Saturday, 30 June 2012

Chiltern IT now works with Kyocera

KYOCERA Document Solutions (KYOCERA) has appointed Chiltern IT as a KYOCERA parts distributor offering printer and MFP parts either on next or same day service across the UK.

Charlotte Elmer, IT Channel Sales Manager, KYOCERA Document Solutions said: “We wanted to broaden our portfolio of distributors, providing better operational support and more availability and choice in where to buy spares. Chiltern IT will provide KYOCERA with further operational efficiencies and offer an impressive delivery service to our partners.”

Tony Price, MD, Chiltern IT added: “We’re delighted to add KYOCERA Document Solutions to our portfolio – we want to have a multi-manufacturer offer and KYOCERA wants to further extend the support available to its channel partners. We have a reputation for quality tested new and used products, fast delivery, friendly service and competitive prices. Our new relationship with KYOCERA is good for both parties.”

Graham Cox, Sales Director KYOCERA Document Solutions commented: “We’re pleased to welcome Chiltern IT as a new resource available to support our channel partners. The Chiltern IT team is known for its knowledge, reliability and availability and we believe they will provide our partners with exemplary service.”

Chiltern IT has over 20 years of experience in helping customers find the right parts. Chiltern IT are located just inside the M25, with over 100,000 parts ready for dispatch on a next or same day delivery, with a range of tools to make procurement as simple as it should be.

KYOCERA Document Solutions is one of the world's leading office document solutions companies. Its product range includes ECOSYS printers, reliable TASKalfa and SmartMFP multifunctional devices and is complemented by supplies, software and services. KYOCERA Document Solutions provides innovative products, built on a foundation of long-life components, allowing it to offer low total cost of ownership and high efficiency in any workplace.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Advanced Business Solutions in agreement with Advorto

Partnership will provide Advanced’s public sector customers with fast payback on recruitment

Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced), a market leading business applications and services provider, today announces that it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with leading online recruitment management systems provider, Advorto.

The partnership provides Advanced’s public sector customers with access to Advorto’s innovative online recruitment systems, which are delivered via the Cloud. These systems reduce time-to-hire and cost-to-hire throughout the entire talent recruitment lifecycle, delivering a fast payback while supporting the QIPP agenda for the NHS (covering Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention) and the NHS’ £20 billion efficiency savings target.

Advorto’s functionally-rich solutions allow human resource departments to automate the full requisition-to-hire process, including vacancy planning, talent attraction, candidate selection, onboarding and management information. As the solutions are delivered via the Cloud, they can be deployed quickly and deliver a fully customisable candidate experience.

Dean Dickinson, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions (Public Sector & Enterprise Division), says, “This partnership is excellent news for our public sector customers as they now have access to market leading recruitment technologies that cut the costs of hiring staff while delivering significant efficiency savings. These technologies perfectly complement our comprehensive portfolio of software systems, allowing us to provide our customers with an even greater range of ‘best of breed’ solutions.”

Mike McClelland, Founder of Advorto, says, “This partnership is an exciting development as Advanced has a strong and reputable footprint in the UK public sector space. Our solutions will now be readily available to Advanced’s customers, helping them to leverage their human capital to maximum effect while delivering a fast return-on-investment.”

Business electricity users worry is on rising bills, says poll

Over half of UK firms are worried about the financial impact of rising business electricity and gas bills, according to a new poll.

The survey by OnePoll found that although 51% of businesses were worried, less than 20% of businesses had made their finance teams responsible for energy tracking and management.

The survey questioned 500 business decision-makers from across the UK and found that just 19% were responsible for monitoring how much energy their organisation used.

In most cases the job fell to office managers, facilities managers, and reception or security staff. However, in 14% of firms no one was responsible for tracking or monitoring energy use

Julian Morgan, managing director of the Energy Advice Line, the UK’s leading price comparison and switching service for business electricity users, said the survey underscored the need for businesses to make their energy costs a higher priority.

With energy now a significant item of operational expenditure, firms needed to treat electricity and gas like any other essential business supply,” Mr Morgan said. “This meant carefully monitoring energy use and trimming waste where appropriate, and ensuring that the electricity tariffs being paid were the most competitive on the market.

“Businesses automatically make sure that their IT requirements or stationery, for example, offer the best value possible. However, most firms do not regard their business energy and gas supplies in the same way, and they are missing out on significant savings as a result.

“Scrutinizing the market for the best available deals, and ensuring that you never, ever just stay with the same supplier year after year, has the potential to save businesses hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.

“The process can be time-consuming and complex but that’s where reliable and independent price comparison and switching services can help. We have the expertise to compare tariffs like-for-like and can therefore provide very accurate quotes.

“We also offer a free contract management service; our team of business energy experts provide ongoing support once we have got you on to the cheapest deal.”

The OnePoll research was commissioned to support the launch of Zeco Energy Manager, energy management software.

The Energy Advice Line is one of the UK’s leading business electricity price comparison and switching service exclusively for business. It has campaigned for utility companies to change their business energy contracts and billing arrangements to make it easier for firms to switch suppliers to get the best business electricity rates and gas deals.

For further information visit

Endsleigh warns landlords to review cover for Subsidence, Heave, Landslip

Changing weather patterns leading to several dry winters have, in turn, led to many problems for UK property owners. One of these is the increased likelihood of ground movements and the consequent damage to buildings standing on that ground. Endsleigh is recommending landlords to review the insurance policies they hold and ensure they have adequate cover.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors estimates that there are more than 30,000 insurance claims each year for subsidence costing more than £150million, with a significant number of the UK’s 25 million homes at risk.

Houses built on soils with clay near to the surface or with shallow foundations (less than 2 meters deep) are most vulnerable, and this is particularly acute for landlords and owners of investment properties as they own a disproportionately large percentage of older buildings in the UK’s housing stock. Those with many properties and who don’t live in their rented building are at further risk as they are less likely to notice the tell-tale signs of ground movement until the situation has become serious.

There are three main types of ground movement. Subsidence is predominately caused by shrinkage of clay soils, whereas ’heave’ is the upward movement of the ground supporting the building, frequently caused by the expansion of previously dry clay soils. Landslip is the slow slippage of land in a downhill direction. All three can result in serious structural damage or in the worst case scenario the total loss of a building.

The most common cause of subsidence is a drying of the soil on which the property is built. Clay soils are particularly vulnerable as they shrink and swell according to their moisture content. This is often exacerbated by trees that surrounding the property which can suck the moisture from clay soil and cause it to shrink. This is likely during long periods of dry weather, and the risks increase as the trees mature and demand more and more water.

Heave is most commonly caused by changes in local drainage conditions caused by building work or by damaged and leaking drains. Leaking drains can also soften or wash away the ground beneath the foundations causing a combination of heave and subsidence.

Damage can be repaired, limited or prevented by:

- The professional removal or pruning of trees.
- Repairing the damaged drains.
- Localised repairs to brickwork.
- Underpinning – strengthening or deepening of the building foundations.

Dominique Dyer at Endsleigh’s specialist insurance division Woodstock Insurance Brokers, commented; “If your property has suffered from subsidence, heave or landslip and you are having trouble obtaining comprehensive home insurance you will probably need the help of a specialist broker such as Woodstock as standard policies rarely offer appropriate cover. We are a non–standard insurance broker and specialise in insuring properties that are prone to this type of risk. We can therefore assist in obtaining the right policy for your property. “

Climate changes and the impact on the UK’s weather patterns present property owners with a number of challenges. However, Endsleigh and Woodstock provide a range of insurance policies for landlords, tenants and homeowners.

