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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

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Vapour becomes one of fastest growth cloud voice partners in UK

Monday 04 February 2019

Vapour Cloud has been hailed as one of the fastest growing mid-market cloud voice partners in the UK, following 3000 Avaya licenses sold in the second half of 2018. The digital transformation specialist – also renowned for its video, network and data storage portfolio – has experienced 500% growth in its cloud voice division over the past two years. And as the expanding technology business looks ahead to the next 12 months, work to supply 4,000 Avaya licenses is already forecast for 2019. The news comes as Vapour also announces a partnership with Manchester-headquartered Avaya service specialist IPNetix. The two tech firms are collaborating to strengthen the pre- and post-sales offering for Vapour Cloud voice customers throughout the UK. Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer explained: “Working closely with the IPNetix team makes a lot of sense to us. There is far more competition than there is collaboration in the IT channel. But by combining complementary resources and expertise, clients receive a far more value-adding ‘package’ from the experts in their respective fields. “IPNetix works so closely with Avaya, that their technical engineering knowledge and insight into what’s coming next from this communications giant, is the perfect addition to our proposition. We have a huge year ahead of us, when it comes to the omnichannel comms solutions we provide to clients, and the relationships with Avaya and IPNetix are crucial components in our onward growth.” With net recurring revenue of 96%, Vapour grew by 51% in 2018 and CEO Tim Mercer aims to expand the company by at least another 50% over the next 12 months.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Secondary school students urged to rise to design challenge

Thursday 17 January 2019

Lesley Gulliver and Darren Evans – experienced design thinkers from brand consultancy The Engine Room – visited students at Salendine Nook High School this week, in a bid to prevent the ‘death of design’ from the UK curriculum. 280 year eight students gathered to hear the challenge set by the local design experts – four weeks to design something that will help people live a healthier lifestyle in 2019. Whether it’s an app, a cookery book, wearable tech or a promotional video, the design and technology (D&T) students have been urged to think big and not be held back by the misconception that it might not be possible. The challenge marks a new collaboration between The Engine Room and the secondary school’s D&T teaching cohort, who are equally passionate about preserving the imagination and creative problem-solving skills of young people. They’re big believers in the fact that whilst design was once a ‘top of the pile’ subject, it is increasingly being dropped in favour of seemingly more ‘academic’ subjects, in schools throughout the UK. The challenge therefore marks the start of a drive to get students, parents, teachers and employers thinking about the power of design. “We’re not saying everyone needs to grow up aspiring to be a designer, by job title,” explains The Engine Room’s founder Darren Evans. “But design thinking fits in EVERYWHERE. It encourages a collaborative, iterative and human-centred approach to tackling challenges that simply isn’t taught in other subjects. “So, whilst I applaud the country’s commitment to raising STEM subject performance, I desperately don’t want this to be to the detriment of students being able to study design too. So, what better way to hopefully inspire them, than explaining the opportunities that design can create for them, just before they’re due to make their GCSE subject choices.” “We’ve a challenge on our hands to banish misconceptions,” continues Salendine Nook’s D&T head of department Andy Loadman. “D&T is not ‘woodworking’ or home economics anymore. It’s a subject that centres on teamwork. There’s never a wrong answer. We encourage our students to conceptualise, create, test, learn, and re-think, together. This will see them learn life skills that apply to varied careers ranging from engineering through to the public health service. “We’ve got some uber-bright students within the school and having only spoken to them briefly about this challenge before The Engine Room’s visit, it was such a joy to see how excited they were by the prospect of experimenting with their creativity. This is exactly why I became a teacher in this subject.” Darren Evans and Principal Mr Christian will decide on the winner of the challenge in four weeks’ time. The victor will go on to receive a bespoke purple pencil, which mimics the prize awarded to winners of the UK’s iconic D&AD (Design and Art Direction) awards – only in Salendine Nook colours rather than the infamous yellow! “I’d like to hope this could become an annual, multi-school contest,” added teacher Nicky James. “This could be the start of a really exciting design hive for young people, which puts design firmly back on the curriculum map!”
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Free design thinking workshops urge Yorkshire SMEs to think what could be

