Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bronco SEO & 10 Yetis PR Enter Into Partnership

SEO Agency, Bronco, and award-winning Tech and Consumer PR Agency, 10 Yetis, are announcing that they have entered into a unique partnership.

The two companies will now work hand-in-hand on client projects in order to offer one digital proposition that covers both Search Engine Optimisation and Digital Public Relations.

The companies, both leaders in their respective fields, will remain two separate businesses but, with permission from clients on both sides, begin sharing best practice and knowledge around their specific UK and international campaigns; in order to offer, what they consider to be, an unrivalled service.

Clients from both sides have already benefited from the partnership with 10 Yetis, helping to drive authority link-building campaigns, with Bronco taking the lead on the search optimisation and strategic search tactics.

Both companies were on the hunt for a strategic partner to compliment their own range of services, and the potential for the partnership was identified when both agencies worked with the same holiday sector client,

In practical terms, the partnership now also sees the two companies opening up their respective offices for each to share, meaning that Bronco can now have a presence in the South West of the UK and the same for 10 Yetis in the Leeds and Yorkshire region. There will also be an employee exchange programme set in place, so that skills and best practice can be shared.

The two companies now collectively employ 37 staff and offers everything needed from a full service digital agency including design, web development, SEO, PR, video production, ad buying & creation, social media and affiliate solutions.

Speaking about the partnership David Naylor, Managing Director at Bronco said: “There are exciting times ahead for the two companies, and it’s been really refreshing working with 10 Yetis over the last few months while we have been getting this all in place. We identified some time ago that we needed to align with a digital PR agency that not only had a clear understanding of the search sector, but had a strong history in delivering online media campaigns and 10 Yetis, fit the bill perfectly”.

“It’s surprising how similar the two companies are which makes it very easy to work together on client campaigns. Andy and Jilly are very similar to myself and Becky and we all strive for the best in everything that we do”

Andy Barr, co-founder and Head Yeti at 10 Yetis, said: “I feel that our agency has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding the importance of SEO in our media campaigns, but we wanted to take this a step further and find an SEO agency to partner with so that we could offer a more rounded and complete service to clients. The perfect match was found with Bronco”.

“Having met Dave and Becky, and fallen in love with their no-nonsense approach at the SEO conference, ThinkVis, a few years ago, I was keen to meet up and start working together. Despite thinking we knew a fair chunk about search campaigns and strategies, 10 minutes with their team opened my eyes to how much more we need to learn”.

The two companies are now also sharing leads and new business opportunities where possible and accompanying each other on pitches in instances where the two brands can align to deliver a more comprehensive campaign.

4D Data Centres Wins Guardian’s ‘Winning New Business’ Category in Best Practice Exchange

It’s always good to win and Surrey-based, eco-friendly colocation and connectivity provider, 4D Data Centres has been recognised by The Guardian newspaper for its sales strategy that has led to an average 40% growth year-on-year over the last four years. 4D is a winner in the Winning New Business category of the Guardian’s Best Practice Exchange in its Small Business Network section.

The winning entry describes 4D’s three-pronged approach to its successful ‘New Business’ strategy that underpinned its activity planning in 2011.

Jack Bedell-Pearce, managing director of 4D Data Centres explains, “We worked out a ratio of quote to sales conversion and then did the same thing with website traffic. By setting activity planning targets based on previous experience, we were able to ensure we never over (or under) spent on marketing, and never had too many or too few leads for our sales guys. It had a significant impact and with just an 8% increase in marketing spend for 2011 we were able to boost our overall new business sales by nearly 35%.

“This meant that 4D was able to break the £2 million turnover barrier in 2011 and earn a place in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 – our second consecutive year.”

Westward Ho! for resin bound

Westward Ho! seafront is resin bound
Westward Ho! seafront is resin bound
Ronacrete Approved Contractor Avalon Surfacing has transformed the promenade and village green footpaths at Westward Ho! seafront by laying RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing, part of a refurbishment project by Torridge District Council.

The promenade was surfaced by Avalon Surfacing using RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing by Ronacrete, who created two unique aggregate blends for the project. A golden aggregate blend covering 636 square metres and a further 668 square metres of a yellow aggregate blend was laid to the village green footpaths.

When Avalon Surfacing were approached by Torridge District Council for samples of aggregate mixes and costings for the project, Avalon Surfacing turned to Ronacrete for assistance and were able to respond quickly with suitable colour suggestions and a favourable pricing structure.

The brief from the council was to give ‘a modern new finish to the promenade and footpaths to replace the tired grey tarmac that had been there for many years’

The gold and yellow combination gives a warm glow to the area even to the area even in the dullest of summer weather a .colourful contrast to the red pirate ship in the children’s play area!

"Ronacrete responded quickly providing us with samples of unique colour blends to match the councils requirements and the competiive pricing ensured we won the contract." - Chris Masters, Avalon Surfacing

The RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing system is supplied as a two component UV stable polyurethane resin together with a blend of kiln-dried aggregates for on-site mixing in a forced action mixer. The two resin components were mixed by Avalon with a drill and paddle before being added to the coloured aggregate in a high capacity forced action mixer. As soon as the aggregate was fully coated with resin, the mixed material was discharged from the mixer and trowel applied at a thickness of 12mm onto the prepared surface. The finished system was ready for foot traffic within four hours of being laid.

RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing is a resin and aggregate mix which creates a hard wearing alternative to traditional paving and comes with a 15 year guarantee when laid by a Ronacrete Approved Contractor such as Avalon Surfacing. The resin is UV resistant so it will not darken or ‘yellow’ when exposed to sunlight, ensuring that the natural colour of the aggregate does not alter as the surfacing ages. The surfacing is also SuDS compliant, as it has a porous structure which prevents surface ponding of rainwater and will allow water to drain naturally when part of a SuDS compliant construction.

The aggregate provides slip-resistance, while the elasticity of the resin creates a ‘give’ to the surface, meaning that holiday makers and local residents in Westward Ho! can have a safe and comfortable walking experience which is also pleasing to the eye.
01279 638700
01458 241611

Online Ready to Wear & accessories & use of Social media Feedback from over 13,500 in UK, France

The dynamism and size of the Ready-to-Wear market place it on the forefront of the e-commerce industry in United Kingdom and France. This field of business is widely acknowledged for its commitment to digital innovation but also for its fierce competition.
Therefore, social media is likely to find a significant position within this market. However, at the same time it creates new expectations and requirements from the consumers’ point of view, hence new challenges for the brands and retailers to address efficiently.

YUSEO, specialised in digital customer knowledge since 2001, focused in May and June 2012 on the feedback of UK and French female e-shoppers regarding the social media experience in relation to their online purchases of clothing and fashion accessories.

The slow rise of social networks for online purchase
Between May and June 2012, 5.900 English and 7.800 French female e-consumers (1) were interviewed on the way they relate their "use of social media” when shopping online for clothing and fashion accessories. The results can somehow be put in perspective of a first measurement late 2011 on a similar matter which involved some 24,000 online shoppers (male and female).
The first major insight is a “still poor level” of penetration of social networks within the population of active female e-consumers for clothing and fashion accessories: 30% of them in England do not use any social network as of today, to be compared to 49% in France. The maturity threshold of the two markets may explain such difference.

More important, 57% of English respondents involved within the social media sphere do not make any relation with their online purchase of clothing and fashion accessories (against 47% in 2011). On the same topic, there are only 41% of French online buyers acting in a similar way.

Despite a stronger penetration in the UK of the social media within the e-shoppers population, results underline the same pattern in both countries when it comes to how social media is used in relation to online shopping: 80% of online buyers involved with social media make a clear distinction with its use when shopping online.

Ultimately, within the respondents in England, only 13% of them (10% in France) use social networks in direct relation with their research and / or purchase of clothing or fashion accessories online.

