Pax8 and Perception Point form new partnership

Pax8 has formed a new partnership with Perception Point, providing partners with cutting-edge security solutions for the modern workspace. Through Perception Point’s advanced threat prevention solutions, partners can safeguard their customers with unparalleled threat prevention covering email, Microsoft 365 collaboration apps (Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive), and web browsers from one platform. The solutions include Perception Point’s 24/7 managed incident response service, which offloads resource-intensive and time-consuming investigations and remediation from partners.
“In an era where collaboration and communication thrive online, protecting email, web, and cloud integrity ensures a resilient foundation for today’s dynamic workforce,” said Nikki Meyer, corporate vice president of vendor global alliance at Pax8. “We are thrilled to welcome Perception Point to our cloud marketplace, helping our partners bolster their customers’ security posture and increase efficiency.”
Perception Point offers partner-customisable security solutions that are powered by advanced AI, anti-evasion, and patented sandbox technology for industry-leading threat prevention. The solution dynamically scans 100% of content 40 times faster than competitors, and intercepts attacks before reaching end-users.
Tailored for partners, the comprehensive security suite enables quick customer provisioning via an API, eliminating MX record changes or integration efforts. The solution requires minimal cybersecurity expertise and includes a fully managed 24/7 incident response service that analyses and remediates threats, manages false positives, handles on-demand investigations, and rapidly addresses new and emerging attacks.
“In today’s evolving digital world, the modern workspace has become a complex and challenging environment to secure. We are excited to partner with Pax8 to help partners address this challenge with comprehensive, advanced threat prevention for organisations’ email, browser, and Microsoft 365 collaboration apps,” said Orit Shilvock, chief revenue officer at Perception Point. “Designed for the managed service provider (MSP), Perception Point uniquely combines unparalleled threat detection for the most advanced attacks with an all-included 24×7 managed incident response service. Now, partners can offer this ultimate security solution that also saves MSPs time and money from day one.”

 

Spire sponsors reseller categories at the PCR Awards 2024

Spire Technology has signed up as the latest sponsor of the PCR Awards, specifically supporting the reseller categories. The PCR Awards recognise and celebrate excellence within the UK IT channel, and Spire is proud to support this prestigious event.
“I’m delighted we’re sponsoring a category of the awards this year,” said sales and purchasing director Mike Botto. “PCR is the flagship awards night for the channel and we’re proud to be associated with it. Retailers and system builders are the cornerstone of our business and it will be fantastic to celebrate their achievements.”
The PCR Awards feature a number of reseller categories, including VAR of the Year, MSP Reseller of the Year, and B2B Reseller of the Year. Spire’s sponsorship will help to ensure that these important categories receive the recognition they deserve.
“We are thrilled to have Spire on board as a sponsor for the PCR Awards,” said Eleanor Porter, business development manager at PCR. “Spire is a well-respected company in the IT channel, and their support will help us to make the PCR Awards an even bigger success.”
The PCR Awards will be held on 9October at The Brewery in London. For more information about the awards, including how to enter, please visit https://pcr-awards.com/

 

OpenText buys cybersecurity MDR platform

Open Text has purchased Pillr, an MDR platform from Novacoast.
Pillr technology is a cloud native, multi-tenant MDR platform for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that includes Managed Detection and Response and powerful threat-hunting capabilities. This combination of Pillr technology and OpenText security expertise provides enhanced threat hunting, monitoring, and response for customers where skill gaps, skill shortages, and alert fatigue create a significant need today.
The acquisition accelerates OpenText’s Cybersecurity product roadmap to offer key features including API integrations and product/pricing bundling for MSPs seeking a comprehensive solution to protect, detect and respond to cybersecurity threats.
“We are pleased to welcome Pillr customers and employees to OpenText,” said Mark J. Barrenechea OpenText CEO & CTO.  “Cyber threats continue to rise fast and are growing more sophisticated. Organizations need advanced Managed Detection and Response solutions to prevent attackers from gaining the foothold needed to launch an attack. The combination of Pillr’s platform with our existing Threat Detection offerings strengthens OpenText’s position in the cybersecurity market and reinforces our commitment to our SMB partners and customers.”

