Tag: London

Progress Distribution wants London tech incubator

13196_0Progress Distribution will launch an emerging technology incubator in London, once it has completed an investment deal.

Progress is a specialist security VAD peddling TrapX, Ironscales and Cybereason in the UK.

It is believed that the distributor is close to agreeing funding of between £2m and £2.5m with a secret investor worth around £130 million.

Progress founder John Quinn said that once the cheque clears, the company will buy a 10,000 sq ft building in London to house emerging tech vendors as they enter the UK, with the rest of the investment being used to fund two acquisitions.

Quinn claimed that the standard distribution model was broken. If you speak to the vendors they all want something different because gone are the days when you want distributors for banking and finance, logistics, tax – all the sort of things that come from standard distribution services.

“The problem with standard distribution, or the broadliners, is they don’t really have the ability to create demand. Tech incubation is the future of VAD,” Quinn said.

CCS Media is aiming to hit £250 million revenue within five years by expanding its headcount, investing in staff development, and building its services business.

London could lose out as Euro tech hub

are-we-afraid-noLondon could lose its position as the leading destination for start-ups in Europe thanks to Brexit.

Tech investors moaned at the TechCrunch Disrupt London conference, that the government needed to answer shedloads of questions around immigration policy.

James Wise, partner at venture capital firm Balderton Capital, said that Britain employed 31 percent of all the people in Europe working in tech start-ups, and a significant number of them had moved to the country to start their businesses.

Government initiatives to support the tech sector were welcome Wise said, but the British government needed  to show more leadership and clarify the many questions hanging over the free movement of talent.

“The number one concern is still access to talent, and while the raft of announcements are all very welcome, very few of them deal with the ability to attract global talent to the UK to build companies here,” he told Reuters.

Reshma Sohoni, a partner with Seedcamp, which invests in  early stage companies, said funding for such companies had tightened considerably since the Brexit vote.

“We definitely see a narrowing of the kind of companies that can get series A or series B funding,” Sohoni said, referring to early rounds of venture funding that young companies need to grow. “Combining the uncertainty and the trouble getting visas, absolutely it (Brexit) is a problem,” she said at the event.

Matt Hancock, minister for the digital economy, said Britain needed “to be open and welcoming to the brightest and best from around the world” and not just the EU.

“Over the last few years, we’ve had freedom of movement within the European Union but outside we’ve had a fairly tight visa system, and we need to make sure we are clearly attracting and winning the global war for talent,” he told the assorted throngs.

“We’ve been doing this with visas for individual countries over the past few years, improving significantly for instance the visa system for China. Clearly we’ve got to get this right.”

Woman arrested for Sage fraud

Ce8crvkWsAAvaaI.jpg largeLondon coppers have fingered the collar of a 32-year-old woman on suspicion of attempting to defraud software firm Sage.

The woman is a current employee of Sage and was nicked at Heathrow airport on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. She has since been bailed.

It might be a coincidence, but Sage admitted that it had suffered a data breach affecting up to 300 business customers.

Customers have been told that personal and financial information may have been lost during the breach.

The breach was blogged about by consultant Richard De Vere  who said only UK customers were affected. The reason it might be connected to the arrest is that De Vere claimed the breach had been the product of an insider threat. To be fair, he never said the arrest was connected so it might be a coincidence.

Sage subsequently stated: “We believe there has been some unauthorised access using an internal login to the data of a small number of our UK customers so we are working closely with the authorities to investigate the situation.”

The company added: “The dedicated helpline number is 0845 145 3345 – please leave a message with your details and we will get back to you as soon as we can. You can also get in touch with us by emailing us at customercontact@sage.com.”

 

Accenture arrests the Metropolitan Police

658db2d1a04d1d2a3bf5feb0b88e91f7The Metropolitan Police have signed an £86m deal with Accenture to manage its applications for the next three years.

The London coppers want to save £200m from its IT budget by carving up its Capgemini contract. The deal will last for five years, with the option of a three year extension. It will mean that 113 staff will be transferred to Accenture’s Newcastle base.

Accenture beat HCL, IBM, Lockheed Martin and Unisys to win the deal.

The Met has been busy lately. Last month it awarded £250m in contracts to CSC and Atos. CSC one a contract for user computing and hosting towers and Atos scored contracts to integrate the various IT components as part of its Total Technology Programme Infrastructure strategy.

A separate £216m contract to outsource the Met’s back office IT to Steria’s shared services centre, will see hundreds of back office IT roles made redundant the Met said last year.

As are result the Met will slash the number of its in-house staff from 800 to 100.

What is rather odd is that the move to outsource to lots of different large suppliers is no longer government policy. The Ministry of Justice having reportedly hit major problems doing that sort of thing.

Robots will steal UK jobs

Oxford's own Bridge of Sighs, pic Mike MageePeople in the UK will have more time to watch daytime TV if the result of a survey by an Oxford University team of scientists in conjunction with Deloitte is to be believed.

According to the survey, 35 percent of UK jobs and 30 percent of jobs in London look set to be taken over by automatons or by automated processes. London employers say advances in technology will be the most important reason for job losses.

And if you’re unlucky enough to be earning less than £30,000 a year, your job is five times more likely to be replaced.

While 73 percent of London businesses plan to increase their headcounts, 84 percent of those firms say skills of employees will have to change to include digital know-how, management and creativity.

Over 36 percent of London businesses will invest in bigger properties, the survey said.

Cops want “hands on” policing of the internet

1408707700441_wps_2_FILM_Carry_On_Constable_1London coppers have called for more state controls of the world wide web to prevent internet anarchy.

The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit is a taxpayer funded security force for private companies who want to protect their content without having to spend too much.

