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Articles about Smes

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

Calling all resellers:Cloud, security, SMEs and you

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

'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

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
McAfee shield

Making SMEs cyber-safe for fun and profit

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
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

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

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
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

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

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
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

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
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
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

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
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 …
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 …
Synology RS3614xs+

SME storage challengers emerge one feature at a time

The storage market is in the middle of an evolution. To what, nobody knows, but a whole lot of people expect to get very rich between now and when we've got it all figured out. The only market that matters to most companies is the enterprise, because that's where the big margins are. One sales junket, lots of terabytes sold. …
Trevor Pott, 12 Feb 2014
Francis Maude

Usual suspects make UK.gov Digital Services supplier list

Some 183 suppliers have bagged a place on a nine-month, £40m public sector framework to bid for digital services project work, with a third of the firms new to government work. A tender was issued by Government Procurement Services in July. It had been looking for a maximum of 999 suppliers to provide software engineering and …
Paul Kunert, 13 Nov 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
management management3

Alternative Networks hauls in heavy duty sales hand

Alternative Networks has turned to former Vodafone UK enterprise channel boss Chris Huggett to reinvigorate stagnating sales. The appointment as group sales director at the London Stock Exchange-listed biz comms provider comes after a disappointing 2013 for investors, when revenue stagnated at £114m and operating profit dipped …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 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

OFT probe: Do small UK firms get fair shake in public sector tenders?

Armed with data provided from suppliers and public sector IT bods, the Office of Fair Trading will now launch a probe into the state of the government tech landscape and whether SMEs are getting a fair share. Back in July, the competition watchdog put out a call for information as bids to discover if competition is alive and …
Paul Kunert, 15 Oct 2013
globalisation

UK.gov: We really are going to start buying open-source from SMEs

Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government's technology change agenda has said. Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said Tuesday in London that open source has grown up and it's time to dispel lingering misconceptions about this technology and …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Feb 2012
Parliament in the clouds

Government dials 999. What service do you require? DIGITAL

Government Procurement Services (GPS) has issued a cross public sector framework tender worth up to £40m over nine months for tech firms that can design, build and run digital services. The framework organiser is looking for a maximum of 999 participants to provide software engineering and ongoing support, system administration …
Paul Kunert, 10 Jul 2013
management strategy2

As Azzurri closes in on CEO successor, sales director splits

South coast integrator Azzurri Communications is going to be a sales director and board member lighter after Craig Wellman handed in his notice to split by the early summer. The business, which last month pushed out the first in a series of cloudy services, is still on the hunt for a CEO to replace outgoing chief Vim Vithaldas …
Paul Kunert, 07 Apr 2014
Broken CD with wrench

Microsoft waves goodbye to Small Business Server

Small Business Server from Microsoft is "going off the air." With Dell's announcement of unavailability access to the last remaining copies will prove ever more scarce. If you are a managed service provider that specializes in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) I recommend you shake down your suppliers and build up …
Trevor Pott, 11 Jul 2013

Alternative Networks swallows Control Circle for £39.4m

AIM-listed biz comms provider Alternative Networks has dug deep for the second time this month and found £39.4m worth of loose change to buy managed hosting and cloudy player Control Circle. This equates to nearly 22 times the £1.8m EBITDA that Control Circle made in the year to 30 September 2013, according to Companies House. …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jan 2014
Parliament in the clouds

Devs SLAM UK.gov's JavaScript-astic, 'shoddy' security education website

A high profile UK government cyber security campaign aimed at changing attitudes to online security has come under criticism for the poor quality of its expensive website. Cyber Streetwise was launched with great fanfare, and much positive comment from the IT security biz, last month. It was part of a campaign led by the Home …
John Leyden, 14 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Amazon offers cloud based bulk emailer to SMEs

