Zammit steps up as CEO at TD Synnex

TD Synnex has announced that Patrick Zammit will become chief executive officer, succeeding Rich Hume, who will retire after a transformative tenure as CEO. Hume will remain on the TD Synnex board of directors.  The leadership transition is effective September 1.
“It has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to serve as CEO of TD Synnex. I am proud of the culture we have built, our partner-first focus and commitment to customer excellence, and the purpose-driven approach we have taken in our business,” said Hume. “In this dynamic and ever-changing technology landscape, Patrick is the right leader to build on this foundation as we continue to deliver value to our customers and vendors across the ecosystem. Under his leadership, I am confident that TD Synnex will reach even greater heights.”
Zammit, who has served as the company’s chief operating officer since January 2024, brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of driving growth and operational excellence. Zammit has been instrumental in coordinating the company’s business strategy, driving profitable growth and accelerating the adoption of new, high-growth technologies around the globe. Zammit led the European region beginning in 2017, following Tech Data’s acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions. His role expanded in 2021 to include responsibilities for the APJ region. His tenure at Avnet, which began in 1993, saw him in various management roles, culminating as Global President of the Technology Solutions division, where he served on its executive board. His earlier roles at Avnet included President of EMEA Electronic Marketing and European CFO.
“I am honoured to succeed Rich and lead TD Synnex into its next chapter. I look forward to building on the strong foundation we have established and driving forward our strategy and digitization roadmap to ensure we are constantly delivering the greatest value to our co-workers, partners, vendors, and shareholders,” said Zammit. “Rich has been an outstanding leader and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his role on our board of directors.”
Hume joined what was then Tech Data in 2016 as COO, taking over as CEO in 2018. During his tenure, he has helped lead the company through a period of significant growth and transformation, including the acquisition of Avnet TS, taking the company private in partnership with Apollo Asset Management and the successful merger of Tech Data and Synnex.
Under his leadership, TD Synnex has embraced a culture of servant leadership, focusing on empowering employees, fostering an inclusive environment and building a company with a purpose that extends beyond financial success.
The Board of Directors expressed its deep gratitude to Rich Hume for his leadership and contributions to TD Synnex and extends its best wishes to him in his retirement.
“We are immensely grateful to Rich for his leadership. His contributions have been pivotal in shaping the company’s trajectory, and we look forward to his continued guidance on the board of directors,” said Ann Vezina, Chair of the board.  “Under Patrick’s leadership, TD Synnex will continue to thrive and set new benchmarks in the industry. His vision aligns perfectly with our core values and strategic goals, ensuring a seamless continuation of the innovative foundation that Rich has built.”

 

