Computers & Software Technology Telecom U.K

BT and Five9 Announce Partnership, Enabling Speedier Cloud Adoption For Contact Centres

Recently, BT and Five9 announced a partnership with the intent to accelerate cloud adoption for contact centres globally. 

Through this partnership, BT is offering Five9 intelligent Customer Experience (CX) platform to its customers. 

As a result, customers, both old and new, will be able to enjoy an end-to-end managed service. This service enables them to fully digitalise their workplace “through tighter integration with existing voice, digital channels, unified communications and customer relationship management (CRM) systems”.

The integration with this intelligent CX platform will also provide customers with cloud migration expertise and “extensive experience and capabilities in managing complex technology environments” that BT offers.

BT customers will now also get access to the complete range of services provided by Five9, including digital engagement channels, analytics, workflow automation and optimisation, and practical Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In addition, BT also plans to offer access to AI and automation solutions by Five9, which includes its Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA).

Why Is Cloud Adoption a Big Deal For Contact Centres?

To understand why cloud adoption is relevant, one simply needs to notice how call centres have been replaced by contact centres. 

With the emergence of new communication technologies, customer service is no longer limited to the traditional call-based format. In fact, one could argue that using only voice calls is less efficient—and sometimes, less convenient for customers—when one has access to SMS, IMs, and emails.

In fact, with Contact Centres as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, even voice calls can be routed securely through the internet to agents. These agents could receive calls anywhere, ensuring a seamless experience for the customer.

Plus, CCaaSs have certain benefits over traditional call centres.

Why a CCaaS Might Be Better Than Traditional Call Centres

  1. Quicker scalability, where increasing the number of agents is a matter of quickly getting them to log in from wherever they are, as and when required.
  2. Cost-effectiveness, since clients pay only for the features they use.
  3. More flexibility, as agents can work from anywhere, which means clients can hire from a bigger talent pool and offer more options to employees.
  4. Advanced features, including speech recognition, sentiment analysis, and natural language processing, to improve customer experience.
  5. Enhanced security, because such services would require stricter security measures as well as certifications to prove they’ve done their due diligence.
  6. Improved efficiency, since some of the more mundane and tedious tasks can be automated, leaving agents free to focus on giving customers better service through easily accessible customer information and real-time performance analytics.

Ensuring the Contact Centre Is Providing the Best Possible CX

Whilst contact centres are moving towards automation and using generative AI (like ChatGPT) to provide better service, they still need to ensure that their systems are working properly. That involves monitoring and testing.

That would help these businesses to maintain high customer care ratings, not just by optimising processes—such as mapping IVR call flows—but also ensuring that the infrastructure is configured to manage workloads.

For Five9, the service is provided by its partner, Occam Global, through Occam’s contact centre discovery, testing, and monitoring platform Razor.

Others might need to invest in a similar testing service if they want to stay competitive.

Computers & Software Services Technology U.K

Ava Tech Now Officially Offers Procurement Services

Leading IT support and systems company, Ava Tech, has officially launched two new services—IT procurement and IT hardware procurement. 

The business started out as a cloud hosting service provider, but over the years, it has started helping its clients with their hardware and software needs as well. 

Since procurement is now a large part of its operations, the business has decided to officially add these to the list of services it offers.

For any modern organisation, the right IT tools are essential for success. Some technology products can improve interdepartmental communication whilst others can enable work efficiency.

Certain operations might even require niche products, such as those that fulfil specific requirements that no other solution can provide.

The lack of proper IT infrastructure, or the wrong one, can affect the smooth running of a business.

Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the variety of solutions available, much less which ones are optimal for their business.

This is where Ava Tech promises to help.

The business’s new offerings promise clients end-to-end procurement, helping them acquire the perfect solutions at a good price. In fact, Sales Director Andrew Do claims that the company works on a “Deal or No Deal” basis. 

The process starts with a free IT review of the client’s business. “We assess your procurement practices and policies to see if we could help you make savings. If we can’t offer you a reduction in technology costs, we walk away,” explains Mr. Do.

He goes on to elaborate that, whilst Ava Tech promises optimised IT spending, it does not always mean the lowest price. However, he does promise the best price for the right solution.

Therefore, if the client already has a cost-efficient procurement strategy and the company cannot offer a better deal, it won’t use pushy sales tactics to try and convince them.

This claim is backed by hard numbers. The company is currently boasting an average of 22% savings across their client base.

