PCR June 2018

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Smart Home

June 18




TP-Link’s Lino Notaro on the exponential growth of the smart home

Home improvement June 2018

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23/05/2018 14:23

'We are delighted to have won the award for Best PC Vendor! We would like to thank all of our partners and everyone at PCR' – Steve Hope, ASUS UK & Ireland Country Manager PCR_FP_210x265.indd 1

22/03/2018 15:39:20


Las Vegas is a weird place… but it works I RECENTLY MADE my first voyage out to the Mecca of the megaconference: Las Vegas. I’m surprised that it’s taken me quite so long to get out to the middle of the Nevada desert, but the good folks at Dell took it upon themselves to jet me out there for the better part of a week to attend Dell Technologies World 2018 (as you shall see on page 36). Having spent a few days dazzled by the bright lights of the strip I have some stray observations. Firstly; excess is the name of the game. Everything’s bigger in America and everything’s even bigger in Vegas. From the buffet plates to the hotels, very little restraint is shown and that rings doubly true for conferences. With corporate displays of largesse, modesty is a sin with grand displays of opulence being par for the course (one surreal talk I attended had a large choir performing a rendition of ‘The Circle of Life’ mashed up with Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’. It was… unique). One might find it off putting, but the freebies are a welcome respite in a city where everything apart from the mythologised oxygen enriched air con costs a limb. Second; the city operates on its own time zone. It might share a value on the clock with California, but it’d be a mistake to think that holds any bearing as to what goes on. I remember walking past a man outside my hotel at 9.am who was holding open beer bottles in either hand and passersby didn’t bat an eyelid. It’s not just the drinking and gambling, Vegas’ adult playground doesn’t sleep and neither do its businessmen. You’re just as likely to find a deal being toasted to over a glass of champagne at the end of the day as a mimosa at the beginning of the next. And lastly; for all that decadence and extravagance that we like to laugh off, it is effective. At the 14,000-strong Dell Technologies World, I don’t think I spoke to a single attendee who thought that the event was a waste of time. When you’re trying to make an impression and bring in business, bigger is better and that is Las Vegas’ raison d’etre. Put it this way, are you more or less likely to remember a conference positively if there was a Sting concert at the end of it? What I suppose I’m getting at with all of this is that, ironically, what happens in Vegas stays with you for quite some time.

“Everything’s bigger in America and everything’s even bigger in Vegas.”

Jonathan Easton, Editor



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June 2018 | 3

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30 UNDER 30


Contents June 2018 TP-Link interview


Lino Notaro on the importance of the smart home category

Selling the smart home


Just how much would it cost to kit out an entire house?

Dell Technologies World Summer of esports


We head out to Vegas to get a look at what went down


A look at some of the most exciting esports events this season

At a glance 06 SAINSBURY'S ASDA PCR asks how the shock supermarket mega merger will play out and the rammifications it will have on the Channel 34 JIGSAW24 The growing reseller talks about its upwards trajectory and why selling Macs to businesses is easier than you'd think

Regulars 10 Life in the Channel 12 Industry opinion 40 Sector guides 47 In my team 49 Logging off


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23/05/2018 11:10


Lost in the supermarkets What does a merger between two of the largest retailers in the country mean for competition and customers? Jonathan Easton picks apart the pros and cons of the proposed Sainsbury’s-Asda mega deal


N A MOVE that has sent waves through UK retail, supermarket giants Asda and Sainsbury’s announced on April 28th that they are in shock talks over a £10bn merger deal. The deal would give the combined Asbury’s (because Sasda doesn’t quite have the same ring) a combined 31.4 per cent market share, compared with Tesco’s 27.6 per cent. The news may have been an unexpected jolt to wake up to on a Saturday morning, but that might not be the case with the bigger picture. “The Asda/Sainsbury’s merger shouldn’t come as a huge surprise,” notes Meyar Sheik, CEO of real-time omnichannel personalisation provider Certona. “It’s a safety measure for the brands, with ‘affordability’ having been redefined by Aldi/Lidl and Amazon’s encroachment on the grocery space significantly upping



June 2018

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competition. It’s also a win for the supermarkets, with predicted cost savings and operational efficiencies.” Certainly, cost has been at the forefront of much of the discussion. “The merger with Sainsbury’s is an opportunity to take cost out of the supply chain which they hope the suppliers will fund,” says John Colley, Professor of Practice in the Strategy & International Business group at Warwick Business School. As a result of this cost cutting, Sainsbury’s has promised that customers should see a 10 per cent reduction in the price of their shopping. While those price cuts may initially seem a good thing for the collective wallets of the nation, Colley says out that the outlook might not be so rosy for consumers: “customers will see reduced choice and the current price war is likely to persist.”


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If it’s not down to cost or choice, Terry Hunter, UK managing director of Astound Commerce believes that the most important aspect of the merger may lie in ensuring brand loyalty. “This merger should be seized as an opportunity for both parties to share resources, differentiate its offering, stand out from the crowd, and build/retain a loyal customer base – and this doesn’t mean simply slashing product prices,”. The strengths of each company, Hunter argues, complement each other very well. “One of Sainsbury’s strengths lies in the fact that it has a strong online offering through its acquisition of Argos in 2016. As well as this, the retailer announced last week that it was expanding its tech team by nearly 25 per cent. This ongoing commitment to expanding its omnichannel offering is interesting and shows an awareness of the threat from across the Atlantic. If the deal goes through, combining Sainsbury’s online strengths with Asda’s large physical stores will be the very definition of an omnichannel approach.” But while the news may be good for both companies and their never ending war against the market leading Tesco, there are serious questions over what it means in terms of a potential monopoly and for employees. The former is an issue which has been raised by food campaigners, environmentalists and farmers’ leaders, who believe – as Colley pointed out above – that the promise to cut costs will put pressure on suppliers, many of which may be forced to cut corners. “Too much pressure on producers only increases the risk of shortcuts being taken, including environmental standards being lowered,” says Dan Crossley of the Food Ethics Council”. More specifically for the tech world, the merging of Sainsbury’s, Argos and Asda under one roof – all of which were competing organisations less than three years

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“Customers will see reduced choice and the current price war is likely to persist.” John Colley, Warwick Business School ago – has made the budget computing retail space significantly smaller in the UK, and that’s without mentioning the recent fall of Maplin. The £15 billion deal will face huge scrutiny from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), but don’t expect there to be much of a fightback. “The CMA waved through the Tesco-Booker deal and for this deal there is confidence that the price in terms of divestments may well be relatively low,” points out Colley But perhaps more pressing than even that threat to competition comes in the form of the threat to jobs. Sainsbury’s and Asda combined employ 360,000 people in the UK, and while the companies initially said that there were no plans for store closures as a result of creating the group comprising 2,800 stores, the story has begun to change. “There hasn’t been a retail deal like this in more than a decade,” says David Haywood, founder of Maximise UK – who believes that at least 6 per cent (73) of the combined group’s supermarkets are at risk. Similarly, a union representing Asda staff believes that regulators will force 75 Asda supermarkets and 11 distribution centres to close due to their proximity to Sainsbury’s shops and warehouses. The areas that are likely to be affected the most are the South East (which

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“People want job security but it’s likely to be up in the air for quite a long time.”

Above: A typical Asda supermarket in Keighley, Yorkshire

Gary Carter, GMB has 17 overlapping supermarkets) and the North West (with 13 overlapping supermarkets). “The Competition and Markets Authority will ensure that there are sales of stores where there is overlap which should help Morrison’s and also Aldi and Lidl. However, the large stores may well be viewed as surplus capacity in the industry which no one wants and will subsequently close,” adds Colley. There is a big fear amongst staff that those closures will result in job losses. GMB national officer Gary Carter told The Mirror: “People are very fearful about their jobs and long-term prospects. “Asda have said to us they are going to continue as a separate operation and there are no plans for store closures and changes. However, we’re concerned that where there have been mergers and takeovers within the retail sector in



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the past it has resulted in stores being sold and rationalisation within the distribution and head office functions.” He concludes that “people want long term job security but it’s likely to be up in the air for quite a long time.” The proposed deal still has a lot of processes to go through and there will be many more developments before its expected culmination in mid-2019. The merger is being put forward as pro-consumer in the sense of cutting costs and streamlining operations, but the pitfalls that will inevitably arise due to the highlighted loss of choice and variety may ultimately end up being detrimental to the consumer experience.


