WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

Cloud Computing

If your business has to store large amounts of data, it may be worth looking into cloud computing. Find out about renting virtual storage space as an alternative to upgrading your software.


Cloud computing – overview
 

Cloud computing involves accessing IT resources (such as applications and storage) over the internet rather than having them on your own PC or network. Instead of buying a new, bigger disk drive, you simply rent a bit more disk space; instead of having to struggle with installing and upgrading software, you let a cloud computing provider take the pain. All you have to do is log-on to use it.

Cloud computing promises flexibility, efficiency and cost savings. For smaller businesses who have trouble justifying a fully-fledged in-house IT department, it gives you access to the best and latest technology and support with minimal management overhead. And, of course, this access is enhanced through the communications speeds offered by Superfast Broadband.

What does the technology do?
 

Cloud computing provides on-demand IT resources. Just as you know that unlimited amounts of water will flow out of the tap when you turn it on, without having to worry about the infrastructure of reservoirs and pumps and pipes, when you use the cloud you don’t need to care which particular server in a remote data centre holds your data.

All you need are PCs and the type of fast internet connection provided by Superfast Broadband. You connect to your cloud service provider, and use applications and files in the normal way – the only difference, more or less invisible, is that they are not actually on your hardware or your network, but on the service provider’s.

The cloud can replace part of your in-house IT resource, or nearly all of it. Some users prefer to employ the cloud only for a few functions, often for data back-up and disaster recovery, while keeping applications and live data on their own network.

Others go much further and access their day-to-day business applications such as spreadsheets and databases from a cloud provider. This is often called ‘Software as a Service’ or SaaS.

It’s also possible to develop your own applications on the cloud, using ‘platform as a service’ or PaaS providers such as Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). They provide the underlying technology, and your IT staff build applications on that. Some large organisations even operate their own ‘private clouds’, although in this guide we’ll be concentrating on the ‘public cloud’ that’s available for any business to hire.

At a simpler level, many of us have used the cloud without knowing it. For instance, the applications offered by Google Apps or Zoho are examples of cloud computing, as are the various email providers accessed through the web, or the Spotify music service. Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale are specialised business applications in SaaS form such as Desk.com for customer support or Salesforce.com for customer relationship management.

Business benefits of cloud computing
 

Some benefits of the cloud are very concrete and immediate, while others are more strategic.

Cost benefits

Cost savings are a major attraction for many: using IT resources in the cloud can quite simply be much cheaper than owning them. When making this calculation, however, it is important to consider not just the direct costs of acquiring technology versus hiring it as a service, but also factors such as maintenance and staffing costs, expenditures made in the past on in-house systems that are still functional, and so on.

You will also still need some kind of in-house IT function even if your business moves entirely to the cloud, to manage the relationship with the cloud vendor and the basic technology that must remain on your premises such as PCs and a local area network.

However, operations and support expenses can be expected to drop dramatically. With the move from a purchasing to a hiring model, the majority of IT costs will also cease to be capital expenditure and will instead become operating costs in the form of regular fees to the service provider. This means, too, that costs are more closely aligned with usage; you are not continually subsidising kit that lies idle most of the time, or spending large amounts on software applications that will only get fired up once a year. You pay for what you use.

Improved agility

However, the cloud’s impact on the bottom line is not limited to IT budgets. Over the long run it may improve agility, flexibility and efficiency, by allowing you to have precisely as much IT resource available as you need at any given time – and by letting you concentrate on your core business and your customers rather than on the minutiae of IT.

After all, the resources available to you in the cloud are effectively unlimited. To meet the needs of all its clients the cloud provider will have far more computing power than any individual customer will use. So if your requirements increase – even temporarily, perhaps if you need to run much bigger spreadsheets than usual at annual accounting time, or to get a new project off the ground quickly – you simply request extra. Typically this is provided automatically and instantly, so it really is as straightforward as opening the tap further to draw more water.

