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*NEW RESEARCH* UK Public Sector SITS Supplier Rankings 2018
15 Aug 2018
Egress progress impresses
15 Aug 2018
BioBeats raises £2.4m in latest funding round
15 Aug 2018
All “ION’d-out” as Fidessa joins Dearly Departed
15 Aug 2018
Shaping Cloud shapes up with £1.4m funding round
14 Aug 2018
Sensyne Health raises £60m through IPO
14 Aug 2018
The changing shape of Fintech
14 Aug 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Funding Trends & Patterns: UK AI/Machine Learning Startups
14 Aug 2018
Low code secures another useful contract for Netcall
14 Aug 2018
*New Research* Clanwilliam Group: Ambitious Plans in Healthcare
13 Aug 2018
Subscribe to UKHotViewsPremium & gain access to TMV's repository of 15,000+ UKHotViews & UKHotViewsExtra articles
13 Aug 2018
Speakers confirmed for TechMarketView Evening 2018 – Breaking the Boundaries
13 Aug 2018
Full series of Supplier Rankings reports OUT NOW!
13 Aug 2018
SenSat raises £3.3M to improve infrastructure decision making
13 Aug 2018
Dell and VMware align for next-gen network management
13 Aug 2018
Comparing fears over a Hard BREXIT with Y2K...
12 Aug 2018
OCSL acquired by Germany’s CANCOM
10 Aug 2018
Q2: some adjustments but Rimini Street has places to go
10 Aug 2018
Unmade made up with $4m investment
10 Aug 2018
NHS Digital publishes GP IT Futures notice
10 Aug 2018
Lyvly raises $4.6m to put roof over ‘Generation rent’
10 Aug 2018
European TMT M&A valuations steady in July
09 Aug 2018
TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme candidates speak out!
09 Aug 2018
UKHotViews Premium - An Individual Subscription
09 Aug 2018
Network with some of the top 200 leaders from the UK software and IT services sector
09 Aug 2018
NTT announces simplified structure
09 Aug 2018
Conduent's cost savings improve profits
09 Aug 2018
Castleton Technology: Managed Services win
09 Aug 2018
Zopa taps market for another £44m
09 Aug 2018
Alpha confident of growth
08 Aug 2018
DXC Q119: Mike Lawrie effect continues
08 Aug 2018
Allscripts extends its relationship with Kent NHS Trust
08 Aug 2018
Genpact growing transformation acorns into oak trees
08 Aug 2018
Full series of Supplier Rankings reports published!
08 Aug 2018
Musk to take Tesla private?
08 Aug 2018
Fujitsu invents solution to most intractable problem facing mankind
08 Aug 2018

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Wednesday 15 August 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* UK Public Sector SITS Supplier Rankings 2018

PSV Rankings CoverJust in case you missed it, this year’s edition of the UK Public Sector SITS Supplier Rankings report is now available. Subscribers to TechMarketView’s PublicSectorViews research stream can read our analysis of how the leading software and IT services (SITS) suppliers have performed in the public sector.

The report updates the Top 20 supplier ranking based on revenues from the latest available financial information (as at end of June 2018). It also contains Top 10 rankings for each of the subsectors we track (central government, local government, health, education, police and defence), as well as providing a snapshot of the ‘ones to watch’ from outside of the ranking tables.

Many major suppliers across multiple subsectors had another tough year operating in a market that continues to transition away from legacy contracts to smaller and shorter deals. Four suppliers in the Top 20 experienced double digit declines this year and just two had double digit growth. Only one supplier made in excess of £1bn from UK public sector SITS in its latest financial year. In central government the continued disaggregation of contracts sees a new name take its place at the top of the ranking.

The report is available for download by PublicSectorViews clients, here: UK Public Sector SITS Supplier Rankings 2018.

For further information on becoming a client, please contact our Client Services team: dseth@techmarketview.com.

Posted by Dale Peters at '10:09' - Tagged: public+sector   rankings  

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Wednesday 15 August 2018

Egress progress impresses

LogoGrowth of London-based data privacy and risk management company Egress Software Technologies continues apace. Driven by market demand for GDPR compliance, H1 18 (the six months to 30th June) saw a 64% increase in new subscriptions yoy accompanied by a 164% rise in customer numbers. Renewal rates at 93% stayed reassuringly high.

A former TMV Little British Battler, Egress has quintupled in size over the last four years. The company exited 2017 with an annualised revenue run-rate of over £10m and expects this number to exceed £14m come the end of this FY.

In March, the company was selected for Tech City’s Future Fifty Programme and Egress also joined the latest cohort of the Microsoft ScaleUp Programme (see here). Furthermore, this year has seen the company gearing-up for expansion in North America. A new office has been established in Boston and Mark Bower has been hired from Hewlett Packard Enterprise as chief revenue officer to spearhead growth across the pond.

The progress at Egress continues to impress. On its current trajectory, it won’t be too much longer before the company begins to feature in our Top 20 Cyber Security Supplier Rankings.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '10:04' - Tagged: results   cybersecurity  

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Wednesday 15 August 2018

BioBeats raises £2.4m in latest funding round

BioBeats logoLondon-based digital health start-up BioBeats has closed a £2.4m funding round led by Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) and previous investors White Cloud Capita and IQ Capital. This latest investment round takes the company’s total funding to date to over £5m.

The company, which was originally called Mindful Sounds, launched its first app, Pulse, in 2013, which played music based on the user’s heart rate. In 2015 it worked with AXA to offer BNP Paribas employees the opportunity to monitor stress in real-time using wearable devices. In 2016, after changing its name to BioBeats, it secured $2.28m (c.£1.6m) from White Cloud Capital, AXA Strategic Ventures, and IQ Capital. The money was invested in developing Hear and Now, an app that displays visuals and music that adapts to data from wearables and helps users to manage stress. Last year it secured a distribution agreement with AXA to roll out the app to policyholders.

The company intends to work with OSI to “embark on a new era of innovation and experimentation” and it now believes it has a platform that is ready to scale. Its latest product, BioBase, uses AI and its own BioBeam wearable to help provide a wellbeing course designed for companies to deliver to their employees. It intends to help users understand where their stress comes from and teaches them how to reduce it.