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“Being with my daughters is by far my favorite hobby”



June 2018

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23/05/2018 10:31

Tech Talk


Nick Miles

PCR chats to Okta’s director of Field Alliances about his naval past, making sure the company is a tight ship and his passion for drones What does an average day look like for you? In the Channel world, there’s no average day. The daily work differs from partner to partner and from region to region. That said, my day tends to be split between internal calls with our growing EMEA team, problem solving, and managing partner activities, which these days can vary from presentations to creating orders. The job covers a number of regions alongside the UK, so I tend to log on around 7am, which gives me a good head-start and crossover time. As our HQ is in San Francisco, my day normally ends around 8pm. While it seems like a long day, I make time to squeeze in a gym session and ensure I have a good work-life balance. How did you go from working in the Navy to getting involved in the Channel and how easy/ difficult was the transition? I served 14 years in the Royal Navy specialising in communications. When I was leaving, I decided to pursue my interest in IT as my second career, but back then it was all about Microsoft’s NT4 and Novell operating systems. I decided to take the plunge and do a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification in NT4 as part of my resettlement. I then worked for a VAR in Yorkshire for a number of years, before moving into the vendor world, where I started managing and building sales engineering teams in the Single Sign-On (SSO) and Identity Access Management (IAM) space. I always wanted to move to a commercial role and really like the idea of channel management. Since I started my IT career as a reseller, I understood the commercial pressures and the way it worked, but it was my technical knowledge of the SaaS IAM market that helped me communicate with distributors and resellers. In particular, I was able to articulate how a solution like Okta’s fits into the way partners work and how they can make money from partnering with us. It probably goes without saying that this shift in role had its ups-and-downs – after all, I was entering a new environment of Channel management and experiencing the pressures of a rapidly growing and innovative SaaS company. Ultimately, it has been my passion and integrity, as well as my open and straightforward approach to people and issues that’s helped me adapt to the role. I don’t always get it right, but nobody does and if the job was easy, I simply wouldn’t do it.


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What are the best and worst aspects of your role? The best part of my role is being a part of a company that cares about its people, whether that’s employees or customers, and knowing that we are building something great within the EMEA market. It’s hard to pinpoint any negative aspect of my job, but, I think with all large companies, there’s always a certain degree of internal or external politics to navigate. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, which doesn’t always mix well with politics. That’s been part of the learning experience in adapting to my environment. What are you looking forwards to the most in the next 12 months? At Okta, we are about to move into the next phase of our partner evolution and being a key member of the project is exciting. We are designing a new partner program that at its foundation will show how any SaaS channel and technology partner can add value to each other, and also reward the partners who are committed to SaaS in regards to sales, delivery and customer success. We don’t want to just cut and paste from a typical partner programme. Instead, we’re looking at all the different ways we work with partners and the benefits we can offer each other. We’ll be announcing this new partnership program at our Partner Summit at Oktane18 in May. Above all else, I am most looking forward to seeing the growth of the company in EMEA, and leading a team of driven and passionate people towards our vision and goals. Do you have any hobbies outside of work? I spend a considerable amount of time with my family. Being with my daughters is by far my favorite hobby. On the less sentimental side, I have just taken my PfCO commercial drone pilot permit, as I feel that the drone sector will be one of the next big things, and am helping a number of veterans set up a drone commercial surveying business. How can people best get in touch with you? While I’m not yet on Twitter, LinkedIn or email (nick.miles@ okta.com) are usually the best ways to contact me. I’m always excited to speak and meet with new people, so do get in touch and start a conversation!

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23/05/2018 10:31


Dan Todaro – managing director, Gekko

A dystopian view of retail: The death of the high street has been sensationalised by the press – there’s life in the old dog yet A lot of retail stores have gone a long way to improve HAVE I MISSED something? Did we enter into the world the in-store experience, whether that’s providing shops of the dystopian LA of Blade Runner where curious within shops, interactive technology experiences and market stalls sell to radically dressed humans or robots? innovative store concepts – and many of these are The way that bricks and mortar retail is currently thriving. Yet despite the opening, we’re clearly not portrayed we might just well have done. We all know the replicant and very much human and here’s my big point: challenges retailers face, but I do want to start this view by Human interaction, knowledge and experience is the highlighting the following statistic to get us all thinking most powerful armoury in bricks and mortar retailers’ positively – yes, I did say the word positive. According to weaponry. It’s where they can win, yet constantly fall short. ONS, while online sales continue to rise, e-commerce as a People are the face of a retail brand, the golden percentage of total retail sales in February 2018 ticket to success, but only if trained properly. For was still only 17.2 per cent. There clearly is a considered purchases, initial interaction is future, it’s just not what we’ve got right now. vital. Sales staff should be asking key We recently conducted a study which “People are the face questions of consumers to discover why revealed that the bricks and mortar retail of a retail brand, the they’re in the store and their budget. environment still plays a significant role in Are they looking to buy new or influencing shoppers’ purchasing golden ticket to upgrade a device? Has something broken decisions, especially across high value success” down and needs replacing? What do they products. This hypothesis is supported by currently have? What features do they the European Hardware Association, whose require? Where will it be used and how recent research highlighted that specialist often? What is their preferred price range? A retailers are still sought after for hardware customer wants to be reassured that the product will purchases, showing a greater need for knowledge. meet their needs and solve their ‘problem’. Our study also showed that even among 18-24 year olds, Shoppers need to know how the product will solve more than 40 per cent prefer to head in-store to try a their unique ‘problem’ to walk away satisfied and come product before buying, rising to 58 per cent for over-55’s. back. Online will never be able to provide this level of Surprisingly, 38 per cent of 18-24 year olds want a personal service. Retailers need to take control of their destiny and service and advice from in-store staff, the highest among provide consumers with knowledgeable staff. This will all of the age categories, with only a small number swayed deliver a great experience for both retailer and brand. by celebrity endorsement or the opinion of ‘influencers’.

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23/05/2018 10:32


Andy Zollo – vice president of Sales - EMEA, StorageCraft

Profiting from preparedness The old adage of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ rings truer for the Channel in 2018 than ever before storage and servers to manage the problem. That THE SCOUTS could teach us a thing or two about the approach becomes a volume and commodity play, but it importance of recovery and preparedness. Of the nearly doesn’t add value, create lasting relationships, or present two million Scout merit badges earned last year, first aid meaningful profit opportunities. and emergency preparedness ranked among the highest. The Channel opportunity is to advise and help customers Business, on the other hand, isn’t quite so prepared. understand the different backup and recovery solutions It’s estimated that 75 per cent of small businesses do not and services available, and to create Disaster Recovery as have a disaster recovery plan, according to insurance a Service (DRaaS) offerings comprising fully integrated company, Nationwide. Of even greater concern is that on-premise, off-premise, and cloud solutions. When approximately 90 per cent of businesses that lose data are customers see a service from a disaster recovery forced to close within two years, according to the standpoint they immediately see the value. British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA). DRaaS means a more strategic offering – As well as being unprepared for future, namely, business continuity. For customers, many organisations are struggling with the “As many as three the value of business continuity is much management of data backup. A recent quarters of your higher as it gives the assurance of being survey that we commissioned discovered customers don’t able to achieve operational recovery in that nearly 50 per cent of IT decision have a disaster the event of disaster. Backup is only a makers are struggling with data growth part of a complete disaster recovery and believe it is only going to get worse. recovery plan” solution. DRaaS means taking care of all 51 per cent are not confident that their IT your customers’ disaster recovery needs. It infrastructures can perform instant data means you’re able to scale as they scale. recovery in the event of a failure. As natural disasters and cyber-attacks become It’s clear there is a problem and a demand for increasingly common, discussion about preparedness, disaster preparedness and recovery. For MSPs and VARs disaster recovery and business continuity has never been there is a huge opportunity to profit from helping prepare more relevant. The DRaaS market is expected to grow for data and system outages. As many as three quarters of from $2.19 billion (£1.56 billion) this year to $12.54 your customers don’t have a disaster recovery plan, so now billion (£8.96 billion) by 2022—a CAGR of 41.8 per cent is the time to proactively discuss disaster recovery strategies. (according to MarketsandMarkets). Clearly there is Organisations used to back up files to protect against opportunity for everyone to profit from preparedness. loss or damage. As data volumes grew, they bought more


