Articles about Smes

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UK employers still reluctant to hire recent CompSci grads

Computer science graduates continue to top the UK's higher education unemployment rankings, according to the latest figures compiled by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Ten per cent of computer science graduates failed to find a job six months after graduation in the academic year 2014/2015 - a figure higher than …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Jul 2016
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Really Scary Telecoms Stuff? Nah – telephony's just an app

In 2009, I moved to Jersey to become the network and telecoms manager for a multinational company. It was tremendous fun, as I had a variety of kit to play with. I tended to favour the Mitel 3300 ICP range (still do, actually) that supported about half of our offices, and I did the various engineer courses and exams for the …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Jul 2016

Crown Commercial Services is to slap SMEs with price hikes

Government procurement body the Crown Commercial Service is to start hiking up the amount it charges suppliers to sell stuff to the public sector. CCS already pockets fees from government frameworks – last year taking a cut of £72m from the £15bn total managed spend it facilitated. However, it will now more heavily rely on …
Kat Hall, 04 Jul 2016
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Wanted: New cloudy head for UK.gov. 37 hour week, £90k salary

The UK government is hiring a Digital Marketplace director who will pocket £90,000 a year with a budget of £3.9m to lead a team of 38 digi procurement bods. The Digital Marketplace is intended to be provide an online portal for various digital government procurement departments to buy new code. The director will also be …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2016
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Half of Brit small biz hit by cyber crime. 10% spend zilch on infosec

Almost half (48 per cent) of Britain's small businesses were hit by cyber-crime in the last year, with 10 per cent targeted many times. Despite this only one in five see cybersecurity as a business priority, and just 15 per cent are confident that they have adequate measures in place to prevent cybercrime, according to a …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2016

Uber, AirBNB: Lay off 'em, EC tells member states

The European Commission wants member countries to apply a light regulatory touch to “collaborative economy platforms” such as Uber and AirBnB and to ban as a last resort only. The Commission thinks the new gig economy suppliers can make an important contribution to jobs and growth, if - our italics - they are “encouraged and …
Drew Cullen, 02 Jun 2016
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UK.gov's promise to pour cash into SMEs was just hot air

Analysis Every government has always claimed to be the friend of SMEs – and with 5.2 million of them in the UK it makes an easy vote winner. But promising to do more business with smaller providers and handing over cold, hard cash are two very different things. Earlier this month the National Audit Office reported that what little …
Kat Hall, 31 May 2016

Remember when gov.uk said it would give big biz contracts to SMEs?

The Cabinet Office has lost its enthusiasm for prising open Whitehall's wallet and handing more cash to SMEs, according to a report by the Committee of Public Accounts today. Back in 2010, the government pledged to carve off 25 per cent of its £45bn spend in goods and services to small businesses. But today the committee said …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2016
Ireland and Great Britain map, image via Shutterstock

Sayonara, Brits! The Irish tech sector could benefit from Brexit

There appears to be a broad consensus that a Brexit would be bad for Ireland: that Ireland’s economy would be seriously affected if the UK decides to leave the EU on June 23. A report by Irish business lobby group Ibec has warned of “the far-reaching impact on Ireland if our nearest neighbour, key trading partner and close …
Billy MacInnes, 06 May 2016

UK.gov wasted £20m telling you to 'be safe online, mmkay'

The UK wasted £20m on raising awareness about cybercrime, a study has shown, as the public still knows almost nothing about protecting itself online. Research published by YouGov and CSID has shown that in spite of the National Audit Office reporting that £20m had been allocated by government in financial year 2014/15 "to …
Shouting match

Blighty's SMB tech ranks bitterly divided on Brexit

Britain’s membership of the EU has small tech firms divided. A survey of owner-managed businesses by accountant Moore Stephens found 60 per cent of SME owners would vote to stay in the EU with less than one-in-five (17 per cent) supporting Brexit. Mark Lamb, a partner at the firm, said: “Owner-managed businesses are concerned …
Marcus Gibson, 27 Apr 2016
IRS

Fancy £200m? Tell HMRC you'll help them sort their IT out

HMRC has put £200m up for grabs by one lucky desktop services supplier as the government body attempts a major – and potentially risky – overhaul of its IT. The taxman is looking for end user devices, application performance monitoring and virtual desktop services. The contract will include overseeing mobile devices, such as …
Kat Hall, 26 Apr 2016
Man on bicycle talks on mobile on busy Brussels street. Photo by Alredo Cerra via Shutterstock

Europe's new privacy safeguards are finally approved, must invade EU nations by 2018

