Articles about Smes

Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

UK.gov opens kimono to SMEs in Tech Services framework cash spaff

The government has lifted the lid on its £200m Technology Services framework, with more than half of the 85 suppliers awarded a place being SMEs. The agreement is the new incarnation of its managed services framework, which originally included around 11 large suppliers. The new version is intended to help central government …
Kat Hall, 29 May 2015

Soz SMEs, we're not interested in your direct biz

Small biz suppliers received no more love from government procurement departments last year, with direct spend dipping by 0.1 per cent compared with 2012/13 to £4.5bn. Over the last two years, direct spend rose by just 0.3 per cent, according to government figures. In 2010 the government set a target for 25 per cent of all its …
Kat Hall, 25 Feb 2015
Downing Street road sign

UK.gov tempts SMEs with tasty framework, then slaps them in face

Central government is breaking its own commitment to increase procurement from SMEs by squeezing small businesses out of its existing frameworks for "digital services." A number of small businesses have complained that the set-up of the latest version of the Digital Services framework amounts to a recruitment "body-shopping" …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2015

Cisco pitches security for SMEs

Small and/or medium businesses and branch offices rejoice: Cisco has joined the ranks of vendors deciding you warrant security you can afford. As incidents like the Target “hack” demonstrated, a small contractor can easily provide a path into an enterprise network, so one of the key chunks of The Borg's latest announcement is to …
Parliament in the clouds

That big UK gov leg up for small biz: SMEs bag just 1-in-10 G-Cloud deals

Small businesses have taken just 10 per cent of government IT contracts available from public-sector shopping catalogue G-Cloud. That's according to a group formed to give Whitehall feedback on actions that could boost SME involvement. The target figure is 25 per cent. Fronted by managed hosting and IaaS provider Memset, the …
Paul Kunert, 14 Aug 2013

SME IT contracts? That's the last thing Whitehall wants – report

Government departments are unenthusiastic about funneling more of their IT biz through SMEs, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 central government IT bods. Only 20 per cent said there is an appetite within their department to procure a higher percentage of technology services from SMEs, found the research from IT trade body …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2015

Calling all resellers:Cloud, security, SMEs and you

Mini-poll Vendors may have declared that 2012 is the year of the cloud, but it's resellers who have to deal with the fall-out from over hyped expectations and half-baked product strategies. You know what your customers really think of the cloud, and what you need to help them make the switch. So please help us enlighten the vendor …
David Gordon, 18 Jun 2012
Two upended shopping trolleys in an alleyway. Photo by Cyron, licensecd under CC 2.0

UK.gov to 'overhaul' hated digital services framework

The UK government is scrapping the current version of its controversial digital services framework, which SMEs say excludes them from properly doing business with the government. Earlier this year a number of SMEs complained the framework amounted to a body-shopping exercise, with the Government Digital Service using it to …
Kat Hall, 05 Jun 2015
francis_maude_flames_evil

UK.gov prompt payment promise is POPPYCOCK - NAO

Government is falling short in its commitment to settle debts with SME suppliers inside 30 days, putting some cash-strapped firms at risk of making redundancies. A report by the National Audit Office revealed central government spends £40bn a year on goods and services, of which about £4.5bn is spent directly with SMEs. An …
Kat Hall, 08 Jan 2015
McAfee shield

Making SMEs cyber-safe for fun and profit

Whitepaper Big firms stand to lose a lot when their defences are breached. But small companies have their own crown jewels, and stand to lose at least as much as their larger rivals without the resources to fall back on. So, The Register has created the whitepaper The Business of Security in collaboration with McAfee. It looks at what …
Miatta Momoh, 17 Jul 2012

'Close to one in three - sorry, one in eight - SMEs are software pirates'

More than one in ten of Blighty's small biz owners admit to being shameless software pirates, the Business Software Alliance reckons. The industry organ arrived at this stat by extrapolating research from Vanson Bourne covering just 250 SMEs, finding that 12 per cent admitted to side-stepping licensing rules. It found that 18 …
Paul Kunert, 10 Apr 2013

MPs in SHOCK discovery: G-Cloud yet to impact govt SME biz

Just 27 per cent of MPs believe the G-Cloud has enabled small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to more easily access the UK government's notoriously closed ICT market, according to a survey of MPs and peers. By contrast, peers were more encouraging, with 52 per cent believing the programme has improved SME access - although many …
Kat Hall, 10 Dec 2014

UK.gov SLASHES ICT frameworks by more than HALF

The government is cutting the number of its ICT frameworks from 26 down to just 10 - a move that has been criticised for leaving SMEs in the dark. The strategy will initially reduce the number of frameworks down to 16, but as more agreements expire that number will decrease to 10. The new frameworks will typically last for …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2014

