Can you really afford not to have a back-up plan?

We recently held our first customer seminar, over 2 sessions and had over 25 customers and prospects from businesses ranging from under 10 employees to over 200 employees’ businesses.

The event was looking at Datto and how this innovative cloud-based solution can benefit your business.

The event started with introductions and it was good to see lots of business cards being exchanged.  As well as being dedicated to IT, we are very eager to always incorporate people interaction in our business.

Datto gave an overview of the dark web and where ransomware attacks come from. They ran a live ransomware attack and spun the system back up in 4 minutes.  To recover from a cyber-attack with Datto cloud back up, it only takes as long as it takes the server to restart.

The biggest threat to your system isn’t cyber-attacks or fire, it’s human error!

So, having a system like Datto in place means your business can deal with interruptions and avoid downtime.  We all know time is money so we really encourage you to get in touch and have a look at what a difference Datto can make.

If you didn’t get the chance to come along but would more information or a free demo give us a call on 0191 214 1750 or click here for more ways to contact us

Look out for more customer events coming up over the next few months.

It is that time of year when we all think about holidays, relaxing and sharing social times with friends.  Perhaps you are partial to a cocktail or two?

When we were thinking about our latest promotional offer, we wanted to embrace the Gin culture that is going on and reflect that in a sweet giveaway.

So, imagine our delight when we discovered The Chocolate Smiths in Newcastle with their amazing range of handmade sweet treats.

Here is their story in the words of Steffi.

Where it all began

The Chocolate Smiths all started back in 2014 when Steffi was just 22. Steffi Smith is a passionate foodie and wanted to create a chocolate brand that was exciting, innovative and quite simply, gave people an escape from reality. Even if it was just for one bite! She began making the Bizarre creations from home, gaining wonderful stockists along the way and doing local markets.

Fast forward to now The Chocolate Smiths have their own kitchen and shop in West Allotment, Newcastle. All of our chocolate is handmade, taste tested (many times over for quality control purposes of course) and hand wrapped by our small team of experienced chocolatiers.

‘We can’t thank everyone enough for all of your support up until now, and we can’t wait to share all of the exciting plans we have for the future with you! This is only the beginning’ Steffi

Back to IT

We asked them if they could produce a bespoke chocolate bar incorporating “Gin & IT” and they did!

The research into the health benefits of Gin is very interesting and matches well with our services:

  • The antioxidants in Gin can help prevent wrinkles – our IT support reduces the worry lines
  • Gin can help fight infections – our antivirus solutions are strong, smart and robust
  • Good Gin is not expensive – neither are we!

So, for a healthy review of your IT and to claim your free bar of “Gin & IT” chocolate – give us a call on 0191 214 1750 or click here for more ways to contact us

Part of the fabric of our business are the strategic partnerships we establish that help us to continue to deliver the best products and services to our clients.  In addition, relationships with proactive organisations who share the common goal of raising the profile and performance of our region is a top priority for us.

So, with that in mind, we are delighted to announce that we are now members of the North East Automotive Alliance.  This sector is a significant contributor to the economy of our region, so we are passionate and privileged to be involved as members.  We already have a significant number of clients in this sector, so we are keen to develop on that for the future.

Here are some of the objectives of the NEAA:

  • A network to sharing best practice, benchmarking and solving common problems
  • Access to business excellence, skills and training
  • Driving innovation and adoption of new technologies & processes
  • A focal point for collaborative projects and access to funding
  • A voice for the sector & interface with Government bodies
  • Promoting the sector regionally, nationally and internationally
  • Align to regional and national strategic objectives (i.e. Re-shoring)

Having been in business for over 25 years in the North East, we have seen the expansion of this sector and how the supply chain has evolved.  With an interesting political and commercial landscape ahead, it is vital we continue to promote and develop the opportunities, skills and people involved in this innovative sector.

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Bowe Digital have been providing a friendly, professional and reliable service to businesses of all sizes across the North East and throughout the UK for over 25 years. We joined the Scaleup North East programme run by RTC North in October 2018 because we were looking to explore new avenues for business growth and development. RTC North caught up with Lorraine McGill, our Operations Director, who has been working with Scaleup Partner, Craig Huntingdon, on evaluating the company’s readiness to scale, defining clear objectives and producing a scaling strategy to achieve those objectives.

