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XMOS captures $15m as adds more voices to Alexa
17 Oct 2017
CloudCall will raise £5.7m to drive further CRM integration
17 Oct 2017
HCL rejigs banking relationship with DXC
17 Oct 2017
H1 in line at RhythmOne but still a way to go
17 Oct 2017
Why smart businesses are moving their data out of the city
17 Oct 2017
LBB Mobysoft funded to expand analytics in social housing
16 Oct 2017
UK responds to global AI race
16 Oct 2017
Zalaris buys into UK HR services market with ROC
16 Oct 2017
New TMV Lead for Business Process Services – Marc Hardwick
16 Oct 2017
Infosys: Nilekani’s software conundrum
16 Oct 2017
Interesting week for Tesla
15 Oct 2017
Microsoft/Amazon collaborate on machine intelligence
13 Oct 2017
** New Research ** UK Police SITS Supplier Landscape & Market Trends 2017-18
13 Oct 2017
Sage takes to the cloud for unification, simplification
13 Oct 2017
Game on for Supersolid to build more dreams
13 Oct 2017
Pivoted Ometria picks up more dosh
13 Oct 2017
The Electric Car: What else will it change?
13 Oct 2017
Big analytics push from Workday
12 Oct 2017
Civica to supply new ANPR solution for two UK police forces
12 Oct 2017
DXC forms new company from US Government business
12 Oct 2017
Rimini Street makes Nasdaq debut
12 Oct 2017
European TMT valuations on the rise
12 Oct 2017
Osirium builds on H2 expectations with contract renewals
12 Oct 2017
Hays still struggling in UK public sector
12 Oct 2017
What does good Professional Services look like? South Place Hotel, London, 26th Oct, 8:00-11:00am
12 Oct 2017
The Prince’s Trust ICT Leaders’ Forum and Dinner on 23rd Nov 17
11 Oct 2017
DXC buys Logicalis ServiceNow capability
11 Oct 2017
Concirrus builds winning platform in marine insurance
11 Oct 2017
PROACTIS looks to have Perfect pitch
11 Oct 2017
CACI acquires UK's Spargonet
11 Oct 2017
Refurb at Reapit
11 Oct 2017
PageGroup UK deeper in the doldrums
11 Oct 2017
New Nomad leads InterQuest back to No-Man’s-Land
11 Oct 2017
Mixed H118 results for RedstoneConnect
10 Oct 2017
1Spatial reverses direction of travel - to good effect
10 Oct 2017
miPic wants to do it with your pics
10 Oct 2017
Capita appoints Jonathan Lewis as new CEO
10 Oct 2017
eServGlobal: Turning a corner?
10 Oct 2017
NGA HR exec to take T-Systems lead
10 Oct 2017
NGA HR business to split
10 Oct 2017
Investors find Verve just the ticket
10 Oct 2017
* NEW RESEARCH* FintechViews - Klarna: Shaking Up Payments
10 Oct 2017
Tech, legal recruitment drives Robert Walters UK
10 Oct 2017
* NEW RESEARCH * UK Tech funding soars
10 Oct 2017
Board and executive leadership for ‘deep tech’ organisations
10 Oct 2017

UKHotViews©

 

Tuesday 17 October 2017

XMOS captures $15m as adds more voices to Alexa

logoOn the face of it, Bristol-based fabless semiconductor company XMOS is a fabulous example of UK tech innovation. Its voice and music processing and control ICs (integrated circuits) are widely used by global AV brands such as Sony, Sennheiser, Oppo, JBL and many others. And just last week, XMOS announced a development kit which enables OEMs to incorporate an Amazon Alexa voice recognition unit into smart panels, kitchen appliances, and other commercial and industrial electronics.

Since its founding in 2005, XMOS has raised over $72m, including a recent $15m Series E round led by strategic investor Infineon Technologies with participation from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital and Robert Bosch Venture Capital. Just as well, as XMOS is still heavily lossmaking. Its latest accounts for 2015 (2016 accounts are overdue) show operating losses of $12.4m on revenues of $5.5m (XMOS reports in USD). Operating cash outflow tallied nearly $10m.

Being fabless, XMOS is essentially an IP company and doesn’t carry any meaningful capex burden. Its single biggest expense is its people, which cost a total of $11.8m in 2015, being an average of some $170k per head for its (then) 69 employees.

It’s great that XMOS has loyal backers; clearly the business is not viable without them. But why is it taking XMOS so long to turn a profit? Does the business exist purely for its exit potential? And if so, how likely is that exit going to further UK tech sector enrichment? Or will XMOS join the long list of transatlantic or transpacific acquisitions (e.g. see Could Graphcore become Softbank’s next ARM?)?

I truly laud XMOS for its world class technological prowess. But I weep tears of frustration over its prospects.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:50' - Tagged: funding  

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

CloudCall will raise £5.7m to drive further CRM integration

CloudCall raises £5.7m to drive further CRM integrationCloudCall plans to finance further growth through a proposed £5.7m of funding raised from selling additional shares to new and existing investors.

The SaaS-based customer relationship management (CRM) telephony specialist maintained a strong sales performance in the first half of its financial year, growing H117 revenue 40% yoy to £3.2m.

Management is keen to keep up that momentum, especially traction from its relationship with Bullhorn, and will use the extra cash to simultaneously grow CloudCall’s reseller base and build up its direct sales capabilities.

Embedding its communications agent within Microsoft’s latest Dynamics CRM platform is another big opportunity for CloudCall if it can get the execution right, and integration with two further unnamed CRM platforms is planned for 2018.

The measure of CloudCall’s near term success (and the litmus test for its expansion strategy) could well be how well it manages the balance between driving new sales and servicing a growing customer base.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:40' - Tagged: funding   crm   telephony   CloudCall  

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

HCL rejigs banking relationship with DXC

logoI mentioned yesterday that embattled Indian pure-play Infosys is struggling to get a decent return on its investment in its packaged software product portfolio, most notably, core banking package Finacle (see Infosys: Nilekani’s software conundrum). Now it’s the turn of Chennai-based HCL Technologies to reassess its role in the banking software market, announcing that it is discontinuing its joint venture arrangement with DXC Technology in favour of an ‘IP partnership’.

