Amazon’s cloud growth is unlikely anything else seen

amazonsAmazon Web Services’ (AWS) growth is unlike anything seen in the tech sector before.

UK managing director Gavin Jackson talking to the assorted throngs and riff-raff at the AWS Summit in London, said the cloud provider’s $14 billion revenue run rate and 43 percent year-on-year growth for the first quarter of 2017.

“It’s unprecedented for a company which is just 11 and a half years old… unparalleled as a paradigm from any other technology shift we’ve ever seen in history, so it’s a pretty good indicator that cloud is the new normal.”

Aside from measuring AWS’ revenue, Jackson pointed to the tech firms using AWS’ cloud architecture, claiming that eight of the top 10 tech growth companies are using its platform.

“This should be a really clear indicator as to how people are thinking about their investments in technology,” he said, “but also as a clear indicator as to how people are thinking about investments in talent and skills, with the centre of gravity really shifting up towards these cloud companies.”

Four software service fraudsters arrested

20120620-162002Software King over all the World, including parts of the moon,  Microsoft has been helping the City of London Police with their inquiries and caused the arrest of four people suspected of committing software service fraud.

A statement published by Action Fraud confirmed that arrests were made in Woking and South Shields yesterday, following a two-year investigation.

Hugh Milward, director of legal affairs at Microsoft, said: “The names of reputable companies like Microsoft are often used by criminals to lull victims into a false sense of security.

“That’s why we partnered with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to track these people down and bring them to justice. It’s a collaboration which can cohesively combat and investigate computer service fraud. Today’s arrests are just the start.”

Software service fraud occurs when victims receive a call from someone claiming to be a software support expert, often from companies like Microsoft, which purport to have uncovered a fault on their machine.

The fraudster then seeks to gain access to the victim’s machine, allowing them to install malicious software.

Having gained access, there is also the possiblity of the fraudster obtaining credentials to log into bank accounts.

Action Fraud said that in the 2016/17 financial year over 34,000 software fraud claims were reported, with losses estimated to be over £20 million.

Commander Dave Clark of City of London Police said: “These arrests are just the beginning of our work, making the best use of specialist skills and expertise from Microsoft, local police forces and international partners to tackle a crime that often targets the most vulnerable in our society.”

Microsoft and City of London Police worked with other affected firms, including BT and TalkTalk, to assess tens of thousands of reports filed with Action Fraud.

Most of the calls originated from India.

Magento sees cloudy growth

image_zps7ea521eeCloud digital commerce outfit, Magento, said that it was seeing significant growth and adoption of its next generation cloud platform and solutions across Europe.

The outfit had a record-breaking year and significant growth in its flagship platform with 42 percent year over year growth in new licence revenues in Europe.

Magento CEO Mark Lavelle said that merchants must anticipate and deliver exceptional customer experiences that are true to their brand, and distinguish themselves from the competition.

“The Magento Commerce Cloud offers merchants the agility they need to innovate and stay ahead in a rapidly evolving and competitive environment,” he said. “Over the past year, we’ve seen increased demand and accelerated adoption of our commerce suite across B2B and B2C merchants in the region, and more than 60 percent of our new customer deals are with our cloud-based digital platform.”

Magento increased its presence in the UK and across Europe, Middle East and Africa regions with dedicated sales, marketing, customer support and development personnel.

Lavelle said that Magento is actively growing strategic partnerships in the EMEA region with technology vendors such as Amazon Pay, Vertex and Nosto, to name a few. These local partnerships with the added local staff have expanded Magento’s footprint and has contributed to Magento’s growth in the European market.

Magento also announced the rebranding of its commerce suite, and will now be called the Magento Cloud, to better align to customer needs and reflect the growing adoption of its technology platform.

The company is simplifying the names of its flagship digital platform and order management products to Magento Commerce (formerly Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition and Magento Enterprise Edition) and Magento Order Management (formerly Magento Commerce Order Management). Magento is also recognizing the contributing of its global ecosystem beyond a single product and renaming Magento Community Edition to Magento Open Source.

