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Liquid signs BASDA Cloud charter

2nd Mar 2011
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Liquid Accounts has become the first UK Cloud supplier to sign the BASDA Cloud Vendor Charter.

As part of the charter conditions, Liquid is the first accounting company to guarantee the export of client data from its software, when and wherever the client wishes, claimed managing director Matt Holmes, who also chairs BASDA’s Cloud Computing Special Interest Group.

“Back in December we released a file export button which allows you to download your information from Liquid whenever you like.  This could be for back-ups, analysis, to use in another software package, to give to your accountant, or even if you want to move away from Liquid and try something else,” said Holmes.

“This was the only thing we were missing to comply with the Charter and we see it as a guarantee to our customers. We won’t tie you in... it’s your data, not ours, we’re just storing it for you."

He continued, “We’ve recently launched a free easy data import from Sage or Excel/csv… changed our sign-up process so you don’t have to enter any payment details until you’ve completed your month’s free trial of the full working version of the App, plus any additional modules you’d like to try.”   

Wearing his BASDA Cloud SIG hat, Holmes has been heavily involved in creating and launching the charter.

“We pride ourselves on our five-part login process, which includes a randomly generated company code and password as well as a personal login for each user [allowing] administrators to change everyone’s login or lock everyone out if necessary… This is on top of the standard case sensitive passwords, and encryption that you’d expect.”

But any UK Cloud standard will have to mesh with international standards too, one of the points of Cloud computing is its ability to distribute data for storage in different locations - and jurisdictions. Over in the US, the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) has moved on from its Open Cloud Standards Incubator to form another group to tackle software licensing management in virtualised and cloud computing environments.

“The UK Cloud Vendor Charter is clearly an evolving document,” said Kevin McCallum, business development director for Edinburgh-based FreeAgent which has customers in North and South America, South Africa, Australia and elsewhere.

“We’ve obviously had a good look at the charter’s mix of points, some of which are very specific and some rather vague, but we do support anything that improves the end user’s experience, which is central to everything we do. Transparency in areas such as security, reliability and product life cycle management are important to us and we feel we already follow good practice in these regards.”

McCallum also thought the Vendor Charter should be “globally aware” in the context of the conclusions that other, non-UK industry bodies are arriving at, such as the software licensing project at DTMF.


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By david_terrar
10th Mar 2011 08:53

Don't forget Cloud Industry Forum's Code of Practice

 I just wanted to highlight the UK's Cloud Industry Forum and their Code of Practice, which wasn't mentioned in your article.  CIF was established in 2009 to provide transparency through certification to a Code of Practice for credible online Cloud service providers and to assist end users in determining core information necessary to enable them to adopt these services.  It's all about dealing properly with data security, data portability and trust.

The three UK cloud oriented vendor groups all support what CIF are doing - The Intellect SaaS Group, EuroCloud UK and the BASDA Cloud SIG.  In fact an earlier version of the BASDA Charter was part of the input to create the Code of Practice, which covers infrastructure and platforms as well as Software (as a Secrvice).  See Matt and Liquid's support in their own press release here:

(Disclosure Matt Holmes and I both sit on the CIF governance board, as does Chris Challis who moderates the cloud discussion group here on AccountingWEB)

David Terrar and

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