Westcoast and Ergonomic Solutions team up for an AV partnership

Westcoast has partnered with Ergonomic Solutions – a leading provider of advanced technology mounting solutions. As part of this exciting new partnership, Westcoast will distribute Ergonomic Solution’s robust range of digital signage mounting technology, giving its partners an even greater choice of AV products and services.
The advanced hook and rail display systems manufactured by Ergonomic Solutions have been designed with quality and sustainability in mind. They are easy to install and maintain, support a variety of screen sizes, and can be configured to meet the requirements of digital menu boards and other ceiling and wall-mounted applications. The simple modular and configurable design offers limitless possibilities, enabling businesses to create their own unique installation.
Mark Crysell, chief sales officer at Ergonomic Solutions, commented: “We are excited to partner with Westcoast to bring a new level of synergy to our digital signage solutions. By combining our expertise in manufacturing with Westcoast’s distribution capabilities, we aim to provide businesses with a holistic approach to creating signage solutions that enhance channel partner offerings and increase media reach and footfall.”
Westcoast’s relationship with Ergonomic Solutions enables its partners to offer a comprehensive range of display products to their customers, helping them maximise the dynamic messaging and imagery of digital signage and make the most of customer engagement opportunities.
Richard Carr, AV director at Westcoast, said of the partnership: “We are excited to announce our newest AV vendor, Ergonomic Solutions, as we continue to grow our status as a major player throughout the industry across the UK. Their wide portfolio of products ranging from indoor and outdoor digital signage solutions to kiosk and tablet applications for retail and hospitality fit perfectly with the Samsung range of digital signage. This is an exciting period for both of us and we are looking forward to seeing how this partnership grows moving forward.


Blancco appoints Jim Elder as VP of Global Pathways

Blancco Technology Group, the industry standard in data erasure and mobile lifecycle solutions, today announced the appointment of Jim Elder as Vice President of Global Pathways. Elder will lead Blancco’s global partner ecosystem and drive a channel-first strategy in alignment with the company’s objective of doubling enterprise business by 2025.
“We are delighted to welcome Jim to lead our partner team and leverage his invaluable experience, which includes spearheading a multi-billion dollar channel business at NetApp and leadership positions at several technology giants, such as AMD, IBM and HPE,” said Jon Mellon, president of global sales, marketing and field operations at Blancco. “He is an inspirational and seasoned sales and marketing leader who will add a wealth of knowledge to our already stellar business leadership team.”
As the VP of Global Pathways, Elder will focus on building and expanding Blancco’s relationships with OEMs, GSIs, solution providers, and tech alliance partners to construct the most strategic balance within its business pathways in alignment with Blancco’s aggressive growth goals. Prior to joining Blancco, Elder spent five years at NetApp, where he served as the Channel Chief for the Americas Partner Organization. Before NetApp, Elder held sales leadership positions at SanDisk (acquired by Western Digital), Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, AMD, IBM, and Seagate.
“My philosophy on partnerships is that we must make it easy for our partners to do business with us. I’m delighted that Blancco’s leadership team shares this philosophy, having recently launched a simplified experience for partners in June,” said Elder. “Blancco has some incredible opportunities on the table right now – we are leaning into our OEM and global system integration partnerships, as well as our tech alliances, such as with ServiceNow, to increase our scale in the market. I couldn’t have joined at a more exciting time.”


SentinelOne and Pax8 double down on partnership to secure SMBs

For more than four years, SentinelOne, a global leader in AI Security, and Pax8, the top marketplace for best-in-class technology solutions, have been teaming to provide small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with next-generation cybersecurity solutions that enable them to protect their most critical infrastructure and assets from end to end. The strategic partners today announced a significant expansion of their relationship that will allow them to get more best-in-class endpoint, identity and cloud security offerings into the hands of more companies across the sizable and rapidly growing market more quickly.
 “No business is immune to cyberattacks, and regardless of their size, companies need leading-edge technology to detect and prevent them,” said Vats Srivatsan, chief operating officer, SentinelOne. “In deepening our long-standing ties, SentinelOne and Pax8 can arm SMBs with an expanded set of AI security solutions they can use to automatically defend their environments and secure their future.”
 SentinelOne and Pax8 have a well-established and proven model for serving SMBs. SentinelOne’s Singularity platform is easy to deploy across multiple sites, and its market-leading AI capabilities eliminate the need for manual threat detection and hunting, enabling a partner like Pax8 to build services and serve more customers, more effectively.


