5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Managed IT Services

The way different companies used to do business has been changed dramatically in the last few years. Now, there are the latest and modern solutions for companies and businesses in order to enhance their productivity and grow their businesses.

Managed services for businesses have genuinely revolutionized the start-up culture. There are different kinds of service providers for your business all around the globe. It means you don’t have to a separate department for everything. Instead, you can just get managed services. For example, Managed IT services for small and mid-sized organizations are easily available, and you can easily take benefits from it.

Woman Holding Laptop Beside Glass Wall

Here are some of the reasons that make managed IT services a must-have for your business:

 Efficient and Reliable IT Operations

When it comes to IT operations, you need to have an efficient and reliable team to take care of the important things. It is only possible when you have a team full of experts to perform on-demand IT support. Therefore, if you get managed IT services, you’ll know that you have a collaborative partner to make things easy for your business. Hence, you’ll be able to focus on matters other than IT support.

Enhanced Compliance and Security

IT management services make sure that they provide ultimate compliance and security to your business. If you have an in house IT team, then if things go south and there is a security breach, your system will be compromised. So, you’ll have to spend a good deal of money to make sure that you have unbreakable security. But, if you get managed services, then they will take care of all the security details for your business.

Proactive Maintenance Approach

When it comes to IT support, it means that you’ll be needing regular maintenance. This maintenance can be extremely time consuming, and if not done on time, it can affect your business operations. Therefore, make sure that you have the right approach for maintenance. It is important because, if delayed, it can cause serious damage to standard operations and workflow of your business.

A Cost-Effective Solution

If you are a small or medium-sized business, then obviously, finance is difficult for you to manage. You can’t afford to build a complete in-house tech support team. It requires a lot of infrastructure and resources. Therefore, getting the services of a company is a cheap and wise option for small and medium-sized businesses. Now, even the big companies around the globe are choosing such companies because of all the benefits they have to offer.

Enables the Internal Staff to Be More Productive

Lastly, the most important thing for any business is the high productivity of the staff. When you have managed services from another company, it’ll definitely easily burden off your own employees. Hence, they will have more time and resources to focus on other important business operations. It’ll be the ultimate help for your business’s growth because his growth highly depends on the productivity of your employees.

How do the professional cryptocurrency miners make a profit

Mining has become a very lucrative business. Due to the rising demand for cryptocurrency, thousands of people are trying to earn their living by mining it. In the past, mining Bitcoin was extensively popular. But things are getting much better. People are mining different types of crypto to compete with giant mining companies. Though you could have once made a decent amount of money as a solo miner, nowadays it has become way more difficult.

Does that mean, we the individual miners have no place? Well, it’s a bit of a tricky question as the answer is related to the actions of miners. If a person knows the ins and outs of the mining business, it can be a life-changing profession. Let’s learn some of the key steps which miners are using to make big profit from this market.

Return over investment

The professional miners have a clear knowledge of ROI which is often known as a return over investment. You don’t want to spend a huge amount of money setting up a personal mining rig without knowing the ROI. You have to consider mining as a business and only then will you be able to come up with a unique idea that will tell you how much money might get from per month. Once you know your monthly income from mining, it’s just basic math to find out how long it will take to cover the investment. In the past, the mining process was much easier but things are extremely difficult now. Unless you have a super-powerful mining rig, you should not expect to get a full return from your investment within a short time. So, consider the ROI factor whiling mining cryptocurrencies.

Selection of the digital asset

Selecting a digital asset is the most complicated task. It’s more like knowing what cryptocurrency to buy. Those who think Bitcoin mining is the only way to make money have a lot to learn about the crypto mining industry. People are mining Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, etc. which is relatively easy. So, how do you find the best digital asset to mine?  Pro miners use the real-time market data from bigX and they find the cryptocurrencies which are most likely to go in up the near future. So, it’s obvious you can’t make a big profit by mining one specific set of the asset. Try to diversify your mining rigs so that it increases your win rate. It might be tough for new miners but they must educate themselves to become pros.

