Are Big Companies Holding Small Companies back?

When will David versus Goliath end?

#BigCompanies #SmallCompanies

 

After many years of being in business, around business owners, decision makers and purchasing people, it still seems that Big Business is still enjoying the mantel of what could be considered to holding business back…..

Following attending several events over the last few months, something that really stood out, that in this economic climate, is still a real case of us and them – yet why?

Not going into the full details because that would be too specific, but what I will overview is something covers many aspects of so many businesses.

The requirement:-

  • A product or service is required on a regular basis allowing the client to utilise these products or services for use or re-sale  every day that there are in operation.
  • This product or service is just one part of the business so either single or small quantities are required
  • This product or service is one that could be offered to virtually everybody to use and the client is wanting to start being involved

The solution:-

  • The supplier being able to supply the product or service to every possible business and make it freely available with no limitations
  • Offer the product or service as per required based on what is needed. i.e. whether it is 1,2,7,34, 85, 162 or 1487 units across the SoHo, SMB, SME, Medium, Large, Corporate or Multi-National Business Arenas
  • Offer the exact same service or product to each one of those business arenas on a tiered platform offering

The reality:-

  • The service or product is only available in the quantities we – the supplier – dictate and aren’t prepared to budge
  • This is the price and we demand it as we have our costs to meet and thus we can cherry-pick the business arenas we operate in
  • The reluctance of the suppliers to adapt, mean other suppliers come to the market provide inferior products at the a lower price point or free
  • The battle becomes that the SoHo, SMB or SME Business Arenas have to battle through the pain of changing to free and payable products or services that are widely used, known about or freely and have the ability to interact  with everyone
  • The SoHo, SMB or SME Business Arenas are too support reliant and will cost us money according to the suppliers
  • The attitude by these suppliers are meaning that the SoHo, SMB or SME Business Arenas are not moving forward as fast as they can because the technology is not freely available
  • The suppliers are holding back not just the economy but growth and business development

The one that really strikes a very sore point is what could be considered either shortsightedness or being greedy/elitist. Either way this must stop and we need to actually work together to create a much better ad stronger economy.

A scenario that could explain this simply, is let’s say, an offering that has universal appeal and a need. The product takes a couple of years to develop, high wages are paid and then a workforce is increased by employing high paid personnel to deliver, sell and support. Let’s say it took two years, then it takes another year to bring to market and make people aware of it, so it is for sale in year four.

Well that all sounds good, but to get the RoI, they need to sell to big companies and above at high prices and quantities that means the number of sales per year will not be vast and in some cases at quantities above what those select clients need.

Yet, wait a minute, this is something available to every person and business but is only on offer to a few and at a high price – isn’t something wrong here and a major fundamental point being missed?

SALES!!!!

If companies really looked at the market arenas – they are aiming at maybe the Top 3,5 or 7% companies in the business arena and yet the product or service is available to 100% of the business market plus it is also available to the Public who are the next generation of business users – this is where you can actually have and quote in excess of 100%!!!

So, with this company being purely money driven and elitist, at some point, they could end up like so many companies and fail because they haven’t addressed their market correctly.

If they actually stood back and said right we are going to offer this same product and service on let’s say a five tier price plan per week or month (i.e £15, £10, £8, £6 or £4 depending at the level of product) and then offer it singularly from 1 through to 20 and then go up in blocks of 5 or 10 as opposed to offering it in quantities of hundred’s or thousand’s – this would make it so widely available.

What does this deliver?

Simple………

Sales actually being delivered early in year three and in climbing quantities as opposed to a few large sales maybe by the end of year three or sometime during year four! It could even be possible that the revenue of few large sales by year five actually matching the revenue of lots of smaller by the end of year three!

This is not only seen as being a total success but it is creating a much larger marketplace means people are adopting. Take for example, that of the wheel. If this had purely been kept for one sector – let’s say aeroplanes and no-one else was allowed it – where would we be without bikes, cars, buses, lorries and trains? I know this example is taking things to the extreme, but it a close comparison, as it would mean that traveling to other countries would be restricted and only available to those that can afford it.