Whilst IT procurement is a service designed to provide the complete hardware and software infrastructure of a business, IT hardware procurement focuses on the tangible assets that an organisation might need.

In either case, the IT products are delivered anywhere in the world. The company also promises flexibility in terms of customising IT deliverables for various departments in the client’s organisation.

With a decade of experience under its belt, Ava Tech has built a network of distributors and suppliers. The business partners with big names like Google, Microsoft, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Sophos, Cisco, Meraki, LG, Apple, Logitech, Dell, and CAE Technology (the only Cisco-approved shared support specialist).

In terms of hardware procurement, the company not only supplies computers and laptops, but also networks, cabling, and conferencing & telephony. 

Ava Tech also specialises in audio-visual meeting room design. That includes all-in-one conference solutions, single private soundproof booths, huddle rooms, and conferencing or auditorium/all-hands areas.

In addition, clients can get a complete range of software solutions depending on their requirements. The company started out hosting desktops and Microsoft 365, but has extended its portfolio to include almost any software application that its clients might require.

Ava Tech is a London-based company that provides IT solutions to businesses. It provides a perfect balance of personalised, Agile service backed by a vast network of suppliers and partners across the world. To learn more about the company, please visit 

Health & Medicine Science Technology U.K U.S

FDA Releases Draft Guidance for Decentralised Clinical Trials; Adoption of DCT is Expected to Increase

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly released a draft guidance detailing its recommendations on performing decentralised clinical trials (DCTs) for drugs, biological products and medical devices.

With the draft, FDA is committed to providing trial sponsors, researchers, and other stakeholders with guidance on how to accelerate DCT adoption to facilitate drug development, reported European Pharmaceutical Review.

FDA’s New Draft Guidance

The newly issued draft guidance is developed on the recommendations the agency detailed in 2020. With the earlier guidance, FDA aimed to help study teams facilitate trial decentralisation in response to the disruptions (e.g. travel restrictions, site closure, quarantines) and public health emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The FDA has long considered the benefits of decentralised clinical trials. Advancements in digital health technologies and the COVID-19 pandemic – when in-person visits were limited or unavailable for many trial participants – have accelerated the broader adoption of these activities,” explained FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf.

This new draft offers recommendations related to the FDA’s conditions for investigations of medicinal products when applied to decentralised studies and meets the requirement outlined in section 3606(a)(1), FDA Omnibus Reform Act (FDORA).

FDA released the guidance a few months after the EU regulators demonstrated their recommendations on DCT to help protect the rights and well-being of the trial participants.

In the draft guidance, FDA provides stakeholders with recommendations on DCT design, conducting remote clinical trial visits and clinical trial-related activities, the adoption of digital health technologies (DHT) as enablers of clinical research, the responsibilities of the involved stakeholders, and how investigational medicine should be administered.

Breaking Down the Recommendations

Providing a framework for DCT design, FDA stresses the importance of having a physical location while conducting DCTs to ensure easy access to participant records and investigators’ care.

The trial protocol should clearly define when a tele-health checkup is required and when a patient needs an in-person visit.

FDA urges investigators to confirm participant identity during each remote visit.

According to the agency, the protocols for using DHTs in a virtual trial to gather data for trial endpoints should be compatible with the draft guidance “Digital Health Technologies for Remote Data Acquisition in Clinical Investigation”.

Additionally, in the newly released draft guidance, the FDA has urged sponsors to strive for enhancing participant diversity and inclusiveness in clinical trials. 

FDA stresses the importance of engaging local healthcare providers (HCPs” in trial activities to build trust with at-risk participants, thus improving the inclusion of diverse populations. 

While DCTs and hybrid models can encourage a much higher enrollment rate, FDA suggests investigators recruit only as many participants as they can efficiently manage to provide enough supervision of trial-related activities. 

According to the agency, while taking remote consent from the trial participants, they should be informed about whom to contact in case they face any health issues during the trial period and who can access their personal health information (PHI) acquired during the DCT.

FDA underscores leveraging central IRB in decentralised trials as a key to facilitating the review of the protocol, the informed consent documents, and other pertinent trial data.

In addition, investigational products (IP) should be administered to the participants only under the in-person supervision of the investigator or the supervision of a sub-investigator answerable to the investigator.

It’s recommended for sponsors to take into account the type of an investigational device, its prospective application, and the associated risks to determine its use cases efficiently.