The brand ecosystem on social networks

Behaviours and expectations towards social media

When focusing solely on the respondents using social networks as part of their online shopping strategy, 33% of them, in both countries, confirm that the presence of a brand / retailer in the social media sphere does actually impact the way they purchase with it. Also, 36% of English and French e-consumers do pay attention to the links proposed in e-commerce sites to visit the social media pages.
When it comes to consulting the social network pages of the brand / retailer prior an online purchase, 42% of e-shoppers in England (vs 51% in France) confirm acting that way. Also, the split between social networking and online purchasing is clear on both side of the Channel: only 21% of the English respondents (and 24% of French one) are buying from the social media page of the brand/retailer.
What do e-shoppers expect in terms of benefits and animation from retailers / brands to build up the relationship via the social media?

80% of English e-shoppers, to be compared with 90% in France, are mostly seeking discounts on the social media pages of the brand/retailer. The "community" dimension seems more significant on the French market with 36% of respondents, vs only 18% in the UK, expecting invitations to events available on the social media pages (such as private sales). Finally, 24% of English e-shoppers are looking for gaming, against 27% on the French side.

The brand on the social networks and its "followers"

36% of e-shoppers who are social networks savvy confirm they willingly share their opinion about their online purchase on their social media. Such result may come across as being slightly "disappointing" in accordance to the main purpose of social networks, ie “sharing”. This insight is to be taken aboard especially by brands / retailers which are increasingly using feedbacks within social media as “satisfaction indicators” when nearly 2/3 of e-consumers do not spontaneously express themselves on this channel...

43% of the English female e-shoppers surveyed do take into account, when purchasing online clothing and fashion accessories, the opinion of the members of their social network, against 39% in France. Ultimately, the number of "fans" or "followers" of a brand / retailer is a relevant indicator for 24% of the English respondents, in comparison with 27% on the French market.

(1) The survey took place in both countries in May and June 2012 involving 100% female e-shoppers for Clothing and Accessories, aged between 20 and 45 years old.

Yuseo – specialist in digital behavioural analysis – Where usability and utility meet Marketing
Leader in France in the digital customer knowledge, Yuseo has dedicated itself for 12 years in managing customer behavioural studies to deliver hands-on recommendations on different interfaces (Internet, Tablets, Software, Cell Phones …) in projects with significant international exposure (Europe, USA, Japan, China). Awarded in the DELOITTE EMEA «Technology Fast 500», Yuseo offers a unique positioning based on its proprietary online behavioural analysis tools (WebBehave and Yuscard) developed by its in house R&D team to deliver a relevant and actionable measure of the customer experience. Introduced in 2005, such qualified and quantitative measure of the digital customer journeys enables to prioritise the drawbacks directly impacting the satisfaction, image and attractiveness of the site, and overall the omnichannel strategy.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Sunrise Software signs up EMI Music Publishing

UK-headquartered service management company Sunrise Software has today announced that EMI Music Publishing, the world’s leading publisher of popular music, has selected its flagship product Sostenuto to support 900 users in 55 countries around the world. The Software as a Service (SaaS) IT Service Management solution went live in just one week and is already providing greater visibility of EMI’s IT activities and tighter integration between the company’s two main Service Desks in London and New York.

EMI Music Publishing in Europe was looking to upgrade its existing IT Service Management platform with a global SaaS offering that could also support the company’s team in the United States. After evaluating several vendors in the marketplace, it chose Sunrise Software primarily for its out-of-the-box functionality and the excellent service Sunrise provided during the sales process.

Eifion Smith, European IT Service Delivery Manager at EMI Music Publishing commented, “Compared with other solutions, Sostenuto offered a complete out-of-the-box package with no hidden surprises or expensive, additional bolt-ons. We also built up a fantastic relationship with the Sunrise account manager who was easy to work with and went the extra mile to answer all our questions.”

Sunrise Software was successful in meeting EMI Music Publishing’s demanding timescales, going live just one week after purchasing the new software. Ten Service Desk analysts are using Sostenuto to build an effective IT service delivery framework based on ITIL® best-practice principles. They are currently using the new system to promote more consistent ways of working between the two main Service Desks, with global processes for Incident and Problem Management.

In just a few weeks, EMI Music Publishing has derived immediate benefit from the real-time information and management reports made possible by Sostenuto. The transparency of the solution gives the IT department, in both Europe and the USA, greater visibility of all activities coming into the Service Desk and will ultimately deliver an enhanced service to users everywhere.

EMI Music Publishing plans to expand the Sostenuto solution by adding self-service, Change Management and Knowledge Management functionality to the Service Desk environment in the future, a step that will save time by automating common tasks and enable users to help themselves.

Geoff Rees, Sales Director of Sunrise Software, concluded: “Fast-moving organisations like EMI Music Publishing with a high-profile, well-respected reputation to keep, demand dynamic yet reliable technology to support their staff. With a proven track record in delivering value for money and scalable Service Desk solutions to a wide range of industry sectors, EMI Music Publishing can trust us to provide a compact, high performance technology solution that delivers a swift, efficient IT service and guarantees rapid business results to boot.”

For more information on Sunrise Software, its products, services and customers, please visit

Swyx announces ‘Technology Conference 2012’ for partners

Swyx’s Ralf Ebbinghaus Swyx a market-leading vendor of Unified Communications (UC) for SMEs is strengthening its commitment to European partners with the ‘Swyx Technology Conference 2012’ which will be held on 27th September at its UK offices in Stockley Park, London. 
At the Conference Swyx partners (including developers, administrators and consultants) will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of SwyxWare and network with the growing Swyx community. There will also be an informative lecture programme with many topics including ‘SwyxWare in the Cloud’ or ‘VisualContacts’ to integrate all contact information. All the topics are moderated by Swyx experts, inviting attendees to discuss and exchange ideas. 
Swyx’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Ralf Ebbinghaus says “This event will provide networking and educational opportunities and a platform for us to update Swyx partners on technological advancements surrounding SwyxWare unified communications. We see this conference as an investment in our partners, and we want to help them to tap into the full potential of unified communications.”

Entry to the Conference for partners is free and Swyx Gold partners can bring two accompanying customers (e.g. key IT administrators or Managing Director) free of charge. Swyx Silver partners can bring one additional guest. Swyx would also like to extend a free invitation to the trade press.

Swyx Partners can register for the Swyx Technology Conference 2012 via

For more information visit -

Staff leave planner announced as National Business Awards finalist - the online staff leave planner used by more than 800 companies across the UK and around the world - has been shortlisted for the Small Online Business of Year Award at this year’s National Business Awards in partnership with Orange. generates revenue via a subscription model and counts SMEs and some of the biggest British and global brand names among its customers.

The winners of the awards will be revealed at the National Business Awards gala dinner on 13th November 2012 in London, where will rub shoulders with companies from across the range of award categories, including National Grid, Marks and Spencer and London Early Years Foundation.

David Keene, Vice President Marketing, Salesforce, and a National Business Awards judge, said was shortlisted because it submitted “a great user case study for a web app in a cloud computing model, and the developer has an innovative eye for making the app available on mobile devices.”

Philip Cross, co-founder of, said, “We are really proud to be a finalist in the National Business Awards 2012 in partnership with Orange, and it’s a reflection of all the hard work by the team that we have got there.”

The National Business Awards has revealed that more than 150 of Britain’s leading businesses and business leaders are finalists in its awards programme.

Collectively, all finalists represent an annual turnover in excess of £135 billion and employ more than 700,000 staff. The National Business Awards supports Help for Heroes, a charity that offers support and advice for wounded soldiers. More at

Founded in Canterbury, Kent, in 2006, offers a free, two month trial period of its full service, to enable users to fully evaluate it. The app is currently used by more than 800 companies globally - 600 in the UK alone. Users include small businesses of four staff up to blue chip global companies with thousands of staff. WhosOff is a registered trademark in the UK and US.