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23/05/2018 10:34


Adrian West – Director of Commercial Sector, Fujitsu UK and Ireland

Bricks or clicks? Online retail shouldn’t prevent building a strong UK high street its back-end, online, logistics and in-store operations, JD ANOTHER DAY, another headline, depicting the demise Sports has strong figures thanks to a cohesive multiof UK retail. This time, the news encompassed figures channel offering that has identified that shoppers do not revealing new stores on the UK’s high streets are opening think of online, in-store and mobile as isolated. at their lowest rate in seven years. Shoppers now use several channels, from initial This slowdown in store openings accentuates the highly product research and seeing an item up close, to having it digital and mobile market that retailers now operate in. delivered at a time and location convenient to them. They The high street still holds an important place in the UK’s expect to go from one to the other without encountering retail landscape, if only retailers recognise that it’s roadblocks. That is what retailers must give them. changing and adapt to fit the new needs of the customer. A key component of the in-store experience is the A bricks and mortar presence is still relevant. technology. The quality of in-store technology can indeed Traditional pureplay brands and retailers in the past year impact the loyalty of consumers. Our recent have made calculated moves onto the high street. research found that 58 per cent of shoppers Amazon is opening its own stores and invested have chosen to buy a product from a store in buying Whole Foods, providing the brand because of a better in-store experience. with hundreds of in-store outlets instantly. Retailers can enhance their in-store Manufacturers such as Apple and “A bricks and experiences by ensuring that they are Dyson have created a ‘showroom’ mortar presence thinking digitally with one view over experience, enabling customers to go into is still relevant” their entire operations, from the shop a store and test out products in a glossy, floor to the back-end, through to online. experiential environment. Even Asos has However, only 50 per cent of retailers in the ties to the high street with click-and-collect UK have a digital strategy in place. services. Traditional retailers must not forget When retailers fall, it comes with serious the influence physical stores still have, especially consequences, resulting in store closures, bankruptcy at a time where online retailers are investing in it too. and job losses. When they fly and strong sales occur, we Retailers need to re-think what the in-store experience are increasingly seeing their digital offerings play a means to them and their customers. It’s becoming more determining factor in their success. Consumers respond intrinsically linked with the customer experience. In fact, well to retailers who enable them to shop freely, and how retailers need to think of digital and the store as one and they want. Retailers who listen to this need will reap the the same, as that is how customers see it. Most recently we rewards. The high street isn’t dead, it’s just growing up have seen the benefits that a united offering can bring to a and retailers need to grow alongside it. retailer’s profits and sales. After significant investment in

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23/05/2018 10:35


Janette Martin – managing director of strategic partnerships and alliances, Advanced

Head-first into the cloud The Channel needs to change its approach if the cloud is to become mainstream

are actually not. This only creates confusion for MOVING TO AND INTEGRATING a cloud strategy is customers, which the Channel partners have to manage. fast becoming the first choice for positive digital Working with the same vendors for on-premise disruption. We are seeing a strong appetite for the benefits software doesn’t automatically make them the right that the cloud will deliver, but we are led to believe that choice for the cloud. Resellers need to look to vendors businesses are well on their way in adoption. This is far that deliver true cloud solutions along with the right from the truth. According to our recent Advanced report, training, sales and marketing. They also need to work just 33 per cent of organisations admit to being more closely with cloud vendors to ensure that customers experienced in the cloud and continue to consider it for are provided with ongoing education. all new projects, while 37 per cent have recently launched New cloud solutions are driving opportunities cloud computing projects for the first time. to increase revenue, and resellers should focus Just like any purchase, a move to the cloud on the solutions that are designed to should be considered with the same level of streamline key processes. For example, we due diligence as any other investment. “The Channel is know access to real-time financial If the cloud is to become mainstream saturated with insights is at the heart of every firm’s – both at an SME and enterprise level – vendors claiming success so the benefits of the cloud and the Channel needs to change its tact. The to sell the next SaaS are attractive. That’s why we challenge is that the Channe has become launched Business Cloud Essentials, used to the revenue from up front best technology” which presents a huge reseller opportunity. licences. It uses a traditional financial Vendors, Advanced included, are now management model where it is easy to taking a cloud-first strategy because they are manage revenue against forecasts. Monthly seeing lower digit growth in on-premise solutions subscriptions for services are disrupting that model and strong double digit growth for cloud solutions. and the Channel needs to adapt quickly to realise the Now is the time for Channel to be more proactive with benefits that this can deliver. their existing base and focus on winning new customers. Those that don’t adapt their business model to embrace Resellers need to look for the right cloud solutions to cloud technology will lose traction, but changing business drive them forward for the future while vendors need to model isn’t simple. The Channel is saturated with vendors step up to their responsibilities to ensure their Channel claiming to sell the next best technology and some of resellers have the fit-for-purpose support they need. them try to promote products as cloud-based – when they


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23/05/2018 10:39

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16/05/2018 10:23:39

2018 We take a look at 30 of the best and brightest that the Channel has to offer across marketing and social media to sales and system building. There are even a few directors thrown in for good measure

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23/05/2018 10:45

30 under 30

Emma Smith

Marketing Assistant, Synology Emma joined Synology in May 2017 and settled in well to the business and technology industry. She has rapidly learnt the product range, customer base, channel partners, and become an invaluable asset to Synology UK. Emma has established a strong relationship with key partners including media and KOLs. She has aided the rapid growth of our social media channels through strategic planning allowing us to reach a bigger audience on a daily basis. Her organisational skills are exceptional and she has proven to be a hardworking and loyal team member.

Christopher Yule

Internal Sales Executive, Synaxon UK Christopher recently moved to Synaxon UK from VIP Computers and this exemplifies his drive, even at the age of 19. He has been in the industry since the age of 16 and has made my way up the ladder to where he is today. Making big movements in the industry and achieving such targets with so much time to continue to improve, Chris isn’t lacking in confidence either. “I am a dark horse in this industry and I will be recognised more in years to come from many more achievements.”

Katie Pinnock

Country Manager, Cooler Master UK Having taken over the UK channel in May last year, Katie has guided Cooler Master through several successful product launches in the last six months. Her background in marketing allows her to create a buzz around new products as they launch. She has also continued to support her channel well. The company has seen on average 250 per cent year-over-year growth over the last 3 quarters.

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Ronil Bhimjiani

Channel Marketing Specialist, Cooler Master UK Looking after various sales accounts across the UK, Ronil is always willing to go above and beyond expectations to ensure the customer is happy, and to ensure he is representing the brand and the products in the best light. He is very self motivated and his work ethic is inspiring to his colleagues. One Cooler Master partner said that he brought their almost inactive account to being one of their most thriving. “He brings fresh and innovative ideas to the table, and his go-getter attitude and positivity is infectious; nothing is a hassle for him.”

Annie Shah

Marketing Executive, Ingram Micro Annie joined Ingram in January 2018 but she has already become an integral member of the team and has left her mark on the Channel. Before making the jump into tech, Annie worked in the luxury fashion industry and the refreshing perspective she has brought with her has been thoroughly impressive to her colleagues. She works with 10 vendors has already established strong relationships across her vendor partners. One colleague describes her as the ‘go-to person for insights, industry and market knowledge’.

Sophia Meola

Marketing Executive - Social & PR, Ingram Micro Being put forward perhaps more than anyone else on this list, Ingram Micro’s social media whizz has been at the distie for over three years She’s used her skills in digital marketing, social media and blogging to overhaul the online presence of Ingram Micro UK and increase the firm’s NPS score. She’s even a bit of a celebrity outside of the Channel, with a large social media following and even being on ITV2’s Dress To Impress.