Cygnia extends offering to customers with Gold Certification from Becrypt

IT Security specialist one of the first to be certified to implement Becrypt End Point Protection solutions

Cygnia, a specialist IT security solutions provider has achieved Gold certification from Becrypt for End Point Protection (EPP). Becrypt EPP provides a comprehensive package of cyber security solutions that protect commercial data held on PCs, laptops, tablets, USB devices, CDs/DVDs and other media with powerful encryption. The EPP suite also provides a comprehensive management console so that security for an organisation’s entire PC/laptop/tablet/handheld estate can be managed centrally. Cygnia is now certified to both resell Becrypt EPP and to provide implementation, consultancy and software engineering services to support the solution.

Jon Busfield, founder of Cygnia said; “We have been working with Becrypt since we set up the business five years ago. Their products have a good reputation and are well respected within the marketplace. Gold certification for Becrypt’s commercial product range will enable us to extend our business and provide additional services for our customers.”

Bernard Parsons, CEO of Becrypt commented; “As the world becomes a more connected place with staff often needing to work while on the move, and the fact that cyber criminals are becoming ever more sophisticated, so protecting sensitive data becomes even more important and more complex. {{Simply purchasing data security products, no matter how strong, is only part of the answer}}. The key to effective data security is in designing robust security procedures and implementing cyber security solutions that protect data but are sufficiently flexible that staff can still access the information they require to do their jobs.

“This has lead Becrypt to introduce greater depth to our formal certification process to ensure that high standards are maintained and our partners are able to provide extended services to their customers. Cygnia is one of the first partners to complete the certification process for Becrypt EPP, demonstrating their high level of commitment to this market.”

Cygnia is also a reseller for Becrypt’s enhanced solutions which are a range of products approved by CESG for use with all levels of Government data, right up to Impact Level 6 (TOP SECRET). Becrypt’s is the only software to be accredited for use at this high level.

Jon Busfield continued; “Being able to supply both commercial grade and government approved products from Becrypt, enables us to meet the demands of all of our clients from both public and private sectors.”

Becrypt EPP includes DISK Protect (full disk encryption), Removable media module (encryption for USBs and CDs/DVDs), Connect Protect (port control), Media Client (file encryption) and Becrypt Enterprise Manager (central management console)

To learn more about partnering with Becrypt or to download the latest information on Becrypt’s Platform for Success programme, please visit

Paul Newstead joins Hitachi Solutions

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) veteran joins Microsoft Gold Partner Hitachi Solutions

"Attracting people of Paul’s caliber continues to be a key component of Hitachi Solutions success"

Hitachi Solutions, the Microsoft Dynamics solutions and services arm of Hitachi, is strengthening its industry and Microsoft Dynamics expertise, with the appointment of Paul Newstead as Business Development Director. Paul has thirty years’ experience working across the globe in business applications, including eleven specialising in Microsoft Dynamics. He has broad experience in many industries including manufacturing, services, logistics and the public sector. Paul joins Hitachi Solutions to manage the business relationships with its customers, working with them to develop efficiencies and improvements using the Microsoft Dynamics product set.

“From my work on a number of complex projects I know that success requires a clear focus on the business objectives and the technology used to deliver them. Hitachi Solutions and Microsoft have that clear focus, and have built a very strong team of professionals with the capability to be innovative but at the same time draw upon broad experience. I am delighted to join the team, and look forward to participating in its continued growth” explains Paul Newstead Business Development Director at Hitachi Solutions.

“I am delighted that Paul chose to join Hitachi Solutions particularly as he had offers from a number of other Microsoft Dynamics partners. Attracting people of Paul’s caliber continues to be a key component of Hitachi Solutions success and I know Paul will provide enormous value to our customers both from a business and technology point of view. I wish Paul great success and look forward to working with him” concludes Steve French Vice President at Hitachi Solutions.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

BCS Ltd Announces 23 Percent Increase In Turnover

Business Continuity Services Ltd has also been listed by a Leading Analyst Firm as a “Cool Vendor” in ITAM for 2012

Ayr, Scotland, 26th June 2012- Business Continuity Services (BCS) Ltd, a trusted global provider of Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions and services, today announced it has increased turnover by 23 percent on its previous financial year, and its actual sales achieved from April 2011 to March 2012 was 110 percent of target.

Andy Fisher, New Business Development Director for BCS explains that business has been extremely good despite the recessionary climate and that BCS has continued to not only hit, but exceed all of its goals: “Even though our sales targets were increased by 25 percent in this financial year compared with last, we still beat all our numbers for the second consecutive year. We have had a phenomenal year and we are delighted with our results, we’ve seen customers like Shop Direct sign up for more services with us and other customers like Provident Financial who can actually calculate the cost savings we are making for them. In today’s tough environment, every penny counts and our services are helping companies around the world save millions of pounds – which is why I believe we are seeing such traction in the market.”

Additionally, BCS Ltd has recently been recognised for its innovative approach to utilising IT Asset Management (ITAM) data by being named a Gartner “Cool Vendor” in IT Asset Management* for 2012. BCS has put ITAM data to good use by coming up with two innovative ideas to help its customers. The first, its Global Universal Software Library (USL) Subscription Service, is a software recognition solution which enables its customers to marry up their software products and licences without duplication. The second, the Carbon Footprint Library (CFL) Service, utilises BCS’ client data to provide a baseline database of energy consumption in order to identify and improve its customers carbon footprint.

IT organisations are realising that ITAM data can be leveraged for business purposes such as budgetary planning, scenario planning, business case development, corporate and social responsibility/environmental initiatives, and broadening the stakeholder base to which information is provided

Andy Fisher continues: “Again, we are delighted to receive this accolade. We’ve always been interested in ways to utilise the data we process. We’ve been analysing client data since 1994 and the idea behind the Global USL Service was to add more value for our customers, and build on what we’ve already started so it’s really fantastic that our work’s been recognised by Gartner! To be able to offer these services to our customers for little extra cost is something BCS is very proud of, and something that sets us apart from the competition.”

BCS now handles a staggering 140,000 devices as part of its Compliance Managed Service offering and its Global Universal Software Library Subscription Service now includes around 300,000 devices worldwide and details in excess of 200,000 software products. Creates 50 New Jobs a leading motoring directory service provider based in Brentwood, Essex has announced plans to recruit upto 50 new staff as the business experiences record growth and interest in its products and services. was founded in 2006 and is now one of the leading motoring directories in the UK covering 35 UK Counties with plans to be UK wide within the next 6 to 8 months.

Speaking about the growth, Stuart Hardy, Sales Training Manager said “We’re really excited about the growth that we’re seeing right now and have ramped up our recruitment immediately with the aim of growing the team by another 50 heads as the expansion plans continue”.

The growth will be across two sites, with a new sales office opening in Colchester on 16 July 2012 and further growth at the Head office operation in Brentwood Essex.

Director, Steve Jakes said “we’re recruiting people right now to join our team from across Essex and Suffolk and interested applicants should call 01277 800032 to discuss their suitability or arrange an interview”.

More information about the roles is available at the following link. is a free to use directory service and generates its revenues from paid for listings and on-line campaigns sold via its sales operation.

According to the latest internet advertising UK (IAB) advertising expenditure report, concluded by PWC, online advertising continues to grow at an exceptional rate and last year experienced the biggest increase in five years.

Head quartered in Brentwood is a leading motoring directory service provider. Covering 474 UK towns and Cities and listing 152 business classifications. In the 12 months to 26 June 2012 generated 924,000 unique visitors, 1,345M visits, 4.780M Pages, and 38.1 Million hits. Web traffic continues to grow month on month.

Traffic stats can be viewed and downloaded at the following link.

Customer Listings

There are currently circa 370,000 business listings on-line at

A steady stream of positive customer testimonials are received by the business, recent feedback is summarised at the following link.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Two awards in one night for G3 :: G3 wins top prizes at the 2012 Comms Business Awards

This year’s Comms Business Awards saw leading vendors, resellers and distributors from the telecommunications industry gather on the 21st June at the Lancaster London Hotel to honour the year’s top business performers. With strong competition in all 20 categories, telecommunications and converged network specialist G3, scooped two of the most prestigious awards, winning best Mid-Market Convergence Solution and Channel Entrepreneur of the Year through Managing Director, Tony Parish.