Analysis The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been ratified by the European Parliament. The final seal of approval follows successful passage through the EU Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Following four years of discussions and amendments, the GDPR is now officially EU law and will …
John Leyden, 14 Apr 2016
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Military intelligence, AI style: MoD cosies up to Massive Analytic

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has received a “milestone” report from Massive Analytic, a company developing an “artificial precognition and decision-making support [system] for persistent surveillance-based tactical support.” Massive Analytic, as we reported last year, is an automated analytics startup – and one of 24 SMEs …
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Gov to take axe to big IT contracts soon, will hand chunks to SMEs

Chief executive of the civil service, John Manzoni, has promised the government will start chopping up its big IT contracts in the next year and kick its dependency on just a handful of suppliers. Amyas Morse, auditor general at the National Audit Office, told the Public Accounts Committee yesterday that 51 per cent of …
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2016
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UK.gov says it's letting 1,000 SMEs push digital wares at civil servants

The government has awarded 1,261 suppliers a place on its 'Digital Outcomes and Specialists' framework – intended to help mandarins better use SMEs in their efforts to become more digital. According to the Cabinet Office, 92 per cent of the suppliers on the framework are SMEs, with 52 per cent new to the Digital Marketplace – …
Kat Hall, 14 Mar 2016
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Audit Office pours cold water on UK.gov's SME spending target claims

Claims the government beat its target to pump more than 25 per cent of its largesse through SMEs in the last Parliament have today been critiqued by the National Audit Office, which says "it cannot be certain" spending increased at all over that period. In February 2015, the government reported that it had met its 2010 SME …
Kat Hall, 09 Mar 2016
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Official: Toshiba pulls out of European consumer PC market

Exclusive Scandal-hit Toshiba is slashing jobs across Europe as it beats a retreat from the region’s consumer PC market. Retailers are honouring existing orders for the first quarter of this year but are not placing any further ones, sources told us. Staff have been notified of the planned redundancies and a number put at risk. “We are …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2016

UK.gov delays Digital Services and Outcomes framework

The government's replacement for the widely-criticised digital services framework, which SMEs have blamed for merely "body shopping" their services, has been delayed by two months. In a letter sent to suppliers yesterday and seen by The Register, the Cabinet Office admitted the timescale has slipped for the newly-named Digital …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2016

Streetmap's lawyer: Google High Court win will have 'chilling effect’ on UK digital biz

Google’s High Court victory against Streetmap on Friday will have a chilling effect on digital startups and British SMEs. The verdict in the Streetmap.eu v Google Inc competition case set a new hurdle for proving that a dominant player had caused harm – one that’s now far higher than it is in the rest of the EU. What happened …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2016
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

HMRC is to tax OpenStack cloud with UK citizens' data

Britain’s taxman has embraced OpenStack for a fledgling cross-channel digital tax service. HMRC is rolling out its vaunted multi-channel digital tax platform (MDTP) on OpenStack from relatively unknown cloud start up DataCentred. That means what was once billed as a Linux for the cloud has become the web and data centre …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Feb 2016

Microsoft: Yes, we are going to kill off Enterprise Agreements

Microsoft has confirmed it is to gradually kill off Enterprise Agreements - volume licensing contracts so complex that a whole profit-making asset management eco-system sprang up off the back of them. As we exclusively revealed, first evidence of this comes on 1 July when new commercial customers with sub-500 seats will no …
Paul Kunert, 01 Feb 2016

Microsoft hammers first nails into Enterprise Agreements' coffins

Microsoft is to prevent SMEs from buying software via an Enterprise Agreement, a move some industry figures interpreted as the first of a death-by-a-thousand-cuts fate for the volume licensing programme. From the start of July, Microsoft will raise the minimum commitment on EAs from 250 users/ devices to 500, channel partners …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2016
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Bone-dry British tech SMBs miss out on UK.gov cash shower

Opinion Government technology promotion agency Innovate UK, the former Technology Strategy Board (TSB), surprised many last year when it agreed to spend no less than £800,000 on a piece of software that would “minimise building waste” sent to landfill by construction companies. The happy recipients for this bizarre project included …
Marcus Gibson, 20 Jan 2016
Are you being served?