Easier maintenance and upgrades

Another benefit which many small enterprises welcome is that the cloud provider has full responsibility for purchasing, installing, upgrading and maintaining equipment and software. No longer do you need to deal with ailing hardware, or spend time installing updates. When you turn that tap, you can be sure of getting the latest IT tools, fully functional.

Remote working

Other benefits include easier remote working – if an application is in the cloud, accessing it from home or via a mobile device is just as straightforward as from the office – and, potentially, more environmentally friendly computing, as resources in the cloud service provider’s data centre are efficiently shared among multiple customers.

Getting the most out of cloud computing
 

Remember – it’s about IT resources - The cloud is a way of providing IT resources, not a technology in itself.

Don’t forget working in the cloud still needs managing - The cloud reduces day-to-day fiddling with IT, but it still needs overall management.

Consider new opportunities, not just a replacement of existing services - Don’t see the cloud as only a replacement for existing IT. Does it make new tools and technologies available to you, too?

Monitor your on-premise and in-the-cloud activities - Keep clear records of which IT functions are happening in the cloud and which are in-house – and where data is stored.

Check thoroughly before going live - Thoroughly test how your in-house IT will interface with cloud services, and how data will be migrated, before going live.

It’s not just about your IT department - Remember that moving to the cloud will affect – and empower – many parts of the business, not just the IT department.

Go for a phased migration and keep moving forward - Start small, but think big.

Getting started
 

In practice, gaining the benefits of cloud computing will probably not involve handing your entire IT operation to a cloud provider overnight. So it’s necessary to formulate a clear plan setting out what’s required from a provider, and how its services will relate to those aspects of IT remaining in-house.

What to put in the cloud?

The most basic issue to consider is: what should go to the cloud? You can buy anything from pure hardware functionality such as disk storage, to a PaaS development platform allowing you to build your own applications in the cloud, to fully operational software on the SaaS model. The patterns and costs of your business’s IT usage will help determine what can usefully be farmed out.

Customisation

Particularly if opting for a SaaS solution, you’ll need to check how far it can be customised to your needs. Consider, also, how those systems that remain in-house will interact with those in the cloud. For example, if HR is on a SaaS application but payroll is staying on your own computers, the two will have to talk somehow.

Migration issues

Migration of data from your systems to the cloud – especially if it is held in antiquated or bespoke formats – and out again, in case you one day decide to change service provider or leave the cloud altogether, needs to be looked at too.

Evaluating your options

You can then start evaluating cloud providers, bearing in mind that you are not restricted to choosing only one: if you have several different uses for the cloud, it may be that different providers can serve them best. Most often, you will deal with the providers directly, though some cloud services are available through IT reseller channels.

There are some well-known firms in the field – but because it’s relatively new, many equally competent providers are not so familiar, so buying on brand name alone is unwise. Consider costs, of course, but also performance guarantees in the form of a service level agreement (SLA) which specifies the time that the cloud service is online and fully functional: typically an SLA will be for 99.9% or above.

Security concerns

Security is another key consideration. The cloud provider’s data centre, like any other, is vulnerable to cyber-attacks – although its security measures will probably be better than most small businesses’. But there may also be privacy and regulatory compliance issues, especially if you are storing customer data on a cloud provider’s server or if the provider is located overseas. Back-up and disaster recovery plans should be discussed.

New opportunities for your IT staff?


The role of your own IT department may also need to be redefined. The more you employ the cloud, the more your IT specialists will shift their attention toward developing policies on cloud usage, planning for efficient exploitation of the cloud, and monitoring both the cloud’s performance and its interface with in-house systems. New skills and training may be required to meet these challenges; but as we mentioned, you may also find that IT personnel are freed up to work on new projects. Staff resistance to the cloud is sometimes encountered, especially when a loss of control over IT is feared, but can be overcome by explaining the benefits of the move.

