Covid-19 – Azured
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BP announces post-pandemic shift to home working?

This week, BP announced that 25,000 of its office-based staff will be expected to work from home two days a week. Of course, for some businesses this is nothing new. But for corporate giants like BP, it demonstrates the huge shift in attitude towards remote working.

It will be interesting to see over the coming months, how many businesses – from the giants to the SMEs – make this move in their post-pandemic approach to their working patterns.

To anyone making the move, although it might seem like a complex task, moving your business over to the cloud doesn’t have to be daunting. And it can reduce your overall running costs, as well as keeping your data, devices and network secure – regardless of the multiple locations of you and your team.

#cloud #azure #microsoft #workfromhome #wfh #remoteworking #BP #azured #technology #workforce

Partnership, collaboration and how to do it – by BT and VMware VeloCloud?

We’re only, ahem, 20 days into January but the two words that I’m seeing again and again are partnership and collaboration. In this short clip, Scott Cowling, Director of Network Services at BT, and Sanjay Uppal, of VMware and co-founder of VeloCloud, talk about their strong partnership and how it is key to the successful delivery of impactful solutions for their customers.

The full webinar about the benefits of cloud and the right SD-WAN strategy is here.

Global Skills initiative supports digital recovery?

The last 11 months have brought about drastic change and multiple challenges on a global scale. Nobody really knows what things will look like six months on from here. But one thing’s for sure, the world will never go back to how it was pre-Covid-19.

As a response to this, Global Skills was launched in June 2020 with Microsoft, LinkedIn and GitHub collaborating on an initiative to help 25 million people worldwide gain the digital skills needed in a Covid19 economy. In just seven months, the initiative has reached more than 13 million learners – from 231 countries and territories.

We think that’s worth shouting about!

Read the full article on the Microsoft blog.

Enter Cloud and SASE?

Technology has become increasingly democratic and accessible. Consumers are more savvy and are using tech differently. Services like Facebook and Gmail have shown the world that whether you’re at home, work or anywhere in-between – you can enjoy the same experience. And the more consumers know and understand, the more questions are being asked and expectations are being raised.

And the industry responded. Enter cloud and SASE.

Read Anthony’s full article.

It’s time to get SASE!?

Secure Access Service Edge (or SASE – pronounced “sassy”) is an emerging cybersecurity concept. Gartner predict that by 2024, 40% of companies will be looking to adopt SASE. So it’s going to be an exciting few years! For businesses looking to move their systems over to the cloud and improve their network security, it’s time to get SASE. Read Anthony’s full article.

I’ve been sharing an article from my colleague, Anthony, who describes it as “a collection of technologies and ideas (old and new) built upon a central assumption that users will be disparate, services will be cloud delivered and identity is king”.

Are UK businesses embracing emerging technology??

Working with YouGov in 2020, BT spoke to business leaders across the country how they use emerging technology; their current set-up and their future plans.

The findings are enlightening and concerning; “UK plc is not failing to adopt transformational technology because of a backwards … attitude to the digital future. Rather, companies do not yet understand how these intelligent technologies can drive the performance of their business”.

Digital transformation is complex. A 2019 McKinsey survey found top performing businesses adopt digital strategies faster than their competitors.

But real change is not easy, another McKinsey study found that 70% of digital transformations fail!

With the impact of Covid expected to be felt for the next few years the pressure to integrate secure emerging tech is on – whether it’s at head office or the kitchen table. We successfully implement emerging tech and digital transformation projects (we’re not in that 70%!). Choosing the right partner is everything.

Read the full report.

UK cloud innovator awarded government grant?
Azured UK, a cloud network and security company, has been awarded a government grant for a share of a £10 million fund allocated to innovative research and development projects focusing on sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19.

The six-month project will see the development of an affordable and flexible solution for SMEs to establish highly secure remote-working firewall technology. The objective of the solution is to help more SMEs survive during further COVID-19 outbreaks by increasing the productivity and security of home-workers. Helping small businesses survive and thrive and more people to keep their jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen unprecedented changes in the workplace, increasing the need for businesses of every size to accommodate remote-working. If you’re a massive enterprise this may not be so much of a problem. You’ll have IT and HR departments, access to resources and systems and processes robust enough to cope with such a dramatic change in work practices, not to mention the budget to implement quickly. Not necessarily so if you’re an SME. Access to affordable, flexible network security solutions is limited. The needs of the SME sector have been largely overlooked by the large security players, as it has been deemed as too costly to service.

But the need is urgent. There are 5.9 million small to medium sized enterprises in the UK, and with 60% of employees working from home during the lockdown earlier this year, that’s a lot of people exposed to ever increasing, ever more sophisticated cyberattacks. Your average home office just simply isn’t equipped to deal with these attacks and data, businesses and livelihoods are at risk.

“We had already launched a Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) solution back in 2017 but were aware that hosting a bespoke firewall is unaffordable to most but the larger enterprises. We wanted to bring the same level of enterprise grade security within the reach of any small business in the UK”, comments Andy Price, CEO at Azured. “Winning the bid for funding from Innovate UK means that we can exploit our expertise in Microsoft Azure to develop and deploy a virtual firewall at a fraction of the price, without compromising on security. We can make secure home-working a reality for everyone,” Andy continues.

Azured’s vision is shared by Innovate UK, the innovation agency responsible for issuing the grant. Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell states, “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy.

“Azured UK, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is making an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

An objective that Azured supports fully, as Andy explains, “With 99% of the business landscape in the UK being made up of SMEs and three fifths of all workers being employed in this sector, we felt it was crucial to develop a solution that could help more small businesses survive and more people to keep their jobs.”

Azured’s fully managed multi-tenanted FWaaS solution will be available early next year on a monthly subscription basis, with no minimum contract. Crucial for businesses having to micro-manage their cashflow through further crises. “We believe our development in firewall technology will revolutionise the market – this type of innovation has too long been the preserve of the big corporations. This solution brings to life our company’s mission, to make great cloud technology available to all.”

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Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. Innovate UK connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas in to commercially successful products and services and business growth.

Azured UK is a cloud network and security company, helping SMEs work safely from home. Our journey began on a beautiful night by the ocean near Melbourne. It was some time in 2015 – and we grew quickly to become #1 Microsoft Azure Partner in Aus. In 2019 we opened our UK business — in a nice office this time, not on the beach (brrrr…).