Nimans rides crest of Samsung sales surge
11 April, 2013
Nimans has reported an uptick in sales of application-based solutions based on Samsung's OfficeServ 7000 platform, with shipments up 30% compared to the start of 2013.
"Monthly demand is up over following the launch of Samsung Xchange Mobile Client and Xchange Dial licences - that blur the boundaries between mobile and desk-based communications - helping smash monthly targets by around 140%," said Head of System Sales, Paul Burn.
G3 in new alliance with Shoretel
10 April, 2013
London-based converged solutions provider G3 Communications has been named as an authorised partner for unified communications vendor Shoretel.
G3 is now accredited to plan, install and maintain the full range of solutions from ShoreTel. The new partnership adds to G3's product and service portfolio, complementing existing relationships with top technology vendors and network service providers.
"G3's business model slots perfectly into our EMEA strategy," said Adrian Hipkiss, vice president & managing director EMEA, ShoreTel. "Our solutions offer G3's clients a compelling combination of technological sophistication, operational simplicity and affordability to ensure that businesses of all sizes, working on any level of budget are able to realise the huge productivity and cost-saving advantages of unified communications."
Niall Anderson, G3 sales director, commented: "We are excited to be working so closely with ShoreTel and have been impressed by its forward-thinking approach to business. Its communication, collaboration and customer engagement products increase our service capabilities, particularly in the mid-size enterprise space, providing clients with simple, affordable solutions to often complex and costly issues."
Jabra launches enhanced PartnerNet website
10 April, 2013
Headset supremo Jabra has revamped its PartnerNet website in line with feedback from partners, producing an online resource designed to boost headset sales while easing the selling process through better functionality and usability backed up by new and improved features.
Channel partners signed up to the Jabra WIN Partner Programme now benefit from a one-stop-shop for all of their training, sales and marketing requirements.
A personalised feature called My PartnerNet enables partners to quickly locate their most used features; My Jabra Dashboard keeps a users' most valuable information visible on every page within PartnerNet; an improved Media Library houses all Jabra product and lifestyle images and logos; while New PartnerNet includes sales tools and support videos to better service customers, the latest Jabra insights, market and Strategic Alliance Partner news, plus a new RoI calculator and Lead Management System.
It also features a branded Compatibility Guide that users can personalise to suit their Jabra product portfolio and host within their own website
In the pipeline is a new Self Registration feature which allows partners to easily register for the site and gain immediate access.
Andrew Doyle, Managing Director, UK Business Solutions, said: "We have taken our partners valuable feedback in order to create an improved site that provides them with the necessary tools to successfully market Jabra devices and support their sales efforts. Delivering this user-friendly and functional partner site fulfils our commitment to continually invest in our channel relationships to support the power of partnership."
Daisy reveals dividend policy in pre-close statement
10 April, 2013
In a pre-close Daisy Group confirms that revenues and adjusted EBITDA are expected to be in line with market expectations for the year ended 31 March 2013.
Free cash flow generation for the year has been strong and is expected to be materially ahead of current market expectations. As a result, net debt will be at the low end of the current market range.
Aided by the strong free cash flow performance and with confidence for continued strong cash generation moving forward, the Board has announced its intention to implement a progressive dividend policy.
In respect of the full year results to 31 March 2013, the Board intends to declare a maiden dividend of 4.0p per ordinary share at the Group's preliminary results on 18 June 2013.
For FY 14 and FY 15, the Group is committed to growing the dividend and expects the dividend per share to grow by 15% per annum in each of these years.
Matthew Riley, Chief Executive Officer of Daisy Group plc, said: "Though trading trends have continued as highlighted at the interim results, we are pleased to report this is balanced with improved revenue mix, product diversification and strong cash flow generation.
"Our recently announced new £200m banking facility enables us to continue to review acquisition opportunities alongside the implementation of the progressive dividend policy we have announced today."
Vodafone wins major council ICT system contract
8 April, 2013
Vodafone has won the contract to supply Test Valley Borough Council with a new ICT system plus IT contact centre support.
Under the multi-year deal Vodafone will install a total Unified Communications (UC) solution with ShoreTel IP telephones, audio and video conferencing for both Test Valley Borough Council and Winchester City Council. This is Vodafone's first UC customer in Lot 1: Connectivity, on the new Public Services Network framework (PSN).
Having entered into a shared services agreement with Winchester City Council, the challenge for Test Valley Borough Council was to simplify and streamline two disparate and very complex ICT structures.
The two legacy systems were incompatible and outdated. The first step was to unify the contact centre IT support services and then engage Vodafone to design a bespoke solution that would fulfil the needs of both Councils, with their multiple departments and numerous employees.