Keep up-to-date

Finally, plan to review your cloud computing strategy and providers on a regular basis. This is one of the fastest-developing areas of IT, and new solutions are appearing regularly to make the cloud more productive, efficient and cost-effective for your business.

Cloud-Based Software Solutions
 

Starting a business on a shoe-string may seem like a daunting prospect, but the revolution in cloud-based software means businesses no longer have to spend a fortune on software systems. Low-cost (and often free) online applications offer businesses the opportunity to become more productive, and remain agile as they grow without investing heavily in software licenses or bespoke solutions.

It’s not the right route for all companies, but if all you need is to perform the key tasks any business needs (such as communicating, storing and managing information, and managing people and teams), there are a vast array of options out there. We’ve listed just a few of the most popular below, but it’s worth exploring the full range of possibilities to find the right tools for your business.

1. Google Apps

The suite of products under the banner ‘Google Apps’ offers many of the basic functions your business might need – company email, calendars, file storage, contact management, and the ability to create and collaborate on documents, spread sheets and presentations using ‘Google Docs’. Integrating with Google+ means you can also host online meetings in ‘hangouts’. All of this is offered at a low monthly subscription rate. Great if you already use Google products, as it offers excellent integration. www.google.com/apps

2. Evernote

Ever note is the 21st Century take on the notebook. You can make notes in text, audio or visual formats, file them in notebooks, tag them for easy searching and share them with collaborators. Free for basic users or with an annual subscription for pro features. www.evernote.com

3. Asana

If you like ticking off items on your to-do list, Asana may be perfect for you. It allows you to create everything from a simple task list to a complex project involving multiple deadlines and team members. It’s a great way of managing your own workload – and the work of others in your team. www.asana.com

4. Dropbox

The classic option for cloud storage and sharing, Dropbox still offers some of the best features, and you can gain an enormous amount of space for free. Use it as a back-up, or to keep all your documents, images, video and other files in order…and if you set it up to auto-sync, the images you take on your smartphone or tablet camera will automatically upload to the web and be waiting for you when you get back to your computer. www.dropbox.com

5. Mailchimp

If you send email newsletters, offers or other bulk communications to customers, Mailchimp is a really simple, easy to use way to get professional email marketing results. Its drag and drop interface lets you create great looking, fully featured emails that work on all screen sizes quickly and easily, and its management infrastructure will help you manage your data and make sure you stay legal and ethical in your communications. www.mailchimp.com

6. Eventbrite

If you organise events for your business, an event management application like Eventbrite could save you a huge amount of time and effort. Just set up your event online, then link to it or embed their booking widget in your web site. Eventbrite allows you to gather key data (and payments) from attendees, contact them, produce badges, registration lists and more, all from a single online interface. www.eventbrite.com

7. Hootsuite

Managing multiple social media profiles across different platforms can suck away your time in a small business – that’s where a social media management tool comes in. A good choice is ‘Hootsuite’ which allows you to set up, monitor and manage your profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin all from the same window both on your mobile or in the office. There are other similar options in this space, however, and it’s also worth checking out ‘Bufferapp’ which allows you to store up social media content for later, drip feeding it out at the times you specify. www.hootsuite.com

8. Expensify

If keeping track of your expenses is the bane of your life, you might want to try an expense tracking app like Expensify. With mobile apps for all platforms it enables you to scan in, email in, import in, or record your own expenses, linking with accounting software and other apps like Evernote. www.expensify.com

9. Wordpress

If you’re setting up a web site for your business, it’s worth looking at open source systems like Wordpress, which are free to use and constantly updated. Although Wordpress started as a blogging platform, it is used by many major companies as the platform for their main web site. You can choose a ready-made template, or work with a developer to create a bespoke template for your business.
www.wordpress.org