Amazon is offering a bulk emailer for businesses via its cloud services arm Amazon Web Services. Amazon's Simple Email Service - Amazon SES to its friends - allows you to send up to 2,000 emails a day for free, if they come from another Amazon cloud service. The book and services giant says that messages can be sent for as …
John Oates, 25 Jan 2011
francis_maude_flames_evil

UK.gov: NO MORE tech deals bigger than £100m. Unless we feel like it

Tech titans that grew fat off the public sector purse should take note that IT contracts worth £100m and over are to become a thing of yesteryear - according to the government. This is one of a number of "red lines" that the Cabinet Office published today, in new regulations that are designed to loosen the grip that hefty …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jan 2014

London calling: Date set for launch of capital's very own domain name

You'll never Adam and Eve how many people are apparently set to buy a new .london domain name. According to a YouGov survey, more than 200,000 small businesses are preparing to pin their web address to the capital when the new domain launches on 29 April. The date of the launch was finalised today, prompting a flurry of quotes …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Feb 2014

HP UK boss sent down ... under (yes, he's going to Australia)

Centuries after some of Britain's less-law-abiding sorts started settling in Australia, the good folk down under are ready to welcome another Pom to their ranks. HP UK and Ireland boss Nick Wilson is set to emigrate. Staff were today told that Wilson is leaving for pastures new and from 1 November will be HP's general manager of …
Paul Kunert, 16 Sep 2013
Houses of Parliament at night-time

NAO: £4bn of gov work doled out to just 4 outsourcing giants

In spite of the Cabinet Office's tough talk about binning hefty suppliers whose performance is crappy, four outsourcing giants caught up in contractual issues have amassed £4bn of government business. The fabulous four include Capita, Serco, G4S and Atos, which collectively banked £1.05bn in profits globally in 2012. Between …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2013
arrow pointing up

SMEs, tech vendors scrabble for morsels of comfort in CSR

George Osborne left small business lobbyists spluttering today over the lack of an explicit commitment to helping SMEs in the Comprehensive Spending Review. Meanwhile, tech vendors reacted with a flurry of pre-canned statements, mainly claiming that their products and services are just the thing to help hard-pressed public …
Joe Fay, 20 Oct 2010
grab_that_cash

Will small biz get a bite of mega UK.gov IT pie? Yes: if it can pass the bulls**t sniff test

Does the UK government have a chance of being able to push 25 per cent of IT spend onto SMEs as it has promised? The correct answer is perhaps it does, but it doesn't actually matter either way. However, the reason why it doesn't matter is what's interesting to the economists among us. The exact and detailed reasons as to why …
Tim Worstall, 06 Nov 2013
European Union Flag

Steelie Neelie bangs cloudy Euro heads together with EU-wide conduct code

The EU has assembled the clearest cloudy minds known to humanity - on this side of the Atlantic, anyway - to work on a code of conduct that gives small biz customers more comfort in signing up to fluffy white tech services. “Steelie” Neelie Kroes, vee pee of the EC, seems to think the cloud will generate 2.5 million new regional …
Paul Kunert, 29 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

UK.gov to grab fistful from £150m city broadband pot to pay for digi skills

One of Neil Berkett's final acts as Virgin Media chief was to lobby the government to rethink its broadband spending plans in urban areas - and instead demand that at least some of the £150m set aside by the Treasury be plowed into digital skills for small businesses. The telco, which was recently scooped up by telecoms giant …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2013
BBC Testcard

BBC: Hey, Atos, old buddy. Here's a cheque for £285m, fill your boots

The BBC has tossed £285m of licence fee payers' cash at a beefy tech services deal with integrator Atos after the planned rollout of a brand new tower framework to house multiple suppliers hit the buffers. The existing Technology Framework Contract (TFC), also with Atos, is set to expire March next year. It covers telephony, …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2014

MoJ: Hey, hungry PC bods. Get ready to battle for this JUICY £200m contract

The Ministry of Justice has redrafted a tender to vet suppliers seeking to win its End User computing contract worth up to £200m over the next five years. The contract was first tendered in May and was worth £300m at the time, but bidding was scrapped in June after suppliers had been whittled down to a shortlist of four …
Paul Kunert, 11 Sep 2013