Magento was recently named a leader by Gartner in the April 2017 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce.

“More than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years. This will make cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.


Save the Games industry

gamestop-inside-930x618TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, today published its Brexit and Beyond: Priorities for the UK Video Games Industry report.

TIGA’s report sets out a policy agenda for Government, Parliament and policy makers to consider as the UK negotiates its departure from the European Union.

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said that TIGA’s Brexit and Beyond: Priorities for the UK Video Games Industry, sets out a cogent, coherent and constructive agenda for ensuring the UK games sector is a leading player in an industry that is predicted to be worth approximately $100 billion by 2018.

“If the UK creates a favourable tax environment with an enhanced Games Tax Relief, improves access to finance and enables studios to access talent, then the UK video games industry will both survive and thrive in a post-Brexit world.”

The UK video games industry already contributes £1.2 billion to UK GDP. This contribution will increase with the right policy environment in place.

TIGA’s Brexit: Priorities for the UK Video Games Industry, said that if the government wants to keep things working it needs to create a favourable tax environment to encourage businesses to invest in the UK.

The Government should consider increasing the rate of Video Games Tax Relief from 25 to 27.5 or 30 percent and introduce a Video Games Investment Fund to provide pound for pound match funding up to a maximum of £200,000 to enable more studios to grow.

It would also be a good idea to maintain the UK Games Fund so that start-ups can access funding for prototypes.

The report called on the government to increase the amount of money that a company can raise via SEIS investment from £150,000 to £200,000 and ensure that EU workers already working in the UK are protected so that they can continue to work in the UK with the confidence that they are not going to be asked to leave the UK in the future.

The government needs to and clarify the status of EU workers who enter the UK following the EU referendum and prior to the UK’s exit from the EU. T

Meanwhile the government needs to negotiate a trade deal with the EU that avoids quotas, tariffs and other barriers to trade to maintain free trade in video games, negotiate trade deals with growing economies, examine the potential for incentivising more businesses to export through the tax system.

The UK Government should consider introducing arrangements for the conversion or extension of a EU trademark or registered community design to cover the UK.

It also needs to adopt and adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure that companies based in the UK and doing business in the EU can continue to smoothly transfer information and data.


Adoddle finds cloud a doddle

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudA site which makes the Adoddle Cloud CDE, has just scored Imtech as a customer.

Technical service provider, Imtech said that digitisation and cloud software are for the future success of its business.

With the explosion of Big Data, IT Security, IT Costs, Data accessibility, and an initiative to reduce one’s carbon footprint, many companies like Imtech have made the shift towards an Information Management Systems within a digital Common Data Environment.

Imtech is one of the largest managed technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

Imtech wanted a secure, PAS1192 compliant, cloud platform that had the ability to easily share documents, replace site servers, and manage tendering applications.

Asite’s Adoddle simplified Imtech’s internal tendering processes by providing a centred system that can structure responses and offer a transparent and fare source of information.

An Imetch spokesman said that the platform offers the capability of reducing administration procedures.

Imtech has also  benefited from the use of Adoddle’s QR coding feature that allows construction companies to fill the gap between the physical and digital world. QR codes are printed on site drawings and can be scanned with any smartphone or tablet to ensure that the document used, is the latest and correct version.

Imtech has now signed an Enterprise agreement with Asite to use Adoddle in all of its future projects.

Capita writes off £50 million of assets

GWO_LogoCapita has had to write off £50 million after a “comprehensive review of its major contracts” base.

The outfit told the London Stock Exchange it had decided to “impair, at the yearend 2016, a number of historic assets relating to a few specific contracts, which were being amortised over their contract life”.

Some of the assets were because of things which went wrong on in 2009, but the majority relate to 2012-2014. Capita did not say which customers were involved.

“Assets are amounting to around £50m will be written off as a non-underlying charge consistent with prior year treatment. Accrued income of around £40m will be written down as a charge to underlying results,” the statement continued.