Broadband Choices comments on BT line rental hike

Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at, said: "Whilst £10 extra a year might not sound like much, it all adds up for customers that are already facing pressure on their household spending. The new pricing doesn't come into effect until January 2013 so that means there's time to plan ahead and take some steps to offset the rise:

• "You could save a significant chunk of cash by paying for 12 months of line rental upfront with BT's ‘Line Rental Saver' deal.
• "If it has been a while since you last reviewed your calling costs, now's the time. BT customers that make a lot of calls to mobiles may be able to offset the rise by using an Anytime Plus calling plan as it offers discounted calls to UK mobile phones.

"BT has promised to freeze prices following these hikes until 2014, but anyone who is still unhappy and wants to switch should check what deals are available in their area. There are some great offers from both mainstream and niche providers - just make sure you use an Ofcom accredited price comparison site!"'s top tips for finding the best home phone deal:

1. Consider your usage: Make sure you are on the right calling plan for your needs - if you make frequent calls during the day, an Evening & Weekend calling plan will not be right for you

2. Mainly mobile? Mobile calling rates can be expensive but BT's mobile rates are some of the cheapest in the market. If you call a lot of mobiles and are with BT, it may be worth staying put

3. The way you pay: Make sure you are paying by Direct Debit - any other form of payment can add up to £5 onto your bill was launched in 2005 and is the UK’s leading independent broadband comparison site. Our calculator is fully accredited by industry regulator Ofcom, offering consumers the assurance that the information we provide is accurate, transparent, accessible and comprehensive.

Stay up to date with the latest broadband news: Follow them on Twitter , Facebook or Google+.

Also find out more by reading their Wikipedia article.

Experian reveals surge in mortgage and savings fraud

Experian, the global information services company, has revealed the mortgage industry saw a 23 per cent jump in attempted fraud rates between April and June 2012. In the meantime, Experian's latest Fraud Index shows that fraud fell by three per cent year-on-year across financial services products with automotive finance and insurance providers witnessing the biggest decreases during the period.

A total of 39 in every 10,000 mortgage applications were identified as fraudulent between April and June 2012, up from 32 in during the same period in 2011. Experian’s fraud analysis also revealed that the majority of attacks on mortgage products continue to come from first party fraudsters, individuals misrepresenting their own circumstances. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of attempted mortgage fraud was due to individuals hiding adverse credit information and a further one in five (21 per cent) applicants providing misleading employment histories.

Savings accounts saw a 109 per cent uplift in fraud rates over during the period also. A total of 13 fraudulent applications in every 10,000 were detected, up from 6 in every 10,000 a year ago.  Third party identity fraudsters were responsible for the vast majority (88 per cent) of fraudulent activity in this sector. 11 in every 10,000 falsified savings account applications were down to unrelated third parties. This kind of identity fraud is often perpetrated for money laundering or sleeper fraud purposes.

Nick Mothershaw, Director of Identity & Fraud Services at Experian in the UK and Ireland, commented: "Over the course of the last year, we have seen mortgages continue to be targeted at a high rate, with more people trying to misrepresent their personal, employment and credit information on applications to get properties out of their reach. At the same time, we have also seen an increase in the number of properties where the use of the property is misdeclared, such as applying for a regular residential mortgage on a buy-to-let property.

"Meanwhile, deposit taking products - such as current and savings accounts - continue to be heavily targeted by third party identity fraudsters for money laundering purposes and as a sleeper platform from which to target more lucrative credit products.

"Robust fraud prevention relies on thorough and efficient validation of customers' identities and the information presented on the application form. It is vital that finance providers share comprehensive and timely information about finance applications and known frauds to help combat this common threat to the industry."

The automotive finance industry saw a decrease of 32 per cent in Q2. 16 in every 10,000 applications were discovered to be fraudulent, down from 24 in every 10,000 applications last year. Attempts at hiding adverse credit (64 per cent) were still the most common method when applying for automotive finance.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Portfolio Payroll looks at pension auto enrolment

In The Pensions Act 2008, it was announced employers would be required to automatically enrol eligible jobholders on a qualifying pension scheme. The new regulation is aimed to encourage private pension saving amongst employees on a lower or moderate annual income. As the legislation change will be rolled out later this year, Portfolio Payroll picks out key HMRC information to help employers and their designated International Payroll Manager, Payroll Officer or administrative team understand the pensions reform.

In preparation for the 2012 pension changes, employers and payroll departments must identify the employees that qualify for auto-enrolment. There are three different categories - eligible jobholders, non-eligible jobholders and entitled workers. To find out whether or not employees are eligible, you must find out a worker's age, annual earnings and if they work - or ordinarily work- in the UK.

If an employee is aged between 22 and the state pensions age, work - or usually work - the UK and earn more than the higher trigger for pension auto-enrolment (which currently stands at £7,475), they are an eligible jobholder. These must be automatically enrolled, unless they are already part of a qualifying pension scheme with your business.

A non-eligible jobholder is an employee that works, or usually works, in the UK. They must also be aged between 16 and 17 and earning between the lower and higher trigger (£5,035 and £7,475) or aged between 16 and 21 and annually earning over the higher trigger. While these workers won't be automatically enrolled, employers must provide them with the relevant documents and help them to join if they want to opt in.

The final category is entitled worker - these employees must again be given all relevant information regarding their right to join the qualifying pension scheme. Employers can identify these workers as those aged between 16 and 74, working - or ordinarily working - in the UK, and earning less than the lower trigger.

Once an employer has determined which employees are eligible for auto-enrolment, all workers must be presented with the relevant information in writing. Also, as it is possible that payroll systems won't support the new earnings assessment, you may want to get in contact with your software provider to discuss the changes.

For more employer information and recruitment tips, visit the Portfolio Payroll site. If you have any payroll vacancies, Portfolio Payroll has over 20 years experience in payroll recruitment and can help to fill temporary, contract and permanent roles in any industry sector.


Portfolio - a market leading specialist payroll recruitment agency in the UK - offers nationwide recruitment services to start-ups, small business and global companies. As the only payroll recruitment agency recommended by the Chartered Institute for Payroll and Pension Professionals, Portfolio Payroll has a clear understanding of the payroll industry and the skills required for payroll vacancies. For more information on the services Portfolio Payroll has to offer, ring 020 7650 3199.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

London Loves Business launches new recruitment platform

London Loves Business has launched a new recruitment platform to help recruiters find the best job seekers by bringing together the very best temporary and permanent jobs in London. is the digital newspaper for established entrepreneurs and executives of London’s mid-market companies, and will soon celebrate its first birthday. aims to further the ambitions of London’s businesses, celebrate good business and success, and bring you frank debate about the issues facing London businesses. It is fast becoming the must-read website for London’s business community through our mix of the latest business news across all sectors, profiles of London’s greatest entrepreneurs, features exploring the trends you can capitalise on, and the best of London lifestyle. was launched in September 2011 by Graham Sherren, founder of Centaur Media, and Mike Bokaie, founder of Caspian Media. The best point of contact for editorial enquiries is

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Trade Body Warns Of Logo Abuse

Steve Hodgson, PCA general manager
The Property Care Association is urging householders to be vigilant to the problem of unauthorised contractors using its logo.

Last year the PCA had 32 reported cases of logo abuse and 17 cases to date in 2012.

Steve Hodgson, general manager of the PCA, said: “We take logo abuse and false claims of membership very seriously.

“As a well-established and recognised trade association, it is only natural that many companies aspire to join us, but some unscrupulous people and organisations try to do so without undergoing our strict criteria for membership.

“It is important the public is aware of logo abusers. If a member is not listed on our website then they are not part of the Association.

“Alternatively, if there is any doubt, members of the public should not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to confirm a company’s membership to them.”