IPs can be directly delivered to the participants’ location and the trial protocol should clearly define the methods of preserving the integrity and stability of the IP.

FDA recommends the use of a centralised distribution system to facilitate the delivery of IP to trial participants.

The sponsor is responsible for thoroughly monitoring the DCT processes while ensuring the trial is being conducted per the general investigational protocols and considerations included in the IND or IDE applications. 

The implemented safety monitoring plan in a trial should be devised considering the decentralised nature of the investigation. It should ensure any adverse events are detected early, correctly captured, and efficiently addressed.

FDA suggests sponsors implement high-end DCT software that can help manage electronic case report forms (eCRFs) and electronic informed consent (eConsent), schedule trial activities, sync data input in DHTs, and more. 

High-end DCT platforms such as ObvioHealth can efficiently address the issues of data inaccuracy and the interoperability essential to produce robust trial outcomes and endpoints.

Wrapping Up

Decentralised and hybrid study models are considered the way forward to decrease the patient burden. Offering participants the support and flexibility they need, DCTs also help improve data quality. 

The result: augmented trial result and accelerated drug development

“As we seek to improve our evidence generation system, decentralised clinical trials may enhance convenience for trial participants, reduce the burden on caregivers, expand access to more diverse populations, improve trial efficiencies, and facilitate research on rare diseases and diseases affecting populations with limited mobility,” commented FDA Commissioner.

Computers & Software Technology U.K U.S

Leading IT Service and Consulting Company Atos Launched Eviden Brand Ahead of the Planned €5 billion Carve-out

Ahead of the pre-planned €5 billion carve-out, Atos has reportedly unveiled its Eviden brand.

In June 2022, Atos – the leading French multinational IT service and consulting company – announced to curate strategies to split itself down the middle.

As planned, the company has cleaved itself in two, with its burgeoning digital, big data, and security (BDS) lines to operate as Eviden, according to Consultancy Europe.

The other half, which comprises the business’s tech foundations business line, will continue under the Atos name. To differentiate this carved-out, future entity from the current Atos business, the company is addressing it as TFCo for now. 

Breaking Down the Carve-out

The split-up, costing around €1.5 billion, is planned to be “effective at the earliest on July 1, 2023, and at the latest on December 31, 2023”. The brand of the spin-off business was launched in April this year.

The new business, initially slated to be launched as Evidian, later spun out from Atosunder the name “Eviden,” retaining the same etymology (“evidence”).

The post-carve-out Atos business is planned to constitute the Digital Workplace, Data Centre and Hosting, Unified Communications, and Business Process Outsourcing units of Atos. 

Operating within the Atos business and trading as “Eviden, an Atos business,” the spin-off company also includes the Atos Consulting business.

Eviden – which comprises the shrinking units of the parent company – would have a headcount of roughly 48000 globally and revenues of around €5.4B.

Atos has confirmed to invest €1.1 billion during the 2022-2026 period as part of its effort to support a return on investment (ROI).

Fleshing Out the Reasons Behind the Split-up

After conducting a “preliminary strategic review,” Atos, one of the world’s leading IT businesses with revenues of €11 billion – decided to split itself into two separate entities in order to “unlock more value” for the stakeholders. 

However, tough economic headwinds facing the company have been marked as the key reason behind the spin-off. 

Even though the IT business is expanding at a breakneck pace globally, last year, Atos saw a sharp decline of 3% in its revenue. Earlier this year, the technology consulting giant issued its third profit warning due to the significant difference in the financial KPIs, causing the company’s shares to plunge to their lowest since mid-2022. 

The strategy Atos adopted to cleave itself in two businesses is similar to how IBM spun out its $19B managed infrastructure services into Kyndryl in November 2021.

According to its hot-off-the-presses site, Eviden is committed to turning out as a global leader in “data-driven, trusted and sustainable digital transformation,” bringing together the digital, cloud, and big data & security business lines of the parent company Atos.

Billing itself as “one of the largest carve-outs the industry has ever seen,” Eviden demonstrates its vision to “expand the possibilities of data and technology”.

That said, being a highly intricate and cross-functional process, a carve-out transaction needs to be executed carefully and by experts.

For any dynamic business looking to maximise its transaction value, investing in an expert carve-out consulting service like Fission Consulting is a logical investment.