According to PIPCU head Andy Fyfe, despite some successes,  more state interference may be needed to stop internet anarchy.

The unit uses a wide range of strategies, from writing to domain registrars and threatening them, to working with advertisers in order to cut off revenues from ‘pirate’ sites.

But Fyfe also believes that the Government may have to tighten the rules on the internet, to stop people from breaking the law.

He said he was interested in having a debate in the media about how much policing of the internet people want. At the moment, he does not see any regulation and or policing of the internet.

PIPCU’s chief believes that the public has to be protected from criminals including pirate site operators who take advantage of their trust.

He thinks that if things go wrong, the Internet becomes completely ungovernable, no one will dare operate on it at all.

“So should there be a certain level of … state inference in the interest of protecting consumers? I’m very keen to raise that as a debate,” Fyfe notes.

Tighter rules may be needed to prevent people from breaking the law in the future. This could mean that not everyone is allowed to launch a website, but that a license would be required, for example.

Fyfe  predicts that eventually the government will decide that it has had enough and it’s not getting enough help from those main companies that control the way we use the internet. Then it will imposing regulations, imposing a code of conduct about the way people may be allowed to operated on the internet.

O2, Vodafone neck and neck in 4G

vodafoneHaving just launched their own 4G services, O2 and Vodafone are roughly neck and neck in speed and availability, according to a report.

Conducting over 11,000 tests around central London over five days since the companies launched their 4G services, research company RootMetrics found that O2’s average blended 3G and 4G speed was 16.3 Mbps, compared to 16.2 Mbps from Vodafone. As 4G is not always available, Rootmetrics claims these are the speeds most customers will actually receive.

Having had an enormous head start, EE was given the chance to improve its speec and coverage. At present, its average 3G-4G download speed hit 22.7 Mbps, compared to 17.3 Mbps in April.

At least in central London, both O2 and Vodafone had made their services broadly available. Of the 310 miles within London’s borders, including indoor locations, Vodafone’s 4G was available in 69.4 percent of tests, compared to O2’s 63.9 percent.

For 4G only, O2 won out, reaching average speeds of 23.3 Mbps and a maximum download speed of 65.8 Mbps. Vodafone managed 20.8 Mbps on average and 57.7 Mbps maximum download speed. EE was still ahead with an average of 29.6 Mbps.

RootMetrics CEO Bill Moore said the tests bode well for providers and customers.

“EE has had the best part of a year to cement its place and remains the speed leader, but the early signs for O2 and Vodafone are very positive, especially when it comes to 4G availability,” Moore said. “This is all good news for the consumer as uploading your pictures or downloading content on the move will become quicker as coverage expands and improves”.

Many customers will be waiting for the price to dip. Although 4G in the UK is off to a good start, it is a premium service. Earlier this month, EE boasted it had passed the 1 million customer milestone ahead of schedule. But Ovum’s head of Industry, Communications & Broadband Practice told us with its head start, the company could have done even better.  The demand is there, but for early technologies, prioritising getting the adoption rate up with cheaper plans may have put EE even further in the lead.

 

Free wi-fi in Taipei explained

Taipei free wi-fiThe public wi-fi system that is available throughout Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a brilliant idea that should be emulated in the Smoke (London), in the City of Screaming Squires (Oxford), and, well, more or less anywhere. We’re here in Olde Taipei for Computex 2013.

It is a disgrace that wi-fi, which has really become a public utility, is still charged for in many a place – especially hotels in the UK at exorbitant rates.

We had a chance to sample Taipei wi-fi the other night, taking a snap and uploading it without any problem at all. It hasn’t worked since, so I set out to find out why.

Basically, the reason it hasn’t worked for me since is that I a Brit, and the wi-fi, which does work for aliens from different countries, requires a special protocol to be present, as you can see on this TPE Wi-Fi page.  Currently only 20 countries use the International mobile SMS authentication that the Taipei government accepts.

There is an alternative – you can go to one of six physical locations and get yourself registered – but of course you have to know where these places are, which might be tricky unless you know your way around the city.

One local told us that he used to use TPE Free all the time, but recently it asks that you log-in every time you connect which he finds a nuisance. That’s apparently been implemented because of security concerns.

Nevertheless, the existence of TPE Free has meant that here in Old Taipei, you’ll find many places which offer free wi-fi.  The swanky hotels that don’t really ought to be ashamed of themselves.

* For a great way to understand Taipei and Computex 2013, if you’re a first time visitor, we recommend We View Taiwan video log.

Tourists flock to UK high streets

highWhile Brits are clutching tightly onto their purse strings, their foreign counterparts seem to be happy to splash the cash on the UK high street.

In a survey, VisitBritain found that overseas visitors had splurged a record £18.5 billion during their visits to the UK,  up seven percent year-on-year from 2010.

The organisation said that this amounted to 25 percent of all expenditure by overseas visitors on the UK’s high streets.

The figure was a refreshing change from the doom and gloom spelled out in recent retail surveys, which continue to show Brits are reluctant to splash their cash on shopping.

Most recently a survey from CBI suggested that seven percent of retailers saw an increase in their volume of sales in the year to February and 29 percent reported a reduction.

However, it doesn’t seem dismal weather and high inflation are putting holidaymakers off.

According to VisitBritain, the majority of the shopping spend was on clothes, with an estimated £2.3 billion generated by fashion-conscious foreign tourists. Many visitors also bought souvenirs, gifts and household goods, accounting for around £1.6 billion.

Of the 18 million visitors, the French were the  most prolific shoppers with over two million trips, followed closely by 1.63 million Germans, 1.63 million Americans, 1.3 million Irish and 1.1 million Spanish.