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A Brief History of the Team Defence Information

Rebranding UKCeB to become 'Team Defence Information' - Summer 2017

The Council took a decision that UKCeB was due a change of identity and part of this was a rebranding.  This was completed on 18th September 2017 and we became ‘UKCeB, trading as Team Defence Information’.

During the summer of 2017 we were in the process of transitioning to this and our new purple logo was launched at the Defence Information 2017 Event on 27th April at the Defence Academy, as explained in our News Item. The colour purple is used as part of our new ‘house style’.

Our new identity places the vital Team Defence perspective to the fore: capturing MOD and Industry working together, and the focus remains with 'Information', the lifeblood of collaborative working. Our new tag line for Team Defence Information reinforces this: collaborating and optimizing the value from business information working across Team Defence.


Rebranding UKCeB to become 'Team Defence Information' - Summer 2017

Early Years

The origins of UKCeB (which stood for 'UK Council for Electronic Business') go back over 20 years and, as a not-for-profit membership organisation, has evolved and developed to reflect changing business needs and drivers affecting organisations along with advances in technologies and enabling capabilities in secure information sharing across Team Defence.

UKCeB serves the needs of Team Defence - the combination of Industry and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). Its mission is 'to transform secure information sharing for through life collaboration in Defence acquisition and support'.

With ever-closer collaborative working demanded across Team Defence, UKCeB's role in providing a trusted forum that spans Industry and the MOD grows in relevance and value. UKCeB is a non-partisan and 'neutral' membership body that works for advances in the 'common good', such as in standards and interoperability of enabling technologies for secure collaborative working across organisations.

Looking at its origins, in 1987, the US Department of Defense (DoD) introduced its strategy for the Computerisation of Acquisition and Logistics Support (CALS). A US CALS Industry Steering Group was set up with UK Industry participation. Within the UK, the Trade Associations set up the United Trade Associations CALS Committee and a year later the London Chamber of Commerce set up the UK CALS Industry Steering Group.

In 1991, UK groups met together under Lord Chalfont (Chairman Vickers Engineering & Shipbuilding) and gave birth to the UK CALS Industry Council (UKCIC).

Under its General Manager and later Director General, David Froome, UKCIC took a leading role the development of CALS, setting up the European CALS Industry Group, the International CALS Congress and the NATO Industry Advisory Group. It led Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) study tours of industrialists to the US in 1994 and Japan in 1996.

In the UK in 1992, UKCIC adopted the annual Advanced Procurement and Logistic Support (APLS) conference as its own formal annual conference, at the QEII Conference Centre. Steering Committees and Working Groups were all established in the early years, and in 1997, the highly successful Industry Forums started providing CALS experience visits to companies. A CALS Awareness Course was run regularly in London at University College London (UCL), with well over 100 people attending the 5-day training.

Guidance papers, circulars and newsletters provided the main communication channels and in 1997 the UKCIC website was set up, which included a members' section.

Throughout all these early developmental years, UKCIC relied upon a band of enthusiastic and dedicated part time volunteers, coordinated, persuaded and cajoled by David Froome, the only staff member of UKCIC. The Mission in 1994 was for UKCIC to be the single co-ordinated focus for CALS in the UK to:

  • Assist industry to benefit from the adoption of CALS-like processes
  • Influence the development of CALS standards nationally and internationally

Most observers at the time judged it was extremely successful.

By 1999, the image of CALS - Computerisation of Acquisition and Logistics Support - was transforming. The UKCIC Council agreed to a change of name to the UK Council for Electronic Business (UKCeB) with its stated mission to 'encourage and assist UK industry to benefit from the adoption of full electronic business including CALS-like practices'.

For 10 years from 2005 to 2015, UKCeB was under the Executive Director leadership of Steve Shepherd who was seconded from Rolls-Royce for much of this time. 

From June 2015, Phil Williams took over as Managing Director. 

Picture taken outside the Bungalow which was home to UKCeB for several years prior to the move to Brairlands.  (left to right) - Patrick Curry (MOD), Sue Russell (UKCeB Secretariat), John Cole (AgustaWestland), Simon Dunford (Rolls-Royce), Andy King (MOD) and Robert Shields (BAE Systems).

Early Years