Ulster Bank Fraud Seminar Reaches Omagh

Continuing with the Ahead for Business Programme and trying to help businesses get ahead in Tyrone, Ulster Bank held their latest Fraud Awareness Seminar in Silver Birch Hotel, Omagh. The objective of the seminar is to help businesses keep themselves safe, by understanding the threats from fraud and what measures they can take to counteract these risks.

Ulster Bank Fraud Seminar

Shauna Burns, Head of Mid Ulster & Fermanagh Business centre welcomed 50 local business people to the business suite of the hotel and introduced the first speaker Margaret Hunter, RBS Security & Resilience. Margaret gave an overview of trends that the bank are experiencing and discussed hints and tips on cheque and invoice fraud. Michelle Garrigan, Head of On line Operations was the second speaker and gave the audience a great feel for the sophistication of fraudsters and what the banks golden security rules are regarding bankline. With some surprising statistics for the audience:

  • 1m people are affected daily by cybercrime
  • 170,000 identities stolen each year
  • Online fraud costs the UK economy £27bn each year

Fight Against Fraud

After a series of questions and answers, Shauna Burns closed the seminar and recommended that everyone shared the information of the day to business colleagues, family and friend to help “the fight against fraud”.

The local business team who were also in attendance received very positive feedback from the audience who appreciated the event being held in Omagh;

  • “great speakers, good content and good length”
  • “Definitely something I need to consider more in my own business”
  • “Can we arrange another for all local solicitors?”
  • “excellent event, very informative & worthwhile”

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Internet Of Things – Fueling Marketing Revolution with Connected Life

In our everyday life, we come across various technological revolutions that impact everything we do. However, how many of us have actually been impacted with a new gigantic wave that has completely changed the entire technological realm. Today’s topic of discussion revolves around one such gigantic advancement that has provided marketers with countless opportunities to create a WOW experience for customers.

Internet of Things (IoT) is driving every marketer to bring some smart revolutionary changes in the technological sphere. According to recent research, IoT ranked as the second most important area in 2015 in many countries and would have the biggest effect on marketers by 2020. The installation base of IoT devices worldwide would rise from 4.88 billion to nearly 25.01 billion between 2015 and 2020. The UK Government announced that they will spend an additional £45m on developing Internet of Things enabled technology. Not only in technology, but IoT has successfully influenced other sectors such as insurance marketers for better engagement of consumers.

Internet Of Things (IoT)

IoT is the network of dedicated physical objects that comprises of embedded technology to sense and interact with external environment or their internal state. IoT contains an ecosystem that consists of applications, data analysis, things and communication.

What Can Be Currently Achieved With IoT, From Marketing Perspective?

The buzz is that every device will soon get connected to the internet, which will boost productivity and reduce energy needs.

Easy Availability Of Customer’s Data And Feedback

When every device can be programmed and tracked, it becomes easier for the marketers to collect and analyse the ever-increasing varieties of behavioural statistics of the consumers. The cross-correlation of data helps in revolutionising the targeted marketing of products and services. Marketers can now find the doors to any machine-to-machine derived information. They have enough opportunities to interact with consumers in new and exciting ways. The wealth of data can be utilised to deepen customer insights and optimise customer performance.

With new IoT devices being invented every other day, it represents opportunities to market new products and services. Marketers can deliver more personalised and engaging information to customers in the most relevant channels. Also with customer’s instant feedback, especially when a product isn’t living up to the expectation, retailers are able to cut their losses much sooner than later.

Smart Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

IoT when used in conjunction with CRM tool helps in gathering and organising client data. The technology embedded devices can streamline the buyer’s chain of command and decisions and help retailers understand where the prospects are in their buying journey. This enables marketers serve the right information and nurture the clients to close a deal.

It Is Not Just Banner Ads Or Pop-Ups Anymore

No longer will marketers have to rely on banner ads and pop-ups to let the world know about their products and services. The increasing numbers of connected devices fitted with sensors and constant network accessibility has entirely changed the face of advertising. With IoT advertisements, no prospects will be served with an advertisement that does not align perfectly with their interests, behaviours and past purchase. Not only will the consumers save time by being served with relevant ads but also the marketers save thousands of pounds after irrelevant advertisements.