A high-end service helps streamline the slew of complex and lengthy processes to speed up the overall separation timeline while ensuring data accuracy.

Wrapping Up

Nikki Kelly, former Senior Vice President for Public Sector and Defence in Northern Europe at Atos has been elected as the CEO of Northern Europe & APAC for Eviden, an Atos company.

“I’m excited to start my new role with Eviden as the CEO for Northern Europe & Asia Pacific,” stated the newly appointed CEO. “A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help scale a €5 billion new company with deep industry expertise, innovation in our DNA, helping our clients to be competitive and deliver secure, digital business solutions quickly at scale.”

Computers & Software Health & Medicine Pharmaceuticals & Biotech Science U.K

The Biggest Compliance Issues Faced by MedTech Companies Transitioning to Data-Enabled Solutions

In April, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHPRA) released a guidance document, called Software and Artificial Intelligence as a Medical Device. This document is a compilation of previous guidance, advice, and regulatory requirements for Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) and Artificial Intelligence as a Medical Device (AIaMD).

The document covers:

  • How software as a general medical device or an IVD should be classified
  • What the UK regulatory framework is for SaMDs
  • A change programme roadmap for software and AI as a medical device
  • How to qualify and classify one’s SaMD, including how to create an intended use statement
  • Reporting adverse events once the SaMD is in use, and requirements for field safety corrective actions
  • The guiding principles to inform the development of Good Machine Learning Practice (GMLP) for artificial intelligence

This document has been developed keeping in mind the goal of advancing software and AI medical device regulation. With these technologies becoming a growing part of the MedTech industry, this seems like a reasonable next step.

Data-Enabled Solutions in MedTech

Whilst software and AI as a medical device is a growing market which is now at the forefront due to the rapid rise in the use of AI, it’s not a completely new idea.

Technology has been in use in medicine and medical research for a while now. However, as computing grows more sophisticated, so do the devices.

In fact, across the pond, there is a growing concern about regulatory compliance issues surrounding MedTech. 

Earlier this year, an article in Med City News talked about the top five compliance issues faced by MedTech companies transitioning to data-enabled solutions.

Here they are.

Compliance Issues That MedTech Companies Face

Managing How the Data Is Collected, Used, and Shared

Smart MedTech solutions rely on data gathered from the people who use them. That is why the first issue to consider is related to data gathering and storage.

Companies that use MedTech-enabled data platforms are obligated to take appropriate care of any information collected, including,

  • Patient data
  • Drug development data
  • Customer or provider data
  • AI/ML-developed data sets

Any data collected, used, or shared must be prioritised with the following in mind:

  • Legal mandates
  • GDPR
  • Others
  • Ethical values
  • Patient rights and dignity
  • Patient care and care quality
  • Minimising patient risk and burden
  • Data access

Keeping the Changing Interactions Between Patients, Physicians, and Other Stakeholders in Mind

Medical care is shifting from treatment to preventative treatment, which has led to a change in how patients interact with healthcare providers.

This means that not only is the relationship between them changing, but there’s also an increase in the use of technology for patient monitoring and real-time data entry.

This data collection would require greater collaboration with stakeholders, which is something to consider when planning compliant protocols.

Planning New Regulation Regimes for Donation of EHR, Cybersecurity Technology, and Information Blocking

Electronic Health Records (EHR) are replacing the old paper documentation. These EHRs can be shared between health systems and providers for the sake of interoperability. 

However, those donations need to be adequately tracked.

There needs to be a system in place to ensure there is a legitimate need for the adoption and topics such as updates and replacements have been addressed

Additionally, the provider of this information must not engage in “information blocking”, which has been defined as any activity that impedes the exchange or use of the health information.

Addressing Value-Based Care Considerations and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute Safe Harbours

Data-enabled MedTech has the potential to make patient care much more empathetic, streamlined, and comprehensive. However, these qualities rely on better design and regulations.

At the same time, MedTech companies also need to ensure that their practices align with the regulatory requirements of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute safe harbours.

Balancing the Lack of Advanced Industry Standards Against a Rapidly Growing Technology

MedTech and communication technologies have exploded in the last couple of decades. And, the rise of AI has been even more dramatic. As such, the existing rules and regulations need to evolve with these new developments.

Managing regulatory compliance, especially for an industry like MedTech, can be quite challenging. That is where companies like RegASK can help. Such a service can help one not only maintain compliance but also keep up with any changes.