Stress is a major cause of workplace absence, it reduces productivity and increases costs. Technology certainly has a role to play in helping people monitor and manage their stress so that early interventions can be made. Many will be concerned, understandably, about their employers having access to real-time information on how they are feeling. However, BioBeats makes it clear that employers will never have access to personal data only anonymised information from groups of at least 50 people.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:43' - Tagged: funding   startup   healthcare   productivity  

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Wednesday 15 August 2018

All “ION’d-out” as Fidessa joins Dearly Departed

logoDDWith the compulsory acquisition of any Fidessa shares that may have fallen down the back of someone’s sofa, we add another big UK tech company to our list of the “Dearly Departed”.

Fidessa had a very long history, having been a pioneer in the application of technology and the delivery of platform-based services to the world’s investment markets. The company was founded in 1981 as Intercom Data Systems (IDS), renamed royalblue Group after a 1996 MBO, and floated on the LSE main market in June 1997 at a value of £5.2m!!! With the group's core trading platform, “Fidessa”, being better known in the marketplace, the group changed its name to Fidessa Group plc in April 2007.

Over the past decade the company and its shares were subject to significant turbulence due to the Financial Crash and persistent “headwinds” as investment houses contracted and consolidated. But the company had a sound strategy, providing scale-advantaged market access and the tools to enable small and medium-sized players to compete with the “big boys”. As we wrote in various HotViews articles, Fidessa was building on solid foundations.

ionThe strategically-sound bid from Temenos in February put the company in play and Irish-based ION Trading came in with a knock-out £1.5bn cash bid, see “ION-clad offer…” in April. The deal will see “Fidessa managed as a leading product line within ION Capital Markets division”, so the Fidessa brand will continue for the time being.

Of course, things could have been different. Fidessa’s growth stalled between 2011 and 2015, but management persisted in paying large dividends, rather than driving a more aggressive strategy. At the same time, privately-held and highly-geared ION was hoovering up businesses and building market share. With hindsight, are the Fidessa management rueing a missed opportunity?

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:06' - Tagged: trading   acquisition   financialservices   marketdata  

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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Shaping Cloud shapes up with £1.4m funding round

logoFirst a TechMarketView Little British Battler and more recently logoa candidate for the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme, Manchester-based cloud transformation startup Shaping Cloud is now well on its way to flying even higher on the back of a £1.4m investment.

The funding round comprised £750k from NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance, managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, along with £500k from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and £150k from management.

You can read more about Shaping Cloud in our recent post TechMarketView Early State Partner Programme: Shaping Cloud and see a brief video interview with founder and CEO Carlos Oliveira here.

Many congratulations to Carlos Oliveira and his team; we are delighted to have helped him bring Shaping Cloud to the wider attention of the market.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '13:20' - Tagged: funding   startup   lbb   tesp  

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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Sensyne Health raises £60m through IPO

Sensyne Health logoOxford-based healthcare technology company Sensyne Health plc has raised £60m in its initial public offering (IPO) with institutional investors. Dealings in its shares are expected to commence on the AIM Market this Friday. Based on the placing price (175p per share) the company will have a market capitalisation of £225m on admission.

Sensyne Health, formerly Drayson Health, is based in the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford and is led by CEO Lord Drayson and Chairman Professor Sir John Bell. The business sees itself as operating as a bridge between NHS Trusts and pharmaceutical companies in a way that benefits patients, the NHS, investors and the life sciences industry.

Last year, it entered into a five-year strategic research agreement with the University of Oxford and with Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust to use artificial intelligence to analyse anonymised patient data to drive new clinical insights. To date the partnership has led to the development of four digital health products covering: charting for vital-sign observations; management of gestational diabetes; monitoring chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and, most recently, management of heart failure at home.

In July this year it agreed an additional ten-year agreement with OUH, as well as five-year strategic research agreements with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. In return for giving Sensyne Health the right to analyse anonymised patient data these three Trusts will receive royalties on income derived from any clinical discoveries. Post admission the Trusts will have a c.10% shareholding in the business.

There has been a huge amount of interest and investment in the potential of AI in healthcare (see recent examples here, here and here), but concerns about privacy, ethics and accountability remain (see Digital health: lessons from DeepMind/Royal Free for further discussion). Sensyne Health’s business model based on partnerships with a small number of NHS Trusts and a clinical-led approach is an interesting strategy and one that should provide additional reassurance.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:47' - Tagged: listing   ipo   healthcare   fundraising   AI  

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Tuesday 14 August 2018

The changing shape of Fintech

logoThe news that Wonga, the London-based payday lender has just raised £10m in an emergency deal which valued the business at only £23m (Source: FINSMES) is another sign that the Fintech market has evolved. Launched in 2007, Wonga was a Fintech pioneer, disrupting the lending market, having identified the specific needs of a poorly-served market sector.

Since 2007, start-up numbers climbed rapidly to peak in 2014 and have since declined sharply (Source: Deloitte). In that time, some 7,500 FinTech firm raised over US$110bn. And while the flow of Fintech start-ups declined rapidly, the level of FinTech financing has been fairly stable at over US$20bn, with the 2017 outturn likely to be the second-best year ever (Source: FT Partners Fintech Insights Q3 2017). The value of Fintech M&A in 2017 is also expected to exceed the 2016 level. The geographical balance has also shifted, with the US market running out of steam since 2015 with faster growth in Europe and a volatile trend in Asia, which saw Fintech financing double to US$15bn in 2016 and probably more than halving in 2017.

fintechThe result is a smaller flow of new FinTechs, coupled with a ready supply of cash to fund and acquire more mature companies that have cut their teeth in their respective markets. Fintech managements now have a clearer view of the art of the possible. Many are looking to collaborate, rather than compete, with established financial services providers or other Fintechs. In our review of this year’s Money2020, we highlighted that the “next generation of Fintech providers is here”, with more “grown-up” approaches to the market and propositions. Fintech companies have changed – the way in which the larger Financial Services companies and the bigger SITS providers interface with them will have to change as well.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:20' - Tagged: funding   M&A   FinTech  

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Tuesday 14 August 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Funding Trends & Patterns: UK AI/Machine Learning Startups

imageEstablished suppliers and individuals looking to chart their way through technology disruption and identify the partners, acquisition targets and technologies that are positioned to impact the market should be looking at startup funding patterns for insight. This is all the more so when the startups making extensive use of AI/machine learning within their products are top of the funding list.