The Smart IoT Devices And Marketing

With smart glasses such as Google Glass, marketers can display ads when users look at a particular item or take its picture. They can also deliver the right information at the right place and time especially when consumers use the device to check prices and research products while shopping.

Similarly, smart lighting system has enabled retailers to interact directly with visitors’ smartphones. For instance, it allows retailers to give shoppers directions to specific store items. Some of the LED system can also be connected with a mobile app that can be used to send targeted messages and coupons when customers are at a particular location within the store.

Most interestingly, if marketers can use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, it can present a number of potential opportunities for them. RFID serves as a tool to customise and enhance customer experience. Some retailers are using RFID smart tags to play tunes to the clothes that shoppers are trying on. They’re using the tunes or songs of celebrities that best match the style of the apparel. The aim is to put customers in the right purchasing mindset and help them imagine themselves wearing the perfect clothes. Undoubtedly, this creates an overall pleasant shopping experience.

A mass-market application of IoT in UK is the use of Hive. Hive is an app from British Gas that allows householders to control their central heating process via their smartphones. This innovation has substantially improved people’s everyday lives. The users can get hot water only when they need to, thereby reducing energy waste and saving money.

With data collected from the adopters of wearable tech, brands can better understand where and when shoppers might take action on a trigger. This is where the marketers can provide value and convenience to people using such devices.

How IoT Can Benefit An Organisation’s Business Goal?

As IoT can afford new opportunities in the next few years, it can drastically

  • Enhance customer satisfaction and engagement
  • Increase productivity operation and infrastructure
  • Improve product design and build new products
  • Reduce maintenance cost and system downtime.

Connected products provide brands with a direct, real time interface and interaction point with consumers. Marketers are looking forward to more limitless opportunities enabled by IoT. And with billions of new things becoming smarter with Internet Of Things, marketers will surely not let their marketing strategy remain ineffective.

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Calling all Innovators & Entrepreneurs, we need your help & your green VOTE !!

As with any Irish technology company, we all suffer unique challenges when growing business internationally. As a country we have a small population so we struggle when trying to make as much noise as our International competitors. Even places we assume are tiny states such as Haiti & Togo have twice and three times our population.

Hence we need your help…

One of our company’s, Surface Power HONE which has developed a revolutionary “daylight” powered Nano-heat engine technology is short-listed (final 18 was judged by experts) for the 2Degrees Champions Award –  “Innovation of the Year” which is the world’s leading collaboration platform and service for sustainable business with over 46,500 members from 177 countries. https://www.2degreesnetwork.com/

Surface Power HONE has nearly 7,000 installations of this patented technology over 8 countries to date and it has been kept fairly secretive until recently. The technology was field tested in the West of Ireland & New Zealand as the daylight levels are some of the lowest in the OECD. In short, it replaces the use of oil and gas for heating and cooling with free daylight. Have a look at LIVE customers on our website such as the UK National Health Service running their hospital’s central heating on free “daylight” (sounds mad but true !!)

The next phase of the 2Degrees “Innovation of the Year Awards” is a voting stage which will reduce the final 18 to 5 for the big awards ceremony and we need your help and your vote. 

Although already in the short-list of 18, we are the only Irish Technology company in this shortlist and are up against huge players such as Nestle, General Motors & B&Q.

You can vote for us by clicking the link below to get us into the final 5 and we thank you in advance for that vote. Be sure to tweet it afterwards using the link so we can personally send you a thank you tweet. Go raibh maith agat as do chabhair.

Best Regards, John Quinn, CEO. (Twitter – @johnquinn_irl )

Read our story and VOTE from below.


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Small Business Can Workshop

With our recent partnership with The Smart Business Show we are providing you with exclusive discounts to attend the show and also to exhibit. We will also be running a dedicated workshop for our members at the show.

Workshop Title: Panel Discussion SMEs and Public Tendering

SMEs and public tendering, is there any point. Public tendering for SMEs is an issue. The opportunity cost are very high and the chance of success is low. What to do?

This workshop will be a panel discussion on public tendering with a number of experts and SMEs on tendering. Lessons learned, what no to do and the stories of success and failure.