Thursday 10 January 2019

A fully-funded workshop is being held on Wednesday 6 February, to help businesses in the Leeds City Region use design thinking to tackle complex commercial problems and stay ahead of the game. With 20 places available, the one-day Design For Growth masterclass will empower business leaders to utilise design thinking methodologies, to transform their approach to planning, ideas generation, strategy and customer service. Aimed at firms who want to trigger significant organisational change with a human-centred approach to innovation, the workshop is the brainchild of design collective What Could Be. This team of four creative minds – with more than 110 years’ combined experience – is made up of Jonathan Ball, David Townson, Darren Evans and Lesley Gulliver. Whilst the design thinking movement is not new, What Could Be has been at the forefront since 2010. In that time, the team has helped start ups, SMEs, large corporates and public sector organisations across the country widen their design focus to instigate change, innovation and bottom line impact. But now their focus is on supporting local firms as they prepare for what could be the toughest year of the past decade. “Our world is changing, and fast,” explains Jonathan Ball. “So savvy businesses are looking for new ways to deliver products and services in order to reap a competitive advantage. “We’re not trying to turn people into designers and the challenges that delegates may face won’t necessarily be overtly design related. But we are trying to demystify the discipline, especially to people who may consider it quite ‘fluffy’. “Utilising techniques originating from design practice, we’ll show how a practical, creative approach to problem-solving can be applied to a range of contexts. Our one-day immersion workshop will provide intensive training, with guidance on how to apply the discipline to delegates’ current organisational challenges. Everyone will get to use a toolkit of methods, resources and frameworks to enable them to further their design-led innovation with colleagues or clients.” When asked who the workshop is aimed at, Jonathan added: “We hope to welcome anyone in business with real organisational challenges to address.” Design For Growth will take place at York Mills, Mirfield, from 10:00-16:00 on Wednesday 6 February. Pre-application is essential, and two hours follow up coaching will also be provided. Search for 'design thinking for business growth tickets' to book.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Yorkshire agency to aid successful young entrepreneur

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Digital creative agency The Bigger Boat has announced that Daniel Fisher-Jones is the victor of its recent competition to win mentoring support in creating a brand identity for his business, Liverpool Audio Network (LAN). The scheme was launched at The University of Huddersfield – and supported by its Enterprise Team – where staff members from The Bigger Boat, including account and design directors, provided a one-hour workshop to a cohort of third year undergraduate students currently undertaking the Enterprise Placement Year (EPY) programme. Covering the key elements of branding, the interactive tutorial provided advice on the most important factors to consider when establishing a brand identity – including the dos and don’ts of the process and inspiration for the entrepreneurs – to assist them in successfully turning their initial design ideas into actions. The attendees were invited to complete a brand essence review, for the chance to secure ongoing free brand identity development – which could equate to £5,000 of assistance – from The Bigger Boat. As the chosen winner, Daniel has already taken part in a further workshop at the team’s Mirfield offices, and will now receive help with the creation of a complete design concept for his company, plus further support for the next three months. Commenting on the win, Daniel said: “Being chosen by The Bigger Boat not only surprised me but it has also given me a wonderful opportunity to vitally rethink my organisation's brand identity, which is now over a year old. As my venture has developed since its launch, a rebrand – to resonate with the business’ future – couldn’t have come at a better time. And the passion and expertise that The Bigger Boat has shown is invaluable.” Doug Main, creative director at The Bigger Boat added: “The level of talent on the day was astounding and we certainly had a tough decision to make. Daniel stood out as an exceptional candidate, with a great brain for business and a drive to succeed. We’re all looking forward to working with him on his venture. “It’s really important to us to give something back to the next generation of entrepreneurs, and working alongside The Enterprise Team at the university has enabled us to hopefully inspire – and help – up and coming businesses. The EPY allows students to spend an academic year researching, planning and starting their own business, and provides in-house support – via The Enterprise Team – to develop ideas, attend relevant skills and networking workshops, and access hot-desk facilities in the university’s start-up incubator, The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre. Providing his thoughts, Philip Clegg, Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, said: “Although the EPY is now in its 14th year, we constantly review and improve the programme based on the student’s own experience and feedback. Collaborating with The Bigger Boat has enabled the cohort to hear from a fantastic local company and helped to inform their thinking around their own brand development at an early stage. “We are extremely grateful to Doug and his team for the support and advice offered and we look forward to developing our relationship with them further as one of our ‘Friends of the Enterprise Team’.” The Bigger Boat provides an array of services – including SEO, website design and development, and paid search – to a wide range of clients. Established in 2010, the 13-strong team recently received a Digital Impact award for its rebrand of client Little Tikes’ website.
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Vapour rings in new partnership with telecoms brand

