Help with Tenders and Tendering

get help with tenders from skillfair
Some people run their entire business by responding, winning and delivering on tenders.

Some others, on the other hand, know that they could deliver on tenders but they tell us that ‘tendering is too much work’ or ‘I have bid for a few and I don’t win them’

So Skillfair has approved a carefully selected group of long term Premium members who have a service offering that can either help you to bid for tenders – by training, reviewing your bid or simply doing the legwork for you, or substantially enhances your bid by equipping you and/or your team members with industry-recognised qualifications or accreditations.

We have strict criteria for who appears on our approved list and we monitor feedback from Skillfair members who take up the services offered. If you are a Skillfair member who think you have an offering which is highly sector-specific or leads to a recognised sector-relevant qualification then please get in touch with us for discussion.

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We provide consultancy skills training that leads to recognised qualifications with the Chartered Management Institute and Institute of Consulting. As a Skillfair member you will qualify for a 10% discount on the standard course cost.

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Telephone:
01246 264965

david storia

We help clients increase their profitability through successful tendering. With particular expertise in securing public sector opportunities, clients are able to access new markets or improve their win rate. As a Skillfair member you will qualify for a 10% discount on our standard fees.

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Telephone:
07512 710551

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We provide coaching and mentoring qualification training specifically designed for consultants and advisers. The qualifications are approved by the European and Mentoring Coaching Council (EMCC), the leading professional body for coaches and mentors in Europe. As a Skillfair member you will qualify for a 10% discount on the standard course costs.

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Telephone:
0333 123 2002

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.

Click here to read the full story…

G-Cloud total sales hit £1.141bn after £87m surge in March

Total G-Cloud sales have reached £1.141bn, rising by a hefty £87m after a bumper month of sales in March.

The Cabinet Office has provided no indication on what fuelled this spike in sales, as normal G-Cloud spending is £40m to £50m a month.

However, it would be logical to assume that the recent launch of a new Digital Marketplace framework helped to boost the government’s and wider public sector’s appetite for cloud services.

Breaking no trends, however, is the spending split through the government’s cloud procurement framework. Some 52 per cent of the total sales by value and 62 per cent by volume were awarded to SMEs, much the same as February’s figures.

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New Information Security standards published through the Tech Partnership

A new set of National Occupational standards for Information Security was published this week by the Tech Partnership, defining in detail the capabilities required for trainees and professionals to work in the field.

The standards, built through consultation with employers from across the UK, also provide the building blocks for qualifications and training in Information security roles, helping to shape and benchmark relevant courses.

The information security skills shortage is among the most serious facing the tech sector. Recent Tech Partnership research showed that 95% of organisations identified gaps in their workforce’s cyber and information security skills, and with security breaches very much in the news, the situation remains serious.

Click here to read the full story…

Three quarters of firms unable to deal with cyber threats

Less than a quarter of firms are ready to deal effectively with a cyber-attack, according to new figures.

The annual Global Threat Intelligence Report from NTT Group revealed that just 23 per cent of businesses have a strategy in place to respond to threats to data security, with the retail and hospitality sectors the hardest hit in 2015.

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Government appoints Liam Maxwell as first national technology adviser

The government has appointed its former chief technology officer, Liam Maxwell, as National Technology Adviser with a remit to boost the UK’s digital economy.

Maxwell’s new role will seek to expand the government’s relationships with the digital and technology industry and establish the means to provide better public services to citizens.

Maxwell will work with a new council of experts to make use of industry expertise and push ahead with the government’s work on emerging technologies.

Such efforts will give the UK access to a global network of expertise that will attract investors to the UK and allow the nation to export opportunities based around the technology industry, according to the Cabinet Office.

Maxwell’s role will tie into work done by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) to grow the UK’s digital sector, support emerging technologies and create an environment where digital companies can develop and grow.

Click here to read the full story…

Apple’s incredible growth streak is officially over

Apple’s decade-plus-long growth streak is officially over. And the company says it will be at least a few more months before it picks up again.