The cost associated with mining

Setting up the mining rig is not the only cost by which you can make a decent profit from this market. You have to know about the associated cost in mining. In most cases, electricity consumption becomes the killers. But the professional miners use alternative solar power to mitigate the mining cost. Setting up a solar power hub for the mining rigs might be a very expensive process. Unless you are going to commit to this business in the long run, you should not entertain this idea. At times, you will also have technical faults in the mining rigs. To fix these problems, you have to spend a good amount of money. Include those costs in your mining business and find out how much money you can make from this industry. This data will help you to scale the business.

Conclusion

Mining can be a very profitable business for those who know the perfect way to run a rig. It requires constant supervision and adjustments to the strategy so that you can efficiently mine cryptocurrencies. Though new miners might not understand the importance of focusing on the minor details, it plays a crucial role in the ROI factor. So, follow the tips of this article very carefully.

Managed IT specialist expands to larger premises following glut of major contract wins

Nottinghamshire-based managed IT services specialist Octavian IT has celebrated winning a plethora of major projects by expanding into larger premises.

Managed IT specialist expands to larger premises following glut of major contract wins
Managed IT specialist expands to larger premises following glut of major contract wins

The Cyber Essentials-accredited company saw its annual recurring revenue increase by £78,000 over the last 3 months after snagging six prestigious contracts, several of which are with companies operating in the security industry. 70 per cent of the Octavian IT’s revenue now comes from highly-regulated, security-based industries.

The firm, which also recently added three new recruits to its team, has now moved to more extensive offices in Bingham as its rapid expansion continues.

One new contract valued at more than £142,000 over 2 years will see Octavian install IT and phone systems and provide ongoing 24/7 IT support and maintenance cover for a major London-based security services provider. The London firm has recently built a bespoke 7 figure ARC (alarm receiving centre) in the Midlands to service UK and international CCTV and physical security monitoring contracts.

Octavian IT also recently completed a major project which involved moving the longstanding accountancy practice to a new cloud-based centralised server system in Microsoft Azure, installing a cloud-based phone system and facilitating and managing IT systems at the firm’s new office in Twyning.

In addition, the cyber security specialist has set up IT systems for a high-end US footwear brand’s new site in London and will now provide full IT support to a London and Midlands-based logistics group.

The new contracts add to Octavian IT’s already-burgeoning client base, which includes four fully-contracted US companies, two of which operate in the medical industry.

Octavian IT Managing Director Ben Solomon said: “The past three months have been an exciting time for Octavian IT. We have added three new members of staff tour growing team, increased our revenue significantly and won six major contracts.

“We are continuing to make inroads into the security sector, and recently became Cyber Essentials accredited, which demonstrates our commitment to our own internal cyber security standards and protection of our clients systems. We’re pushing now for the next phase which is Cyber Essentials Plus, followed by the ISO standards.

“The speed and scale of our expansion made it necessary to take larger premises, which we have now done. We’re now looking forward to a busy and prosperous year ahead.”


Octavian IT is part of the award-winning multi-service provider Octavian Group.

Restoring competition in ”winner-took-all” digital platform markets

Competition law and policy can help ensure open and accessible markets with fair and reasonable terms for businesses

Digital platforms are at the centre of the global economy and daily lives of consumers.

A handful of these platforms have become dominant in specific markets without facing meaningful competition. They include Amazon as a marketplace, Facebook in social networking, Google in search engines and Apple and Google in application stores.

Digital platforms rely on big data and are characterized as multisided markets with economies of scale, network effects and winner-takes-all features.

These firms offer their products for “free” on one side of the market and earn revenues from online advertising and selling user data on the other side of the market.

Digital Platforms

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The growing market power of these platforms raises concerns not only for consumers and smaller businesses but also for competition authorities.

Consumers not in control

Consumers can no longer control the use of their data.

Smaller businesses face unfair market conditions, where they compete with big platforms that offer services by self-preferencing their own products. It is now widely recognized that these markets cannot self-correct.

What needs to be done?

One effective response is competition law and policy that promotes open and accessible markets with fair and reasonable terms for businesses.

This goal is more pronounced in highly concentrated digital markets, where large platforms’ market power is enduring.

The most important competitive threats to monopolists are likely to come from new entrants, which are vulnerable to exclusionary conduct or anticompetitive acquisitions.

Governments should have in place relevant policies and legal frameworks to overcome different challenges of the platform economy. These include competition, consumer protection and data protection policies and legislation.