Tony Fawcett, Head of ICT at Test Valley Borough Council and Winchester City Council, commented: "Both Councils are large organisations with numerous associated agencies. When bringing our two councils' diverse ICT systems together it was essential that the new solution fit our unique brief exactly."
"Among other things, the system will offer increased capacity which gives us confidence that it is future-proofed and will last for years to come, therefore reducing our total cost of ownership."
By using audio and video conferencing employees will be able to communicate and collaborate more easily without travelling to and from meetings in either of the two headquarters - reducing their CO2 emissions and saving time which can be used more productively. In addition, implementing new ways of working using the latest technology will make it easier for the Councils to attract Generation Y and Z employees.
From a disaster recovery perspective, Vodafone and ShoreTel designed the solution to ensure there will be a back-up in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong on the server. Resilience is spread across the network so there is no single server on which the system relies entirely.
Ian Cunningham, Head of Public Sector at Vodafone UK, said: "Having taken the innovative, yet practical step of sharing ICT services these two Councils are leading the way the for other Public Sector organisations. And we're delighted that such a forward-looking organisation is our first UC customer under the new Public Services Network (PSN) framework."
"Initiatives like the PSN will help the Public Sector adopt better ways of working that help them deliver better services for the citizen. The end result is a cost effective solution that has been designed around specific requirements, with consideration of the individuals who will use them and the people who rely on them."
O2 launches vision for digital public sector
O2 has marked its ambition for the public sector IT market with the launch of a new approach to help public sector organisations connect their staff, citizens, assets, IT systems and communications.
Joined Up Public Services brings together the best of O2's digital capabilities to enable the public sector to increase efficiencies and collaboration, save money, support citizen engagement and empower staff through technology.
Billy D'Arcy, managing director, O2 Public Sector, commented: "Digital services hold the key to helping the public sector make crucial savings - whether through policies and devices to empower staff to work more flexibly, or a mobile app to make it easier for local authorities to engage with communities. We have created Joined Up Public Services to help our public sector customers tackle some of their toughest challenges, by putting digital services at the heart of every solution.
He continued: "O2 has a proven track record of helping some of Britain's biggest private enterprises transform the way they work through technology. We're also responsible for the digital services of over 23 million citizens, every day. Because of this we believe we're perfectly placed to understand the challenges faced by public sector organisations to deliver day in, day out. It's this experience that allows us to bring a unique perspective in helping our public sector customers deliver great service through technology."
The new approach comes after the creation of O2's dedicated Public Sector business division and following its accreditation to a series of lots on the Government's Public Services Network (PSN) in July 2012.
The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), the industry body established to promote trust, security and transparency within the sector, has launched a Special Interest Group (SIG) to focus on the security issues associated with cloud computing.
The new group, chaired by Michael Darlington, Technical Director at Trend Micro, has been created to provide clarity, insight and education on the security implications cloud computing working to improve end user awareness and drive best practice on the part of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs).
With a career spanning over 20 years at big name IT companies like Fujitsu and CSC, Darlington has witnessed first hand how technology advances have forced organisations to make difficult decisions on security.
Under his stewardship, the Group will seek to address the security implications of cloud computing, working to reduce the fear, uncertainty and doubt, which act as barriers to the adoption of cloud computing services.
Andy Burton, Chair of CIF, said: "Issues relating to data security and data privacy continue to dominate the mindset of corporate Britain as it transitions to the cloud. Our own research has found that security fears remain the greatest barrier to the pace of adoption, with 82 percent of UK businesses expressing concern about data security, so it's vital that the industry takes the issue seriously.
"Cloud providers need to be clearer up front with their customers at communicating the approach to security that they provide, and what options are available to adapt this, without compromising security in the process.
"In addition, the language about classification of security risks and solutions need to be communicated in a standardised way, allowing procurers to more easily compare and contrast different providers when making purchasing decisions. Tied to this is education among end users to ensure that they are clear on what they need to look out for technically, commercially and legislatively to ensure data security when migrating to a cloud-based solution."
Darlington added: "Security remains high on the agenda for cloud adopters, so this group has a valuable role to play in driving best practice, providing guidance and working to dispel much of the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in the industry.
"Although the risks associated with cloud aren't inherently greater than traditional IT, it does present a unique set of challenges that must be addressed and properly managed. Understanding the right balance of people, policy, processes and tools for different cloud based environments will be one of the key objectives of our new SIG."
Sharedband, provider of bonded Internet solutions, has launched Sharedband Connect, a new technology allowing seamless roaming between 3G or 4G cellular networks and WiFi environments.
Designed to deliver enough bandwidth to support the most data-hungry apps, Sharedband Connect 3iFi and 4iFi give users a single IP address and allows them to connect to the Internet via two communication channels - one WiFi, and one cellular.
