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Why are There no Bankers on the Beach?

posted 26 Sept 2010, 14:16 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 26 Sept 2010, 14:19 ]
Midsummer  Mergers & Acquisitions Mania Mystery: Why are There no Bankers on the Beach?

With the Credit Crunch leaving stock market values low, and
the cash on corporate balance sheets reaching 'historically
high levels' (according to Paul Parker, head of global
acquisitions at Barclays Capital) the take-over prices of
target companies are currently looking temptingly cheap.
This summer I have spotted lots of headlines in the
financial pages about 'M&A Mania'. To give you just a

* 'US Stocks Rise As M&A Activity Seen As Hopeful Sign;
DJIA Up 63' (Wall Street Journal)

* 'SAP to join tech sector M&A boom' (Computer Weekly)

* 'Merger Mania predicted as cash-rich firms stalk takeover
targets'(The Guardian)

* 'M&A boom building up steam in Vietnam' (Vietnam Business

* 'Mergers & Acquisitions Mania Disrupts Bankers Summer
Break' (The Guardian)

Need I go on? Poor old bankers, I hear you cry, once again
enduring appalling hardship as they are recalled from their
summer holidays. What a shame, they have such a tough time
of it! But why are they leaving the beach? Why are they
sacrificing their precious once-a-year break to get back to
the office? Why aren't they using a SaaS system? Haven't
they heard of the Virtual Boardroom? Haven't they even heard
of Webforum?

I realise, of course, that these days, after the Enron
scandal and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the USA, and with the
UK Corporate Governance Code setting out standards in
Britain, boardrooms around the world are subject to closer
scrutiny than ever before.  Company directors are well aware
of the importance of frequent, effective and secure

But these days it doesn't have to be face-to-face across the
board table!  Internet-based technology has evolved to spawn
the perfect tool to enable them to share confidential
working documents, such as director reports and meeting
minutes in a secure environment which is accessible 24/7,
from anywhere in the world.

It's called SaaS, also sometimes known as Cloud Computing.
For anyone who does not work full time, and does not need to
commute every day, but who needs to keep in touch with the
office and collaborate with colleagues, a SaaS service could
be the answer. A good SaaS service such as Webforum can
provide complete security coupled with the benefits of
portability and accessibility. This is particularly useful
for boards with non-executive directors, who by the nature
of their roles are not employees, and are not expected to
carry out their work on company premises or have access to
company systems.

Putting your valuable and confidential documents in the
hands of an outside agency might seem like a risky move. As
for storing your data in the clouds, that sounds positively
alarming. In fact data stored on SaaS is a whole lot less
vulnerable than data stored on your own network.
Furthermore, if you are in the habit of using portable
storage devices such as data sticks, CDs and laptops, be
aware that they tend to get left on trains, lost, or stolen
from cars and offices, with embarrassing regularity.

A good SaaS system will include a safe repository for
sensitive or restricted data, totally separate from the
company network, where there might be a risk of it being
accessed by unauthorised personnel, either accidentally or
maliciously. Sign up to a really good SaaS provider and you
will no longer need to carry vulnerable CDs and datasticks
around with you.  No need to mess around emailing
correspondence and attachments, as data sharing and
collaboration is built into the system.

No need to worry about backing up your files, as a reputable
SaaS provider will do it all for you. Even better, the best
systems come complete with their own user and group access
controls, making it easy for you to control and restrict
access to documents and folders.

Best of all, with SaaS there is complete freedom,
portability and accessibility. No need to leave the beach at
all! Well OK then, maybe just for a few minutes to use your
laptop from your hotel room.

About the Author:

Charlotte Mooney is an IT professional with many years
experience, currently working for International IT Software
Consultancy Proswift, specialising in the Webforum online
Document Management and online Project Planning Service. If
this story strikes a chord with you, click here and check
out what Webforum could do for you and your business -