The PCA represents the UK’s building preservation industry, working within the structural waterproofing, wood preservation, damp-proofing, flood remediation, invasive weed control and structural repair sectors.

It has highly-trained members across the UK able to tackle property issues including damp and condensation, the control of invasive plants such as Japanese Knotweed, the creation of basement conversions and the repair of properties after flood damage – all working to the Association’s stringent guidelines and procedures.

As well as delivering a trusted repair procedure, PCA members are also able to carry out specialist surveys as part of the house-buying procedure – to identify potential problems.

The PCA is also a member of TrustMark, the Government-backed scheme which aims to help consumers find reliable and trustworthy tradesmen when making improvements or repairs to their homes.

Mr Hodgson, added: “When choosing a member of the PCA, consumers can be certain that they have undergone rigorous, ongoing checks to achieve and retain membership.

“An expert assessor with a wealth of experience and technical knowledge has audited every member and checked the quality of their work on site, carrying out comprehensive technical, financial and operational verification visits.

“As a result all members are qualified and operate within established companies – and are able to offer high quality service and peace of mind that can be supported by independently insured guarantees.

“Ultimately, selecting a Property Care Association member means consumers benefit from choosing a specialist who has already proved their ability.

“That tradesperson or company has put themselves through a rigorous process to be accepted into membership of the Association, and then continued to deliver a competent and quality service to maintain that membership.

To contact the PCA call 0844 375 4301 or log on to

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Free multicurrency service launched by Crunch

Crunch today announces its free multicurrency conversion service for all customers making it the only online accountant to offer overseas accounting at no cost. This means customers can now raise invoices in overseas currencies and the Crunch system automatically converts and inserts the sterling figure into the customers accounts.

When an invoice is paid, the currency gain/loss is automatically calculated and its impact on profit and loss. This is now available for all Crunch customers, including those using its free ‘Solo’ software, and enables conversion into euros, US dollars, Canadian dollars and Australian dollars. Other currencies will be added soon.

Small business owners will save time and money as they no longer need to manually convert overseas invoices into different currencies. Crunch’s back-end software links to the European Central Bank to get the latest figures and will show if currency fluctuations have had a positive or negative impact on the business’ income.

Darren Fell, MD and founder at Crunch said: “Crunch provides the UK's easiest to use accounting software at no cost. It’s a fully free accounting system, including all tax calculations, it’s easy to use and requires no technical skills to upload. And now it’s even better, with multi-currency support and the easiest bank reconciliation in sterling.

“We’re in a great position to truly help the UK's freelance and small business community without charging rip-off premium prices,” added Fell.

Additional software tools within this new service, making it easier to manage the business for overseas clients, include the ability to see a value in GBP when raising an invoice in another currency - simply hover over the overseas figure to see it in GBP. Customers can also assign default currencies to specific customers, so that invoices are always raised in their local currency as standard.

Today’s new service follows the launch of Crunch’s free accounting software at absolute zero cost, ‘Solo’, earlier this year.

More information and a Q&A on the new multicurrency service is here:

91% ‘no’ to giving up Facebook password to employers, says Barker Ross

As legislation is passed in some US states to prevent employers asking for people’s passwords, a Barker Ross survey shows people in the UK are not willing to give potential employers their Facebook passwords.

91% of those asked ’Would you give your Facebook password to a potential employers’ said no, in a survey conducted by Real Time Market Research Company, Usurv, on behalf of Barker Ross.

Some employers in the USA have started to ask for Facebook passwords so they can learn more about job candidates and there is some evidence that the practice might be exported to the UK. But this survey commissioned by multi-sector recruiter Barker Ross, shows that the idea will not be welcomed.

Tim Sutcliffe, director at of Barker Ross comments: “One of the ways that employers can get information about candidates is via social media, but I am not surprised people want to keep their Facebook pages private. You wouldn’t expect to give employer the keys to your house so he can look through you photo albums.”

“If people can do a job and are well qualified, they shouldn’t be professionally assessed by employers looking at their holiday photos. I think business focused social media such as LinkedIn allows people to present their business experience and qualifications and as recruiters that’s what we need to know.”

“We all know that current and potential employers could use social media to find out more about us. This is why we set privacy settings accordingly on our Facebook sites where we communicate with our close friends and are more careful about how we use more publicly accessible social media such as Twitter.”

Interestingly more men than women would give up their Facebook password, with 94.5% of women refusing, but only 87.5% of men saying ‘no’.

The survey also indicated that the more educated the candidate the more likely they were to reveal their password, with 92% of A level standard people saying no, with only 79% of people with higher degrees saying no.

Equity Releases Increase 22% as Older Homeowners Look to Provide for their Future, report Bower Retirement Services

According to figures just unveiled by the Equity Release Council, advances through equity release are up 22% year-on-year. This growth is largely due to an increase in the number of elderly homeowners taking drawdown lifetime mortgages. These equity release plans accounted for 68% between 2011 and 2012 compared to 32% for lump sum programmes.

Over 65s belong to a generation of homeowners who have benefitted from a buoyant property market that has been increasing in value steadily since the 1960s. According to the Office for National Statistics, over 65s own £765 billion in unmortgaged property assets, which most leave locked up in their homes. However, this money can be used to provide elderly homeowners with a safe and secure future in their own homes so they don’t have to move into permanent long-term care homes. Equity release companies make this possible and have been making it easier for elderly homeowners to realise their dreams of staying in their own home throughout their retirement.

Bower Retirement Services provides advice and information to homeowners looking to release cash from their homes and puts homeowners in touch with reputable equity release firms. It has created an equity release calculator to give homeowners some idea of just how much they can expect to receive through equity release. It recommends elderly homeowners looking to provide for their futures to consider lifetime or drawdown mortgages.

Lifetime with flexible cash release or drawdown mortgages are particularly appealing to elderly people looking to remain in their own homes to see out the rest of their lives. Along with a lump sum, these equity release plans provide homeowners with regular cash payments working in a similar way to an income. The frequency of this cash release along with its duration is specified by homeowners. The amount homeowners receive is awarded as a percentage of the property’s value. Although interest is charged it is not repaid – along with the loan value – until the property is sold.

Norland’s data centre pedigree supports Ark’s growth

Norland, one of the UK’s fastest-growing facilities management companies announced the renewal of a contract to continue providing technical maintenance, white space fit-out and engineering services as well as wider data centre facilities management to Ark Continuity Limited.

Ark specialises in the design, construction and operation of high integrity data centres developed to deliver optimum security and availability with the highest levels of sustainability. Ark’s Spring Park and Cody Park data centre campus locations house various data centre solutions and provide flexibility for organisations to meet both business and technical requirements by offering one of the lowest total cost of operations in their class.

Richard Borton, Ark’s Operations Director said: “Norland’s services support Ark’s ability to rapidly deploy and operate scalable, high availability data centre facilities for our clients. Their specialist data centre knowledge and industry-leading technical support is integral to the Ark approach to data centre delivery”.

Norland also support Ark’s new clients as they take occupation of their dedicated data centre by providing white space fit-out services. Ark together with Norland design, project manage and deploy, amongst other things, copper and fibre-optic cabling, equipment cabinets, containment and mechanical and electrical services.

Ark was impressed by CE360 – Norland’s portfolio of services specifically developed for zero downtime, mission-critical environments. The portfolio includes M&E, total facilities management, fabrics maintenance, energy, PUE, carbon reduction services and capital projects. ICT fit out services as well as consultancy and professional audits complete the portfolio. All CE360 services are underpinned by the robust working practices embodied in Norland’s CERM™ framework and its suite of online management information systems.
Ark has selected an integrated, single source solution from Norland which includes 24/7 mechanical and electrical engineering, fabric maintenance, Critical Environment Risk Management (CERM™), data centre fit-out, energy efficiency, ICT, cleaning, pest control and waste management .

