this data before it’s processed.”
“5G will have a massive impact on consumers, with faster speeds, greater capacity and lower latency”
Smart Cities With 5G comes the ability to implement futurist-sounding “smart cities”. In order for public amenities and infrastructure in cities to become “smart”, there needs to be a fast, responsive and stable network that can handle a vast amount of data. “Fortunately, 5G networks will provide this enhanced
November 2018 | 29
The power of 5G
England and Manchester City Women’s Football captain Steph Houghton MBE appears as a live 3D hologram on stage thanks to 5G.
connectivity,” says Sheehan. “Whether it’s providing more seamless communication between autonomous cars and traffic lights or improving existing solutions for emergency service communications deployment, 5G will enable the communication between different amenities and infrastructure. This will make our cities smarter, cleaner and safer.” McCarter adds: “The 5G network will allow consumers and businesses to have access to new services offered by the creation of smart cities, enhanced capabilities of smart home products and real time access to big data.” Some of these businesses within smart cities will be retailers looking to utilise the benefits that 5G brings. Sheehan believes retailers will be able to see an increase in shopper engagement. “With a rise in communications through chat apps, and retailers investing in chatbots, shoppers will be able to interact at faster speeds and have a better customer experience with the introduction of 5G. “The speed of 5G will also improve digital signage: high resolution videos will be able to be streamed, allowing shoppers to access a greater quantity and quality of information,” she says. “Furthermore, 5G will see the growth of new services designed to improve the customer experience based on virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality. Shop assistants will be able to browse large stock lists at speed and shoppers can place themselves in environments where they would be able to use a product and get a real feel for how it would work in their lives.” Going Mainstream The future certainly looks bright for super-fast connectivity, but when can we expect to see 5G become mainstream? “This is a tricky one, we all want these things right now and you could argue that 4G has only just hit its stride and here we are talking about its successor,” says McCarter. “However, the benefits of 5G for consumers, coupled with the adoption by the car manufacturers and the use cases for shaping society through the creation of smart cities has got many governments looking at investing in this technology.
“Shoppers will have a better customer experience with the introduction of 5G” Anne Sheehan, Vodafone “We will see the first uses for this technology within 12 months, but we believe in reality it will be many years until it realises its potential. The important thing for Ortial is to stay close to this and be the first to market and continually adapt our product offering to reflect the changes and opportunities in this exciting area.” Vodafone is eager to bring customers 5G as soon as possible, but Sheehan tells PCR that there are a number of factors that will impact when it becomes mainstream. “Existing masts need upgrading, as do handsets, and 5G also needs fibre. Fibre connections are essential in providing the high capacity links between 5G mobile sites so that information can flow back and forth from connected devices, the internet, the cloud and company servers in the blink of an eye,” she explains. “Just as you need a 4G-capable device to connect to 4G networks – users will need the right handsets or devices to connect to 5G. Most 5G handsets won’t arrive on the market until middle to late 2019.” While it’s clear that tech companies are working hard to get everything in place to fully and effectively roll out 5G to the masses, it seems the industry as a whole is wisely making sure it doesn’t get too far ahead of itself. With the impressive advancements in so many areas of technology dependant on 5G, the next couple of years are set to be an interesting time for next-gen connectivity.
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APPOINTMENTS EVENTS This month’s movers and shakers in the tech industry... Tech Data
Find out what tech and retail events you should be attending in the coming months…
VMWORLD 2018 EUROPE 5th November 2018 – Fira Gran Via, Barcelona
Tech Data has appointed Kevin Wragg as its new sales operation delivery director for retail and consumer technology. The appointment comes at a time when Tech Data is getting ready to set out detailed plans for retailers as they approach the peak period of the year. Wragg is one of the most experienced senior managers at Tech Data, having worked at the firm for almost 30 years. “Retail is detail and all the focus is now on the peak. It’s all about executing efficiently, having optimum product inventory and getting it right first time. We have made significant investments and now have a bigger retail ops team and more service delivery heads than ever,” said Wragg.
VMworld 2018 Europe offers up four days of innovation to accelerate your journey to a software-defined business – from mobile devices to the data center and the cloud.
28th-29th November, Amsterdam
Protective case manufacturer Tech21 has appointed Colin Woodward as its new CEO. Woodward has been at the company for over three years, previously holding the positions of marketing director, CMO and most recently, global vice president of sales. He will oversee operations globally, replacing John Doughty who is departing the company. Woodward, who has 20 years of experience in the technology industry, has previously worked at HTC and Sony.