Strong growth in UK SMB cyber security market forecast at Giacom event

The UK’s cyber security market is expected to grow by as much as 10 per cent in the next five years, an audience at MSP Cyber Secure Live in London has heard.
Speaking at the event – held at London Science Museum’s Illuminate venue – specialist cloud marketplace provider Giacom’s chief operating officer Nathan Marke said research from SoSafe had shown one in two organisations had experienced a successful cyber-attack in the past three years.
With businesses expected to increase their spend to protect themselves from evolving and more intelligent cyber-attacks, having the right products, expertise and training is essential.
The majority of cyber-attacks start with human error – for example, an employee opening a phishing email or replying to a text message which turns out to be a hack.
Leading vendors and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the cyber security market gathered on Wednesday 22 November for MSP Cyber Secure Live – a new event hosted by Giacom.
Headline sponsored by Microsoft, MSP Cyber Secure Live spotlighted the latest advancements which are shaping the market, including the rise of artificial intelligence in both cyber-attacks and defence.
It also emphasised the importance of MSPs making the transition from selling one type of product to a portfolio of secure IT solutions, to meet the growing need of small businesses.
Mr Marke said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are absolutely vital to our economy – according to the Office for National Statistics, they represent 50 per cent of the UK’s GDP, and employ 60 per cent of the country’s workforce.
“Unfortunately, SMBs are often targeted by cyber criminals, who see them as easier targets which are less likely to be fully protected and educated on the cyber threats which are out there.
“What we are seeing in the cyber security market is really positive, with SMBs recognising the threat and investing to protect themselves. However, very few SMBs employ IT and security skilled staff and hence there are growth opportunities for local expert technology providers to deliver this expertise.
“We’re delighted to have hosted MSP Cyber Secure Live, which brings together vendors, MSPs and delegates to underline the importance of buying the right cyber security products from the right people, with the right expertise in the market.”
The vital importance of SMBs to the cyber security market was highlighted at the conference.
Mr Marke referenced a recent report by Analysys Mason which said by 2026, it is expected SMBs will account for 60 per cent of business cyber security spend globally.
He said a huge shift towards remote and flexible working, and increased use of mobile devices within workplaces, would be a significant factor in the increased spend, as businesses find themselves having to protect their employees from new cyber threats.
A cyber-attack can have a devastating impact on a business which is not properly protected. Almost half of small businesses pay hackers to retrieve or unlock files or data which has been locked down as part of a ransomware attack.
Artificial intelligence is already shaping the current and future cyber security landscape. Microsoft is investing $5bn annually in cyber security and will soon launch its Cyber Security Copilot to the market.
Using AI software like Copilot, businesses will be able to respond to cyber-attacks at machine speed, while also benefiting from invaluable insight such as where a cyber-attack has originated, which employees may have received a phishing or ransomware attack, and who has opened a phishing email.
John Mitchell, EMEA SMB sales director – Modern Work and Business Applications at Microsoft, was keynote speaker at MSP Cyber Secure Live.
He said: “The need for cyber security is not going away. More than three quarters of SMBs think cyber threats are becoming more of a business risk, and companies are looking for ways to protect themselves from new forms of attack.
“You need to have a comprehensive approach to cyber security. Every day, Microsoft detects 65 trillion cyber signals across the world, and there will never be a time when your business is fully protected and up to date when it comes to cyber security.
“There is a huge opportunity for MSPs – working with providers like Giacom – to help meet the needs of small businesses and keep them safe from hackers.”