Friday 14 December 2018

Cloud technology specialist Vapour has secured a new partnership with Bolton-headquartered telephony brand Telesis. With long-standing relationships with communication giants including Vodafone, EE, O2 and Panasonic – plus 30 years’ experience – Telesis is no stranger to the voice sector. Having once focused solely on the delivery of telecoms solutions, recent business acquisitions have widened the scope of services offered to clients. But the Lancashire team did not have a dedicated cloud hosting provision – until now. The new partnership will see Telesis become a reseller of Vapour’s Sanctm product suite. With access to robust servers hosted in Vapour’s UK data centres – as well as highly-secure backup and storage services – it is hoped the collaboration could boost Telesis turnover by up to 20% over the next three years. The move will also see Vapour expand its presence in Lancashire, particularly on the M61 corridor. Commenting on the partnership, Telesis’ managing director Christian Bleakley said: “The technology sector is becoming increasingly crowded with suppliers vying for customers’ attention, which can make it difficult for organisations to know where to turn. We’ve worked hard to build a solid reputation in the telecoms market but when it came to client requests for wider digital transformation support, this was a gap we couldn’t previously plug. “The relationship with Vapour – a ‘best in breed’ organisation within this complex field – will allow us to expand on our service offering to existing customers, whilst enhancing our proposition for new prospects. We’re very excited to see how this unfolds in 2019 and beyond.” Telesis will also plug into Vapour’s marketing automation engine, which will allow the team to communicate with and nurture new business opportunities. Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer adds: “We’ve spoken extensively, throughout 2018, about our partnership strategy and the importance of collaboration in the channel. We’re big believers in concentrating on our own niche and fostering partnerships with other organisations to leverage expertise in their key areas. This approach benefits our business and our partners’ – plus clients are delighted that they have access to more in-depth knowledge and advice from people who really know what they’re talking about!”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
New Chief Operating Officer for cloud tech specialist

Friday 14 December 2018

West Yorkshire digital transformation specialist Vapour Cloud has appointed a new Chief Operating Officer with more than 20 years’ experience in the technology space. Andrew Nash has joined the Elland-based business following a year of 51% growth, and will play a key role in a further 50% revenue uplift in 2019. Having ‘fallen into’ technology during his college years – admittedly by accident – Andrew soon got the bug for all things innovation. The business offered him a permanent role as a PC configuration engineer and two decades later he was still with Avaya, having progressed to the position of Global Services & Support Director. He then became Managing Director of unified data and voice communications firm SBL Group, where he spent over two years of his career, before joining the Vapour team. Now he will be responsible for spearheading further innovation throughout Vapour’s cloud portfolio, especially within the voice and video product suite. Commenting on Andrew’s appointment, CEO Tim Mercer said: “We’re as much about people as we are about tech, and Andy’s skill-set fulfils both strands of our ethos perfectly. Digital transformation has evolved from being a buzzword that few people understand, to a powerful source of value creation for businesses. And with Andy’s help we’ll empower more clients and develop more people, as the next few years unfold.” Andrew added: “Everyone loves communicating and it’s been a privilege to work for companies that make this possible, throughout my career. I’ve loved being on board with cutting-edge firms that have constantly been at the forefront of the latest tech advancements, and Vapour is no different. They spot an opportunity and whatever boundary they promise to break, they do. That means my role is very exciting indeed. Tim values collaboration and I look forward to having a big part in ‘what’s next’ at Vapour. “2018 has been the year when conversation surrounding things like AI, the IoT, video and 5G has really ramped up. 2019 will be about knitting all of these opportunities together so that they’re understood and within reach of companies irrespective of their size and sector. We’re constantly crafting new ways of delivering voice and I believe that this has been the key to our vast expansion so far. The next 12 months though, could be massive.” Vapour Cloud is a private equity backed business founded in 2013. The company – which specialises in cloud voice, video, connectivity, security and storage – is on track to breakeven in March.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Huddersfield Tech Firm Announces Pilot Programme to Give the Gift of Connectivity