  • A better understanding of public tendering
  • Opportunity to engage with people who have been there and bought the T-shirt


Ross McCarthy
Managing Director at Keystone Procurement
Ross is an entrepreneur, business advisor and strategist that has worked with businesses of all sizes for over 15 years.Ross helps businesses achieve their commercial and organisational objectives and has a particular interest in Procurement, Tendering and Bid Management and Project Management.

Tony Clarke
Owner of Kendlebell Naas
Tony and his team at Kendlebell Naas place a heavy focus on delivering exceptional customer service to each and everyone of their clients whether they are in the SOHO , SME or Multinational sectors.

Tony Corrigan
CEO of TenderScout
Tony is Founder and CEO of TenderScout, a competitive intelligence SaaS that accelerates sales and increases revenues from public procurement competitions. Tony’s background comprises software development, enterprise sales, IT management and procurement consultancy. He started out with IBM and set up his first consultancy company, KOMINO in 2003.

Workshop Moderator

Ron Immink
Co-founder of Small Business Can
Ron was hired by Ulster Bank/RBS to develop www.smallbusinesscan.com, a free and open platform where owner managers can create and share the business knowledge.


Where and When?

Date: 22nd April 2015
Time: 13.30am
Duration: 1 Hours
Location: Workshop 2, RDS, Dublin
You can register for your place below;


Learn more about the Smart Business Show here.

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Using Excel for Bookkeeping

Using excel for bookkeeping is not considered a long term solution for your business for many reasons. Here we outline some of them, and why you should consider using an Accounting package to manage your Bookkeeping/Accounting function. Accounting software is not only considered easy to use, but it is full of automation, that will ultimately take a lot of time out of processing your records. Accounting software is designed to be scale able, and accurate.

Bookkeeping software will help you to grow your business in ways that excel can not do. The automation of bookkeeping software takes the time out of managing the accuracy of excel formula. The nature of humans is that they can make mistakes, and through rigorous testing, accounting packages iron out the errors through beta testing before releasing it to the general public. Embracing change can be difficult, but once you move to the cloud, the rewards are huge.

Here are some reasons why using online accounting software is better than excel for your business:

Access from anywhere

One of the main advantages of using an online accounting software package like eFolio Accounts is that you can use it anywhere. eFolio Accounts like other systems works on any hardware, and all you need is an internet browser.  Send that quote from your car after a meeting, or convert a quote to invoice with the click of a button.

Audit Trail

eFolio Accounts keeps a clear audit trail of every transaction within your business. If you need to access this information its at your finger tips for audit, or to give to any potential investor.

Information in real time

Online Accounting software gives you the information live, even if anyone has been inputting information into the system. All users have live up to date data at all times.

Instant Reporting

Reporting with eFolio Accounts is simple and straight forward. Set your parameters and click update, and you have the reports you need. Profit and loss, Balance sheet, aged receivables, and much more.

Its scalable

Online accounting software like eFolio Accounts is scalable, so when your business grows, the software can handle it. You never need to be generating new spreadsheets, and ensuring that sheets talk to each other.

Excel can cause you problems. Here are a few examples:

  1. Getting all excel sheets & formulas to talk to each other over time causes problems. Users of excel find that they need to perform maintenance on files and sheets to get them to work as time goes on.
  2. You need to design excel sheets and reports before you start working with them. Generally the reports and sheets are not changable. Business owners require different functionality and reporting as the business grows, and generally excel is not scalable.
  3. Excel requiters you to know it inside and out. You need to be an expert in using formulas and there is a big learning curve. Why invest this time when you could be growing your business.
  4. Online invoicing takes the pain away from keeping hundreds of individual files on your computer, and it is inconvenient to back up.

Written by Mark Hegarty. As part of ‘Use Small Business Can as a channel’ eFolio accounts has an exclusive offer for SBC members. To sign up for a 30 day free trial (no credit card required) of www.efolioaccounts.com just visit the website. Use the code SBCEFOLIO2014 as your referral code and if you’re an Ulster Bank customer let us know by email to claim your free trial period.

Get paid on time with easy invoicing and manage client accounts with efficient built in email for invoicing. eFolio Accounts is all your business need!


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