Adapt to new realities

There is a need for adapting competition law enforcement tools to new business realities by revising laws like in Germany and Austria or issuing regulations or guidelines as has been done in Kenya and Japan.

A 2017 law revision in Germany incorporated in the assessment of the market power of firms in the digital economy such criteria as direct and indirect network effects, parallel use of services from different providers and switching costs for users.

It also factored in economies of scale in connection with network effects, access by firms to data relevant for competition and innovation-driven competitive pressure.

This amendment allowed the Federal Cartel Office in Germany to consider these criteria in analyzing Facebook’s dominance in the social network market during its investigation into Facebook between March 2016 and February 2019. 

Merger control regimes should enable competition authorities to scrutinize the acquisition of start-ups by major platforms.

Merger analysis needs to incorporate the role of data in acquiring and sustaining market power and establishing entry barriers to new firms, thereby affecting future competition and innovation.

Not only free but also fair competition

It is important to ensure not only free but also fair competition. This is more so in digital markets, where smaller firms face challenges in their contractual relationship with big platforms.

Competition law provisions on unfair trade practices and abuse of superior bargaining position, as found in competition laws of Japan and the Republic of Korea, would empower competition authorities in protecting the interests of smaller firms vis-à-vis big platforms. 

Developing countries could consider this policy measure in revising their competition legislation or introduce a separate regulation concerning digital platforms’ dealings with their business users.

Such measures could facilitate entry of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to platform markets, thereby allowing developing countries to reap the benefits of the digital economy.

This is important as SMEs are crucial to job creation and innovation.

Both the implementation of fair competition legislation and review of acquisitions of startups by dominant platforms could play an important role in maintaining an inclusive, competitive and fair business environment in the digital economy. This might eventually enhance innovation.

Apt taxation policy needed

Another critical element needed to ensure fair competition is an appropriate taxation policy. A significant proportion of the value created in the digital economy results from users who provide data.

The current international corporate tax system is not adapted to the digital economy. There is not yet a common understanding of “value creation” for taxation purposes in the digital economy.

This leads to a disconnect between where value is generated and where taxes are paid. According to the UNCTAD Digital Economy Report 2019, taxes paid abroad by Facebook represented only 2.9% of the profits it generated outside the United States in 2017.

Ideally, an international taxation system, which is agreed upon by all countries, and recognizes the main aspects of digital businesses that have significant implications for taxation, should be put in place.

Ideagen Reaches For The Stars With Agreement with Top US Space Discovery Company

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Becomes The Latest Customer of Pentana Audit

Leading global provider of governance, risk and compliance software, UK company Ideagen Plc, has signed a long-term contract with California-based constructor and operator of planetary robotic spacecraft, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Founded in the 1930s, JPL is a federally funded research and development centre managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The lab’s current major projects include the Mars Science Laboratory mission (which includes the Curiosity rover), the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter. JPL is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

Ideagen has a close relationship with the US Institute of Internal Auditors, which means companies using the Pentana software have the comfort of knowing their audits are being done to the standards expected by the Institute and comply with the guidance it issues.

JPL operates in a highly sensitive and regulated environment and the need for security and top-quality governance processes is paramount. Ideagen’s Pentana Audit solution offered the lab the benefits of leading software together with the flexibility of both cloud-based and on-premise data storage options.

Colin Smith, Head of Sales, Audit & Risk at Ideagen, commented: “Companies are placing increasing importance on compliance and good governance, driven in part by some very high-profile failures of governance by large organisations in recent years. Ideagen’s Pentana software is tried, tested and ensures internal audits are carried out to the standards expected by the US Institute of Internal Auditors. 

“JPL are dealing with incredibly complicated and potentially life changing endeavours. We are extremely proud to have been chosen by them and look forward to helping to ease their burden when it comes to the audit process.”

Crypto Gambling Grows In Popularity Despite Calls For More Regulation

A new crypto asset regulation drafted and passed by the House of Representatives in Japan is expected to have a serious effect on the way custodians and exchanges do business in the country. The Financial Instruments and Exchange Act and the Payment Services Act is set to keep a keener eye on players in the crypto industry at a time when the crypto gambling industry in Japan is fighting through already restrictive gaming regulations.