In conclusion…..

Suppliers and developers need to actually start looking at other markets and really open their eyes and ears to the people and markets they are ignoring.

The games industry can’t hold back and sell to the few companies to get their RoI or reach mass audiences – they need to sell to everyone.

Another type of scenario, could be Television or Film. You have a book or script and do you go mass market via television or cinema and then download/DVD’s? Both delivery methods are used by the same companies as they either make television programmes, films or both!

So, companies need to take responsibility, and to deliver services and products to everyone! Thus enabling countries to grow and succeed…..

Or, do we have a few clients buying something over-priced that they can’t be use properly, as the masses are using inferior services and products that don’t quite interact/interface with each other?

The choice is your’s but I know what I think is needed……

 

This Guest Blog was written by Ian Calvert and for further information, you can visit his website here or alternatively, if you want to discuss this more or what we can do for either you or your business, then please complete the form below:-

 

Are the Government right to be lead by big companies?

Why is London important?

#London #IsLondonImportant #WhyLondon #SA #ServiceAddress #IT #Technology

Is it really important?

Take a step back and just look at London and you see all the banks, financial institutions, clearing houses, accountants and consultancy companies all with links and connections to HM Government (and yes Political parties too) in what can only be seen as dictating or influencing them – yet is this right? Many would say yes as they are the experts to offer all this advise and support to them and deliver what is needed. Really – more spin? Just look at last weekend, there was a report in Telegraph Newspaper by Szu Ping Chan

#GeorgeOsborne #Telegraph #SA #ServiceAddress #Budget #Tax

MPs shed doubt on George Osborne’s tax-avoidance blitz

Treasury Select Committee says Treasury calculations of potential income are “inherently extremely uncertain”

The main interesting point here is that Osborne set a group to investigate in to making tax simpler! Yes you read right! The interesting thing though, is that people sitting there and looking into this are the same major companies that help companies and individuals to utilise Tax Schemes to help either avoid or evade paying tax depending which way you take your view on these schemes.

So what does this have to do with London? Simply that if you look at everything – it is all focused around London. They say one of these reason is that most companies are set up in London – WRONG!! When you set up companies, you normally use Accountants or Solicitors who then in turn use formation companies to deal with Companies House or you use a London address to have your Registered Office located. So, really in actual truth – companies may appear to be set in up London but they actually aren’t! Again, London seeming to be the main place when it is not….

All of which really says too much about how we rely too much on London and then in turn feel that we have to trust what is being done in London! If Osborne wanted to actually make business here in the UK more successful – he needs to get his own house in order….

Firstly………

      • get rid of all these overpaid advisors working for big firms as they are advising him the way they can help their clients who in turn make more money without paying tax
      • The removal of these companies and actually will mean he will need to look to the really business makers who are actually the ones that drive and make this country succeed:-
                • Self-employed
                • Small Medium Business
                • Small Medium Enterprises
      • These people and companies are the ones that have staff that are struggling to survive in today’s economic climate due to the big companies and rich individuals avoiding/evading paying tax like these workers do
      • These advisors really need to actually be brought under control and Osborne needs to simplify tax and he doesn’t need these advisors around him! It is pure and simple – remove all these allowances and facilities that companies and the rich are allowed

They say that rich individuals can get tax breaks by employing nanny’s/house keepers/childminders to look after their children – do the ordinary workers get this? No, they don’t. So, if the real workers have to find the money and try survive, then so should the high earners too. These workers are driving the country and right they are being penalised whereas the high earners are finding every way to reduce the amount they pay in tax…

If you look at overall earning at the end of a financial year, you will see the ordinary all roughly pay the same percentage pence on the pound as each other. Yet through all these wonderful allowances and schemes, the high earners (just look at celebrities, footballers and bankers amongst many) who are actually paying less pence in the pound than the real workers are the ones who actually keep these high earners in jobs!! Just look at the ordinary workers who are so passionate about football, that make sacrifices to buy tickets to games (which is one of the most expensive pastimes these days) to watch these footballers who are paid more in a year (well some in a week) than some of these workers may ever earn in the next 10 years or more….