Feature: 5G private networks vs Wi-Fi

For years, cellular networks and Wi-Fi appeared settled into their areas of dominance. But in some enterprise use cases, upgrades to cellular (mobile) technology have handed companies unprecedented choice as Darryl Brick, VP partner sales at Cradlepoint explains.
For partners who’ve been around awhile, the 5G vs Wi-Fi debate may seem a little tired. However, the debate persists, and technologies continue to co-exist, as each have as both Wi-Fi and cellular continue to evolve. Wi-Fi is a type of wireless local area network (WLAN) that is favoured for supplying wireless connectivity to the home, office, campus and other facilities ok with “best effort” connectivity in many environments but best suited indoors. Cellular connectivity is the dominant player outdoors, on mobile phones and many other devices when Wi-Fi and other connectivity options are unavailable.
Recent events and connectivity ecosystem evolution have triggered significant changes to the dynamic between technologies. As Wi-Fi and cellular networks have been upgraded through new standards releases, the roll out of 5G has brought increased capacity, coverage, mobility, speeds, and lower latency. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi 6 is getting closer to cellular with increased capacity, coverage, and higher speeds. Both have inherent strengths and weaknesses.
Another important shift is that, cellular has become an attractive alternative to Wi-Fi for enterprises — specifically for those looking for greater support for business critical applications, wanting complete control of their network. This is evident in the rise of private cellular networks, PCNs, among today’s enterprises. Helping drive this growth in enterprise PCN are changes to spectrum policy, including the allocation of licensed spectrum for enterprises. With the increased availability of licensed or shared spectrum, enterprise companies can operate their own PCNs and exercise complete control over the network, and as such will be looking for partners who can support them in this journey.
As the enterprise evolves, three major wireless technologies are increasingly co-existing: public cellular, private cellular and Wi-Fi.
However, thanks to PCNs and the enhanced performance they provide in the form of increased coverage, mobility, reliability, security, and predictable network performance — enterprises will be looking for partners who can offer them the choice of these technologies depending on their need.
Why are PCN deployments increasing?
So, why may some enterprises be opting for private 5G or LTE over Wi-Fi? One of Wi-Fis limitations includes reliability. Because Wi-Fi operates on unlicensed spectrum, it may be available but not necessarily useable because of signal interference, traffic congestion or a minimal coverage area. In terms of security and capacity, Wi-Fi also comes up short when compared to a private 5G network. For example, private cellular networks can eliminate credential-based attacks thanks to SIM-based authentication. Network users must have approved physical SIMs or electronic SIMs will be able to access the network, giving enterprises more control over who enters their network. Also, even if a bad actor gets their hands on a device with an approved SIM, they’d only have access to the portions of the network for which that device is approved.
In terms of mobility, cellular networks are deterministic – meaning the network determines how to assign cellular clients to the cellular network access points (APs), and when to handoff to another cellular AP based on signal strength, QoS (quality of service) standards assigned by the enterprise network administrator, and other identifiers.  Since Wi-Fi networks are not deterministic, this vastly improves the network reliability for mobile devices that roam between cellular APs in a PCN.
Providing connectivity for large areas isn’t easy.  When it comes to coverage, in many situations private cellular networks make a lot more sense as well. Often, private cellular can cover 10x the space outdoors compared to traditional Wi-Fi. For example, Ericsson is working with the Port of Tyne to provide site-wide connectivity through a cellular private network which will support autonomous navigation, remote crane operations, connected drones and wearable technology.
Then, there’s the question of reliability.  Many warehouses and industrial environments now use sensors and other devices to connect or have more visibility into their operations and machinery requiring the constant sharing of data between machinery or to a database. When it comes to automation and robotics, the lower latency that private 5G offers means greater control for enterprise users.  Then there’s the way 5G combines with edge computing, which provides near real-time processing by bringing data processing to the point of data creation, such as a factory or warehouse floor instead of the cloud. The low latency necessary for real-time data transfer, the control of the network across which that data transfers, and the inherent security a PCN provides that data is why PCNs are more reliable.
Simple and secure
Lastly, what’s become increasingly difficult for the enterprise to ignore is that with the maturation of private cellular solutions, the current value proposition for Wi-Fi to support business and mission critical applications continues to shrink. PCN solutions are not only more comprehensive but enterprises will find it’s easier than ever to deploy and manage them after deployment. Meaning, it is critical channel partners take note of its benefits now before they fall behind the competition in offering this dynamic technology.

 

Pax8 names Eric Stevens chief AI officer

Pax8 has named Eric Stevens as chief AI officer. In this newly created position, Stevens will report to Scott Chasin, CEO, and own the strategic implementation of AI technologies, infrastructure, and practices.
“AI is about to completely revolutionise the world, and the vision for an AI-empowered Marketplace cannot be underestimated,” said Stevens. “Undertaking the role of chief AI officer of Pax8 is an incredible opportunity and exciting challenge that I’m eager to embark on.”
Under Stevens’ leadership, his dedicated AI team, as well as the data analytics, engineering, and science teams, will spearhead the innovation and transformation of the Marketplace, enabling Pax8 to deliver more value, efficiency, and intelligence to its partners, vendors, and customers. In addition, as the industry and governments respond with best practices and regulations, Stevens’ team will help to ensure that Pax8 successfully navigates this complex space as they set policies on responsible and ethical use of AI and oversee corporate strategy for all AI initiatives.
“I’m thrilled to share the news that Eric Stevens has been promoted to the pivotal role of Chief AI Officer,” said Chasin. “Continuing to invest in our AI capabilities represents the strategic nature and impact that it has on Pax8, our Partners, and the industry. I’m delighted to see Eric take on this crucial role that will significantly transform how the Marketplace delivers value to our ecosystem.”