Friday 23 November 2018

Tech company yboo to launch a new programme helping children get connected to online educational resources. Technology firm, yboo, has announced an educational pilot programme commencing in Honley High school to enhance educational opportunities and bridge the nations digital skills gap by gifting children with the resources to stay connected. In 2018, 1 in 10 households still have no access to the internet with affordability being cited as the main factor (according to the ONS Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2018 report) and as online studying at all levels is growing to become the main educational resource, it is correct to question whether having access to the internet is a right. As Megan Markle recently stated in her most recent royal tour speech, “Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive”. yboo strongly believes that in an era where google scholar is used as the main research tool as opposed to books, connection to the internet at home is VITAL for educational development. With this in mind, yboo have launched the Give the Gift of Connectivity programme in Honley High school with plans to branching out nationwide in 2019. yboo will donate laptops and Huawei MiFi routers which will allow a child to connect to the internet off campus. yboo, which provides a free app to monitor a user's mobile phone signal strength where they work live, work and hang out, has utilised their technology to identify GiffGaff as having the strongest signal strength in the area of the pilot school, resulting in GiffGaff SIM cards being installed in the MiFi devices. The school will be able to loan the devices to children throughout the school year who require access to connectivity. The aim of the programme is to enhance a pupil’s learning experience and increase their confidence in the use of technology. yboo also encourages safe internet usage and will also support the school with technical setup and safeguarding. Mrs Lord, Deputy Head at Honley High School said; “We understand the importance of connectivity and safe online access for students in completing their work in today’s society. We’re delighted to have the opportunity, working with yboo, of obtaining a bookable resource, that will allow students to safely access a world of information to help them complete online research and project work”. Commenting on the pilot programme, yboo’s Campaign Manager, Keely Robinson, said: “yboo is deeply rooted in providing children with the same opportunities that those in our company have. Without access to online resources and the opportunity to develop digital skills, our company wouldn’t even exist. We need to support the next generation in helping them gain the skills required to provide them with a successful future whilst addressing the much talked about digital skills gap. We want children to have the opportunity to become to the next Founder of a big tech company”. To involve your school or if you are interested in supporting the project, contact Keely Robinson via email kr@yboo.co.uk
Posted by KC Communications
A New Home for the Printasys team!

Friday 23 November 2018

Recently we made the decision to find somewhere to set up our base and create a space that allowed us to meet clients, connect with other local businesses and introduce them to CFH Docmail. It was important for us to have a base in the heart of our local town of Huddersfield so we could ensure we feed back into the local economy. We found a perfect solution that allows us the flexibility to meet clients and book out space when we need it. We are excited to announce that our new base is at the excellent 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and we couldn't be happier with our decision as we share the building with over 40 other businesses! We are also very pleased to be connected directly with the University of Huddersfield and we have had the chance to meet many of the academic team and students. We really look forward to working with them on projects in the future. Are you local or in the area? It would be great to see anyone who wants to learn more about what we do, or just to have a coffee and a chat. Let us know and we can book a time that works best for you! Get in touch: brian@printasys.co.uk or john@printasys.co.uk
Posted by Printasys Ltd
yboo Announces World First with Signal Strength Feature