Again, look at all these workers struggling to actually find a place to live (let alone ever buy) because rents are way so high. More often the landlords are business people are using schemes to again find ways to reduce what they pay in tax to re-invest into buying properties to make more at the expense of pay tax in more ways. Other recent reports are showing that it is actually cheaper to buy a house than rent, but the ordinary workers can’t do this as houses are way outside of their price brackets!

Yet, these advisors are in turn saying that to get the country back on it’s feet in one aspect is to build more houses and then people will buy and this is from developers and companies that are using schemes/allowances to reduce what they pay in tax but the houses they build aren’t affordable by the ordinary workers….

So, let’s make things simpler Mr Osborne:-

    • Remove the allowances to make it a level playing field for everyone paying tax
    • Abolish all schemes that allow you to avoid/evade paying tax
    • Make every one pay the same amount in tax so that we can see that percentage we are paying the correct the correct amount i.e if you earn over £41,000 pa – every pound over that amount you actually pay 40% in tax
    • Stop people being allowed to set themselves up as companies to pay lower taxes i.e. why do people employed by a company need to be employed as a contractor through their own company to reduce their tax bill? Isn’t this unfair on the people working around them?

So, if we take these simple easy steps, let’s actually see how much the income via tax increases for you Mr Osborne and then you can actually start looking at supporting companies in other parts of the UK where there is a great amount of skill going to waste because everyone thinks of London ….

Another classic example for you to think about is Shoreditch – why does this part of London have to be the “Silicon Valley” of the UK? We have companies that are really starting well in the Technology sector all around the UK including a great IT village environment that is starting to appear in and around the city of Manchester

So, Mr Osborne, ditch those advisors and start dealing with the real businesses here in the UK…..and you never know, people may start trusting Politicians again as you will be making all these big companies like AmazonBarclays BankeBay,  FacebookGoogleStarbucksTop Shopvodafone,  etc, etc start paying real tax NOT a gesture…….

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Is #WYOD of the future arriving sooner?

Has Google taken a huge step forward in bring WYOD to the forefront even sooner?

#GoogleGlass #Bloomberg #Google #SA #ServiceAddress

With the announcement that over the next few weeks that Google are releasing tools to developers to help them bring forward new App’s and integration of platforms to WOYD‘s – what will this actually mean?

Whist this may start allowing App’s to be more widely available on item’s like Glass and may other devices appearing on the seen, the real question you need to start thinking, this is now but how can I be ready for all this?

Yes the devices can offer the ability to have navigation facilities, be able to record events, take photos, read texts and answer calls, are you thinking behind this? Content marketing is now becoming the real important factor in helping you to get your services, offerings and products known to the wider market but again, are you thinking beyond this?

The opportunity for you to add further developments to how you really promote your company is huge and whilst you may not be able to jump on board with this now, you really need to start laying the foundations.

Many companies and organisations are already having to play catch up by offering daily updates via Social Media, adding and changing photos frequently, the endless possibilities of video integration and even what you are doing now – reading this blog post – many aren’t using blog postings as an added dimension….

Many things are being revealed and discussed at SxSW but will you be taking notice of what is being said, released and shared? This and CeBIT have both seen major announcements this past weekend (8th & 9th of March 2014) plus with Gartner taking placing today and tomorrow (10th & 11th of March 2014) as new ideas, technology and applications are brought to the wider arena.

So, don’t get scared or worried by all this technology, the present is here now……

#IBMSocialBiz #IBMAnalytics #SocBizShakeUp #IBM #SxSW #SA #ServiceAddres

and……

#GoogleGlass #Bloomberg #Google #SA #ServiceAddress

the future is arriving……

For more information on WYOD and other aspects of this article, please contact us here or complete the form below:-

 

Is the BBC worthy of us being their audience?

Who are the BBC?

#BBCthree #BBC #IanCalvert #SA #ServiceAddress

Are they just an a bunch of over-paid Executives and ex-Political people?

