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Business news round-up: IP EXPO, Sage 200 update & cyber security

IP EXPO research reveals future requirements of Manchester and North West businesses

According to new research released from IP EXPO Manchester, part of Europe’s number one enterprise IT event series, the key to securing the future growth of businesses in the region lies in improving technology networking and education initiatives.

The research, which was conducted amongst IT workers in the North West, also found that a concerning 59% of respondents claimed that the national shortage in IT skills is affecting their business.

The IT community were also asked which technologies they felt were most critical for future business growth, citing Cloud (29%) and security (29%) as those most likely to shape the requirements of businesses in the future.

Read more about the research findings on the IP EXPO website.

Sage 200 to receive June 2016 update

In response to direct customer feedback, Sage 200 is due for a product update release in spring this year.

The new software delivers on Sage’s goal to provide intuitive user experience and flexible, integrated ERP that delivers on customers’ expectations.

New features of the updated version of Sage 200 include:

  • Sage Integrated Payments - including Bank Feeds and Sage Pay under the 'Get Paid Faster' campaign, to allow greater control of cash flow
  • Sales, Marketing and Service for Sage 200 (formerly known as CRM) - a brand new connector simplifying the integration between Sage 200 and Sage CRM
  • User experience enhancements - including new bank reconciliation, improved sales order processing and time limited price bands.

Find out more about the update and new features being added to Sage 200 on the Sage website.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act is here

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act contains a number of measures which represent significant change for companies and Companies House customers.

All companies will be affected in some way, as the Act changes your legal requirements, including the documents you file with Companies House; impacting your company’s systems and processes.

Changes continue to happen as secondary legislation passes through Parliament, with the most recent update taking place in June 2016.

From June, the annual return is being replaced. Instead, companies will now file a ‘confirmation statement’ at least once a year, in which you will need to check and confirm the company information held for you and inform of any changes.

To find out more about how your business will be impacted and for updates on upcoming changes, visit the Government website.

Should work emails be banned out of office hours? France says ‘yes’

The French government is stepping in to regulate work emails and “rescue harassed staff from digital burnout,” according to a recent article from the BBC.

President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party is about to vote through a measure that will give employees a “right to disconnect.”

Companies of more than 50 people will be required to draw up a charter setting out the hours - normally in the evening and at the weekend - when staff are not supposed to send or answer emails.

Sales manager Tiphanie Schmitt says this idea is workable, but she would resist any government interference: "I do sales. I like doing sales. It means I use email late into the evening, and at the weekend. I don't want my company preventing me from using my mailbox just because of some law.”

"I think [the right to disconnect] is... totally inapplicable," says software writer Gregory. "In my company we compete with Indian, Chinese and American developers - we need to talk to people around the world late into the night. Our competitors don't have the same restrictions, so if we obeyed this law, we would just be shooting ourselves in the foot."

Read the article in full on the BBC News website here.

Cyber security is critical to the modern manufacturing industry

As the manufacturing sector produces and incorporates more internet-based technology, companies are being encouraged to create digital-specific strategies to protect their data.

SearchManufacturingERP has provided six steps for modern manufacturing businesses to take with regards to their cyber security:

  • Establish and empower a risk management task force
  • Mandate that product design include cyber security team members who embed security within products
  • Ensure that web-based technology includes robust upgradable software, communications and hardware
  • Carefully reconsider partner networks and other communication partnerships
  • Ensure products do notgo to market without a third-party cyber security audit
  • Reconsider your manufacturing outsourcing strategy, as serious security breaches can come from offshore suppliers.

Visit the SearchManufacturingERP website for further details on the cyber security recommendations being made to manufacturers.