If you want to:

·        understand the UK AI/ML startup funding landscape,

·        identify the sectors attracting the highest levels of funding,

·        determine the types of startups gaining funding and why,

·        develop insight into the AI/machine learning money trail,

you should be reading the recently published Funding Trends and Patterns: UK AI/Machine Learning Startups research note, which provides a snapshop of UK AI/machine learning funding activity. You’ll see where the investment money is flowing and what new types of businesses are emerging on the back of digital data.

Click to download Funding Trends and Patterns: UK AI/Machine Learning Startups.

This research is available to eligible TechMarketView subscribers. If you do not currently take a subscription and would like details please contact Deborah Seth.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:15' - Tagged: funding   AI   machinelearning   machineintelligence   startups  

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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Low code secures another useful contract for Netcall

logoNetcall’s 2017 acquisition of the MatsSoft low code platform (see Netcall bets on low-code) is turning out to be a decided boost for the customer engagement platform provider, driving higher profits and attracting more business. The latest is a MATs renewal with “a leading UK bank” worth a minimum of £1.6m over three years. It follows news of a multi-product £1.4m four-year contract with a US listed company earlier this month and a MATS renewal with Nationwide, announced in July.

The latest renewal is with a bank who has used the MatsSoft product for 11 years to support core business processes such as mortgage applications, customer notifications and a document management portal. Nationwide has a 14 year record with the low code platform. Contracts like these indicate a sticky product and opportunities for repeat, upsell and cross sell business. They also help cement Netcall’s position as a supplier to the financial services market, alongside its heath and public sector focus - all substantial markets.

Low code platforms are building a position as practical digital transform enablers, providing a solution to the need to develop rapidly to meet agile business aspirations, loop in citizen developers who can be instrumental to innovation within businesses, while augmenting traditional development approaches and teams.

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:30' - Tagged: contract   software   customerexperience   digitaltransformation  

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Monday 13 August 2018

*New Research* Clanwilliam Group: Ambitious Plans in Healthcare

Clanwilliam Group logoA short time ago TechMarketView caught up with Howard Beggs, CEO of Dublin-based Clanwilliam Group. After acquiring 14 healthcare businesses in the last four years the business shows no signs of slowing down (quite the opposite), so we wanted to learn more.

From Howard’s first step in healthcare technology with Medicom Medical Solutions in 1995, through the launch of Helix Health in 2007 and the acquisition by Eli Global and the creation of Clanwilliam Health in 2014, the business has seen a huge amount of change. Since being acquired by Eli it has grown rapidly through an acquisition strategy that mirrors the “buy-grow-and-hold” approach of its parent company.

As Clanwilliam’s M&A capability matured we saw six deals completed in 2017, including NHS clinical correspondence and dictation business Medisec Software (see Clanwilliam Group acquires another NHS technology provider). Further deals have been completed in 2018, including NHS predictive analytics provider Informatica Systems (see Clanwilliam Group acquires Informatica Systems).

Clanwilliam’s total investment in new businesses since it was acquired by Eli now totals c.€150m, but it’s not resting on its laurels, in fact we can expect to see it ramp up its acquisition ambitions. PublicSectorViews clients can read more about Clanwilliam’s history, strategy, its approach to acquisitions and what it plans to do next, here: Clanwilliam Group: Ambitious Plans in Healthcare.

For further information on becoming a client, please contact our Client Services team: dseth@techmarketview.com.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:57' - Tagged: strategy   healthcare   acquisitions  

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Monday 13 August 2018

Subscribe to UKHotViewsPremium & gain access to TMV's repository of 15,000+ UKHotViews & UKHotViewsExtra articles

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UKHotViewsPremium - An Individual Subscription

If you’re a keen UKHotViews reader - who isn’t fortunate enough to have access to a corporate subscription to TechMarketView research - you can now subscribe to UKHotViews Premium, a new service for individuals.

UKHotViewsPremium LogoUntil now, this invaluable resource – the combination of our searchable UKHotViews archive and our more in-depth UKHotViewsExtra analysis - was only available to our corporate subscribers as part of a subscription to one or more of our focused research streams. But we recognise that there are many individuals that would benefit from access to this rich, searchable source of insight too, so we’ve launched a new service, UKHotViews Premium, especially for you.

Sign up to UKHotViewsPremium & gain access to:

  • TMV's repository of 15,000+ UKHotViews & UKHotViewsExtra articles for news and views on suppliers, market and industry trends
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Browse the analysis online or, if you wish, select multiple articles to print or PDF on demand. Quickly build up an informed picture of a supplier of interest; spot trends in share prices over time; identify start-ups you should be talking to; or mine the archive for insight on areas of opportunity in the UK public sector IT market.

For more details or to sign up to UKHotViews Premium today please click here.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:40'

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Monday 13 August 2018

Speakers confirmed for TechMarketView Evening 2018 – Breaking the Boundaries

tmvIt's TechMarketView's 10th anniversary year and to celebrate we have announced a formidable line-up of speakers to enlighten, inspire and surprise you at our annual 'Evening with TechMarketView', sponsored by InterSystems and Brands2life

Hosted by TechMarketView Chairman Richard Holway MBE, the evening focuses on TechMarketView's theme for 2018, 'Breaking the Boundaries', and you will be hearing from:

  • Tola Sargeant, TechMarketView Managing Director, who will bring the theme alive and challenge the way you look at the UK tech market by illustrating how buyers and sellers of enterprise technology are breaking their own boundaries to try to keep one step ahead of the pack
  • Chief Analyst Georgina O’Toole showcasing brand new TechMarketView analysis that examines the contrasting performances of the ‘legacy’ and the ‘new’ segments of the UK SITS market and ask the question: ‘what needs to happen to return to the halcyon days of double-digit growth?’
  • TechMarketView’s Martin Courtney hosting a ‘fireside chat’ with our special guest Andrew Johnson from Shell. One of the world’s largest retailers with a significant UK presence, Shell is three years into its digital transformation journey and Andrew will share his experiences, which touch everything from digital payments to autonomous vehicles
  • Kate Hanaghan, Chief Research Officer, who will unveil TechMarketView’s Market Readiness Index to share findings from our new end-user analysis and explore how buyers and suppliers can work better together to Break the Boundaries
  • Anthony Miller, TechMarketView Managing Partner, who will be putting his own inimitable slant on the changing fortunes of the leading UK tech suppliers over the past decade and what the future may hold for them over the next.

tmve

The TechMarketView Evening is the only event where over 200 leaders from tech industry giants, mid-market specialist suppliers, aspiring 'Great British Scaleups' and innovative early stage companies, as well as advisors, investors and end-user organisations, get the chance to meet and form new friendships and partnerships – and learn what TechMarketView believes the future may hold!