Brooke Ellingworth joins as new Director of EMEA Channels

Kramer has appointed experienced AV and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) channel executive, Brooke Ellingworth, as its first-ever director of EMEA channels.
Adding over 16 years of top-level AV/UCC knowledge and experience to Kramer’s growing international team, Ellingworth will play an instrumental role in the company’s ongoing business transformation and growth strategy, with closer and more aligned channel partnerships, key to achieving its ambitions.
Working with partners such as Sony, Jabra and Netgear, Kramer’s industry-leading hardware, advanced software and cutting-edge cloud technologies, deliver complete meeting room solutions for any business, with corporate, education, entertainment, healthcare and government among its core customers.
Ellingworth is an accomplished sales and channel leader, with a proud track record of delivering exponential growth to some of the world’s leading technology firms. These include Logitech, from whom she joins and Ingram Micro and Cisco, among others.
Reporting to Peter Baxter, senior vice president at Kramer, Ellingworth – a recent Cambridge University Graduate (circular economy and sustainability strategies) – is tasked with refreshing and restructuring Kramer’s existing channel strategy, to maximise sales and growth opportunities across both local and international markets, while extending brand awareness on a global scale.
Kramer has set internal targets of becoming the brand of choice for advanced engagement technology solutions in the global market within the next five-years.
A key focus, and core to Kramer’s ‘continental’ strategy in providing more localized, customer-centric offerings tailored to specific regions, Ellingworth is conducting a review of Kramer’s existing EMEA channel partner network, while also exploring new alliance opportunities, including distributors, system integrators, and other AV/IT/UCC service providers and specialists.
Greater levels of company transparency, including future roadmaps, new solutions and campaigns, plus additional partner training and the introduction of new shared profit partner rewards and incentives are among the value adds being introduced by Kramer, as it strives to create more committed and aligned relationships.
Ellingworth will also work in sync with Kramer’s growing regional management teams in EMEA, while also adding her knowledge and expertise to provide support in Kramer’s other global markets, such as North America.
Discussing her new role as director of EMEA channels, Ellingworth commented: “I am delighted to have joined Kramer and excited at the opportunity to be a part of their already fantastic team.
“The most important thing for me right now is getting to know the channel intimately and building true and long-term relationships. That means really understanding who they are, their relationship with us, and ways that can be improved. I need to make sure we have the right partners who are committed to joining us on our journey. To do that, we have to be humble and accept that we need to do some things differently than before. My experience has always been in strategy and transformation of businesses, and we have identified some incredible opportunities. The passion I have seen from the Kramer team across all parts of EMEA, together with the company’s creative and disruptive nature is something I absolutely wanted to be a part of.”
Baxter, with whom Ellingworth previously worked at Logitech, added: “I am thrilled to welcome Brooke to the Kramer family and be part of what is truly an exciting time for the company as we accelerate our transformation.
“Brooke is a serial achiever and someone who has an incredible record of implementing hugely successful strategies and transformation to business – often from scratch – with quite stunning results. We believe we have the most innovative advanced engagement technology solutions available anywhere in the current market, each designed to remove boundaries and amplify the human experience to help people (and businesses) reach their potential.
“However, to achieve our goals, we need to have the right structure, the right partners, together with the right people, with the right skill set, and a shared ambition to not only help the business grow but to do business in the right way. Building and nurturing relationships with the channel is key to that and I can’t think of anyone I would rather entrust in achieving this than with Brooke. On behalf of the team, I wish Brooke every success in this new role.”


Agilitas and Solink partner to deliver smarter business security systems

Agilitas IT Solutions has partnered with Solink, a world-class business that provides trusted, cloud video surveillance systems. Driven by a shared commitment to safety and customer service, paired with Agilitas’ global footprint and Solink’s best-in-class technology, the partnership will empower both organisations to serve a broader global customer base.
This partnership comes at a time when businesses are striving to take back control of their operations, resolve issues, and boost their bottom line. The companies will work together to deliver video surveillance systems to a range of industries, including retail, hospitality, enterprise and logistics.
Solink’s platform offers one of the most comprehensive series of cloud video surveillance systems on the market. It provides businesses with a smart way to manage security, with visibility across all locations in real-time and advanced features that allow users to search, investigate, and share incidents with authorities.
For brick-and-mortar retailers looking to transform their business, Solink provides a full suite of loss prevention tools enabling users to investigate a specific location, a region of the floor, or even a particular transaction type. The platform can also align with an organisation’s POS system, offering the visibility needed for smart operations, staffing, and compliance.