Don't lose control of those fast-breeding endpoints

So you want to know about security? Well you have come to the right place. I have been here for a while and I can tell you that outside these gates it’s full of cowboys, sharks and pirates, none of whom will hesitate to take what is yours and call it their own. The above is is a quote from a brochure I wrote in an attempt to …
Aaron Milne, 22 Oct 2013

British biz walking around with 'Hack Me' sign taped to its back

Britain’s businesses are being left vulnerable to crippling cyber attacks due to a severe lack of security skills, according to a technology trade body. The Institute of Engineering and Technology found that barely one in ten small to medium enterprises (SMEs) had “sufficient skills and resources in place” to repel threats from …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Apr 2013
European Union Flag

Steelie Neelie: One cloud contract model to rule them all

The European Commission is seeking leading lights in the arena of cloud services to help sketch out a contract framework so that customers don't get tied into murky deals. At least, this is the principle that Steelie Neelie Kroes, vice president of the EC outlined in a blog today, ahead of the European Cloud Partnership Steering …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jun 2013

Not so FAST: Another discount software broker BOOTED OUT

A second software licence broker has been kicked out of the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) in what appears to be a crackdown against those selling its members' software at discounted rates. Value Licensing has had its application for renewed membership FAST turned down, it has told The Reg. The company specialises in …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2014

URGH! GPS, that's another delayed mess you've got us into - suppliers

Government Procurement Services is running well behind schedule on the forthcoming £1.2bn replacement to its exiting IT product framework before tender documents have even been dispatched to suppliers. Tech firms told us they had been due to receive the documented structure for the Commodity IT Hardware and Software (CITHS) lots …
Paul Kunert, 25 Nov 2013
Downing Street road sign

The target: 25% of UK gov IT from small biz... The reality: Not even close

The UK government is way off its target of sourcing a quarter of its IT gear and services from small businesses by 2015. That's according to a report out this month by Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that criticises the government's ICT strategy. The panel, chaired by Labour backbencher Margaret Hodge, interviewed …
Paul Kunert, 23 Sep 2013
Cloud security

Use strong passwords and install antivirus, mmkay? UK.gov pushes awareness campaign

The UK government has launched a new campaign aimed at changing attitudes to online security among consumers and small businesses, dubbed Cyber Streetwise. Cyber Streetwise is urging people to take five actions in order to protect themselves and others from cyber crime: Use strong, memorable passwords Install anti-virus …
John Leyden, 14 Jan 2014
Dark Blue Window - detail of Windows Server logo

It's alive! Shared-nothing migration puts the spark into Hyper-V

Shared-nothing live migration may be the most exciting feature to emerge from Microsoft's Hyper-V 3 virtualisation push. Shared-nothing migration is the ability to move a virtual machine from one virtual host to the another where those hosts lack mutual access to centralised storage. The "live" part means the virtual machine …
Trevor Pott, 04 Jul 2013

Reseller giant Misco puts UK workers at risk of redundancy – sources

Reselling monster Misco has put staff working in its customer services, accounts and buyers departments at risk of redundancy, according to sources close to the company. The European business, owned by NYSE-listed Systemax. is plotting to become the largest services-based reseller in the region inside four years by targeting …
Paul Kunert, 08 Oct 2013
Synology RS3614xs+

Is it a NAS? Is it a SAN? No. It's Synology's Rackstation 'NASSAN'

Today Synology launches the RackStation RS3614xs+, the latest addition to their XS+ line of devices aimed at SMEs. What sticks out to me is the shift in marketing tone, pitching the RS3614xs+ as "a midpoint between NAS and SAN". Synology pitches the XS+ line as "a storage solution that can grow with a business." The RS3614xs+ is …
Trevor Pott, 10 Dec 2013