23/05/2018 10:45

30 under 30

Leah Somers

UK Marketing Manager, Cooler Master A popular figure at Cooler Master, Leah started out at CyberpowerPC (UK) in 2015, as the marketing assistant and gradually took over more marketing responsibilities. Eventually she made it her responsibility to completely restructure the marketing campaigns, including an array of SEO and SEM strategies – with the main focus of increasing website traffic and sales conversions. She moved to Cooler Master in January, and now oversees all UK marketing for both the end consumer and a large number of UK reseller customers.

Matt Kerridge

Customer Service, More Computers Matt came to More Computers in November 2011 through the Apprenticeship Program and has since become an integral member of the customer service department. Matt has taken on a number of key roles and responsibilities in his time at More and does not shy away from going the ‘extra mile’ when it comes to customer service. Matt also likes to show off his dart skills at lunch, more often than not showing his colleagues ‘how its done’.

Emma Senior

Admin, Platinum Components Referred to as the ‘Rolls Royce engine in the Platinum machine’ by her colleagues, Emma continually delivers outstandong customer service and efficiency which has earned her the respect of Platinum’s employees and the respect of customers and suppliers around the world. Emma has twice been awarded Platinum Components Peoples Champion award which is voted for by her colleagues and is a testament to the esteem in which she is held within the company.


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James Grant

General Manager, Transcend Information James joined Transcend in 2011 and has rapidly progressed in a short space of time. Starting out as a Channel Account Manager, he progressed through the sales ranks to Sales Manager in 2014 before becoming the General Manager for the UK and Ireland in 2017. With his strong understanding and relationships in the industry combined with the importance he places on professionalism, integrity and honesty.

Amy Cooper

Account Director, Gfk Amy has been working in the Tech industry for five years, with a wealth of knowledge working closely with her client base. In those five years, she has worked her way up to Account Director, due to the dedication and understanding of the market and client issues. She constantly pushes boundaries and develops the research at Gfk, most recently being a key voice of the client as the company develops new solutions. Her passion shines through, making her a go to contact for her clients.

Shalen Sehgal

Director of Business Development, Crises Control Shalen is a highly entrepreneurial and creative business leader. In 2013 Shalen joined PCR Award-winning reseller Transputec. In 2014 Shalen took over the role of Deputy CEO, and in 2016, at just 26, his contribution was recognised in his appointment as a full Board Director. In 2018 Shalen became Director of Business Development for Crises Control. His approach has helped Crises Control to increase sales by 50 per cent in his first year.

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30 under 30

Scott Walker

UK Operations and Data Management, HANNspree UK Ltd Scott has a vast skill set ranging from technological know-how to efficient communication which makes him an invaluable member of the UK HANNspree team. Aside from his day to day operations duties, Scott manages HANNspree’s in-house technical support service providing advice and solutions to customers and clients. He is also adept at providing support for colleagues, including associates at our international offices, making him an asset for the entire company.

Oliver Murphy

Managing Director, WeFix From humble beginnings selling water-damaged phone solutions from his mum’s kitchen, Oliver Murphy survived the Dragons’ Den and now heads up a company which offers mobile phone repairs through a network of vans around the UK. After dropping his phone down the loo, he came up with the concept of ReviveAPhone – packs containing a solution which could bring a drowned device back to life. This succeeded on Dragons’ Den, securing investment from Kelly Hoppen. In 2017 Onecom injected a six-figure investment into the firm and WeFix recently signed a deal with Samsung to be its exclusive on-the-road device repair partner.

Melvit Cardozo

Marketing Manager, TP-Link Joining TP-Link in 2014 as part of the Technical Support team, Melvit progressed to the Retail team in 2017. Since joining the retail team he has grown his portfolio of clients and is now responsible for building and maintaining relationships with 40 per cent of the total Retail partners. Last year, he was instrumental in delivering more than £2m year-over-year growth by bringing on new customers and supporting customers at major shows and events across the country.


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Barry Huang

Retail Strategy Manager, TP-Link For the last two years, Barry has been responsible the ecommerce department at TP-Link UK which has grown to contribute 20 per cent of the organisation’s revenue. He has recently been promoted to strategy manager for the Retail Department. Barry’s experience spans the online and offline world, working with distributors and customers. He also has a proven track record of analysing and optimising the customer journey by studying and acting on the insights provided by the data behind customer behaviour.

Nikita Lin

Product Manager, MSI Notebook Joining MSI in December 2015 as an account manager, Nikita has made an outstanding contribution towards developing the MSI Gaming Laptop branding and market positioning. During that time, she has developed strong market insights that have proved to be immensely valuable for colleagues and channel partners.

Gavin Jones

Sales Executive, Agilitas Gavin joined Agilitas in May 2017, he has since looked after 60 different accounts. This varies from top companies, such as, BT, Fujitsu and HP. Gavin was set a target of £25,000 when he first joined. Every month Gavin has overachieved this target and is now set a target of £40,000 a month. Once again, Gavin has overachieved this target and hit £60,000 last month and is also predicting the same for next month. Gavin is a very hungry salesman ,always wanting to over-deliver and challenge himself to reach higher. Gavin has great knowledge and background in technology, which he utilises and puts into practice while working.

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30 under 30

Jennifer Eltringham

Marketing Executive, CMS Distribution Jennifer joined CMS Distribution in October 2016, and her six years of experience in marketing has been instrumental in the growth of the organisation. She works with retailers in the UK, Ireland and Nordics across a wide range of brands including DJI, Fitbit, Sphero, SanDisk and Toshiba. Within six months of joining the distributor, Jennifer ran the first hugely successful CMS Consumer TechXpo Event and played a big part in securing the company’s Consumer Electronics Distributor win at the PCR Awards 2018.

Luke Spring

Social Media Manager EMEAI, Nvidia Having been working at Nvidia for a little over three years, Luke has developed into one of the most pivotal players in the iconic brand’s hugely successful social media strategy. With a total appreciation of all types of gaming, Luke is able to communicate with the community in a uniquely engaging way. His success and passion was rewarded when he was promoted to the role of social media and community manager EMEAI in August 2017

David Waters

Community Manager Northern Europe, Nvidia David manages the execution of Nvidia’s GeForce UK Social Media Channels, including Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Since starting in September growth of each social media page has noticeably increased, with Facebook going from 163,000 likes to 180,000, Twitter gaining almost 20,000 followers and Instagram almost doubling its following. David also has his hands full maintaining and building relationships with key influencers within the UK market.

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Luke Bland

UK Account Manager, EVGA Joining EVGA at the tender age of 19, Luke has made his way up through the ranks to become the gaming vendor’s UK account manager. In this role he looks after all distribution along with a number of EVGA’s key resellers and system integrators. He has been integral to the continued growth of EVGA in the UK

Rene Gueth

Account Manager, Terra Computer Limited Rene is an established account manager and highly regarded member of a growing sales team at Terra computer UK. His strong work ethic and drive to continuously learn and better himself has made a lasting impression on his team. Rene has played a key role in helping the sales team to break records and he always works hard to achieve and exceed his own personal targets also. As an Assistant Team Leader in the sales department, Rene always steps up to the task and displays fantastic leadership, always succeeding in motivating his peers to reach their maximum potential. Rene possesses all the correct attributes to become a leading professional in the UK IT Channel.

Shane Ward

Sales Executive, Platinum Components Shane has developed into a significantly influential member of the Platinum Components team since joining the company in 2014. In that time, he has significantly increased Platinum’s UK coverage and sales. He also has built strong relationships with new and existing accounts, and has been voted as Platinum’s People Champion for 2016.


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30 under 30

Verity Agababian

Marketing Executive, BT Shop Entering into her third year at BT, Verity initially started at BT Business Direct before moving to the BT Shop eCommerce team. She can usually be found busily working away on all manner of marketing activities, ranging from copywriting and direct marketing to campaign management of the quarterly TechKnow magazine that is sent to around 20,000 customers.

Adam Eldrett

Business Manager - Android Tablets & Chromebooks, Acer Having spent four years at Tesco as both an assistant buyer and buying manager, Adam moved to Acer at the beginning of the year to become the business manager for Android tablets and Chromebooks. Celebrated for his eye for a deal, Adam has built up many strong relationships within the industry and his strong commercial approach has seen him become a standout success wherever he goes.