Crypto Gambling Grows In Popularity Despite Calls For More Regulation

Joseph D. Hugh is the CFO of Jukebucks, a platform that facilitates international cryptocurrency betting. Hugh says the strict regulations Japan has regarding gambling, in general, has been passed over to the crypto gambling industry. Hugh explains it is not an easy thing for the country to completely deny players access to the gambling industry, but Japan keeps tabs on players under the pretense of tax monitoring.

Despite the restrictions that exist in Japan, lawmakers in the country agreed a little more than a year ago to allow physical gambling locations in the country.

Hugh says Japan will begin allowing offline casino betting in the country following the 2020 Olympics. He says it is unclear at this time what business entities may be in line to receive casino licenses but these permits will be issued for casinos in Osaka, Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Okinawa. It is presumed by experts in the industry, Japan will lessen restrictions on online casino play in the country after the offline industry is established.

The “integrated resorts” stamp of approval was given by the Japanese government some time ago but the effects have yet to trickle down to the gambling industry.

Integrated resorts are entertainment complex that showcases a comprehensive set of entertainment venues. Casinos are often counted among the group of business establishments part of an integrated resort. Other attractions include shopping malls, movie theaters, theme parks, and hotels.

Japan and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have appeared to be more willing to introduce legislation to benefit casinos in recent times. However, this enthusiasm does not seem to translate to crypto gambling possibilities.

Japanese Crypto Gambling

One would think that crypto gambling is much more prevalent in Japan than it is once taking a look at the abundance of regulations the country has put together on the matter. Much of the regulation is seen as a response to the 2014 collapse of the crypto-exchange Mt. Gox that was headquartered in the country.

Tron is a blockchain network that reports it is working on the infrastructure that will facilitate a completely decentralized internet. In 2019, Tron disallowed gambling apps in its app store after being pressured by the government of Japan to do so.

The Chief Technology Officer for Tron at the time of the decision to block the gambling apps, Lucien Chen, was so upset by the decision he left the company. Chen said there was a breakdown between the company’s claim to be a decentralized entity and the actions it was taken against the gambling apps.

How It Works?

There are two ways that blockchain gambling can take place. The first is off-chain gambling while the other is on-chain.

Off-chain gambling takes place whenever physical gambling locations like casinos agree to accept cryptocurrency as a form of gambling currency used to deposit into a casino account. A third-party custodian is then used by these establishments to convert cryptocurrencies into fiat money. However, casinos do exist that operate completely on Bitcoin and do not make use of fiat currency.

Smart contracts are utilized on a blockchain to facilitate on-chain gambling. A decentralized application is also needed that makes use of backend code that runs on a network for blockchain and not a traditional server.

Off-chain casinos are much easier targets for governments who wish to either regulate or eliminate crypto gambling. Websites that allow crypto gambling will often ban IP addresses that originate in certain countries. For example, users in America will find they are unable to access gaming sites that accept Bitcoin from their home location.

It is important to understand that on-chain gambling sites are not completely immune from government regulations. A good example of this is Tron’s refusal to share access to its gambling apps to users with Japanese addresses. However, the same users can access the apps if they use a VPN.

Global Crypto Gambling Regulations

The regulations most countries have in place to govern gambling that takes place online have been in place for quite a few years now. However, only a few countries have so far specifically addressed the issue of crypto gambling. Countries that have established crypto gambling regulations include the Netherlands, the United States, Poland, Greece, Belgium, and Italy.

In countries that do not consider Bitcoin a legal method of pay it is not acceptable to fund gambling efforts with the currency. However, lawmakers in these countries will need to make the regulations regarding this matter clearer for gamblers, casinos, and themselves.

Japan, a nation whose gambling revenue slightly outpaces the revenue produced by Nevada in the United States, is one of these countries in need of better clarity.

A number of online gambling platforms exist in the United Kingdom that will allow players to fund their accounts with Bitcoin. These providers of gambling services are subject to the same laws that govern the operations of other establishments in the gambling industry. Sportsbetting is popular in the United Kingdom and this is reflected by the number of sports betting websites available that allow users to place wagers using cryptocurrencies.

The U.K. Gambling Commission urges citizens to use caution when using Bitcoin to fund gambling accounts. The commission explains there are inherent risks with using Bitcoin that is not present with the use of fiat currencies.