Event Details:
Date: Thursday 13th September 2018
Venue: Royal Institute of British Architects, London 
Registration & Drinks Reception: 6:30pm. An extended networking drinks reception commences from 6:30pm and is sponsored by InterSystems. This will be followed by the speaker sessions and a first-class silver service dinner.

To Register:
You can book individual seats for the event, or why not recognise your key clients and partners by booking a table for ten. For more details and to book your place click here or contact our event management partner, tx2events on T: 020 3137 2541.

TechMarketView Event Rates for:

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:35'

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Monday 13 August 2018

SenSat raises £3.3M to improve infrastructure decision making

SenSatSenSat, a London based start-up using visual and spatial data to simulate reality has raised £3.3m in seed funding. Backers included Force Over MassRound Hill Venture Partners and Zag the venture arm of advertising agency BBH.

SenSat was launched last year by founders James Dean (CEO) and Harry Atkinson (Head of Product) to help companies that operate in areas such as infrastructure construction use AI (or “Visual Intelligence” as it calls it) to make better decisions through simulating various scenarios.

The company does this by creating digital replicas of real world locations, then adds in real-time spatial data-sets with a high degree of statistical accuracy from both open and proprietary data sources. Its platform Mapp, has already been put to use on civil infrastructure projects with the likes of National Grid, High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) and Highways England helping them more efficiently track key project variables such as safety and progress. 

The company already has research streams looking at applications for 5G roll out and autonomous vehicles and will use funds to develop the technology further and invest in its San Francisco office.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:52' - Tagged: funding   AI   data  

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Monday 13 August 2018

Dell and VMware align for next-gen network management

logovmwareMichael Dell and Silver Lake are looking to take Dell Technologies public again in the final quarter of the year (see Dell to go public again). To enable this move, holders of the VMware tracking stock (created to facilitate the 2016 Dell/EMC/VMware deal) will be able to switch into Dell stock or cash. At the end of this latest turn of the wheel, it is intended that VMware will still have considerable operational independence and autonomy, even though the Dell business will own 81% of the VMware common stock.

While the “bigger picture” is sorted out, it looks like the management teams want to tidy up the organisation somewhat and align the assets to serve growth markets. VMware is set to acquire Dell EMC’s Service Assurance Suite platform. This platform enables communication service providers to monitor the performance of the network and to support fault diagnostics and root cause analysis. VMware will integrate the suite into its Telco NFV portfolio, adding to the ability to analyse across both physical and virtual networks and cloud environments. It will come as no surprise that the terms of the deal are confidential.

Both user companies and operators are looking for more sophisticated and robust tools to monitor service level agreements and utilisation across increasingly complex networks and multi-supplier clouds. The forthcoming launch of high-performance 5G networks will add significantly to demand and to the pace of deployment of SDN (software defined networks) and NFV (network function virtualisation). Having access to a comprehensive portfolio of network management tools will be crucial.

Posted by Peter Roe at '08:31' - Tagged: acquisition   cloud   virtualisation   network   networkorchestration  

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Sunday 12 August 2018

Comparing fears over a Hard BREXIT with Y2K...

Y2KI - and TechMarketView - have tried to stay out of the politics of BREXIT. Other than to say, many times, that it has become the most divisive issue of my long lifetime. And ‘it ain’t over yet!’.

GrowthBut I was incensed when Sir Bernard Jenkin MP compared the fears over what would happen in a ‘Hard’ BREXIT to the fears about Y2K/the Millennium bug.

The two events really couldn’t be more different.

The run-up to 2000 had been planned for many years. Indeed 1998 was the peak year in the whole history of the UK SITS sector with a 20%+ growth (in real terms) as many companies replaced ageing systems with new 'Y2K compliant' systems or spent huge sums to update and test old code. There was then a ‘lockdown’ in 1999 causing growth to reduce substantially. Midnight 1999 arrived and there were no outages of any magnitude. This happened BECAUSE of great planning and much investment. Almost the exact opposite of the situation we face on 29th Mar 2019 if we do, indeed, crash out of the EU with no deal.

To compare the two demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge and understanding. Mind you I think that could apply to the whole BREXIT campaign.

Posted by Richard Holway at '15:22'

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Friday 10 August 2018

OCSL acquired by Germany’s CANCOM

ocslWest Sussex-based OCSL has been acquired by German IT player, CANCOM. CANCOM is headquartered in Munich and is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Revenues are in the region of €1bn, versus c£70m for OCSL (last full year before the transaction).

CANCOM paid £29m total (£26m in cash, the remainder in shares). The intention is that OCSL – an established Microsoft and HPE solutions provider – will act as the “hub” for CANCOM’s future UK activities as part of its international expansion plan. For the past couple of years, former HP Enterprise Services Vice President, Martin Hess, has acted as OCSL's Chairman, having been brought in to help accelerate the company's services revenue.

The OCSL acquisition follows CANCOM's March purchase of unified comms and managed services provider, Ocean Intelligent Communications – rebranded as CANCOM Collaboration and Communication.

CANCOM and OCSL have a shared heritage in resale and both are transitioning to more cloud and hybrid-based services. Given that the OCSL business is set to become so strategically important to its new owner, it’s possible more resource and support will be given to the parts of the business focused on those key service and solution areas. And, while acquiring outside of Germany has been something of a strategic departure for CANCOM, it is of course possible that more bolt on purchases will be made to refine the UK offering.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:45' - Tagged: acquisition   cloud   resale  

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Friday 10 August 2018

Q2: some adjustments but Rimini Street has places to go

logoIn some ways third party support provider Rimini Street is just getting started. Having begun with Oracle and SAP implementation support it has gradually been expanding the portfolio. It has added selected IBM and Microsoft products and in Q2 extended support offerings to Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds. Having previously provided additional Rimini Street extension services around database security it has just added mobility and analytics. With its merger-enabled public listing in late 2017 it is into its next phase of development, additionally boosted by the refinancing of its debt structure that completed in July.

