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Clouds in a blue sky

With the non-stop rain we’ve been having in the UK you may be sick of the sight of cloud!

But in the web world, Cloud-based IT infrastructure is on its way - big time. In recent weeks we have seen a spate of our public sector and civil society organisations opt for the cloud.  

According the the Civil Society UK website, the Cloud is expected to deliver 'cost flexibility, resilience and scalability' for Nuffield - that's the largest charity in the UK!

Other big organisations opting for a secure cloud-based solution include The Salvation Army and a shared platform for UK Universities (source: Civil Society UK).

If the Cloud is good enough for these mega-organisations – then surely it’s time businesses got the message - the Cloud is the future.

In May eZ Publish released its own cloud version of the content management system we work with.

The benefits of cloud enablement will be many – speed, security, support, cost and more. The aim is to allow eZ clients to focus on the core of their digitally-enabled business. We will be trialling it for suitability for existing and potential clients.    

To find out more about eZ Systems' ambitions for their Cloud-based solution please read these technical briefings by eZ Systems VP Michael Friedmann:

Talk to us if you want to find out more about the eZ Publish Cloud offering.

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Screenshot of EAB's cookie control pop-up window

Like many website development companies we've been spending time recently developing solutions that will enable our customers to comply with the new UK directive on obtaining consent for cookie usage.

The recent 11th hour announcement by the ICO that we wrote about recently (dare we use the word 'U-turn'?) does seem to relax the requirements for website owners but does not make them vanish entirely. Since we were working on this issue for a long time, for our own website we've tried to comply with the earlier stricter interpretation of the directive. That's why the first time you visit our website you'll see a pop up window asking for your explicit consent to the use of cookies. Many thanks to Scottish IT company Civic UK who developed an Open Source package (based on our favourite Javascript library jQuery) that pops up a window asking for consent!

Our understanding of the new ICO announcement is that such a pop up window is not necessary provided that the website owner gives full, correct and detailed information about what the website actually does with cookies, but we still like to be able to offer the user full explicit control of their cookie usage. So, we made sure the pop up window inter-operated with eZ Publish's native functionality (such as logging in) and social media sharing buttons (such as the Google Plus and Facebook 'Like' buttons) to ensure that consent really means consent. That is, if you don't consent to cookies, our website won't use them. At the time of writing this, we've been saddened to see some websites out there that display reassuring popup windows like ours and yet go ahead and use cookies regardless of whether consent is given or not. At EAB we are not so interested in 'creating an impression' that you are in control of your cookie usage, we're trying our best to make it a reality.

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Chocolate chip cookies

 On Thursday 24th May, 48 hours before the deadline for implementing the New EU cookie law (e-Privacy Directive) the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) changed their guidelines on the EU legislation regarding cookies for UK business.

We would like to reassure all our clients that we are assessing the situation and will shortly be in touch to offer a free Cookies audit with recommendations. Our hope is to be able to support you to achieve compliance with the absolute minimum of cost or effort.

We apologise for any consternation that clients may be experiencing about Cookies, but this is an unprecedented situation in the industry. Our aim is to give you only the very best advice - based on a balanced assessment of the ICO's final decision.

Speaking to the BBC, Dave Evans, group manager of the ICO has given this assurance:

"What we want is good compliance, not rushed compliance. If it's focused people's minds, that's a good thing."

Further information from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18194235

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Aylett Nurseries, St Albans, Hertfordshire

We have just produced an eZ Publish content managed website for Aylett Nurseries of St Albans.

This successful local business has been a loyal client of Enterprise AB for many years, and we convinced them to upgrade to the eZ Publish platform so they could finally take control of posting up all their own content.

The world of horticulture changes constantly with the seasons, and now the Aylett Nurseries website can be updated daily and cost effectively by company staff (we include face to face or e-learning CMS training and support in our development packages).

Aylett Nurseries plant house

Aylett Nurseries, St Albans, Hertfordshire

The savings on maintenance means the cost of developing the site will be recouped within months.

We also developed a downloadable e-voucher system and integrated that into the online newsletter registration process. The potential to grow the website into an online shop is good – it’s a simple job to plug in an e-commerce solution to any website on the eZ Publish platform.

Have you got a website that you would like to get control of - to update regularly with new content? Contact us to find more!

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Andre Bottin - Enterprise AB's Managing Director

Andre Bottin, EAB MD

I am pleased to announce that Enterprise AB has joined the European Channel Innovation Network*, a trade-stimulation project  linking seven science parks and start up incubators in Brittany and Normandy with counterparts in the South East of England.