 

Huge opportunity for partners in 5G, UCaaS and AI if they keep it simple

BT Wholesale has published research that reveals over half (59%) of employees want their organisations to invest in AI. The research explores the channel landscape across AI, ways of working, 5G and more to help partners acquire new business while growing relationships with existing customers.
It surveyed employees and IT decision makers across industries, as well as resellers. Findings show there is a huge amount of opportunity for channel partners this year, including IT decision makers’ appetite for spending, but that simplicity and fostering trust will help partners supercharge growth.
AI and the channel
The buzz surrounding the technology has created demand for AI solutions, with six in ten (61%) IT decision makers expecting to make investments in AI in the coming year – and over half (59%) of employees asking for such investments. This growing interest in new technologies means client conversations should be focused on the network requirements to make AI adoption a success. Whatever customers use AI for, they need their network to be built on a rock-solid foundation.
An important consideration with AI is that its relationship with security can be complex. The ICO says, “some of the unique characteristics of AI mean compliance with data protection law’s security requirements can be…challenging”. In addition, AI technology can provide criminals with increased powers, but can also arm cyber-security agencies with new solutions and levels of capability. Therefore, it’s particularly important for channel partners to encourage greater security awareness amongst their customers. These concerns are heightened by a lack of knowledge around AI. More than a quarter of IT decision makers do not feel that they fully understand what AI is – a sentiment shared by one in five (20%) employees.
Linking customer priorities to tech investment
Four out of five (80%) IT decision makers believe upgraded technology will help employees do their job better, with three quarters (75%) saying they want to invest in technology this year. To capitalise on this, channel partners must highlight the link between business priorities and tech investment. The number one priority for businesses is to increase customer satisfaction and retention, so these conversations can be a springboard for investing in new digital connectivity.
Managing risk is also an overarching concern, among which cyber-security should be an absolute priority. Channel resellers are significantly more likely (42%) to cite cyber-security as a top business priority than end-customer employees (25%) or even IT decision makers (27%). This is despite more than one in 10 (13%) IT decision makers falling victim to a scam themselves. To generate the same interest across stakeholder groups we need greater simplicity of both education and solutions.
Channel resellers are also leading the way on sustainability. Sustainability is seen as a business priority by four in ten (40%) resellers but only a third of customer respondents (32% of employees and 33% of IT decision makers). Channel partners must continue to push sustainability conversations and encourage customers to think this way, for example, by linking to business benefits like shifting to the cloud.
Hybrid working is here to stay
 At least three quarters (75%) of all groups (channel resellers, IT decision makers and employees) believe businesses should allow remote working at least once a week. The optimum number of remote days is 2. IT decision makers were most likely to cite the benefits of trusting employees, with positive impacts on employee mental health and work/life balance.
For this to be the most effective, many IT decision makers agree they need fewer applications (75%) and simplified ways to collaborate (72%). Yet less than half (49%) of IT decision makers already have a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) platform in place, with more than a third (35%) planning to invest in the next twelve months. The channel needs to develop simple business language and use cases to demonstrate the positive impacts UCaaS has on collaboration, well-being and productivity.
Elsewhere, seven in ten (70%) IT decision makers want face-to-face time with their technology partners. It is seen as vital to building successful relationships and growing trust. This is a huge opportunity for the channel to offer personal service and support.
Customers want all-IP, sometimes they just don’t know it
The research shows employees still want better connectivity – six in ten (65%) employees say they need faster connectivity and seven in ten (70%) more reliable connectivity. And yet, less than a third (31%) of IT decision makers and less than a fifth (16%) of employees prioritise the shift to all-IP.
At BT Wholesale, our message to the channel is simple: act now to futureproof your operations and reap the rewards of being a digital business. We’re encouraging businesses to review their technology footprint and identify what’s still connected to the PSTN. We have a team of experts to support, and any business can test their equipment for free at our R&D test centre at Adastral Park in Suffolk. Where possible, they should proceed to switch any legacy equipment to an all-IP alternative. The channel also has an important role to play in championing the benefits and use cases on All-IP, supporting more businesses to make the switch.
Today, smart channel players are investing in both all-IP and 5G to maximise the strength and reliability of their connections. As the 5G rollout continues at pace – with EE’s network now reaching more than 75% of the population – most resellers (78%) say that their customers are asking about 5G. This need is one of the key drivers of BT Wholesale’s Complete Mobile solution for the SMB market, bringing the power of EE – the UK’s leading mobile network for over 10 years – to the channel.
Gavin Jones, channel partners director at BT Wholesale commented on the research: “Following a year of rapid change, we wanted this research to hold invaluable lessons for our partners’ business growth. It’s clear that embracing 5G, AI, and cybersecurity is paramount, but trust and simplicity will remain the bedrock of success. The channel must pivot from tech talk to customer-focused conversation, fostering strong relationships to support customers as they navigate an ever-changing tech landscape.
Through it all, we’re here to support Partner Plus partners in adapting their strategies to today’s and tomorrow’s market. With our range of innovative solutions, expert advice, and ready-to-use materials, partners can focus on building relationships and seizing opportunities.”