As is evident from the rise of tools like ChatGPT, the world is going to see more automation through AI. The important thing is to design compliance regulations that are as effective and as scalable as that technology.

Computers & Software Technology Telecom U.K U.S

Mobile Technology Is Changing the Face of Marketing in the UK

There are an estimated 7.33 billion mobile users in the world, according to Statista. A lot of these are smartphones, especially in the UK. 

Since people always have their phones or tablets with them, they can read, browse, watch videos, and listen to music on the move.

The way content is consumed has changed. As a result, the way businesses communicate with their customers has also changed.

Telemedia Online discusses how changing mobile technology is affecting the future of marketing.

Harnessing the Power of Mobile Marketing

Because mobile phones are so ubiquitous and mobile search is growing, marketing for mobile has become an integral part of any marketing strategy, states the article. 

Since mobile marketing has the potential to reach directly into the pockets/hands/eyes of the consumer, it makes sense to make the most of it.

Here are some strategies that are commonly used in mobile marketing.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are a great way of personalising the customer’s experience when interacting with a business. This platform can be used to provide them with tailored content, rewards and offers specific to app users, and a smoother user journey.

Regardless of the size of the business, an app can be a powerful tool in its marketing arsenal, simply because it’s a larger product type, not a specific category.

For example, a large lifestyle store could offer an e-commerce app whilst a small restaurant could offer an app on which customers could order food or make reservations. Both are apps, even if they fulfil different functions.

Mobile Videos

When Facebook was at its height of popularity, it became obvious that video content did much better than text-only. Now, with mobile browsing, videos are even more popular. Consider the meteoric rise of TikTok, which is nothing but user-generated videos.

Even B2B marketing videos, which might be significantly different from TikTok videos are handy for delivering powerful messages. In fact, businesses like Bold Content specifically offer video production services for B2B marketing.

Videos can make products come to life, customer testimonials can pack more of a punch, and even if purely for entertainment, video content for mobiles can deliver better marketing results.

Plus, video technology is changing rapidly with artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-based filmmaking. Creating videos for a business’s marketing is now easier—and more cost-effective—than ever.

It is also a way of keeping a company’s marketing recession-ready.

Using Mobile in the Digital Marketing Strategy

If a company wants to use mobile marketing in its strategy, there are a few steps it could take.

Start With a Mobile-First Strategy

It is quite difficult to take an existing (non-mobile) strategy and tweak it into an effective mobile strategy. 

For example, a website built for a desktop screen technically can be converted into a responsive, mobile-friendly one, but it might never be as user-friendly as one that was specifically designed for a smaller screen.

That is why, for a business’s mobile marketing strategy to be successful, it needs to be built from the ground up.

Personalising the Customer Experience

The biggest benefit that a mobile strategy offers is the fact that it can be customised for each customer. Unlike a desktop computer, people don’t tend to share phones, which means the information associated with each device will correspond to one individual.

This can be a powerful tool for presenting highly relevant marketing messages to customers.

In order to make the most of one’s mobile marketing strategy, one must consider content personalisation as part of the overall plan.

Invest in Mobile Apps

As discussed above, mobile apps are a great way of delivering customised offers and content. 

This customer-centric solution can be very useful for increasing customer loyalty and engagement.

That, in turn, helps drive sales.

Use Videos

A high-quality marketing video—whether describing a product, a customer’s review, or simply an entertaining social media short—can help a business get more customer engagement. These can then be used to convert.

Incorporate Mobile Payment

Whether a business has customers visiting a brick-and-mortar store, an app on their mobile, or the company website, making transactions easier can help conversion. Easy mobile payment is one such way of simplifying the buying process.

It can be in the form of an online store or a physical store that accepts mobile payment forms, like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

No matter how one uses plans their marketing strategy, it is obvious that making it mobile-friendly is essential. It’s no longer a “good to have”—people expect it. 

Not having a mobile marketing strategy means a business loses out on a huge opportunity.

Automotive Living Public Affairs Technology U.K

Cornwall Council Extends Contract with Unity5

Cornwall Council, the unitary authority for Cornwall in the United Kingdom, has reportedly announced the extension of its collaboration with Unity5. 

The extension of the contract is part of the council’s effort to drive the digitisation of its permits leveraging Unity5’s ZatPark solution, reported TransportXtra.