Q2 (to 30 June 2018) continued its growth streak with revenue up 20% to $62.6m but the rate of growth has been moderating – from 41% in the year ago quarter to 22% in Q1. The company has a plan to address that – the funds freed up through the refinancing will be used for sales and marketing and to increase service delivery capacity and capability. Positive results are expected in 2019 but the company has also raised 2018 revenue guidance to $240m-$250m.

Net loss was largely consistent at $25.4m but the $6m operating loss contrasted with operating income of $7.5m in the year ago quarter, due to legal costs and increased sales and marketing.

Customer numbers continue to increase (up 21% to 1622 in Q2) and with support for more vendors’ products its addressable market is growing. Updated accreditation for the UK government's procurement system and selection as a third-party support provider under the Technology Services 2 (TS2) Framework for IT support procurement can only enhance its credibility. There are some adjustments to be made within Rimini Street but it has places to go and appears to have the means to get there. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:39' - Tagged: results   software   ApplicationServices  

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Friday 10 August 2018

Unmade made up with $4m investment

LogoLondon-based fashion industry software platform provider Unmade has landed $4m in new funding. Led by Felix Capital, with Connect Ventures, LocalGlobe, Carmen Busquet, Backed VC and C4 Ventures, the investment will be used to accelerate business expansion and further build the company’s roster of senior talent.

Established in 2013 as Knyttan, the company rebranded as Unmade two years later. Its core platform links to a fashion brand’s production processes down to machine level allowing consumers to customise particular items to their own preferences. This enables on-demand clothes creation so that clients only produce garments that are actually sold.

To date Unmade has exclusively targeted the knitwear segment and counts three of America’s top 10 fashion brands amongst its clients. The company has begun to widen its market focus and has recently secured a partnership with cycle wear outfit Rapha Racing. The latest cash injection will support Unmade’s plans to grow its business across multiple brands, factories and geographies.

With one third of fabric currently going to waste from clothes production and between 10%-25% of garments ending up as landfill, the fashion industry’s focus on increasing its efficiency and sustainability has never been greater. Unmade appears well positioned to capitalise upon these growing concerns. Not surprisingly, other companies have spotted this opportunity. Amazon, for example, was awarded patent last year for an on-demand clothing production system. In a global apparel market worth c.$1.8b, however, Unmade has plenty of room to make its mark.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:25' - Tagged: saas   funding  

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Friday 10 August 2018

NHS Digital publishes GP IT Futures notice

NHS Digital logoNHS Digital has released a prior information notice (PIN) for the GP IT Futures framework. The PIN covers the procurement of a new General Practice (GP) IT Framework to replace the GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) agreement (see DoH issues new GPSoC framework) that is due to expire in December.

The new GP IT Framework will include a broader range of services than GPSoC. The PIN states the contract will cover the provision of applications to meet the business requirements of general practice and broader primary care, including: core electronic record and patient management systems for general practice, and a range of ancillary services including but not limited to, advanced document management and clinical support. The contract value is currently estimated to be £450m and NHS Digital expects to publish the contract notice in January 2019.

GPSoC took the approach of using a principal clinical system (provided by EMIS, TPP, INPS and Microtest Health) with add-on (subsidiary) tools. With the new framework NHS Digital wants to “pave the way towards supporting modularisation” so it is segmenting the requirements to make it easier for suppliers to provide targeted functionality and give buyers more choice.

The shift towards a more modular approach is, in part, designed to make it easier for new suppliers to offer services through this framework. NHS Digital also makes it clear that it is open to new suppliers entering the market by stating that patient record systems under the new framework “may or may not be General Practice (GP) Systems as currently accessed within the UK market”. NHS Digital now wishes to engage with potential suppliers to test, validate and refine the programme approach to the framework.

The new framework poses a threat to the incumbent suppliers (see here for further discussion), but as we have seen in Wales recently, asking GP practices to implement a new software platform has the potential to increase the pressure on an already fragile system (see here for more). NHS Digital will need to consider carefully the balance between innovation and disruption.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:12' - Tagged: nhs   contract   healthcare  

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Friday 10 August 2018

Lyvly raises $4.6m to put roof over ‘Generation rent’

LyvlyLyvly is another company aiming to disrupt Britain’s dysfunctional property market. The London-based start-up which offers a “members-based shared living and rental service”, has raised $4.6m in Series A funding led by Mosaic Ventures.

Lyvly was founded by current CEO Philip Laney, Dario Favoino and Siraj Khaliq. Laney and Favoino have a 10-year background in real estate investment and property management at Deutsche Bank and Realstar, whilst Khaliq is a partner at London VC firm Atomico and was previously co-founder of Silicon Valley startup Climate Corporation.

At is most basic it’s another platform in a crowded market helping renters find living accommodation and landlords find good tenants. Where it differs is in taking a ‘renter centric’ view of the relationship offering fully managed properties. Whilst tenant services include managing household bills, replacing consumables and cleaning etc. all wrapped into one single monthly payment, the real difference is in offering a platform that treats renters as members of a club of “like-minded individuals who share a passion for shared living”.

Once you’ve applied to join the community, you have a call with a member of the Lyvly team to learn more about your “life stage and values” personalising the service and inviting you to community events and gatherings. Naturally this is all targeted to millennials looking for single occupancy in London where there remains a significant problem with grey and black economy of shared housing.

Lyvly is not looking to become a developer but scale its platform around the existing housing stock and then make its money via the managed services it provides. 

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:04' - Tagged: funding   PropTech  

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Thursday 09 August 2018

European TMT M&A valuations steady in July

chartEuropean buyers resumed a strong position amongst the top global TMT deals in July, according to latest data from corporate finance firm Regent Partners. During the month there were seven deals valued at more than $1bn involving European TMT companies. Valuation multiples remained strong with the aggregate Price/Sales ratio up from 1.6x in June to 1.7x in July, while the aggregate Price/EBITDA ratio remained unchanged at 10.9x.