Maverick AV Solutions
Distribution specialist Maverick AV Solutions has appointed Graham Breakenridge as its new Vision product manager. He will focus on working with education and corporate integrators to specify accessories from its rapidly growing portfolio. Having previously been part of the Maverick AV Solutions family as a product manager, Breakenridge joins Vision at a crucial time, as it expands its product range in order to support Maverick’s collaboration solutions.
Adrian Liu has been named as NZXT’s new strategic manager for the UK. Having worked for Cooler Master for nearly seven years, in June 2018, Liu started his own company to provide services to manufacturers, including channel management, business development and marketing in UK. In August he signed NZXT to his portfolio, and since then has decided his time to helping NZXT to strengthen its business in the UK, taking on the role of UK strategic manager for the company.
BRIGANTIA ANNUAL PARTNERS DAY 22nd November 2018 – Twickenham Rugby Stadium, London Brigantia’s one-day event will feature a series of talks from industry experts, as well as networking areas with displays from various partner vendors.
EUROPEAN WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY European Women in Technology returns to Amsterdam in November with speakers from some of the biggest brands, including Nokia, Google and ASOS. More than 3,000 industry leaders and experts are expected to attend the two-day event.
CES 2019 8th-11th January 2019, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas With more than 3,800 tech firms set to exhibit in Las Vegas, CES 2019 will continue to offer up the latest consumer tech and next-gen innovations.
BETT 2019 24th-27th January 2019, EXCEL, London Education technology show Bett is back in London for another round of inspiration and discussion surrounding the future of education. 34,700 attendees are expected to visit this year’s show.
PCR AWARDS 2019 6th March 2019 – The Brewery, London The PCR Awards are back once again to celebrate the very best in the tech channel. Returning to The Brewery on 6th March, the awards will boast a mix of networking, partying and recognition of achievements in the UK tech industry. Distributors, vendors, retailers, resellers and service providers will all be recognised through a variety of categories. Guests will also have the chance to network with 500+ members of the industry.
IN MY TEAM
Georgie Ellis, Head of Cloud Sales at Westcoast Cloud, reveals what it’s like working in such a fast-paced industry and how the company takes a personal approach to helping its customers... What is the best part about working in the tech industry? Tell us about the Westcoast Cloud team. It’s such a fast-paced industry and things change all the time, so We have a team here that has a phenomenal understanding of as a business, you have no choice but to be at the forefront of technology, and what really makes us different is that our sales what’s going on. team is also our pre-sales team. That means there’s no handover That’s what the team here are great at doing. We understand period, so our sales team are completely aligned to what the market and the changes taking place, and we’re our partners need. innovative and ready to adapt. That’s what’s exciting Our other departments – including support, for Westcoast Cloud working in this industry. provisioning and operations – are also seen as “We understand an extension to our partners’ companies, and the changes taking What is your team working on at the moment? provide key value-added services on all levels. place in the We’ve just completed an office move and it’s an exciting time as we celebrate our success to How do you help partners maximise their market and we’re date. It’s a great opportunity for us all to get cloud businesses? ready to adapt” involved with building our team culture, and The main reason we’re successful in helping our we’re looking forward to what the future holds for partners succeed is our personal touch – we do Westcoast Cloud. end-user meetings and calls, support pitches and offer training. As a result, we’re not only their technical advisors but Who makes the best cuppa? really become an extension of their team. We take a personal It has to be Starbucks. We’re all about delivering a Michelin approach to helping our partners. We think about what they service and wanting things instantly! need, and adapt our business in an agile way to provide support. Contact: Web: www.westcoastcloud.co.uk Tel: 0333 003 1701