Entries for all the Awards were judged in two stages by an independent panel of industry experts. After short-listing up to six entrants in each category based on a thorough assessment of all submissions, the judges then debated the merits of each finalist’s contribution in a one day meeting held at the Institute of Directors. The process culminated in an exclusive evening ceremony attended by 500 guests and hosted by Alex Jones, presenter of BBC1’s The One Show.

In the Mid-Market Convergence Solution award, entries had to be for projects undertaken in businesses employing 250 to 500 employees and G3’s work with leading integrated communications agency, DDB, was the stand-out choice for the judges. Part of the global Omnicom Group, DDB UK chose G3 to design and implement a new Avaya communications system after embarking on substantial refurbishment of their London offices. With challenging onsite conditions and tight time frames, G3 successfully replaced the old system to deliver greater flexibility, improved functionality, lower operating costs and the resilience necessary to guarantee business continuity. G3’s extensive solution also included SIP connectivity, long-range wireless broadband and full management of lines, calls and billing.

G3 Sales Director, Niall Anderson commented: “It’s a huge honour to receive this award and we’re delighted that the solution we designed and implemented for DDB has been recognised as best-in-class. The Comms Awards always attract strong competition from the industry’s leading players and for G3 to be independently acknowledged in this way is testament to the skills and expertise of our entire team, and their ability to deliver outstanding end-to-end communication solutions.”

For G3’s Managing Director, Tony Parish, winning the Convergence Solution award and gaining personal recognition as Channel Entrepreneur of the Year are positive reflections on both G3’s business and that of the Aura Alliance, the global alliance of Avaya business partners he founded and manages as Chief Executive.

Parish has been the driving force behind G3’s innovative approach to business and has spearheaded the remarkable success of the Aura Alliance in the last two years. “We work in a fast-changing sector and I’ve always believed that being able to identify key market drivers and having the operational flexibility to capitalise on them are fundamental to business success,” he said.

“The Aura Alliance, for example, was created in response to the increasing difficulty of managing complex global telecoms projects and deployments. It’s now the largest Avaya-accredited alliance in the world, with over 50 members operating across 90 countries and employing more than 2,000 Avaya-accredited individuals.”

“I’m incredibly proud of what G3 and the Aura Alliance have achieved and would like to thank all the people who have contributed to winning these awards.”

G3 Telecommunications PLC
G3 designs, implements and maintains converged voice and data communications. We are an Avaya Gold Business Partner and the founding member of the Aura Alliance, the global network of top Avaya Partners serving multi-national enterprise customers.

Aura Alliance
The Aura Alliance is an international group of Avaya Business Partners, working together as a single organisation to provide global support for multi-national enterprises. By maintaining consistent service levels, prices and technical skills across all countries, the Aura Alliance simplifies the administration of your global Avaya project and ensures the most cost effective solution.

Bribery, a hot potato for firms oblivious of their risk

Mr John Maylam, the former Sainsbury's potato buyer who accepted bribes of £4.9million from potato supplier, Greenvale, was sentenced today to four years imprisonment. The money laundering scheme that Mr Maylam concocted with Greenvale accounts manager, David Baxter, saw Sainsbury’s overcharged by nearly £9 million. Payments were authorised by Greenvale's then finance director, Andrew Behagg.

Mr Maylam’s bribe funded lifestyle included a luxury trip to Monaco, lengthy stays at top hotels, including Claridge's, a £94,000 Aston Martin and dining at expensive London restaurants. He incurred expenses of £20,000 a month and was handed brown envelopes stuffed with cash, with one lump sum given to him via a Luxembourg account to the tune of £1.5 million.

Judge Nicholas Ainley said that it was "very nearly as serious a case of corruption as I can imagine" that involved Sainsbury's "being bribed with its own money".

Maylam colluded with Baxter, his key contact at Greenvale, to inflate artificially the price of potatoes from the firm to a higher rate than the one previously agreed with Sainsbury's.

John Burbidge-King, CEO of Interchange, which helps companies to mitigate bribery and corruption risk, said: “This case illustrates that bribery is very much taking place within some companies in the UK and they may be oblivious to it. Had this been prosecuted under the Bribery Act, subject to whether it was found they had “adequate procedures” in place to have prevented such bribery, both Sainsbury’s and Greenvale might also have been prosecuted under Section 7.

“Bribery is a major business and reputational risk and there is increasing need for transparency in the supply chain. This is another bribery case in the retail sector; the recent Walmart case in Mexico has seriously dented its growth strategy. The increasing trend towards certification and supply chain assurance, such as the BS10500 launched earlier this year, will become necessary to give the boards of companies, procurement agencies, both local and central government, the necessary comfort that processes are in place to mitigate such damaging risk out of the supply chain.”

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Road construction charges highlight need for efficiency, say TAAP

The recent levy imposed on utility and construction contractors for digging up London’s public highways – £2,500 per day at peak times – has prompted mobile application specialist TAAP to highlight the importance of real-time job management to these companies.

Currently, many companies have to collect and deliver job sheets for every project, then wait for the details to be rekeyed into a computer system and only then close the job down. Users of TAAP’s mobile systems can view and complete real-time data as well as recording pictures as part of the electronic form. In addition, documents such as utilities maps and photographs can be sent to the mobile device along with the task, as well as recording data necessary for the Traffic Management Act regulations such as photos and GPS positions.

This means that time and associated costs are reduced, because the system can act more efficiently by transferring data from the field to the back-office immediately.

Jobs can also be sent out to each mobile device so that technicians and engineers know exactly which jobs they should undertake.

Because TAAP’s systems are designed to work on ruggedised mobile devices as well as consumer-style smartphones, there is no risk of users being in too harsh an environment to operate. Ruggedised devices are designed to withstand being dropped, exposed to moisture and the effects of dust and dirt.

Importantly, when workers are in areas of reduced connectivity they can still complete their tasks and the data can be saved securely on the device. Once the internet connection returns, the data can be uploaded.

All data is available within customer-specific secure web portals provided by TAAP, so managers can see details of all the jobs; print reports and email documents to customers. This ensures that accurate records are accessible and that companies do not need to purchase expensive storage solutions.

Systems consultant Matt Pluck commented “In the utility and construction sector, TAAP provides a variety of simple systems suitable for all types of jobs which contractors undertake and which can include working outside in all types of weathers. We are committed to assisting our customers to find the right devices for their workforce, so that they can take advantage of a fully integrated system.”

TAAP is a leading provider of software solutions which allow organisations to mobilise their operations using hand held computers.


New FSA Rules To Improve Packaged Bank Account Satisfaction, Says Collinson Latitude

Anticipated new rules from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) will require banks and building societies to offer more personalised packaged account benefits, according to incremental revenue experts Collinson Latitude.

Janet Titterton, director, Collinson Latitude, says: “The FSA is expected next month to announce new rules on packaged bank accounts, following the regulator’s recent consultation paper. The FSA is supportive of packaged accounts because they offer benefits that add value for customers. However, it is expected the FSA will introduce new rules to help ensure consumers are clear about what they are buying through such packages.”

Current market conditions mean banks have to work harder than ever to attract and retain customers and increase revenues. Packaged accounts, through which account holders pay a monthly fee in exchange for a bundle of products, such as travel insurance, have become an important source of banking revenues. The FSA’s ruling is expected to make it easier for the consumer to make an informed decision when considering the increasingly complex bundles of different bank account benefits.

Titterton explains: “Many insurance policies provided through packaged accounts have become harder for customers to understand and compare with alternative products. The anticipated FSA ruling will ensure insurance products offered are suitable for this type of account.

“It costs retail banks as much as six times more to attract a new customer as to retain an existing one. Customers are becoming increasingly demanding and expect to be presented with products that reflect their current lifestyle needs. The new rules being considered will ensure customers get more choice, more for their money and are offered benefits they deem relevant.”