The solution, delivered via an Android smartphone app, transmits data over whichever channel is connected. When both channels are connected, data can be routed simultaneously over both for maximum speed, or just burst out to the cellular network when necessary for maximum cost efficiency. Users retain full control over costs by setting pre-defined limits for mobile data consumption. Operators gain Realtime Network Performance Data.
Because two paths are better than one, Sharedband Connect offers a highly secure, resilient connection, which can be critical when downloading large data files or live media streaming to a mobile device. The service also offers smooth migration from one connection to another, allowing data streaming to continue uninterrupted.
Sharedband Connect 3iFi and 4iFi are targeted at mobile network operators and telcos to offer their customers as a bundled app and were unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.
Sharedband's Chief Operations Officer, Tim Burne, commented: "Sharedband Connect gives mobile users the ultimate high-speed data experience which is great news for mobile network providers, as they'll be able to build market share and reduce customer churn. By offering a fully integrated data service, they'll never lose sight of their customers' data, and this will give them insights that will prove invaluable when planning future technological investments."
A new study by IDC reveals that cost reduction, data protection, and performance, as well as customer care, remain at the top of European SMBs' business agendas for 2013.
Consistently, the most important objectives for the IT organisation are data-related. European SMBs continue to value flexibility and alignment with the business as key features of IT systems, while keeping an eye on costs.
IT and business objectives are closely intertwined, and although IT managers will continue to play a key role in the IT spending decision-making process, the final purchasing decision increasingly lies with business functions.
Therefore, it is key for vendors to convey the right message and appeal to business managers by demonstrating a deep understanding of their needs. Starting from an assessment of the key business initiatives for 2013 by company size and vertical market, this survey-based study reviews the short-term objectives for the IT organisation that are key to better supporting the business.
"This year's survey highlights an increased focus on cost-reduction initiatives, which have overtaken sensitive data protection in terms of importance in the SMB segment," said Serena Da Rold, program manager, IDC European Industry Solutions. "The top objectives for the IT organisation confirm a strong focus on data security and on integrated access to the company's applications and to the information that they hold."
Western European SMBs' Business Requirements for IT, 2013: An IDC Survey (March 2013), focuses on the role of IT in achieving business objectives among European SMBs was conducted among 791 SMB organisations with 20-499 employees in the top 5 Western European countries.
A £146 million investment project to deliver high speed fibre broadband across the Highlands and Islands has been announced.
The project, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and delivered by BT, is being hailed as the UK's most complex and challenging broadband project ever.
It means that around 84 per cent of Highlands and Islands homes and businesses will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2016.
Announced by Alex Paterson, HIE Chief Executive, at a contract signing with BT in Inverness the project is set to create a fibre network which will transform the area's digital capabilities for decades to come.
The announcement was welcomed by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said: "Our decision to invest over £126 million in this project demonstrates the confidence that we have in the economic future of the Highlands and Islands.
"Today's announcement signals the start of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in Scotland's history. It will connect communities across some of the most challenging landscapes in Europe and provides a platform for future economic development and regeneration.
"Next generation broadband enables businesses to compete on the international stage. It has the potential to transform the way in which we educate our children, provide health and social care and deliver our public services."
The geography and disparate population of the Highlands and Islands present significant technological and cost challenges for the commercial rollout of broadband. Estimates have indicated that without public sector support fewer than one in four properties would have fibre broadband via commercial rollout.
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: "The geography of the Highlands and Islands makes this project one of the most challenging in our nationwide roll out of broadband, and I'm delighted that today's announcement means that faster speeds and better access are now one step closer to becoming a reality for these communities. We do more business online than any other European country and this will be a tremendous boost for the local Highland and Islands economies."
The project is by far the most ambitious and challenging rural broadband rollout BT has undertaken anywhere in the UK. The company will build a fibre backbone with more than 800km of new fibre on land and install hundreds more kilometres of fibre access cable to hundreds of new street cabinets.
Engineers will also lay around 400km of subsea cables over 19 crossings to remote islands. It's the biggest sub-sea engineering project BT has undertaken in the UK and is the first ever with so many seabed crossings.
Bill Murphy, BT Group's Managing Director of Next Generation Broadband, said: "This is a once in a generation project which will deliver massive benefits not only to the local economy but also to local people of all ages. High-speed fibre broadband will improve the quality of public services, strengthen the competitiveness of the region's businesses and protect and develop jobs.
"There are incredible obstacles to overcome, not least building a fibre network across some of the most rugged terrain in the UK. And we have huge distances to cover as we lay our cables over the hills and glens and under the sea. The unprecedented scale of this project is such that it can only be done in partnership and all of us in BT are looking forward to continuing the great working relationship that we've built up over many years with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
"BT's network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis creating a competitive market where people aren't stuck with one broadband provider and can choose the package and price that suits them."