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Christmas Gifts From gaming peripherals and monitors to smart home products and portable chargers, PCR rounds up the best tech products to stock over the Christmas season... ADATA Car Charger Specs: DC 12-24V input, 1 x USB QC3.0 output, 4 x USB, 145g/5.1oz weight, 150cm cable length, Smart IC 2-port USB car charger, Smart IC 3-port extended charger. “The ADATA CV0525 car charger is all about sharing the power. With Quick Charge 3.0 support, 5 USB ports, and a convenient extended cable design, everyone in the car can enjoy fast device charging.” Contact: Spire Technology, Tech Data
Philips 43-inch 4K UHD Monitor Specs: 43-inch 4K UHD monitor with DisplayHDR 1000, Quantum Dot Tech, Ambiglow, DTS Sound, low input lag, Adaptive-Sync technology, USB-C, USB 3.0 hub. “Specifically designed to complement consoles outputting 4K visuals, the 43-inch Philips 436M6VBPAB includes HDR support, Adaptive-Sync technology and low input lag. It is the first monitor to be certified with VESA DisplayHDR 1000 and produces gorgeous images with very high contrast ratio, even without HDR content.” – Artem Khomenko, Product Manager, MMD Monitors & Displays B.V. Contact: CI Distribution, Exertis, Tech Data, VIP Computers
IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2 Specs: Compatible with iPhone, iPad and Mac/PC, studio-quality condenser design, built-in headphone socket, sensitivity knob, mic clamp, table top stand, includes Lightning and USB cables. “iRig Mic HD 2 is a next generation handheld microphone for mobile devices, Mac and PC. Its digital audio studio quality makes it suitable for broadcasters, journalists, bloggers and musicians.” Contact: IK Multimedia
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Sector Guide Blink XT Outdoor Security Camera Specs: 1280x720 resolution, infrared night vision, 110-degree field of view, motion detection up to 20 feet, wireless, weatherproof. “With the Blink XT, you can now protect your entire home, inside and out, with the same video-first security that you have come to love. Blink is easy to set up, just a fraction of the cost of other home monitoring systems and has no subscription fees or data storage charges.” Contact: Blink
NZXT HUE 2 Ambient Lighting Kit Specs: HUE 2 ambient lighting controller, two independent channels, eight LED strips, digital control through CAM. “The HUE 2 Ambient Lighting Kit uses your walls to visually immerse you in your favourite games or create the perfect mood with ambient RGB lighting from the back of your monitor. Everything you need to easily install and control RGB lighting for your monitor is included. Using CAM’s intuitive interface, you’ll choose from dozens of presets or custom lighting options, and even synchronise your RGB effects across other HUE 2 accessories.” Contact: Bosse Computers
HANNspree HANNSpad Hercules 2 Specs: 10.1” 1280x800 resolution display, LED backlight, capacitive multi-touch, ARM Cortex A53 1.3GHz Quad Core CPU, Android 7 OS. “Our HANNSpad Hercules 2 is an affordable tablet PC, ideal for a Christmas gift that has the wow factor without breaking the bank! A convenient 10.1” mobile computing solution with a great feature set, it offers a professional multitouch display with IPS technology to ensure games and multimedia can be truly enjoyed, even with friends and family. Furthermore, there’s Quad Core performance, dual cameras, 16GB of internal storage and Android 7.0 to complete the package.” – Martin Kent, UK Territory Manager, HANNSpree UK. Contact: Exertis, GNR Tech, Ingram Micro, Midwich, Tech Data, Westcoast
Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse Specs: True 16,000 DPI optical sensor, up to 450 IPS/50 g acceleration, Razer Mechanical Mouse switches, ergonomic righthanded design with textured rubber side grips, Razer Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customisable colour options. “The award-winning Razer DeathAdder Elite is Razer’s best selling mouse. It is equipped with the world’s most advanced optical sensor, the new esports-grade 16,000 DPI optical sensor with true tracking at 450 Inches Per Second (IPS), to deliver the absolute advantage. Featuring gamingoptimised Razer mechanical switches, an ergonomic shape perfected for esports athletes and Razer Chroma lighting, the Razer DeathAdder Elite redefines the standards of accuracy and speed.” Contact: VIP Computers
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Sector Guide ADATA USB Charging Station Specs: 48W total power, 63.7 x 63.7 x 54.6mm in size, 350g/12.34oz weight.
Brainwavz S0 Noise Isolating Earphones Specs: Foam and silicone ear tips, Clearwavz mic/remote, silicon microphone, three-button control, 9mm dynamic drivers, shirt clip, velcro cable tie.
