SAW partners with Ordnance Survey to host GeoVation Challenge Masterclass
On 16th October Software Alliance Wales will host a free GeoVation Challenge Masterclass at TechHub in Swansea.
The challenge, organised by Ordnance Survey in conjunction with Land Registry, is asking for people to combine the use of geography, technology and design skills to come up with solutions to address the challenge in hand which is ‘How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?’. The most compelling solutions will be offered the opportunity to win a share of £101,000 of funding to bring the solution to reality.
What will happen at the masterclass?
The masterclasses combine theory and practical sessions, giving users the chance to use open datasets from Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Government open data. Attendees can expect to follow the journey of downloading the data, importing it into open source software and mashing with other open datasets to provide analysis that addresses the following two GeoVation housing issue themes that are featured within the GeoVation Pow Wow output: Affordability and Accessibility and infrastructure.
Should I attend the masterclass?
This class is ideal for those new to working with location data or anyone wishing to brush up on their skills and the overriding goal of the session is to identify where affordable housing is accessible in areas of lower deprivation for the average household.
Open to anyone, whether entering the GeoVation Challenge or just wanting to develop their skills generally, the sessions run from 9.30 am until 4.00pm. There are up to 40 places at each session.
The annual BMVA Summer School in Computer Vision aims to provide an intensive week of training to first-year PhD students from both UK and non-UK universities. Early-stage researchers are also welcome to attend. Aside from the academic content, the summer school also offers a really great networking opportunity for attendees.
The 2014 BMVA Summer School was held in Swansea University from 30 June to 4 July, consisting of 19 1.5-hour lectures and 2 lab sessions that cover a wide range of topics in Computer Vision and Digital Image Computing. They were delivered by 17 renowned UK researchers in computer vision field from both academia and industry, such as Tim Cootes (Manchester University), Daniel Rueckert (Imperial College London), and Andrew Fitzgibbon (Microsoft Research, Cambridge). The lectures took place in the Faraday lecture theatre, while the lab sessions were held in the Digital Technium Building.
A total of 67 registered delegates from 14 different countries all over the world attended the event. Three awards including a Best Poster Award and two Second Prizes were awarded this year. The 20th edition of this event will hopefully take place next year. Registration and related information will be announced in early 2015.
Article by Feng Zhao, Workshop Developer, Software Alliance Wales
Meeting Highlights the Importance of Gold Medal Customer Service
Too often, companies see customers as another distraction from work, but it’s actually happy customers who require less work and offer a better bottom line, according to Richard Beevers of Customer Plus, one of three independent speakers who presented at the CompTIA UK Channel Community Meeting in Coventry in June.
Happy customers are loyal customers and loyal customers are less expensive to serve, will recommend and will pay a premium, according to Beevers, speaking to members of the more than 100 delegates who descended on the Ricoh Arena for the meeting. “Managing Toward Business Excellence” was the theme for the day, and the speakers touched on the areas of business excellence that every company can start improving immediately: team excellence, operational excellence and customer service -excellence. An in-depth account of the UKCC meeting is available here.
So why aren’t all our customers happy already?
Although fantastic customer service is not theoretically difficult, it is difficult to do in practice. Great customer service means different things to different people, he said, and the key is to be in tune with your customer. Don’t treat people how you want to be treated — find out how they want to be treated and treat them that way.
Customer focus needs to be everyone’s priority, the whole way through the company. After all, who would want to fly on a plane when the baggage handlers, refuelling engineers and air traffic controllers don’t care about you as a customer? Beevers also argued that companies should seek out complaints through regular surveys. This will lead to more complaints, not because a company is worse but because you are seeking them out — and a high proportion of complaints aren’t reported acheter inderal. A lot of our work in IT is about dealing with complaints and queries, so addressing them and dealing with them brilliantly will make you stand out to your customers over the competition.
Another key takeaway: A lot of the work in IT is about dealing with complaints and queries, so addressing them and dealing with them brilliantly will make you stand out to your customers over the competition.
CompTIA offers community meetings to help better connect with its members and learn what they want to hear the most. At Coventry, for example, members voted — and the results are being tabulated — on the next piece of research that they would like CompTIA to conduct. Exercises like these are an attempt to better understand what trends members want to know about.
“We had 120 people sign up for this event, and it was the first time that we’ve had to use a waiting list for any CompTIA event, showing how valuable community meetings are for our UK members,” said Vaughan Shayler, CompTIA’s director of channel strategy. “CompTIA would like to thank everyone who joined us on the 17th and 18th June to share experiences, expertise and help us work towards a brighter future of IT.
