■ Amazon tracked Twitch’s evolution from scrappy guerrilla startup to one of the Internet’s hottest media properties and in August announced a $970m acquisition to get into one of the fastest-growing online arenas: live-streaming. Amazon’s bet - its largest ever - underscores how a loyal and fast-growing following for live-streaming has grabbed the attention of big brands. Some believe live and interactive streaming, in which Twitch is a pioneer, is the new frontier in online video.
■ The Scottish Government has signed a deal with Virgin Media Business (VMB) to provide services through its telephony services framework. VMB will deliver fixed voice services to hospitals, councils and GP surgeries to help improve digital connectivity in Scotland and reduce costs. VMB will also be working with the Government to identify more efficient ways of working and introduce additional services such as cloud-based products. The contract is part of a wider government programme including the rollout of a Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) for all public sector organisations.
■ The UK Government is looking at bids from suppliers interested in signing a four-year framework agreement, worth up to £700m, to run at least two datacentres. The ‘Crown Hosting’ service will be run by a new private company, DatacentreCo, majority-owned by the private sector supplier, with the Government retaining 25 per cent. The project is intended as a bridge between legacy government systems and the cloud. Founder customers are expected to be the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Highways Agency.
■ Medical billing software developer Craneware has acquired Scottish technology company Kestros Ltd in a deal worth up to £1.25m. Edinburgh-based Craneware, which develops software billing and audit solutions for the US healthcare market, said acquisition of Kilmarnock-based Kestros gave it a “technology platform in the high growth patient access market, addressing the growing level of consumerisation within healthcare”.
■ City of Edinburgh Council has whittled down the number of competing bids for its up to £2bn ICT services contract down from 17 to four. The procurement, to replace Edinburgh’s outsourcing contract with BT which is due to expire in March 2016, is likely to take until next spring to complete. The four are CGI, Atos, Lockhead Martin and Capita. The contract will also allow other Scottish local authorities and justice, health and education providers in Scotland to procure ICT services.
■ Scottish angel group Equity Gap invested £160,000 in the online booking start-up Appointedd, alongside Apollo Informal Investment and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. It will allow Appointedd, founded by former magazine editor Leah Hutcheon, to hire staff and expand into new markets and territories.
■ A paid placement scheme for Scotland’s future IT workers has been given a five-year funding boost. e-Placement Scotland was set up in 2010 to match small firms with students and address a skills shortage in the sector. Run by Edinburgh Napier University in partnership with trade body ScotlandIS, the successful scheme has created over 900 placement opportunities to date. Now, the Scottish Funding Council has committed a further £620,000 to the initiative, ensuring it runs until at least 2019.
■ Data Centre & IT Infrastructure specialists Onyx Group has been awarded a place on the telecommunications framework, a service from Jisc, to supply IT connectivity solutions for the UK education and research sector. It follows its appointment as official Cloud Computing suppliers to the UK public sector through the G-Cloud 5 framework.
■ Scottish League Cup Winners Aberdeen Football Club has appointed digital sports agency Sotic to deliver a new online presence to engage and communicate with their supporters and sponsors throughout the world. A key part of the solution will be bringing the live match-day experience to life online.
■ The NHS Supply Chain has issued a pre-tender of a framework agreement contract for clinical software-related products, hosted clinical applications, data warehousing and services with an estimated value of between £4bn and £6bn.
■ The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) awarded Lockheed Martin a deal worth £90m to replace its command and control system. It aims to ensure that the UK’s largest police force is enabled for “multi-channel public interaction delivering improved situational awareness, predictive analytics and data sharing, including through voice, text, application and social media”.