“Are you always jostling with others for limited USB ports and power sockets? Well, remedy that with the ADATA CU0480QC USB charging station with 5 USB ports, including USB-A with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (QC 3.0) technology and USB-C.” Contact: Spire Technology, Tech Data
“The Brainwavz S0 earphones have been designed to provide a balanced sound signature with each part of the sound spectrum represented accurate and clear. The all-metal housing and flat, tangle-free cabling provide a sleek look and feel, coupled with long lasting durability. These in-ear earphones are designed to sound good with any genre of music.” Contact: Brainwavz Audio
HomeGuard GuardianEye Smart Doorbell Specs: 2MP camera with 80-degree wide angle lens, LED light for snap photo night vision, 50m transmission range between doorbell and chime, 2 x AAA batteries (included), HomeGuardEye app with rolling 30 days of free cloud storage.
Konix World of Tanks M-45 Gaming Mouse Specs: DPI switch up to 4000, 10 action shortcut, weight calibration, recording macros on 7 buttons. “Konix’s World of Tanks M-45 gaming mouse is specially designed for the MOBA and adapted to different types of game thanks to five customisable profiles. It comes with a braided cord with gold plated connector and Teflon glides for better movement.” Contact: Centresoft
“The HomeGuard GuardianEye is a smart wireless doorbell with snap photo that delivers a new level of security with an instant photo push notification sent to a smartphone when the doorbell is pressed. Featuring a 2MP camera with 80-degree wide angle lens, the GuardianEye doorbell is wire free and easy to install with an attractive slim design.” Contact: VIP Computers
Sector Guide Moshi IonSlim 10K Portable Battery Specs: Fast-charging USB-A port up to 12W, USB-C PD port, charge 2 devices at once, ultra-slim profile, lithiumpolymer cells with 10,000 mAh capacity, total output of 35W.
NZXT HUE 2 RGB Lighting Kit Specs: Synchronised across all HUE 2 accessories, use CAM interface to choose from a wide variety of preset and custom modes to create the perfect look for your PC.
“Moshi’s IonSlim 10K is an ultra-thin portable battery designed to charge any phone or USB device so you stay powered up all day long. Thanks to USB-C PD technology (up to 30 watts), the battery can also provide emergency power to a USB-C laptop like a MacBook or MacBook Pro. With both a USB-C and USB-A port, charge two devices simultaneously with Dynamic Power Sharing, which prioritises the charging current to each connected device. Constructed using premium anodised aluminium in an extremely slim form factor, IonSlim 10K’s stylish design and advanced functionality make it ideal for power users on the go.” Contact: Moshi
“With four separate channels, individually addressable RGB LEDs, and a variety of compatible accessories, the HUE 2 RGB lighting kit takes PC lighting to the next level. The HUE 2 is powered by CAM, so it’s easy to change modes, sync lighting effects, and express your creativity with the perfect lighting for your build.” Contact: Bosse Computers
Samsung Fl!p Specs: 55” panel display, 3840 x 2160 (Landscape) 2160 x 3840 (Portrait), 4700:1 contrast ratio, 178-degree viewing angle, HDMI and USB connectivity. “The Samsung Fl!p is an enabler, a means to do something we’ve done for decades – create, collaborate and innovate – but better. That’s the reason to buy, not for all the things the Fl!p can do, but for all the things the Fl!p will enable you to do better.”
AOC C27G1 Gaming Monitor
Specs: Curved 27” Full HD immersive gaming monitor, 1800R curvature, 144 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms MPRT, FreeSync, ergonomic stand, 3-sides frameless design. “The C27G1 is an attractively priced gaming workhorse. It’s got an angular and modern-yet-subdued curved design, very fast 1 ms MPRT and 144 Hz refresh rate accompanied with AMD FreeSync – everything gamers have asked for! It’s also easy to get high framerates in its Full HD resolution. Thanks to its VA, the high contrast and colour accuracy is pretty breathtaking for games and movies.” – Carlos Sanchez, Product Manager at AOC International Europe B.V. Contact: CI Distribution, Exertis, Tech Data, VIP Computers
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Sector Guide Foobot Air Quality Monitor Specs: Air quality score, app monitoring, pollution charts, notifications, controls other home connected devices. “Foobot is the first air quality monitor which gives you a clear and visual understanding of how good the air quality is in your home and the knowledge to take small steps to improve it; benefitting the whole family’s long-term health. Foobot also works alongside other smart home devices taking direct action if pollution levels exceed a set amount. Perfect for allergy or asthma sufferers, the elderly, children or those of you facing the daily smog-filled commute to work.”