We seem to come across yet another massive mistake which seems to becoming a regular occurrence at the BBC these days and now the next one is their decision to cancel a television channel move it on-line! and put it purely on-line! Why? Well who really knows…..well here is the email to the BBC staff on the subject.

Yet Tony Hall believes this is the right way to go in this statement but this is from someone so far removed from reality it is untrue! Surrounded by by consultants and advisors (and the odd ex-MP thrown into) – this huge funded group do not understand anything more….

A surprising point is that by closing BBCthree it will allow them to open a BBC1+1 channel! Really? Why? Oh I forgot, they have the most used and developed player in the industry called BBC iPlayer but it seems this isn’t enough! In essence, they are now creating a channel that repeats televisions an hour later and guess what, most the shows being shown +1 are repeats anyway.

The time has come to actually take the likes of Tony Hall, James Purnell etc etc to task and question are they suitability for running the BBC and not just the senior personnel, but everyone surrounding them. Do we actually need people paid so much money in a market arena where they are clearly not understanding it.

Yes they need to have the best in field but it seems the best is been produced these days by people who left the BBC and set up on their own to produce the same programmes back to the BBC. These shows are hugely successful – just look at Jeremy Clarkson! Love him or hate him, he has through his own company (which most of it he has sold) taken Top Gear totally global and made it one of the biggest formatted shows around the world and a huge revenue generator for BBCWorldwide.

#BBC #MediaCity #SalfordSo, if we took this as a normal business, things would never be allowed to operate the way they are at the BBC! The massive development of  Media City facility inSalford is one example which has involved paying staff to re-locate there or pay staff to commute and stay there whilst filming shows. In a normal business, you either move, stay or get another job. Whilst presenters are being paid six figure salaries they should pay themselves to travel like in a normal job. The amazing thing is when you look at this further, some staff work on shows five days a week, whilst some staff only three of the five days on the same show – why? Another example of wasting taxpayers and licence fee payers money? Did they really need to move and spend so much here?

New Broadcasting House 2

And what about the new complex – New Broadcasting House in London was this needed in this location or could have been done in more suitable location? Whilst we are focusing on Public Transport, what about people, bands etc that may need to bring cars, coaches, lorries etc? Was this really factored in and how much extra did this cost because of where it is located?

 

Without high overpaid consultants and consultancy companies getting involved, when will the BBC be reviewed and taken to task like any other normal business would? If we are – as businesses – to survive and succeed, then surely organisations like the BBC should be setting examples and showing the way forward. If they allowing many people to leave and set up their companies to make successful programmes (at a profit to themselves) and at the right price for the BBC, why can’t the management of the BBC grasp this? So, Tony HallJames Purnell etc etc – it is time for you all to step up to the mark and be held to account…..

And this is without debating about complaint from last month raised by Gregory Campbell in the Houses of Parliament:-

BBC ‘hiding behind veil of secrecy’ over complaints

Gregory Campbell said BBC NI had been asked for the number and breakdown of complaints about programmes

Gregory Campbell said BBC NI had been asked for the number and breakdown of complaints about programmes. An MP has accused the BBC of “hiding behind a veil of secrecy” in relation to complaints. Gregory Campbell said BBC NI had been asked for the number and breakdown of complaints about programmes, under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Don’t let BBCthree close and move on-line – leave and put it on-line! This can be done as a classic example is Bloomberg TV…..and that is another debating point for another….how the BBC has lost it’s way with the News and Business reporting….

This is a Guest Blog written by Ian Calvert. To contact Ian, click here, to contact us click here or if you have any feedback or wish write a Guest Blog, please complete the form below:-

 

How To Get On To The Cloud…. 3rd and final part of 3 simple understand guides to help you…

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CLOUD COMPUTING FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESSES

#TheCloud #SA #CloudComputing #TSP #CloudTechnology

DELIVERING INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY

#IBM #SCSB #SA SmartCloud #TSP #TheCloud #WhatIsSocialBusiness

The 3rd and final part of 3 simple understand guides to help you to discover:-

Part Three:- How to get onto the Cloud….