“Bringing Unity5 and its ZatPark solution onboard has been a hugely positive step forward for us, explained Zoe Hall, Strategic Parking Manager at Cornwall Council. “We’ve benefited from the flexibility of the technology, and the digitisation of our permits through ZatPermit was a valuable and much-needed update. We are delighted to have extended our contract and are looking forward to continuing our work together.”

Cornwall Council Detailing Positive Parking Framework

The contract between Cornwall Council and Unity5 was first inked in 2020. 

The Council signed up to the national Positive Parking Agenda and detailed its Positive Parking Framework for Cornwall which was approved by the Cabinet in June 2018. 

The Positive Parking Framework for Cornwall (the Plan) was devised to enforce smart parking while also helping support local economies and facilitate traffic management.

With the framework, the authority is committed to efficiently managing the 205 off-street car parks managed by Parking Services. 

In addition, the framework is expected to help manage the research, development, and review work of the 123 tariffs across Cornwall’s parking lots and several non-charging car parks.

Cornwall Council Bringing ZatPark Onboard

Recognising the role of Information Technology (IT) in helping deliver improved parking service, the Council aligned Unity5 to its strategic parking plans. 

The Council signed a contract with Unity5 for deploying its Zatpark solution that includes Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), and Parking Permits processing systems.

The contract also meant that ZatPark was to be deployed to help manage the county’s parking permit systems, producing digital and physical parking permits.

Even though the roll-out of the ZatPark system was initially stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic, an integrated and coordinated approach taken by both parties ensured the safe and successful implementation of the system, with roughly 200,000 PCNs (including all PCN data, images, and correspondence) migrated into it.

The contract was initially signed for a two year period with a possible two one-year renewal. 

The recent extension of the contract is driven by the high-end service and customer experience ZatPark enabled the Council to deliver to the customers, residents, stakeholders, businesses, and visitors visiting the county. 

Both parties mark the extension as a demonstration of successful collaboration between Unity5 and the local authority. 

Cornwall Council expects to further extend the partnership and deploy the ZatPark solution to Moving Traffic Contraventions.

ZatPark confirmed to fine-tune and configure the fully integrated modules with its high-performance hosted parking solution during the onboarding process to support the Council’s technology transformation.

“The support we received from the team at Unity5 is second to none. They would be highly proactive for any new projects and very reactive when any day-to-day issues arose,” stated Josh Macdonald, Business, Products & Communications Manager (Parking) at Cornwall Council.

Lifestyle Living News & Current Affairs Real Estate U.K

Belgravia Townhouse with Ties to Exiled Greek Princess Goes Up for Sale

The former royal residence, located in Eaton Square, Belgravia, has reportedly gone up for sale for the first time in the last three decades for roughly £39.5M.

This notoriously stylish and magnificent residential garden square was home to some of the members of the Greek royal family through the mid to late 1940s, reported the Evening Standard

Inside the Belgravia Trophy House

The grandiose trophy home is one of just 12 freehold houses facing the garden on Eaton Square – one of the most exquisite and exclusive postcodes in London.

Once exiled Princess Katherine and her husband lived in this palatial house for years before they left Eaton Square and eventually moved to Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

This sumptuous property is spread over six floors, standing on 10,600 sq ft of land, and comprises six majestic bedrooms, opulent reception rooms, and a gymnasium among others. 

Even though it’s not a true royal palace, the ornateness of the building, the lush gardens, and the grandeur it upholds are worthy of royal designation.

The residence got a wistful refurbishment around two decades ago by the prolific interior designer Nicky Haslam who is renowned for transforming the interior of a property into a unique, timeless environment. 

Originally built by Thomas Cubit between 1825 and 1826, this place of Greek royals amazes visitors with its elegance. 

Boasting a hacienda-like courtyard, spacious corridors, and high ceilings, this stupendous property is now recognised for blurring the line between regency and modernity. 

The resplendent property features a formal stucco and brick façade with a portico supported on Doric columns.

The ground floor includes a stately reception hall embellished with an inlaid marble floor and Corinthian columns, a formal dining space, and an arboretum with direct access to a garden terrace. 

In addition, the cluster of magnificent reception spaces on the first floor presents a dizzying range of hosting options.

The majestic master bedroom suite encompasses the entire second floor while the upper floor is occupied by three additional bedrooms and a study.

The well-furnished gym, wine cellar, utility room, guest bedroom suite, and laundry room on the lower-ground floor ensure the property upholds its unique resplendence while also offering all modern conveniences. 