 

Maxhub opens showroom in London  

Maxhub has opened its second showroom in Europe, the Maxhub London Customer Experience Centre in the heart of Chelsea.
The new centre marks another milestone in the company’s European expansion strategy. It will be a hub for customers and partners to experience the range of UC products and display solutions live and to strengthen personal relationships.
The CEC provides an opportunity to experience first-hand the design, quality and ease of use of Maxhub solutions.
“We are extremely excited about our new Customer Experience Centre in London,” said Cathy Liu, country manager UK & Ireland. “Not only will it allow us to showcase our latest cutting-edge technology for the intelligent workplace, but it will also allow us to engage and collaborate more with our existing and new partners and customers.”

 

Lack of confidence ahead of an audit signals gaps in digital makeup

According to new research from Canon Europe, just one in four IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) feel very confident in the lead up to an audit – with respondents highlighting concerns over their organisations’ information and data management processes. The results of the survey of 1,709 ITDMs across seven markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Nordics, The Netherlands, and Spain) signals critical gaps within the digital make up of many businesses today – highlighting the lack of visibility and control that ITDMs have over information and document processes which is pivotal to their role.
Marc Bory, vice president, digital printing and solutions, marketing and innovation at Canon Europe said: “Emerging technologies are currently reshaping what’s achievable in the hybrid workplace where information is exchanged in both digital and paper formats, accompanied by new expectations to manage. Information assumes a critical role in this context, as it can determine how well businesses can adapt and respond to these new opportunities. Yet, our research shows how anxieties related to managing and protecting data as well as a lack of productivity in document process management, hinder IT teams from harnessing the full potential of their information to increase overall business value.” 
Anxiety related to managing data is clearly apparent in IT leaders’ confidence levels ahead of an audit. When asked why, two consistent themes emerged: a lack of control over employee behaviour and lack of visibility of documents and data, both playing a key role.
These concerns are not misplaced. Over one third (36%) of leaders say they suspect or are aware that employees don’t always follow compliance rules (such as GDPR), whilst, one in five ITDMs (17%) reported experiencing an accidental employee breach in the last year. This is creating a strain internally, with over half reporting IT security is taking up a significant amount of their workday.
In fact, mitigating risk – particularly concerning IT security and compliance – continues to be front of mind for IT leaders. 60% of ITDMs place security in their top three greatest challenges, with over a quarter (28%) placing it as number one.
Lack of real digital progress
ITDMs appear confident in their digital maturity, with 78% believing their organisations are already mature in terms of digital processes – meaning that they are running processes that are digitised and automated, however the wider research paints a different picture.

Organisations were found to be in a similar position to 2022 levels of tracking, accessing, sharing, and deleting documents for audit purposes.
Automatic access rights to documents – the most common capability – are only found in 53% of organisations, meaning that full adoption of automation for information and document process management is still far off.
28% are still needing to manually fill out standardised organisational documents each time, with 26% of employees experiencing errors or inconsistencies caused by data silos.
One in 10 leaders have abandoned implementation projects over the last two years. Challenges with implementations include compatibility issues (28%), delays (27%), and ongoing faults with the new technology (21%).

