Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jan 13

2022 M&A Is Mind-Boggling. What’s Fueling All the Activity?

By | Managed Services News

Every day, there’s another channel-centric deal. We look at four main trends driving the momentum.

2022 M&A is off to a mind-boggling start. Not even two full weeks into the new year, Channel Futures is reporting on yet more transactions every day — and that’s just within the indirect channel. Whether vendor or partner, companies are eager to combine strengths, augment weaker areas and beef up presence in new regions.

As for the amount of money companies are throwing at each other, that’s a bit of a question mark. Most of the deals are private, so the amounts are not disclosed. Behemoth advisory firm PwC says there’s a “significant increase” in volume among “not-quite-mega” deals, a category that likely houses much of the channel’s M&A. 2021 saw more than 800 transactions totaling between $500 million and $5 billion in value, PwC says in its Deals 2022 Outlook. That number compares against a typical year featuring 400-500 such deals, the firm notes. The stats indicate that 2022 M&A could rise even higher. Given the transactions already wrapped thus far, activity that outpaces 2021 looks more than possible.

“[M]any companies are navigating the competition for assets in different ways, including through smaller and midsize transactions that could still deliver solid proceeds and ultimately be scaled for larger deals,” PwC says.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Certain headwinds could start blowing harder and snuff out the flames of any nascent M&A arrangements. One of the most prominent potential headwinds? Inflation. In fact, 71% of respondents told M&A industry SaaS provider Datasite that inflation impacted an M&A deal they worked on in 2021. They expect that obstacle to carry over in 2022 (no surprise, given the 7% rate at which inflation already has risen). Law firm Hinckley Allen concurs with this observation.

“Rising inflation is a macro-economic concern for all business owners and operators,” legal experts write in the company’s 2022 M&A Market Forecast.

Still, 48% of the dealmakers polled by Datasite said they expect M&A to increase this year.

Another headwind that could put a stop to any 2022 M&A comes in the form of ongoing supply chain problems. Indeed, 14% of Datasite’s respondents cited this as a key obstacle. GDP growth, unemployment, tax rates and a more aggressive antitrust environment in the United States also could impede progress.

Underlying all of this is, no shocker, COVID-19.

“The impact of [COVID-19] and its many variants remain a real concern,” Hinckley Allen’s experts say. “For companies that struggled during [COVID-19], the fear of pandemic disruption is worrisome.”

Yet in spite of these potential deterrents, observers remain upbeat about 2022 M&A. Last year’s boom “looks set to continue,” said Duncan Smithson, M&A expert at advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. “M&A activity in 2022 looks poised to match the peaks of 2015,” Smithson added.

With all of that as context, Channel Futures wanted to explore the trends that are making 2022 M&A so attractive. We did so in the slideshow above. Keep these patterns and issues in mind as more companies announce more deals. Because they will.

Jan 13

2022 M&A Is Mind-Boggling. What’s Fueling All the Activity?

By | Managed Services News

Every day, there’s another channel-centric deal. We look at four main trends driving the momentum.

2022 M&A is off to a mind-boggling start. Not even two full weeks into the new year, Channel Futures is reporting on yet more transactions every day — and that’s just within the indirect channel. Whether vendor or partner, companies are eager to combine strengths, augment weaker areas and beef up presence in new regions.

As for the amount of money companies are throwing at each other, that’s a bit of a question mark. Most of the deals are private, so the amounts are not disclosed. Behemoth advisory firm PwC says there’s a “significant increase” in volume among “not-quite-mega” deals, a category that likely houses much of the channel’s M&A. 2021 saw more than 800 transactions totaling between $500 million and $5 billion in value, PwC says in its Deals 2022 Outlook. That number compares against a typical year featuring 400-500 such deals, the firm notes. The stats indicate that 2022 M&A could rise even higher. Given the transactions already wrapped thus far, activity that outpaces 2021 looks more than possible.

“[M]any companies are navigating the competition for assets in different ways, including through smaller and midsize transactions that could still deliver solid proceeds and ultimately be scaled for larger deals,” PwC says.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Certain headwinds could start blowing harder and snuff out the flames of any nascent M&A arrangements. One of the most prominent potential headwinds? Inflation. In fact, 71% of respondents told M&A industry SaaS provider Datasite that inflation impacted an M&A deal they worked on in 2021. They expect that obstacle to carry over in 2022 (no surprise, given the 7% rate at which inflation already has risen). Law firm Hinckley Allen concurs with this observation.