In anticipation of the FSA’s ruling, Collinson Latitude is launching a range of value-added products and services, including travel benefits and insurance products, which are specifically designed to help banks comply with the new requirements for packaged bank accounts.

Titterton continues: “In the consultation, the FSA has been asking for feedback on its proposal that banks should establish a customer’s eligibility and suitability for individual policies, as well as providing account holders with an annual eligibility statement and keeping a suitability assessment. Collinson Latitude’s packaged account products and services are designed to help banks meet these requirements and reflect the need for customer protection at all levels.”

Collinson Latitude provides companies with the tools they need to develop lifelong relationships with their customers. The company’s portfolio of travel benefits includes travel planning services, travel assistance, emergency assistances and enhancements for frequent travellers, while its insurance products are tailored to specific market needs and commercial requirements. Collinson Latitude can supply incremental revenue solutions to banks across the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

BeMac Payments selected to pilot HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) for Payroll Processing

BeMac Payments have enabled PayGate to support HMRC’s new RTI service. PayGate is a modular solution and as such allows for the addition of the BeMac developed RTI module to provide the required information and reporting. As such, existing PayGate customers need only add the new module to their current system. Today customers, and Payroll software developers, can produce RTI compliant BACS submissions using the module, and soon PayGate/ONLINE will provide a solution whereby customers can make RTI BACS submissions by subscribing to the monthly billed service.

Peter Alderson, Managing Director, BeMacPayments commented: "PayGate’s modular design means we can easily extend and expand the functionality range as markets demand – as evidenced by this HMRC initiative.”

HMRC will require all those who submit employee payments via BACS to submit additional information attached to the payments. This information is required to track deductions in respect of PAYE, NI and statutory payments and deductions and to assess tax credits, while the Department for Work and Pensions requires the information for the introduction of the new Universal Credit benefits system. BeMac will be working closely with HMRC and the volunteer employers over the coming months and throughout the pilot period to help ensure that the process of sending information under the RTI system is as easy as possible.

“To help payroll submitters through this time of transition, we are planning a series of educational seminars,” added BeMac Payment Services Manager, John Doyle. “We will share our experiences of working with employers to help organisations turn RTI to their advantage, plus offer planning and necessary training services and provide practical tips for ensuring compliance.”

HMRC currently envisage that all employers and pension providers will have joined the RTI system by October 2013.

For more information on the operation of PAYE: RTI visit or email

Stickyeyes restructures its executive team and unveils new brand as growth continues

Stickyeyes Executive Management team
Stickyeyes Executive Management team
Digital marketing agency, Stickyeyes, has restructured its executive management team as the agency celebrates 16 years of unbroken growth.

Craig Chalmers, owner and Managing Director moves to Chief Executive Officer whilst Commercial Director Phil Kissane is promoted to Managing Director.

Stickyeyes also welcomes Chief Commercial Officer, Glen Conybeare with direct responsibility for business development, New Product Development, R&D, Insight and Marketing teams. Glen brings a wealth of client and agency-side experience to the Executive Board having held senior positions at digital media agency i-level and Touch Clarity (acquired by Omniture) as well as co-founding real-time content optimisation company Cognitive Match.

Said CEO, Craig Chalmers - “Since I started the business over 16 years ago we’ve witnessed a consistent positive trajectory in both client and staff growth. We’re proud to have been ranked as one of the top 100 growth companies in the UK by the Sunday Times and our 90-strong team count some of the world’s most well-known brands including GSK-owned Maxi-nutrition and LOVEFiLM as our clients. The restructure of our Executive Team ensures we’re in the best position to accelerate the next phase of our growth”.

The management restructure has been announced as Stickyeyes unveils a new brand identity, created by Leeds-based Elmwood and a new responsive site designed and built by Stickyeyes’ in-house Design and Development team at The new branding has been created to better reflect the broad experience and multiple skill-sets of the Stickyeyes team who now offer complimentary services ranging from SEO and PPC to social media and blogger engagement, PR and content to design and development.

Chalmers continued: “Our team has always been focused on delivering effective results to help our clients thrive and now is the right time to update our brand to reflect these qualities. The fact that many of our clients, who work in incredibly competitive sectors such as retail, professional and financial services, gaming and travel, have been with us for a number of years is testament to the skill, dedication and integrity of our team to deliver unquestionable ROI.

We continue to invest in our dedicated R&D and insight teams to ensure we keep our clients at the forefront of their sector and look forward to announcing a number of new client wins shortly".

Multi Utility Services Contractor Pulls Out All The Stops To Keep Housing Developer On Track

Careful coordination has enabled Crown Utilities and house builders Mansell to rescue an affordable housing project from delays arising from the failure of the original contractor. As the contractor for the unified installation of gas, water and electricity connections, Crown Utilities managed all utility processes so that the scheme went to plan and schedule.

The development in Greenbrook Street, Bury, comprises 26 houses and eight flats sold on a part ownership basis and marketed by Plumlife on behalf of the Great Places Housing Group. Continuity of electricity supply for the neighbourhood was essential so the first task for Crown Utilities was the installation, commissioning and making live of a new substation to give a 500KVA supply. At the same time a 30KVA landlord’s supply was installed and a redundant sub-station dismantled and removed.

Crown Utilities provided multi utility electricity, gas and water services in accordance with Plumlife’s plan for the release and sale of the properties. Installing utilities in this unified way made it possible to win back lost time. There were technical complications. Crews had to work around existing buried high and low voltage power cables, take services across roads and follow a plan for careful traffic management.

Andy Kay, joint managing director at Crown Utilities explained, “We were already the chosen utility infrastructure partner when Mansell’s took over the contract. Despite all the engineering complexity and site problems we were able to meet the challenges and help them pull the programme back to schedule. Following the success of Greenbrook Street, Mansell’s have placed more orders with us including the New Islington development in Manchester’s Ancoats area requiring multi-utility service connections to 18 properties.”

Crown Utilities is one of only a few contractors in the UK with MURS accreditation (Multi Utility Recognition Status) with all crews able to install gas, electricity and water in a single combined operation.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

BCS Ltd Launches its Fully Managed Services Offering

• BCS also announces new “Best in Class” partnership with Highlander Business Solutions

Business Continuity Services (BCS) Ltd, a respected and trusted global provider of Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions and services, today released details of its Fully Managed Services offering which is now widely available. Managing software assets in order to achieve acceptable compliance levels can prove to be a severe drain on management time and resources. BCS’s Fully Managed Services offer a per device, fixed cost, rolling compliance reporting capability that delivers detailed knowledge of all the software applications installed on a client’s IT estate.

It is critical for an organisation to understand its compliance position in order to maintain the ongoing healthy operation of the business – particularly as software licensing is often responsible for the greater part of the IT budget. With overly complex reconciliation processes and costly punishment for error, it is now more important than ever for the business to be able to prove its licence compliance position. BCS’ Fully Managed Services offer organisations the ability to confidently establish and subsequently manage their software licence compliance position via a unique rolling private cloud like solution.

Andy Fisher, New Business Development Director for BCS elaborates: “We’re really proud of our Fully Managed Services offering and excited to get the word out there. Our time-served consultants are specialists in this field and our services are extremely cost effective. We’ve found that the establishment of good software licence management practices has revolutionised the way that organisations get best value from their software purchases. The end result being a state of licence compliance, greater control of software assets, savings in time and most importantly, cost avoidance.”

BCS is also pleased to announce a new partnership with Highlander, a respected IT business solutions company with a strong reputation for providing the highest standards in support, project delivery and commercial guidance for its client base. Highlander is focused on developing mutually beneficial partnerships with organisations and businesses across the whole of the UK, successfully delivering a comprehensive portfolio of I.T products and services by providing its customers with easy access to a single source of the right advice, expertise and technology.