Rebecca Williams

Junior Buyer, John Lewis The 2016 PCR Women of the Year Rising star award winner, Rebecca has the mammoth task of leading the Windows Computing, Gaming and VR division at one of the country’s largest bricks and mortar and online retailers. During her two years in the role, Rebecca has helped John Lewis to develop its strong position in the market and successfully launch a series of new products.


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Barry Kennedy

Chief Technologist, Utopia Computers Having joined Utopia in 2007 as a trainee technician with no formal IT training, Barry has developed into one of the most important and popular members of the Utopia team among colleagues and customers. Barry oversees the testing and designing of many of the awardwinning rigs produced by the Kilmarnock system builder. On top of that he still manages to find time to manage Utopia’s gaming community and game with customers outside of the office. Barry played a key role in securing back-to-back wins for Utopia at the PCR Awards in 2017 and 2018.

Megan Warren

Marketing Executive, Computerworld Group Described as ‘very efficient, approachable and personable’, Megan has worked at Computerworld for almost three years, initially joining as marketing and internal communications coordinator and in that time has been promoted to the position of marketing executive. Her impressive development at the company which deals with key clients like Dell, HP, VMware, Microsoft and Veeam saw her nominated for the PCR Women of the Year rising star award in 2017.

James Lee

Purchasing Manager, CCL Computers An expert professional at all times, a big part of James’ success boils down to his knowledge of the market along with his understanding and appreciation of market trends. As such, the enthusiast-driven Bradford retailer has seen a growing level of success and acclaim. James has played an important role in the growth of the company and its relationships.

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01/06/2018 10:42

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24/05/2018 16:42


Touch and feel When it comes to smart home tech, there are few names as ubiquitous as TP-Link. Jonathan Easton speaks with TP-Link UK’s retail sales director about the company’s smart home strategy, the importance of bricks and mortar to selling the tech and its overall view of the high street www.pcr-online.biz

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ONE ARE THE days where making your home into something any bit more intelligent than an alarm clock is restricted to only the fabulously wealthy. In 2018, it is easier – and cheaper – than ever for the average consumer to add some element of smart tech to their home. This level of democratisation is thanks in no small part to TP-Link, with the company playing a vital role in the growth of the category to complement a growing demand across the nation. “TP-Link has been involved within the smart home space for about 2 and half years now, says Lino Notaro,



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the company’s retail sales director. “During this time we have gradually increased our store distribution across all of the major UK retailers and e-tailers. As a consequence, this category has grown in importance to us. It’s not difficult to see why. According to a recent report from Statista, household penetration of smart home tech is currently at 19.9 per cent, with it predicted to hit 39 per cent by 2022. Smart tech in a home is rapidly becoming an expected norm, rather than a quirky novelty. And there’s plenty of money in the market too. The report goes on to say that revenue in the Smart Home market amounts to a staggering


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“Even though the smart home market has shown considerable year on year growth, my view is that we are still in the ‘early adopter’ stage”

£2.017 billion in 2018 in the UK, with the US leading the pack at £14.16 billion. The category is exponentially growing every year, with revenue rising from £967 million in 2016 to a predicted £4.172 billion in 2019 within the UK alone. For TP-Link, a lot of that growth is down to education and a strong relationship with retailers. “First off, all the time we have taken the opportunity to educate and demonstrate the benefits and convenience that smart home products bring to everyday people,” points out Notaro. “We have executed some impressive in store POS with the likes


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of Tesco, Maplin, Dixons and Sainsbury’s, which enable customers to understand how our products work and the lifestyle benefits they provide. “These displays include product demos and videos, which are very strong, intuitive ways to engage with customers, rather than just having educational POS header-boards or blockers which ‘tell’ but don’t necessarily ‘show’ them how our products will work in their home.” If you have been in a large retailer that has any sort of tech in it over the past couple of years, there’s a strong chance you would have seen a TP-Link POS kit. When you’re introducing a new category to consumers, making sure they can understand what it is and what can be done with it is essential, Notaro argues, and TP-Link is heading up the charge. “As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why we have successfully grown smart home in retail is because of our considerable investments on ‘interactive and informative’ in-store POS.It’s essential that we provide the opportunity for customers to ‘touch and feel’ our products, along with explaining how our products work and the benefits and convenience they can bring.” The proliferation of the tech, while impressive, is still in its early days and there is plenty more to be done in order to raise awareness and education outside of a core enthusiast and largely young demographic. (According to Statista, 49 per cent of the smart home market is aged between 18 and 34, with only 9.1 per cent of the market made up of over 55 year olds.) “Even though the smart home market has shown considerable year on year growth, my view is that we are still in the ‘early adopter’ stage. Generally speaking we have not yet penetrated the ‘mass market’, so we’ll need to continue to help our retail partners reach the

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‘next level’ of consumers who are not so confident with technology. This will take time, but I am positive that an increasing number of ‘new consumers’ will be tempted to begin their journey with our smart plugs and bulbs and gradually add more complex devices, following their good customer experience with TPLink,” adds Notaro. He also thinks that though the POS kits play a key role, there is more that retailers can do to add to the category. “I do believe retailers ought to consider dedicating some space for live smart home demonstrations. “Live demos could really accelerate the customer decision making process, once they understand how easy set up can be and seamless user experience is.” On the topic of easy set up and seamless user experiences, one absolutely cannot discount the monumental effect that the birth of Alexa has had on the category. Alexa, along with Google Home and other similar AI assistants, have played a huge role in the adoption of smart home tech, with many consumers viewing it as an excellent way to dip their toe into the smart home. Notaro comments: “Google Home and Amazon Alexa are having a hugely positive effect on the market. Switching lights on and off and operating other electronic devices ‘via voice’ really does give them the ‘wow factor’, which has contributed to accelerated adoption of not only Amazon Alexa and Google



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“Google Home and Amazon Alexa are having a hugely positive effect on the market” Home, but all of the associated and compatible products which TP-Link produces.” While a lot of the smart home spotlight has been shone on voice control, consumers largely prefer using their smartphone instead of a voice assistant as a smart home controller. A GfK study from April found that 89 per cent of consumers see their smartphone as their smart home controller. Fortunately for the consumers who prefer their phones, TP-Link has that covered, as Notaro explains. “Our KASA App, the central control system for all our smart home products, is very easy to use and has one of the highest ratings of all smart home Apps and the integration with voice activated smart assistants makes it even easier to control.” With the growth of the smart home being, in a way, thanks to Amazon, it is ironic that one of the biggest benefactors could be the bricks and mortar retailers that we are largely conditioned to view as the underdogs these days.


23/05/2018 10:44


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23/05/2018 10:38:01


“There are absolutely opportunities for bricks and mortar retailers to capitalise,” Notaro states. “TP-Link is always discussing with our retail partners better ways of communicating the benefits of our products to the consumer. Clearly there needs to be a viable ‘business case’ to justify any investment, but if any retailer would like to discuss this matter in more detail, they should contact me.” But with the potential for physical retail to grow as a result of the smart home, it is inevitable that the topic of Maplin – one of TP-Link’s largest customers – must be addressed. “Above all,” Notaro reflects, “it is very sad that such a well-established electronics retailer has been unable to find a way to continue trading or find a new buyer. “Maplin has long been one of our closest retailer partners and we helped them launch many impressive in store executions, not least for smart home. Some would even argue that Maplin offered some of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff with CE and I was always impressed when attending many of their roadshows in the past.” The other big news in the retail world of late is the proposed mega merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s – another of TP-Link’s big clients. “Clearly the food sector will see the biggest effect from this proposed ‘merger’, although I do see some benefits which may ‘spill over’ into CE”, weighs in Notaro. “Firstly, Asda may benefit from the already



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established ‘economies of scale’ which Sainsbury’s and Argos have, along with hundreds more stores to place an Argos concession within.” Notaro’s own personal experiences give him an optimistic view of the deal: “I would like to share a very positive experience, which I had within a recently launched Argos ‘concession’ in my local Sainsbury’s. I purchased a lawnmower which was not in stock at the time. Despite this, it was arranged for me to get free delivery of the lawnmower from another Argos store on the same evening. This meant I didn’t even have to carry it to my car! Regardless of how many retailers decide to merge over the next few years, it’s this ‘immediacy of supply’, which will be the most powerful tool to fight back against the largest players from ecommerce.” For TP-Link itself within the smart home category, things are looking rosy going forward. Notaro however prefers to keep his cards to his chest. When asked what’s in the pipeline going forward, he coyly gives us a “Now that would be telling”. He does give us a little bit more detail, saying that “I can tell you we are looking to launch new product categories (along with developing existing ones), which will add to the customer experience for their smart home.” Whatever TP-Link has up its sleeves, the growing smart home category will no doubt continue to be a plentiful source of revenue for the company.


