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Bath company to make cloud technology more accessible to UK businesses

Bath, UKCloud Direct, a cloud services brokerage (CSB) in Bath, has been awarded a £240,000 grant from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Going for Growth Fund. The grant will contribute towards the research and development of a cloud services automation platform called PROVIDE™. The new technology is designed to make it easier for UK organisations to buy game-changing cloud services for their businesses.

Eliza Rawlings, managing director at Cloud Direct, said: “Based on 10 years of experience, we know that process automation is key to providing customers with cheaper, faster and more scalable cloud services. At the minute, a lot of businesses are confused about cloud IT. They either end up not buying it and missing out on a competitive edge, or they buy the wrong solution for their particular business. We want to make it easier – especially for smaller businesses.”

Brett Raynes, company founder and CEO, said: “Many businesses haven’t yet adopted cloud services because they have several issues. They may have concerns surrounding security, or they don’t think it’ll integrate with their existing IT. They see cloud technology as too complex and can’t find an off-the-shelf solution built with their business in mind. A cloud services brokerage exists to solve these problems, but requires automation to enable it.”

The automated PROVIDE™ platform will give businesses faster, more informed and cheaper access to fit-for-purpose cloud services. It will increase competitiveness, agility and productivity while removing the risks associated with selecting the right cloud technologies.

Cloud Direct sources cloud services for its 2,000 customers from the major cloud providers such as HP, Microsoft, BT, TalkTalk and Amazon. With the help of the PROVIDE™ platform, Cloud Direct expects fivefold revenue growth by 2017 alongside an ongoing recruitment drive.

Paul Wilson, chief executive of the West of England LEP, said: “The West of England Growth Fund has enabled us to inject over £12 million of public funding into the local economy, which has attracted more than £41 million of private sector investment, creating over 1,000 new jobs and safeguarding more than 500. Digital is a key area of growth for our region and so we’re delighted to make this award to Cloud Direct to enable to them to develop their new cloud services platform, which in turn will bring benefit to other businesses.”

According to The Bath Chronicle, which last year jointly launched the Going for Growth Fund with the Bristol Post, the LEP fund has so far helped create more than 1,000 new jobs across the region having attracted 330 applications before the deadline.


About Cloud Direct –

Cloud Direct is a multi-award winning independent Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB) and Gold Investor in People. They give businesses easy and secure access to cloud services for increased agility, productivity and competitiveness.

With 10 years of experience supporting 4,000 businesses, Cloud Direct provides enterprise-class solutions packaged and integrated for business use – along with consolidated billing and an award-winning service.

Cloud Direct offers automated ticketing, billing and access for all services, including:

  • Online backup, disaster recovery and storage
  • Hosted email and collaboration
  • Virtualised computing and hosted desktop
  • Secure, resilient data communications and networks
  • Carrier-grade hosted telephony (VoIP) and video communications
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) and line-of-business applications

About ‘Going for Growth’ –

The £25 million West of England Growth Fund was set up in 2013 to support businesses in the region, creating or safeguarding jobs and driving economic growth. So far, £11.85m has been allocated to 138 businesses in the West of England, with a further £6.8m worth of applications still under consideration.

The two overarching aims of the fund are to:

  • create new private sector jobs and/or safeguard current posts that are at risk of being lost
  • grow the economy by encouraging additional private sector investment

Bidding to the Fund is a competitive process. There are no automatic qualifying criteria, or any set benchmarks that all bids must meet. Overall, the two main aims above lie at the heart of the assessment process. For bids to be considered they need to be for projects that create new jobs or safeguard existing posts. They must also directly lever substantial sums of private sector investment into the economy – in that they seek the minimum amount of grant funding necessary to enable the project to proceed.

A second bidding round will be announced in March/April for companies to apply for smaller sums of money with less stringent criteria.

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Media contact:
Catherine McFarland, marketing and PR, Cloud Direct
0800 0789 437


Content Type: Press Release
Release Date: February 28, 2014

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