Channel operations overhaul for Microsoft

Partners have welcomed news that Microsoft is overhauling its partner business, in a move it claims will make it easier for its channel to do business with the firm.

The reorganisation will see Microsoft combine its Enterprise Product Group (EPG) with its SMS&P (Small and Mid-market Solutions and Partners) group. The announcement was first published on ZDNet, but in a statement afterwards, Microsoft said:

“These changes are designed to unify teams from across the Commercial Business, making it easier to do business with Microsoft and meet the needs of its thriving partner ecosystem and customer base.”

The new combined EPG and SMS&P business will be run by Chris Weber, corporate vice president of mid-market solutions and partners…

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Computing classes struggling to attract students

 A quarter of schools are offering new computing science GCSE and A-Level courses, research suggests

The changes to British computing education are failing to encourage more students into studying the subject – particularly those most in need of such encouragement.

British schools have shifted computing classes from ITC – such as learning how to use Microsoft Word – to more technical areas, including coding.

Research from Roehampton University revealed only 28% of schools had pupils taking the GCSE in computing in 2015, and only 24% had students taking the A-level, according to a BBC report.

The number of girls taking the course at GCSE climbed between 2015 and 2016 from 16% to 20%, and for A-levels from 8.5% to 10%, with female students gaining higher grades on average. Students on free meals made up 19% of GCSE computing students, versus 27% of the wider school population.

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UK organisations could face £122bn in fines under new EU data laws

SMEs on the hook for £52bn, while large organisations could be forced to pay up £70bn

UK companies and organisations could face huge fines when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes law.

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI-SSC) warned that fines as high as £122bn could have been levied against UK organisations in 2015 based on the number of cyber security incidents.

PCI-SSC bases its estimates on survey figures from the Office of National Statistics, which suggests that there were 2.46 million ‘cyber incidents’ in 2015. Around 90 per cent of large organisations and 74 per cent of SMEs supposedly suffered a security breach in 2015.

Large organisations would face fines totalling £533m and SMEs £908m under existing data protection laws, according to the PCI-SSC, if the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) was notified of every breach and imposed the maximum penalty.

The same security lapses under the GDPR would bump these figures up to £70bn for major organisations and £52bn for SMEs, the PCI-SSC said.

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Irresistible Tech forces Test Europe

Facebook and Google have challenged the authority of the European Commission and the jurisdiction limits of EU countries this week in an interesting step which would seem to bring giant US tech  megacorps into conflict with the bureaucratic of the European Union machinery.

Facebook may not prevent its users from using fake names, a German privacy watchdog said on Tuesday (28 July), in the latest privacy setback for the US company in Europe.The Hamburg data protection authority, which is responsible for policing Facebook in Germany, said the social network firm could not unilaterally change users’ chosen usernames to their real names, nor could it ask them for official ID.

Read the full  story at www.euractiv.com/sections/infosociety/german-regulator-orders-facebook-allow-pseudonyms-316682

Meanwhile Google has rejected the French data protection authority’s demand that it censor search results worldwide in order to comply with the European Court of Justice’s so-called right to be forgotten ruling. The company’s rejection of the ruling could see its French subsidiary facing daily fines, although no explicit sanction has yet been declared.

More at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/30/google-rejects-france-expand-right-to-be-forgotten-worldwide

More failed and over-cost IT projects for Central Government

Frustrated Cabinet Office to probe Atos deals

The government has committed to review £500m worth of contracts with controversial outsourcing company Atos, following a major IT failure.

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GCHQ admits £1bn spend on cyber security ‘hasn’t worked’

GCHQ is losing the cyber security war, according to director of cyber security at CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) Alex Dewedney, who admitted that, despite a £1bn spend over the past five years, “the bottom line is it hasn’t worked”.

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