Software as a Service

April 7, 2009

Software as a Service – 30/4/2009

ICDC Lecture Theatre, Liverpool Innovation Park, 2nd Floor Faraday House, 360 Edge Lane, Liverpool, Merseyside, L7 9NJ

From 11:00am to 13:30pm

Guest Speaker: BT

Member cost: FREE
Non member cost: FREE

Navigating through turbulent times is never easy, but today’s economic conditions are more challenging than most companies have ever faced. The instinctive reaction is switch to defensive mode, cut all strategic projects and then wait until things improve. But falling to do nothing could actually prove to be more detrimental long term. These turbulent times can reap reward and create new opportunities for companies that use information technology wisely.

The ‘Web-based Business Solutions’ event will show you how you can access a portfolio of Software as a Service products (Cloud Computing), quickly, with low risk and in some cases free of charge. That will help your business to:

• Understand where you sales leads are coming from and which are the most profitable

• Differentiate your service offering from your competitors

• Have an all round view of your customer over the entire life-cycle

• Secure your customer base against fraud and competitors

• Share and integrate information across the organisation eliminating duplication

• Enhance the customer experience

• Make more effective use of resources

• Improve your customer reach – extend your channels to market by exploiting e-commerce

• Accelerate deal closure

With demonstrations on hand through-out the day I am sure that this event will help to inspire you into understanding the new and smarter ways of operating to stay strong in these difficult times.

Harnessing Digital Technologies Case Study – Valatech

November 25, 2008

Valatech Ltd is an Information Technology sales company based in Merseyside. With the assistance of the Harnessing Digital Technologies project (part funded by ESF) Valatech was able to purchase IT equipment, software and training to assist in the production of a new E-commerce web site

Purchasing this equipment and training enables Valatech to streamline the operations of the new web site. Given that the e-commerce site contains approximately 120,000 IT related products and services, the workforce are able to swiftly process multiple orders placed on line.

Valatech’s online pc products are available to businesses and members of the general public at extremely competitive prices.


Document Direct – Sponsor of Merit Blog

November 5, 2008

Merit North West are very pleased to announce that Document Direct are the first sponsors of the Merit Blog.

Document Direct brings flexibility to any workplace with digital dictation and outsourced typing services.  Now it’s possible to have your secretary in your pocket and work from anywhere at any time.  Outsourced typing keeps control of your costs, reduces overhead and saves time.   With a digital dictation system it’s easy to send your voice recordings direct to a team of typists waiting to work for you and your typed documents are returned by email direct to your computer or even your mobile phone.

For advice on dictation systems, devices and transcription services contact Jayne Smith at Document Direct

Telephone: 0151 227 9150

Jayne recently attended and exhibited at our Business Case for Gender Diversity event at Liverpool Innovation Park.

The Business Case for Gender Diversity was an exceptional event and very well organised.  The keynote speaker, Gillian Arnold of IBM, was a real inspiration and I found the subject interesting and educational.

– Jayne Smith of Document Direct

Merit North West Favourite Firefox Add-Ons

November 5, 2008

The Merit team have all recently upgraded to Firefox 3.  As you know, Firefox can be customised to work exactly how you like it to, from different add-ons,  themes, plugins, toolbars and tab features.

Here are some of our favourites which we have tried over the last few days.  You can download them directly from this our blog by clicking the green buttons below, or click the Add-On header which will take you to the external website to check for updates if you wish.

Better Gmail 2

Add useful extra features and skins to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, macros, file attachment icons, and more.

Better GReader

Preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar for more reading area, get a Mac OS X like skin, add favicons to feed subscriptions and more with Better GReader.


The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. Flock version available at Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface.


Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript.

Hundreds of scripts, for a wide variety of popular sites, are already available at

Google Preview

Inserts preview images (thumbnails) and popularity ranks of web sites into the Google and Yahoo search results pages.

More to follow…

Merit Event – Reuse, Recycle & Recover

October 30, 2008

Merit North West are pleased to announce we are holding an event at our Liverpool Innovation Park offices on Edge Lane on 26th November 2008 from 11:00am – 13:30pm with Groundwork Merseyside, giving a presentation on the theme of Recycling, Reuse & Recover.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive came into force in January 2007 and aims to both reduce the amount of WEEE being produced and encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it. The WEEE Directive also aims to improve the environmental performance of businesses that manufacture, supply, use, recycle and recover electrical and electronic equipment.

If you are an importer, rebrander or manufacturer of new electrical or electronic equipment then it’s likely that you will need to comply with the UK’s WEEE Regulations, which in part implement the WEEE Directive. If you do need to comply, then you must register on a producer compliance scheme.

Although WEEE Directives came into force back in 2007, businesses are still unsure about the legislation and also unsure about where they can safely manage the disposal of electrical equipment.

This event will provide information and advice on complying with the WEEE Regulations and challenge you to think about the environmental consequences before deciding to replace equipment. Do you really need to buy a new product or could you buy a refurbished product instead. If you have working equipment that you no longer need, could you think about passing it on to others instead of throwing it away?

Also covered within the seminar, will be an update on the Batteries Directive which will affect businesses that produce, supplies or disposes of batteries and accumulators. If you manufacture or design battery powered products, you will need to ensure that the batteries can be removed from the products and supply instructions on how to remove them.

Groundwork Merseyside are funded via the Enworks programme to deliver FREE waste / energy audits for businesses on Merseyside. You can sign up for your waste / energy audit at the seminar to receive the necessary support to dispose of your waste safely and legally

To book on this FREE MERIT EVENT, click here

The MERIT team look forward to seeing you again.