Michelle Peterson is a communications specialist for CompTIA.
The CompTIA EMEA Member and Partner Conference will be held at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London on the 5th and 6th November 2014. If your IT company is based in Wales, and you would like to attend this event, please give Software Alliance Wales a call on 01792 295881 and we'll confirm the promotional code you should use when you register here.
To find out more about the CompTIA UK Trustmark Programme, and the support available from Software Alliance Wales, click here.
For a comprehensive list of the Software Alliance Wales courses and workshops available this year, take a look at our events calendar. And, if you would like to be updated regularly on Software Alliance Wales activities please signup up to our fortnightly mailshot.
Are you a clinician, software developer, student, researcher, academic or entrepreneur? Are you interested in collaborating and creating new innovative ehealth solutions?
Then the ‘Challenge eHealth Innovation Awards’ are for you.
The event, sponsored by the Welsh Government, offers SMEs, clinicians, healthcare workers, students, researchers and academics from Wales, Dundee and Greenwich London a unique opportunity to work together to create new and innovative digital solutions.
The event calls on delegates to team up to innovate new eHealth concepts and solutions to empower patients and healthcare professionals.
Each team will be encouraged to brainstorm ideas in categories which include: mHealth (mobile health), Well-being & Lifestyle, Clinical Information Systems & Data and Telemedicine & Homecare.
The winning team will scoop £5,000 prize money to further develop their eHealth idea. In addition they will also receive mentor support to the value of £3,000 (covering areas such as finance, funding, IP and marketing).
In late 2013, the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Brecow, launched a commission on “Digital Democracy.” The commission will allow people from any background to provide input into how they believe technology can promote greater relationships between Parliament, Government and the public.
As part of the commission, several events are being held in order to allow groups of individuals to discuss, share and shape ideas about how technology can assist in this aim. It’s a great chance for the everyone to have direct input into the potential plans that our Government may one day take.
Swansea University is organising one of the workshops in Cardiff on the 21st of July. The event, “Digital Democracy – Alive to Engagement” aims to bring together a stimulating mix of academics, SMEs, civil servants and other interested parties. The day will consist of motivating talks by experts, demonstrations of digital solutions and group discussions.
The event will be a great chance to engage with like-minded people and contribute to the results that the Speaker’s Commission will report back to Parliament. If you would like to take part in the event, register your interest using our contact form.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Tom Owen.
Software Alliance Wales has teamed up with CompTIA - the world’s largest non-profit vendor-neutral IT trade association – to offer IT companies the opportunity to talk with our Business Liaison Officers and CompTIA representatives about the benefits of earning the IT Business TrustmarkTM and the CompTIA Accredit UK Trustmark+TM.
So, whether you’re a vendor, distributor or solution provider, stop by the ‘marketplace’ at Digital 2014 to say ‘hello’ and discuss how your business can become recognised as truly ‘best in class’. It’s never too soon!
Can't attend Digital 2014?
If you're unable to make it to Digital 2014 visit the IT Company Accreditation section of our website to discover more about the process and what it could offer you and your business.
You can also register to attend one of our upcoming workshops or webinars that explain and advise on the accreditation process.
Alternatively, if you would like to have a chat with one of our dedicated business liaison officers give us a call on 01792 295881 to arrange an appointment.
Technology is changing the business landscape in Wales. Pioneering companies are drawing on home-grown IT talent and looking for smart new ways of working.
In support, Software Alliance Wales offers businesses across the convergence area access to student development projects, subsidised workshops, training courses, and an accreditation scheme for ICT companies. Our diverse portfolio enables employers and their employees to upskill, network and share best practice.
Visit us at Digital 2014 to find out more. You’ll find our Business Liaison Officers in the marketplace and our tech experts will be delivering ‘lightening talks’ in the Theatre (Beaumaris 1). Drop in to say ‘hello’.
The video clip below highlights what we'll be doing at Digital14, take a look...
Wales is fast becoming a breeding ground for technology entrepreneurialism and innovation with new and exciting technology start-ups appearing all over the country.
As well as homegrown technology taking off, some of the world’s leading tech companies, such as Sony and Logicalis, have chosen to set up shop here - harnessing the skills, talent, funding and support on offer, not to mention the scenery!