Kaseya’s TruPeer growth programme now open to European MSPs

Kaseya is extending its TruPeer programme to European Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
Designed to help MSPs develop and grow, the programme combines the value of a traditional industry peer group experience with training, mentoring and peer accountability.
The programme is based on the TruMethods framework – a proven, metrics-driven approach to building a top-performing MSP business. It helps participating MSPs increase their monthly recurring revenue, boost client satisfaction and add new customers at a predictable rate.
The TruPeer community in the US has been run by Kaseya since 2021 and has grown exponentially to 400 members. Kaseya is now responding to strong demand from Kaseya’s partners by opening up the programme to the EMEA region. TruPeer will be available immediately in the UK, Ireland, Benelux and the Nordics. Germany will be added at a later date.
Members will have access to quarterly in-person and virtual peer meetings with like-minded MSPs, bi-weekly accountability calls as well as group webinars, coaching and focused training materials. The programme covers strategic topics including sales, packaging and pricing, profitability, scalability and company value.
The success of the MSP growth and support programme is highlighted by the fact that TruPeer members enjoy net profits that are among the top 10% in the industry. They also command an average seat price that is 20%-30% higher than the industry average.
Former MSP and TruPeer member Oliver Mackley has joined Kaseya to run the TruPeer EMEA programme, overseen by TruMethods president Gary Pica and Dan Tomaszewski, Executive VP of the channel, Kaseya.
Oliver says: “When I joined the programme as an MSP, it changed my life. We were able to service our clients more strategically. Within 18 months, we had halved the number of support tickets. At the end of the first year, our net profit had grown to 17% (after a fair market salary for both owners) and for the following three years it was well over 20%. I want to share this amazing experience with other MSPs.”


Feature: Keeper Security provides cybersecurity best practices for retailers

By Darren Guccione, CEO and co-founder of Keeper Security.
It’s a lucrative time of year, and not just for retail businesses. Cyber criminals also look to take advantage of the increased traffic and high sales volume, which provides cover for them to actively target retailers with cyber attacks. Keeper Security, the leading provider of zero-trust and zero-knowledge cybersecurity software protecting passwords, passkeys, privileged access, secrets and remote connections, is sharing cybersecurity best practices for small businesses to help protect sensitive systems and valuable customer data during the biggest shopping week of the year.
Cyber criminals utilise a range of tactics to gain access to an organisation’s systems and valuable data during this hectic time, which can include phishing attacks, ransomware, malware, business email compromise and more. Preparing for and actively defending against cyber threats is essential to maintain the security of customer data and transactions during the holiday shopping season and year-round. Retailers should implement a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity, including the following:
Conduct employee training- According to Verizon’s Data Breach Report, 74% of security breaches involve the human element, including falling victim to social engineering, stolen credentials or simply making an error—misplacing passwords, for instance. Cybersecurity training should be an integral part of onboarding, while phishing tests and supplemental training should be conducted regularly so employees can stay up-to-date on the latest threats.
Regularly update software- Ensure all systems and software, including Point of Sale (POS) terminals and e-commerce platforms, are up to date with security patches to protect against known vulnerabilities. Install antivirus software and ensure it is regularly updated to defend against the newest threats.
Secure sensitive systems- To secure payment processing, ensure you’re using trusted tools and isolate your payment systems. Implement privileged access management to secure and manage access to privileged systems and accounts, such as payroll and IT. Implement the principle of least privilege to ensure employees only have access to the systems and accounts they need to do their jobs. Set up an intrusion detection and prevention system to monitor for suspicious activity and potential threats.
Protect customer data- Regularly back up and control access to data by appointing administrators and monitoring user permissions. Review your existing data collection practices and policies to ensure you understand the user information your organisation is collecting and get rid of any dark data your organisation is not using. If your company doesn’t absolutely need a piece of information about a customer, don’t collect it.
Implement an enterprise password manager- Weak and compromised passwords are the biggest threat to a retailer’s cybersecurity. In addition to giving IT admins visibility into employee password practices and enabling them to enforce password security policies, such as the use of strong, unique passwords and MFA, an enterprise password manager helps prevent employees from entering their credentials on phishing sites.
Secure your WiFi network- Protect your network with a strong password that is at least 16 characters, featuring a randomised mix of letters, numbers and special characters. If encryption is not already enabled, you can update it in your ISP admin settings. The majority of routers already have built-in firewalls, so ensure that’s enabled as well. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to allow remote workers to connect securely from outside the office.
By taking these steps, retailers and small businesses can bolster their cybersecurity posture and better protect their systems and data during the high-stress period of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