By way of background, HCL and the erstwhile CSC (now DXC) created a JV arrangement in July 2015 to develop and market CSC’s Celeriti core banking suite (see Lawrie invites HCL to another CSC party). Celeriti was launched in 2010 as the web-based successor to CSC’s phenomenally successful Hogan banking package.

The JV comprised a sales, marketing and account management entity (CeleritiFinTech), in which HCL held a 51% stake, and a service delivery entity (CeleritiFinTech Services) in which HCL held a 49% stake. Simples. Except perhaps for the fact that last year CFT made a small loss on revenues of just under $58m. Other media reports suggest that there have been just a handful of Celeriti sales since its launch, with one of the more recent, at Australia’s St George Bank, taking six years to implement.

The new arrangement sees HCL taking responsibility for development, modernisation, maintenance and professional services for DXC’s core banking products, leaving CSC to handle sales and marketing. HCL will pay DXC $50m for the exclusive rights to DXC’s core banking products for 10 years, with an option to get perpetual rights for a further $65m.

I must admit I don’t get it. There was no mention about how HCL makes any money from this new arrangement. Maybe this will become clear when HCL announces its results next week.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:25' - Tagged: offshore   jointventure   banking  

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

H1 in line at RhythmOne but still a way to go

logoTrading for H1 (to September 30 2017) was in line at digital media tech provider RhythmOne, with revenue in the $112m-$114m range (vs. $67m from continuing operations this time last year) as it made progress with programmatic platform growth and was boosted by acquisitions following the integration of Perk and on track integration of RadiumOne. Adjusted EBITDA improved from a loss of $2.6m to a profit of $1.5m- $2m.

The company continues to undergo substantial change as it intensifies the pivot towards a unified programmatic adtech platform. Today’s trading update suggests it is managing the change although the rate and size of acquisitions is something that requires careful handling to avoid being overwhelmed, especially with the large YuMe acquisition which is expected to close in Q118.

It has big ambitions, including positioning itself as an alternative to the ad networks and exchanges of Google and Facebook but is still (re)building the business and there is some way to go before it stabilises. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '07:46' - Tagged: software   tradingupdate  

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Monday 16 October 2017

LBB Mobysoft funded to expand analytics in social housing

Mobysoft logoOne of TechMarketView’s 2016 cohort of Little British Battlers (LBBs), Mobysoft, has confirmed it’s received a substantial funding investment from mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge. Manchester-based Mobysoft supplies a predictive analytics solution called RentSense to the UK social housing sector, helping social landlords protect revenues and mitigate bad debt by predicting which tenants will and won’t pay their rent. In 2015/16 RentSense helped customers reduce their rent arrears by £29m – that’s pretty impressive for an SME that was turning over c£3m at the time (see LBB Mobysoft makes waves in social housing).

Mobysoft is planning to use the undisclosed investment to bring to market other complementary software products based on predictive analytics to help social landlords deliver further significant efficiencies. The fast growing LBB is on a mission to scale rapidly within a sector that it’s already well known in. Although relatively niche, the UK social housing sector is attracting investment from a number of suppliers at the moment, including Castleton Technologies (see Castleton Technology delivers growth again), Northgate Public Services and Civica.  These suppliers are specialists in the sector too and see potential for growth as landlords look to improve efficiency and pressure mounts on the government to invest more in social housing. With its predictive analytics IP, sector expertise and clear ROI, Mobysoft appears to be in the right place at the right time.

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '10:24' - Tagged: investment   analytics   lbb   socialhousing  

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Monday 16 October 2017

UK responds to global AI race

Putin & Musk quotesOn Sunday, an independent, industry-led, review was published, which revealed new proposals for how Government can work with industry to stay ahead of the competition and grow the UK’s use of AI across the economy. The UK wants to remain a leader in this space – it doesn’t want other countries to dominate. Those who attended our TechMarketView Annual Presentation & Dinner (see An evening with TechMarketView – October 2017) will remember the quotes on AI that our Chairman, Richard Holway, used from President Putin and Elon Musk (see The creepy side of AI). Putin’s quote, in particular, is enough to focus the mind: “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will be the leader of the world”. As yesterday’s report – Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK - points out, “it is clear that countries around the world are devoting significant resources to growing and deploying AI”. 

With support of Government, there is potential to accelerate both the supply-side and the demand-side of AI. This is not the only area that departments like BEIS and DCMS are focusing on – we also recently commented on a publication developing a framework for the increased use of drones in the UK (see Future 2035: KidsViews). There is great interest in the positive social and economic impact presented by advanced digital technologies. This latest report, led by led by Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Jérôme Pesenti, Chief Executive of BenevolentTech, provides 18 recommendations, focused on four key areas: skills; increasing uptake; data; and research. There are some interesting ideas – like the creation of Data Trusts to encourage data sharing, and conversion courses for students with qualifications outside the usual Computer Science areas – but it is not easy to see how all would be put into practice. 

Seeing how the recommendations translate into departmental policy, and into a “comprehensive Sector Deal to ensure the UK grasps the AI opportunity” will be interesting. The good news is that technology is increasingly at the top of the political agenda. 

TechMarketView subscribers to ESASViews, can read more TechMarketView research on AI in reports such as ESAS Market Trends & Forecasts. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to find out more. 

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '10:13' - Tagged: policy   government   AI  

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Monday 16 October 2017

Zalaris buys into UK HR services market with ROC

logoSuppliers of HR services to the UK market have a new competitor to contend with following the sale of UK HR specialist ROC Global Solution Consulting. The buyer is Zalaris ASA, who is HQ’d in Norway, provides HR and payroll services across Northern Europe, the Baltics and Poland and is a SAP and Successfactors specialist. ROC is an SAP and Successfactors partner - and four years ago was also a Unit4 partner but little seems to have developed from that relationship.

Zalaris management says the ROC acquisition (total consideration of £8.6m, £7.5m in cash, with Goldenhill as the advisor) will give it immediate access to the UK market and strengthen its HR advisory and cloud services capability; its cloud revenues have increased from 1% to a more reasonable 14% across two years. NGA HR is the company whose territory Zalaris will be treading on most directly, at a time when it is busy with the proposed sale of its UK mid market and Moorepay business.