Apple reported today that its second-quarter revenue fell to $50.6 billion, down 13 percent from the same period last year. That marks Apple’s first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003, after an incredible growth period that started at less than $2 billion in quarterly revenue.

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Brussels seeks €50 billion to digitalise Europe’s industry

The European Commission unveiled its long-awaited strategy to support the digitalisation of industry on Tuesday (19 April), aiming to mobilise around €50 billion by 2021 to help manufacturers catch up in the global race for the fourth industrial revolution.

The conjunction of cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, combined with the spread of cheap sensors and advanced robotics are all pointing to the arrival of a new industrial era.

But compared to the United States or Japan, the traditional industrial base in Europe is slow to adopt these technologies and reap the benefits of digitalisation.

“It will be complex, it will take time but it is very necessary,” said Andrus Ansip, the Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market. “The Industry has asked us to build the foundations of our industrial future and there is no time to lose,” he told reporters in Brussels as he presented the new strategy.

“We have to hurry up,” he stressed.

A European Parliament study estimates that €40 billion in investments will be needed every year in Germany alone to digitalise the industry. In Europe, the figure could reach as much as €140 billion.

The figure looks impressive but the promises are equally high. Across Europe, PwC and Boston Consulting Group estimate that the digitalisation of industry could create an additional €110 billion per year over the next five years.

In order reap the benefits of the transition to “Industry 4.0” (as the Germans labelled this new manufacturing paradigm), a more coherent approach and deeper cooperation is required across Europe, with a more granular implementation at regional level, and common standards for manufacturers from Lisbon to Helsinki.

A coherent approach

To that end, the EU executive proposes measures to link up existing national initiatives in various member states and support investment in key technologies that are expected to fuel the next industrial revolution.

According to the Commission, there are currently more than 30 national and regional initiatives related to the digitalisation of industries, including in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain and Slovakia.

In order to better screen and coordinate those, the Commission will organise various meetings every year — two roundtables and one annual major stakeholder meeting.

On top of that, EU authorities will invest €500 million to set up digital innovation hubs in technical universities and research organisations across European regions. These hubs will help power the digital transformation from the bottom-up by supporting SMEs and other initiatives at regional level.

In order to support the transition towards this fourth industrial revolution, the EU will rely primarily on public-private partnerships (PPPs), by investing around €22 billion.

These initiatives will support the industrial transformation in areas where Europe is well-positioned, such as the automotive industry, health or energy. The private sector will contribute €17 billion, while an extra €4 billion and €1 billion will respectively come from EU funds and national governments.

The Commission also urges member states to add another €15 billion over the next five years to support these PPPs. EU authorities recommend the national governments to look for financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFIS), the new EU guarantee scheme to support investment in the 28-country bloc.

Together with €5.5 billion from national and regional investment in the digital innovation hubs and €6.3 billion committed for the production of the next generation of electronic components, EU authorities expect €50 billion investment in the digitalisation of industry over the next five years.

The EU has already launched a PPP focusing on the next generation of wireless connectivity (5G) and the manufacturing industry, as Europeans want to prioritise the industrial dimension of the next generation of mobile internet.

Standardisation and clear regulation on the flow of data, the new ‘oil’ of this fourth industrial revolution, are seen as critical to facilitate the involvement of high-tech manufacturing.

Günter Oettinger, the EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner, stressed that Europe needs “fewer but common standards for the industry, and we need to fix them quickly”.

Regarding data management, the EU executive will put forward a free flow of data initiative later this year to examine in greater detail the issue of data ownership and rules for data re-use in an industrial context.

Carlos Moedas, the EU’s Innovation Commissioner, said that “data should be open by default” but warned that Europe should at the same time protect companies’ ideas.

“I am totally for opening knowledge by default but [also] protecting the ideas,” he said. As an example, he mentioned the Human Genome Project, with open knowledge upon which different firms have developed their own business projects.

To respond to the rise of smart cars and ‘intelligent’ robots, the Commission will also look into the rules that should be applied to autonomous systems, new safety rules and clearer liability principles.

Meanwhile, the Commission also intends to mobilise up to €6.7 billion to create a super-computer in order to support a new European Open Science Cloud. This will become an open environment for 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals to store, share and re-use scientific data and results.