Capita gobbles up more public sector pie

Controversial outsourcing goliath Capita has been handed yet another slice of the public sector pie – having bagged a joint venture with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs expected to generate £700m. Capita will acquire a 75 per cent stake in the running of the department's Food and Environment Research …
Kat Hall, 12 Feb 2015
management procure6

Think your IT department's parochial? Try selling to SMEs

It’s been a few years since I carried a quota, but over the course of my sales career I have signed some pretty substantial and complex deals in the large corporate space. However, it was the time I spent working with IT channel partners selling enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems into smaller businesses that I had to …
Dale Vile, 03 Jun 2013
Parliament in the clouds

UK.gov: Just one in three G Cloud suppliers have won ANY business

The majority of tech suppliers on G Cloud haven’t seen a penny of taxpayers cash – not a bean – according to official figures on government spending. The sixth iteration of G Cloud is now live on the Digital Marketplace, introduced at the start of this month with 1,453 companies touting for business, up 15 per cent on the …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2015

Microsoft dangles carrot at SMEs, eases Windows 8 Enterprise licensing

Microsoft is loosening restrictions for business customers who want the full-fat edition of Windows – the Enterprise Edition. Redmond is making it easier and less expensive for organisations with more than five PCs to get Enterprise Edition under a licensing change from March 1. Windows Enterprise Edition is to be made …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Feb 2014

Why I'm sick of the new 'digital divide' between SMEs and the big boys

Sysadmin blog Recently I have been spending most of my time with enterprise CIOs and vendors' "product owners"; their dismissiveness of the needs of small and medium-sized businesses has finally got to me. As a rule, talking about the needs of corner cases is boring to the masses, but today I just need to get up on my soapbox and talk a …
Trevor Pott, 12 Jul 2013
channel

UK.gov claims it's giving doubled cash to SMEs ... now 13%

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude claimed today that the government was "on track" to double the monetary value of business going to small- and medium-sized firms by April this year. “Governments might be able to print money but it is SMEs who make it successful. SMEs are crucial to the future of this country and can save …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Mar 2012

Outsourcery wins first G-Cloud deal, justifies spot on SME panel

It only took almost 20 months to win any business via G-Cloud’s online services catalogue but Outsourcery has finally signed a deal. It was getting a little embarrassing for the cloudy outfit, whose co-CEO Piers Linney sits on a Gov.uk SME panel set up to advise fellow small biz owners on how to snare Gov.uk contracts. The deal …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2015
Jersey cow

Crap broadband holds back HALF of rural small biz types

Patchy connectivity in rural areas is hampering small businesses with half complaining of poor broadband speeds, according to an extensive survey from the Federation of Small Businesses. In contrast just 28 per cent of their urban small biz counterparts reported broadband issues, according to nearly 1,500 responses. Frustrated …
Kat Hall, 15 Jan 2015
Policeman claps in London street

Jacking up firearms fees will cost SMEs £3.5 MILLION. Thanks, Plod

Downrange The Home Office has admitted that police plans to force a 76 per cent hike in the cost of a firearm certificate will cost firearms dealers alone £700,000, with gamekeepers and vets being smacked with a further £2.8m in government-imposed fees. A consultation on the proposed increase in firearms fees, issued earlier this week, …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2014
channel_stock_shelves

Can SMEs score those big gov contracts?

The UK public sector spends £230bn on goods and services a year, roughly 15 per cent of the UK economy and £1 for every £7 spent in Britain. The procurement of these goods and services is a massively complex undertaking, fraught with inefficiency accumulated over successive governments. When the Coalition government was elected …
Michael Keegan, 18 May 2012
The Register breaking news

SMEs get hit harder in a market crisis, say biz profs

SMEs, especially riskier R&D-led ones, get even harder than one would expect by market crises, according to a new analysis by biz professors. "We found that during big market crashes, investors adjust their holdings towards bigger corporate stocks that they perceive as being safer, even after controlling for economic exposures …
Lewis Page, 22 Jun 2011

Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse

Smaller businesses tend to be worse off for broadband connections than average users, particularly in urban areas, according to an official report on the UK's digital infrastructure. Market regulator Ofcom said that its 2014 report underlined the importance of its new programme of work for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Dec 2014
Decaying red telephone boxes

BT takes broadband to NEW PLACES. That's right: CITIES

BT is trumpeting a new test which will see it install broadband in some really hard-to-reach locations: the middle of cities. Well, provided it can get into the building in the first place. It seems there are some places where it’s impossible to put a cabinet in the street, and that means slow broadband for domestic and small …
Simon Rockman, 23 Dec 2014