Gamblers are quick to point out the benefits afforded to them by the use of bitcoin. The first is privacy. Users are not required to reveal personal information when they use Bitcoin to facilitate a transaction. Bitcoin does not allow for total anonymity, however. Most countries make it necessary for individuals to share their identity before converting their Bitcoin to the fiat currency of their choice.

Coins like Zcash and Monero are not as popular as Bitcoin but offer users more protection to their identity. These coins are known to thwart attempts by regulators to gain access to personal information regarding coin holders and many supporters of regulations believe tighter controls should be exercised on these coins.

It may not be obvious to some who abhor the many regulations in place but the global gambling industry is slowly becoming more accepting of cryptocurrency. The effect can even be seen in Las Vegas, a place many believe to be the gambling capital of the world, where Bitcoin is being accepted in a few major establishments. The trend of increased acceptance for cryptocurrencies is expected to increase with time.

First Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation Named at Shawbrook Bank

UK fintech market veteran, Stuart Doignie, has been appointed as Shawbrook looks to scale-up and evolve its specialist SME lending proposition

Stuart Doignie Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation

Specialist SME lender, Shawbrook Bank, has started the new decade by appointing its first Head of Fintech Strategy and Commercialisation.

Stuart Doignie, who is well known within the fintech industry, joins Shawbrook’s Business Finance Division as the Bank aims to become the UK’s SME lender of choice.

Mr. Doignie has held several senior roles within the fintech space and his appointment signals Shawbrook’s intent to adopt new technologies as it looks to evolve its specialist SME lending proposition.

As Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation, his primary focus will be on the adoption of technology to advance the specialist SME lender’s own infrastructure but also to support the development of new products and to leverage wider initiatives such as Open Banking.

He said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand how technology is disrupting the SME finance landscape, particularly in the un-secured space.

“The really interesting challenge now is to see how technology can help business owners’ access more sophisticated forms of funding.

“With such a diverse range of specialist SME lending products, I believe Shawbrook is perfectly placed to become one of the first institutions to demonstrate how fintech can be deployed to transform not just distribution but funding solutions too.”

Well known across the fintech industry after holding senior roles including Head of SME at Starling Bank, Chief Risk Officer at ezbob and most recently Chief Commercial Officer at OpenPayd – a leader in the Banking-as-a-Service market – Mr. Doignie has helped pioneer the use of smart technology to provide new finance solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises throughout his career.

His first task at Shawbrook will be to source and deploy a leading cloud-based commercial lending platform. This platform will enable the Bank to develop and scale-up both established and recently launched products including Commercial Loan, Development Finance, Growth Capital and Unitranche.

Neil Rudge, Managing Director of Shawbrook’s Business Finance division, said: “As a specialist lender, focused entirely on UK SMEs, we’ve built a suite of funding products over recent years to address a breadth of needs.

“We’ll be making a number of investments in technology during 2020 to help us rapidly evolve and develop these products, reduce friction in their delivery, and reach more SMEs through slicker distribution.”

He added: “With Stuart’s experience and knowledge across the fintech sector, we’re well placed to create a truly scalable and unique tech infrastructure.”

Combating Insurance Fraud With Machine Learning

By Georgios Kapetanvasileiou, Analytical Consultant at SAS

Most insurance companies depend on human expertise and business rules-based software to protect themselves from fraud. However, people move on. And the drive for digital transformation and process automation means data and scenarios change faster than you can update the rules.

Machine learning has the potential to allow insurers to move from the current state of “detect and react” to “predict and prevent.” It excels at automating the process of taking large volumes of data, analysing multiple fraud indicators in parallel – which taken individually may often be quite normal – and finding potential fraud. Generally, there are two ways to teach or train a machine learning algorithm, which depend on the available data: supervised and unsupervised learning.

Predictive modelling

In predictive modelling or supervised learning, algorithms make predictions based on a set of examples from historical data. You can present an algorithm with historical claims information and associated outcomes often called labelled data. It will attempt to identify the underlying patterns in fraudulent cases. Once the algorithm has been trained on past examples, you can use it to infer the probability of a new claim being fraudulent. AKSigorta Insurance is using advanced predictive modelling as part of its investigation process. The company has managed to increase its fraud detection rate by 66% and prevent fraud in real time.