Capita has not had the best of years.  It has had a string of profit warnings, largely caused by sales falling in its IT Enterprise Services and Workplace businesses.

It restructured and halved the number of its divisions from 11 to six. Shedloads of jobs were also removed mostly in middle management. A more expansive programme of cost cutting was started in early December when 2,250 staff were put at risk of redundancy.

Capita is expected to report full year 2016 numbers in March.


Everyone loses a day a month due to technology

Workers are pictured beneath clocks displaying time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in BangaloreDespite the best efforts of IT teams, suppliers and vendors the average UK worker still loses a day a month due to technology issues.

New research released today from Managed 24/7 reports how poor IT affects the UK’s workforce productivity.

The report said that it is widely accepted that the UK is facing a productivity crisis and this report outlines, for the first time, how much of this loss is caused by poor IT systems and infrastructure.

The report suggests that IT failure could cost the UK £35 billion per year if the average amount of time lost was applied to all full-time workers, the equivalent of the entire population of Birmingham and Milton Keynes not working all year.

The average GB employee in the private sector who uses IT and has wasted any time, wastes on average 5.59 percent  of their total working time due to IT issues. This equates to 27 minutes per day, 2.5 hours per week or more than one working day per four-week month.

In addition to the underlying costs in term of productivity and the bottom line, the report also found that among employees who use IT at work:

More than 32 percent  believe that their workplace IT systems are damaging their ability to do a good job, which rises to 37 percent  for firms with more than 500 employees

Another 44 percent  believe that IT problems directly costs their business time and money

More than 40 percent  felt that they had better IT systems at home than at work

Another 24 percent  who have experienced IT issues said they have caused customers to complain, rising to 30 percent  in firms with 500 or more employees

John Pepper, CEO and Founder of Managed 24/7, said: “The UK is facing a productivity crisis. The UK currently ranks seventh in the G7 and 17th in the G20 for productivity per person, and fixing our outdated and poorly managed IT systems and infrastructure will play a significant role in closing this gap.

“It takes a German worker four days to produce what his or her UK counterpart does in five and this crisis is resulting in the UK lags well behind other developed nations. In light of recent outages such as at British Airways and the NHS, it is time for the UK to address the issue to ensure we aren’t left behind by our more agile neighbours.”

The top four issues experienced by IT users in the last year:

Slow-running systems / equipment (65 percent ); Failures in connection (54 percent ); Outdated kit or software (32 percent ); Equipment not being ready for a new starter (23 percent )

When problems do occur, more than a third (34 percent ) of all IT users do not feel that they receive sufficient IT support. This is more marked for very large organisations (firms employing 500 or more staff where 36 percent  of staff feeling dissatisfied). Large companies (those with more than 500 employees) have the worst record for resolving IT issues, with 15 percent  of respondents finding it typically takes more than a day for stuff to be resolved.

Staff attempt to fix things on their own, with 27 percent  of respondents saying they are most likely to sort IT glitches themselves, with men more likely to sort out their own problems (34 percent ) than women (20 percent ).

IT blights some industries more than others. The top four industries of those that experience problems were:

Retail (27.70 minutes lost per day)
Hospitality and leisure (25.83 minutes lost per day)
Legal (24.74 minutes lost per day)
Finance and Accounting (22.60 minutes lost per day)


Digital Revolution report now out

revolutionSome of the most digitally savvy organisations are continuing their evolution to ensure they not only remain competitive but continue to engage with customers in the rapidly changing digital landscape, according to a new report from Digital Marketing Exchange

The report chatted to some of Europe’s top marketing executives including GHL Hotels, Pho, Citi Private Bank, Direct Line and Forrester has just been released by the Digital Marketing Exchange and looks at how digitally savvy organisations are managing to handle the change in business.

The report said that most companies are thinking about ways of engaging with new media and becoming wiser to the ways of traditional media, organisation.