10. Accounting Packages

Doing your bookkeeping online can really help you stay on top of your finances, with the added benefit that you can allow your accountant to access the information remotely. However, there are so many options when it comes to your accounts that it’s really worth talking to your accountant before you make a choice. Many accountants will like to work with a specific package, but some to check out are: Kashflow, Xero, QuickBooks, Freeagent, Quickfile, and Freshbooks. Some are free, some will charge, but finding a system that works for both you and your accountant is crucial. For some useful reviews and comparisons see www.accountingweb.co.uk

Advertisements
Did you know...
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade

News

13 results found, page 1 of 2.  
Around Town In the Huddersfield Live Hygge Tipi

Wednesday 15 November 2017

What better time to get together than Christmas? Around Town believe that connecting the business community of Huddersfield in its iconic locations and organisations is a brilliant way to share ideas, hear inspirational stories and have some FUN. Organised by Oli Smith, Michelle Crowther and Chris Buckley Around Town create memorable events every 3 months. 2018 plans are already underway; “as well as meeting at some amazing businesses we are walking Around Town in Spring - a fantastic way to get to know each other whilst experiencing some award winning locations and scenery in Huddersfield “ says Michelle And with Huddersfield Live December promises to be a memorable Around Town event. Hosted in the Hygge Tipi in St Georges Square, hear Sam Watt and Poppy Stahelin tell of the fabulous work the team at Huddersfield Live are doing and some of the stunning events planned for next year. Laura Drury sets the backdrop of how she formed the The Hygge Tipi and how it creates a convivial atmosphere for Huddersfield folk to mingle, drink mulled wine, and keep the winter night out in front of the log fire. All In the heart of Huddersfield. Tickets are limited and can be reserved FREE here. Chamber members old and new are very welcome. Around Town Events for 2018 confirmed. March 1st - Valli Opticians May 17th - Owen Scott Tailors May 25th - (Walk) Around Town - 15miles (approx) Breakfast Sarnies, The Kirklees Way, Finish in a Brewery!
Posted by The Alternative Board
Social Progress at 2017 Chamber Business Awards

Monday 23 October 2017

Social Progress, a Social Media & Digital Marketing Agency from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has been crowned one of the winners in the Yorkshire and Humber heats of the Chamber Business Awards 2017. Now in their 14th year, the Awards are a highlight of the business calendar, recognising the key role that local businesses play in driving the UK economy. The Best Use of Social Media award winner, Social Progress will now go forward to represent the Yorkshire and the Humber region in the national finals, which take place in London in November. Janet Bebb, Owner & DM of Social Progress said: “The announcement took us completely by surprise. We entered but never thought we’d be selected as Regional Winners. “The entry showcased the interactive social media software we’ve developed called Big Screen Social that can be used at events. It’s a highly visual Twitter & Instagram Wall which, because of the unique visual presentation, is designed to encourage delegates, sponsors and exhibitors to post throughout the day or evening using the event’s specific hashtag. This gives added media exposure to the event. “Big Screen Social is going down a storm at conferences, award evenings, etc. Mid Yorkshire Chamber have used the software at two of their events this year, the Kirklees Business Conference and the Wakefield Business Conference. Francis Martin, President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Businesses are the backbone and driving force of the UK economy. Even in the face of uncertain times, they continue to show their resilience and strength – creating opportunities for employment, investment and growth. “Our judges are always impressed by the high standard of submissions, and the calibre of entries this year was no different. The finalists in the Chamber Business Awards represent the best of this country’s entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and hard-work. “The Chamber Business Awards are the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our business communities’ achievements, to take stock of the outstanding performances of UK businesses over the past year, and to encourage and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.” Social Progress is a Yorkshire based Social Media Agency specialising in social media strategy, social media training and social media content management on behalf of clients. Our client base stretches from micro-businesses to large corporations and all training and services are tailored to suit their requirements. We ensure training is suitable for the individuals involved and tailor the teaching to suit their skill-level and learning pace to ensure they make the most of the training and feel confident enough to go away and have a go themselves. We offer Content Managed Packages for clients who wish to out-source their social media management ranging from low-level to detailed social media strategy and support. All packages can also have additional training bolted onto them to ensure the client is confident to manage their own social media after a time. Social Media Strategy Packages help to focus business owners and marketing department on the what, why, how and when of using social media for business. We help give them a purpose to using social media and help them to use if more efficiently and effectively. We also strive to encourage authenticity and to show their personality through their social media channels/activity. We’ve also developed a highly interactive and visual Twitter & Instagram Wall called Big Screen Social which is designed to enhance any event. Be that conferences, exhibition stands, award evening, charity functions, festivals, music concerts, weddings & parties. Big Screen Social can be purchased to use for a day or on an ongoing basis by event planners, social media agencies, PR agencies, advertising and marketing agencies and AV technicians. The display posts using a given hashtag. It can be moderated and customised to suit the branding of the event.
Posted by Social Progress
Yorkshire tech partnership generates £1.6m revenue