Tony Smith, Managing Director of Norland’s Critical Engineering Services division said: ” We’re delighted to be associated with Ark Continuity’s prestigious new facilities at some of Europe’s premier data centre campus locations. They now join our portfolio of leading data centre clients and co-location facilities around the UK as well as in the US and Ireland.”

About Norland’s critical environment capabilities
• Norland’s Critical Environment Services division maintains the mission critical environments and infrastructure facilities fundamental to business; facilities whose failure could have a major impact on an organizations brand through loss of revenue and reputation. Often 24/7 operations, Norland’s highly skilled teams oversee and maintain the complex technical infrastructure of leading banking and financial institutions, data centres, manufacturing facilities, clean rooms and broadcasting production.
• Norland’s engineers are “Accredited Tier Specialists” which, along with intensive training, has embedded the Uptime Institute’s standard operating practices into Norland’s service offer.
• Norland Managed Services is one of the UK’s fastest growing providers of facilities management and support services with revenues in excess of £300 million.
• The company operates from a strategic network of regional offices throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe and the US.
• Since its formation in 1984, Norland has achieved consistent annual growth, its success being built on high levels of customer service and a major focus on people and technical skills.

For more information about Norland, please visit the Norland website

Advertising on Toilet Papers?

Advertisements reach where even sunshine doesn’t reach. It’s a myth that it’s difficult to find space for advertisements. They reach even the unreachable places, and this has been proved by Jordan and Bryan. Their newly commenced firm – Star Toilet Paper, which is based in Ann Arbor, has been proactive in posting advertisement on toilet papers. This unprecedented and innovative idea has chartered a new horizon to reach out to people. The toilet paper company has encompassed a new dimension by selling coupons and advertisements by way of having them printed on leaves of toilet papers.

Jordan Silverman of the Jordan-Bryan duo said, “It takes advertisers a couple of seconds to wrap their heads around advertising on toilet paper.” He admits that their business entices people and educes repeated chuckles. The most hilarious and catchy element is the ad slogan which is the tag line, featuring on the company’s website, which reads as “Don’t rush. Look before you flush.”

(Source -

It’s the company’s strategy to hand out complimentary toilet papers with printed ads on them, to stadiums, offices, restaurants housing restrooms and various other places. All these venues have to do is, provide audience to Star Toilet, in return, they enjoy the advantage of saving money, which is a significant advantage.
In spite of enormous humour and gurgles for their concept, Star Toilet triumphed as one among five finalists for College Entrepreneur of 2012 contest.

A philosophy major from the University of Michigan, Jordan, further added saying, “Advertising is about having people read about your product, and this seemed the ideal place to do so; so far, people have loved it.”

Having sold to over 50 companies, which includes 30 from the Ann Arbor region, Star Toilet has reached newer milestones; they have supplied ad printed toilet papers at 3 spots of Ann Arbor area viz. Dance Theatre, University Tower and the Bel-Mark Lanes Bowling alley, earlier this month.

They have rated the advertisements to $99 for 20,000 ads; in other words, every ad works out to half a cent. They have been meticulous in selecting the locations for the visibility of the ads.

Baby Checchi who is a manager at Fish Doctors, which is a Ypsilanti tropical fish store, said, “We thought it was hilarious.” He further added “Everybody uses it. Who doesn’t need it?” The store happens to be one of Star Toilet’s advertisers.

Apparently, the ads have been crucial in generating new customers. Checchi continued saying, “So far, so good”, while an advertiser from North Grill in Ann Arbor had a different view who said it was too early for anyone judge the outcome.

Jim Koli, Northside owner, said, “It’s just getting rolling; it was unique and at a certain level it was absurd enough that it would be interesting to do.”

Star Toilet’s plans to supply its toilet paper at places that are visited frequently by people like bars, stadiums and offices. The manager of the Bel-Mark alley in Ann Arbor, Marc Smoltz said that the toilet papers are being used at his business place for about a week now yet would want to wait for some more time before making any judgments.

He said, “It seems good; his staff has told him that - it’s a little bit different.”
At, which is Star Toilet’s website, coupon codes featuring on the ads can be redeemed by the consumers. Made from 100% recycle materials, Star Toilet’s toilet paper is of two-ply quality, and the printing of the ads is taken care of by an Illinois company, which is done by using soybean-based ink. It’s the promise of Jordan and Bryan that the toilet paper is safe for the users as well as septic systems. Interestingly, a toilet seat at a University of Michigan Library was the source of inspiration for this business, for Silverman.

Jordan, at 22 now, spends equal time with his parents at Westchester County, New York, as well as in the business at Ann Arbor, whilst Bryan Silverman who is 19, manages his time well, functioning between the business and his classes at Duke University. The group of three persons in the business also includes Jason Rak who is a U-M graduate student and also contributes to the business as chief financial officer. Silverman said, “I really did think Jordan was a little crazy at first, but I love working with him.”

Ann Arbor Spark, which is an economic development organisation, has been very helpful to Star Toilet; therefore, Jordan Silverman intends to retain the company in Michigan. Ann Arbor Spark crucially helped the company in gaining a grant of $3000, for paying its patent expenses. Further, in order to attend one of Spark’s two-day entrepreneurial education camps last winter, Silverman got a scholarship. Also, in sequence, to launch Star Toilet, the brothers utilised their funds that they had been saving. Further, they have met up with a few state’s investors to invest money in their business, and they look forward to additional capital this winter. Jordan Silverman said, “No one has ever tried to do this.”

QS Supplies, a bathroom retailer wants to adapt the same concept like startoiletpaper. They really appreciate the idea of advertisement on toilet papers. QS Supplies are now trading in bathroom suites, shower enclosures, toilets, and bathroom furniture in UK, and are one of the largest on-line retailers. To know more about their products click on the link below

Sunday, 19 August 2012

59% say inbound marketing is more effective vs outbound, only 4% have integrated

Aprimo®, a Teradata company and a global leader in cloud-based integrated marketing software say that weakening outbound marketing methods see marketers looking to inbound techniques to improve ROI. Yet only 4% say they have fully integrated real-time inbound methods into their sales and marketing initiatives based on Aprimo’s latest research.

“It’s the age of the customer and Inbound Marketing is key to successful customer engagement. It is non-intrusive as it targets customers when they reach out to a company — whether through calls, retail touch points or online - and a company responds with presenting a perfectly timed and perfectly appropriate offer based on the current interaction,” says Kevin O’Regan, VP of Sales, Aprimo EMEA. “According to a survey carried out earlier this year by Crain Research Insights, sponsored by Aprimo, 59% of respondents reported that they viewed inbound marketing more effective than outbound marketing,” O’Regan continues.

Furthermore a majority of marketers (63%) reported that the growing use of digital channels is fuelling the interest in inbound marketing for real-time customer solutions. But marketers in general have been slow on the uptake. 37% of respondents reported that they have not integrated real-time marketing technologies with their sales and marketing units at all.

Boost productivity – curb employees' use of social media?

Far too many companies still have problems with employees who are continually ‘distracted’ by social communication during the working day, the employment law specialist Bibby Consulting & Support has claimed.

While the debate continues on just how much it costs companies when employees use social media sites – a firm with 100 staff could lose over 16 working hours every day if each person checked texts and Facebook posts for just 10 minutes – Bibby Consulting & Support said this was only part of the problem.

In fact, the company believes the main issue is that through the growth of social media applications, employees are constantly aware of personal issues as a result of status updates and Tweets – so they are more distracted from their jobs than ever before.

But, says Bibby Consulting & Support's Managing Director Michael Slade, businesses have an extremely simple solution to hand – they can create and implement a social media and IT policy.

This includes telling staff that they are not allowed to use their mobiles during office hours and can only turn them on at agreed breaks. They certainly should not use their mobiles while at their desks and could face disciplinary action if they do. Also, employers should make it clear to staff that all online activity must be work-related and that it will be monitored.