Digital Marketing Exchange Director Samuel Lehmann said: “For senior marketing executives the digital revolution represents a great opportunity – almost a levelling of the playing field, whereby if you market smart you can attract new customers and gain marketing share. But with great opportunity, there is also great risk and challenge. How can you attribute your marketing successes across a myriad of channels? How can you deliver a meaningful and effective content? How can you benefit from marketing automation & artificial intelligence technologies? These are the questions we have asked some of the best marketing brains from across Europe as they look into the future of the always evolving digital landscape”.

The report was produced ahead of the Digital Marketing Exchange (26 – 27 September, London), where the report’s key themes of the will be discussed in greater detail.

Apple, Samsung and Microsoft slammed for being unrepairable

Greenpeace and IT Teardown website iFixit have slammed Apple, Microsoft and Samsung for making the least repairable IT products on the market.
The report, published by Greenpeace and IT Teardown website iFixit, accuses the IT giants of making their products difficult to take apart to replace components, creating environmental issues because their broken gear has to be discarded.

The products were rated out of 10 for repairability.

The two Apple iPhone handsets tested each scored seven out of 10, but two iPads scored two out of 10 and two MacBooks scored one out of 10.
Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 5 both scored one out of 10, while Samsung saw three smartphones and one tablet all score four out of 10 or lower.

The report said that Dell did better, with one laptop getting a perfect 10 out of 10 and one scoring seven out of 10. HP saw its tablets score 10 out of 10 and seven out of 10, while the one HP laptop tested scored 10 out of 10.

The environmentally focused Dutch smartphone manufacturer Fairphone was praised to the skies.

Gary Cook, IT analyst at Greenpeace USA, said that the poor repairability of these products is increasing the number of devices thrown onto the scrap heap.

“Of all the models assessed we found a few best-in-class products which demonstrate that designing for repairability is possible,” he said. “On the other hand, a number of products from Apple, Samsung and Microsoft are increasingly being designed in ways that make it difficult for users to fix, which shortens the lifespan of these devices and adds to growing stockpiles of e-waste.
“Improving the repairability of electronic products is technically achievable, and brands should be prioritising this in their product design. As a first step, it’s critical that all brands follow in the footsteps of Dell, Fairphone, and HP and make repair manuals and spare parts publicly available.”

Devices are generally becoming more difficult to repair as cases are glued and soldered together. Nearly 70 percent of all devices tested had batteries that were difficult or impossible to replace because of the adhesives used to keep them in place.

The fruity cargo cult insisted that its products were designed with durability in mind and that it takes environmentally friendly steps to recycle old products and when they die Apple recycles them safely and responsibly.

IDC promises that detachable market will come together

Beancouacer-aspire-switch-10nters at IDC have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and worked out that the recent slowdown in UK sales of detachable devices will be reversed in the second half of 2017.

IDC thinks that thin and light form factors will account for a third of the total UK PC device market this year.

UK PC and tablet sales will shrink 6.8 percent this year to 3.2 million units as Brexit uncertainty, exchange rate fluctuations and public spending cuts put pressure on device spending.

Despite this, the momentum behind thin and light form factors will continue as consumers and businesses gravitate towards features that support mobility and OEMs attempt to decrease exposure to low-margin, entry-level PCs and tablets, IDC said.

Detachables, covertibles and ultra-slims are set to account for a third of the total PC device market in the UK in 2017, up from 25 percent in 2016, IDC said. This figure will rise to 43 percent by 2021, it added.

Convertibles will grow by 28.9 percent this year, ultra-slims by 9.8 percent and Detachables will return to stellar growth in the second half despite losing steam over the past six months.

IDC Western Europe Personal Computing Devices senior research analyst Daniel Gonçalves said that several factors affected the performance of detachables in the UK in the last six months.

“There has been a replacement of notebooks by Windows-based detachables eased off, as the benefits have not been seen to be clear enough. Secondly, there was a growing focus on convertibles by many prominent OEMs, and this has had some negative impact on detachables. Lastly, there was a longer than usual period during which major detachable brands capable of boosting demand weren’t updated.”

Detachable sales will rise by 27.6 percent in the six months to 31 December 2017, IDC predicted.