Zalaris, who is listed on the Oslo stock exchange, appears to be on an acquisition led growth trajectory, having acquired sumarum AG in Germany in May 2017. The combined entity of Zalaris, sumarum and ROC will be able to deliver payroll and HCM services to the Nordics, Baltics, Poland, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and India, marking it as a force to take notice of. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:25' - Tagged: acquisition   hr  

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Monday 16 October 2017

New TMV Lead for Business Process Services – Marc Hardwick

TMV logoI wanted to use one of my first HotViews posts to outline my initial thoughts on how I plan to develop TechMarketView’s analysis of Business Process Services (BPS), BusinessProcessViews.

This is without doubt an exciting time to be involved with BPS as the sector goes through significant levels of change. Having been a client myself I fundamentally believe TMV’s real value sits in helping clients successfully navigate periods like this.

Helping you prepare for change will see me focus on at least a few key areas.

MarcFirstly, I am keen to build on the excellent work done to date deepening our knowledge of how digitisation and new technologies are transforming BPS. As such you can expect more intense focus on areas such as Intelligent Automation, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of things, Virtual Assistants and AI (What are the opportunities for Artificial Intelligence in Business Process Services?).

Secondly, I am particularly keen to capitalise on TMV’s unique knowledge of the local market and identify practical examples of how new BPS technologies are transforming businesses within a variety of UK Industries (RPA - end user insights in retail banking and energy).

My other key area of focus will be to shine a light on the innovation happening in parallel, around the commercial side of BPS as players big and small reshape the way they engage with both their clients and end service users.  As such you can expect emphasis placed on understanding how deals are won, contracts structured and the mechanics of the commercials and service delivery.

Ultimately it’s vitally important that the BPS research agenda is useful, relevant and timely and helps our clients address the ‘Exam-Questions’ facing their businesses. As such I look forward to engaging with many of you over coming months to ensure that the research agenda remains shaped by you and your organisation’s needs.

For information on subscribing to our BusinessProcessViews research please contact our Client Services team by emailing info@TechMarketView.com.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:49' - Tagged: automation   AI   RPA  

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Monday 16 October 2017

Infosys: Nilekani’s software conundrum

logoIn about a week’s time, embattled Indian pure-play Infosys will announce its quarterly results under the returning chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani, who stepped into the breach in the aftermath of the resignation of erstwhile CEO, Dr Vishal Sikka (see Infosys goes back for its future … again!).

Meanwhile, the fallout continues with news from the illuminating Economic Times of India that two more software-infused execs have left the company, these being Head of Platforms, Abdul Razack, and Edgeverve CEO, Pervinder Johar. Razack was one of Sikka’s mates from SAP, joining what appears to be a conga-line of ex-SAP exec exits (see Another of “Sikka’s mates” leaves Infosys). Johar was recruited from US-based supply chain software developer, Steelwedge Software, after the company was acquired by peer E2open early in 2017. Both Razack and Jojar were based in the US, as was Sikka.

Edgeverve is the business unit that comprises the bulk of Infosys’ diverse software assets, including banking package Finacle (see Can Finacle drive growth for Infosys in Financial Services?). Edgverve currently generates 5-6% of Infosys’ $10bn revenues, but it is a moot point whether it has provided any meaningful growth leverage for Infosys’ core IT services business.

It is expected that Nilekani will roll back Sikka’s apparent quest to turn Infosys into a software-driven company. In my opinion Nilekani should spin off Finacle (and any other Edgeverve product that even vaguely resembles ‘packaged software’), and absorb suitable IP into the relevant Infosys delivery units to provide service differentiation. Anything else should be shut down.

Subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service can download the special edition OffshoreViews EXTRA: Infosys – The Sikka Years by clicking on the link.

If you are not a subscriber but would like a FREE COPY of this report, please drop your details (name, company, position) to info@techmarketview.com with SIKKA YEARS in the subject line.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:25' - Tagged: offshore   management  

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Sunday 15 October 2017

Interesting week for Tesla

TeslaM3I have set-up various News Alerts. The busiest this last week has related to Tesla and a lot of it wasn’t too positive. Tesla admitted that they had missed their production targets for the Model 3 (that’s their low cost/mass market car) with only a few hundred rolling off the lines to date. Tesla still expects 5000 a week by end of year. Then there were reports of layoffs off production staff. ‘A few hundred’ failed their annual performance reviews. But, remember Tesla now employs 33,000 – so it’s a drop in the ocean. Then there were reports in the WSJ that some of the Model 3 parts were being hand-made as their automation wasn’t complete. Elon Musk strongly disagreed. But, anyway, Tesla still had to delay the launch of their electric truck which was due in a few weeks.

I admit to being something of an Elon Musk groupie. I just think his ‘go for it’ attitude is amazing and what he has already achieved puts him up there with some of the greatest pioneers the world has seen. Personally I think he is a 21st Century Brunel.

It’s also true that I invested in Tesla ‘with my heart – not my head’. But my heart really has been onto a winner. Tesla stock is up 9x since 2014. Has doubled in 11 months since Nov 16 and is up 66% YTD. If only I’d listened to my heart – rather than my wife – I might have had bet the house on it…

Finally, for all you motorheads out there, Top Gear did a drag test between the Tesla Model S and the Mercedes AMG E63 (reputed to be the fastest saloon car on general sale). One assumes this will feature in a future BBC Top Gear programme. Anyway, the Tesla won hands down – faster over every measure. Eg 0-100mph in 6.46 seconds for the Tesla and nearly a second slower, at 7.34 seconds, for the Merc. That’s of course putting the Tesla into ‘Ludicrous Drive-mode’. Must admit when I put my foot down on the Tesla test track in California in 2015, it nearly made my head fall off.

Posted by Richard Holway at '19:29'

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Friday 13 October 2017

Microsoft/Amazon collaborate on machine intelligence

logoGluon is the name of a new machine intelligence library emerging from a logocollaboration between Amazon and Microsoft, designed to make it easier for developers to create machine learning-enabled applications.

This is the second time the two have worked together - they allowed Alexa and Cortana to chat a few month ago - and it is also the second time Google has not been part of the collaboration party even though Gluon is an open source Python based API toolset. The two also collaborate on the Cloud Native Computing Foudation. But elsewhere Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook are working together on the Partnership on AI.

The library provides developers with an interface to an environment where they can prototype, build, train and deploy machine learning models for use in applications. Developers will be able to use Gluon to work with the MXNet AI framework from AWS and Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit. As Google is not a participant, its popular TensorFlow AI framework is not part of the line up.