Serving up IT on a silver platter, also known as ITSM

In the 1950s, we imagined a world where everything was automated. Robots would clean for us, and small boxes would instantly produce hot food. Now, we have the Roomba and the microwave, and shortly, cars that drive themselves. Even Zuck is preparing his electronic butler. To top it all, there’s not a dodgy-looking Jetsons …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Jan 2016
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Firms must ensure shared service suppliers have 'sufficient financial resources'

Banks, building societies and investment firms must ensure that technology companies providing critical shared services have "sufficient financial resources" to overcome financial problems, a UK regulator has said. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said that before they outsource critical shared services firms must …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Dec 2015
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Ingram Micro acquires cloud automation smarts from Parallels – sources

Exclusive Tech distributor Ingram Micro has acquired a hosting and cloud service management system from Parallels, sources have told The Channel. The deal includes the Odin Service Automation platform, related cloud management stuff, the IP, and the Odin brand, we're informed. Our contacts were not aware of the financials involved. The …
Paul Kunert, 01 Dec 2015

Ofcom spins out Wi-Fi checker app just in time for Christmas

The UK's communications watchdog has released a Wi-Fi checker app to help broadband customers with wireless set-up in their homes and offices. According to Ofcom, there are plenty of chumps out there who plonk their kit way too close to electronic devices, such as lamps and baby monitors. The regulator was keen to keep its …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Dec 2015

Rip up secretive patent royalty deals, says new tech'n'biz coalition

Did you know that about $60 of the cost of a $400 smartphone goes to holders of something called "standards-essential patents" (SEPs)? And, when you consider that up to 250,000 patents could affect smartphones, you can see why there are such rich pickings for patent trolls ... more politely known as non-practicing entities. …
Drew Cullen, 17 Nov 2015

Broadband minister: Our voucher scheme for SMEs is a tremendous success

Digital hairdressers and beardy, Web2.0 purveyors of boxes of cereal chomped down on more than 1,000 broadband vouchers that were dished out to small businesses by the UK government. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport crowed on Monday that 55,000 SMEs had got their hands on grants for faster web access costing up to £ …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Nov 2015
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GCHQ's infosec arm bins advisor accreditation scheme

GCHQ's communications security arm, CESG, has been accused of leaving a gaping hole in the government security advisor profession by axing its accreditation scheme. The CESG Listed Advisor Scheme (CLAS), the accreditation programme for private sector consultants providing information assurance advice to the public, is to be …
Kat Hall, 09 Nov 2015
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UK SMEs with weak security risk procurement exclusion – survey

SMEs need to take cyber security seriously or face being frozen out of the procurement process, according to a new survey from management consultants KPMG. In a poll of UK procurement managers, nearly all (94 per cent) agreed that the cyber security standards of their supplier are important when awarding a contract to an SME. …
John Leyden, 03 Nov 2015

Whitman's split: The end of Fiorina's HP grand expansion era

Hewlett Packard became two companies on 1 November, splitting enterprise from consumer. Founded by David Packard and William Hewlett, number one in PCs and in servers, one the granddaddies of Silicon Valley, the massive corporation has undergone a massive change. Personal computers and printers have now been set adrift onto …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Nov 2015

UK watchdog offers 'safe harbor' advice on US data transfers

David Smith, deputy information commissioner, said businesses should "take stock" of their data transfer arrangements and review whether they provide adequate protection of personal data, as is required by EU law. Smith's comments follow a ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) earlier this month. The CJEU ruled that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 2015
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BT Openreach boss says UK telcos need 'predictable regulation'

Parliament & Internet Conf '15 BT's Openreach chief Joe Garner lobbied once again today for the one-time state monopoly to remain in one piece, even as most of its rivals continue to push for a break up of its infrastructure wing from the firm's mothership. Speaking at an internet debate in Parliament on Thursday afternoon, Garner said that splitting …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Oct 2015
Shouting match

Aribba Aruba, screams HP exec, 'now we'll scalp Cisco'

Aruba execs have floated to the top of HP’s UK networking management stack, and to stay there or rise further in the wider group they’ll have to give undisputed sector daddy Cisco a bloody nose. The wireless networking firm that cost HP $3.5bn to buy was integrated recently, with Aruba old timer Bob Vickers and Andy Clark …
Paul Kunert, 27 Oct 2015
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Hated Capita Contingent Labour One contract will be overhauled

The government's £2.5bn Capita-run Contingent Labour One framework – hated by suppliers and buyers alike – is to be overhauled by a "more equitable" Temporary Workers contract next year. Under CLOne, Capita is responsible for the provision of "interim managers and specialist contractors" across a range of services including IT …
Kat Hall, 20 Oct 2015
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