 

Introducing KnowBe4 Student Edition

KnowBe4 has released a specialised student edition of its award-winning security awareness training for students. The KnowBe4 Student Edition was curated to help students 16 and above recognise and navigate cybersecurity threats in and out of the classroom. Cybercriminals consistently target the education sector due to its vulnerability and the lucrative gains bad actors stand to make, therefore students need security awareness training that is meaningful and relevant to their current circumstances.
This training provides crucial knowledge to students, forming a strong human firewall as the last line of defence against cyberattacks. The KnowBe4 Student Edition is an add-on that features training content specifically designed for higher education students aged 16 and above. The training content was developed in conjunction with a group of five global universities with faculty, staff and students providing input in the development.
KnowBe4 also provides free material for students under 16 as part of the Children’s Activity Kit, which includes a fun and interactive cybersecurity kit to help teach them valuable online security skills.
“With the launch of KnowBe4 Student Edition, we are taking a proactive step in fostering cybersecurity awareness starting at the student level,” said Dr John N Just, chief learning officer, KnowBe4. “The student edition helps to prepare students early on to safeguard their personal information and understand the risks that bad actors pose. This readiness will not only serve students in their academic phase but also prepare them against evolving cyberthreats as they move forward into professional careers.”
Some of the key topics KnowBe4’s Student Edition covers include:

Computer and mobile security vulnerabilities
Password security weaknesses
Phishing attacks, including real-world examples
Social media dangers
Campus thefts and scams
Travel and off-campus data security thefts.

KnowBe4 Student Edition is available as an add-on across existing KnowBe4 subscription levels.

 

Agilitas rolls out its end-user computing offering

Agilitas IT Solutions has begun the rollout for its Smart Device Solutions offering, helping organisations to manage their hardware across multiple locations, worldwide.
Agilitas’ Smart Device Solutions provides channel partners with a cost-effective way to meet the demands of end-user computing requirements, meaning they can spend less time worrying about hardware, free up their IT resources and meet their sustainability goals.
Supporting one of the UK’s leading VARs and their end-user client, Agilitas’ Smart Device Solutions service has begun rolling out multi-vendor technology, including laptops, mobile devices and peripherals, at pace to locations in the UK and overseas.
The Smart Device Solutions initiative enables businesses to make significant cost savings on support overheads while also providing secure storage of end-user devices, with teams managing all parts of the process, from allocating the equipment to arranging shipping across the globe.
Agilitas’ service helps streamline the efficiency of today’s modern workplace, providing device support to the entire workforce whether in their home or offices, across the world. By ensuring all devices are plug-and-play, with all authorised updates and security patches installed in advance, the need for on-site engineers is eliminated, resulting in a consistent service for their workforce along with savings in both cost and carbon.
The Agilitas customer experience model helps channel companies easily scale up and down with operational demands. The operation, which is headquartered in Nottingham, UK, has the capacity to process over 1000 end-user devices a day with each customer being assigned a dedicated team and secure suite to ensure accountability.
“Our team will get to know the customer and the details that make the difference, from their business’ busy times of year to the processes and goals that make them stand out,” commented Sara Wilkes, chief operating officer at Agilitas. “By truly aligning to the customer’s way of working, the little details which can often get missed will become a standard part of the Agilitas service.”
“The economic environment both in the UK and worldwide means it is more important than ever to keep your propositions relevant and profitable. Agilitas’ enviable global network and advanced inventory management tools enable us to be well positioned to support our Channel partners with the challenging marketplace – whether that be supporting new technology or expanding into new global territories,” Hayes-Warren concluded.