This is a positive move and machine intelligence adoption will certainly benefit from collaboration to build expertise and create usable solutions. Indeed, it is an area where there has been welcome sharing e.g. free access to machine learning libraries from leading provides like Microsoft, Amazon and Google as well as the examples cited above. Machine intelligence won’t reduce competition but it will change it, with much more emphasis on collaboration and openness because there is so much learning to do. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '10:06' - Tagged: software   AI   machinelearning   machineintelligence  

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Friday 13 October 2017

** New Research ** UK Police SITS Supplier Landscape & Market Trends 2017-18

Police SITS cover imageThis report updates our view of the major suppliers of Software and IT Services (SITS) into the UK Policing sector. We take a close look at the pressures that are influencing the market, how policing is likely to change and the role that technology might play in that transformation.

UK policing has undergone significant change and faces many ongoing challenges, including adapting to new threats at a time of declining resources. The sector has been slow to embrace new technologies, but digital transformation is beginning to accelerate.

Policing is the smallest of the public sector areas that TechMarketView tracks, worth just 4% of the total public sector SITS market. However, with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 7.2% between 2016 and 2020, it will be the fastest growing area of public sector SITS.

Opportunities in the sector will be driven by increasing levels of collaboration between police forces and other agencies. We will also see new business develop through the adoption of cloud and mobile technologies in the sector, as well as the use of data and analytics to predict crime patterns and allocate resources effectively.  

In the report we review the Top 10 SITS suppliers in the sector, looking at their performance and prospects for the future, before taking a look at some of the other influential suppliers in policing.

The report is available to download now. If you are not yet a PublicSectorViews subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to find out how you can access the research.  

Posted by Dale Peters at '10:00' - Tagged: police   research   emergency   bluelight  

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Friday 13 October 2017

Sage takes to the cloud for unification, simplification

logoAnnouncing the first stage in a big vision project, Sage is creating a unifying cloud platform - Sage Business Cloud - to bring its core products together. As well as providing a platform for Sage’s own business applications, it will also handle apps from the Sage marketplace.

In an ideal scenario, Sage Business Cloud would see businesses all through their growth lifecycle – taking them from start up, through scale up and onto global enterprises – via a portfolio of core business products covering accounting and financials, people and payroll, and payments and banking, with industry vertical capability added in too. As the Business Cloud is described as having an ‘AI first” approach with a set of machine intelligence services built in, the platform is intended for the ‘intelligent business’. More….

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:21' - Tagged: cloud   software  

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Friday 13 October 2017

Game on for Supersolid to build more dreams

logoFirst it was Super Penguins, then Adventure Town, followed by Food Street (“Create the restaurant of your dreams”), and now Home Street (“Build your dream life in a neighbourhood filled with friends”). Such is the portfolio of London-based games developer, Supersolid, which has just raised a further $4m in a Series A funding round led by Index Ventures, with angel participation. Index had previously backed the Supersolid core team when they were working at games developer, Playfish, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2009 (see Trouble in gamingland). Game on!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:46' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Friday 13 October 2017

Pivoted Ometria picks up more dosh

logoLondon-based Ometria began life in 2013 as yet another retail analytics platform, and was later backed by, among many others, Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin, co-founders of collaboration software platform startup Huddle (see Mitchell & co get into a huddle with Ometria). Ometria raised funds again in 2015 after the startup switched tracks to become a marketing automation platform (see Ometria pivots and picks up another $2.5m).

Since then, Huddle has made a somewhat unfortunate ‘exit’ (see Huddle sold; employee shareholders lose out), but Ometria appears to be going from strength to strength, with a $6m Series A funding round, led by Summit Action, Sonae IM and Samos Investments and some original investors, though it is not clear whether Messers Mitchell and McLoughlin also participated. This brings Ometria’s total funding to date to $11m.

There are many marketing automation platforms out there, so it’s encouraging to see that investors continue to believe that Ometria’s ‘has legs’.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:01' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Thursday 12 October 2017

Big analytics push from Workday

logoWhen Workday acquired data discovery youngster Platfora in 2016 it was part of a bigger programme to build an analytics platform. That programme has taken a big step forward with the release of the Prism Analytics platform which uses Platfora technology, rewritten to properly integrate it into the Workday stack rather than providing it as an add on.

As Prism can work on data held within external systems, as well as data held within Workday’s own HR and financials systems, Workday is trying to position itself as the analytics platform and front end of choice for enterprise businesses. But it has plenty of competition here from the big guns of SAP, Oracle and IBM, to analytics specialists like SAS and data visualisation experts Tableau and Qlik.

It is also offering Data-as-a-Service (based on anonomised data) and benchmarking alongside analytics capability however, which will enable its customers to see how they compare to their peers. This is a good starting point for cloud pure plays because the cloud model means data is readily available and benchmarking provides a clearly defined analytics and data-led use case and set of outputs. As many enterprises are still struggling with where to apply advanced analytics and how to extract more value from data, the clearer the use case and benefits, the better. Obvious but incremental gains is the way forward and DaaS and benchmarking is a good starting place.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:55' - Tagged: cloud   software   analytics   data   machineintelligence  

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Thursday 12 October 2017

Civica to supply new ANPR solution for two UK police forces

Civica logoPublic sector focused software and services supplier Civica has been awarded a contract to provide Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces with a vehicle-based automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) solution.

West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police have been working together in a strategic alliance since 2012. The intention being to help policing across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, Warwickshire and Worcestershire to be delivered more efficiently and effectively. Both forces were existing customers of Civica.

The deal will see 62 police vehicles fitted with Civica’s ANPR, speed enforcement system, and digital video recording capability. It has developed a bespoke solution for the alliance that will deliver real-time information to support operational response, traffic management, road safety and offence investigation. Additionally, the system will provide a standard speed enforcement system to track target vehicles and in vehicle digital recording, which records both external footage and any occupants of the vehicle. The solution also enables control room officers to dial in to the system to view live footage.

Whilst policing does not represent a big part of Civica’s revenue, it does supply technology to 90% of forces in England and Wales; ANPR and fleet management solutions being its main focus. Although policing sits outside what would be considered Civica’s core market of local government, it is in a good position to leverage existing relationships with forces to develop new propositions.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:55' - Tagged: contract   police   automotive   fleet   emergency  

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Thursday 12 October 2017

DXC forms new company from US Government business

dxcDXC Technology is combining its US Government business (USPS) with that of Vencore Holding Corporation and KeyPoint Government Solutions - both of which are owned by affiliates of PE firm, Veritas Capital. The new publicly quoted company will be formed before the end of March 2018.