Friday 02 November 2018

In a ground breaking move, Huddersfield-based tech firm, yboo, has announced a new signal strength feature update to its money-saving app as it seeks to transform the way consumers shop for the best mobile phone deals. yboo is the first globally to recommend the best mobile phone deals based not only on price but signal strength based on where consumers live, work and hang out. With no need to register, estimate usage or work out which network gives you the best coverage, yboo is making choosing the right mobile deal easy for millions of consumers in the UK. The money-saving app is giving both consumers and mobile networks the single version of truth about the best deal, which might not necessarily be the cheapest. While operator coverage maps might indicate covering a particular geographic area, they do not measure signal strength and quality of service at a device (smartphone) level. yboo’s technology can report on a comprehensive range of information, such as a users’ physical location and signal strength change. Once a user installs the yboo app onto their mobile, with no need for registration, it collects anonymous data about the signal strength quality in areas the user visits, including in-building coverage, which is then aggregated against other users with the app then making unique recommendations based on these results. The app update will also support the yboo #insightsfromoutside Portal release that provides mobile operators with the ability to understand network blackspots, target yboo consumers with unique offers and create products that increase connections and ultimately compete more effectively with other providers. Commenting on the latest developments, founder and CEO of yboo, Martyn Gould said: “We’re obsessed with delivering real value at yboo, and understanding service quality and signal strength means that the right deal for you might not be the cheapest. We’re working with mobile operators to make things better but until every network provides every user with service level agreements and service credits, things are unlikely to improve without our help.” yboo will be exhibiting their latest product functionality at MVNO Europe taking place in London, from the 6th to the 8th November. To gain access to yboo’s Insight Portal visit https://yboo-b2b-test-portal-v2-1.herokuapp.com/
Posted by KC Communications
Ambitious Yorkshire Tech Firm Expands with Six New Recruits

Friday 12 October 2018

Huddersfield-based tech firm, yboo, has recruited six new staff as the company continues its ambitious growth strategy to bring the money saving app to 60m smartphone users in the UK. Loren Birkett, Keely Robinson, Josh Hoyle, Helen Cullinane, Mike Constantinou and Phil Kershaw all join the firm to raise the profile of yboo in the UK and launch a range of new features within the app to help Consumers understand more and get the right mobile deal for them. New features include detailed signal strength measurements where users live, work and hang out and rewards for sharing yboo or switching networks via yboo. Loren, a graduate of Huddersfield University, joins as Social Media Manager and will be delivering campaigns to ensure yboo is able to listen to and understand what Consumers want and need. This will drive the launch of new yboo products in Q1 of 2019. Keely, a graduate of Cardiff Metropolitan University, joins as Affinity and Affiliate Campaign Manager. Keely will be focussing on delivering yboo Social Responsibility activity including working with schools to ensure families without broadband have access to yboo mobile broadband devices. Josh joins as Project Developer, leading a website redesign and yboo outreach to Consumers raising the profile of the yboo brand both Nationally and Internationally as yboo moves into new markets and new verticals. While Helen, who has 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry, joins as Head of Delivery. Helen will be responsible for implementing a governance structure and ensuring people, processes and technology come together elegantly to support yboo growth. Mike and Phil are talented developers with a passion for solving real problems using cutting-edge technology to process and understand millions of events and bring real value to Consumers and Mobile Operators alike. Founder and CEO Martyn Gould said of yboo’s new recruits: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Loren, Keely, Josh, Helen, Mike and Phil to the yboo team. Each person brings something different, new skills and new views. We now have a great blend of experience and talented youth as yboo continues its rapid ascendancy. yboo is the only product that recommends on price and service quality saving the average Consumer £156/year with zero effort. We compare 300,000 deals across the whole of the UK market in seconds giving Consumers real benefit and matching them to the best deal based on their unique usage pattern and behaviour. The firm continues to recruit for additional staff to support its future development strategy which includes the delivery of an insight portal launching in early November. The portal will provide anonymised data to enable mobile network operators to fix blackspots in network coverage and build dynamic products to bring better value to the Consumers they wish to target. For more information visit www.yboo.co.uk or follow on twitter @yboouk
Posted by KC Communications
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