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25/04/2018 15:49:48

Selling Selling the the smarthome smarthome

The house that smart tech built More or less every home appliance has a smart version these days days. so Wewe teamed teamed up up with PriceSpy to kit out the house of tomorrow today and figure out how much it’d all cost






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The Selling Selling the the smarthome smarthome

Utility room

Front porch

Living room










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ROOM COST: £430.90


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Falling into place Having been around for 25 years, Jigsaw24 is a reseller entirely focused on Apple. Jonathan Easton speaks to Tariq Saied, enterprise services director about what it brings to the table Why are businesses being increasingly drawn to Apple devices as a viable solution? Traditional IT departments have successfully limited the number of platforms and device types that they will support in their organisations. The reason they are now having to adopt Apple is that a lot more Execs are Apple users and new recruits are requesting (and even demanding) those devices. Some recruits will even choose which organisation to join based on what PCs and devices they are being offered. The old myths about Microsoft and other business apps not working on Mac have now been completely debunked. The biggest irony for me is that in a world where CIOs and IT Directors are being asked to do more with less all the time, I now know that a move to Mac will halve incidents.

Above: Tariq Saied, enterprise services director, Jigsaw24



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What are the industries that you cater for, and what are their different needs? It is really difficult to split our business down by industry; it is more pertinent to do this by sector. We work in Enterprise, Media and Entertainment, Education and SMB. All of these need some form of Device Lifecycle management, whether that is for Mac or iOS devices, or both. There is a requirement for Apps to provide a mobile answer for data collection activities or to extend the functionality of an ERP system for businesses. All of the sectors have requirements for infrastructure and these vary by sector. Our SMB customers need full infrastructures; Enterprise customers need Apple Readiness reviews and Wi-Fi


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optimisation for Apple; education companies need Wi-Fi implementation. Security is a big generic area, with solutions from encryption to OS hardening to single sign on. The Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector needs high availability/high density storage and we are the lead reseller of a number of specific solutions around post production and audio, covering everything from content creation, management and monetisation. How big an aspect of Jigsaw24’s business is after sales support? Jigsaw24 has always been focused on the lifetime value of the customer, so after sales support is a big thing for us. We want to ensure that once a customer has engaged with Jigsaw24, they never want to go elsewhere. How has Jigsaw24’s brand evolved in the past 25+ years? I have only been at Jigsaw24 for the last 5 years, but it has always been an amazing hardware and software reseller. The brand was all about creative customers initially, and has since then evolved into education and SMB. The next focus area is enterprise. The business has grown year on year, and in the last seven years we have expanded locations across the country and acquired other resellers or niche companies. The best thing about Jigsaw24 is that through all the change, the fundamental ethos of the business still focuses on customer service. It’s a great place to work. Tell us about some of the partners you have on board such as Sony and Adobe. We work with a lot of vendor partners, the main one is obviously Apple. We also work with creative based tools such as Adobe and


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Avid, especially in the M&E and design fields. For Apple Management we work with Jamf and more recently Microsoft Intune. In M&E we work with Sony, Black magic design, JBL, Newtek, Promise, Sony and Wacom (among many others). Do you still find that many businesses are sceptical of Apple and are hesitant to move away from the traditional Windows platform? What do you say to these kinds of clients in order to allay their fears? We see this all the time, where the engagement is led by IT My own personal story helps here in that having done 25 years in the Microsoft Windows world and only five in Mac, I know exactly where I would deploy Mac and equally where I wouldn’t. You have far fewer incidents on Mac and so selling that and the fact that Macs last longer and have a higher residual value makes it a great Device as a Service candidate, which equalises the cost between Mac and PC.

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23/05/2018 11:02

Dell Technologies World

The world at you Along with thousands in attendance, Jonathan Easton heads to Las Vegas for Dell Technologies World 2018 to see what the company has up its sleeves IN THE MIDDLE of a bustling Las Vegas strip, 14,000 visitors descended on the Sands Expo convention centre for the 2018 Dell Technologies World. “Dell Technologies World is our opportunity to share our vision of technology as the driver of human progress in every corner of the world,” said Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell as he kicked off the event. “We will showcase ways, big and small, our customers are using technology to change the world for the better, whether through a reimagined process or a reimagined industry. We talk often about technology solving our greatest challenges, and we’re making more progress more quickly than ever before.” Dell outlined a series of new programmes, incentives and solutions designed to fast-track channel partners’ delivery of Digital, IT, Security and Workforce Transformations for their customers as well as strong investment momentum through Dell Technologies Capital and the winners of the Dell Technologies Innovators and Trailblazers customer awards. “Our customers are responding to the power of our combined company, creating good momentum as we kick off 2018,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman, Products and Operations, Dell. “We currently have the No. 1 worldwide market share in key areas like servers and storage. When the first calendar quarter 2018 industry market share numbers are final, we expect to increase our worldwide PC market share for the 21st consecutive quarter, and gain share in servers and storage. We have exciting announcements planned across our portfolio at this year’s event that are driving this leadership and our customers’ digital transformation, ultimately resulting in better business outcomes.” Elsewhere at the event, Dell also discussed its Channel strategy for the year along with the reveal of its new storage arrays including the flagship DellEMC PowerMax. There was also a large expo hall and breakout tracks focused on technology, IT leadership and code and modern ops. It might be thousands of miles away from our home in the UK, but anyone who made the trip will rest assured that it was no gamble.



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Dell Technologies World

your feet


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23/05/2018 11:13

Sector Guide

TP-Link 0118 327 1135 Founded in 1996, TP-Link is a global provider of reliable networking devices and accessories, involved in all aspects of everyday life. The company is consistently ranked by analyst firm IDC as the No. 1 provider of WLAN and broadband CPE devices, supplying distribution to more than 120 countries and serving hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Smart Home

With a proven heritage of stability, performance and value, TP-Link has curated a portfolio of products that meet the networking needs of all individuals. Now, as the connected lifestyle continues to evolve, the company is expanding today to exceed the demands of tomorrow. But not only is TP-Link at the forefront of WLAN technologies across both consumer and business, the company was also one of the first to really focus on consumer-grade smart home solutions such as smart bulbs, smart plugs and cloud cameras. As a result, TP-Link has become a go-to choice for consumers looking to smarten up their homes. Featured product: TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring HS110

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Smarter 0207 096 3210 Smarter has swiftly become one of the UK’s fastest growing connected home companies, pioneering the emerging ‘connected kitchen’ lifestyle, creating innovative products that can enhance our everyday lives. The award-winning London-based company first came to prominence in 2013, with the successful launch of the first ever Wi-Fi-enabled iKettle, going on to become a best-seller. The idea of connected kitchen products was first identified by Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Smarter CEO Christian Lane. Smarter’s latest ground-breaking range of products including iKettle (3rd Gen), Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) and FridgeCam, the world’s first wireless fridge camera, are at the forefront of delivering solutions that can save money, time, energy and food waste in our everyday lives. Smarter’s range are some of the most unique products that are now sold in over 3000 stores across the UK, Europe and North America with the retail partners including Curry’s, Amazon and Best Buy. Featured product: Smarter Coffee 2.0