This new entity – which will appoint Mike Lawrie as Chair of the Board – is set to become a top five services provider to US government (according to DXC), with combined revenue of c$4.3bn and more than 14,000 people. There are a couple of points to note on the transaction details. Firstly, DXC’s shareholders will receive shares of USPS via a spin-off and will own c86% of the combined company’s common shares. Secondly, USPS will distribute $1.05bn in cash consideration (or assumed debt) to DXC, which will use the proceeds to reduce debt, repurchase shares, and undertake other general corporate activities.

The move makes good sense in that it creates an entity with even more sector focus while delivering a return for DXC, that can be used to carry on honing the on-going business – perhaps even funding more acquisitions.

Before the merger of CSC and HPE Enterprise Services to create the DXC brand, CSC split its business into two parts: US Public Sector ($4.1bn revenue at the time) and CSC Global Commercial ($8.1bn). The name of the latter was always slightly misleading, as this is where CSC’s UK Public Sector business lives and indeed, DXC will continue to serve government clients around the world. For clarity, this UK government business is not affected by today’s news, and indeed DXC remains a leading player here (see where it ranks here).

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:34' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Thursday 12 October 2017

Rimini Street makes Nasdaq debut

logoRimini Street has followed through on its plans to go public via a merger with Nasdaq listed GP Investments Acquisition Corp (see Rimini Street fast tracks public listing). It has closed the deal and on October 11 began trading under the Rimini Street name (RMNI). Founder and CEO Seth Ravin and his team will continue to lead the company.

$50m was raised through cash proceeds from a share issue and a third round of equity funding by Rimini Street’s largest shareholder, Adams Street Partners.

The listing adds additional credibility to Rimini Street (and by association, the small number of other third party support and maintenance providers) who despite the efforts of Oracle has proved the case for third party maintenance through several years of rising revenue (46 consecutive quarters of growth). The listing should mean it will fulfil the selection criteria of more enterprises, extending its addressable market, as well as providing access to capital markets to fund the development of new service offerings and acquisitions.

Objectives such as the desire to release budget for new investments or to keep software suppliers in check means enterprises have an appetite for alternatives to the maintenance programmes provided by software suppliers so Rimini Street has expanded its Oracle and SAP coverage and has IBM and Microsoft in its sights. Setting up new service offerings is expensive and also calls for skilled staff. Rimini Street needs to avoid being pulled into the ‘linearity’ trap where growth is dependent on increased headcount; it sounds like the perfect use case for intelligent automation and machine intelligence. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:06' - Tagged: listing   ApplicationServices  

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Thursday 12 October 2017

European TMT valuations on the rise

chartThe recovery from the summer slow-down in European TMT deal flow was very weak in September with only a 5% increase in the number of transactions, according to latest data from corporate finance firm Regent Partners. Aggregate deal values fell from $25bn in August to $20bn in September. However, valuation multiples continued to increase with aggregate Price/Sales ratios at 1.5x, up from 1.3x in August and Price/EBITDA ratios at 12.8x, up from 11.4x.

The largest deal involving a UK tech company was the acquisition of embedded microprocessor company, Imagination Technologies, for £550m by China-backed, US-headquartered private equity firm Canyon Bridge Capital Partners (see Imagination Technologies taken out by the Chinese).  At the same time Imagination is selling its MIPS arm to Tallwood Venture Capital for $65m. Imagination’s shares fell heavily earlier in the year when Apple announced it would not continue to use Imagination’s graphic chips (see Learning the lessons of a dominant customer).

Also worthy of note – though on a much smaller scale – was the £26m acquisition of near-30 year veteran back-office workflow software firm eg Solutions by US-based Verint (see here). The deal, at a small discount to its last close on AIM, sees feisty founder and CEO Elizabeth Gooch MBE leave the business.

Subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service can read our regular quarterly summaries of corporate activity in the UK software and IT services sector in IndustryViews Corporate Activity, or just search on ‘acquisition’ in the UKHotViews archive.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:31' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Thursday 12 October 2017

Osirium builds on H2 expectations with contract renewals

Osirium builds on H2 expectations with contract renewalsTechMarketView reported last month that things would look rosier for AIM-listed privileged access management (PAM) specialist Osirium in the second half, and the firm looks to be delivering on its promise.

The UK-headquartered cybersecurity SaaS provider announced two contract renewals: a 12 month agreement with an unnamed telecommunications company and a 24 month deal with a global aerospace and defence firm. Both contracts involve the delivery of Osirium’s full PxM software suite backed up by associated consultancy services, and should help boost Osirium's H217 revenue beyond the £316k posted in H216.

Osirium operates in a competitive PAM market populated by some significant global players, but its post-IPO investment in growing its network of international resellers appears to be paying dividends. We expect public and private sector organisations to keep cybersecurity as one of their top priorities for the foreseeable future, but many will look to trim cost and management overheads by shifting responsibility to cloud-based solutions like Osirium's.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:27' - Tagged: contracts   cybersecurity   Osirium  

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Thursday 12 October 2017

Hays still struggling in UK public sector

logoThere’s little sign of recovery in its home market for UK-headquartered, international staffing giant Hays, where public sector recruitment is still proving a drag on the business (see UK Public Sector still tough for recruiter Hays). Hays’ UK private sector business showed ‘modest signs of improvement’ in Q1 (to 30th Sept.), with net fee income (gross profit) up by 4%. However, public sector NFI fell by 9%, which primarily impacted UK IT recruitment, down 15%. Net net, Hays UK NFI grew by 1%. Worldwide NFI grew by 13% (10% like-for-like).

The only UK-based recruiter that seems to be having any joy in its home market is mid-tier Robert Walters (see Tech, legal recruitment drives Robert Walters UK), with tech (and legal) disciplines leading the charge. They seem to be able to find the sweet spots that others can’t reach!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:50' - Tagged: trading   recruitment  

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

The Prince’s Trust ICT Leaders’ Forum and Dinner on 23rd Nov 17

PTThe Prince’s Trust ICT Leaders’ Forum and Dinner, now in it is 15th year, will be hosted by BT at the top of the prestigious BT Tower on 23rd November 2017, 18:00 – 22:30pm.