“Rising inflation is a macro-economic concern for all business owners and operators,” legal experts write in the company’s 2022 M&A Market Forecast.

Still, 48% of the dealmakers polled by Datasite said they expect M&A to increase this year.

Another headwind that could put a stop to any 2022 M&A comes in the form of ongoing supply chain problems. Indeed, 14% of Datasite’s respondents cited this as a key obstacle. GDP growth, unemployment, tax rates and a more aggressive antitrust environment in the United States also could impede progress.

Underlying all of this is, no shocker, COVID-19.

“The impact of [COVID-19] and its many variants remain a real concern,” Hinckley Allen’s experts say. “For companies that struggled during [COVID-19], the fear of pandemic disruption is worrisome.”

Yet in spite of these potential deterrents, observers remain upbeat about 2022 M&A. Last year’s boom “looks set to continue,” said Duncan Smithson, M&A expert at advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. “M&A activity in 2022 looks poised to match the peaks of 2015,” Smithson added.

With all of that as context, Channel Futures wanted to explore the trends that are making 2022 M&A so attractive. We did so in the slideshow above. Keep these patterns and issues in mind as more companies announce more deals. Because they will.

Jan 13

New Products, Services: Lumen, Microsoft, Dialpad, HPE Aruba, Avant, Aryaka, More

By | Managed Services News

Suppliers are courting agents, MSPs and VARs to sell these offerings.

Aryaka unveiled three new SD-WAN and SASE solutions, and Dialpad teamed up with Poly to improve its video conferencing.

IT and telecom vendors launched a variety of new offerings last month. Those suppliers are targeting VAR, agent, MSP and SI partners as key routes to market for these new products.

There’s Lumen, which launched a new offering to power virtualized services. Datto unveiled a new tool to help MSPs fight the log4j vulnerability. In addition, Aruba launched an SD-WAN offering that remote workers will appreciate.

Partners of all types will want to note the new Microsoft Teams offering that caters to SMB customers. And customers and partners worried about supply chain attacks will want to check out Trustwave’s new solution.

Scroll through the 16 images above to see the latest products and serves that partners can sell or use.

You can also check out our new offerings gallery from December.

 

Jan 13

Splunk Channel Marketing Vet Joins Datto as CMO

By | Managed Services News

The new CMO said Datto is primed for growth.

Datto has snagged Splunk vet Brooke Cunningham as its new chief marketing officer (CMO).

Cunningham brings more than 20 years of experience in the software industry. She has held global leadership roles in marketing, operations, partner and program functions.

Splunk's Brooke Cunningham

Splunk’s Brooke Cunningham

Cunningham was with Splunk for nearly six years and her most recent role was area vice president of global partner marketing and experience.

While at Splunk, she played a key role in growing the company’s revenue from $650 million to more than $2.5 billion. She did so by maximizing the value of partner networks.

In addition, she has held roles at CA Technologies, SAP and Qlik.

Goals as Datto CMO

Cunningham said there are three main reasons she decided to join Datto as CMO. Those are “values, purpose and alignment to my passion for partners.”

“The company’s core values, partner-first approach to business, and commitment to the MSP community and channel align very closely with the beliefs and outlook that have guided my career,” she said.

Cunningham said Datto plans to accelerate its growth.

“And I look forward to enabling the marketing team and our valued MSP ecosystem to be major contributors to the company’s continued success,” she said.

Tim Weller is Datto‘s CEO.

“I’m pleased to welcome Brooke to the Datto leadership team,” he said. “She brings extensive experience in security technologies and scaling businesses globally. Brooke has guided companies through various phases of growth – from product portfolio and brand expansion, international growth, partner ecosystem maturation and operationalizing for scale. We’re excited for the skills and leadership she will provide as Datto continues to grow and expand.”

Jan 13

Insight, Veeam Alum Becomes Nfinit Director of Channel Sales

By | Managed Services News

The new hire has more than a decade of experience in the technology industry.

