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UK Government target fraudulent IT companies. Is your organisation protected? Added by ianh | No Comments
The National Fraud Authority (NFA) has estimated that central and local government fraud will cost the UK £1.5bn and £855m in 2011. Total fraud losses for 2011 will exceed £21bn, largely due to tax evasion accounting.
Having worked with the Public Sector for the past few years throughout the UK, I’ve come across my fair share of IT projects where clients have simply been duped in to purchasing expensive contracts, services and licensed products that they would never use and in some case didn’t know even existed.
Of course, fraud can happen in any business sector. But with IT there are so many ‘trained’ experts in the field of IT it is somewhat surprising to keep stumbling on horror projects that have gone so wrong with the same names appearing.
It comes as no surprise that the Coalition has launched a new strategy to cut the £2.4bn problem in public sector procurement via ‘The Taskforce on Fraud, Error and Debt’. Set up in late 2010 the taskforce research, detect and share intelligence and even assess the risks of projects before they are authorised. And with zero tolerance on those found to be guilty.
This provides a much better opportunity for companies who are trustworthy, offer a solid service and maybe who have never had the opportunity before to enter the public sector arena with confidence.
This first report of the Taskforce can be found here:
Eliminating Public Sector Fraud: The Cabinet Office Counter Fraud Taskforce Interim Report
Top tips to protect you and your company from IT fraud:
Always credit check and reference your suppliers list
You never know when you might need this information, and can help you decide in who you trust and can deliver on time and on budget.
Do your research
Visit the premises, meet people and interview the team working on your project throughout each phase. You’ll get a feel for the right people to be working on your project with your team. The relationship will be strengthened by this process too.
Create the brief
Many clients don’t write the initial brief due to technical ability. Hire a project manager familiar with the software/technology and services you require. They will be able to spot issues before they happen and understand what you’re being sold at pitch stage.
This doesn’t have to be an expensive added extra to the project, you can use this third party for phases of the project. E.g. strategy, design, build and launch.
Young, ambitious and brummy? Added by ianh | No Comments
The aim of the project was to demonstrate online tools and how we can motivate ourselves and each other through using social. The workshops were delivered throughout Birmingham in Sparkbrook, Alum Rock, Chemsley Wood and Sparkhill.
As ever we encountered a wide range of young people along the way from different backgrounds, from the engaged to the hard to reach. Discussing Birmingham with young people provides a fantastic insight in to how they view the second city. However most of it is negative feedback. Young people feel they don’t have a voice, and have been impacted by huge cuts throughout youth services in the region.
Front-line youth services in Birmingham are to be slashed as a result of cuts to the youth service budget of £3m this year and a further £1m over the next 3 years leaving a budget of just £1.8m.
The cuts include:
1. All 34 satellite youth clubs and youth projects will be closed
2. At least 5 large projects or centres will close.
3. Over 150 part time workers will lose their jobs. This is 50 full time equivalent posts.
4. Between 16-33% full time staff will be made redundant
5. Of 60 projects in total, only 17 will remain open
Birmingham: negative feedback
Crime - People feel more exposed to crime than ever before from a rising gang culture
Youth Centres - Many are closing down giving young people nowhere to go due to cuts
Sporting facilities – Not balanced across areas of Birmingham
Education – Feel disconnected from teachers due to background and style
Racism - On the increase again, due to integration across communities not working
One thing is clear. Young people have to find the inspiration from somewhere to gain experience, choose a path, and have the will to work hard in such an unstable business environment. It’s evident the days of drifting in to 6th form without a career goal is a dangerous one. People need to gain as much experience as possible before being work ready, and knowing your potential and what you want to achieve at a younger age will bring more success.
Young people expect their first starting salary after finishing education as £16,600, rising to £35,400 by their mid-20s and £61,700 by 35. Unfortunately this just isn’t the case. The typical 18-21-year-old earns just £8,595, climbing to £18,705 in their 20s and £24,333 by the time they are in their 30s.
Working with the Social Breakfast team we are dedicated to supporting the young people of the Midlands in their search for a better career, whatever that may be.
Over the past few weeks I have been asked about the relationship between social networks, how they fit together and if syncing accounts is generally a good thing. The answer lies in how you actually use social media.
The question to ask is are you happy for your business contacts on LinkedIn to view your content on Twitter? And are your followers on LinkedIn also your Facebook friends anyway? You’ll probably find that you’re connected to very few people on Twitter that you follow on LinkedIn. So this begs the question, are you ultimately providing a spam feed to the people you connect with the most?
Your community of followers, likers, subscribers, friends and business contacts all require a mix of professional but also personal approach to how you engage with them. If you’re a twitter addict and linking your posts to LinkedIn, you could be creating a very negative effect on your reputation.
Relevant and informative posts, great content and careful engagement will always provide a more positive route for your communication whether business and pleasure.
Syncing done right enables you to do more with less time, but it is still something to be used sparingly across networks where possible. Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to use. Twitter is the pub… LinkedIn the business lunch and Facebook when you invite them back to your house. Great food for thought.
Is there a trap in an app? Added by ianh | One Comment
Nice to see Midlands Today discussing web technology and featuring customers that are using it. Our sister company LHM started in 2005 as a mobile marketing agency, and we have seen mobile platforms change rapidly over the past six years.
The app is here to stay, but what is questionable is its marketing reach for brands. With over 50 app stores and over 400,000 apps in the top three stores it is hard to be found in the masses of apps out there. If you are MSN or Angry Birds, you’re much more likely to feature in the App store charts, but for small businesses we think there is a much smarter option… The mobile ‘web’ over the mobile ‘app’.
The mobile web cuts out brands having to wait for approval from Apple to get there products and services online, it has a far greater reach (Apple only have a 2.1% market reach in the UK) and a mobile site that has been optimised for search offers so much more in traffic and accessibility than the App store could.
HTML5 offers mobile developers the opportunity to create all of the technology and functionality that App developers create, and best of all having a mobile site allows you to benefit from links, and makes it easier for mobile users to share URLs of product pages. Surely sharing is the way forward for brands and Social Media?
Everytime we view another App that goes live, without any effort supporting the other 97.9% of active web enabled mobile users we are always disappointed for the client. It might be time for brands to rethink their budget and strategy as mobile commerce will be a major web trend for 2011.
The ideal job application? Added by ianh | No Comments
Check out the new CV or CVIV (Interactive Video) sent to an agency by Graeme Anthony which is casuing a stir on the internet.
It would be interesting to see how long Graeme remains on the market after this effort – my guess would be not long at all. . .
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SMP give Health Exchange a face lift 26 Feb - Added by Laura | No Comments
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