This event is by invitation only and we believe it is the most exclusive gathering of its kind of the ICT industries in the UK. ICT Leaders is limited to a total of 60 attendees and is attended by the CEO, UK or EMEA President of most of the leading companies in the sector.

This year’s topic of discussion is focusing on how major global companies are transforming their organisations, our keynote speakers include Victor Basta - Managing Director of Magister Advisors, JP Rangaswami - Chief Data Officer of Deutsche Bank and Scott Gardner - Chief Executive of Cisco.       

Tickets are £1,600 and, thanks to BT’s sponsorship, 100% of proceeds will be going to The Prince’s Trust, helping to change the lives of some of the UK’s most disadvantaged young people.

I founded the ICT Leaders’ Forum and Dinner which, in its various forms,  has raised a total of £1.5m for the Prince’s Trust since 2005. The event is now managed by James Bennet MBE of EY.

If you would like to receive an invitation to attend, please contact Elen Thorne, elen.thorne@princes-trust.org.uk

Posted by Richard Holway at '14:10'

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

DXC buys Logicalis ServiceNow capability

dxcIn what we think is a very canny move, DXC Technology has acquired Logicalis SMC, the reseller’s service management consultancy operation run out of the Netherlands. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SMC is a nice little business and was the first European company to become a ServiceNow Master Solutions partner. Logicalis acquired the SMC capability from 2e2 when the buy-and-build horror story broke up and sold its various operations. Although the 2e2 brand quickly became ‘toxic’ following its demise, the SMC capability turned out to be a little gem. As well as ServiceNow consultancy services, Logicalis SMC also sells proprietary software built on the ServiceNow platform.

So why doesn’t Logicalis keep it for itself? Logicalis and indeed parent company, Datatec (Datatec hit by Westcon’s earnings drop), are currently working their way through tough times. We suspect the value of the operation has increased notably since Logicalis acquired it meaning a sale could produce a tidy return. That in turn gives Logicalis options for investment in its core business to make any necessary improvements or indeed other acquisitions. Meanwhile Logicalis will still maintain a “trading relationship” with SMC, giving it access to those capabilities.

The SMC business will join the ServiceNow practice within Fruition Partners, an acquisition made by CSC (which of course became DXC earlier this year). Fruition Partners was acquired a couple of years back and at the time had 300 consultants, including some in the UK. Logicalis SMC has just over 180 employees.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '10:08' - Tagged: acquisition   consultancy   servicemanagement  

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

Concirrus builds winning platform in marine insurance

concirrusWe first met Concirrus as a Little British Battler in 2013, then an embryonic IoT platform provider. They have since moved quickly and adroitly, getting involved in “Smart Cities” and then securing additional funding from Touchstone Innovations. However, their latest strategic move, into leading-edge insurtech, looks like establishing a secure foundation on which to build a very successful business.

Management had recognised the importance of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Insurance business and the potential rewards available from better data analysis and in simplifying the sector’s complex and fragmented business processes. Concirrus has now launched its Quest marine insurance platform, which is already being used with several large international insurers. The company has built links to the major providers of data within the sector as well as with other external sources and its customers. The platform can then analyse risk on a much more intelligent and informed basis, enabling premiums and portolios to be adjusted in near real-time, say to reflect the imminent weather, or recent incidents in a particular port or with a specific type of vessel.

In recents discussion with CEO Andrew Yeoman, three aspects of the company’s strategy struck home as being very insightful; firstly, the adoption of AI is accelerated by focusing on specific and important business issues, that the more complex and nuanced the targeted activity the greater the potential rewards and finally, the better the supplier’s partnerships, with customers, data providers and with larger system integrators, the greater the chance of success. Concirrus’s approach leverages all these aspects, the company’s position reinforced by its proprietary platform.

Concirrus has made a lot of progress since being a Little British Battler. We expect to hear a lot more about the company as it builds its insurtech business.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:59' - Tagged: analytics   lbb   insurance   AI   machinelearning   insuretech  

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

PROACTIS looks to have Perfect pitch

logoFull year results of spend control solutions provider PROACTIS showed revenue up 31% to £25.4m (+9% organically), with EBITDA ahead 49% to £7.9m. These figures however do not include Perfect Commerce, the US-HQ’d business acquired in July.

The new financial year has begun with a group doubled in size, with 85% recurring revenue and the prospect of £5m in cost synergies to get the wider group to around PROACTIS’s 30% EBITDA margin benchmark.

The two companies have known each other for several years. Consequently there should be few surprises as they combine to build on their momentum in the crowded and competitive market for spend control and eProcurement. The two businesses are complementary in more than their geographical reach. Perfect has more resonance in Tier 1 customers, while PROACTIS had been more successful in the mid-market and public sector which offer significant opportunity in the US. They will be looking to deepen their market penetration, encouraging cross-selling and increasing share of wallet as they roll out more sophisticated analytics, procurement and reporting tools. The Business Network, connecting the ERP and procurement systems of buyers and suppliers, and acquired through Perfect’s purchase of French company Hubwoo, should also drive growth and reinforce customer relationships.

PROACTIS management, reinforced by Perfect’s CEO moving to Group CEO, will be looking to bed the latest deal in over the coming year. However, further acquisitions will be on the cards. The enlarged group should be seen as a credible and successful sector consolidator as customers look for scale-advantage, reach and financial stability in their supply chain partners.

Management targets for the year focus on matching the sector’s 10% growth rate, delivering 30% EBITDA and continuing the progress in customer acquisition, but there is potential for even better performance medium term.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:55' - Tagged: ecommerce   procurement   network   payments  

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

CACI acquires UK's Spargonet

CACI logoCACI Limited, the UK arm of U.S.-headquartered, and NYSE-listed, CACI International, has acquired in the UK again. TechMarketView followers may remember that, in March last year, it acquired one of our Little British Battlers, Purple Secure Systems (see CACI snaps up LBB Purple Secure).

A year prior, it had acquired UK headquartered, Rockshore, a provider of software that "lets organisations simplify complex data into user friendly information in real time".