Bradley Craig is a new face at database management company Nfinit in his role as director of channel sales.

However, Craig is no newbie to the technology industry with more than 13 years of experience. Before joining Nfinit, he primarily worked with cloud and managed service providers.

Phil Kenney is CEO of Nfinit.

“At Nfinit, our team sets us apart, so we’re always looking for the best talent in the industry,” Kenney said. “Bradley’s extensive experience and passion for partner relationships makes him a great fit for our consultative approach. It was an easy choice to bring him on board, and we look forward to leveraging his expertise for continued growth.”

Leadership Experience

Before joining the Nfinit team, Craig spent over a decade in leadership and business development roles. This includes Insight (No. 1 on the 2021 Channel Futures MSP 501), the Fortune 500-ranked global technology provider. He also spent time at Veeam, the backup, recovery and data management solutions provider. These roles provided Craig the opportunity to work with companies such as IBM, Verizon, Conduent and more.

Nfinit's Bradley Craig

Nfinit’s Bradley Craig

“Great partnerships have been at the core of my career,” Craig said. “Nfinit has an excellent reputation in the industry and has already created strong partnerships that I look forward to fostering and building in the years to come. I encourage any downstream channel partners who are looking for innovative, reliable tech solutions backed by expert, consultative support to reach out to me.”

Based in Tucson, Arizona, Craig has received various industry accolades, including Veeam’s 2020 North America Field Sales Rep of the Year and Insight Enterprises’ 2015 MSP Field Rep of the Year.

Nfinit ranked No. 27 on the Channel Futures MSP 501 in 2021.

 

Jan 13

2022 M&A Is Mind-Boggling. What’s Fueling All the Activity?

By | Managed Services News

Every day, there’s another channel-centric deal. We look at four main trends driving the momentum.

2022 M&A is off to a mind-boggling start. Not even two full weeks into the new year, Channel Futures is reporting on yet more transactions every day — and that’s just within the indirect channel. Whether vendor or partner, companies are eager to combine strengths, augment weaker areas and beef up presence in new regions.

As for the amount of money companies are throwing at each other, that’s a bit of a question mark. Most of the deals are private, so the amounts are not disclosed. Behemoth advisory firm PwC says there’s a “significant increase” in volume among “not-quite-mega” deals, a category that likely houses much of the channel’s M&A. 2021 saw more than 800 transactions totaling between $500 million and $5 billion in value, PwC says in its Deals 2022 Outlook. That number compares against a typical year featuring 400-500 such deals, the firm notes. The stats indicate that 2022 M&A could rise even higher. Given the transactions already wrapped thus far, activity that outpaces 2021 looks more than possible.

“[M]any companies are navigating the competition for assets in different ways, including through smaller and midsize transactions that could still deliver solid proceeds and ultimately be scaled for larger deals,” PwC says.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Certain headwinds could start blowing harder and snuff out the flames of any nascent M&A arrangements. One of the most prominent potential headwinds? Inflation. In fact, 71% of respondents told M&A industry SaaS provider Datasite that inflation impacted an M&A deal they worked on in 2021. They expect that obstacle to carry over in 2022 (no surprise, given the 7% rate at which inflation already has risen). Law firm Hinckley Allen concurs with this observation.

“Rising inflation is a macro-economic concern for all business owners and operators,” legal experts write in the company’s 2022 M&A Market Forecast.

Still, 48% of the dealmakers polled by Datasite said they expect M&A to increase this year.

Another headwind that could put a stop to any 2022 M&A comes in the form of ongoing supply chain problems. Indeed, 14% of Datasite’s respondents cited this as a key obstacle. GDP growth, unemployment, tax rates and a more aggressive antitrust environment in the United States also could impede progress.

Underlying all of this is, no shocker, COVID-19.

“The impact of [COVID-19] and its many variants remain a real concern,” Hinckley Allen’s experts say. “For companies that struggled during [COVID-19], the fear of pandemic disruption is worrisome.”

Yet in spite of these potential deterrents, observers remain upbeat about 2022 M&A. Last year’s boom “looks set to continue,” said Duncan Smithson, M&A expert at advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. “M&A activity in 2022 looks poised to match the peaks of 2015,” Smithson added.