While the benefits that digital can bring to a business are clear – nearly all those who have implemented automation (99%) report value far beyond compliance from working more efficiently (37%), improving employee experience (35%) and bolstering customer experience (34%) – these potential gains are not being fully realised.
Even though information management is recognised for increasing productivity, with 37% of IT leaders highlighting this as a key benefit– many ITDMs aren’t fully embracing available document management solutions. This lack of digital progress is hampering the potential of IT teams and creating a roadblock to how much value they can provide.
Tori Miller Liu, President and CEO of the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) said: “A digital-first world requires modern workplaces to be driven by high-quality and highly accessible information or unstructured data. However, managing an increasing volume of unstructured information in a hybrid environment is challenging for organisations. Effective information management is the answer; delivering enhanced visibility and control, greater compliance, as well as unlocking new opportunities from existing information.”
Read the full insight report: https://www.canon.co.uk/business/workspace/ims-research-report/ 

 

Feature: Sales is not a side hustle

Stefanie Hammond, head nerd at N-able discusses building a dedicated team.
The typical small managed services provider (MSP) has a handful of employees who play whatever role necessary to run and grow the business. Whether an IT specialist does a little bit of sales, or a security expert plays the role of CMO, everyone needs to be flexible. When the phone rings, the available person deals with the matter on the other end, regardless of their job role.
But this isn’t a model for sustainable growth, especially for sales. So, when is it appropriate to build a dedicated sales team? It’s common for an MSP to reach around $2m in annual revenue before making the leap to hire more dedicated salespeople and invest in marketing. After this, these dedicated teams are pivotal to whether an MSP continues to scale or hits the ceiling of growth.
Our recent research, the 2024 MSP Horizons Report, shows that customer acquisition is one of the biggest challenges facing MSPs today, making a focus on sales vital. So, how do MSPs properly invest in sales at the right time?
Crossing the chasm
To scale, businesses need to make structural adjustments including formalising and defining job roles. Rather than people taking on multiple roles (as one might expect from growth), the focus should be on becoming more specialised and creating new departments to replace the hybrid roles that existed before. The good news is MSPs recognise this too. Our research reveals MSPs are looking to invest in sales roles in 2024 despite the wider uncertainty in customer budgets in the short term.
In preparation for growth, it’s worth sitting down and considering the sales pipeline. How does the function currently work? If sales are mainly through direct recommendations or word of mouth, this will likely limit growth if not properly formalised with marketing and brand strategies.
It’s important to note that managed services and managed security services are not technical sales. These conversations should be held at a business level, explaining how you will help the business owner use technology to generate, help protect, and increase their revenue streams. Technical staff should be brought into these conversations only when their expertise is required, for example if the potential customer has a technical background or knowledge, such as a CTO. Preparing for these different conversations will be aided by a formalised marketing and sales strategy and truly understanding these different targets. It’s important to prepare correctly or risk letting the sale turn cold.
Impact on staff
Going from a small to a medium-sized MSP is a more difficult transition than simply renting a bigger office space and employing a few more people. It’s shifting away from the growth/start-up structure of people taking on multiple roles to get the job done. A smaller MSP might have worked quite successfully with a tight-knit team of specialists who know the business inside and out. But in attempting the transition from small to middle-sized MSP, it will be these members of staff who might feel undervalued if their specialisms aren’t recognised.
It’s well-reported that many IT workers are stressed, with global studies finding two in five IT professionals are at high risk of burnout—with this figure rising to over half in security. Burnout can lead to health conditions and recurring sickness, affecting productivity, decreasing the standard of work, and this can lead to a bad reputation for the company that affects hiring. As the business grows, asking staff to take on additional roles becomes increasingly unsustainable, even harmful.
The need to plan ahead
When a business grows, there will be customer churn. This can be simply because customers move on or perhaps sometimes because the new, bigger MSP is no longer the right match for a customer. This is something that needs to be planned for and doesn’t have to be an issue if the sales pipeline is built out in the correct way. But it will become an issue when technical staff are too busy with their main role to moonlight in sales.
According to our research, customer acquisition is the most significant challenge for MSPs today with 22% of respondents highlighting this as a key concern. Smaller MSPs tend to rely on referrals for their new business. When moving away from this more reactive method, MSPs can proactively improve the sales function with simple housekeeping such as lead categorisation, ensuring follow ups are conducted, and building a customer lifecycle framework to support onboarding and offboarding correctly.
It’s worth considering the following questions when building an MSP’s sales team and strategy:

Who are your target customers?
Are they in a vertical niche?
Who is the decision-maker?
Do they have the budget for your services?
How many touches will it take to get interest?
Does your sales team need technical sales support?
Do you have a CRM system so you can begin to build a database of prospects?
And, last but not least, are all your contracts, collateral, and sales materials concise and on message?