Shure and Ingram Micro form strategic distribution relationship

Shure, a global audio manufacturer, and Ingram Micro have formed a new strategic relationship aimed at enhancing Unified Communications (UC) solutions across the UK, Germany, Spain, and Poland.
The alliance will focus on distributing Shure’s award-winning Stem Ecosystem, addressing the burgeoning demand for high-quality audio in meeting, training, and classroom spaces. The Stem Ecosystem is ideal for situations that require straightforward, deployable audio solutions for daily conferencing needs. Now, Ingram Micro resellers will be able to enjoy a consistent and effective audio experience with Shure’s Stem Ecosystem devices.
“Developing a closer business relationship with IT channels is a key priority for Shure,” said Bob Farahar, senior market development manager, UC and IT Channels, Western Europe at Shure. “Ingram Micro not only has a strong relationship in the IT sector but also deep expertise and knowledge. We believe Stem Ecosystem will be a valuable addition to Ingram Micro’s portfolio while helping Shure reach new markets.”
Richard Tricklebank, global partner engagement, EMEA, unified communications and collaboration, Ingram Micro, added: “We are thrilled to include Shure in our product portfolio. As workspaces evolve and the need for high-quality, reliable audio becomes increasingly important, Shure’s cutting-edge technology will offer a total solution for our reseller customers.”
Ingram Micro’s influential role in IT channels offers Shure an invaluable opportunity for broader market penetration. Additionally, Ingram Micro’s established affiliations with leading Unified Communications vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco, Poly, and Logitech pave the way for more cohesive and wide-ranging solutions.
Industry trends continue to demonstrate a noticeable shift in customer demand for high-quality Unified Communications and Audio-Visual (AV) equipment. This change is particularly evident in professional meeting spaces, training facilities, and classrooms. As the landscape of work and learning environments continues to evolve, the requirement for dependable, high-quality audio solutions has never been more critical. This relationship aims to address these emerging needs by delivering top-notch audio products that enhance the user experience.
“Looking at Shure’s exciting range of new products, our goal is to establish Shure as a key audio requirement for any Meeting, Training, or Classroomace,” Tricklebank added. “We look forward to opening up new verticals with Shure.”
The relationship will help Ingram Micro’s vision to offer an end-to-end solution for any meeting or training room requirement. “The addition of Shure helps to enable us to meet our strategic goals and provide an enhanced experience for our partners and end-users,” concluded Tricklebank.


Westcoast adds Poly to portfolio

Westcoast has now included Poly in its Unified Communications offering. Products now available from Westcoast include video headsets, speakerphones, and telephony. Poly devices feature active noise cancelling technology, available in wired, DECT or Bluetooth-enabled models. This catalogue available from Poly at Westcoast provides bespoke solutions which aim to compliment the full HP device range.
“From workstations, desktops and notebooks to video and phone solutions, some things are just stronger when they are used together,” said Phil Bell, director of sales at Westcoast. “We’re really excited to be able to offer an end-to-end portfolio of hybrid work solutions from these two industry leaders.
“We’re excited to bring our catalogue of Poly products to Westcoast,” said Paul Dunne, Poly senior director, EMEA Channel Organisation. “We’ve always valued our relationship with Westcoast and what they achieve with our HP portfolio and we’re thrilled that Poly is now part of their offering.”