With all of that as context, Channel Futures wanted to explore the trends that are making 2022 M&A so attractive. We did so in the slideshow above. Keep these patterns and issues in mind as more companies announce more deals. Because they will.

Jan 13

2022 M&A Is Mind-Boggling. What’s Fueling All the Activity?

By | Managed Services News

Every day, there’s another channel-centric deal. We look at four main trends driving the momentum.

2022 M&A is off to a mind-boggling start. Not even two full weeks into the new year, Channel Futures is reporting on yet more transactions every day — and that’s just within the indirect channel. Whether vendor or partner, companies are eager to combine strengths, augment weaker areas and beef up presence in new regions.

As for the amount of money companies are throwing at each other, that’s a bit of a question mark. Most of the deals are private, so the amounts are not disclosed. Behemoth advisory firm PwC says there’s a “significant increase” in volume among “not-quite-mega” deals, a category that likely houses much of the channel’s M&A. 2021 saw more than 800 transactions totaling between $500 million and $5 billion in value, PwC says in its Deals 2022 Outlook. That number compares against a typical year featuring 400-500 such deals, the firm notes. The stats indicate that 2022 M&A could rise even higher. Given the transactions already wrapped thus far, activity that outpaces 2021 looks more than possible.

“[M]any companies are navigating the competition for assets in different ways, including through smaller and midsize transactions that could still deliver solid proceeds and ultimately be scaled for larger deals,” PwC says.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Certain headwinds could start blowing harder and snuff out the flames of any nascent M&A arrangements. One of the most prominent potential headwinds? Inflation. In fact, 71% of respondents told M&A industry SaaS provider Datasite that inflation impacted an M&A deal they worked on in 2021. They expect that obstacle to carry over in 2022 (no surprise, given the 7% rate at which inflation already has risen). Law firm Hinckley Allen concurs with this observation.

“Rising inflation is a macro-economic concern for all business owners and operators,” legal experts write in the company’s 2022 M&A Market Forecast.

Still, 48% of the dealmakers polled by Datasite said they expect M&A to increase this year.

Another headwind that could put a stop to any 2022 M&A comes in the form of ongoing supply chain problems. Indeed, 14% of Datasite’s respondents cited this as a key obstacle. GDP growth, unemployment, tax rates and a more aggressive antitrust environment in the United States also could impede progress.

Underlying all of this is, no shocker, COVID-19.

“The impact of [COVID-19] and its many variants remain a real concern,” Hinckley Allen’s experts say. “For companies that struggled during [COVID-19], the fear of pandemic disruption is worrisome.”

Yet in spite of these potential deterrents, observers remain upbeat about 2022 M&A. Last year’s boom “looks set to continue,” said Duncan Smithson, M&A expert at advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. “M&A activity in 2022 looks poised to match the peaks of 2015,” Smithson added.

With all of that as context, Channel Futures wanted to explore the trends that are making 2022 M&A so attractive. We did so in the slideshow above. Keep these patterns and issues in mind as more companies announce more deals. Because they will.

Jan 13

2022 M&A Is Mind-Boggling. What’s Fueling All the Activity?

By | Managed Services News

Every day, there’s another channel-centric deal. We look at four main trends driving the momentum.

2022 M&A is off to a mind-boggling start. Not even two full weeks into the new year, Channel Futures is reporting on yet more transactions every day — and that’s just within the indirect channel. Whether vendor or partner, companies are eager to combine strengths, augment weaker areas and beef up presence in new regions.

As for the amount of money companies are throwing at each other, that’s a bit of a question mark. Most of the deals are private, so the amounts are not disclosed. Behemoth advisory firm PwC says there’s a “significant increase” in volume among “not-quite-mega” deals, a category that likely houses much of the channel’s M&A. 2021 saw more than 800 transactions totaling between $500 million and $5 billion in value, PwC says in its Deals 2022 Outlook. That number compares against a typical year featuring 400-500 such deals, the firm notes. The stats indicate that 2022 M&A could rise even higher. Given the transactions already wrapped thus far, activity that outpaces 2021 looks more than possible.