Highlander is pleased to be able to add the BCS Fully Managed Services capabilities to its already impressive portfolio and believes there are definite synergies between the businesses. Steve Brown, Managing Director, Highlander explains: “Both Highlander and BCS take a consultative approach, and are supported by a broad range of services built around service excellence and in-depth understanding. Both companies aim to provide every customer with resources and services that are precisely calibrated to their individual needs and circumstances. We’re really looking forward to working with BCS, who have similar ideals and ways of working.”

BCS have been very particular in their selection of Highlander as one of their first “best in class” partners. According to Andy Fisher, “Highlander are one of a limited group of BCS selected partners who are looking to expand their service capabilities by co-delivering our unique Managed Service compliance option and thus lock out the quick win suppliers not focused on service.”

If you are interested in finding out more about BCS’ tailored Managed Services, please call +44 (0) 1292 283828

Monday, 18 June 2012

New Contractors’ Handbook boost contracting support

The new edition of the definitive guide to UK contracting is now available. It features the latest IR35 and tax updates and numerous new features. Published by the leading UK website for contractors and freelancers,, the second edition of the Contractors’ Handbook includes 596 pages packed full of the practical advice needed for successful, enjoyable and profitable contracting.

“Contracting continues to outperform other sectors of the UK labour market, with huge numbers of highly skilled knowledge workers choosing to leave employment to become contractors and freelancers,” says CEO and former IT contractor Dave Chaplin. He is also the author of The Contractors’ Handbook: the expert guide for UK contractors and freelancers second edition.

The contracting landscape has changed dramatically since the first edition was published in 2008, and the new book is right up to date. Building on the tried and tested solutions provided in the first edition, the extensive guidance on managing IR35 risk has been expanded to include HMRC’s new business entity tests and IR35 guidance, which only came into force in May 2012. “I’ve included every winning strategy I developed during my successful career as a contractor,” explains Chaplin, “plus added a wealth of unique reference material and FAQs developed over more than ten years by the expert team at”

Chaplin continues: “The second edition has been extensively updated throughout, with new and expanded chapters to ensure first-time contractors get off to the best possible start. Seasoned contractors will benefit from the latest tax, expenses and company law updates, as well as a new chapter on the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR). There’s also easy to follow advice on how contractors can win the best and most lucrative contracts using advanced marketing, sales and negotiating techniques.

“To ensure contractors can overcome the everyday challenges of a successful contracting career, new solutions have been added to the chapter about what to do when things go wrong,” says Chaplin. “And there is new guidance for contractors from abroad who want to contract in the UK.” He concludes: “Tens of thousands of contractors used the first edition to successfully bridge the gap between employment and contracting, while veterans used it to hone the skills required to win the best and highest-paid contracts. The second edition takes contracting support to the next level.”

Standard Life launches auto-enrolment toolkit

Standard Life has launched a toolkit aimed at helping employers and advisers plan for the introduction of auto-enrolment and identify the potential cost impact.

Ann Flynn, Head of Corporate Marketing, Standard Life said: "From our research and discussions with employers it is clear that many are scratching their heads as to how to tackle the implementation of auto-enrolment. They're not entirely sure of the steps they need to take to meet their responsibilities, how much work is involved and importantly, how it will impact their bottom line.

"We have therefore developed a dedicated corporate benefits website which hosts a range of tools, news and videos to support employers and advisers through auto-enrolment and beyond."

The toolkit includes;
Pension Reform Pathfinder tool: An in depth planning tool which will help employers and advisers build up a personalised plan of duties and help establish a scheme to fit their requirements, and comply with auto-enrolment regulation.

Pension Reform Cost calculator: The pension reform cost calculator will help employers and advisers understand the potential cost of auto-enrolment by:
- Checking if a current scheme meets the requirements to satisfy the legislation
- Identifying the estimated ongoing costs of meeting legislation requirements
- Showing how the costs can be implemented gradually over time
- Demonstrating how costs could be reduced by providing the option for employees to pay through salary exchange.

Employer checklist: Gives employers an overview of the key tasks they must carry out in order to fulfil their new duties.

Data exchange guides: The guides will help employers navigate their way through their new duties and understand the impact on their current processes and systems.

Member communications timeline: The timeline gives a clear view of the mandatory member communications that pension reform legislation requires. It shows:
- The timeline - what communications need to be issued and when
- The regulations - which communications are mandatory and which are 'recommended'
- The ownership - which communications must be sent by the employer
- The member categories - what type of information needs to be communicated to each category of employees.

Pension Reform information for employees: A dedicated pension reform website page, aimed at educating employees, has also been created on to inform employees about the changes. The site covers everything they need to know, from why pension reform is happening to what to do if they don't want to join their company pension scheme. There is also a short video which summarises pension reform and auto-enrolment.

Flynn added: "The cost and infrastructure impact will be a major concern for most businesses so these tools will help form the basis of discussions between advisers, HR teams and Finance Directors.

"With so many employers' staging dates falling in 2013 and 2014, it is crucial that providers support employers and their advisers to help make the transition as painless as possible. Our message to all employers is the sooner you start your planning the better."

Commercial Printers ‘Tee Off’ for Macmillan Cancer Support

Graphics and Print, the Telford, Shropshire, based commercial printers, have a strong commitment to the communities in which they operate. They are one of the few commercial printers to make a community commitment that every one of its employees will spend a minimum of two days per year, during work time, supporting disadvantaged people in having a better life. So when a group of fund raisers recently approached the award winning commercial printers with a request for support in helping them to raise £25K for Macmillan Cancer Support , Managing Director Martin Kells was only too pleased to exceed expectations in support of such a great cause.

Martin explains: “We were recently approached by a group of 40 individuals who were running a charity golf event as part of their aim to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. They are playing 4 golf tournaments in 4 days and wanted us to design and manufacture a ‘leader board’ which they could use to both highlight the names of sponsors but also identify the scores of each individual player throughout the tournament. The group is made up of business people, friends and colleagues and they were offering to pay for the board out of their own pockets.

"At Graphics and Print, we have a real commitment to supporting charities and individuals who are fundraising for great causes and we therefore jumped at the chance to support the guys. Not only did we come up with a better idea for how the leadership board would work, meaning that the team could use it for multiple future events, we also agreed to fund the design and production as a gesture of our support. The fund raisers were extremely pleased with our support saying we had exceeded all expectations. This is one of a number of recent community activities which we have been involved with as we continue our dedication towards establishing relationships with organisations in the local area, to help strengthen the community infrastructure.”

Graphics and Print started in Telford in 1980 as a small family-run business, and knows how important it is to have local support in order to succeed. Despite their rapid growth, they have managed to maintain a ‘family’ atmosphere during their growth journey, creating their own internal company community. This sense of valuing their people is expressed through their interaction with the wider society. The Shropshire printers provide an end-to-end service when it comes to commercial printing services, having a design studio, print operators and finishing team all under one roof, making the customer print journey a seamless one!

Graphics and Print have successfully traded for over 30 years providing printing services to a customer base ranging from multi-national companies to sole traders, offering quality, value and flexibility at every stage of the print journey.
Tel: 01952 290524

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Free HR software exhibition – free 30-day trial of Cezanne OnDemand

Cezanne Software is offering visitors to the CIPD’s HR Software Show (Olympia, London, 20th – 21st June) the opportunity to test drive the latest release of their online HR software system, Cezanne OnDemand.

Delivered “in the Cloud” as Software as a Service (SaaS) Cezanne OnDemand is fast to implement, easy to use and provides all of the features that companies need to reduce HR administration, manage absences, stay on top of important events and engage with employees across the business.

What’s more, it’s charged for based on the actual number of employees managed each month, so companies don’t pay for licences they don’t need. For companies with between 50 and 500 employees, Cezanne OnDemand costs just £2 per employee per month for the People and Absence management modules (including online support, data back up and updates), with Performance management costing just £1 per employee per month extra.