23/05/2018 11:15

Sector Guide

Philips 0845 601 1283 Needing little introduction, Phillips is a household name that has been in the business of technology for over 125 years, producing everything from radios and TVs to medical equipment. Now in 2018, the brand’s consumer efforts are mostly focused on its smart home offerings, specifically its Hue subbrand. When it launched the first Hue system in 2012, many cast off the product as a gimmick that’d fade away. However, unlike the halogen lightbulbs of old, Hue is shining brighter than ever. The system was marketed as the first ever iOS controlled lighting appliance, and has since become fully integrated with Alexa and Google Home. Giving users full control over the lighting in their homes, Phillips Hue has won countless awards and now has a variety of different devices and peripherals for all around the house. In September, T3 gave Hue its award for Best Connected Lighting, saying that it is ‘a shining example of what all connected lights should aim for’. Featured product: Phillips Hue White and colour ambiance starter kit

Samsung SmartThings 01932 455 000 The South Korean tech giant has its fingers in many pies across tech, with its SmartThings category being one of the newest. SmartThings actually started life as a $1.2 million-funded Kickstarter campaign to create a Smart Hub for with a simple ambition to add intelligence to everyday things in the home. The company would later be acquired in 2014 by Samsung for $200 million as the larger organisation looked to move into the internet of things space, but it still operates out of its California base. Nowadays, SmartThings produces an array of sensors for the home, intelligent power outlets as well as the Smart Hub it kicked things off with. Featured product: SmartThings Smart Hub


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Sector Guide

Hive 0333 202 9627 Owned and operated by British Gas, Hive is the UK’s leading smart home provider and has seen huge amounts of growth since its launch in 2012 to over 360,000 customers.

Smart Home

As a part of the UK energy industry regulator Ofgem’s aim to convert 53 million homes and small businesses to smart gas and electricity meters by the end of 2020, the Hive Active Heating thermostat has now become commonplace in British homes. Users can control the temperature of their homes whether they are in the house or on the go with their smartphone, and can even set the temperature with their voices by using Amazon Echo or Google Home. On top of the Active Heating Thermostat, Hive now has products including lightbulbs, motion sensors for windows and doors, and a smart plug. Featured product: Hive Active Heating Thermostat

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Logitech 0218 635 511 Some people might say that remotes and buttons are a bit old fashioned, but Logitech is a company that has always bucked the trend. Founded in 1981 in Switzerland, the company has distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide and has grown from building mice to creating some of the most sophisticated solutions for gaming, music, home entertainment and now the home itself. While we’re constantly being told that the future of controlling the home is through our voices, Logitech presents the combination of a remote – specifically the Logitech Harmony Elite – and a smartphone app to create universal remote that does far more than just control your TV or stereo. Thanks to the included Harmony Home Hub, the remote can connect to a host of other Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or infrared devices to control over 270,000 entertainment and smart home devices. You can even set up ‘activities’ which trigger a set of commands to create the best atmosphere for whatever you want to do, whether that’s dimming the lights and closing the curtains for a home cinema, or a routine for getting up in the morning. Featured product: Logitech Harmony Elite


23/05/2018 11:15

Sector Guide

Yale 0845 223 2126 Most well known as the go-to company for door, window and padlocks, Yale has quietly moved into the smart living space over the past few years to add a touch of 21st Century technology to its physical locks. The company even made the bold decision to ditch the key altogether with its Keyless Connected Smart Door Lock that was turning heads, as well as handles when it was launched earlier this year. Compatible with most UK 60mm Backset Nightlatches, the smart lock is a breeze to install and is even easier to use with touch panel control, key card entry, key tag entry and even remote access from a smartphone. It’s not just the locks that Yale is bringing to the home though, with smart home alarms, Wi-Fi cameras and CCTV systems all bringing industrial security all at a consumer scale and consumer price point. Featured product: Keyless Connected Smart Door Lock

Arlo 0134 445 8200 Netgear is a brand synonymous with networking, and it is also at the forefront of smart home security technology through its Arlo brand. Its range of top-of-the-line security cameras are easy to use and will give consumers peace of mind whenever they leave the house. The Arlo Pro is revolutionary in more ways than one, as the world’s first and only 100 per cent wire-free, weatherproof, rechargeable HD smart security camera with audio and 130° viewing angle. Arlo also gives users peace of wallet as well, with a free basic plan that gives access to motion- and audio-triggered recordings from the past 7 days. Hacker-fearing users need not worry either, with the ability to schedule when the cameras are on and when they are off through a straightforward smartphone app. Netgear has also partnered with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, SmartThings, Telguard, Stringify and Wink to ensure the ecosystem’s longevity and futureproof compatibility with a variety of other devices going forward. Featured product: Arlo Pro


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Sector Guide

Denon 0289 027 9830 A standout name in audio, Denon has spent decades focused on innovation and technology to enhance the entertainment experience. The company lays claim to the world’s first universal disc player, the world’s first multi-channel SACD/ stereo CD hybrid disc and the world’s first THX A/V receiver with Dolby Digital and DTS. Suffice to say its pedigree goes unmatched

Smart Home

The company has become renowned for its excellent quality amplifiers and AV receivers, but it has also moved in recent years into the highly competitive multi-room space with its range of HEOS speakers. Boasting easy setup, and a wide range of streaming services, a wide variety of options means that no room in the house has to be without a HEOS.

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At the top of the line is the HEOS 7 HS2 which continues Denon’s legacy of great sounding products. With audiophile hi-res audio being pumped out of a seven driver speaker system and five channels of Class D digital amplification for high efficiency, low distortion audio, the 4.6 kg unit will be the life of the party. Featured product: HEOS 7 HS2

Yamaha 0844 811 1116 Famous for its motorbikes and musical instruments, Yamaha is also an expert in multiroom home audio solutions and calls itself the world’s biggest sound company. The company might have been around since 1897, but ever since the production of its first hifi audio system in 1954 Yamaha has remained at the forefront of speakers that combine quality with affordability. Yamaha promotes its MusicCast50 wireless speaker by telling users to ‘expect the unexpected with room-filling, dynamic sound’ with a plethora of music streaming services built-in, MusicCast multi-room technology, Amazon Alexa voice control compatibility, stereo pairing and the ability to connect to a TV for upgraded sound. Featured product: MusicCast 50


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Sector Guide

Sonos 0800 026 1526 When it started out in 2002 with the ambition to ‘reinvent home audio for the digital age’, Sonos was creating great audio products, but ones which were expensive and a bit of a hassle to get set up correctly. 16 years later in the age of Wi-Fi, technology has finally caught up with Sonos’ ambitions and now the company is a go-to for users who want to easily listen to the music they love in every room of their home in great sound quality. The company now sells its speakers – ranging from TV soundbars to multi-room speakers – in more than 60 countries and in seven languages through thousands of retailers. The company’s latest flagship product is the Sonos One, a compact-looking speaker that packs a punch with a pair of Class-D amplifiers and custom-built drivers, meticulously tuned to the speaker’s unique acoustic architecture. Whatsmore, it’s got Amazon Alexa built-in with 56 music services available at a simple voice request and will have the added benefit of Apple Airplay with a future update. Featured product: Sonos One

Sony 0165 686 0666 Sony is known for many things in entertainment tech, but the company has made a renewed effort in the speaker space with the growth of smart assistants over the past few years. When it comes to audio, Sony is unrivalled in the range it covers. From budget earphones and affordable hi-fi systems to state-of-the-art High Resolution audio stereos and headphones, the company really has all the bases covered in the space. In the LF-S50G, Sony has combined its high quality sound from a 360° speaker system with the added benefits of Google Assistant. With the focus on audio quality, a twoway facing speaker, two-stage diffuser, and bass reflex duct make sure that the user gets the most from their audio from an aesthetically pleasing package. Featured product: LF-S50G


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GAMES The FIFA world cup is just around the corner, but there are a whole bunch of esports events that promise to be just as exciting in the coming months

Esports Championship Series Season 5 – London, UK Dates: 8-10 June Season 5 of the ECS Counter-Strike: Global Offensive championship will come to a thrilling conclusion at largest homegrown UK esports event of the year. Taking place at Wembley Arena, thousands of fans are expected to be in attendance with the teams fighting for a slice of the $750,000 prize pool.