The cross-channel initiative provides an opportunity for face to face meetings between innovative and high growth technology companies looking to establish partnerships.

We have recently established an office in Nice, in the South of France, so EAB is well-positioned to benefit from this initiative.

At a recent networking event held at Internet World 2012 at Earls Court in April, I had a chance to talk to several delegates looking to promote their software products.

I am impressed by the ideas I have seen from our French counterparts. We may be able to offer product extensions to our some of clients in specific sectors. I look forward to exploring options to develop sales synergies in future.

* Channel Innovation Network (CHAIN2) is an EU funded project set up to help UK companies develop and manage relationships in northern France. The CHAIN2 Programme has been made possible by the European Regional Development Fund.

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Enterprise AB Ltd has joined the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry. With hundreds of significant member businesses in Hertfordshire we look forward to taking advantage of its excellent networking, training and export support opportunities.

This development coincides with our MD Andre Bottin’s recent mission to the South of France where we have had a Representative Office since 2008. We have now established a permanent business address in the Côte d'Azur.

Andre will be spending more time in France creating stronger links with business and social contacts in the region of his birth. Thanks to mobile working technology, Andre’s presence in Nice should not hamper his responsiveness to clients in the UK and abroad.

He says, “I am very excited about our French prospects. We are talking to a potential partner design agency about collaboration, and we have joined the Union pour l'Entreprise des Alpes Maritimes - a very successful and active organisation which represents bosses in the French Riviera.”

For more information see our international business activities section.

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EAB's new blog posts are now automatically tweeted!

We've used a third-party extension to integrate the Twitter API with eZ Publish and added URL shortening so that all our new blog posts will be tweeted automatically to our twitter feed. Another way for our clients and partners to keep up to date with developments at EAB.

At the same time, the RSS feed remains an alternative way of staying informed of new content in our blog.

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A recent report published by the Chartered Institute of Marketing/Ipsos ASI /Bloomberg highlights how businesses are getting to grips with administering and managing social media in their organizations.

The Social Media Benchmark is a six-monthly survey of all company sizes from independent consultants and SMEs to blue-chip corporates with participants spanning UK, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Outsourcing

It is interesting to note that only five per cent of respondents outsource their social media responsibility to an agency or third party.

We predict this figure will grow to reflect the growing numbers of businesses wanting to get to grips with social media – but unable to resource this function in-house. These days many marketing departments are stretched to the limit. Social media “champions“ can be found from within the team – they are usually volunteers with a flair and enthusiasm for sharing online. But they may not be the most strategic thinkers or the most customer-service oriented.

Which social media is easiest to outsource?

Twitter is the social media that can be administered most easily by a third party. Next is Facebook and the least outsourced is LinkedIn. This makes sense when you consider the depth of engagement of professionals who are reflecting their skills with every word. The idea of getting someone else to represent you on LinkedIn is kind of bizarre. However, there is a role for an agent in setting up a company page and maximising it.     

More of our clients are asking for help with social media so we launched this service page today:

Talk to us if you need help with social media – we can get you started with baby steps. Alternatively we work with associates who can formulate a bespoke smart solution.

View the social media benchmark online http://www.smbenchmark.com/the-benchmark/results-wave-one/infographic-wave-one/.

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Hi  - you’ve found our new blog!

We’ve used the eZ Publish Content Management System to convert our existing news section into a blog. So now we can take advantage of blog functions like keyword tagging, trackbacks and comments.

You may be wondering; if this is a new blog how it is possible that the blog posts go back several years into the past?

Here’s how: with eZ Publish it is possible to manually transfer content from an existing area like 'news' or 'press releases' and convert each article into a blog post - with all the posts backdated. 

This is something you cannot do with standard blogging software.

If you’d like to know more about changing your website to an eZ Publish system, contact us.

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Suzanne Watts

Enterprise AB has recruited Suzanne Watts as a content strategy consultant to help clients make the most of their websites.

Suzanne has seven years experience in business to business e-communications for the Business Link brand and is studying Integrated Marketing Communications at the Bournemouth University business centre.  

With a background in public relations, she has copywriting experience for the press and has developed special interest in email communications.

“There is a potential for clients to improve SEO using e Z Publish tools” says Suzanne. “I can help them develop articles for blogs that can be posted on social media like Facebook and Linkedin”.

EAB managing director Andre Bottin says, “More and more clients want help to improve their communications with their customers and build stronger social media profiles.”

Suzanne’s first job is to launch a blog for EAB to mark its 20 years in business. 

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