This rapid growth clearly demonstrates that there is real opportunity for the technology industry to thrive and for Wales to become recognised as fertile ground for tech growth. But there is still much to do before we name our own ‘Silicon Valley’. Continuing success will depend on support from within; nurturing our talent from the grassroots up.
At Software Alliance Wales, we are committed to working with our university and industry partners to help new and established tech companies attract and retain the software developers and other IT professionals needed to succeed both at home and on the global stage.
We are working to address the IT skills gap, offering training courses to help upskill and reskill employees to ensure businesses have access to a growing pool of talent with the high-level IT skills required to grow sustainably in this competitive marketplace.
We are also working with the global IT industry association, CompTIA, to encourage smaller technology businesses and consultants to undertake a ‘health check’ to help them earn the coveted CompTIA IT Business TrustmarkTM that acknowledges that the business owner is ticking the right boxes to sustain, or grow, their business.
We are working with the vendors, distributors and solution providers in the IT channel to help those recognised as ‘best in class’ earn the prestigious CompTIA Accredit UK Trustmark+TM - a benchmark for technology organisations wishing to prove their business excellence, adherence to industry best practices and commitment to continuous business improvement and sustainable growth.
Through independent assessment and rigorous audit, new and prospective customers can be assured that the accredited ICT company meets stringent industry standards and has strong and proven credentials in the development and delivery of solutions and services.
For more information about the benefits of earning a CompTIA IT Business Trustmark or CompTIA Accredit UK Trustmark+ attend one of our workshops or webinars. Or, give us a call on 01792 295881 to arrange an appointment with a member of the Software Alliance Wales team.
Due to the wide range of applications across multiple disciplines, the exciting and vibrant field of data visualisation is an increasingly important research and development area.
In the world of ‘Big Data’ there is widespread acknowledgement that our ability to collect, store and archive data vastly exceeds our ability to derive useful knowledge from it.
This is a ubiquitous problem. Data visualisation is key. It allows us to gain an understanding of large, complex data sets. It requires us to leverage computer graphics to provide a visual overview that we can use to explore, analyse and present phenomena that would otherwise prove difficult to understand.
EuroVis is an international conference organised by the Eurographics Working Group on Data Visualisation. The event, supported by the IEEE Visualisation and Graphics Technical Committee (IEEE VGTC), has been co-supported by the international visualisation symposium since 1999.
The aim of EuroVis is to foster greater exchange between visualisation researchers and practitioners and, as importantly, attract more researchers and industry partners in Europe to enter this rapidly growing area of research.
Eurovis 2014, the 16th annual conference, is hosted by Swansea University. For more information, visit: eurovis.swansea.ac.uk
For a comprehensive list of Software Alliance Wales CPD training courses and ICT workshops for business, take a look at the events calendar. And, if you would like to be updated regularly on Software Alliance Wales activities please signup up to our fortnightly mailshot.
This event provides a workshop for discussion, bringing together managers and experts, users and developers, adopters and adapters of New Computer Technologies within the Animation and Games development sector.
Who Should Attend?
Companies, organisations, and research teams interested in the development of Animation and Game Technology and particularly with an interest in developing collaborative funding proposals.
When and Where
Organiser: New Computer Technologies Wales
Date: Thursday 15 May 2014
Time: 9:30am to 4pm
Venue: Bangor University
For more information, contact:Robert Gittins & Joanne Cornes School of Computer Science, Bangor University
NCT WALES Animation and Games Workshop provides an excellent opportunity for companies, organisations and academics to learn about the latest advances in technology, meet companies working in the sector and discuss potential collaborative funding
opportunities with leading companies in Wales.
NCT WALES is an A4B Wales Government funded Project and is driven by the support of key managers
from companies, professional organisations, and academics based in Wales. Our members have
connections not only with Unmanned Vehicles, but also within the pivotal areas of Cloud Computing,
Intelligent Sensor Networks, Ubiquitous Computing, New Computing Technologies, Next Generation
Networks, Photonics, Secure Communication, Supercomputing and other new and emerging
Nine ‘Specialist Groups’ now form the core of NCT WALES activities, designed to bring together
professionals with common development interests to promote collaboration and encourage partnership
engagement, particularly in developing new project funding application opportunities during 2014.
NCT Wales are committed to identifying opportunities to engage professional organisations in collaborative
funding applications during 2014.
This event has been organised with financial support from Wales Government A4B Programme and the ERDF. The workshop and its related materials reflect the views only of the participants.