IK Multimedia UNO Synth
Specs: 100 presets, 16-step sequencer, real-time and step recording with parameter recording, MIDI and micro USB connectivity. “UNO Synth is the ultimate portable, monophonic, true analog synthesizer and IK Multimedia’s entry in the hardware synthesizer world. We combined our two decades of experience in software and hardware development with the expertise of Italian boutique synth-maker Soundmachines and IK’s synth guru, Erik Norlander.” Contact: IK Multimedia
Razer BlackWidow Elite Gaming Keyboard Specs: Razer mechanical switches, multi-function digital dial, ergonomic wrist rest, fully controllable keys, up to 80 million keystrokes lifespan.
D-Link Covr WiFi Solution Specs: Seamless WiFi, no need to remember different network names or passwords, parental control, high-speed AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi and 11ac Wave 2. “Covr is the next generation of WiFi solutions for the home from D-Link. Covr blankets every square inch of your home with high-speed, seamless, reliable WiFi. With a pack of three Covr Points, you can bring WiFi access to up to a massive 5,000 square feet, no need for multiple range extenders and/powerline devices. Covr’s Smart Roaming technology enables your devices to stay automatically connected to the nearest Covr Point in your home while all the Covr Points work together as one network. That means you can move from room to room or change floors and you’ll stay seamlessly connected to everything you love about the internet without needing to lift a finger.” – Paul Routledge, Country Manager UK&I at D-Link Europe.
“The new and improved version of the best selling Razer keyboard is the BlackWidow Elite. Razer have taken their green mechanical switch to the next level with this keyboard. It’s fast, tactile and clicky with new dual side walls to add greater stability and an increased protection against dust and liquids to ensure it lasts reliably longer with up to 80 million keystrokes.” Contact: VIP Computers
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Sector Guide Blink Security Camera Specs: 1280x720 resolution, white LED night vision, 110-degree field of view, motion detection up to 20 feet away, wireless, one-way audio access. “Blink is the completely wireless home security camera that instantly sends motion-activated alerts and HD video to your smartphone. No contract, no wires and batteries that last for two years.” Contact: Blink
Konix World of Tanks GH-60 Pro Gaming Headset Specs: 7.1 surround sound, 2 vibration levels, control unit, backlight, comfortable fit, 50mm speaker size. “The World of Tanks pro gaming headset offers 4D immersion and large cushions for optimal comfort. It has a wide frequency response of 20 to 20,000 Hz for faithful reproduction of bass and treble, as well as an omni-directional microphone. With plug and play, users can connect directly to their PC without having to install any drivers.” Contact: Centresoft
Brainwavz HM5 Headphones Specs: Detachable 1.3 meter and 3 meter cables, neutral sound signature, large over the ear cups, accessory bundle. “The Brainwavz HM5 studio monitor headphones are designed to deliver precise and accurate sound production, replicating audio as it was intended to be heard in a neutral sound signature. Featuring an over-the-ear design, the HM5 sit comfortably on ones’ ears whilst sealing in the sound. The closed dynamic monitors are adaptable and customisable, as well as being a perfect pair of headphones for daily use.” Contact: Brainwavz Audio
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ATOM pocket-sized 3-axis smartphone gimbal The ATOM claims to be the smallest 3-axis smartphone gimbal. With a foldable structure, it is extremely portable and offers lots of functionality, which is further expanded with app extensions. “Unlike all other existing 3-axis gimbals on the market which are always huge and troublesome in mounting phones, with ATOM, you can carry it anywhere with ease, even put it in your pocket,” says ATOM makers Snoppa Technology. “In addition, ATOM also provides a series of fantastic functions which enable you to control your filming work with great flexibility.” ATOM weighs only 440 grams (15.5 oz), and thanks to its unique structure, it can reach a high payload of 310 grams. It can also charge your phone for you while it’s filming. For more information visit https://igg.me/at/gimbal/x
SoundFlow all-in-one earbuds, battery and case In a bid to make wireless music more convenient and affordable, Ascape Audio has unveiled what it’s calling “superior-sounding wireless earbuds”. What makes these earbuds different is that they can be charge directly from SoundFlow phone cases. The earbuds themselves feature high-fidelity graphene audio, ambient noise cancellation, eight-hour battery life, hands-free calling and are rain, sweat and dust proof. SoundFlow’s phone cases claim to be a world first. They can power your wireless earbuds, keeping them secure and charging on the go. When you’re ready to listen to music, “just remove the earbuds and let the SoundFlow”, as Ascape Audio puts it. The SoundFlow case is available in a variety of colours and in sizes for various Apple iPhone, Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy models. For more information visit https://igg.me/at/soundflow/x