Gov cockup on £1bn mega buying framework slams SMEs in wallet

Exclusive Cost-cutting in the public sector has serious implications for service delivery: just ask the SME IT suppliers counting the expense of bidding for a mega software and services agreement that may now be scrapped. Resellers were invited in June to tender for the Applications Development, Delivery and Support Services (ADDSS) …
Paul Kunert, 02 Nov 2012

Node4 buys app developer and cloud purveyor Reconnix

Lloyds Development Capital-backed Node4 has snapped up non-proprietary application development and professional services outfit Reconnix. The bolt-on buy of the Newark-based minnow will serve as the open source division for Node4, which provides co-location from four DCs that it operates, and managed tech and comms services to …
Paul Kunert, 30 Mar 2015
cloud

Sage butters up SMEs in fiscal first half

British software outfit Sage saw a mild upswing in pretax profit and revenue in the first half of its fiscal year as SMEs tentatively splashed some cash. The company's boss Guy Berruyer attributed the gentle rise to an "increase in business confidence for SMEs in the period". Sage reported pre-tax profit was up 5 per cent to £ …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 May 2011

UK.gov dumps another £40m into unpopular SME broadband scheme

Seemingly flush with cash, the government is pouring an extra £40m into its SME broadband voucher scheme, despite the pitiful take up of the existing £100m initiative to date. Plans to extend the scheme until March 2016, and to more cities, were outlined in the Treasury's 2014 National Infrastructure plan. "Vouchers will be …
Kat Hall, 03 Dec 2014
Columns of coins in the cloud

TV rudeboy and Outsourcery boss Linney joins Gov.UK SME panel

The government has enlisted the boss of an SME yet to win any business via G-Cloud to advise on ways to, er, oil the wheels of commerce for other small traders that have similarly found public sector contract success elusive. Dragons' Den star Piers Linney, joint head at AIM-listed, cloudy infrastructure biz Outsourcery, is the …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2014
Crapita logo

Capita shuns its own £2.5bn framework and touts G-Cloud IT

Not content with its prime spot on a controversial deal to manage £2.5bn in public sector contractors, Capita is also touting its IT services via the G-Cloud, admitting its mega framework is not "always best for niche skills." In an unsolicted email sent to one government department, Capita appeared to admit the controversial …
Kat Hall, 25 Mar 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

'Whitehall must address creaking IT', says ex CIO big wig

Whitehall IT chiefs are not doing enough to address the UK government's creaking IT legacy systems, some of which are 30 years old, former government CIO Andy Nelson has warned. Speaking to El Reg, he said this problem is not currently seen as a business priority. Nelson was previously government CIO until the role was axed in …
Kat Hall, 05 Jun 2015
cloud

Cisco to sink $16m in cloudy Chinese joint venture with TCL Corp

Cisco is planning to set up a new $80m commercial cloud joint venture with Chinese electronics firm TCL Corp, according to a company filing. TCL told Shenzhen Stock Exchange (translated by Google) that Cisco would invest $16m in the new firm and hold a 20 per cent stake, while TCL takes care of the rest of the investment for the …
The Register breaking news

Telstra targets SMEs in next cloud push

While some providers are looking to free trials to get businesses, particularly small ones, to try out the cloud, there’s no such pussyfooting around from Telstra: it’s launched a small business cloud service that ranges upwards from $AU200 per month. The Telstra cloud entry level pricing will get you two CPUs, 4 GB of RAM, 100 …
Comparison of BlackBerry Passport with rectangular phones

BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now

BlackBerry has given users another reason to throw out their BlackBerry servers – by putting BES10 into the cloud as a hosted service. It's a long-overdue move, allowing existing BlackBerry sites to set up and manage the first-rate MDM and secure communications services offered BlackBerry via the web, rather than maintaining in- …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2014
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude against bakdrop of '70s stone facade with old axes hung up on wall (background by Michael Coghlan, licensed under CC 2.0

Mad Frankie Maude hangs up his axe

Axe-wielder-in-chief and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude is to hang up his blade after the next election. Since first swinging into power in 2010 Maude has pledged war on the supplier "oligopoly", which have traditionally dominated Whitehall IT spend, placed a moratorium on IT contracts over £100m, overseen the creation of …
Kat Hall, 02 Feb 2015
Credit: Sony/Eon/MGM

So, you know those exciting movie-style 3D visual cyber attack ops centres?