We recommend three steps for making Cloud an integral part of your IT strategy…..

Step 1. Realise the value of cloud

Adopting a Cloud Computing model requires a paradigm shift in business and IT. Before they invest in a Cloud-based solution or services delivered over The Cloud, it is a good idea for midsize companies to understand the value that Cloud can bring to their businesses. The right Cloud architecture enables companies to reap the cost advantages of shared hardware, while physically separating and securing data with virtualisation. Establishing a task force to evaluate which areas of IT and your business would most benefit from a move to the Cloud is one way to determine which architecture is right for your company. Or, you can enlist the aid of a trusted advisor with Cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations.

Step 2. Explore cloud capabilities

Midsize companies often have limited resources and therefore want to make the most of their IT investment (dollars, skills, infrastructure, and capacity) to achieve economies of scale. They need surety as they make business decisions and want to be flexible and agile to respond immediately to market changes and opportunities. Cloud Computing directly addresses these needs. However, because Cloud is new and requires the paradigm shift mentioned earlier, putting critical workloads and data in the cloud can seem daunting. To get started with cloud, it is often advisable to focus on optimized technology models or adopt cloud for smaller, non-critical workloads such as sales force automation, time tracking, collaboration, workforce management, application development and testing, business continuity and disaster recovery. This incremental approach will help your company become accustomed to the cloud while reaping the benefits described in this paper.

Step 3. Grow your secure cloud environment and scale over time

After a midsize company has implemented basic cloud capabilities in the exploratory phase, or if the company already has cloud architecture in place, it is time to consider expanding it beyond initial cloud implementations of narrowly-focused workloads. For example, companies that are experienced with cloud services can benefit from the cloud-delivered security solutions as described earlier. Cloud-delivered security of the IT network could make the midsize company less vulnerable to attacks and loss of data. The midsize company should also consider their cloud integration options.

#SA #CloudComputing #CloudTechnology #TSP #TheCloudIBM is already known for industry-leading application integration capabilities for both on-premise and business to business applications. Now, with the addition of Cast Iron Systems to IBM’s software portfolio, IBM is able to offer clients a complete platform to integrate cloud applications from leading providers. And, finally, for those midsize companies who understand the value of Cloud Computing, but still do not wish to put their data in a hosted or Public Cloud deployment, they can consider building and deploying private Cloud’s with industry-leading technologies from IBM hardware, software and services.

#IBM #SocialBusiness #TheCloud #SA #TSP

Next steps: Choosing the right Cloud solution…….

 #Cloud #CloudComputing #SA #CloudConnectivitiy #TSP #TSP

For midsize companies like yours, Cloud Computing is a viable option for reducing operating costs, simplifying business processes and collaborating more easily. However, deciding on the right solution or solutions can be daunting. Do you choose an architecture? A series of services delivered in the Cloud? How do you know whether your solution was designed for a midsize business?

One method of researching, is to look for solutions for midsize businesses that map to the six benefits mentioned in the “Why Cloud?” stage of this series of of blogs series of of blogs. Server virtualisation, automatic network backup and virtualised desktop services can increase business agility. Cloud-based smart analytics and business analytics and optimization services turn business information into insight.

To protect your data and systems from hackers and attacks, look for Cloud-based solutions that identify attacks on and safeguard your IT infrastructure, monitor threats, test web applications for vulnerabilities and continuously and automatically secure your network. Cloud-based collaboration, social networking, email, scheduling and contact management solutions can help you connect and empower your workforce, customers and partners. Smart business desktops and monitoring services, along with development, test and deployment, in the Cloud can drive effectiveness and efficiency.

In addition, before you begin evaluating specific solutions, it is helpful to establish some general guidelines that can help you in the process. For example, does your company view IT as an important part of your business, providing innovation and competitive differentiation? Or is IT a behind-the-scenes facilitator for plans made elsewhere in your business? The answers to those questions can tell you whether to look for solutions that strengthen the role IT plays in innovation and competitive differentiation or to search out solutions that will make it easier, faster and more cost-effective to facilitate plans.