“[M]any companies are navigating the competition for assets in different ways, including through smaller and midsize transactions that could still deliver solid proceeds and ultimately be scaled for larger deals,” PwC says.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Certain headwinds could start blowing harder and snuff out the flames of any nascent M&A arrangements. One of the most prominent potential headwinds? Inflation. In fact, 71% of respondents told M&A industry SaaS provider Datasite that inflation impacted an M&A deal they worked on in 2021. They expect that obstacle to carry over in 2022 (no surprise, given the 7% rate at which inflation already has risen). Law firm Hinckley Allen concurs with this observation.

“Rising inflation is a macro-economic concern for all business owners and operators,” legal experts write in the company’s 2022 M&A Market Forecast.

Still, 48% of the dealmakers polled by Datasite said they expect M&A to increase this year.

Another headwind that could put a stop to any 2022 M&A comes in the form of ongoing supply chain problems. Indeed, 14% of Datasite’s respondents cited this as a key obstacle. GDP growth, unemployment, tax rates and a more aggressive antitrust environment in the United States also could impede progress.

Underlying all of this is, no shocker, COVID-19.

“The impact of [COVID-19] and its many variants remain a real concern,” Hinckley Allen’s experts say. “For companies that struggled during [COVID-19], the fear of pandemic disruption is worrisome.”

Yet in spite of these potential deterrents, observers remain upbeat about 2022 M&A. Last year’s boom “looks set to continue,” said Duncan Smithson, M&A expert at advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. “M&A activity in 2022 looks poised to match the peaks of 2015,” Smithson added.

With all of that as context, Channel Futures wanted to explore the trends that are making 2022 M&A so attractive. We did so in the slideshow above. Keep these patterns and issues in mind as more companies announce more deals. Because they will.

Jan 13

SMBs Turn to MSPs for Support with Zero Trust Model

By | Managed Services News

By implementing a zero trust model, MSPs can deliver the protection customers need without the high price tag.

Businesses today are actively looking for robust cybersecurity protection to keep up with the rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape. Many small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) for help. In fact, according to IDC, a division of the research and technology company International Data Corp., the managed security services market is growing four times faster than the market for security products.

A growing number of SMBs are outsourcing their security services for multiple reasons:

  • There are not enough qualified security professionals to meet the demands of staff shortages in the IT department. The cost and burden of training, hiring, and retaining skilled IT staff is the MSP’s responsibility.
  • IT staff do not have the capacity to handle new security initiatives on their own (compliance administration, security budgets, best practices, and so on).
  • Businesses spend millions of dollars on security annually, yet cyberattacks continue to occur and the risk of a data breach continues to grow.

Outsourced security has proven to be beneficial for SMBs when MSPs take the right approach. By implementing a zero trust model, MSPs can provide a comprehensive yet cohesive security stack that delivers the protection their customers need without the high price tag.

What Is Zero Trust Security?

Zero Trust is a security framework that was developed by Forrester analyst John Kindervag in 2010. This approach has grown to become one of the most popular frameworks in cybersecurity today.

Zero trust security blocks everything by default and follows a least-privilege model.

Why MSPs Should Be Providing Zero Trust Security

As applications move to the cloud and break down security perimeters, traditional security approaches like antivirus are rendered obsolete.

Users are accessing applications from all types of devices both inside and outside of the corporate network as businesses spread out across multiple locations. To enforce high standards of protection and compliance, MSPs need a solution that is dynamic, flexible and simple.

Why Aren’t Antivirus, EDR and Other Threat Detection Tools Enough?

Antivirus, EDR, and other threat detection tools only look for threats and suspicious behavior. Therefore, they cannot distinguish between DropBox and a piece of malware disguising itself as genuine software.

For example, in March 2020, a major vulnerability discovered in Zoom exposed millions of users. With the right policies in place, these users could have been protected. The problem is, too many MSPs and IT professionals focus on threat detection and fail to prevent data breaches associated with vulnerabilities in applications like Zoom.

MSPs who take the time to review which applications are needed by their users, block applications that aren’t needed and control how permitted applications can behave are enforcing high standards of protection.

Ultimately, the way in which users operate in the complex IT world today is paving the way for a zero-trust approach. If your managed service provider has not already implemented a zero-trust solution, you might want to consider looking for someone new.