Airbus has been awarded a contract worth £1.4m to "develop and mature" a movie-style 3D Virtual Cyber Centre of Operations (VCCO) for the Ministry of Defence. The research contract engages Airbus to develop a "3-D virtual world to enable collaboration and shared situational awareness," across a sprawling network of security bods …
francis_maude_flames_evil

Gov: Half of new tech spending must be made with SME suppliers

The UK government is trying to accelerate procurement reforms and hit ambitious targets by directing at least half of all new IT spending to small biz suppliers before the next general election. One of the grand aims of the Cabinet Office had been to route 25 per cent of all government IT business through SMEs by the end of …
Paul Kunert, 12 Aug 2013
Slow downloads

97% of UK gets 'basic' 2Mbps broadband. 'Typical households' need 10Mbps – Ofcom

Most Brits can get broadband at home these days, according to regulator Ofcom, but the service is still pretty patchy. The telecoms authority said 97 per cent of folks in Blighty are able to get at least basic broadband of 2Mbps, and altogether 15 per cent of people are stuck below the 10Mbps mark. Ofcom considers this speed – …
Bingo Hall sign in San Antonio, Texas (August 2007). Photo by Peter Rimar. licensed under creative commons 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

GAMIFY your FRIDAY with our Public Sector Innovation Bingo!

Bored with another grey Friday? Here is a game for two players. The exercise allows you to keep up to date with vital subsidy-seeking buzzwords – while retaining the vital element of "fun". In this game, one player reads a press release sent to us by an innovation quango, while the other ticks off buzzwords on a Bingo Card – …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2015
Telstra logo

Telstra (re)launches am app store (again)

Telstra has taken the defibrillator to the in-house app store idea, announcing the business-focussed Telstra Apps Marketplace. Launched with two apps – DocuSign (digital transactions) at AU$10 a month and Box (collaboration) at $6.60 a month – the marketplace is pitched as “a one-stop shop to find, buy, and use today’s best …

Plusnet wants resellers' SME customers and is willing to pay

Biz broadband and calls provider Plusnet has called on distie DMSL to muster dealers that want to flog its services to SMEs weeks after the latest web wobble. The timing on recruitment could be better for the Sheffield-based ISP following an outage on 4 March that downed services for an hour. Connectivity wholesaler DMSL will …
Paul Kunert, 19 Mar 2014
For Sale sign detail

Coalition rejigs gov procurement to give SMEs an in

The government launched a new website this afternoon for contractors looking to win public sector jobs that cost over £10,000. It's hoped that more small businesses will get involved in the procurement process, said Prime Minister David Cameron. Stephen Allot has been tasked with improving dialogue between Whitehall and smaller …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Feb 2011

UK Cabinet Office's £200m IT bonanza: I got 999 contracts but a pitch ain't won (yet)

The UK government is seeking as many as 999 firms to provide a raft of tech services across the public sector, according to a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Cabinet Office, acting via government procurement body Crown Commercial Services, is splitting the Technology Services framework into 11 …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2014

Insight: Have you heard about Windows Server 2003 support?

As organisations using Windows Server 2003 march - perhaps with ill-found confidence - toward the expiry date for Microsoft support, Insight Enterprises has scare stories galore warnings for them. The software licence and box slinger reckons it has identified five “key problems” that will give sysadmins sleepless nights and …
Paul Kunert, 02 Mar 2015

Crown Representative: SME biz is huge... but I don't have exact figures

The Crown Representative for SMEs is talking big about working with small tech suppliers, but even he can't detail in a transparent way the exact financial benefits of doing so. SME flag-waver Stephen Allott blogged that at the end of October, 20 months since launch, 56 per cent of the £63.46m transacted on CloudStore, a web …
Paul Kunert, 09 Dec 2013

Capita to hoover up small pile of SMEs in 2012

Capita is flogging 40 million new ordinary shares in an institutional pacing to fund a "pipeline" of small and medium sized bolt-on biz acquisitions. The group, whose IT Services arm has told 1,000 workers they are at risk of redundancy, is estimated to raise £280m through the rights issue following an "encouraging start to the …
Paul Kunert, 24 Apr 2012
Rickmote

WORLD+DOG line up to SLAM Google after anti-trust case unveiled

Although EU competition commissioner (and Borgen inspiration) Margrethe Vestager made clear that her decision to slap Google with a statement of objections is about consumers, that hasn't stopped the US firm's Euro detractors queuing up to cheer her decision. Representatives of Fairsearch and ICOMP – both organisations set up to …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Apr 2015
man_inks_deal_channel signs contract services

Small biz isn't finding it any easier to bag govt IT contracts

Smaller businesses are still finding it tough to win government IT contracts, with just six per cent of SMEs reckoning they can more easily sign on the dotted line in the last two years. Fujitsu has said that a survey of 500 SMEs in Blighty found that half of them reckoned there had been no change in their ability to win …