Another consideration is how many physical sites your company has. Firms with a single site find coordinating technology resources easy, whereas those with multiple sites require more work.

According to IDC, on average, midsize firms have 10 locations, with IT resources usually based at headquarters. This can increase the complexity of data and application maintenance, along with the installation of new software and upgrades. Therefore, companies with multiple sites might find that implementing an entire Cloud architecture or a private Cloud is more beneficial and those with one or just a few sites might be satisfied with services delivered from the public Cloud. Other factors to take into consideration include mergers and acquisitions and the role of mobile workers in your company.

Midsize companies that are growing because of mergers and acquisitions – and even product successes – are going to need cloud solutions that can help them integrate existing and older systems from what were once separate companies but are now part of your company. They should look for Cloud Solutions that can provide their entire organisation access to a central set of rationalised offerings. In the case of mobile workers, ask yourself what extent would remote sales staff improve their sales rates if they could access inventory positions or competitive intelligence in real time? Even a 5 percent improvement is an effective argument for using the Cloud to provide them access to that information, especially if providing it to them by other means has been cost prohibitive.

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Other questions to ask as you consider Cloud Solutions

    • How long does it take you to react and deliver a new IT service to users?
    • How many steps are in your provisioning process?
    • What is the ratio of system administration staff to servers in your company?
    • What role has human error played in your outages?
    • How are systems sized and scaled quickly?
    • How many images are there per user? Is IT sized for minimum, mean or peak?
    • How do you currently manage and track employee expenses?
    • How much of your budget allows for innovation that supports new business initiatives?

The answers to these questions and others will establish the guidelines that can help you develop a framework for deciding which Cloud Solutions suit your company best. However, another option is to consider partnering with a third-party advisor with experience in, knowledge of, and experts on Cloud Computing for midsize businesses. A trusted advisor will be able to view your organization with an objective eye, help you identify bottlenecks that you might have missed and recommend the Cloud Technology that can meet all of your objectives while reducing costs and increasing your competitive advantage.

#TheCloud #BuildingYourBusiness #TSP #TheSocialPiggy #ServiceAddress

Conclusion 

Cloud Computing is a style of computing that provides applications, Data and IT resources to users as services delivered over the public Internet or a private network. It enables self-service, economies of scale and flexible sourcing options. When you take into account the needs of midsize businesses—doing more with less, reducing risk, higher quality services and breakthrough agility – Cloud is an ideal fit. Midsize companies should consider Cloud as an option for meeting their challenges and addressing their priorities. Cloud is simple to deploy quickly. Companies pay just for what they use. The costs per month are low and it requires fewer resources than in-house implementations. And unlike hardware, Cloud Computing is not an all or nothing investment, so companies can keep costs down without affecting performance.

Companies are asked to look at infrastructure and computing in ways that are new to them while being presented with an almost dizzying array of Cloud solutions. Many are excited about the prospect of Cloud but daunted by the task of moving processes and infrastructure to the Cloud. They should consider partnering with a company with experience in cloud. A trusted advisor will be able to view their organizations with an objective eye and recommend the Cloud Technology that can meet all their business objectives while reducing costs and increasing their competitive advantage.

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How to get onto the Cloud:

1) Finding a trusted advisor with Cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations –  here are a few examples of people for you to speak

2) Try it for free for one month with SoftLayer, an IBM company. This free one month trial of CloudLayer Computing from SoftLayer allows you to deploy public Cloud instances with exceptional features in as little as five minutes.

 

 

This three step guide was produced for Service Address  by Simon Porter who is the Vice President for Mid-Market Sales, Europe for IBM ( for connecting Simon via Twitter – @SimonLPorter ) and thus as a result, it enables Service Address to share the answers to questions that we are commonly asked. We do hope you have found this blog informative….

 

 

 

To learn more about how we can help you understand The Cloud better, then contact us via here or complete the form below:-