The mews house, which connects to the main home on the lower ground level and occupies a storeroom, a garage, multiple reception spaces, and three ensuite shower rooms, can be extended into more five bedrooms if required. 

Adorned with chandeliers, gilded ceiling coving, decorous marble fireplaces, wall panelling, and parquet flooring, this upscale trophy house is synonymous with ultra-luxury.

The Belgravia Trophy Home on Sale

Unsurprisingly, this unravelled luxury property has been put on sale at an eye-watering asking price: £39.5 million.

The luxury royal residence is expected to draw interest from domestic and international uber-rich buyers who look to invest in luxury properties as part of their effort to maximise their property portfolio.

With wealthy foreign investors snapping up properties in London’s most exclusive enclaves such as Belgravia, the demand for vacant luxury property management services like Quintessentially Estate is booming.

A bespoke and tailored service ensures a client’s property is well managed and ready for their home-coming.

Wrapping Up

The trophy property with ties to the Greek royal family is expected to create a bidding war among rich buyers. Featuring ornate rooms and striking marble floors, this rare property boasts an “abundance of luxurious and beautiful accommodation”. 

Computers & Software Technology U.K U.S

Understanding the Relationship Between Space Systems, Climate Change, and Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has been a concern for businesses and entities since the dawn of the internet. And, as communications technology evolves, so do the attack vectors. 

A quick response enabled by immediate detection is often key with a cyber attack. If businesses can’t have their own detection and response teams, they may employ the Security Operations Centre (SOC) services of Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) like DigitalXRAID.

However, technology has been evolving rather rapidly, which means newer threats are emerging. And, as businesses adopt digital transformation, they need to be aware of potential dangers they might face.

Two such cyber security issues recently discussed have been cybersecurity in space and cyber risk due to climate change.

Cybersecurity in Space Deemed “Urgent”, Needing “High-Level Attention”, Says US National Cyber Director

The US National Cyber Director, Kemba Walden, spoke to reporters at the RSA conference on the 26th of April 2023. 

She said cybersecurity in outer space was a pressing issue that was to be discussed in the first space industry cybersecurity workshop hosted by the White House.

We are all aware that the first ‘shot’ in the current Ukraine conflict was a cyberattack against a US space company,” Walden said.

She was, of course, referring to Russia’s attempt to jam SpaceX’s Spacelink, which was being used to provide Ukraine with internet connectivity.

Walden called space systems cybersecurity “an incredibly complex and unique space ecosystem”, which required “a very close public-private partnership”.

She went on to explain that nation-state threat actors like China and Russia are being considered cyber threats to space systems, and calling such attacks—that on Starlink and the one on Viasat—“acts of war”.

Secure-by-design space technology is something that the White House has been talking about a lot recently. 

Released last month, the White House’s Cybersecurity Strategy mentioned how space-based systems—including navigation, positioning, and environmental monitoring—needed to be secure.

Walden also mentioned that the US Space Policy Directive 5, which outlines cybersecurity design principles for space systems, is something they want to focus on.

The principles are being decided and the next steps would be to collaborate with the industry to put these into action.

How Climate Change Is Increasing Cyber-Risks

One would assume that climate change and cybersecurity are topics that are poles apart. However, there are several connections between these two issues.

These connections were highlighted by Chloe Messdaghi, CEO and Founder of Global Secure Partners.

According to Ms Messdaghi, issues caused by climate change provided more opportunities for threat actors to attack.

Attacks on Green Energy Sources

In order to reduce greenhouse emissions, the world is shifting towards green energy sources. These energy sources rely on new technologies. Since they are new, they may not have a well-rounded defence against cyber attacks.

For instance, electric vehicles are reliant on a network of charge points. These would be connected to the grid and managed through a central system. This could be targeted by threat actors.

Whilst this was a hypothetical example, Ms Messdaghi also brought up the cyber-incident at Vestas Wind Systems. That attack forced the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines to stop IT operations across a number of locations.

Extreme Weather Conditions Damaging Critical Digital Systems

Another risk that accompanies climate change that would affect cybersecurity is extreme weather events.

Climate change can result in more frequent and devastating hurricanes and tsunamis. These could affect critical digital systems—damaging underwater communications cables or off-site servers.

Any disruptions such damage would cause could be used as an opportunity by threat actors to attack.