There is a wide variety of predictive modelling algorithms to choose from, so users should take into account issues such as accuracy, interpretability, training time and ease of use. There is no single approach that works universally. Even experienced data scientists have to try different methods to find the right algorithm for a specific problem. It is, therefore, best to start simple and explore more advanced machine learning methodologies later. Decision trees, for example, are an excellent way to start exploring complex relationships within data. They are relatively easy to implement and fast to train on large volumes of data. More importantly, they are very easy to understand or interpret, and can be a good starting point for new business rules.

Other options for more accuracy

Decision trees can, however, become unstable over time. When accuracy becomes a priority, practitioners should look at other options. Support vector machines (SVMs) and neural networks are capable of learning complex class boundaries and generalise well to unseen cases. They have been extensively used for fraud detection. Tree-based algorithms, such as gradient boosting and random forests, have also become more popular in recent years. Ideally, analysts should try multiple approaches in parallel before deciding what works best.

Supervised learning is effective in identifying familiar cases of fraudulent activity but cannot uncover new patterns. Another challenge is the limited numbers of fraud examples with which to train the algorithm. Fraud is a relatively rare event, after all. The ratio between fraud and nonfraud cases can sometimes be as much as 1 to 10,000. This means that predictive algorithms tend to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of nonfraud cases, and may miss the fraudulent ones. Labelling new data for training a model can also be time consuming and expensive.

Unsupervised learning

Unsupervised learning algorithms are trained against data with no historical labels. In other words, the algorithm is not given the answer or outcome beforehand. It is merely asked to explore the data and uncover any “interesting” structures within them. For example, given certain behavioural information, unsupervised learning algorithms can identify groups (or clusters) of customer transactions that appear similar. Anything that appears different or rare could be flagged as an anomaly (or an outlier) for further investigation.

Unsupervised learning methods can, therefore, identify both existing and new types of fraud. They are not restricted to predefined labels, so can quickly adapt to new and emerging patterns of dishonest behaviour. For example, a New Zealand health insurer used unsupervised learning methods to identify cases where practitioners were deliberately overcharging patients for a particular procedure or providing unnecessary treatment for certain diagnoses.

Unsupervised anomaly detection methods include univariate outlier analysis or clustering-based methods such as k-means. However, the recent move towards digitalisation means more data, at higher volumes, from a wider range of data sources. New algorithms, such as Support Vector Data Description, Isolation Forest or Autoencoders, have been introduced to address this. These may be a more efficient way of detecting anomalies and allow for faster reaction to new fraud.

Social network analysis

These methods are useful for identifying opportunistic fraud. However, many fraudsters today operate as part of professional, organised rings. Activity may include staged motor accidents to collect on premiums, ghost brokering, or collusion between patients and health practitioners to inflate claim amounts. These career fraudsters can repeatedly disguise their identities and evolve their way of operating over time.

Social network analysis is a tool for analysing and visually representing relationships between known entities. Examples of shared entities could be different applicants using the same telephone number or IP address, or a motor accident involving multiple people. Social network methods can automate the process of drawing connections from disparate data sources and visually representing them as a network. This significantly reduces the investigation time – in one case, from 10 days to just two hours. In the UK, a large P&C insurer made £7 million savings per annum by uncovering groups of collaborating fraudsters using network analytics.

A hybrid approach

No single technique, however, is capable of systematically identifying all complex fraud schemes. Instead, insurers need to combine sophisticated business rules and advanced machine learning approaches. This will allow them to cast the net wide, but improve accuracy and reduce false positives, making fraud detection more efficient.

EIT scales up support for innovators across Europe in 2020

In 2020, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) will invest EUR 500 million in its Knowledge and Innovation Communities across Europe – the EIT Governing Board decided. This investment will drive European innovation in the areas of climate (EIT Climate-KIC), digitisation (EIT Digital), food (EIT Food), health (EIT Health), sustainable energy (EIT InnoEnergy), advanced and sustainable materials (EIT RawMaterials), manufacturing (EIT Manufacturing) and urban mobility (EIT Urban Mobility).

The EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities competed for EUR 500 million and were evaluated against their strategies and business plans for 2020, as well as their performance to date. Based on this, the EIT Governing Board decided to allocate the following grants (in order of their selection in 2009, 2014, 2016, and 2018*): 

EIT Climate-KIC: EUR 78.4 million

EIT Digital: EUR 66.2 million 

EIT InnoEnergy: EUR 77.8 million

EIT Health: EUR 85.1 million

EIT Raw Materials: EUR 81.7 million

EIT Food: EUR 55.1 million

EIT Manufacturing: EUR 26.8 million

EIT Urban Mobility: EUR 28.8 million

In addition, the EIT Governing Board also decided to allocate EUR 30 million to the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) – the programme that helps modest and moderate regions (according to the European Innovation Scoreboard) to fully realise their innovation potential through the sharing of good practice and experience from across the EIT Community. The EIT RIS fund will be available to all EIT Innovation Communities that include EIT RIS eligible activities in their 2020 Business Plans.  The EIT Governing Board also decided to allocate EUR 12.5 million for joint activities between Knowledge and Innovation Communities, as for example in the areas of artificial intelligence and Skills 4 Future.

In addition, the EIT Governing Board put in place a Task Force on enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education institutions, in preparation for the EIT’s role in Horizon Europe. The Task Force will be chaired by Patrick Prendergast, Member of the EIT Governing Board, and will include representatives of the European Commission (DG EAC).

Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, said: ‘I am very pleased to see the progress in the past year, which is strongly based on the focused stewardship of the EIT’s Governing Board. It is crucial that the opportunities the EIT community offers innovators are scaled-up across the whole of Europe. Why? This investment is not just to create another product, or power another start-up; it’s to bring about the urgent need for more innovative European solutions at a much larger scale to tackle pressing societal challenges.’    

Martin Kern, EIT Director, added: ‘The EIT is now Europe’s proven innovation engine and 2020 will see strong impact from our eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities, based on their submitted plans. Our results clearly show that the EIT’s investment delivers and turns ground-breaking ideas into products and services for a greener, healthier, more sustainable Europe. We particularly look forward to scaling up our support for innovators and entrepreneurs in countries where EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities have a limited presence. I would like to thank the EIT Governing Board Members for their strong strategic steering of the EIT community.

Investing in what works

The 2020 funding will step up activities for entrepreneurs, innovators, and students, including business creation and acceleration services, entrepreneurial educational programmes and innovation-driven research projects. These activities have been shown to work, delivering tangible impact for Europe. In 2020, the EIT Community plans to power 1000 start-ups and scale-ups and launch more than 360 new products and services to contribute to Europe’s efforts of tackling global challenges. More than 900 students are expected to graduate from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes, strengthening the pool of talented and entrepreneurially-minded change agents eager to transform their best ideas into solutions for Europe. It is foreseen that in 2020 alone, ventures supported by the EIT-Community will raise over EUR 400 million in external capital.

Since the EIT was set up in 2008, it has created Europe’s largest innovation community, with more than 1 000 partners and 50 innovation hubs. This has delivered support to more than 2 000 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 6 100 jobs and more than 900 new products and services. More than      2200 students have graduated from EIT-labelled master and doctoral programmes. To date, EIT-supported ventures have raised more than EUR 1.5 billion in external capital.

EIT BACKGROUND: Europe’s future is connected to its power to innovate!

What is the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)? The EIT was created in 2008 to strengthen Europe’s ability to innovate and is an integral part of Horizon2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The EIT is a unique EU initiative, the only one to fully integrate business, education and research. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships among leading universities, research labs and companies. (EIT in a nutshell Infographic)

What has the EIT Community achieved? EIT Community Success Stories

What is the EIT Governing Board? The Governing Board is the EIT’s principal governing body, entrusted with the strategic leadership and overall direction of the operational activities implemented by the EIT Headquarters in Budapest. The Governing Board brings together 12 leading Members from across Europe, balancing prominent expertise in business, education, innovation and research fields.

What challenges do the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities focus on? EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities work in the area of:

Climate: accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy, EIT Climate-KIC,

Digitisation: driving Europe’s digital transformation, EIT Digital,

Energy: achieving a sustainable energy future for Europe, EIT InnoEnergy,

Health: giving EU citizens greater opportunities to enjoy a healthy life, EIT Health,

RawMaterials: developing advanced & sustainable materials for Europe, EIT RawMaterials,

Food: leading the global revolution in food innovation and production, EIT Food,

Urban mobility: solving mobility challenges of our cities, EIT Urban Mobility, and

Manufacturing: strengthen the competitiveness of the EU’s manufacturing industry, EIT Manufacturing.