“We are confident that the number of new models being introduced will help boost shipments from the second half of 2017,” Gonçalves said.

Digital forensics market has five key players

five peopleThe global digital forensics market is consolidated with top five players holding more than 40 percent of the overall market in 2016, according to Transparency Market Research (TMR)

In a new report. Cisco, IBM, Guidance Software, FireEye and MSAB have taken control of the market as cyber crime soars.

This conclusion follows a review based on the findings of Transparency Market Research report, which had the punchy title “Digital Forensics Market (Type – Computer Forensics, Network Forensics, Cloud Forensics, Mobile Device Forensics, and Database Forensics; Application – Health Care, Education, Banking, Financial Services, And Insurance (BFSI), Defense And Aerospace, Law Enforcement, Transportation And Logistics, and Information Technology) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2017 – 2025.”

TMR estimates that the global digital forensics market was valued at US$2.87 billion in 2016 and is anticipated to be worth US$6.65 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 9.7 percent between 2017 and 2025.

Computer forensics stood as the leading type segment in 2016; however, mobile device forensics is expected to overtake in terms of growth due to the increasing demand for mobile device applications.

The regional segments into which the global market for digital forensics is segmented are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Among these, North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe account for major revenue contribution to the global market.

According to the report, growth of cyber threat and attacks is the key factor driving the digital forensics market. In today’s scenario, cyber criminals are causing unprecedented level of disruption by using IT tools as well as cloud services. These cyber criminals follow a planned approach for systematically hacking valuable information from companies, stealing customer and credit card information. The gradual increase of mobile devices that provides access to company applications and different types of data is also posing security problems to safeguard information. These factors are collectively boosting the demand for digital forensics solutions.

The growth of this market is also driven by rising complexities and sophistication in digital crimes. Cyber criminals employ a combination of sophisticated technologies to be successful in their missions. They target individuals as well as businesses and rewards achieved are much greater with security protocols being somewhat lax at the other end. Not only this, cyber criminals use multiple channels and mislead security by a series of attacks that takes off the attention of security personnel from the main crime site.

Increasing use of cloud based solutions and IoT technology is also accentuating the growth of digital forensics market, says the report. The increasing trend of cloud based technology and internet of things technology among consumers for everyday functioning is giving the opportunity to hackers to target the areas of least resistance. Due to this, there is constant threat of information leak posing risk to customer’s privacy and paving way for crime.

However, the growth of the digital forensics market is deterred due to the rising complexities in mobiles. The widespread use of mobile platform for businesses has led to mobile-specific vulnerabilities leading to the use of malware and network-based attacks to expose business data. The growth of this market is also hampered due to lack of industry regulations and professional ethics. This is supplemented by factors such as inadequate training, limited resources, use of outdated equipment, and lack of standard protocol for examining digital evidences that have been documented.


Oracle predicts half of businesses will be cloud based

Oracle-Announces-X5Oracle thinks that nearly half of companies plan to run their business on cloud infrastructure within three years

James Stanbridge, Vice President Iaas Product Management at Oracle said businesses were rapidly embracing cloud infrastructure (IaaS) to boost performance and innovation levels, new research from Oracle has revealed. While negative perceptions around security, complexity and loss of control still present barriers to adoption, they are shown to be outdated myths, with those that have moved to IaaS proving the reality is far more positive.

Two thirds of businesses that are already using IaaS to some extent, say it makes it easier to innovate. The same proportion says moving to IaaS has significantly cut their time to deploy new applications or services. Furthermore, 64 percent say IaaS has significantly cut on-going maintenance costs and 59 percent of all respondents believe businesses not investing in IaaS will increasingly find themselves struggling to keep pace with businesses that are.

The research also found that experienced users are almost twice as likely to believe IaaS can provide world class operational performance in terms of availability, uptime and speed, compared to non-adopters. Although some fear the move to IaaS may be complicated, 64 percent of experienced IaaS users say the move was easier than they expected.