ESL One – Cologne, Germany Dates: 5-7 July 2018 marks the fifth year in a row that Cologne will be greeting players, talents and fans for a whole weekend of pure Counter-Strike: Global Offensive action from July 6th to 8th at ESL One Cologne 2018. On top of the action in the matches, there’ll be plenty of activities going on around the event, including signing sessions with the teams.



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Overwatch League Grand Finals – Los Angeles, USA July 26–28 Taking place at Blizzard’s own tailor-made arena in the heart of Burbank – the home to many world-famous TV and film studios – teams from all over the world (including London’s own Spitfire) are poised to do battle for the first ever Overwatch League trophy and a prize of $1 million.

R6: SIX MAJOR PARIS – Paris, France Dates: 16-19 August Gathering a worldwide selection of sixteen of the best Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Pro League teams, this event is the biggest ever organised in Europe for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six esports. After an intense group phase starting on August 13th, the eight qualifying teams will face off during the Major’s final phase, held at the Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles. With prestigious face-offs and what should be a unique atmosphere, the Six Major Paris will be a step forward for the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six esports scene.

EVO 2018 – Las Vegas, USA Dates: 3-5 August The Evolution Championship Series (Evo for short) represents the largest and longest-running fighting game tournaments in the world. It brings together the best of the best from around the world in a dazzling exhibition of skill and fun, as players and fans gather to honor the competitive spirit in an open format and determine a champion.

The International Dota 2 Championships – Vancouver, Canada Dates: 20-25 August The International 2018 is the concluding tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit and the eighth annual edition of The International. The annual tournament hosted by developer Valve will be held on Canadian soil for the first time, as it moves to the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. The International remains the biggest and most prestigious event on the circuit.


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We speak to DMSL boss John Carter about what the busy team gets up to inside and out of the office


Who has been in the team for the longest/shortest period of Who’s in your team and what do they do? time? We are a close-knit team at DMSL, and while we don’t have room to Some of our team – Kav, Vicky, Claire and Sue for example, have mention every one of them here, they all play a part in helping us to been with us for more than 12 years, others like Lauren and Ryan help the resellers and retailers we work with up and down the have only been with us for maybe 18 months, but it feels like they country. The people that PCR readers are most likely to come into have been a part of the team for much longer. contact with are as follows, in no special order: Ashley Breslin, channel and partner director – whose job is What projects are you working on at the moment? to talk to, listen and help partners and she does all that We’re still rolling along nicely with the Broadband and brilliantly. Everyone knows Nikki ‘Kav’ Kavanagh, “We think that Phones (BaPs) programme, which gives resellers our head of sales ; our very own fiery redhead, just BT’s new 4G their own comparison site. We are pretty fired-up exceptional at her job (and having a good time). about BT’s new 4G Assure offering – more excited Lauren Ball is the channel account manager and Assure offering is than we’ve been for quite a while to be honest. We perhaps the most determined, persistent member going to be big for think it’s going to be big in the SMB market. of our team. Vicky Moxham, senior sales,is one of SMBs” the most savvy and versatile members of our team. Who would be manning the barbecue at the Glen Giles is our Mr Motivator and sales team leader. summer party? Amelia Grocock is our sales advisor, Jodie Piper is senior Ryan and Glen I’d say. The boys like to play with fire! account manager and Ryan ‘Mr. Cloud Telephones’ Medhurst is our Channel Account Manager. What he doesn’t know about VOIP Who will be the last person standing? isn’t worth knowing. We’ve also got Claire Poole, head of sales Kav, every time. admin, Jessica Gregory and Laura Tucker, assistant heads of sales admin. And lastl but certainly not least is Sue Moss, accounts. For Who has the best summer holiday plans? partners, Sue is quite possibly the most important person at DMSL, Holidays? No-one goes on holiday – they love work too much! as she is in charge of processing their commission payments.

Contact: Email: sales@dmsluk.co.uk Tel: 01708 776 005 www.pcr-online.biz

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Thanks to the Technology Channel for your valued support.

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

<Midlands air appreciation > Wholesale connectivity provider Entanet this month lauanched its new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee of 13 company volunteers with the purpose to develop, run and coordinate activities throughout the year. The committee’s first task was to create a shortlist of good causes and arrange a staff vote to decide Entanet’s national and local nominated charities for 2018/19. Its national nominated charity will be Meningitis Now and its local charity will be Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Members of the team have alread paid a visit to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to get a view of how their fundraising efforts will be reflected. Jon Cottrell, Corporate Partnership development executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “We’re so thankful to Entanet staff for choosing us to be their local charity. It means a great deal to us and to all the people we will be called upon to help throughout the region this year, that Midlands Air Ambulance Charity will be supported through Entanet’s CSR programme.

<Walking across China for children> Claire Robinson, Epson’s director for business sales is swapping her trademark Laboutins for a pair of comfortable hiking boots this October as she embarks on the biggest challenge of her life. She has pledged to walk The Great Wall of China in an effort to raise £3,000 for Acorn’s Children’s Hospice Trust along the way. The adventure will take nine days to complete, with it all being for a fantastic and undoubtedly worthwhile cause. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Acorn’s has three hospices in Selly Oak near Birmingham, Worcester and Walsall. The charity provides a network of specialist palliative nursing care and support for babies, children and young people aged 0-18 who have life limiting or life threatening conditions and associated complex needs. Sadly, the children and young people that Acorn’s Children’s Hospice Trust help are not expected to reach adulthood and require specialist care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2017, the charity cared for 876 children and supported 1,097 families by providing ongoing medical support end of life care, and providing hospices at home. Relying on the community to fund the majority of its activities, sponsored events – like Claire’s voyage to China – are a big source of income for the charity, so anything you can give to Claire’s campaign would be a huge boost to the charity and the children it supports. If you’d like to support Claire, you can donate on https://www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/clairevrobbo and if you’d like to find out more about the Acorn’s Children’s Hospice Trust and the work their volunteers do head to https://www.acorns.org.uk/.


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<Logging off>\\ www.pcr-online.biz @pcr_online



Editor Jonathan Easton jonathan.easton@futurenet.com +44 (0)203 871 7372 Designer Marc Miller marc.miller@@futurenet.com +44 (0)207 354 6005 Digital Director: Diane Oliver diane.oliver@futurenet.com +44 (0)207 354 6019 Production Executive Jason Dowie jason.dowie@futurenet.com +44 (0)20 3829 2617

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<Another kind of green> As has become a tradition at Nvidia, the UK team dropped their graphics cards and picked up shovels in support of their ongoing task to transform non-profit organisations for the better.

Nvidians from the UK helped renovate St Luke’s Trust in Berkshire. Volunteers cleared paths, gardened, painted, and helped built outdoor furniture to create a safer, more inviting environment.


To subscribe, change your address, or check on yourcurrent account status, go to www.pcr-online.biz or email subs@pcr-online.biz


<A Sting in the tail > When we headed to Vegas for Dell Technologies World, we were expecting many things: product reveals, discussions around business strategy, AI – all the ususal suspects. What came as something of a surprise then is when we – along with all the thousands in attendance were rocked on the final day of the conference with a full-blown concert from Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner AKA Sting.

Send stories to Jonathan Easton jonathan.easton@futurenet.com

NEXT MONTH Education While the kids are on their summer holidays, the Channel remains busy as ever kitting out their classrooms for the coming year. We’ll look at what the schools of 2018 need and discuss how to get more children into the STEM subjects that are vital for the next generation of the Channel. We will also speak with Nicole Dezen, general manager, consumer and device Sales, UK & Ireland at Microsoft about her passion for getting more young girls into tech.

Digital editions of the magazine are available to view on ISSUU.com Recent back issues of the printed edition may be available please contact lucy.wilkie@futurenet.com for more information.

INTERNATIONAL PCR and its content are available for licensing and syndication re-use. Contact the International department todiscuss partnership opportunities and permissions International Licensing Director Matt Ellis, matt.ellis@futurenet.com

MANAGEMENT Chief Operations Officer Aaron Asadi Managing Director/Senior Vice President Christine Shaw Content Director James McKeown Managing Director/Europe Mark Burton Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, NP12 2YA ISSN: 1742-8440 Future plc, The Emerson Building, 4th Floor, 4-8 Emerson Street, London SE1 9DU

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All contents © 2018 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.

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