Setting an MSP apart from the pack
The MSP model is increasingly blending to form a mix of resell, consulting, managed services, and systems integration, making it more important than ever to differentiate in the market. Growing means coming up against new competitors, and often without the same word of mouth used to attract new customers.
Building a brand story, messaging, and having a dedicated team to follow through will help current and potential customers be aware of the value an MSP can provide and leave specialists to upskill and focus on the areas they know best. Without a dedicated sales team, a growing MSP risks being overstretched, lacking a sales pipeline and unable to let prospects know the great job they can do for them.

 

Feature: Channel partners are key for monitoring sustainability initiatives

As cloud sustainability becomes a greater focus amongst businesses, channel IT partners play a crucial role in spearheading the move to sustainable providers.
 With businesses under increasing pressure to pivot toward sustainability, it is no longer as simple as wanting to be green – meaningful action is needed. Digital technology has emerged as a drive towards corporate green strategies, with predictions that 2024 will mark businesses embracing a focus on sustainability alongside AI automation and Cloud ERP. 
Whilst major cloud providers are making substantial commitments to sustainability and net zero already, it can be difficult for SMEs looking to monitor their impact without the budget, resources and visibility that bigger tech giants possess. Yet this visibility is necessary if every business is going to contribute to the path of a net-zero UK.  
Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Officer at ALSO Cloud UK, believes that before businesses can lower their carbon footprints and adopt more sustainable operations, IT leaders first require greater transparency about their current environmental impact, which technology providers are equipped to help with. 
“Organisations need support when it comes to ensuring sustainability is a priority in the decision-making process. Green initiatives are quickly let down by their weakest, energy-consuming component, and it is no different when it comes to cloud computing. 
“Visibility across the technology supply chain, and accountability for those missing the mark, can quickly help turn around any business not heading in the right direction. With greater demand for such environmentally friendly solutions, technology providers and channel partners are in the best position to support businesses with sustainable technology options.”
Appleton believes businesses should act now regarding monitoring their environmental impact. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure, so getting a complete picture of a product’s emissions during its life should be a priority. This starts with getting the product’s carbon footprint and tracking the emissions created from the manufacturing process to the end users. To account for the emissions caused should be a priority for all vendors to provide better, energy-saving products and solutions to their customers.
“There is also an increasing demand from customers that their vendor of choice adopts an environmentally conscious approach to management. Understanding the shift in expectations for greener agendas is something to be increasingly conscious of, as well as prioritising more efficient resource use. The need for computing power and data centres is here to stay, but channel partners and resellers can step in for support with their high level of expertise to help mitigate net negative impact.
“Striking a balance between good ESG aspects across all business decision-making is key and should be reflected through IT provider’s sustainability strategies. Cloud technology as always holds the answer, not only enabling companies to lower their energy consumption but also contributing to reducing their overall environmental impact. Ensuring that your provider shares those priorities, can monitor this across every step of the way, and also strategise future-proof green agendas, are all responsibility on not just businesses, but for technology providers to support as well.”

 

Intec Micros sponsors Channel Support Services at the PCR Awards

Intec Micros is to sponsor the Channel Support Services Category at the prestigious PCR Awards. The sponsorship highlights Intec Micros’ dedication to innovation, excellence, and the vital role of channel support services within the IT industry.
Stuart Hall, marketing and communications director at Intec Micros, expressed the company’s enthusiasm for supporting the awards: “Intec Micros is proud to sponsor the PCR Channel Support Services Category awards as they align perfectly with our commitment to innovation and excellence in the IT channel. We believe in recognising and celebrating the outstanding efforts of those who support and drive the industry forward. By sponsoring these awards, we aim to encourage and inspire continued excellence and innovation in channel support services, often the unsung heroes of the channel, who are crucial to the success and growth of our industry.”
The PCR Awards are a renowned annual event that honours outstanding achievements and excellence in the UK PC and tech channel. The Channel Support Services Category specifically acknowledges the indispensable contributions of businesses and individuals who provide critical support and services that enable the channel to thrive.
As a sponsor, Intec Micros underscores its commitment to fostering growth and excellence in the IT sector. This sponsorship further solidifies Intec Micros’ position as a key player in the industry, dedicated to supporting the ecosystem that drives technological advancements and business success.