HMRC U-turns on VAT rules for cloud

HMRC has U-turned on its proposals to hand out VAT refunds just for large system integrators, while forcing public sector bodies purchasing off-the-shelf "cloud" services to pay the full whack. Last year the body published guidelines that would effectively penalise public sector organisations for buying cheap, standardised off …
Kat Hall, 16 Oct 2015

Salesforce slaps down $100m fund for cloudy European upstarts

Profitless software-as-a-service pusher Salesforce has opened a $100m (£66m) investment fund for European startups under its Salesforce Ventures vehicle. It said the fund is intended to "fuel cloud innovation" in the region. The investment vehicle has been going since 2009 but its 150 investments have mainly been US companies …
Kat Hall, 13 Oct 2015

UK.gov suspends broadband connection voucher scheme

The government has suspended its broadband connection voucher scheme, following last month's announcement that more than 40,000 SMEs had got their hands on the funds. In September, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport warned small businesses that time was running out to sign up to the scheme that helps them get …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Oct 2015
Panic button

How can we manage this internet thing? The Euro gov needs YOU

The European Commission is asking for help in drawing up laws to govern the internet. On Thursday it launched yet more public consultations designed to inform bureaucrats attempting to help create the digital single market. The two new consultations are so broad as to be almost unmanageable: one on “geo-blocking” and the other …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Sep 2015

Hey Scandos, missed that parcel? Here’s some ransomware instead

Spam emails disguised as messages from local post offices – but actually packing the latest variant of the CryptoLocker ransomware – are being flung at surfers in Scandinavia. Heimdal Security reports that emails referring to an undelivered package and written in local languages are actually attempts to trick prospective marks …
John Leyden, 24 Sep 2015
A rather dusty old Dell, pictured by Tim Massey

How to build a server room: Back to basics

Readers' corner Dave Cartwright, an IT operations manager for a telecom company, recently compiled a list of dos and don’t for IT infrastructure buyers for El Reg. The article was well received but… ”the writer obviously moves in better circles than I do”, says Reg reader Hatless Pemberty In response, Hatless - we can call him that, can't we …
Drew Cullen, 22 Sep 2015
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My parents don't know I'm in SEO. They think I play piano in a brothel

Comment Search Engine Optimisation is desperately seeking respectability, with “creativity” being the main buzzword at the industry’s big get-together – with the dark arts of “black hat” SEO scarcely being mentioned. More than 1,700 search engine optimisers and digital marketers gathered last Friday (18 September) in the UK seaside …
Ollie Wilson, 21 Sep 2015
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Attention sysadmins! Here’s how to dodge bullets in a post-Ashley Madison world

If the Ashley Madison saga has taught us one thing – well, many things, but one main thing – it was never, ever, ever use a work email account for personal pursuits online. Once trawled, data from the leaked site revealed that thousands of those with Ashley Madison accounts – presumably men, given the site’s overwhelming …
Stuart Burns, 07 Sep 2015
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UK.gov claims 'success' over SME broadband scheme

The government has admitted to falling substantially short of its original target to hand small businesses £100m in broadband vouchers. The Broadband Connection scheme was launched at the end of 2013 to provide grants for faster web access of up to £3,000, but the Department for Culture, Media and Sport confirmed today that …
Kat Hall, 03 Sep 2015
Data Centre

Trumped up lobby group tries to get EU data protection watered down

Late last week, a group labeling itself the European Data Coalition called for Europe’s planned data protection law to be watered down. In a letter to negotiators on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the group begged them to delete the so-called FISA clause (Article 43a). This rule would prevent companies from …
Jennifer Baker, 01 Sep 2015

SMEs in the firing line as fake invoice scams skyrocket

UK small businesses need to be on heightened alert for fake invoices, following an alarming increase in this type of scam in the first six months of 2015. Action Fraud has received reports from 749 businesses reporting falling victim to this sort of con between January and June 2015 alone. This compares with 603 victims in the …
John Leyden, 25 Aug 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

UK.gov: Size matters, and we like it SMALL but MORE

The government looks set to wave its procurement wand and make one-third of its £45bn per year procurement spend appear to go to SMEs by 2020. The Tory manifesto made noises about pumping 33 per cent of central government goods and services procurement into small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by 2020. Now that figure looks …
Kat Hall, 25 Aug 2015

G-Cloud framework's latest booster has Allott to give

Stephen Allott, the man whose job it was to persuade government IT types to spend more with small businesses, will now try to convince civil servants to learn to love the G-Cloud framework from his new office. Allott was Crown Rep for SMEs in the Cabinet Office for more than four years, but the former barrister will work on "G …
Kat Hall, 21 Aug 2015