Slade is surprised that many prospects he talks to still don’t have any sort of IT/social media policy and a recent survey showed this to be the case in 52 per cent of companies. At the same time, analysis has revealed that the peak time for social media traffic is during working hours.

“There is a serious problem here," says Slade. "These aren’t just marketing statistics used by software companies to help sell their content filtering products, these are very real issues for businesses who are fed up with employees downing tools and simply messing around on the web."

He concludes, "Companies need to get tough and implement a strict policy. Having a comprehensive set of rules will help staff remain focused and so will drive up productivity. The good news here is that this can be achieved incredibly quickly and at zero cost to businesses."

(EDITOR: The problem with some consulting firms is that, if the only tool they have in their bag is a hammer, every problem they see looks like a nail. Would banning the use of social media work? Or would it actually demotivate the workforce?)

Flux tops online insurance broker chart

Specialist insurance broker Adrian Flux is the most-visited on the internet in the UK, according to new figures released by industry analysts.

The broker is 10th in the industry overall, behind only the biggest insurers and comparison websites, in the latest statistics released by Experian Hitwise, and ahead of all other UK insurance brokers.

Flux, which employs nearly 600 staff at its Norfolk headquarters, was also the sixth fastest growing online insurance business for the period April to June 2012, in terms of unique visitors to the website.

The broker, which offers general insurance but specialises in modified cars and motorbikes, grew faster in percentage terms than household names including More Than, Admiral and RAC.

Gerry Bucke, general manager at Flux, was delighted at the results, which proved the public recognised there was still an important place in the market for brokers that can offer a personalised and specialist service.

“We work very hard to communicate and market our products to those who can really benefit from our services, and it’s heartening to see that we’re now the UK’s number one online broker,” he added.

The figures were part of Experian Hitwise’s quarterly review into trends in the motoring industry.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Working Capital Partners announced as National Business Awards finalist

Working Capital Partners
Working Capital Partners Ltd has been shortlisted for the Business Enabler of the Year Award at this year’s National Business Awards in partnership with Orange.

Based in North London, the company provides flexible invoice funding for SMEs and growing businesses.

Going up against the likes of Baringa Partners, learnpurple, Newton Europe and Trovus they will battle it out for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the National Business Awards gala dinner held on 13th November in London.

Judge for the category Martyn Hart, CEO National Outsourcing Association, commented “Through its Spot Factoring solution, Working Capital Partners Ltd (WCP) is providing the flexibility and rapid functionality that is enabling SMEs to trade and grow.”

Perry Burns, Managing Director of Working Capital Partners Ltd, said “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this highly prestigious award, beating much larger organisations to the honour. It is testament to the importance of the alternative sources of funding that we provide to businesses nationwide. We are now financing more than £1m per month and growing fast as the banks struggle to provide the flexibility and service that we are able to provide to the smaller businesses who might otherwise have failed were it not for the facilities that we offer.”

The National Business Awards has today revealed over 150 of Britain’s leading businesses and business leaders as finalists in the prestigious awards programme. Organisations shortlisted include a range of private, public and third sector companies, including National Grid, Marks and Spencer, and London Early Years Foundation.

All National Business Awards finalists represent an annual turnover in excess of £135 billion and collectively employ over 700,000. They cover activities as diverse as digital marketing, international road haulage and logistics, water engineering and life sciences: sectors that reflect key areas of UK capability with high potential for international expansion. The diverse size of the companies entering is also huge – ranging from a business with an annual turnover of less that £50k to high growth and high value companies with multi-billion revenues.

Baroness Virginia Bottomley, Chair of Judges said: “This year has been a challenging environment for British businesses: these finalists demonstrate how companies are succeeding in the current climate through innovation, originality and tenacity. It’s good to see a broad range of companies both in sector and size – an impressive representation of the potential British businesses have. Congratulations to all our finalists.”

The National Business Awards supports Help for Heroes, a charity that offers support and advice for wounded soldiers.

Visit for a full list of all finalists.

Social network bank to aid businesses?

A new ‘social network’ financial institution launches today, offering an open, transparent way for entrepreneurs, businesses and investors to raise finance and invest in each other. The launch comes just weeks after the online CrowdFunding platform made it into the Top 50 of Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Unite Screw Business As Usual competition.

One of a number of growing CrowdFunding ventures, com is different from other financiers available to the public because it is the world’s first social media-driven financial institution, evaluating customers on their social media ‘capital’ on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ and not just credit rating like traditional banks. All members of get to build their social capital score for the future, which measures additional factors such as reviews, social media activities and recommendations. is also making three types of financial offerings available - CrowdFunding, CrowdInvesting and CrowdLending (available 2013) but any money will only be invested in products and businesses that seek to bring out new value and potentially create jobs in the future. Unlike traditional banks charging interest on loans, people who join get to lend their savings direct to creditworthy borrowers to receive the interest on their savings as well as invest in shares and rewards in the businesses that they feel deserve it, plus they’ll see exactly what happens with their money.

Businesses already pitching for finance on include Life Lite Ltd, a patented invention to save children’s lives in the case of a fire; Strong Room - one of Shoreditch’s first bars and recording studios, inspiring more talented creative thinkers and The Personal Development Bureau - a business helping unemployed ex-armed forces, ex-police officers and ex-fire workers start their own businesses. CEO Simon Dixon said: “The goal was to build the world's first social network financial institution where everything is transparent and open and people can see what happens with their money, as well as offering support to the entrepreneurs and businesses that deserve it. is a working model that is changing the rules of money and banking to show that there is a viable way that can serve people, entrepreneurs, businesses and make the funds available to those who have missions to do good through their businesses. At the same time we wanted to break down the restrictive costs and bureaucracy that investors used to have to go through when they invested in private businesses. By signing up, ordinary people can now invest in the country’s future businesses, a game that was previously only available to rich people. We are offering a new way to invest small and large sums of money in a way where you can see exactly who it goes to, so we can all get on with creating businesses and investing in things that might actually create some jobs one day”.

Sir Richard Branson commented on the industry and launch of "With recent scandals tarnishing the banking sector once again, there's a real opportunity for positive change in the industry. I believe banks should be about more than just money. There's a bigger role to be played and that's why my own bank, Virgin Money, has the ambition and aim to make everyone better off - customers, staff, shareholders and communities.

"We have a great team under the leadership of Jayne-Anne Gadhia – who I know will shake up the industry and challenge the big five that have dominated the high street for too long. We bought Northern Rock in January this year and we have been very impressed by the reception we already have. Look out for more Virgin Money branded accounts and mortgages over the next year. I like the goals of, where everything is transparent and open and people can see what happens with their money. It is great that they are offering support to entrepreneurs and businesses who will create jobs in the future”.

Opus Energy calls for votes for favourite video in their 10k community competition

Voting button for Opus Energy Gift
Voting button for Opus Energy Gift
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Opus Energy – an energy supplier to businesses - last month launched a competition for charities and non-profit community groups in the local area, with a fantastic prize of £10k.

The company has been overwhelmed at the response it’s received to date which range from charities for disabled children and homeless people, to not-for-profit community dance groups and local gardens.

The videos are being put to a public vote on the Opus Energy Gift website, which closes on 10th September. If you haven’t already voted, Opus Energy encourages you to take a look and place your vote on the Opus Energy Gift website!

The competition’s really hotting up, as there are just 2 weeks left to go for groups in the local area – that’s Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire - to enter! They are invited to prepare and submit a short video identifying the aim and purpose of the group and what project they would use a stake of the £10k prize for. The deadline for entries is 27th August.

Once all the public votes are in and counted up, the video submissions will then be judged by a panel of Opus Energy executives and local representatives. The judges will consider public votes and the impact that each shortlisted project will have on Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.