Most respondents agree IaaS will have a role to play in their business within three years, with 44 percent saying they will run most – or all of their business IT infrastructure on IaaS. Only 10 percent of respondents believe IaaS will still have little or no role in their business in three years.

Stanbridge said: “When it comes to cloud adoption there has always been a case of perception lagging behind reality. Cloud is still relatively new to a lot of businesses and some outdated perceptions persist. We are now seeing high levels of success and satisfaction from businesses that are saving money, cutting complexity and driving exciting innovation thanks to cloud infrastructure. Those resisting the move need to challenge the perceptions holding them back because the longer they wait, the further ahead their competitors will pull.”

Hire more women says Jack Ma

maxresdefault (1)Alibaba founder Jack Ma said that tech companies should “hire as many women as possible”.

Ma has been doing his best to increase gender balance in the workforce, revealing in 2015 that 47 percent of the Chinese internet giant’s overall staff – and 33 percent of those in senior roles – are female.

Speaking at Alibaba’s Gateway 2017 event in Detroit last week, the billionaire tech entrepreneur said women will be “very powerful” in the 21st century.

Ma said hiring female talent had been one of the secrets of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s success.

“Women are going to be very powerful in the 21st century. Because last century people compared about muscle [but] this century people compare about wisdom. Hire as many women possible. This is what we did, and this is the secret sauce.”

Ma advised managers to hire staff who are smarter than they are.

“I give a lot of advice to my colleagues. Whey they hire people, there’s one judge – look at the young man; if you think he will be [your] boss in five years, hire him,” he said.

He also warned the current crop of tech market leaders against complacency.

“When Netscape was so good we never thought it would disappear,” he said. “Yahoo was good; we never thought it would be like [it is] today. So don’t believe you will be good all the time – be paranoid.”

Capita and Birmingham City Council sort out new deal

bury the hatchetCapita and Birmingham City Council have sorted out their differences and signed a new IT services deal after scrapping the mammoth Service Birmingham joint venture.

The old deal called Service Birmingham saw Capita provide IT services to Birmingham City Council from 2006, but was came under constant criticism for at one point costing upwards of £180 million annually.

Cllr Ian Ward, deputy leader of the City Council, said: “As is widely known, the shape and objectives of the council are changing due to a wide range of factors including reduced funding for local government, changes in population profile and an ever-altering technological landscape.

“Our ICT and digital service needs to support and lead in achieving those objectives, while providing flexibility, added value and having the ability to continue delivering a day-to-day service while making this transition.

“This deal will see the council gradually take more control of its ICT and digital strategy over the next four years, with Capita and the council working together. Through these negotiations we have been able to secure the savings we need to protect frontline services and start the ball rolling on the process that will enable us to meet the challenges of the future.”

Service Birmingham joint venture was flawed by commercial restrictions, with the new services contract set to be in place until 2021.  The proposal will go to the council’s Cabinet today, but is expected to go through on the nod.


Infosys cuts tax deal with New York

infosysudacityInfosys has cut a tax deal with the State of New York’s investigation over the amount of taxes the Company paid in 2010-2011 without any criminal or civil charges being filed.

Infosys has made a $1 million settlement with the New York state after it was found that it violated US visa rules by placing employees on a different visa at its clients’ offices in the state.

The settlement was announced on Friday by Attorney General Eric T Scheiderman, saying it resolves whistleblower claims that Infosys, in the course of providing outsourcing services, routinely brought foreign IT personnel into New York to perform work in violation of the terms of their visas.

The company said that the investigation centred on alleged paperwork errors, and the company has not had to confess to doing anything wrong.  In fact it denies all allegations that it ever did anything wrong at all.

The company said in a statement that the settlement relates to legal issues already resolved under the 2013 settlement with the US Department of Justice, and was reached by both parties to avoid protracted litigation.

“Infosys maintains robust policies and procedures to ensure adherence with all applicable regulations and laws. Infosys will continue to focus on boosting American innovation, hiring American workers and better serving our valued customers across the United States,” the company said.