Monday 25 September 2017

A partnership between Vapour Cloud and the pure technology group (PTG) has yielded over £1.6m in less than 12 months. Recognising the complementary expertise within the two businesses, the channel specialists began working together in October 2016. Fast forward just under one year and the enhanced service offering has been well-received by PTG’s ever-expanding customer base. The 90-strong Leeds-based team supplies managed cloud services to SME and mid-market organisations throughout the country, in addition to IT infrastructures to FTSE 250 organisations. But keen not to dilute its in-house skill-set, PTG sought a connectivity and communications partner to strengthen the tech solutions delivered to customers. With network, data security and voice communication capabilities within its own cloud portfolio, Elland-based Vapour was a logical choice. Now, any project with a wide-area-network or hosted voice requirement is tackled by the two teams in tandem, with pillow and duvet manufacturer John Cotton one of the first dual customers to come on board. And with £1.6m of contracted revenue already recorded, the future looks bright for the two businesses. “Technological innovation is happening incredibly quickly in this industry,” comments PTG’s sales director Gary Saunders. “It therefore takes more than just intuitive products to stand out. “What a customer really wants is a robust partner that can wrap up all of their requirements into one commercially-sound package. They need peace of mind that they’re dealing with experts in their field so that, should ‘disaster’ strike, they have everything in place to minimise operational disruption and continue with business as usual. They’re looking for speed, security and strong communication. That’s why I think PTG’s relationship with Vapour has worked so well. We’re on the same page in terms of what matters to customers and it all stems from our people.” Whilst the past 10 months have largely centred on dealing with reactive enquiries, the focus now is to proactively highlight the solutions that can benefit new and existing customers alike. “We have only just scratched the surface with Vapour’s Tunnl™ product, for example, and know that the provision of Disaster Recovery solutions could substantially increase our turnover in the next few years,” continued Gary. “And that’s before we think about the new Web RTC-powered commercial voice product Höllr™. “The channel is incredibly crowded at the moment, but collaborating with a firm like Vapour means we can offer more comprehensive, best-in-class support to customers, from one dedicated team.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Tech event set to support ABF The Soldiers’ Charity