Such weather events might also lead to an increase in remote working. If workers are not careful, they can be targeted for phishing attacks. These, in turn, could be used to get into the employers’ systems and data.

Deteriorating Relationships Between Countries

Climate change can lead to rising temperatures, which then affect geopolitical stability. As people are displaced due to famines caused by rising temperatures, the resulting migration could lead to tensions between countries.

These tensions could then be used as an excuse to conduct cyber attacks on the rival nation’s infrastructure.

It might sound incredible right now, but the pace at which technology is evolving means that we constantly need to look at cybersecurity from all angles. Because, even if we don’t, threat actors would definitely be trying to find any chinks in the cybersecurity armour.

(Threat actors are already using AI for creating malware, whilst cybersecurity experts are considering it for penetration testing.)

And, whilst things seem unrelated, nothing exists in isolation. We need to look at how changes in one system could affect the way it interacts with other systems.

Energy & Environment Lifestyle News & Current Affairs U.K

Around 150 Elderly People Living Alone in Bedford Have No Central Heating; Age UK Describes the Figure as “Tremendously Concerning”

Citing Age UK, the country’s leading charity for older people, Bedford Today reported that roughly 150 one-person households aged over 65 have no access to central heating in Bedford.

Age UK marks this figure as a “tremendous concern” and asks the government to call for immediate action.

“These figures are of tremendous concern, as older people lacking central heating often find it very difficult to stay warm during the winter months with potentially serious consequences for their health and well-being, stated Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK.

Fleshing Out the Reasons

In 2021, roughly 8993 over-65s in Bedford were likely to be living alone, constituting a staggering 30% of the age group, according to an analysis of census 2021 data by the PA news agency.

Of the aged people living alone, 146 (1.6%) were without central heating. 

According to Age UK, if proper measures can’t be implemented before the next winter sets in, the country is poised to face a “perfect storm” which will cause older people to suffer severely.

One of the key players causing this suffering among aged people is the current energy crisis stemming from geopolitical and economic uncertainty.

On top of that, the issues posed by the current energy crisis have amplified the Ukraine conflict. As the gas supply scenario in the UK seems to be exacerbated by the war, energy costs keep spiralling upward.  

It becomes challenging for elderly people living alone to pay the fixed costs of central heating. Stretching the income of a single person to cover multiple expenses can sometimes lead to serious repercussions among aged people – such as social isolation.

In such a situation, the spiking cost of living and rising inflation looming over the country has prompted an increase in the number of aged people struggling to afford heating their houses. 

Driving Energy Efficiency Can Help

Stressing the importance of making heating accessible to everyone in the UK, Ms. Abrahams said, “Expanding central heating access and providing suitable alternatives to keep older people warm will be absolutely key.”

Describing the number of people living without heating in Bedford as “deeply concerning,” Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow climate change secretary, stated, “No person in Britain should have to live in a cold home.”

According to the secretary, as part of its effort to upgrade the heating system of homes, thus ensuring families have “the warmth they need” at a cheaper energy rate, Labour is set to roll out a national Warm Homes Plan. 

The plan is expected to upgrade the energy efficiency of up to 2M homes in a year, helping households cut up to £500 off their annual energy bills.

According to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), driving the energy efficiency of homes is the most viable and long-term approach to fighting the current fuel poverty and energy crisis.

“We know this is a difficult time for families, including older people, which is why we’ve been covering around half of the typical household’s energy bill and committed over £6.6 billion in this parliament to improve energy efficiency,” said a spokesperson from Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).

As part of its effort to support low-income and vulnerable households while also offering improvements to the UK’s least energy-efficient houses, the DESNZ has launched the expansion of the Great British Insulation Scheme. 

With this scheme, the government is committed to tackling fuel poverty and helping slash a significant amount off energy bills.

That said, UK residents are urged to follow governmental measures to transition to a more “energy efficient future” and affordable energy costs.

Besides adding insulation, and deploying energy-efficient appliances, keeping an updated service on boilers is a great way to minimise energy losses, thus driving energy efficiency.

For residents looking to save on their energy bills by making their boilers more energy efficient, leveraging a high-end boiler repair service like Mulgas is a sensible investment. Periodic servicing ensures boilers run efficiently, thus reducing energy waste. 

Wrapping Up

Living without central heating is one of the household aspects that indicate deprivation. 

Age UK urges people in suffering to contact its advice line for immediate support.