Lorraine, tell us about the business and your journey so far in the time it takes to make the perfect brew!

We were founded back in 1992, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Bowe have been providing, friendly, professional and reliable services to businesses of all sizes from five workstations up to 200 users, across the North East and throughout the UK.

We originally started out offering software development and IT services. We are a Sage accredited developer and one of the first Sage Business Partners reselling and supporting the software. We have developed several of our own products most notably our Bakery Software (BaPs) which is used by Artisan Bakers up to wholesale bakeries across the UK. We offer full managed IT services including support, Office 365, cyber security and more. We are also delighted to be the only partner in the North East working with Web Expenses.

Sounds like an exciting journey so far. What are the biggest hurdles you’ve had to overcome on your way to establishing a successful business in the North East?

The business has experienced three main hurdles over the years, including:

  • Finance – the lack of support from banks, especially through the financial crisis, who were reluctant to support company growth.
  • People – a shortage of experienced people who wanted to stay in the North East.
  • Evolving Industry – staying abreast of the knowledge and changing tech in an ever-evolving industry.

What caught your attention about the Scaleup North East programme?

The call came at the perfect time, I had been brought in to help develop the Bowe Digital business, the Scaleup North East programme offered the exact support we needed to overcome the challenges we were facing.

How did the programme help you to overcome challenges and strengthen business position?

It’s still early days for us as we only got accepted onto the programme in October 2018. The programme has challenged us to look critically at our business. As a result, we have already gone through a rebrand, new website and have brought in consultants for marketing and telesales.

What advice would you give to others in the North East that are looking to scaleup their own business?

I would tell them to give it a go, I’ve already recommended it to a few of our clients who are looking to scale up!

What’s been the best business advice our Scaleup Partners have given you?

So far, I would say the advice regarding forming strategic partnerships – we are working on that as we speak!

#Bowe #WeMakeITHappen #ITSupportNewcastle

With a year to go until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into law, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is urging businesses to start preparing to ensure that they are compliant with the legislation when it comes into force.

From 25 May 2018, all businesses that hold personal data will have to guarantee that their data procedures are fit for purpose and compliant with the new regulation.

While the GDPR is an EU-initiative, the UK government has already made it clear that the legislation will still take effect in the UK after Brexit. Businesses that are found to be non-compliant risk fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover.

Chambers of Commerce around the country are urging their members to start taking the necessary preparations to ensure they are ready for the regulation.

David Riches, Executive Director at the BCC, said:“Businesses need to be proactive about ensuring they are ready for the new data protection regulations when they come into force this time next year, and not leave preparations until the eleventh hour. Those firms that don’t fulfil the necessary responsibilities leave themselves vulnerable to tough penalties, not to mention public scrutiny.”

We agree. This is a major piece of legislation that affects just about every company in the country.

Bowe Digital specialises in keeping data secure as we offer a range of IT solutions that can help companies streamline their manufacturing processes in everything from quality control to stock management.

Call us on 0191 214 1750 or email info@bowe.co.uk to find out how.

Bowe Digital – we make I.T. happen

Private sector growth eased in the three months to May, according to the CBI’s latest Growth Indicator, but the prognosis for the summer is good.

The survey of 721 respondents across the manufacturing, distribution and service sectors showed that growth slowed a little in comparison to April.

Manufacturing output continued to record expansion, with the retail sector and consumer services gaining a little momentum following a lacklustre start to the year.

Overall, expectations are for the pace of growth in the private sector to pick up a little over the next three months with healthy growth in manufacturing and business and professional services off-setting a slowdown in retail and falling volumes in consumer services.

That is reflected in what we are hearing from our clients, who are expressing confidence despite the turmoil in the world.

Bowe Digital offers a range of IT solutions that can help companies streamline their manufacturing processes in everything from quality control to stock management to make the very best use of the prevailing conditions.

