Posts Tagged ‘SME’

The Cats’ top 5 for Turing

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018


With some of tech’s biggest names coming together on Wednesday and Thursday for Scotland’s tech gathering, Turing Fest, we list our top five picks for this year’s event.

Check it out!

Launch of Agile Delivery Network transforms the future of government IT

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

The Agile Delivery Network – a collaborative network of SMEs determined to change the way the UK government buys IT – will formally launch this week, having already proven that it can deliver what it promises.

The government’s current supplier model for IT simply does not work, the Agile Delivery Network (ADN) contends, and the Network has already shown what can be done with its work on the highly successful e-petitions site.

Andy de Vale, co-founder of the ADN says: “I’m consistently horrified by the money we waste on government IT. IT delivery in the UK government is broken, and the current supplier model just doesn’t work. The ADN has been set up to tackle the gross waste in the way things are done, and to shake off the pervasive view that it’s just how things are.”

The government itself has recognised the problem and was keen to see the ADN work in conjunction with its recently established ‘skunkworks’ team, Government Digital Service, on the e-petitions site and on new ways of working together.

Unlike the majority of government IT projects, the e-petitions site was built quickly (within six weeks), flexibly and at a low cost. Once the team began to see usage figures rise, it was able to scale the site to match. The site can now manage over 1,000 concurrent sessions per minute without problems.

Throughout the development process the Cabinet Office was able to request changes and have them implemented immediately, rather than having to wait until the project was complete and then request costly alterations, as is normally the case with large suppliers.

ADN brings flexibility, quality, cost and short time-to-market to a sector that has become used to slow, complex and expensive development. Agile, highly motivated developers are collaborating to provide a viable alternative to the large Systems Integrators who usually win government contracts.

The team used Agile project delivery to deliver the working site on time, and used an open source toolset to keep costs low and to take advantage of the most up-to-date technologies.

Peter Herlihy of the Government Digital Service adds: “The Agile Delivery Network SMEs delivered beyond all our expectations. The flexibility and the quality of the service delivered by the team at ADN gives us real hope – and evidence of a successful model for delivery of digital services.”

For more information please contact: Lauren Cormack

About Agile Delivery Network

Agile Delivery Network is a not-for-profit organisation set up to improve access for UK SMEs to government contracts. It aims to change the way UK government procures IT, to reduce waste in project delivery and to advocate and improve the use of Agile techniques in government IT. It was founded by six companies: 2d Cargo, EdgeCase, Matt Wynne ltd, Rutherford Software, Think Code Learn and Unboxed Consulting and is recruiting other member companies to collaborate on UK Government projects.

FreeAgent Central secures funds for expansion

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

FreeAgent Central has secured its first round of funding, positioning the company for rapid expansion as it embarks on an aggressive growth strategy.

The independent software company, pioneering online accounting specifically for small businesses and freelancers, has received an undisclosed amount of investment from private and angel investors including serial entrepreneur Christoph Janz, founder of Pageflakes and an early investor in Zendesk, another highly successful SaaS player.

This comes after a hugely competitive start to the year with a sustained 40% increase in users every month during the first quarter.

Built for freelancers, by freelancers, FreeAgent has engaged with its users since its launch to ensure its software is simple in design, highly intuitive and usable. Most recently the company completed a wholesale redesign of the site’s interface and implemented a number of improvements, many of which were suggested by its users.

“Anyone who’s founded a startup will recognise the problem: it can be hard to get to grips with the accounting side of things,” said Christoph Janz, who joins the board of directors at FreeAgent Central. “The team have created an easy-to-use solution to that problem which I believe will have a big impact on the success of its small business customers.”

This funding and future investment will all aid the development of new features including exciting developments in multi-currency accounting, internationalisation and predictive cashflow.

The company has also successfully forged partnerships with some of the UK’s largest accounting practices. A leading provider of accountancy services to professional contractors and freelancers, London-based Blevins Franks will now be providing all its clients with a subscription to the FreeAgent service as part of its offering.

Providing FreeAgent software to practices means accountants spend less time number crunching, more time offering accounting advice and giving businesses a lot more transparency in their figures.

Phil Richards from Blevins Franks commented, “After 16 years helping Freelancers and Contractors run their Limited Companies FreeAgent have come up with something really special that enables a contractor to run their own company simply and easily. The last 12 months that we have worked with FreeAgent have been very exciting for us and we look forward to adapting our services as FreeAgent service itself develops more”.

Ed Molyneux, CEO of FreeAgent Central comments: “During an economic crisis it is vital small businesses and freelancers have a clear picture of their finances and the ability to control their cashflow.

“With this investment we can continue to improve our service for those in need of easy-to-use financial management tools, and expand quickly to reach even more of those small businesses and freelancers that make up the engine room of the British economy. We’re delighted to be welcome Christoph to the team and he’s already been able to provide invaluable help.”

Unlike accounting packages like Sage and Quickbooks, FreeAgent is web-based, requires no downloads or installation and is accessible from any computer with internet access. Uniquely, it is also able to provide a ‘Tax Timeline’ – a real-time forecast of tax liabilities and deadlines which help the business owner to avoid tax bill surprises and missed deadlines.

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