Stripe 21 was delighted to be announced as winner of the Technology Strategy Board’s Smart Grant competition for the ‘Proof of Market’ grant award.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is a UK innovation agency, offering support and funding to help businesses develop new products and services and ultimately bring them closer to market. They are committed to supporting innovation in small and medium sized enterprise businesses with high growth potential, which the TSB believe could be a major source of the UK’s future economic growth.

Stripe 21 responded to the Technology Strategy Board call earlier this year, to articulate and document the services it plans to develop around predicted technology market trends. Stripe 21 noted that the growing global trend towards mobility, working outside the office on personally owned smart phones, laptops and tablet devices such as iPads, would become increasingly difficult to unify, manage and support. This Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend challenges the traditional approaches to IT deployment and Stripe 21 predict that the management and security of company data on personally owned devices in SME’s will become especially problematic. Steve North, Managing Director of Stripe 21 commented “Many SME’s outsource the entire management and security of company data to an IT support specialist or company. Although a reduction in hardware costs is welcomed by many SMEs as employees increasingly use their personal property for work, BYOD devices present time-consuming and disparate challenges, particularly around application support, data ownership, access and security.”

North and his team offered their solution to the TSB – a project that will explore the technical feasibility and market opportunity of providing a low cost, vendor- neutral, managed IT “desktop” service in the cloud. This platform would be targeted primarily at SME businesses, using Software as a Service (SaaS) applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Mail, Salesforce and many others. These applications could be accessed from any internet-enabled device using standard thin-client facilities to connect to the Stripe 21 platform, which is controlled by the SME, not the BYOD user. This centralises the management and access of IT applications, taking away the requirement to support personal employee-owned BYODs.

It allows access to corporate data for the BYOD user, but would prevent the data being physically transferred to the user’s personally-owned device. Where licensed on a per-seat basis, the cost per user would reduce substantially as all subscribers benefit from the economies of scale. This would make the Stripe 21 service lower cost, more secure and easier to manage than contracting directly with the SaaS provider. The Technology Strategy Board was suitably impressed and Stripe 21 has been announced as a winner of Round 5, stage 1 of the Proof of Market grant award.

North commented “our team were delighted to be recognised by the TSB, and to have the opportunity to take our business to a global market”. The competition win marks another success this year for the Stripe 21 team who have been putting their efforts into innovative, new, exciting offers to bring to the Channel. The team now look forward to the launch of their cloud desktop BYOD service, which already has subscribers waiting to beta-test in Q4 of 2014.