The top deal involving a European company was the acquisition of US-based, Syntel, a global provider of integrated information technology and knowledge process services, by the French IT services firm, Atos, in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.6bn (see All eyes on Atos North America).

The top deal involving a UK company was the sale of Micro Focus’s SUSE enterprise-grade Linux  operating system business to Swedish private equity firm, EQT Partners, for $2.54bn in cash (see Micro Focus separates from SUSE). The deal represents an enterprise value of approximately 7.9x revenue and 26.7x adjusted operating profit for the SUSE business in the 12 months to 31 October 2017.

To see more, TechMarketView Foundation Service clients and subscribers to our new UKHotViews Premium service can search on the keyword 'acquisition' in the UKHotViews archive.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '12:34' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Thursday 09 August 2018

TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme candidates speak out!

logoAfter the phenomenal success of our inaugural TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme event in association with Capita Scaling Partner (see TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme shortlist announced), Capita has posted video comments from the founders and CEOs that participated on its website here.

We will have some very exciting news about the programme in coming weeks which we are sure will be of great interest to all UK tech SMEs – not just early-stage companies – that believe they can bring innovation to the market.

Keep an eye out on UKHotViews for more.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '11:51'

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Thursday 09 August 2018

UKHotViews Premium - An Individual Subscription

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UKHotViewsPremium - An Individual Subscription

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UKHotViews Premium LogoUntil now, this invaluable resource – the combination of our searchable UKHotViews archive and our more in-depth UKHotViewsExtra analysis - was only available to our corporate subscribers as part of a subscription to one or more of our focused research streams. But we recognise that there are many individuals that would benefit from access to this rich, searchable source of insight too, so we’ve launched a new service, UKHotViews Premium, especially for you.

Sign up to UKHotViewsPremium & gain access to:

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Browse the analysis online or, if you wish, select multiple articles to print or PDF on demand. Quickly build up an informed picture of a supplier of interest; spot trends in share prices over time; identify start-ups you should be talking to; or mine the archive for insight on areas of opportunity in the UK public sector IT market.

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Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:59'

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Thursday 09 August 2018

NTT announces simplified structure

NTT logoNTT has announced that it will restructure the group of NTT operating companies. Five companies – Dimension Data, NTT Communications, NTT DATA, NTT Security, and NTTi3 – will be transferred to a newly created holding company, called NTT, Inc. The changes will come into effect before the end of this calendar year. Jun Sawada, CEO of NTT Corporation, will also serve as the CEO of NTT, Inc. By Q3 of calendar 2019, NTT will “consider” integrating the businesses, except NTT DATA, into two new businesses; one will look after the global business, the other will focus on NTT’s domestic market in Japan.

NTT Group is a mammoth Japanese-headquartered business; the 60th largest corporation in the world. But outside Japan, NTT struggles has struggled with its brand identity, being predominantly seen as a telco player. The simplification of its structure makes sense if NTT is to improve awareness of the Group’s offerings globally.

NTT DATA, with its full range of ICT services offering, has had a particular issue with brand identity; it has recently run a brand awareness campaign in the UK (see NTT Data UK: Public sector potential). Within the new arrangements, NTT DATA will “continue to collaborate with the other companies, while retaining its present management structure, status as a limited company, management autonomy and brand”.  In our view, this is a good decision. There would have been a risk that if NTT DATA had been integrated with the other companies; its market messaging would have suffered due to the dominance of telco, infrastructure and security offerings in the mix; NTT DATA is unique in the Group with its range of ICT services capabilities and offerings. The positive for NTT DATA is that the simplied Group structure should make it easier to pursue cross-company collaboration and leverage the combined resources of the rest of NTT. 

The other NTT announcement is increased commitment to global research and development. The Group already undertakes a lot of R&D development; we understand it has 4K employees working in its labs.  In the UK, we’ve witnessed, for example, the use of lab-developed IP within a smart transport project in local government. The new move is the creation of an incubation fund, NTT Venture Capital, L.P. The idea is to accelerate the development of new, particularly digital, technologies. The challenge will be ensuring that the global business has the capacity to understand the IP and where to apply it.

We can expect further details of the strategic initiatives to be announced in November 2018.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:10' - Tagged: restructure   R&D  

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Thursday 09 August 2018

Conduent's cost savings improve profits

ConduentConduent’s Q2 performance was essentially more of the same as the business continued to slim down and improve profitability. Revenue was approximately $1.4bn for the quarter down by 7.6% year-on-year on a constant currency basis. Once adjusted for the impact of 2017 divestitures and a new accounting standard revenue was down about 3% year-on-year.

Conduent is working to deliver cost savings this year to the tune of $700m and the associated transformation programme is improving profitability. Adjusted EBITDA in the quarter was $166m, an increase of 8.5% year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA margin grew to 12%.

Divestment is the order of the day and it closed the sale of two businesses in the quarter including its commercial vehicle operations business and its off-street parking business. It also expects to close on the sale of its actuarial and HR consulting business in the near-term. Talks are also ongoing to sell a group of local government businesses which together accounted for some $113m of 2017 revenue.

The sale of these business is expected to raise some $600m for Conduent which also announced it was making progress in finding a buyer(s) for a range of standalone customer care contracts potentially worth an additional $500m to the business.

The other major highlight from the quarter was the sales activity where Conduent booked its largest quarterly sales performance to date with total contract value (TCV) signings of $1,947m for the quarter up 56.5% compared with Q2 2017, mainly driven by renewal signings with technology, government and transportation clients.

All in all, a good quarter for the business which looks like it remains on track to return to organic revenue growth by year end.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:58' - Tagged: results   conduent  

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Thursday 09 August 2018

Castleton Technology: Managed Services win

Castleton Technology logoThe managed services element of Castleton Technology’s portfolio has been outshone by its software recently, with much focus on the integration of the company’s product suite following multiple acquisitions (see Castleton Technology: The post-integration story). The provider of software and managed services has had a successful year or two (see Castleton makes more progress), winning a number of significant multi-year and multi-product contracts as a result.

Today’s news pushes the managed services business back into the spotlight, as Castleton announces a contract with Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP). Castleton will provide an end-to-end managed service over four years (with a two-year extension option). The value is £1.2m over the four years (increasing to £1.6m if the extension options are taken up). The managed service covers hosted workspace-as-a-service (including desktop refresh and ancillary services utilising private and public cloud (Azure and AWS) where applicable); application hosting; business continuity; information governance; WAN and LAN management; and continual service improvement through service desk management and device management & support.

