Tech firms on cloud nine with government contracts

Public sector work is of 'huge importance' to Edge Testing Solutions, said founder Brian Ferrie. Picture: Chris Watt
Public sector work is of 'huge importance' to Edge Testing Solutions, said founder Brian Ferrie. Picture: Chris Watt
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A number of Scottish technology companies have secured places on the latest UK government framework to provide cloud computing services to the public sector.

Bellshill-based Edge Testing Solutions, Fife’s eCom Scotland and Glasgow-headquartered Iomart are among those to have been selected for the framework, dubbed G-Cloud 9, following a “highly competitive” procurement process.

• READ MORE: Iomart hails ‘exciting’ growth as earnings climb

Brian Ferrie, founder and chief executive of Edge Testing, said the deal was of “huge importance” to the firm, which has worked on previous frameworks and counts the likes of the Scottish Prison Service, Student Loans Company and South Ayrshire Council among its public sector clients.

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He added: “Not only is it a validation of our hard work for public sector clients through the existing schemes, but it also points the way forward for the business.

“We have been expanding our public sector business enormously year-on-year, reaching 40 per cent of our turnover in 2016, and that is a figure we look forward to growing in 2017.”

Under the new framework, Edge Testing will add “big data”, along with device testing and test “healthchecks”, to its existing suite of public sector services.

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Meanwhile, Aim-quoted web hosting specialist Iomart, another major player in the public sector field, said it had won places on all three lots – cloud hosting, cloud software and cloud support – covered by G-Cloud 9.

Chief executive Angus MacSween said: “As we have seen recently with the WannaCry ransomware attack, there is a growing global threat to IT infrastructure. It is important that all organisations within and outwith the public sector take cyber security much more seriously.”

Edinburgh-based Commsworld is also among those selected for the framework, where it will compete alongside industry giants such as BT and Vodafone for a share of more than £700 million a year in contracts.

Commercial director Andy Arkle said joining the framework, which covers voice telecoms, network connectivity, cloud security and contact centre services, “puts us on a footing with the biggest service providers in the UK as we look to provide our high-quality service to more and more people across the country”.

Dunfermline-based eCom Scotland, run by managing director Wendy Edie, secured a place on G-Cloud 9 to offer its online learning and assessment products. The firm already works with organisations such as the NHS and Scottish Water.

Other firms on the framework include IT consultancy CDG Scotland and cyber security specialist My1Login, both based in Glasgow, and Edinburgh’s FarrPoint and Fernhill Systems.

My1Login chief executive Mike Newman said: “Local authorities and public sector organisations face a number of IT security challenges as a result of moving increasingly to cloud-based computing. They also need to find a secure way to allow third-party contractors to access their IT systems without compromising security.

“It is estimated that 65 per cent of data breaches are caused by weak password practices by employees. My1Login’s solution eliminates this risk.”

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