DUO turntable with detachable bluetooth speaker Wondering if there’s such thing as a small, all-in-one turntable? Want to get into vinyl but not sure you want to invest in a whole stereo system? What about a record player that can play more than just records? These are the questions Xin An Technology looked to answer with its new DUO turntable. The DUO has a compact, hybrid design that lets you play records as usual, but also comes with a detachable Bluetooth speaker. Promising a no-fuss stereo system, the DUO uses aptX Bluetooth to boost audio quality so you can blast your favorite music in either vinyl or digital format. When playing records on DUO’s base unit, you can carry the Bluetooth speaker with you to keep the music going, thanks to its maximum range of 10 to 15 meters. The speaker works independently of the turntable and weighs in at only 1.8 lbs (800 grams). With a full charge, DUO gives you 10 hours of playtime. For more information visit http://kck.st/2IlGtWD
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…
70mai Dash Cam Pro The 70mai Dash Cam Pro is an in-car DVR featuring multiple functions to promote a safer driving experience. Features include parking surveillance, an advanced driverassistance system, night vision, app enablement, a compact design, 3-minute installation, and voice control. It comes with 1944P (2.7K) resolution, Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), and Defog – all helping to lead a safer driving experience by monitoring the vehicle, warning of potential danger, and recording more details of events in bad weather. If your car is hit, 70mai Dash Cam Pro automatically starts recording, and it can even remind you to check the video of the whole event afterwards. For more information visit https://igg.me/at/dashcampro/x
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â€œEvery industry needs a mixture of different personalities and backgroundsâ€?
LIFE IN THE CHANNEL
Tell us a bit about what Evoko does and your role within the company. Evoko is a Swedish company driven by innovation, design and a mission to ‘make every meeting magnificent’. We develop products like room-booking devices, conference speakers and with our latest product we have taken a new approach to public space communication. At Evoko our main focus is coming up with great ideas and then teaming up with partners within the area to make sure we always present the best products. As Evoko is growing we are now developing more and more in-house. My role within the company is divided between two different departments. Half the time I’m a project leader in the Evoko engineering team managing new development projects. During the other half, I am a partner relations manager where I work with overall strategy and processes. What new projects have you been working on? Throughout 2018 I’ve mainly worked with our newest member in the Evoko family, Evoko Pusco. It’s a brand-new product where we are taking a new direction within the area of public space communication. We’ve tried to use modern technology to make communication as easy as possible. Pusco, just like the rest of the Evoko products is a complete solution, meaning we have created both hardware with a stunning design and software that is easy to use. It’s a project that we’ve worked on for over a year and it has been a really fun challenge. When developing a complete solution, you are covering many different areas, which I as a project manager need to understand to be able to keep the whole project together. I’ve learnt so much, everything from UX design to EMC measurements! What exciting advancements have you seen recently in the smart meeting solution space? I absolutely love how everything is becoming more digital and wireless. I’ve always been opposed to writing notes on a computer whilst having a meeting, which is very irritating because I often want to draw and make sketches myself. I think it feels impersonal having a computer between myself
and the other people in the meeting. I used to always bring a notebook and pencil, (how very modern of me), but this summer I replaced my notebook with a tablet and stylus which I think is a significant improvement. Now, I go to meetings and I write and draw as if I had a notebook, but the huge difference is that every note is now organised in a library, synchronised with my computer/phone and I can even translate my sloppy handwriting to a chosen font, making it possible to search for different words and topics. Another exciting development is that I recently had a meeting with a robot. One of the meeting attendees couldn’t be there in person so instead we had a robot replacing him. The robot’s face was a tablet showing a video link with him, so it actually felt like he was in the room. If you could change/improve one thing about the tech industry, what would it be? What every woman in this industry wants – a more gender equal work space. Every industry needs a mixture of different personalities and different backgrounds and it feels like the tech industry has a long way to go in this area. It has absolutely improved but we need to speed it up as we are still so far behind. In terms of the tech itself, I would like to see a change in attitude to quality instead of quantity. There are so many products that are developed, but it seems like the questions “Do we really need this?”, “Can we use something we already have?” and “Can we reuse materials?” are rarely asked. The environmental aspects are often forgotten in this industry too and the awareness of this factor should be a demand in every new development project. What has Evoko got planned 2019? We are very excited to hear the reaction of end-users to the Evoko Pusco. The feedback we’ve received when presenting Pusco at different events and trade shows has been amazing, so it will be so interesting to hear what the actual users will say. As we are innovators at Evoko, we always have a lot of new ongoing development projects. Right now they are top secret, but keep an ear out in the coming months!