Google – Things To Do

October 16, 2008

As you do, whilst browsing for something completely unrelated, we stumbled upon this great guide from Google on some of the things you can actually do with Google, from learning more about books with Google Books, to making your own Youtube player, from tweaking your iGoogle homepage to learning about online collaboration with Google Docs.

There is something for everyone here, we suggest you check it out.

Google Things To Do – Click Here

Special Offer from RAPID Technologies

October 2, 2008

Our friends from Rapid Technologies have asked us to let our membership know about a special offer they are running over the next couple of days.

Rapid, the North Wests leading video conference solution provider to the legal community are running a 3 day open house starting yesterday where you can –

• Sample the very latest in High Definition video communications
• Benefit from advice on how video conferencing can save your business time and money
• See how video conferencing is so much more than two heads talking
• Experience first hand the future of meeting room technology

Dates: 1st, 2nd, 3rd of October 2008 at Rapid House 138-140 Queens Drive, Liverpool, L15 6XX

Register at and reserve your FREE consultation

t: 0151 282 1818

Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Event – Mornings are Rubbish, Afternoons Bring You Peace of Mind…

October 2, 2008

A Message From Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Industry

We listened and you told us that trade waste and computer security are two issues you are concerned about. So on Wednesday 29th October 2008, we are organising a double event at the BT Convention Centre on the Kings Dock.

The morning session will tell you everything you need to know about waste and recycling with presentations from the Environment Agency and others and case studies of firms who have mastered the art of reducing the cost of waste and saving our environment.

09.00am – Registration

10.00am – Welcome and introduction by Chair of morning session, Jack Stopforth, Chief Executive, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

10.05am –  Climate Change and Year of the Environment Councillor Berni Turner,Executive Member for the Environment, Liverpool City Council.

10.20am –  The North West Development Agency and the Environment Agency The regional and national perspectives on business waste.

Questions and Answers

11.00am –  Coffee and Exhibition

11.30am –  Groundwork Merseyside (Enworks),Envirolink Knowsley Business Environment Club and Encams all the local help and advice you need to help the environment and make a profit.

Questions and Answers

12.45pm –  Lunch and Exhibition

In the afternoon, Merseyside Police High Tech Computer Crime Team, the City of London Fraud Squad, and Littlewoods Shop Direct should help keep your computers clean from nasty viruses and give you some tips on trading on the Internet.

14.00pm –  High Tech Crime Chaired by Steve Jackson, North West Fraud Forum.

14.15pm –  Computer Security Detective Sergeant Geoff Conway, Merseyside Police, High Technology Crime Unit.

14.45pm –  Coffee and Exhibition.

15.30pm –  Fraud on the Internet Detective Inspector Roy West, City of London Police, Mike Wyeth, Head of Security, Littlewoods Shop Direct.

Questions and Answers.

16.00pm –  Visit exhibitors.

17.00pm –  Finish.

Throughout the day Merseyside recycling companies and computer specialists will exhibit their products in the exhibition area, which is also where you will find your free coffee and lunch. You will be able to speak to firms that recycle everything from your food waste to your paper to your old computers. Plus all the specialists who can keep your IT secure. If you want the chance to exhibit your company at the conference, get in touch with Sue or Melissa on 0151 227 1234.


Come and talk Rubbish …and find yourself peace of mind!

ICT Investment Fund – £500,000 for ICT Investment

October 1, 2008

Merit and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce are working together on yet another land mark project offering financial assistance to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) looking to invest in ICT hardware and software.

A further £500,000 of grants via the European Regional Development Fund has been allocated to the ICT Investment Fund which will be awarded to companies successfully applying for grants from across Merseyside.

John Blades, ICT Fund Manager said: “We will award grants of between £10K-50K which must be spent by 30 November 2008. The funding can be up to 40% of the total project costs for new hardware and software.

The funding is open to small and medium sized businesses in the Merseyside area, except those in the Retail and Agricultural sectors, whether or not they are Chamber or Merit members.

If you would like more information about how the ICT Investment Fund can help your businesses please call John Blades at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce on 0151 227 1234 or visit the ICT Investment Fund website at to download and complete an application form.

Merit Event – Getting Ahead With Flexible Working

September 29, 2008

Merit North West are pleased to announce we are holding an event at Goodison Park, Dixie Dean Suite, Liverpool on 15th October 2008, between 11:00am – 13:30pm with BT giving a presentation on Getting Ahead With Flexible Working.

We have been describing work as a place we go to for hundreds of years. Within the next ten years, your business will be ‘doing business’ in different ways from today.

Attracting and retaining staff, reducing the cost of doing business and continually improving product and customer service capabilities will be the key elements to maintaining and improving profitability. The ‘old’ way of getting the job done in one place of work will be replaced by more flexible and responsive methods. In particular, more people will be working from outside the ‘traditional’ office.

As well as providing an excellent networking opportunity this event will look at the economic, environmental and social benefits of ‘flexible working’ and what it means to your business now and in the future. It also looks at dispelling the myths of flexible and home working providing tips on how to get started and will show how businesses can maximise the benefits from technology to help them work more flexibly.

This special event supports ‘Small Business Week 2008’ – a week-long campaign dedicated to championing the 4.3million-plus small enterprises in the UK , bringing together small businesses from across the country, independent business organisations.

For further information on the campaign visit or

There will also be a FREE tour of the ground and a prize draw.

To book your place at this FREE MERIT event, click here.

The MERIT team look foward to seeing you again.