 

TD Synnex becomes distributor for the full NVIDIA enterprise product portfolio in Ireland

TD Synnex has announced today that it  can now offer the full range of NVIDIA enterprise software and accelerated computing products in Ireland, after the alliance between the two companies was extended.
Irish partners can now come to TD Synnex for all their NVIDIA product or platform requirements – from NVIDIA AI Enterprise and NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise software licenses for developers to high-performance networking adapters, accelerated computing GPUs and superchips. They can leverage TD Synnex’s rapid delivery, flexible credit and finance options, as well as its technical and professional services. These additional services enable customers to maximise their overall sales potential and profitability.
Simon Bennett, managing director, Advanced Solutions, UK and Ireland, TD Synnex, said: “Many organisations today depend on complex, hybrid infrastructures that encompass multiple cloud and on-premises resources. NVIDIA technologies help drive the next-level graphics, HPC and AI performance essential for these intensive workloads. We will be working closely with NVIDIA to make sure that our team is ready to provide partners with the technical and professional support and services they need to optimise NVIDIA’s high-performance solutions, from the cloud to the data centre and right out to the edge.”
Bennett noted that the extended collaboration between the two companies means that TD Synnex can now meet all partners’ NVIDIA needs, whether they are looking to deploy its solutions as part of their own designs or as part of other systems’ brands.
“NVIDIA technologies are used within the solutions from many leading vendors that we partner with, such as Dell, HPE and Lenovo, and now, with the extended distribution agreement, we can also provide the full NVIDIA portfolio directly to partners in Ireland as well,” he said.

 

New KnowBe4 phishing report reveals top choices for phishing scams

KnowBe4 has released the results of its Q1 2024 top-clicked phishing test report. The results include the most common email subjects clicked on in phishing tests, reflecting the persistent use of HR or IT-related business email messages that captivate employees’ interests.
Phishing emails continue to be one of the most common methods for executing cyberattacks on organisations worldwide. KnowBe4’s 2023 Phishing by Industry Benchmarking Report reveals that nearly one third of users are susceptible to clicking on malicious links or complying with fraudulent requests. As a result, cybercriminals take advantage of this vulnerability and leverage the innovative tools available to them, such as AI, to come up with increasingly sophisticated messages to outsmart users. These bad actors tailor phishing email strategies to appear more legitimate in their requests and trick employees by inciting an emotional response and urgency to click on a malicious link or download an infected attachment.
HR-related phishing attacks take the top spot at 42%, a trend that has persisted for the last three quarters, followed by IT-related phishing emails at 30%. Phishing emails from HR or IT departments that prompt dress code changes, tax and healthcare updates, training notifications and other similar actions are effective in deceiving employees as they can affect a user’s work, evoke an immediate response and can cause a person to react before thinking about the validity of the email.
The KnowBe4 phishing report this quarter also noted more personal phishing email attacks, such as tax, healthcare and ApplePay, that could affect users’ sensitive information. These types of attacks are effective because they cause a person to react to a potentially alarming topic and engage to protect their private information before thinking logically about the credibility of the email.
“KnowBe4’s report shows that cybercriminals are becoming increasingly tactical in exploiting employee trust by using HR-related phishing emails due to their seemingly legitimate source,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4. “Emails coming from an internal department such as HR or IT are especially harmful to organisations since they appear to be coming from a trusted source and can convince employees to engage quickly before confirming their legitimacy, exposing the company to security vulnerabilities. A well-trained workforce is therefore crucial in building a strong security culture and serves as the best defence in safeguarding organisations against preventable cyberattacks.”