This time, it has announced the acquisition of UK-based IT services company, Spargonet Consulting. Spargonet was founded 20 years ago by stalwart of the IT services industry, Tony Spargo. It provides managed services and IT services to the retail, automotive, finance and technology sectors, with clients including BMW, John Lewis, Inmarsat, Mastercard and Waitrose. Its application services capabilities span the full software development lifecycle.

CACI UK has an interesting model (more analysis can be found in UKHotViewsExtra). Within its Information & Management Solutions (IMS) division, which represents 57% of the c£100m of turnover, CACI is organised as a federated set of businesses. Last year, Purple became the sixth of those stand-alone businesses. We suspect that Spargonet will become the seventh. Indeed, if it does, it will be one of the largest; currently Network Services is the largest, with the rest of the c£55m turnover spread from £4m in the Applied Systems Group to £9m in Enterprise Services. Spargonet’s turnover is £13m.

Becoming part of CACI offers Spargonet the best of two worlds – the ability to operate autonomously while also having access to the resources of a larger group. Bob Morton, Spargonet Consulting’s Chairman, states “Regent (Partners) did an excellent job in securing both a bright future for the company and its employees, and the right deal for the departing shareholders”. Meanwhile, Jeet Khaira, MD & Executive VP, at CACI, who heads up the UK’s IMS business, will be pleased to have added, with the addition of Spargonet, expertise in mobility solutions to the portfolio; when we spoke to him last year, it was high on his priority list.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:48' - Tagged: acquisition   mobile   ApplicationServices   M&A  

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

Refurb at Reapit

logoThe planned retirement of George Stead, the founder of London based estate agent software provider Reapit, has prompted a management buyout backed by investment firm Accel-KKR. CEO Gary Barker, Sales Director Simon Whale and Client Services Director Matthew Goddard will take the business, that provides software to manage sales, lettings, property management and client accounts, forward. The size of the investment was not disclosed.

The market for estate agent software may be niche but it has a batch of specialist providers in the UK alone, including Acquaint, Expert Agent and Vebra. As data rich digitisation increases, so does the requirement for specialist software. Gaining visibility is always the challenge for small providers but Reapit has portfolio of over 200 estate agencies including brand names such as Countrywide, Savills, Knight Frank, Romans, Marsh & Parsons, CBRE and Winkworth, with a footprint in the UK and Australia.

Founded in 1997, the company has modernised and includes mobile and web based modules but from an initial review, there is plenty more that can be done courtesy of the investment. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:18' - Tagged: funding   startup   software  

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

PageGroup UK deeper in the doldrums

logoThe diverse fortunes of the players in the UK recruitment market comes to the forefront again, with the ‘compare and contrast’ between mid-tier, UK-headquartered international recruiters PageGroup and Robert Walters.

Yesterday, Robert Walters painted a relatively upbeat picture of its UK business, which saw net fee income (gross profit) rise by 15% in Q3 to £26.9m (see Tech, legal recruitment drives Robert Walters UK). Today, PageGroup – twice the size of its rival worldwide – saw its UK business go backwards again in Q3, with NFI down 7.6% to £34.9m, deeper than the 4.5% decline in Q2. Blame was put on the usual suspects.

For the record, in the 3 months to 30th Sept., PageGroup’s worldwide NFI grew by 11.8% to £177.3m (+8.8% at constant currency). This was well under half the growth rate at Robert Walters.

As ever, it’s all about putting the right bums on the right seats. Clearly Robert Walters is doing the better job.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:17' - Tagged: trading   recruitment  

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Wednesday 11 October 2017

New Nomad leads InterQuest back to No-Man’s-Land

logoAfter losing its Nomad (AIM nominated advisor) last month (see InterQuest Nomad wanders) and subsequently having its shares suspended, UK IT recruitment firm InterQuest has appointed another one, and trading in its shares has recommenced.

This still leaves InterQuest ‘betwixt and between’, what with the attempted MBO by its founding executive chairman, whose bid vehicle, Chisbridge, in effect holds just over 58% of InterQuest’s shares (see Embattled InterQuest arrives in No-Man’s-Land). Chisbridge needs 75% of the votes to delist InterQuest. The two parties have agreed to play nicely together – at least for now.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:45' - Tagged: recruitment   listing  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

Mixed H118 results for RedstoneConnect

Mixed H118 results for RedstoneConnectRedstoneConnect saw significant revenue growth for its smart building software (up 194% to £1.7m) and managed services businesses (up 18% to £9.1m) in the first six months of FY18. But those successes failed to offset a 26% decline in turnover from its systems integration (SI) activity, down to £9.2m from £12.5m in the period.

The AIM-listed company attributed the fall in SI turnover to the timing of income from some of its larger contracts, and does not believe the business is in terminal decline. Rather, chief executive Mark Braunds sees designing infrastructure for smart buildings as a core part of the business going forwards, one that enables the software and services entities to accelerate their growth in tandem.

Overall group revenue slipped 3% yoy to £20m, with adjusted EBITDA up 12% to £1m. The company’s net loss widened to £867k from £485k, with acquisition and integration costs associated with the Anders+Kern buy for £1.4m in cash and the ongoing expenses related to the development of the software division taking their toll.

Acquisitions underpinned RedstoneConnect’s FY17 revenue, and unless it can sign more big deals that could be the case for its FY18 performance too. There are signs the company is doing that, with contracts for the deployment of in-building cellular (IBC) and distributed antennae system (DAS) infrastructure and services at two major London banks set to boost its H218 and H119 turnover, whilst management remain confident that similar deals are in the pipeline.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '10:19' - Tagged: RedstoneConnect   interims  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

1Spatial reverses direction of travel - to good effect

logoWhen we commented on 1Spatial’s full year results, we said it was the direction of travel that showed the level of risk for the geospatial data management company, as losses ballooned, net funds dwindled and revenue rose as a result of acquisitions. At the time, there was also a management shakeup. Six months on, the business looks to be in better shape and former CFO Claire Milverton who was appointed as acting CEO has now been confirmed as the permanent CEO.

Interim results for the six months to July 31 2017, show revenue up by 2% to £12.1m while operating losses reduced 37% from £1.9m to £1.2m, and costs and cash burn were substantially reduced. The quality of revenue improved too – high margin geospatial revenue up 19% to £8.6m with good levels of recurring revenue, while low-margin hardware revenues from IT managed services have been reduced by £1m. This all enabled an improvement in like-for-like adjusted EBITDA from a loss of £0.4m to a profit of £0.3m. It took a fair bit of jiggling – streamlining parts of the portfolio, augmenting others e.g. acquiring the remaining 51% of Sitemap – to achieve this improvement but the early signs are positive.