Castleton’s was formed via a ‘buy and build’ strategy. Two of its acquisitions – Montal in 2014 and Keylogic in 2015 – were focused on outsourced managed IT services to the public sector. The company’s software and managed services offerings are delivered via two aligned business units, offering opportunities for upselling and cross-selling across the Group. The addition of another managed services contributes to Castleton’s strategy to grow its recurring revenue base.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '08:22' - Tagged: publicsector   contract   managedservices   housing  

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Thursday 09 August 2018

Zopa taps market for another £44m

logoLondon-based Zopa is the granddaddy of the peer-to-peer lending sector and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the founders must be blushing. Its stats are pretty impressive too, having lent £3.5bn to customers since its inception in 2005, with about £1bn lent over the past year, and has over 60,000 investors and institutions investing their money in the P2P concept. Zopa backs up its operations with a tried and tested credit risk policy, planned diversification and a seasoned approach to debt recovery. Zopa is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

In the year to end December, Zopa had revenues of £46.5m and after-tax profit of £1.5m, with loans originated growing 43%. The company is looking to continue to grow its customer and lending base and at the same time scale its technology infrastructure robustly

Zopa is now raising £44m in the first stage of its latest funding round with the intention to fund a new set of products.

Posted by Peter Roe at '06:28' - Tagged: funding   banking   FinTech  

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Wednesday 08 August 2018

Alpha confident of growth

logoAlpha Financial Markets Consulting listed on AIM and published a strong set of interim results towards the end of last year. They continued to make strong progress with the figures to end March showing group revenue up by 52% to £66m and EBITDA up 63% to £13.9m. The share price is up by 60% since the IPO.

Alpha has established itself as a strong independent player providing advice to the asset and wealth management sector which is undergoing substantial change as regulatory environments evolve, growth is increasingly dominated by Asian markets and as investment instruments become more complex. To meet the changes in technology-based consulting, Alpha has set up new Digital and Data Solutions practices to complement its six other teams spanning a wide range of operational and investment themes. The product portfolio and team has been supplemented by the mid 2017 acquisition of TrackTwo with is core 360 SalesVista product, adding to cross-selling opportunities.

Although UK growth remained strong at 40% in the year, the balance of the business is shifting into overseas markets, the UK proportion falling from 65% to 60% in the year, with new offices opening in both Europe and Asia. The US however is the surest target for near term growth, given Alpha’s breadth of activity, existing customer base and presence in six cities. The US business doubled over the past year, now representing 13% (£9m) of revenue. In the report and accounts published today, management remain confident of growth in the year ahead.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:51' - Tagged: financialservices   markets   consultancy  

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Wednesday 08 August 2018

DXC Q119: Mike Lawrie effect continues

DXC logoThe Mike Lawrie effect continues at DXC. The President, Chairman and CEO has continued to execute his synergy plan, resulting in an improvement in profit margins and EPS (also see FY18 results commentary – DXC Technology cranks up the margin). Adjusted EBIT was $803m in Q119 (compared to $570m in the prior year), pushing the adjusted EBIT margin from 10.9% to 15.2%. Income from continuing operations before income taxes was also up - $360m (vs. $91m), even after deducting things like restructuring, transaction, separation and integration costs. This journey continues, but Lawrie won’t stop there. He also sees further opportunity for margin expansion longer term through focusing on “location, mix shift, labour pyramid optimisation, automation and continued supply chain efficiencies”.

In terms of revenue, the headline shows growth of 0.9% to $5,282m (results exclude the US public sector business, which is now part of a new publicly traded company). But at constant currency, the decline continued – down 1.8%. Across the business units, at constant currency (ccy), GBS (Global Business Services) revenue was down, while GIS (Global Infrastructure Services) was up. But even within those numbers there is a more complex picture.

GBS revenues were up 2.4% to $2,213m, but down 4.6% ccy. The division was negatively impacted by the completion of several traditional application contracts. But the light amongst the gloom came from enterprise and cloud applications (up 14%) and analytics (up 18%). The GBS profit margin jumped from 12.1% to 18.2%. Meanwhile GIS revenues were up 3.4% to $3,069m, which also equated to a positive ccy story (just!), at +0.3%. Again, traditional ITO business was down but the bright spots came in cloud and platform services, security, and workplace and mobility. Here, a wide array of strategic partnerships is playing a crucial role, including the newly announced agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a new strategic DXC AWS integrated practice. In the results call, Lawrie pointed to the benefits of being able to leverage the R&D expenditure and sales capacity of DXC’s partners.

Overall, digital revenues were up 21% year-on-year, primarily driven by the cloud business, where revenues grew 42%. Lawrie commented “we’re seeing literally an explosion in the number of deals that we’re doing under $5m”. Supporting this, is the DXC’s industry IP, which saw growth of 5%, driven by financial services and healthcare. The ‘digital’ book-to-bill stood at 1.6x, compared to 0.9x for the business as a whole.

In the UK, we’ve recently written about a couple of good wins at Defra (see DXC wins Defra end user services deal) and NHS Supply Chain (see DXC benefits from NHS supply chain contract disaggregation). But it is clear we will continue to see the completion of several other projects in the UK which will drag down numbers. This is the picture across the board, but Lawrie is making his mark mitigating the effects across the organisation.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:37' - Tagged: results   ApplicationServices   infrastructureservices   AWS   IP  

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Wednesday 08 August 2018

Allscripts extends its relationship with Kent NHS Trust

Allscripts logoMaidstone and Tunbridge Wells (MTW) NHS Trust has extended its relationship with Allscripts by signing a 10-year deal to use its Sunrise clinical suite of software.

MTW has been working with the Chicago headquartered healthcare technology business for several years. It signed a deal to replace its iSoft Patient Administration System (PAS) with Allscripts PAS in 2015. This implementation was far from straightforward, but the system finally went live in October 2017.

The latest deal will see Allscripts, which has offices in Manchester and London, work with MTW to help it achieve its digital transformation ambitions over the next decade. The integration of Sunrise with MTW’s existing PAS will create a full Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system for the Trust. A phased deployment of Sunrise is scheduled to start in autumn 2019.