 

Brivo launches expanded Global Reseller Partner Programme

Brivo, a provider of cloud-based access control and smart space technologies, today announces the transformation of its Global Reseller Partner Program, effective for all Resellers on 1 January, 2025.
The Global Reseller Partner Programme will grant access to data insights, marketing assets, and business management tools, all supported by a wealth of new resources to boost partner growth and improve the overall partner experience.
Brivo is increasing its investment in the security integrator channel by enhancing partner experience and engagement programs. The revamped Program encourages resellers to certify their technicians, a step that has been shown to significantly boost profitability. Resellers with Brivo-certified technicians see, on average, a 155% increase in sales compared to those without.
The programme will also include specific market intelligence and dashboards to help resellers understand their Brivo accounts and target growth opportunities within their customer base. Resellers can unlock incremental tiers of support and benefits based on annual sales, new customers, and certified technicians. These include:

Sales and business benefits—demo kits, online sales training, dedicated Brivo sales support, and a recurring monthly revenue rebate program
Marketing benefits—access to branding and marketing materials, qualified lead program, and  field marketing support
Technical benefits—technical certification (in-person and remote), online technical training, and priority technical support
Market Insights –market analysis, vertical expertise, training, and data.

“We chose Brivo to enhance our business with the most straightforward and reliable cloud-based solution available,” said Richard Zulberg, founder and project director at Balthorne Security Solutions. “In Brivo, we’ve found a true partner that has propelled our growth and provided invaluable expertise. This collaboration empowers us to leverage Brivo’s deep industry insights, enabling us to deliver top-tier solutions to our clients.”
“Brivo’s success is built on the partners who put our products and services in the hands of our customers,” said Maureen Perrelli, chief revenue officer of Brivo. “Our Global Reseller Partner Programme will give them the support they need to thrive, with clear goals that reward not just new sales, but also recurring revenue and technician training.”

 

Circular Computing secures £30 million Irish Public Sector Deal  

Circular Computing has formed a new partnership with the Irish Government to supply notebooks to the public sector.  This partnership, thought to be the first such procurement deal by an EU state, will be worth £30m across four years, equivalent to the supply of 15,000 notebooks per year across 18 government departments. It will also mean Circular Computing could gain a 12.5% share of the Irish laptop market.
The Irish State has set a target under its Programme for Government that, by next year, 80% of IT equipment bought for the public sector must be remanufactured or meet the highest standard from the environmental ratings system EPEAT.  Circular Computing’s remanufactured Notebooks carry the kitemark of the British Standards Institute, guaranteeing they will perform equal to or better than equivalent brand-new models.
With Ireland’s status as one of Europe’s tech hubs, the public sector partnership is seen as a significant endorsement of second-life technology and Circular Computing’s credentials as a leader in sustainability and social change. The new deal will feature notebooks from HP, Dell and Lenovo.
Rod Neale, founder and CEO of Circular Computing, said: “Ireland has a deserved reputation as being a haven for technological innovation and this deal shows how it is also leading the way when it comes to embracing the global shift to remanufactured IT.
“Over the next four years we look forward to demonstrating the high quality of our products and working with the Irish Government to help meet its environmental and climate change goals. This feels like an important first step towards a wider sustainable movement and we are confident that the success of the partnership will pave the way for other countries to follow, aiding the push to Net Zero.”
Irish minister for public procurement and circular economy Ossian Smyth TD, said: “I am delighted to welcome this arrangement that supports government strategy on green and sustainable procurement.  Choosing a remanufactured laptop over a new one saves approximately 316kg of CO2 emissions and saves over 190,000 litres of water.”