Call us on 0191 214 1750 or email info@bowe.co.uk to find out how.

Bowe Digital – we make I.T. happen

The evidence continues to build that the UK economy has shrugged of the many challenges facing the world to continue trading and growing.

Among the latest data was a survey that showed that manufacturing order books improved on April, and output growth accelerated in the three months to May.

The CBI’s latest Industrial Trends Survey of 432 manufacturers reported that total order books were the highest since February 2015, broadly matching the strong levels seen earlier this year. Export orders also stayed robust, equalling the level seen in March (itself, the highest level seen since December 2013).

Output growth picked up pace, seeing the fastest rise since December 2013. This was underpinned by the mechanical engineering and chemicals sectors. Firms expect another firm rise in production over the coming quarter.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “The summer sun has come out early for Britain’s manufacturers. Robust demand at both home and abroad is reflected in strong order books, and output is picking up the pace.

“Boosting productivity is key to alleviating some of the cost pressures that manufacturers are facing. Sustained investment in innovation and education will be vital to shore up the success of British industry.”

In the survey, 26% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, 22% of firms said their export order books were above normal and 41% of businesses said the volume of output over the past three months was up.

We see that confidence reflected among the companies that we help. We believe that digital technology is playing its part to support this continuing growth and our clients are benefitting from the use of IT to develop new projects and improve the efficiency of existing ones.

Bowe Digital offers a range of IT solutions that can help businesses take advantage.

Call us on 0191 214 1750 or email info@bowe.co.uk to find out how.

Bowe Digital – we make I.T. happen

Confidence among UK small firms has risen to the highest level in more than a year, according to the latest Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Small Business Index (SBI).

The SBI stands at 20.0 in Q1 2017, the highest figure since Q4 2015, and up considerably from the -2.9 recorded after the EU referendum.

According to the federation, the strong recovery has been spurred by increased international trade with a net balance of 15.6% of small firms reporting a rise in export activity during the past three months, with a net balance of 30.5% expecting international sales to increase over the next quarter. Both figures are at their highest level since the SBI began.

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see our small businesses trading more overseas, driving an exports-led recovery.”

We see that growing confidence every day among the companies with which we work and we believe that digital technology is playing its part to support continuing growth, and Bowe Digital offers a range of IT solutions that can help businesses take advantage.

Call us on 0191 214 1750 or email info@bowe.co.uk to find out how.

Bowe Digitalwe make I.T. happen

A new survey has shown that UK manufacturers experienced strong growth in orders both at home and from abroad over the first quarter of 2017.

Researchers for the latest quarterly CBI Industrial Trends Survey contacted 397 manufacturers and found that domestic orders improved at the fastest pace since July 2014 in the three months to April.

Meanwhile export orders recorded the strongest growth in six years, supported by strong rises in competitiveness, particularly in non-EU markets which improved at a record pace.

Output growth firmed to a three-year high and is expected to accelerate over the next quarter.

Companies are also upbeat in their year-ahead expectations for exports, with optimism posting the biggest gain in over four decades.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “UK manufacturers are enjoying strong growth in demand from customers in the UK and overseas, and continue to ramp up production. Exports have surged and firms are at their most optimistic about selling overseas in over four decades.”

We believe that digital technology is playing its part to support this continuing growth, and Bowe Digital offers a range of IT solutions that can help businesses take advantage.

Call us on 0191 214 1750 or email info@bowe.co.uk to find out how.

Bowe Digitalwe make I.T. happen

Entrepreneurs are being invited to complete a survey by Government-backed organisation Innovate UK, which is seeking views on innovation.

Innovate UK says it will use the results to strengthen the ways in which it supports innovative companies and, as a company whose digital technologies help many clients find new ways of working, we think it’s well worth offering your views.

Among the questions that Innovate UK is seeking to answer are:

how much effort are you investing in evolving or developing new products, services and processes, as well as in new areas?

how much you expect to grow in the next two years and what the challenges stopping you from doing so?

what are your plans for international activities?

They are seeking views from businesses of any size and age and the survey is open until 23 April 2017 at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-does-your-organisation-approach-research-and-innovation innovate uk