Softwire Blog


Softwire MD accompanies PM to China


2 December 2013, by

For the next few days, our Managing Director Zoe Cunningham is accompanying the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, on a trade delegation to China.

China has experienced outstanding economic growth over the past three decades, averaging almost 10% per annum. In 2010, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and then Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, agreed that the UK and China should be “Partners for Growth”.

Zoe will stop in Beijing and Shanghai, before travelling west to Chengdu. In Chengdu she will visit the Old China Club to attend a session on “Collaboration in software & ICT in Western China”.

The Prime Minister said that he is “delighted to be taking so many brilliant British businesses to China this week”.

Zoe outside Number 10

Charity Saturday


4 July 2013, by

Enjoying some food at the end of Charity SaturdayOn 1st June Softwire held its inaugural Charity Saturday. This brilliant idea was dreamt up by one of our directors, Dan, who was one of twenty-five Softwire employees who gave up their Saturday to work for free for charity.

This year we’ve been raising money for two charities: SCI, who provide cost-effective treatment to eradicate debilitating parasites in the world’s poorest countries, and Ashanti Development, through whom we plan to sponsor a village in Ghana, starting by providing household latrines and basic sanitation. So far Softwirians have organised various fund-raising (and morale-raising!) events such as a pub quiz and a comedy night, which have got our charitable fundraising off to a great start.

The great thing about Charity Saturday, however, was that just by doing a normal day’s work, we could raise thousands of pounds for charity, because Softwire donates all the money we earned. So no need for 117-mile slogs from Bristol to London, or scary throwing ourselves out of planes; we just spend an extra day doing the jobs that we enjoy, and the charities benefit!

On the day itself everyone turned up bright and early (ok, rolled in at their usual hour…) and got down to business. Our extra day in the office was made much more enjoyable both by Dan, whose role in the process was to buy lunch and generally wait on us hand and foot (although any overly taxing requests incurred an additional fee going to the charities), and Zoe, who kindly kept us well-supplied with pastries and chocolates during the day. Personally, I found Charity Saturday provided extra motivation to be productive – since I was giving up my weekend, then I had better make it worthwhile!

Once we’d done our day’s hard work, some of us also went to dinner at the nearby Shaolin Temple restaurant, where the merriment and charitable spirit continued into the evening.

Overall, we raised around £15 000 for Ashanti and SCI – a fantastic result!

Softwire MD Zoe Cunningham wins JCI Ten Outstanding Young People Award


13 June 2013, by

Zoe receiving her TOYP awardWe’re really pleased to announce that Zoe now has yet another award under her belt – a JCI London Ten Outstanding Young People award.

This prestigious award recognises outstanding young professionals who excel and create positive change in their chosen fields.

This award has previously been won by John F Kennedy, Jackie Chan and Elvis Presley so we think it’s pretty amazing that Zoe is now listed alongside them!

For more information on the awards, visit: http://www.jcilondon.org.uk/jci-london-toyp/

Well done Zoe!

BBC’s Live Events CMS has its biggest challenge yet: Glastonbury 2013


6 June 2013, by

Glastonbury on the BBCA year ago we developed a Live Events CMS for the BBC. It’s still going strong, and is now driving the BBC’s coverage of one of the biggest live music events in the calendar: Glastonbury 2013.

The site looks absolutely fantastic, and the extent of the coverage is unprecedented. As this Guardian article says:

Six streams of live music from six different festival stages will be available on mobile, tablets and PCs, as well as Virgin Media homes with a “connected” red button. A seventh roving camera will follow the BBC’s presenters in the build-up to the festival on Friday.

Mobile users will be able to access the entirety of the BBC’s festival coverage via the iPlayer radio app, which has been downloaded more than 2 million times.

The reaction in the media has been very positive, and the interface itself has come in for specific praise: Gizmodo, for instance, called it “visually appealing, stupidly easy to browse, with an emphasis on discovering content”. All in all, we’re extremely honoured to have played a large part in such an exciting project!

Softwire in the top 20 in Best Companies to Work For Awards


10 April 2013, by

For the third year running, Softwire are in the top 20 of the Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For Awards!

The announcement that we had ranked 12th was made at a glitzy awards ceremony in the Battersea Evolution, hosted by Kate Silverton and attended by Softwire employees Robynne and Todd.

The evening started with a champagne reception, followed by a three course meal, including a fancy trio of desserts to finish off!

It was a tense evening as we waited to find out where we had ranked this year, however Robynne and Todd kept the rest of us up to date throughout the night on our Twitter feed.

It was a great night and we’re all really happy that Softwire have ranked so highly three years in a row!

Zoe Cunningham shortlisted for ‘Inspiration of the Year’ award


14 February 2013, by

2013 Inspiration of the Year FinalistNot just content with being declared Britain’s Brightest woman, our Managing Director, Zoe Cunningham, has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2013 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards.

 The awards celebrate the successes of the women leading the way in technology. Passion, drive and commitment are just a few of the attributes recognised in the talented finalists who are laying the foundations for future females to follow in their footsteps. The aim of the awards is to raise the profile of the innovative and talented women enjoying success and job satisfaction within technology so that others will identify it as a career well worth pursuing.

 The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 19th March. Good luck Zoe!

Softwire MD Zoe Cunningham hosting the Microsoft Office 365 Launch today


30 January 2013, by

Microsoft Office 365Today our MD Zoe Cunningham is out and about on the Office 365 bus to launch the latest version of Microsoft Office (Office 365)! Tune in to www.catchthe365.com to catch her or follow on Twitter at #catchthe365.

Sharing a name with a previous cloud based offering, Office 365 contains many of these cloud features – for example the default save location is your online Sky Drive. Other new features include:  new visualisations and layout, new graphical options in Word and online picture support.

The UK launch looks to be pretty spectacular. Microsoft have hired a double decker bus, and enlisted live bands, magicians, street performers and bloggers to create a full day event. They are focussing on people who use Office in a home, rather than work, environment, with guests from the worlds of food, cooking, sport and parenting.

Star guests include Tess Daly, Will Greenwood and online celebrities including “mummy bloggers” Sally Whittle and Bridget MacPherson.

The 365 Bus