Full details about the competition and video submission process are available on the Opus Energy Gift website. Questions and requests for further information about Opus Energy or the Opus Energy Gift competition should be sent to or can be made by telephone on 0845 263 7214.

C2C Meets Expanding Email Data Management Requirements with ArchiveOne 6.5

C2C, a provider of email, file, messaging and eDiscovery solutions, has announced the latest release of its ArchiveOne email archiving and management platform. With enhanced features for data archiving and disposition, PST file management and dynamic mobile access to email data, ArchiveOne 6.5 achieves “real world” email management for the way today’s businesses work.

“Now, purpose-built archive systems are swiftly becoming a mainstay because saving information is no longer enough—business users need to access it,” said Brian Babineau, Vice President, Research and Analyst Services, Enterprise Strategy Group. “The steady pace of data growth, rapidly changing compliance requirements, and legal demands dictate a shift to better solutions that help automate policy-based information discovery, tracking, retention, AND expiration. Companies have to start thinking about what’s next in archiving. If a company cannot broadly discover information and appropriately enforce policies such as retention now, the likelihood of catching up becomes more of a fantasy than a realistic objective in the new information age.”

C2C’s ArchiveOne is a comprehensive email archiving and management platform that gives email administrators the tools they need to dramatically improve the overall health of their email environment, comply with various regulatory bodies and enable eDiscovery of live, personally stored and archived data. ArchiveOne 6.5 introduces new features for the following:

· Real World Archiving – including new options for data control to support Information Governance strategies. Delivering superior policy flexibility, ArchiveOne offers more data control features than any other email archiving solution available. For example, with ArchiveOne 6.5 administrators have multiple options for email disposition during archival including the ability to archive and stub, archive and delete the original email or archive email attachments only, delivering more archiving flexibility to support the way businesses work in the real world.

· Enhanced PST Management – including the enhanced management of discovery and disposition of PST files and their contents. Using ArchiveOne 6.5 administrators can discover PST files that are either attached or detached from their originator’s mailbox, and assign ownership to the PSTs files of former employees. Administrators also can select from a range of discovery, decision and disposition options before migrating the PST files and data into Exchange or the archive.

· Mobile Search and Browse Access – including the integration of a new web portal for the true integration of the searching and browsing of both live mail and archived mail from mobile devices and desktops. Now end users can search their production email data and archived data from anywhere, using their Blackberry, iPhone, Android or Microsoft mobile or tablet device.

· Admin Searching of Live, PST and Archived email – Email data searches are further enhanced via the administrator console which allows for complete email search and browse features for “live” production emails, emails stored in users’ PST files and archived email for truly comprehensive eDiscovery.

“In today’s business enterprises, email data has become the cornerstone of communications and collaboration,” said Dave Hunt, CEO, C2C. “As a result, email data management, retention and disposition are business critical processes that can’t always wait until email is migrated into a data archive. With ArchiveOne 6.5 we have taken email management to a new level for the business ‘real world’ by enabling true information governance and email data control so that email can be searched, discovered and disposed of no matter where it resides – even if that means it is in a PST folder on a user’s computer.”

Available now, ArchiveOne 6.5 delivers true enterprise email management, eDiscovery and retention for real world environments.

A live online demonstration, references from ArchiveOne users, and a 30-day trial are available at:

Monday, 13 August 2012

Active Risk salutes customers involved in delivery of London 2012 Olympics

Active Risk, the first Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) solution provider to drive business performance by enabling organizations to manage risk more effectively, would like to recognize the achievement of customers of its Active Risk Manager (ARM) software who have been actively involved in the success of the London 2012 Olympics.

Active Risk customers worked on many aspects of the Games including the planning and organization; construction of the venues; and provision of London’s transport infrastructure and services.

Loren Padelford, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Active Risk commented, “Olympic Games are unique projects with many stakeholders to please, no option to slip the delivery date and national reputations at stake in front of a global audience. The risk management challenges are immense. An integrated approach is needed which allows risks to be identified and mitigated across a complex network of organizations. ARM has played its part both in the preparation and during the Games. The venues were all completed on time with no construction fatalities. This created the impressive backdrop to showcase the achievements of the athletes.”

London’s complex transport infrastructure also coped well with the increased numbers of passengers. ARM users Transport for London, London Underground and Network Rail worked together to determine potential risks at a time when other major transport construction projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink were also underway in Central London. Mitigation strategies included temporary Olympic road lanes; traffic light re-phasing; rescheduling planned construction; and a publicity campaign to encourage regular commuters to work from home or travel off-peak.

“We are very proud that ARM has contributed to the success of our customers involved in the London Games. The ability to show that your organization has a track record of effective risk management is increasingly important to win more business. The legacy of the Games will enhance the reputation of all those involved,” concluded Padelford.

To learn more about Active Risk visit or email

SilverBug, Admiral Group Announce Merger

SilverBug the IT outsourcing business, today announced that it has merged with three Admiral Group divisions; Admiral IT, Admiral Network Infrastructure and Admiral Education Solutions.

With effect from 13 August 2012, the merged organisations will all trade under the name of SilverBug and will operate from SilverBug’s current premises in Milton Keynes and Leeds, and the Admiral IT office in Holborn, Central London.

Owen Daley, who will remain as Managing Director of the new organisation, described the merger as “a very positive change for our clients and staff”. He continued, “This marks the start of another exciting growth phase for SilverBug. The Admiral teams bring with them extensive experience in managed services across a number of additional sectors, which complements the existing skills and teams we have on board.  The good news for existing and new clients of all the divisions is that they will benefit from our growth in expertise and knowledge with this development.”

Admiral Group CEO, and chairman of the new organisation, Graham McMullen, added: “This merger sets out the vision for SilverBug’s future. We have brought together a level of expertise and pedigree that leading businesses look for when choosing a technology partner.  Both organisations have a very similar internal culture that’s based on providing excellent customer service, and it feels very comfortable to combine our teams to benefit clients, to form a company that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”

The Directors of the Admiral companies: Craig Laffer, Sales Director, David Stanton, Director (SME and Education), Roger Burgess, CTO, and Adam Sullivan, Director (Key Accounts), all continue as Directors in the new entity and will join the board of SilverBug alongside Owen Daley. The Management team is completed by Martyn Alford, who joins from Admiral as Director of Service Delivery.

The full merger and company structure is expected to be finalised by October 2012.

The company’s new brand identity has been launched to coincide with the merger, and can be seen on

Market research should be seen as credible evidence maker for all decisions, says Cint

While market research is deemed an important tool in the measurement of consumer perception of brands, products and service offerings, it is under-used as a resource to aid in all business decision-making, suggests Cint, a global provider of market research software and panel management solutions.

Market research can go above and beyond obtaining the opinions of current and potential customers. It is a valuable channel that can be used advantageously on a much larger scale than is often currently the case in order to provide business intelligence, which assists management to make informed decisions. For example, a brand could better understand whether opening a new distribution center or offices in a new location would be beneficial or if the conditions are right to move into a new geographical market, perhaps in another continent.

The arrival of DIY tools has made gaining market insight even more accessible to businesses that need to reach very specific target audiences and also more cost efficient. Furthermore, the boom in internet and mobile device use has revolutionized the way in which research is carried out, meaning brands can obtain answers fast, whether that’s to inform a move into the Chinese market, a marketing strategy, or a product’s color.

Bo Mattsson, CEO of Cint, comments: “Market research in relation to customer perception and customer satisfaction is a widely-used tactic and can provide companies with real insight. However, it isn’t being fully exploited by businesses; many are unaware of the scope and potential that gaining opinions can bring outside a consumer research remit, for example, in relation to competitor analysis and other key business factors.

“Market research can provide businesses with the intelligence to enable them to make the right decisions about key issues such as the direction of the business, the introduction of new products or services and other success-defining aspects. The ill-perceived hassle-factor and price tag can be a barrier to companies using these methods, but new technologies are actually user-friendly, reliable and cost-effective.”