Tuesday 05 September 2017

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has been chosen as the nominated beneficiary of funds raised during the upcoming Innovation & Disruption event. The inaugural four-hour tech showcase will take place at Aspire, Leeds, on Thursday 19 October, offering business and IT professionals the opportunity to experience the newest innovations that are set to transform the sector. But the industry-first event will also encourage its 300 delegates to dig deep in support of ABF – a not-for-profit organisation that provides lifetime support to Army soldiers, veterans and their immediate families. A silent auction and raffle will be just some of the fundraising activities on the agenda that evening. And every penny raised at the event will go to the cause very close to founder Tim Mercer’s heart. Elaborating on his reasons for choosing this charity, Tim, also CEO of Vapour Cloud, said: “Having served in the Forces myself I know personally how impactful periods of conflict can be on soldiers’ lives. But ABF has been providing physical, emotional and financial support to these individuals and their families since 1944. “In 2016-17 their oldest beneficiary was 105 and the youngest only nine months. They spent a staggering £9.2m in that one year alone and, in total, they’ve helped 75,000 people in 59 countries worldwide. I look forward to seeing what difference we can make, at our event.” The selection of ABF is perhaps doubly relevant given the keynote speaker at the Innovation & Disruption event is former Special Forces hero Ant Middleton, now a familiar face on Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins. His leadership talk has proven a huge pull, with 70% of tickets already gone. Sponsored by Vapour Cloud, Pure Technology Group, Alphadigital, Seneca Capital, Freeths Solicitors, Spearhead Interactive VR, Data Shepherd and Ward Hadaway Solicitors, the Innovation & Disruption event will take place from 16:00-20:00 on Thursday 19 October. It is free to attend – and food and drink will be provided throughout ¬– but pre-registration via Eventbrite is essential.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Netpoint now servicing SME's with Corporate level Voice & Data Solutions

Friday 18 August 2017

We are pleased to announce the launch of our Voice & Data solutions. Netpoint Solutions can now offer a full range of telecoms and data products. We offer a full range of competitive VOIP, SIP, ISDN and traditional products. In addition, we offer data connections from broadband, 4G to leased lines. Whatever your data requirements we have a solution to fit your budget. Finally, we also have a full range of mobile voice and data packages from the leading providers such as Vodafone, O2 and EE. With the convergence of IT and Telecoms services, telecoms are becoming an integral part of the IT infrastructure within your company and these products complement our IT services so we can now offer a complete range of solutions. Please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can save you money on your telecoms requirements Telephone 01484 506966 for further details.
Posted by Netpoint Solutions Ltd
Equilibrium Risk partners with Huddersfield University to deliver cyber security solution for SME’s

Thursday 17 August 2017

Equilibrium Risk have joined Dr Simon Parkinson and two placement students: James Bray and Daiyaan Shreef in an aim to develop a bespoke cyber security solution, tailored specifically for SME’s. The project will run over the course of the student’s 12-month placement, and conclude with a tangible, physical product which will be the answer to cyber security threats. The partnership comes in the wake of recent numerous cyber-attacks, as well as an attempt to answer the needs of numerous SME’s who will be obliged to comply with the upcoming GDPR regulation. It will also help those SME’s which aim to comply with ISO 2007, PSSID and Cyber Essentials certificates. Dr Simon Parkinson, Lecturer in Informatics within the school of Computing and Engineering at the University of Huddersfield commented: “Many security monitoring organisations are developing one-time solutions that examine vulnerabilities based on a snapshot of a system, but vulnerabilities are arising so quickly that a security audit is out-of-date within hours.” “Equilibrium Risk are developing innovative software solutions capable of providing continuous monitoring, which have huge potential to address the shortage of cyber-security expertise and knowledge within SMEs. This is particularly important with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an increasing public awareness of data privacy, as well as the need for cyber-essentials compliance in B2B activity.” Jason Donaldson, Equilibrium Risk’s MD added: “We are extremely excited to be embarking on such an interesting project. We deeply believe that it’s outcomes will provide real value to SME’s, which will allow them to be compliant with the regulation and feel safe knowing their business are fully protected from cyber threats.” “This project gives Huddersfield University students a chance to employ their knowledge in a practical environment, giving them experience and employing them with tools useful for their further development. We are hoping to prolong this relationship and contribute to Huddersfield being one of the best places to live, work and study.”
Posted by Equilibrium Risk
Leeds chosen as host for inaugural Northern tech event