MTW, which runs two major hospitals and is a regional Cancer Centre, made the decision to switch to a single EPR as it doesn’t believe it can meet its objectives using a ‘best of breed’ approach. The full system will include order communications, test results, e-prescribing, clinical documents, Allscript's mobile app Sunrise Mobile Care, its A&E information system Sunrise Emergency Care, and Sunrise Surgical Care in theatres.

The agreement will allow MTW to work more closely with other NHS Trusts in the South East Region. Three out of four acute trusts in Kent are now Allscripts customers, with Medway NHS Foundation Trust going live with Allscripts PAS in 2015 and East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust signing deals for Allscripts PAS in 2015 and Sunrise the following year. Like it has done with trusts in and around Manchester and Liverpool (see Bolton chooses Allscripts for integrated health record) Allscripts is successfully building clusters of Trusts using its platform.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:19' - Tagged: nhs   contract   healthcare  

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Wednesday 08 August 2018

Genpact growing transformation acorns into oak trees

GenpactGenpact continued to grow in Q2 with revenue up 8% on a constant currency basis to $729m for the quarter.Adjusted operating profit was $110m, down 1% year-on-year, with a corresponding margin of 15%.

Genpact’s strategy has focused on developing specialist BPS expertise for select industries such as supply chain in consumer products or anti-money laundering in banking. Genpact made two acquisitions in the quarter supporting this, Barkawi Management Consultants designed to grow its Supply Chain transformation services and Commonwealth Informatics a cloud-based drug safety analytics provider where it has already won a pharmacovigilance deal with a top 5 pharma company, one of its largest AI-based deals to-date.

As with most BPS players, clients typically engage Genpact for transformation services either in smaller digital engagements that deliver proof-of-concepts or by immediately undergoing a full-scale transformation. Genpact is now seeing more of the later where transformation services are being embedded in larger deals. These deals are typically more complex and have longer ramp-up periods resulting in lower upfront revenue but will provide greater visibility to its future top line growth.

Genpact’s ‘land and expand’ approach to sales is seeing it grow the size of its client relationships. It now boasts nine client’s relationship where annual revenue exceeds $50m, up from six during the same period last year and had its first global client relationship cross the $100 million mark in annual revenue.

This has all resulted in its largest pipeline to-date and year-to-date bookings growth well ahead of the past couple of years hence its decision to revise up full year expectations. 

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:06' - Tagged: results  

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Wednesday 08 August 2018

Full series of Supplier Rankings reports published!

Over the last couple of weeks, TechMarketView has published must-read Supplier Rankings across every one of our research streams. If you have not yet downloaded your copy, here are the links to the reports:

Each report ranks the Top 20 suppliers to the sector and analyses their performance relative to the market and their peers. Each of the Research Directors also identifies those suppliers jostling for position. It is clear – across the board – that diversity of performance is a common theme. And often it is those further down the rankings that are performing the most strongly.

Our in-depth reviews highlight how differences in strategy and approach are determining the comparative success of the various suppliers. Which suppliers are best dealing with digital disruption in the market and, in line with our 2018 research theme, breaking their boundaries to remain relevant and take share in a shifting market?

If you would like to read any of these reports but your organisation is not a subscriber to the relevant stream, please contact our client services team to find out how you can gain access.

You can also reserve a place at TechMarketView’s Annual Presentation & Dinner on 13th September 2018 to hear more on how the shift from the ‘legacy’ to the ‘new is impacting software & IT services suppliers – to find out more click here.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '08:00' - Tagged: public+sector   business+process+services   financialservices   rankings   ApplicationServices   infrastructureservices   supplierlandscape   cybersecurity   enterpriseapplications   Suppliers  

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Wednesday 08 August 2018

Musk to take Tesla private?

TeslaMuskWe have all got used to Elon Musk’s increasingly outrageous tweets. Yesterday he entered a whole new territory announcing that he was going to take Tesla private at $420 a share which would value the loss-making company at $72b. Although the link has not been proven, Musk’s tweet - which read ‘Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured’ - came after the FT announced that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund had built a $2b stake in Tesla.

Personally I can see huge advantages for taking Tesla out of the public gaze. Musk has become increasing tetchy with analysts who (rightfully) question him on such issues as ‘Will you need more cash?’ His SpaceX venture is still private. In fact the stock move provided some debt relief as it drove $2.3b of convertible debt past the level at which investors can swap it for stock at a profit.

The problem for Musk is that making an announcement like this could break many regulations. As many of us serving on the boards of quoted companies know only too well, making announcements which affect the share price must be done with great care. If Musk now doesn’t take Tesla private and the price sinks…Well, he could be in all kinds of trouble and face legal action from aggrieved shareholders.  

The FT reports S3 Partners saying that hedge funds shorting Tesla would lose $4.4b if the ‘take private’ @ $420 actually happened. Tesla ended the session at up 11% at $379 - close to their all -time high hit in 2017.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:09'

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Wednesday 08 August 2018

Fujitsu invents solution to most intractable problem facing mankind

RFIDYesterday I was checking for news on Fujitsu ahead of one of our regular meets with their top management, when I hit upon a press release which seemed to promise a solution to one of the most intractable problems facing mankind.

Fujitsu has released the smallest ever laundry tag built with RFID technology. It goes under the catchy name of ‘5th General Super Slim Washable RFID Linen Tag’. It clearly has huge application in hospitals, hotels and any dry cleaning outlet. Users can track items through the ‘washing, drying and folding processes’. The tag is only 6mm wide and can withstand multiple washing cycles and can be read at a distance of 3 metres.

SocksIn our household - and I know from many conversations in most other households too - the problem of odd socks coming out of the washing machine is, as I said, the most intractable problem known to mankind. I have a complete drawer of odd socks desperately waiting to find their twin. Clearly the ‘5th General Super Slim Washable RFID Linen Tag’ will solve that problem…

But seriously, I can see real application here. After following Fujitsu for nearly 30 years since their acquisition of ICL in 1990, I have always been amazed at the innovation coming out of Fujitsu’s development labs. However the criticism is that inventing something really useful is one thing. Developing it and selling it commercially on a global (ie not just Japanese) basis is another.

Posted by Richard Holway at '06:47'

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