For further information on Cint’s range of market research options, please visit

Rail Engineers Rowe Hankins go Beyond the Solution at Innotrans

‘Beyond the Solution’ is the theme of the Rowe Hankins stand at Innotrans. The UK based rail systems engineers are showcasing their ability to design and deliver effective products that solve rail safety and engineering problems and provide continuing development and whole-life technical support. Examples of this on the stand will include a growing portfolio of wheel/track interface (WTI) products and NICS, their Non-intrusive Current Sensor for the early warning of electrical problems, as well as their range of world leading speed probes.

WTI products include iWFL, intelligent wheel flange lubrication system, for precise lubrication of wheel flanges. FALCON is the intelligent controller of the iWFL system that can be linked to the users preferred lubrication system. HAWKS is Rowe Hankins’ top of rail lubrication system used to counter the effects of rolling contact fatigue. These products have been developed in close collaboration with rail operators to ensure fitness for purpose and long term reliability.

The movement in the rail industry away from ‘find and fix’ to ‘predict and prevent’ maintenance requires more reliable non-intrusive measurement. The NIC361 Series Monitor meets this need with a device that detects variation in current with no direct effect on or physical contact with the power supply.

Rowe Hankins look forward to welcoming customers old and new with an exhibit to provoke discussion and show new ways to overcome technical challenges.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sparksheet and TNS Australia Launch Emerging Markets E-Book - Quiz

In an effort to help marketers unpack the cultural challenges and business opportunities of the world’s emerging markets, award-­winning multiplatform magazine Sparksheet and TNS Australia’s Travel and Leisure Research division have teamed up to launch a brand new e-book, Same Same But Different: Understanding Emerging Markets.

Written by TNS Australia’s Carolyn Childs and published by Sparksheet, the e‐book explores a host of previously unanswered questions, such as how Brazil became one of the most digitally engaged countries in the world, why sex in advertising is all right in India but not in China, and how mobile phones have transformed banking in Africa and beyond.

“This e-­book is the culmination of a cross-­continental, cross-­agency collaboration with Carolyn Childs and the TNS Australia team and a perfect example of what Sparksheet is all about,” says Dan Levy, Sparksheet’s editor.

“Informed, inspiring and actionable content from true industry thought leaders.”
“In an increasingly global marketplace, emerging markets beyond BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America also represent exciting and significant opportunities,” says Carolyn Childs of TNS Australia. “The e-­‐book addresses how global brands and marketers can engage with these emerging markets in a smart, successful and culturally-­relevant way.”

The e-­book is available free of charge on a specially designed microsite where readers can test their “emerging markets IQ” through an interactive quiz.

Play the quiz and download the eBook now at

"Emerging markets beyond BRIC countries such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America represent exciting opportunities for brands"

Simple measures can prevent Corporate Manslaughter charges

When an employee or member of the public dies as a result of some negligent act, it is not only an extremely traumatic event but in the vast majority of cases the situation is easily avoidable, Bibby Consulting & Support has said.

The health and safety advisor and employment law specialist was reacting to the largest ever fine being imposed on a company convicted under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which came into effect in April 2008. Just one month later, an employee of Lion Steel Equipment of Hyde, Greater Manchester, was killed after falling through a skylight. While the case against individual directors was dropped, the company was still prosecuted, found to be culpable and fined £480,000 plus £84,000 costs.

According to Bibby Consulting & Support's Managing Director Michael Slade, the size of the fine is an illustration of what companies can expect if they fail fundamentally in their duty to protect their employees.

"Cases like these can send a company into liquidation," he said. "Even for businesses with a substantial turnover, this size of fine, while not intended to send the firm under, is intended to hurt. In fact, the fine was 20 per cent lower than it could – and perhaps should – have been so in that respect the company was very lucky."

Slade went on: "But the situation could so easily have been avoided. Any company that has skylights should know they are fragile. It isn't difficult to cover the skylights or net them underneath – it is fundamental and basic practice, but a man is now dead because the company did not put the appropriate safe systems in place. This negligence was reflected in the size of the fine, but regrettably the whole tragic event was wholly avoidable. It is absolutely essential that companies can prove that they have implemented safe working practices and procedures and communicated these to staff”.

The current act was introduced because previous legislation had proved too difficult to enforce, but this is now the third case where a company has been successfully prosecuted so it looks as though the act is here to stay.

National Mediation Awards 2012

Organisers overwhelmed by response to National Mediation Awards 2012

• Inaugural national awards celebrate mediation best practice.
• Large number of nominations received from mediators and companies across the UK.
• Nominations close 24th August 2012. Nominations can be made by clicking here.
• Winners to be announced at Central London awards ceremony on 27th September 2012.

Introducing the Professional Mediator’s Association National Mediation Awards.

As the National Mediation Awards ceremony draws near, anticipation builds over who will be shortlisted for the prestigious National Mediation Awards 2012. Nominations have been flooding in from individuals and organisations across the UK. The common factor amongst all nominations is a shared commitment to make mediation a credible and mainstream part of workplace dispute resolution.

National Mediation Awards Judging Panel

A number of industry experts have been selected to join the National Mediation Awards judging panel:

• Ben Ashwell Editor of Executive Grapevine
• Dr Paul Latreille Professor of Economics at Swansea University. Paul undertakes research into mediation and its impact on business effectiveness.
• Michael Farrier Partner of Boyes Turner’s Employment Law Group
• Beccie D’Cunha Director of Resolution Services at The TCM Group
• David Liddle President of the Professional Mediators’ Association.

To encourage even more nominations from mediators and mediation schemes, the deadline for nominations has been extended until the 24th of August 2012.

Nomination categories include:

• Mediation scheme of the year
• Mediation Scheme co-ordinator of the year
• In house mediator of the year
• Independent mediator of the year
• Best newcomer to mediation
• President’s award for overall mediation best practice, 2012

If you know anybody who is worthy of nomination, don’t miss out on the unique opportunity to celebrate their contribution to dispute resolution. Nomination can be made by visiting and more information can be found on the PMA website.

Awards event scheduled for 27th September 2012 in London’s Hatton Garden

Winners of the National Mediation Awards 2012 will be announced on the 27th of September 2012 at the UK Mediation Academy, Hatton Garden in Central London.

Ben Ashwell, Editor of Executive Grapevine, sponsors of the inaugural National Mediation Awards 2012, had this to say:

“I feel privileged to be a part of the inaugural National Mediation Awards as a judge. I feel this is a unique opportunity to showcase and recognise the amazing talent that have made significant contributions to the world of conflict resolution here in the UK.”

The Judging panel will be using a number of set assessment criteria specified for each category. Winners will be announced on the 27th of September at the UK mediation academy in Central London. For more information, please visit or contact us on 0207 062 3187 or

FiscalReps Adds Chater To Board

Leading global tax compliance business FiscalReps is further strengthening the company’s management team with the promotion of Paul Chater to the Board.

Chater will also take on the role of client director, managing a portfolio of major clients for FiscalReps and will be responsible for the delivery of FiscalReps’ range of indirect tax services.

Chater says: “Global tax compliance requirements are constantly changing. Specialist assistance is vital for achieving trouble-free compliance in every jurisdiction. I’m looking forward to driving the growth and development of tax advisory services within FiscalReps.”

Mike Stalley, FiscalReps’ chief executive officer, adds: “Since joining us from KPMG as senior tax advisor in 2011, Paul has added significantly to the tax expertise within the business and his commercial acumen has enabled us to drive the growth of the business further.

“FiscalReps has ambitious plans,” continues Stalley, “and the appointment of exceptional individuals such as Paul to the Board will only strengthen the business.”

Chater is a qualified indirect tax practitioner and Associate of the Institute of Indirect Taxation (AIIT)-qualified.