Monday 07 August 2017

Hundreds of business tech enthusiasts are expected to descend on Leeds in October, when the city hosts the country’s first Innovation & Disruption event. The four-hour showcase will shine the spotlight on some of the most cutting edge innovations set to rock the technology sector over the next 12 months. And the premier venue Aspire has been chosen to accommodate the inaugural gathering. Innovation & Disruption is the brainchild of Tim Mercer, CEO of Yorkshire-headquartered cloud tech firm Vapour and someone with almost 20 years’ industry experience under his belt. Whilst Tim himself is set to take to the stage for the 19 October event, all eyes will in fact be on special guest and lead speaker for the day Ant Middleton. The former Special Forces hero is now a familiar face on British television, most notably as Chief Instructor on Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins. He will therefore offer delegates an uplifting insight into his own career, not to mention the toughest military selection process in the world. Commenting on the reasons Ant was invited to speak, Tim explained: “This is a man with real gravitas and an unrivalled insight into the importance of leadership, specifically during incredibly hostile circumstances. He knows about the gruelling physical and psychological pressures that the human body can be placed under, so what better person to inspire some of the commercial environment’s most aspirational business and tech professionals?” Aside from Tim’s keynote speech, IT directors and decision makers will also have the chance to try out a number of industry-firsts when it comes to voice and video communications, virtual reality and cloud security. More speakers are due to be unveiled as the event draws closer. High profile sponsors are already on board in support of the event, including IT solutions providers Pure Technology and Alphadigital, investment banking enterprise Seneca Capital, and national law firm Freeths Solicitors. Elaborating on the interest so far, Tim continued: “Our quarterly tech events at Leeds’ White Cloth Gallery are always a sell-out. Doing something bigger and better was therefore the next logical step, but we have been careful to develop a format that doesn’t yet exist in the UK. “The focus is to showcase both emerging and proven technologies, under one roof, in what we believe is the most stand-out example of innovation and disruption for British businesses.” The event is free to attend and pre-registration via Eventbrite is essential. Running from 16:00-20:00 on Thursday 19 October, food and drink will be provided throughout.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Vapour invests £0.25m in development of new cloud security product

Tuesday 01 August 2017

Yorkshire-based technology specialist Vapour has invested more than a quarter of a million pounds in the development of a new, secure cloud platform – Dfendr. Likely to prove particularly popular with IT, telecoms and channel partners – as well as end users – the robust network has been created to provide a resilient infrastructure for organisations’ data. Virtual servers with 99.99% uptime now promise users greater processing power, without the usual price tag. Hosted solely in Vapour’s UK data centres, the Dfendr cloud platform will allow businesses to manage their data safely, wherever they may be. Security controls will also regulate user access, and, in the event of an accidental deletion or cyber-attack, backed-up information will be recovered within one hour. Commenting on the extensive investment in this new release, Vapour’s CEO and joint-founder Tim Mercer said: “The imminent advent of GDPR plus the mounting wave of ransomware incidents have sparked a far more detailed debate surrounding data security. Now technology firms and end customers alike are scrutinising the risks associated with their storage and retention strategies. “However, mindful of the increased adoption of cloud solutions, we actually set to work on Dfendr long before GDPR hit the headlines. And, following extensive beta testing with one of our largest clients, we’re now ready to take the new secure network environment to market.” Tim believes some of the biggest market potential for Dfendr exists within the technology space. “Because everything is connected to our own private network, channel partners can now confidently deliver secure data storage and back-up services to their own customers. This presents an added revenue stream for their business, without the compliance headache and without them having to invest in creating their own platform,” he elaborated. “It’s all about mitigating risk and maximising margins.” The launch of Dfendr comes following Vapour’s merger with EveryCloud 12 months ago. EveryCloud’s Manchester team is now fully integrated into Vapour’s 4,500sqft West Yorkshire headquarters, where the 31-strong firm now supplies network connectivity, hosted servers, varied voice and data communications solutions, as well as storage, back-up and replication services. Vapour also secured £1m of investment from Seneca Partners in June 2017. At the time of the announcement, it was pledged that this capital would be used to fuel both technological development and technical hires within the company.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Four senior appointments for expanding cloud tech firm