Free trial with best practice advice for faster results
The free 30-day trial provides access to all of the features and capabilities of Cezanne OnDemand and includes best practice advice from Cezanne’s consultants to help companies get up and running quickly.

Julie Windsor, Head of Operations for Cezanne UK and Benelux says: “{{We launched Cezanne OnDemand at the HR Software Show last year, and we’ve been really thrilled by the response.}} SME companies especially have been quick to recognise the benefits of the approach we have taken. We’ve been doubling the number of employees under management each month – and we are continuing to enhance the service with new features all the time.”

To register for the free trial of Cezanne OnDemand, attendees at the HR Software Show simply need to visit Cezanne’s stand (H60).

For more information please visit

New Funding For Lending, Not New Funds for Lenders....

Capital Fortune
The Bank of England Governor's announcement on “Funding for Lending” is welcome. It has made it crystal clear, it is to be used to issue loans and is not more “funding for lenders “ The money has to be utilsed to kick-start the availiability of much needed financace to households and British businesses.We hope that the planned multi-billion pound emergency scheme will be distributed properly.

There are clearly dark clouds on the horizon with signs of slowdown in China, India and emerging economies. We appear to be entering a worrying new phase of the credit crunch. The crisis in the Eurozone is exacerbating the problem.

This proposal is set to provide up to £80 billion to British banks who have faced higher funding costs and are now required to keep back a significant amount of their own capital as a reserve, restricting them lending. The result is the lowest level of lending for 35 years and this attempt at Government intervention to reverse the developing trend, is welcome.

Capital Fortune support the fact that at this stage, the Bank of England are linking the funds to lending performance. This is a direct attempt at intervention to ensure the funds are used for lending purposes and not to further shore up the Banks own balance sheet as has happened in the past.

The tranche of funds is expected to be made available within the next month and will last for up to 4 years. The duration for the funds remains a concern as if divided equally over the 4 years will result in only £20 billion extra per year increasing lending by only 15%.

These new funds are in addition to the £325 billion already ploughed into the economy through quantitative easing and we await further details to see how and where these funds are to be most efficiently deployed.

For further information on Capital Fortune mortgages contact Rob Killeen, Business Manager at or telephone 0845 3 630 430

Thursday, 14 June 2012

World Risk Day Announces Exciting Speaker Line-up

The World Risk Day Virtual Summit will feature c-level innovators, authors, and academics, bringing together leading risk practitioners from around the globe

World Risk Day, the first-ever awareness day focused on how taking smarter risks drives corporate strategy, improves business confidence and grows profits has announced the initial schedule of speakers for the World Risk Day Virtual Summit taking place on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012. The Virtual Summit will feature a program of webcasts, interviews and live Q&A sessions with best-in-class risk practitioners from around the world.

“I am very proud of the Virtual Summit program we have put together with the help of the other World Risk Day Supporters,” said Loren Padelford, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Active Risk, who will both moderate and present during the Virtual Summit. “Sessions will offer innovative ideas and debate for c-level executives, risk professionals and project professionals across all industries. World Risk Day will provide a unique, global forum for business leaders to share best practices on how taking smarter risks can drive opportunities and innovation.”

Virtual Summit presenters include:
• Paula Gold-Williams, EVP, CFO & Treasurer at CPS Energy
• Brenda L. Boultwood, Former SVP & Chief Risk Officer (CRO) for Constellation Energy
• Cees Klumper, CRO at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
• John Hempenstall, CRO at Centennial Coal, a subsidiary of Banpu, Asia's largest independent coal group

Thomas H. Stanton, former senior staff member at the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, will launch his new book “Why Some Firms Thrive And Others Fail”, with a presentation on World Risk Day.

The World Risk Day Virtual Summit also brings together presentations from key international risk trade associations. Alex Hindson, Past President of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) & Head of Group Risk at Amlin will share insights on “The importance of Risk Culture”. Carol Fox, Director of Strategic and Enterprise Risk Practice at RIMS will present on “The Tipping Points of Risk Management”. The Virtual Summit will also feature senior speakers from IRMSA (South Africa) and RMA (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).  The World Risk Day Virtual Summit is free to attend and open to all.

Participants may register at Due to phenomenal interest, additional speakers are still being added to the programme on the web site. To learn more about World Risk Day please visit or email

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Axiom EPM Survey: Financial directors admit to spending less than one-tenth of time on strategic growth

- Finance teams spending time on inefficient planning and budgeting, not enough on growth -

A survey of UK finance professionals conducted by Axiom EPM, a leading provider of financial planning and performance management software, has revealed that finance teams are only able to devote nine percent of company time to strategic growth, despite the fact that directors would like to spend effort on this area for those efforts 46 percent of the time. The Axiom Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Financial Survey interrogated finance directors to assess contemporary attitudes and challenges facing businesses in operational and strategic budgeting, along with planning processes.

The survey was conducted among UK group finance directors and financial directors in April and May 2012. It also discovered that enterprise-level finance teams spend 59 percent of their time budgeting and planning, compared to a target figure of just 30 percent. Reporting and scorecards mirror this trend, with companies devoting 48 percent of their efforts, rather than an ideal 28 percent.

As a result, strategic growth is suffering most from inefficiencies in planning and reporting that could be resolved simply with an intuitive, collaborative planning, budgeting and reporting solution.

Other findings include:

- All finance teams expend significant effort in budgeting, planning, reporting and
- Compared to 2011, 86% are now more focused on measuring profitability, 79%
more focused on enterprise cost reduction, managing risk and improving
performance management, and 73% on measuring risk
- Understanding and measuring profitability while further defining KPIs,
continue to be key areas of focus for finance teams over the next year

“Technology is already available to relieve the unwanted burden and give finance teams the time they need to concentrate on desirable strategic growth,” Alexis Makariou, managing director for Axiom EPM UK, said. “Axiom EPM software is designed to reduce the complexity and time overheads associated with budgeting and planning, while improving accuracy and eliminating errors. The collaborative platform slashes hours of preparation and process without placing extra burden on IT staff, leaving more time to focus effort on other areas of business.”

Also in the survey, finance teams discussed their priorities for the next year. Responses were an even split, with 44 percent putting the greatest emphasis on understanding and measuring profitability, while the same percentage said they needed to further define key performance indicators (KPIs) and operating metrics. The next most important target for improvement, identified by 42 percent of finance directors, was the need to publish more relevant information to users.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded at:

Monday, 11 June 2012

Hermes Launches 500 Parcelshops UK-wide

Leading home delivery specialist Hermes, has launched 500 myHermes ParcelShops across the UK in a move designed to enable its retail clients to offer their customers the most flexible and convenient delivery solution on the market. Retailers will initially be able to offer the myHermes ParcelShops as a cost-effective means of returning unwanted online purchases, with plans to extend the service to allow consumers to specify their nearest location as an alternative to home delivery.

The branded myHermes ParcelShops are located in local convenience stores such as Spa, Nisa, Premier and Co-op as well as local independents, in major urban locations that have been specially selected based on population density and home delivery demand. The initial network of parcel shops is expected to be increased by a further 500 locations by the end of the year to extend the nationwide reach of the service.

Each store offers extended opening hours, typically 8 until 8, and in the first phase will be providing a drop off service for people who want to return goods they have purchased online. This will help retailers to address the difficult area of returns providing a quicker, simpler and more efficient option to their customers and giving them an alternative to the current courier collection option.

According to independent research carried out by Hermes last year the returns process remains a continuing issue for online shoppers. The research showed that 16 per cent of people return at least one item per order and, while more than 50 per cent use the Post Office to return goods, they find it inconvenient and slow.

The launch follows discussions with key retail customers and consumer focus groups and builds on the highly successful Parcel Shop model operated by Hermes in Germany, Austria and Russia. Leading mail order specialists Redcats is one of the first to sign up for the new service.