S ENTRIE OPEN
FUTURE TRENDS ISSUE #000
CELEBRATING THE PC AND TECH INDUSTRY
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<Logging off>\\| Out and about in the industry
<BT Shop helps Rivington gardens bloom again> In September, the BT Shop team headed up to Rivington Terraced Gardens near Horwich for a day of volunteering. Originally created for soap magnate Lord Leverhulme in the early 1900s, the dramatic hillside gardens featured a heavily-wooded area, a network of footpaths, and formal lawns and gardens which surrounded Leverhulme’s residences. Since his death, the gardens and area have suffered from neglect. However, the Groundwork trust has successfully secured £3.4 million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a £4 million restoration package supported by United Utilities. BT Shop joined the Groundwork team for the day to understand the history of the gardens. After a tour the team spent the afternoon hard at work. Loppers, saws and sweat were the order of the day and over a three-hour period, a huge area was cleared. Earlier in the year, the area was decimated by fires, which at one point reached within metres of destroying the restoration site. “We applied to the trust earlier this year to join them for the day, and were scheduled to be there the week after the fires first started in the summer. After we couldn’t attend we were passionate about arranging another date and helping with the damage caused as well as the conservation of the gardens,” said Duncan Rutherford, head of ecommerce for BT Shop. “The team had an epic day, we cleared over 50m of dense gorse bushes that impacted
access, and by the end of it the results were an amazing transformation.” Briony Jolley, volunteer lead at Rivington Terraced Gardens, said: “The BT Shop team were a great bunch and we had a fantastic day – they all worked hard to improve access to the site across a huge area – thanks for all your help!” Some of the team are already going back in their own time to support the project and the wider team are planning to be back again in the spring to continue the work and see the changes that have taken place.
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<Biggest tech news from… November 2011> Now you’re up-to-date with the latest issues in tech retail, let’s take a take a trip down memory lane to some interesting stories from yesteryear... Best Buy closes all UK stores November 2011 marked the end of Best Buy in the UK, with the retailer announcing the closure of all eleven stores. Best Buy Europe, the joint venture between Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy, was the launchpad for opening huge US-style outlets in the UK and later Europe. However, the venture was short-lived. “After conducting a thorough strategic review of our operations, we believe that our capital investment and ‘connectivity’ strategy should be prioritised within our Carphone Warehouse stores as they offer a higher and proven rate of return,” said Andrew Harrison, CEO of Best Buy Europe, at the time.
VIP acquires CMS Computers VIP Computers bought Liverpool-based system builder CMS Computers seven years ago. The acquisition of CMS, which was best known for producing the Zoostorm and Fizzbook brands, brought another successful firm in to the VIP group, which saw turnover in excess of £200 million in 2011.
Google+ Pages launches Keen to keep up with the fast-paced growth of other social media platforms, Google
launched business and brand-based Google+ Pages on its social networking service in November 2011. Up until that point, Google+ had been limited to individuals, with many wishing to set up brand or company-based profiles finding themselves falling foul of Google’s real name policy. At the time, PCR asked readers: “Will you be setting up a Google+ Page for your business?” While the social networking site is still chugging along, we fear the answer to that questions today is likely to be: “What’s Google+?”...
Entertainment industry urges BT to block Pirate Bay Remember the storm that Pirate Bay kicked up when the illegal file sharing site seemed to be threatening the creative industries? Back in 2011, there was a particular amount of concern coming from music and film companies, with the likes of BPI and MPA calling on BT to block access to the site. BT acknowledged the receipt of the letter but said that it would not voluntarily comply with third–party requests to block access to web sites and that a court order would be required. In 2012 BT, along with Sky, EE, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin agreed to a High Court order to block access to the site.
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NEXT MONTH Audio / Year in Review
For the December issue of PCR, we’ll be looking at how retailers can make the most of selling audio products and our sector guide section will be packed full of the latest headphones and smart speakers on the market. As this will be the last PCR issue of 2018, we’ll also be taking a look at some of the biggest stories in the IT and tech channel from the past year, as well as highlighting what emerging tech we can expect to see in 2019.
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