Tips for your Digital Funding Scheme Application

Written by: Neil Hutchinson | Business Development Director | Everything Voice Ltd

Twitter: @everythingvoice | Call: 0330 055 3570

For those of you who don’t know about it already (where have you been?) a pot of funding of up to £10,000 per project, has been made available from October 2018 to help eligible businesses in Leeds, Calder, Wakefield, Bradford and York to invest in technology projects. To be eligible, you need to be an SME with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £47m. For some time we have been thinking about how we can help the local business community to get the most out of the available funding and this blog is really the result of those considerations. Earlier this week I also read an article by Regeneris Consulting in Manchester and decided to incorporate some of their own findings having being involved in the Manchester Connection Voucher Scheme.

Research from Regeneris Consulting in Manchester showed that their Connection Voucher scheme generated very positive economic returns.  They also made some interesting points about how to make the largest economic impact.

  • New Internet connectivity on its own does not drive improvements in productivity and performance, it’s what businesses do differently   with their new Internet connection which makes the difference.
  • SME’s that made wide ranging changes to the way they use the Internet reported the largest impacts.
  • SME’s with higher levels of IT literacy and sophistication reported the largest impact.

They also went on to report that some internet enabled technologies are more closely linked with improvements in business performance than others. SME’s adopting Video Conferencing, Cloud storage and Collaboration technologies report larger impacts to performance.

So in the context of Phase 4 of the Digital Enterprise Scheme which launches in October, investment in Internet connectivity should be considered a key component for an applicant to demonstrate the positive economic impact of their project. We tend to advise our customers as a matter of course to buy the best internet connectivity they can reasonably afford and it sounds like that advice is good, given the impact of such investments on business performance and growth attributed to accessing cloud based services. There is, however, a general lack of awareness amongst SME’s about some important but lesser known Internet access technologies to rival leased lines in terms of their performance and economic impact but at much lower cost than traditional leased lines. This is where technology companies such as Everything Voice can play a pivotal role in accessing funding from such schemes, we can show you the full spectrum of what is available and ensure it meets your business objectives.

It was also interesting to read that certain cloud technologies have demonstrated the largest impact, namely Video conferencing, cloud storage and web collaboration which again in the context of the Digital Enterprise Scheme should be considered by all applicants as a key component to their project. I suppose it follows that the benefits of these cloud technologies including flexibility, reduced cost and business agility will have a positive impact on growth. As an example, I have met with a number of businesses recently who, with the right Internet connectivity, are moving to the cloud in earnest. For example, one common area being tackled first is to remove legacy PBX telephone systems, expensive ISDN telephone lines and high cost support contracts and move their telephony system entirely to the Cloud. This has significant impact in many areas including reducing cost, making the business far more responsive and more competitive, which has a resulting positive impact on growth.

If you would like more information about the Digital Enterprise Scheme or would like to talk to Everything Voice about your Internet or Telephony project in more detail, please get in touch with me on 0330 055 3570.

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