Carole Woodhead, Chief Executive at Hermes UK: “This launch now confirms our position as one of the UK’s leading multi-channel service providers with an unrivalled offering and product portfolio. Over the last year we have successfully introduced a number of key enhancements to our service in response to changing retail requirements, all of which are designed to give our retail customers a competitive edge.”

The introduction of myHermes ParcelShops is also good news for niche online retailers and anyone who wants to send a parcel. It can be used in conjunction with the current service which offers an affordable delivery solution that can be quickly ordered online with items collected direct from the door or as a standalone service.

Both options eliminate the need to queue at the post office but by opting to take items to a myHermes ParcelShop, rather than have a courier collect them, parcels are delivered on a 2-day service (rather than 3-5 day), making it a comparable service with Royal Mail (2nd class) but cheaper (over 1kg) and fully tracked, for no extra cost.

Jonathan Bennett, Head of Marcoms for, said: “This is now a highly flexible and convenient service for consumers and small businesses such as eBay Powersellers, Amazon Marketplace sellers and other niche retailers, who can choose to take their parcels to the ParcelShop early or late and have a shorter delivery timescale or enjoy the convenience of a collection from a local courier.”

Apptio's Technology Business Management Council Launched

12 Transformative CIOs Join Board of Directors with Mission  To Create and Promote Technology Business Management Best Practices

Apptio, the leading provider of on-demand Technology Business Management (TBM) solutions, today announced the TBM Council has been launched as a separate Delaware-based, nonprofit organization. The mission of this new entity is to identify and promote best practices for running technology organizations like a business. Initially founded by Apptio as a CIO user community, the TBM Council has since grown to include more than 225 members -- including CXOs from some of the world’s most advanced IT organizations -- who are collectively leveraging TBM to become a more strategic partner to the business.

“To become a true partner to the business, CIOs must move beyond the vocabulary of technologies, SLAs and projects, to conversations around the trade-offs needed to balance cost, quality and value,” said Rebecca Jacoby, CIO of Cisco and Co-Chair of the TBM Council. “The TBM Council has proven to be a highly effective and collaborative forum for sharing best practices with other CIOs and IT leaders who are in the midst of an IT services transformation.”

The Council’s charter is to produce an openly available TBM framework that advances the professional discipline of technology leaders and matures supply and demand processes between IT and the business. The Council will synthesize the knowledge of CIO innovators and publish benchmark data back to Council members, define standards and roadmaps for IT organizations as they implement TBM, and facilitate peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. The Council shares knowledge via a secure, members-only portal as well as a bi-annual CIO Summit event. Twelve technology leaders from across the Fortune 1000 have been named to the Council’s Board of Directors, including:

• Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Systems*
• Tom Murphy, AmerisourceBergen (former CIO)
• Larry Godec, First American*
• Robert Webb, Hilton Worldwide (former CIO)
• Mike Benson, DIRECTV
• Erez Yarkoni, T-Mobile
• Tim Campos, Facebook
• Jim Scholefield, The Coca-Cola Company
• Carol Zierhoffer, Xerox
• Ralph Loura, The Clorox Company
• Greg Morrison, Cox Enterprises
• Sunny Gupta, Apptio

The Council hosted the 11th CIO Summit event on June 7th, featuring case study presentations from TBM Council members, including DIRECTV, Nomura, and Park Nicollet Health Services, who explored a variety of TBM themes, including cost transparency, private cloud adoption, and outsourcing strategies. A complete agenda for the event can be found at the TBM Council website.

As the technical advisor and principal sponsor of the TBM Council, Apptio has seeded initial content, provided funding for the Council’s incorporation as a nonprofit organization, and will remain involved in its governance and operations to help ensure its success. Sunny Gupta, CEO of Apptio, has been appointed the Founding Director of the TBM Council and will provide operational and strategic guidance. In this capacity, Sunny will collaborate closely with the rest of the TBM Council Board of Directors to create a sustainable operating infrastructure to support the Council’s growth and research efforts.

“As TBM becomes the strategic control point for CIOs and IT leaders to run the business of technology, TBM Council members have voiced the need for an organization that can establish a common set of best practices and methodologies for optimizing their run-the-business spend and get more from their change-the-business investments,” said Sunny Gupta. “The TBM Council is being driven by some of the world’s most innovative CIOs who are eager to share best practices and showcase the value that their TBM initiatives have brought to their organizations.”

Apptio is the leading independent provider of on-demand Technology Business Management (TBM) solutions for managing the business of IT. Apptio enables IT leaders to manage the cost, quality and value of IT services by providing deep visibility into the total cost of IT services, communicating the value of IT to the business through an interactive "Bill of IT," and strategically aligning the planning, budgeting and forecasting processes. Apptio's TBM solutions play a critical role in helping companies understand and drive chargeback, virtualization, Cloud and other key technology initiatives. Global enterprise customers such as Bank of America, Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, St. Luke's Health System, and Swiss Re rely on Apptio to reduce costs and align IT with business priorities. For more information, visit the Apptio website or the Apptio blog.

About the Technology Business Management Council
Governed by innovative CXOs from a diverse group of Fortune 500 companies, the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council is a nonprofit business entity focused on the development of a definitive framework for running technology organizations like a business. Our mission is to serve equally our members and our profession by synthesizing TBM best practices into a professional and recognized discipline for technology leaders. By participating in the Council, members learn from their peers how to maximize the business impact of every dollar invested in technology and to become more strategic to the business. The Council is open to any qualified business technology executive. To learn more about the TBM Council, visit:

Act now to prevent Legionnaire's disease, says Bibby Consulting & Support

Any businesses not fully up to speed with how their organisations could be hit by Legionnaire's disease would be well advised to review the risk it poses to their staff, visitors and wider public immediately.

That's the advice from Michael Slade, Managing Director of health and safety advisors Bibby Consulting & Support, following the outbreak of the disease in Edinburgh which has affected over 60 people, including a fatality.

Legionnaire's disease is an extreme form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria that can develop where there is warm standing water (temperatures between 20oC to 45oC) and substances such as sludge or rust, which are often found in tanks or pipework.

There are approximately 500 cases of Legionnaire's disease in Britain every year, of which a staggering 10 per cent prove fatal. People become affected when contaminated water droplets become airborne such as via shower heads, saunas or spas and when those droplets are then inhaled. The most vulnerable are men over 55 who smoke or with pre-existing chest complaints, although the disease can affect anybody.

"If any business believes that they fall into these categories they need to take immediate action," says Michael Slade. "This includes carrying out a comprehensive Legionella risk assessment where a surveyor will identify the potential risk. The surveyor will then prepare an action plan for preventing or controlling the risk – such as appropriate biocide dosing. The employer must then appoint someone with managerial responsibility to implement the plan."

Slade adds: "Failure to act can put people at huge risk, so businesses have a duty to ensure that regular checks are carried out. Legionella may be present in a wide range of workplaces, and anywhere where water is sprayed or stored could be a source of risk."

Slade also warns that rather confusingly the term often used in relation to Legionella is 'cooling towers' but this can be anything from the familiar towers seen on power stations through to a roof- or wall-mounted air conditioning unit, which so many buildings have.

"For this very reason employers must not be complacent," he says, "and if in doubt seek professional advice to ensure that the potential sources of Legionella are identified and the risk managed swiftly and effectively.

"Not surprisingly, the Health & Safety Executive are strongly committed to combating Legionnaire's disease and will come down extremely hard on organisations that are not doing everything they can to prevent it."

Bibby Consulting & Support has earned the reputation of being one of the UK’s leading providers of compliance management services. We enable employers and senior managers to attain and maintain compliance within the demanding, complex and constantly evolving fields of Employment Law, Health and Safety and Environmental legislation.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Target Business Assist Keen to Highlight Great News for Invoice Factoring

The all business all accountancy site, Target Business Assist has published its latest news article – focused on bringing consumers all they need to know about accountancy, invoice factoring, invoice discount and invoice finance. The business portal has been building up an extremely good reputation of late, for highlighting key areas when it comes to this area of commerce.

