PCR Five for Friday (23/06/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missedThink we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

High street retailers risk losing money by not upgrading legacy systems

High street retailers run the risk of losing revenue if they fall behind on the latest in-store technology. Retailers who fail to upgrade out-dated legacy tech face losing customers, according to Fujitsu’s Forgotten Shop Floor study. A total of 61 per cent of consumers surveyed said that the quality of in-store technology impacts on their loyalty to the store, while 79 per cent agreed that a positive in-store technology experience would lead them to forking out more cash. 

And it is not just the consumers who want to see the latest tech on the shop floor. Some seven out of ten employees said that customers are able to access more data via their personal devices than a shop assistant can provide with the technology available in store. To bridge that gap two-thirds of employees said that they are being forced to use their own personal devices while at work, because of inadequate in-store equipment. The same number also said that there simply isn’t enough technology to go around, even if it was good enough to use.

Westcoast ties up exclusive deal for HTC Vive VR platform

In a bid to boost sales of its virtual reality platform, HTC has teamed up with UK distributor Westcoast Retail. Adding HTC to its roster of leading global brands, Westcoast takes on the responsibility of distributing HTC’s Vive VR platform exclusively across the UK and Europe.

With deals already in place with some of the world’s most top technology firms – Apple, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft and Samsung, to name a few – HTC operations director Louis Lin said that Westcoast’s track record was integral to the deal. “Entering the VR market is an important strategic step for us so we needed a partner with the reputation and team that can deliver a robust approach to the supply chain. Westcoast Retail is a true specialist in the field with the ability to help us fulfil the varying needs of HTC Vive customers and retailers throughout Europe.”

Reseller parks ‘we’re hiring van’ outside Labour bashing Storm Technologies

After one Watford-based reseller threatened to give employees the boot if they voted Labour, a rival of the firm poked fun with a billboard van that had “we’re hiring – where your vote is your choice” written on the side. 

The temper tantrum of Storm Technology MD John Brooker saw him send a company-wide email that made his feelings clear: “Labour voters will be made redundant first if Labour do win and things slow down. 

Speaking to The Register, Dexter Gaul, MD of Hosted-IT said that the stunt was driven by the company’s belief in “both our customers and employees exercising their right to vote freely”.

EU looks to ban encryption backdoors in messaging services

In the wake of a number of terrorist attacks, the issue of end-to-end encryption – and whether or not it should be banned – has been the topic of hot discussion. While the UK government is keen to weaken encryption by building in a backdoor, the EU is gearing itself up to make doing that illegal.

The European Union has proposed a law banning encryption back doors, making end-to-end security mandatory across its member states. While the European Union wants to make it easier for police to obtain data linked to terrorists, they don’t want to weaken the power of encryption. The proposed amended regulation would not only require end-to-end encryption when available, but forbid backdoors that offer guaranteed access to law enforcement. “EU residents need to know that the "confidentiality and safety" of their data is "guaranteed," according to the draft, and backdoors risk "weakening" that privacy,” a spokesman said.

Welsh government announces after-school coding clubs investment

The Welsh government announced this week that it will give schools £1.3 million to set up computer coding clubs. The news comes as a part of the a £100 million investment over five years to raise school standards. 

With the growing importance of coding and programming, along with a widening skills gap, education secretary Kirsty Williams has said that she wants to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to get involved. As reported by the BBC, she commented: "Code is part of almost everyone’s life. When we check out social media, access an app or computer we are using systems created through code. It is an essential building block of our modern world and I want to make sure as many of our young people have knowledge of it as they develop their digital skills."

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