Check out this pre-recorded demo to learn more about how ThreatLocker’s Application Control enables SMBs to follow the zero trust model.

For additional information on zero trust, click here for the podcast “What Is Zero Trust and Why Does It Matter?”

 This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jan 13

How to Ensure Secure Remote Access

By | Managed Services News

Secure remote access allows businesses to save money, reduce pressure on internal teams and protect intellectual property.

Remote access has helped us become more interconnected than ever before. In the United States alone, two months into the pandemic, about 35% of the workforce was teleworking. The growth of remote access allowed individuals to work with organizations and teams they don’t physically see or meet.

However, the demand for remote access has critical implications for security. Businesses now more than ever are expected to strike a balance between providing reliable remote access and properly securing it. Striking this balance also gives businesses the opportunity to retain customer loyalty and maintain a positive brand reputation. According to one study by Accenture, over 60% of consumers switched some or all of their business from one brand to another within the span of a year. Needless to say, securing remote access has major implications for business productivity and customer retention.

What Is Secure Remote Access?

Simply put, secure remote access is the ability to provide reliable entry into a user’s computer from a remote location outside of their work-related office. Users can access their companies’ files and documents as if the users were physically present in an office. Secure remote access can take different forms. The most popular options include virtual private network (VPN) or remote desktop protocol (RDP).

VPN works by initiating a secure connection over the internet through data encryption. Many businesses offer workers the opportunity to use this method by providing organizational connectivity through a VPN gateway to access the company’s internal network. One downside of using a VPN connection involves vulnerability. Any remote device that gains access to the VPN can share malware, for example, onto the internal company network.

RDP, on the other hand, functions by initiating a remote desktop connection option. Through the click of a mouse, users can access their computers from any location by logging in with a username and password. However, activating this default feature opens the door to vulnerabilities. Through brute force, illegitimate actors can attempt to hack a user’s password by trying an infinite number of combinations. Without a lockout feature, cybercriminals can make repeated attempts. “This is where length of strength comes into play. It is important to have as many characters as possible within your password, so it’s harder for cybercriminals to crack,” says Tyler Moffitt, security analyst, Carbonite + Webroot, OpenText companies.

Overcoming Obstacles

While the steps for securing remote access are simple, the learning curve for adoption may not be. Users, depending on their experience, may feel reluctant to learn another process. However, education is critical to maintaining a business’ security posture, especially when it comes to ransomware.

“The most common way we see ransomware affecting organizations – government municipalities, healthcare and education institutions – is through a breach. Once a cybercriminal is remoted onto a computer, it’s game over as far as security is concerned,” says Moffitt.

Benefits

The primary benefit of secure remote access is the ability to connect, work and engage from anywhere. A secure connection offers users the chance to work in locations previously not possible.

“The workplace will never be the same post-COVID. As more clients continue to maintain flexible working arrangements, it becomes even more important to secure clients remotely,” says Emma Furtado, customer advocacy manager, Carbonite + Webroot.

Adopting secure remote access also supports the maintenance of client satisfaction, overcoming reluctance and building brand advocacy.

“Carbonite + Webroot Luminaries, a group of managed service providers (MSPs), rely on their clients’ cyber resilience – and trust – to grow their businesses. After implementing Webroot products, many of their clients are open to multiple forms of secure remote access, such as VPN,” Furtado adds.

Advice for Organizational Adoption

  • Test, test, test. Like many applications, ongoing maintenance is key. Conducting frequent connection and penetration testing is important to ensure constant viability for users.
  • Two-factor authentication. Whether it’s via email or text message, this additional security layer should be embedded within an organization’s remote access protocols.
  • Document your procedures. Develop a standardized policy across your organization to ensure users understand the expectations surrounding remote access. This helps to build security awareness among users, which lessens the likelihood they will adopt shadow IT.

Embracing Remote Work with Reliability and Safety in Mind

Securing remote access allows businesses to save money, reduce pressure on internal teams and protect intellectual property. As part of a robust cyber resilience strategy, businesses should prioritize developing the necessary backup, training, protection and restoration elements that will help maintain business continuity and enhance customer loyalty and trust.

To start your free Webroot Security Awareness Training, please click here.

To learn more Webroot Business Endpoint Protection, please click here.

 This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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