Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Fiscal Fantasyland

Reports from the Jersey Innovation Fund show that a loan was given to “Logfiller Limited” 18 months ago to support the development of “a sophisticated computer software solution that measures user experience of application and system use”.

The States Innovation Fund Board granted a £400,000 States loan to the company. Online records showed:

Logfiller is a private company founded in 2013. It is the brainchild of Jeremy Barker, Co-founder and CTO and is now the No.1 REAL User Experience company. Registered Office: Beachside Business Centre, Rue Du Hocq, St Clement, Jersey, JE2 6LF “

Digital Jersey posted this Posted Friday 26th June 2015

“Logfiller Ltd. announces Rollout Of Its New “User Experience” Technology, Layer8. Logfiller Ltd., a young technology company, is rolling out its new software, Layer8, a user experience measurement tool that reveals actionable new data. This innovation has “immediate and significant implications for efficiency, cyber security and compliance across the Windows environment” explained co-founder, Michael Colopy, “providing far more insight than standard technology.”

So what is Layer8?

Machine data, wire data, transaction times ... all useful bits obtained from monitoring your infrastructure and applications. None of these, however, accurately reflects internal end-users’ experience. Obtaining insights from end-users must be derived from their perspective ... at Layer8.

Layer8's metrics are driven by the interaction of the end-user and the system, not by underlying machinery or software. The output is high-quality, dense data that provides insight into what the end-user is actually experiencing, not what logs or counters record. Stated simply, Layer8 provides actual end-user experience data for desktops and VDI ... at scale.

Viewing your organization from the outside in with Layer8 transforms management and processes, empowering better decision making. Imagine what could be done if your team could leverage ...

But that comes from OctoInsight’s website, not Logfiller!

PR Newswire says this:

MCLEAN, Va., June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A happier day is dawning for PC users and IT managers as the universal divide between the two is being spanned by a versatile new technology, Layer8, from OctoInsight Inc. (formerly Logfiller).

And that press report tells us:

This innovation is the latest brainchild of user experience obsessive, Jeremy Barker, who has built some of IT's most effective and successful endpoint technologies.

Logfiller and Jersey

Bailiwick Express reports in June that:

“Senator Philip Ozouf has accepted “full responsibility” for the £400,000 States Innovation Fund loan given to a company that appears to have left the Island – but says that the reality is that some businesses backed will succeed, and some will fail.”

“In a statement to the House yesterday on the story about the fund, Senator Ozouf refused to answer specific questions about Logfiller, but did say that ministers expected up to 50% of the companies backed by the fund to fail, and for the money to be written off.”

“Press releases name Michael Colopy as co-founder and Jeremy Barker as CTO, but the company’s website redirects to a firm called Octoinsight, based in Virginia in the US, which names the same two people in the same roles.”

On Friday last it was reported that Logfiller was liquidated:

Digital Quadrant Magazine has this to comment, which really sums up the whole sorry mess far better than I could.

They provide an excellent overview of news stories on Digital Technology, and can be found at:

Here is what they said (my italics):

“Having lent £400,000 from the Island's innovation fund to a company called Logfiller Ltd, those in charge of administering the loan and making sure it was being used appropriately, not only failed to ensure how the company was doing but failed to spot that the firm and all of its representatives had left the island. Thoughtlessly, they hadn't provided a forwarding address.”

“Indeed, it is quite possible that none of the businesses that have received a loan from the fund will succeed. However, the cause for concern lies in Senator Ozouf's assertion that 'the ongoing review process of what’s happening with the company has continued and that continues to this day' Really?! How do you review a company that has disappeared?”

This wasn't a company that failed, this was a company that went AWOL. It's management ran away without leaving a forwarding address. To the best of our knowledge it has defaulted on its loan but this is OK, says Senator Ozouf, because the right processes have been followed. “

“Gallingly, the Senator also claims to take responsibility for the mess, that is whilst noticeably failing to resign and whilst failing to accept that mistakes were made. ‘I would have made the same decision, but some businesses will fail and others won’t,’ he told the States of Jersey.”

Senator Ozouf clearly doesn't have a grasp of the situation. He seems to be confusing a failed business with a business that has disappeared, has run away and appears to be fleeing from its responsibilities to the island with the money that was entrusted to it.”

“As with so many companies attracted to the island, there was no shortage of press releases and fanfare announcing Logfiller's arrival and its being awarded a loan. None of this will have played well with the many local business owners who had to swallow all this after their own applications to the Fund had failed. That the largest single loan provided by the Fund should be made to a company that had no track record of any interest in Jersey, was salt being rubbed into their wounds.”

“Perfectly good Jersey-based businesses were overlooked in the Fund's, Digital Jersey's and Senator Ozouf's desperate desire to be seen to be bringing new investment to the island. Sadly, the result appears incredibly similar to the £200,000 that Jersey's current Treasury Minister, and then Economic Development Minister gave to the also disappeared, Canbedone Productions, and its fantasy fantasy film that never got made in Jersey.”

The Fund may well have undertaken due diligence and assessed Logfiller Ltd before awarding the money nut all this tells us is that its processes and procedures are shoddy, ineffective and need to be overhauled.

“The reality is that Jersey has become a soft target for cavalier 'businessmen' who may have decent intentions but clearly don't have the ability to deliver. With no resignation from Senator Ozouf or any member of the Innovation Fund board, it is clear that nobody is taking any responsibility, just as happened with Canbedone.”

“Islanders are left to foot the bill. Islanders are asked to pay more taxes and islanders are left to pick up the pieces of public-sector incompetence that constantly fails to learn from past mistakes.”

One of Harry Enfield's regular sketches was entitled "I Saw You Coming". Maybe it should be required viewing for the members of the States Innovation Fund?

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