Click here to read the original article

Cyber-criminals becoming increasingly professional

Cyber-criminals targeting the UK are becoming increasingly professional and have a sophistication almost on par with nation-state hackers, according to a recently published report.

According to Symantec‘s annual Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), there has also been an increase of 125 percent in zero-day vulnerabilities globally, with half a billion records lost as a result of data breaches.

The report also ranked the UK as the most targeted nation for spear-phishing attacks, and second most targeted nation with social media scams. The country was also ranked as third most targeted nation for ransomware.

According to the report, criminals are adopting corporate best practices and establishing professional businesses to increase the efficiency of their attacks against enterprises and consumers. It said that this spanned the entire ecosystem of attackers, extending the reach of enterprise and consumer threats and fuelling the growth of online crime.

These more professional criminals were among the first to use zero-day vulnerabilities, using them either for their own advantage or selling them to lower-level criminals on the open market where they are quickly commoditised.

The report said that malware had increased at a “staggering rate”, with 430 million new malware variants discovered in 2015. It added that the volume of malware proved that professional cyber-criminals are leveraging their vast resources in an attempt to overwhelm defences and enter corporate networks.

“Advanced criminal attack groups now echo the skill sets of nation-state attackers. They have extensive resources and a highly-skilled technical staff that operate with such efficiency that they maintain normal business hours and even take the weekends and holidays off,” said Kevin Haley, director, Symantec Security Response. “We are even seeing low-level criminal attackers create call centre operations to increase the impact of their scams.”

Ransomware attacks also increased by 35 percent with this form of attack broadening its attacks beyond PCs to smartphones, Mac and Linux systems, with the UK suffering up to 2215 attacks per day, the third highest in the world.

Fake technical support scams saw a 200 percent increase last year, with the UK the second most targeted nation globally, suffering 7,672,112 attacks in 2015.

Rob Holmes, SVP and general manager of email fraud protection at Return Path, told SC Magazine that the UK is a prime target for cyber-criminals due to the fact that a growing number of businesses are moving online.

“We are seeing a trend of small, medium and large organisations engage with their customers in the email channel and some financial services organisations are rejecting operating in the physical world altogether, choosing instead to operate digitally,” he said.

Jonathan Martin, EMEA operations director at Anomali, told SCMagazineUK.com that the only reason the UK would be the most targeted nation for spear-phishing attacks is because attacks are working, and criminals are seeing an above average number of click-throughs as a result of previous spear phishing.

“Remember that there are various degrees of customisation and personalisation that go into a spear-phishing attack. At the sophisticated end, criminals will handcraft messages to targeted individuals and will include code with a specific, possibly exact, purpose. Towards the less sophisticated end, criminals will craft messages that may look personalised but are sent to a larger number of recipients,” he said.

Piers Wilson, head of product management at Huntsman Security, said the best approach to remaining secure is to monitor systems in real-time for any unusual activity or suspicious behaviour that could indicate a breach is in progress.

“This can enable security teams to sweep in and shut down any access before hackers can do any serious harm. Furthermore, in light of the growth in the volume of attacks, these systems will also need to be embedded with artificial intelligence that enables much of the resolution process to be automated, freeing up security teams to concentrate on tackling the most severe threats.”

Regional IT/Tech/Digital Portals

We offer  regional IT/Tech portals free of charge to organisations like LEPs, Growth Hubs, Local Authorities and Further and Higher Educational establishments

The enables the creation of a regional or sub-regional digital ecosystem where ALL the region-based IT/Tech supplier resource can be  discovered by the Small and Medium sized businesses who are looking for help

Best of all, this is provided free of charge to all parties including non-member IT/tech suppliers and can also highlight all the digital-related regional initiatives, events, news, projects and business support offering across the region

If you would like to talk to us about getting involved with the Regional IT Hub in your region, get in touch with the UKITA membership office on 01785 532381 or via info@ukita.co.uk

Click the image below for the West Midlands hub or choose:

England

ScotlandCentral Belt

WalesMid and South Wales