 

Spire Live at Alton Towers

Spire Live, an event organised by Spire Technology at Alton Towers at the beginning of May, brought together a select group of exhibitors and attendees, including vendors, resellers, and retailers.
The primary goal of Spire Live was to create opportunities for building relationships, fostering new business connections, and providing a platform for smaller businesses to interact with multiple industry professionals. The event remained exclusive to trade-only participants, reinforcing Spire’s commitment to supporting its key partners.
Cyber Power Systems was particularly supportive of the event. UK Country Manager James Taylor said: “It’s refreshing to be at a venue that is somewhere other than London for their local retailers. Having an activity such as visiting the park makes it interesting for attendees and breaks up the day.
“There’s a lot of exposure for the brand and to talk about other services offered – and a good opportunity for meaningful conversations.”
Jon Glennister, UK country manager at Corsair added: “As a strategic partner to Spire and a number of customers, we see real value in attending. This year, like last, we are collecting good feedback on our products, direct feedback on the channel landscape and most importantly, the opportunity to engage with those independents, with whom we only tend to communicate via distribution partners.”
Elaine Laljee from Kingston said: “The location is very welcome this year as lots of clients are based North. People that attend really are coming to do business and that’s clear from conversations. We’re discussing a range of products with customers today and very pleased to be back at Spire Live.”
Glennister said: “There are a lot of independents or smaller system integrators based north of Birmingham, so the location has opened up the ability to engage with those customers. I also believe the word and success from last year’s event has spread positively, which has led to brands exhibit with more focus and wanting to showcase product better.”
Barry Loynes of Be Quiet agreed: “We’re happy to be back at Spire Live as it is a really tight community feel and gives opportunity to speak to retailers and e-trailers directly.”
“Spire Live serves more independent retailers and e-trailers,” observed business development manager, SI, for EMEA at Corsair, Andy Williams. “There’s a greater turn out of customers this year due to location and there is value in being able to speak to so many customers in one place.”
Glennister added: “The clear benefit to Spire Live and other smaller scale events like it, is the targeted element of customer engagement. It enables real focus into a select customer base and allows the brands to promote key products and technology to the customers attending.
This was echoed by Kieran Vineer, channel distribution manager at TP Link, who said: “The value Spire offers is breadth of customer because it’s difficult to get all customers in one location, and it’s more personal than larger shows.”
“There’s an intimate atmosphere as always with Spire Live, so you get better one-on-one time with customers and better quality conversations.” said Pete Johnson, UK channel manager at Norton. “I’m so impressed with the venue and managed to get on some of the rides before vendor set up time!”

 

Arrow Electronics and Scality join forces

Arrow Electronics has formed a new distribution agreement with Scality, a global leader in cyber-resilient storage software for the AI era, to drive further adoption of ARTESCA, Scality’s secure, easy-to-use object storage software for immutable, cyber-resilient backups in focused markets across EMEA.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to address our customers’ pressing demand for cyber-resilient storage solutions,” said Mike Worby, head of strategic alliances for Arrow’s enterprise computing solutions business in EMEA. “Scality’s solutions precisely target the intersection of three pivotal customer priorities: cyber resiliency, data management, and preparing for the modern AI data center. ARTESCA in particular is especially appealing for customers and channel partners alike with its low cost of entry, easy deployment models and integration with large backup vendors like Veeam.”
The agreement comes at a time when the hybrid-cloud infrastructure market is on the rise. According to recent reporting, the overall demand for infrastructure solutions to support organisational data stored across public, private, and on-premises environments is projected to grow over the next eight to 10 years.1 Specifically, reports also indicate the private cloud segment will experience steady growth due to concerns over the security and protection of confidential data.2
“The alliance with Arrow accelerates our mission to keep end-user customers protected against ransomware,” said Wally MacDermid, Scality vice president of worldwide alliances and distribution. “With Scality ARTESCA and Veeam, Arrow channel partners on the hunt for cyber-resilient infrastructures now have a turnkey, immutable solution to thwart any threat — even AI-fueled ransomware attacks.”
Arrow will distribute all Scality product SKUs with an emphasis on ARTESCA cyber-resilient storage for Veeam. According to Scality, ARTESCA has grown five times year over year in revenue since 2023, with channel partners driving 100 percent of the business. Purpose-built for resellers, ARTESCA for Veeam makes deployment easy with flexible appliance options and a low entry price point while delivering feature-rich resiliency for unbreakable data protection.