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Yorkshire-based Vapour Cloud has strengthened its growing team with the appointment of four senior figures within the business. Laura Nevin has joined the company as account director. Having spent the last five years of her career with business internet provider Metronet, she will now be responsible for the development of Vapour’s network, voice and cloud technology sales. Fellow account director Pam Napier will head up the expansion of Vapour’s cloud division – an area of the business continually attracting larger and more complex enquiries from customers throughout the UK. She was previously a partner manager at Oriium, therefore has vast knowledge of cloud solutions. Conor Marken is also on board as sales manager for Vapour’s data security, storage and back-up solutions, which are proving as popular among end users as they are the reseller channel. And Emma Ashcroft joins the company as marketing manager, following 20 years’ communications experience. She will be responsible for projecting the Vapour brand to key target markets, to support the firm’s plans to reach £12m turnover by 2020. The hires follow news last month that Vapour had attracted a further £1m of investment from Seneca Partners. When the additional capital was announced, CEO Tim Mercer pledged to boost the team’s headcount by 20%, and it appears he’s already making progress. “We have worked hard to find senior specialists within their respective areas,” he comments. “Such key appointments are crucial for us at a pivotal time in our growth. We’re continually being approached about larger contracts, with more complex requirements, so we therefore need even more experienced sales people as we accelerate our way up the ‘food chain’. This is great news for our smaller prospects too, who will receive the same insightful advice and support as the bigger blue-chip brands and reseller giants. “But this isn’t it for our recruitment drive. We’ll see further appointments across our sales, marketing, implementation and support functions, as 2017 unfolds. Great talent isn’t easy to find so we’re always on the lookout, often in advance of when we actually need new people within the team.” Based in Elland, West Yorkshire, Vapour provides an array of secure cloud-based services including network connectivity, hosted servers, varied voice and data communications solutions, as well as storage, back-up and replication services. The company has recently unveiled a new-look brand, to coincide with its fourth year in business.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Training fuels growth for Huddersfield digital marketing agency

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Huddersfield-based digital marketing agency Splitpixel has its eyes on further growth following the start of a new staff training programme. The firm's digital marketing manager, Michelle Millar, has just completed the HubSpot Agency Partner Certificate, which will help elevate the team's profile in the lucrative marketing automation space. A long-standing advocate of the marketing technology, Splitpixel has managed clients' HubSpot accounts since 2015. The platform is used to power thousands of seemingly-humanised – yet automated – conversations with the right people at the right time, often generating better returns from an organisation's marketing spend. But with almost half of Splitpixel's 11-strong team employed to deliver marketing services – plus a further appointment on the horizon – there seemed no better time to further invest in this growing area of the business. Splitpixel's co-founder and director, Greg Smuk, said: "Clients are increasingly demanding more integrations, more intuitive personalisation, and a user experience that drives more conversions. Agencies need all kinds of technical and creative skills to achieve these goals, so we want to continually develop our people to make sure we're delivering the best possible service. "HubSpot Agency Partner Certification is independent recognition that we provide best-in-class support when it comes to marketing automation, which is really important for inspiring confidence among organisations that are new to this type of marketing tech." Two members of the team have also recently passed their Google AdWords training, which has seen Splitpixel become a Google Partner Agency. "We're projecting revenue growth of 20% by the end of this financial year," said co-founder Charlie Herke. "It's only right that we plough as much of that as we can into the professional growth of our team. We're set to boost our headcount too, and we're currently on the hunt for a copywriter and digital project manager to join the team." Last month, Splitpixel announced its relocation to new 1,400 sq. ft. offices in Heritage Mills, Lindley, to help pave the way for this expansion.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
13 results found, page 1 of 2.  
Designed by Kirklees Council
Built and powered by Alcium Software
Close cookie policy popup window
This site uses cookies for analysis purposes only. This helps us understand how you and other visitors use our site. To see a complete list of these cookies or to opt out please access our cookie policy page.

You will see this message only once, but you will be able to find more information about our use of cookies or opt out at any time.