The latest post focuses on the rewards many businesses are enjoying as a result of the aspects of business mentioned.

The actual theme they have been focusing on is a brand new survey from ABFA. The findings have been published that reveals businesses expecting to be turning to releasing more cash from their assets using invoice finance. This can be done through either through invoice factoring or invoice discounting – both areas of expertise at Target Business Assist.

The report actually suggests that the quota of invoice finance is set to grow by 9% in 2012.

Members taking part in this enthralling survey were also asked to predict their own industry growth figures for 2012. The results were that forecasts for companies that generate turnover from companies using asset based finance in 2012 will hit GBP 259bn, up 12% from GBP 235bn in 2011.

Parties interested in learning more about any of the factoring or accountancy issues discussed in this release can click this link – or navigate directly to for more information.

Full-Service Restaurants in the UK Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

The Full-Service Restaurants industry has endured a difficult time during the last five years. The economic downturn has caused many consumers to cut back on discretionary spending such as dining out, trading down to cheaper take-away options or choosing to cook at home instead. Other factors that have put downward pressure on industry growth include several changes in government regulation and policy concerning wage costs, anti-smoking legislation, alcohol tax and food safety laws.

According to IBISWorld industry analyst Steven Connell, “These conditions have forced several struggling operators to exit the industry but for some it has presented opportunities to expand operations”. Revenue is expected to have declined at an annualised rate of 4.5% during the last five years to reach £18.7 billion in 2012-13. In 2012-13, revenue is forecast to decline 1.6%.

Industry performance will improve over the next five years but will be constrained by continued sluggish economic conditions early on. Growth will continue to suffer under the weight of austerity measures, high unemployment and continued global economic uncertainty, which will restrict discretionary spending on dining out.

Conditions should improve from 2014-15 onwards as a recovering consumer environment leads diners to become less value-conscious and spend more on quality and provenance. “Restaurants that tap into prevailing social and environmental trends and continue to emphasise high quality, locally sourced produce should perform best”, Connell adds. Mobile and online technology will also influence the industry as people use smartphone apps to choose restaurants and make reservations. Industry revenue is forecast to increase over the next five years to 2017-18.

The Full-Service Restaurants industry traditionally encompasses a large number of single establishment, owner-operated restaurants. As such, it is fragmented and owners typically compete on price, menu offerings and cuisine. The industry has a low level of market share concentration, which is not expected to change over the next five years. The top four players are Gondola Group, Whitbread, the Restaurant Group, and the Blackstone Group. The industry is known for its large staff turnover. This depends on the number of casual staff who work in the industry while studying. The relatively low wages and lack of a well-defined career path deters many employees from seeing the industry as a long-term employment opportunity.
For more information on the Full-Service Restaurants industry, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, purchase the full report from IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
This industry comprises sit-down restaurants where a waiter usually takes orders at the table. Restaurants in this industry are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for immediate consumption on the premises.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Startup Britain appoints former Pizza Express boss as chairman

Luke Johnson, chair of StartUp Britain
Luke Johnson, chair of StartUp Britain
StartUp Britain, the national campaign set up by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs to stimulate start-up growth in the UK, has appointed a charismatic new chairman.

Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson, who chaired his first founders meeting last week, joins at an exciting time for the year-old campaign, after the launch of its latest initiative - StartUp loans for young people - with a series of summer events planned across the country.

Johnson, a former chairman of Channel 4, a current chairman of equity house Risk Capital Partners and the Royal Society of Arts as well as writing a regular entrepreneurial column for the Financial Times, was himself partly inspired into setting up his own business by a chance meeting with another famous player in the entrepreneurial scene – Richard Branson. That’s why he understands how important the role of the campaign is for inspiring budding entrepreneurs into unlocking their own start-up potential.

Johnson is also the part owner and chairman of Giraffe Restaurants, Patisserie Valerie, APT Controls and Gail's Bakery. He is a non executive chairman of Metro Bank.

He said: “As soon as I experienced what it was like to run a business, I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. Nothing matches it. Technology has meant starting up and running a business is easier than most people think. The 'security' that a job for life and a final salary pension scheme no longer exist. That’s why more people should take control of their own destiny and seize the day.

“I think entrepreneurs are the unsung heroes of our time. They generate the jobs and taxes that keep our society civilized.

“StartUp Britain is about helping people understand that running a business is not only achievable and satisfying, but it’s a real and a very fulfilling alternative to working for someone else for a living – and can be lucrative too, with hard work and luck.”

Co-founder Emma Jones said: “We are delighted and excited to have such an accomplished entrepreneur as our chairman. What Luke brings to the table is his vision, passion for business and dogged determination to see the country succeed.

“Together we’ll be working to invite more entrepreneurs to get involved with the campaign and to continue the high impact activity that StartUp Britain is known for and which is leading to record numbers of people starting their own business.”

The relentless entrepreneur and father-of-three will join the board which includes Emma, founder of small business community Enterprise Nation; Duncan Cheatle, founder of The Prelude Group and The Supper Club; Jamie Murray-Wells, founder and executive chairman of Glasses Direct; Oli Barrett, founder of co-sponsorship agency CoSpA; Michael Hayman, co-founder of campaigning communications agency Seven Hills and Rajeeb Dey, founder of

StartUp Britain has recently launched another new initiative - StartUp Spaces an online tool that matches empty spaces with start-ups looking for hot desks. The campaign is also planning events across the country including Marketing4StartUp Britain Week, High Street StartUp and a bus tour to offer advice to young people aged 18 to 24 looking to apply for StartUp loans

StartUp Britain

Report shows catastrophic effect on customers that a data breach can trigger

Commenting on a Ponemon Report showing that 72 per cent of consumers who have been notified of a data breach at a company they had dealt were dissatisfied with the communication, Varonis Systems says that this highlights the brutal fact that people are less likely to purchase or deal with an organization where their data has been lost due to a breach.
David Gibson, Varonis’ VP of strategy, says that, whilst he welcomes news that 25 per cent of respondents said they were notified by letter of a data breach – up from 12 per cent seven years ago – this shows that consumers are still at the end of the food chain when it comes to being informed about their data.
“This really is an unsatisfactory state of affairs. If a company I had shopped with had suffered a data breach and lost my data, I’d really want to know what had happened – and what the firm was doing to protect my interests. Many of the 72 per cent of consumers who had been informed - but were dissatisfied – are almost certain to be shopping elsewhere in future,” he said.
“As well as telling us that consumers are being more informed about the need for data protection – and will vote with their feet if the company fails to meet its clear obligations in keeping customers informed – I would argue that firms need to do all in their power to prevent a breach from taking place in the first place, or lose their customers as a result,” he added.
The Varonis VP of strategy went on to say that it is interesting to note that the increase in advisory letters is probably due to the statutory requirements imposed on companies by 47 states in the US to notify when personal information has been lost or stolen.
As officials with Experian – the sponsor of this Ponemon report – state, it is important for companies to do everything possible to safeguard consumer data, it's just as important to communicate effectively in the event of a breach, he says.
I would argue, however, that since the consequences of a data breach are potentially so profound - and may involve the loss of a sizeable proportion of your customer base– that preventing a data breach from happening in the first place should take absolute priority, he adds.
Gibson explained that all organizations should regularly review the way they protect their customer data, especially as the amounts of unstructured data (80% in most organizations) continue to grow. Unstructured data is especially difficult to audit and track using conventional IT security systems.
“Only by reviewing their levels of protection can companies hope to understand the problems that unstructured data now poses them in these times of rising levels of governance and data protection requirements,” he said.
“This report – which serves to highlight the potential loss of customers that a data breach will result in – will hopefully act as a wake-up call to any company which has customer data. A data loss and regulatory fine is bad enough, but potentially losing a sizeable number of your existing customers as well shows that failing to protect customer data is a disaster just waiting to happen,” he added.
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