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Business news round-up:

4th April, 2017

Sage announces agreement to acquire Fairsail

Sage has announced an agreement to acquire Fairsail, the global cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) system for mid-sized businesses. The acquisition will see Sage take full ownership of Fairsail, building on the success of a shared product, Sage People, launched in 2016.

Fairsail addresses workforce management challenges and meets the needs of increasingly mobile and global companies. The system has been successfully deployed within Sage, and is used by leading businesses including Paddy Power Betfair, Skyscanner, Trainline, and Trustpilot. The acquisition will build on Sage’s existing partnership with Salesforce. Fairsail is the leading HCM and people solution on the Salesforce App Cloud and is one of the top global ISVs in their partner ecosystem.

Stephen Kelly, CEO at Sage, says: “Building on our successful partnership with Fairsail, this acquisition will accelerate our people offering, ensuring our customers can manage people, their most precious asset, with visibility of the rest of their business.”

Find out more about Sage’s acquisition of Fairsail on their website.

Amazon Academy Manchester to help North West SMEs grow their business online

Following the launch of the Amazon Academy series in London in 2016, the latest Amazon Academy, taking place on Friday 31stMarch in Manchester, will provide advice and practical support to help SMEs grow their business online.

The free event is being run in association with renowned small business network Enterprise Nation, which provides expert advice and day-to-day support for over 70,000 of Britain’s SMEs, and the Guardian Small Business Network, which provides news and insight on Britain’s small business community.

Businesses from across the North West are invited to attend the event, where attendees will include both established SMEs and entrepreneurs, as well as web developers who want to use new technology to take their business to the next level.

Find out more about the upcoming Amazon Academy event and register here.

Entry deadline approaching for The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2017

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards is the flagship awards programme that recognises and rewards excellence for businesses in the UK.

Now in its sixteenth year, the Awards are open to any company within the UK, whether public or private, regardless of size or industry.

The Awards have a range of categories suited for any successful organisation to tell their story; from large private and public companies through to thriving entrepreneurial businesses, promising start-ups and established SMEs.

The entries are judged by a community of influential judges, making the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards true accolades of distinction.

This year’s awards are taking place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane on 14th November 2017, in the form of a Black Tie gala event.

The deadline to submit nomination entries is 19th May 2017. Please visit the National Business Awards website to find out how to nominate.

Business leaders ready to donate six-figure sums to save UK in second Scottish referendum

Business leaders are ready to donate more money to fight Scottish independence in a second referendum than they did in 2014, and several have already promised six-figure sums, a campaign group has said.

Richard Cook, who chairs the pro-Union Constitutional Research Council (CRC), said “several” backers are prepared to hand over major sums to “a new and positive campaign” to keep the UK together, for the benefit of business.

The Eastwood businessman has extensive foreign business links, and told the Sunday Times: “I am in touch with several businessmen who are prepared to donate six-figure sums to a new and positive campaign for the Union. More people with more money are ready to step up to the plate this time compared with the last referendum.”

He said the CRC would provide financial assistance to a pro-Union campaign in a second independence referendum.

Visit the Telegraph to read more business leaders’ stances on the financial impact of another potential Scottish referendum.

Spring Budget 2017: North West business leaders react

Delivering his first Spring Budget as Chancellor, Philip Hammond has highlighted how the UK’s economy was the second-fasted growing in 2016 among the G7 nations, with the growth forecast for 2017 upped from 1.4% to 2%.

These facts, paired with new figures claiming that 650 thousand more people will be in employment by 2021, paints a positive image of Britain’s economic landscape as it prepares to leave the EU.

Businesses from across the North West have weighed in on the speech and offered their thoughts.

Laura Thomas, Commercial Finance Channel Manager at Businesscomparison.com, said: “The steps towards making business rates fairer, including a monthly cap reduction for pubs and discretional relief, are welcomed. A smoother and fairer system has been promised before the next revaluation and it will be interesting to see what changes will be made to support small businesses.”

Martyn Kendrick, Regional Director of SME Banking at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "Businesses have found it difficult to access people with the right training and skills, with nearly a third of North West companies that recruited in the second half of 2016 experiencing difficulty finding staff.

“Many companies will therefore welcome the Government’s commitment to boosting skills among 16- to 19-year-olds through the creation of ‘T-levels’, helping to provide both employees and employers with the specific skills that they need to thrive.”

Read more insight on the Spring Budget from the North West’s business leaders at Bdaily.

Datel acquires Sage Business Partner, Ensphere

Datel has completed a joint deal to acquire Sage business partner Ensphere Consulting Limited from The Certus Technology Group. Datel purchased one third of Ensphere from Certus in February, and Wayne Nolan, the original founder of Ensphere, has taken back ownership of the other two thirds. 

In February 2015 Certus Technology Group acquired Ensphere from Wayne, retaining all staff and with Wayne joining the Certus board and overseeing the Sage side of the business. Under Certus, Ensphere has continued to deliver excellent service and support to a loyal base of over one hundred customers using Sage 200, Sage 1000 and Sage X3. 

Ensphere will continue to trade under its own identity and will retain all of its current employees and customers. Datel will be an investor in the company and will be represented on the board by Alan Simpson, Executive Chairman, alongside Wayne who will be Managing Director of Ensphere.

Find out more about Ensphere on their website.