Sector Focus


Sponsored by: NTS Communications

Tech firms are flocking to the West Midlands

Hybrid working and data security

When we are talking to clients at the moment the term we are hearing regularly is “hybrid work”. This is the new flexible arrangement that allow employees to split their time between the office and working remotely – often from home. Hybrid working is likely to

have huge benefits for the wellbeing of any workforce, offering employees choice and flexibility in a way that we couldn’t imagine pre-Covid. But very few businesses have the technology in place to truly ensure seamless business operations. Our solutions allow our clients to take advantage of this way of working, introducing effective methods of team collaboration leading to high levels of employee performance and customer satisfaction. Data security and

cybersecurity is a key concern when employees are working routinely from home. Phishing attacks have risen substantially in the last year and according to global insurer Hiscox, one small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds. Cisco estimates 53% of small businesses suffered a security breach globally in 2018. When employees are using their own equipment, or working by themselves, the risks are increased. When working with clients we identify any potential data security issues as part of the specification, and we ensure the finished solution builds in data security in as standard. If you are looking to ensure

your hybrid working arrangements keep your data secure, please get in touch:

Alan Pallett and Steve Ward Directors, NTS Communications

Promoting Growth Through Technology

Specialists in Unified Comms, Contact Centres, Cloud

T: 0345 450 0333 E: W:

62 CHAMBERLINK June 2021

The West Midlands is becoming a clear favourite for aspiring technology businesses, as according to new analysis from leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM, the number of technology start-ups set up in the region rose by 40 per cent last year. A whopping 821 technology businesses were incorporated in

2020, according to data published by Companies House, compared to 585 in 2019. Nationally, technology business incorporations rose by 13 per

cent in 2020. Amy Burton, head of RSM’s technology and media team in the

West Midlands, said: “Despite the acute impact of the Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, it’s encouraging to see such strong growth in the West Midlands tech sector as entrepreneurs seize the opportunities that the pandemic has revealed for technology to support new ways of working and digital entertainment. “In 2020, the UK attracted $15bn in investment and sits

third internationally for tech incubations according to the latest Tech Nation report – demonstrating that the UK continues to stride ahead of other European countries, despite Brexit, and remains the first-choice tech hub after the US and China. “The UK will always be a target for

investment due to the financial and private equity infrastructure; but it’s great to see growth in the West Midlands where there is a thriving and diverse tech industry with the software development, FinTech and gaming sectors fuelling regional growth.”

Amy Burton: Tech start-ups rocket

Innovators to lead smart city revolution

Innovative businesses in health, social and public services industries are being challenged to lead the 5G revolution across the West Midlands, via a new project. 5PRING – the consortium delivering the

UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerators – is now working with West Midlands local authorities to launch the ‘Smart Cities’ challenge. The project is challenging start-ups and small

businesses to shape the future of so-called Smart Cities, by exploring how 5G technology can be used in a variety of circumstances. A ‘Smart City’ is a city that uses technology enabled solutions across a variety of sectors to address urban issues. The Smart Cities challenge will provide start-ups and other small

businesses with support in developing and scaling 5G innovations targeted at the health, social, and public sectors. Organisations will be working with experts from local councils across

the region including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton. Successful applicants will have access to cutting edge technology via a private 5G network at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park and a tailored acceleration programme, as well as coaching, mentoring and expertise provided by experts from the seven West Midlands local authorities, three LEPs and the 5PRING consortium members Telefonica UK (O2), Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult. Robert Franks (pictured), managing director at WM5G, said: “At

WM5G, we are committed to support the region’s recovery post-Covid – smart city technology will make a genuine and measurable difference to our towns and cities and innovation will be crucial to ensure the region thrives.” Applications for the accelerator are open until 25 June.

Partnership extended to support students

Intercity Technology, a communications, cloud, security and managed services business, has extended its partnership with social enterprise Ahead Partnership, and looks to continue supporting the career development of young people. The partnership involves Birmingham-based Intercity delivering a number of critical programmes including work experience weeks, the campaign #TechTreksBrum, which focuses on promoting STEM subjects to students, as well as a host of opportunities for Intercity staff to showcase technology careers in local schools. Since the partnership began in

2019, Intercity has supported more than 3,400 young people from 18 schools, colleges and universities across the West Midlands. Stephanie Burras, chief executive at

Ahead Partnership, said: “We are very proud to be working with Intercity Technology again to inspire young people from across Birmingham about career opportunities. They have shown a heartening commitment to young people who have been disadvantaged the most by the Covid- 19 recession.”

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