They offer a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities. This includes education courses that combine technical skills with entrepreneurial ones, business creation and acceleration services, and innovation-driven research projects.

*The Knowledge and Innovation Communities have a lifespan of 7-15 years. During this time EIT funding is in principle gradually increasing until year seven and starts to decrease thereafter.


More information on EIT Community activities. 

The EIT – Making Innovation Happen! For more information visit eit.europa.eu & follow @EITeu on Twitter

Snow Software Acquires Embotics

Snow fortifies its ability to deliver complete technology intelligence with Embotics’ award-winning hybrid cloud management platform

UK – Dec. 4, 2019 – Snow Software, the global leader in technology intelligence solutions, today announced it has acquired Embotics, a hybrid cloud management company. This acquisition brings together two market leaders, enabling CIOs to understand and manage their full technology stack from software and hardware to infrastructure and applications, regardless of whether they live on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment.

Embotics offers a platform-neutral cloud management solution with one of the quickest time-to-value in the industry. It provides a fast and easy way to automate provisioning, reduce costs and ensure governance across private, public, hybrid and multicloud environments. Leading enterprises such as Nordstrom, NASA and HBO, and service providers like LG CNS and NTT Data, use Embotics to drive their digital transformation.

“The rapid adoption of hybrid cloud by the enterprise has created new challenges for technology and business leaders who must maximise the efficacy and efficiency of technology without sacrificing innovation, productivity or security,”said Vishal Rao, President and CEO of Snow. “Technology intelligence is the future of asset and cloud management, moving beyond the silos created by point tools to provide the insight and manageability organisations need to gain a competitive edge. Embotics is a highly strategic addition to Snow’s portfolio. We are thrilled to welcome the team to Snow and deliver even greater value to our customers and partners.”

“We built Embotics to provide enterprises and service providers with an easier, faster, platform-neutral and fully integrated solution for managing the hybrid cloud and beyond”said Jay Litkey, Founder and President of Embotics. “Today, these organisations are strategically blending on-premises, private, public and multicloud architectures, and that requires a flexible and multi-faceted approach to gain agility through automation while controlling costs and risks. By joining forces with Snow, Embotics will continue to address these issues and answer the next generation of challenges with integrated capabilities at a global scale. Both organisations have a customer-centric DNA and commitment to innovation that will help us achieve our shared vision of technology intelligence.”

Together, Snow and Embotics will offer the first platform that delivers CIOs an integrated perspective across their entire technology stack, empowering them to tackle use cases that require insight into both on-premises and cloud services, such as cloud migration planning, Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL) optimisation and hybrid cloud cost management. The process of integrating Embotics into the Snow platform will begin immediately, and the companies will have a single go-to-market strategy starting in 2020. The combined business will be optimally positioned for strong growth with an expanded market presence as well as the field and operational resources needed to deliver cloud management at a global scale.

“As IT organisations work to balance transformation initiatives with day-to-day operations, hybrid and multicloud strategies are essential for today’s enterprise,” said William Fellows, Founder and Research Vice President at 451 Research. “Workloads now span public cloud, private cloud and legacy on-premises environments, and that mix is constantly changing to address the needs of the business. With Snow’s acquisition of Embotics, the market will benefit from the combination of their respective strengths on-prem and in the cloud, most notably when it comes to solving the unique challenges of hybrid environments.”

For more information on the acquisition and Snow’s platform, visit www.snowsoftware.com.

About Snow Software

Snow Software is the global leader in technology intelligence solutions, ensuring the trillions spent on all forms of technology is optimized to drive maximum value. More than 4,000 organizations around the world rely on Snow’s platform to provide complete visibility, optimize usage and spend and minimize regulatory risk. Headquartered in Stockholm, Snow has more local offices and regional support centers than any other software asset and cloud management provider, delivering unparalleled results to our customers and partners. To find out more about Snow Software, visit http://www.snowsoftware.com/ and follow Snow on Twitter @snowsoftware.