The company has also secured new customers during the period including a three year contract with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) in the UK, and “strategically important” contracts in the US with Federal Highways Administration worth $540k and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration worth $207k.

Its transition is far from over and there is a lot of work to be done on the execution front, but the early signs are promising and its expertise in the data field indicates it will be well positioned as more suppliers and enterprises work on extracting value from data. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:59' - Tagged: results   software  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

miPic wants to do it with your pics

logoDo we really need yet another startup that prints photos on T-Shirts and stuff? Apparently, London-based miPic believes we do, and so does Sage Technologies (no relation to Sage plc), which has backed the startup with seed funding to the tune of £1.3m.

miPic seems to have a bit of a split personality. On the one hand, it works as a typical ‘print your kids photo on their granny’s pillowcase’ type of business, joining many others in that market such as moonpig.

miPic’s other personality is as an online photo marketplace where photographers can display their work and customers can buy them as images or printed on clothing, bed-linen, etc. miPic handles the e-commerce side of things, bringing with it all the grief that comes with being an online retailer.

Launched in 2014 from the proverbial bedroom in Clapham, miPic raised over £168K in a crowdfunding campaign the following year.

There’s so much competition for each side of miPic’s proposition that it will surely be a struggle for it to make real money.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:53' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

Capita appoints Jonathan Lewis as new CEO

capLess than one month after Andy Parker stepped down from the Capita Board (see Early Exit for Capita CEO), the company has this morning announced the appointment of Jon Lewis as CEO from the 1st December.jon

Capita had been looking for a new CEO since Andy Parker first announced his intention to stand down back in March and has now finally got their man.

Lewis joins Capita from Amec Foster Wheeler where he was Group CEO from 2016 until the sale of the business to the John Wood Group. His experience here certainly looks to be relevant – Amec was a similar-sized publicly quoted company also delivering large and complex business services to a broad range of clients. Whilst at Amec, Lewis was charged with putting the business through a comprehensive transformation programme that saw significant levels of savings delivered. Successful delivery of something similar is likely to be required at Capita.

Prior to this, Lewis had a 20-year career at Halliburton the oilfield services company, including 10 years working in, then running, the Landmark software business. His experience at Landmark looks well suited to helping Capita realign to the shifting needs of the Business Process market, given its focus on data and analytics, software, IP and services.

Returning Capita to its previous growth trajectory will be challenging, particularly in a market that has seen fewer big-ticket deals and where Capita has encountered delivery problems in several contracts. However, Capita still has significant strengths as the UK’s BPS market leader (see Business Process Services Supplier Ranking 2017). Notably, the business is built on a number of long term contracts that are hugely cash generative and that should help buy Lewis time to make the necessary changes.

We will be publishing our analysis and opinion of the challenges ahead for Lewis and Capita shortly for subscribers to TechMarketView’s BusinessProcessViews research stream.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:46' - Tagged: outsourcing   people   businessprocessservices   leadership  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

eServGlobal: Turning a corner?

logoAfter reporting of progress in its HomeSend joint venture, see here, the management of this provider of financial technology solutions has given a more detailed update of its core business.

Again there are grounds for cautious optimism, building on their more positive statement in March (see “…several reasons to be cheerful”)

The eServGlobal management re-affirm their belief that the company’s core business of providing mobile financial services in third-world and emerging markets will reach EBITDA neutral in the final quarter of Calendar of 2017. However, with growth being lower than earlier expectations and some revenue being deferred, results for the extended financial “year” (actually 14months) will still show a loss.

The management have conducted yet another review of its commercial model, reducing costs yet further as it benefits from its new mobile financial services recharge platform. This adds to optimism for the next financial year as it considers that it can breakeven on a revenue of €12m. By totting up deferred revenue of €2m, €5m of recurring revenue and a targeted €5m of anticipated changes and upgrades from existing customers, the management suggest that they “are on the verge of delivering a satisfactory and very capable core business”.

With additional optimism on the order front as well as from HomeSend, it could be that the next chapter of the eServGlobal saga (reported in many UKHotViews and accessible to subscribers via our Archive facility) will be a lot more rewarding.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:37' - Tagged: mobile   payments  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

NGA HR exec to take T-Systems lead

NGA HR chief exec to take T-Systems leadAdel Al-Saleh, currently chief executive at NGA Human Resources (see NGA HR business to split), will become chief executive at Deutsche Telekom systems integrator subsidiary T-Systems from 1st January 2018.

The move will be something of a step up for Al-Saleh, taking the helm of a company with almost €7.9bn revenue in FY16, though not one without its troubles. T-Systems’ H117 revenue fell 5% yoy to €3.4bn, with adjusted EBITDA down 24% to €232m, leading the company to revise its FY17 forecasts downwards after it struggled to close any large deals during the period.

On paper, T-Systems could not look more different than SaaS and on-premise payroll and HR software and business process services provider NGA. As you might expect from a telco-owned IT services business, T-Systems plays heavily in network connectivity, cloud hosting and infrastructure and fixed/mobile communications management, with an emerging focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). Much of its activity and customer base remains in Germany, but it has a presence in 21 countries and expanded its West London hosting capabilities to head off potential UK customer concerns around Brexit and data sovereignty.

Al-Saleh has a long track record in the IT industry including time spent at IMS Health and 19 years at IBM, and he has previously attached great importance to automation and deeper integration between software and cloud to cut operational costs. He also inherits an experienced team joining after T-Systems appointed François Fleutiaux (ex Fujitsu, IBM and Unisys) as head of its 27,000-strong global IT business in September.

Many telcos have struggled to make a success of cloud service provision in the face of stiff competition from pureplay providers like AWS and large IT companies such as IBM and Oracle. But with its global reach, systems integration expertise and the might of Deutsche Telekom behind it, T-Systems looks in better shape to buck the trend than others.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:30' - Tagged: managementleadership   T-Systems   NGA  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

NGA HR business to split

logoNGA HR, the business unit that emerged after Northgate Information Systems was taken into private ownership by PE firm KKR in 2008 and the Northgate Public Services and managed services outsourcing units subsequently sold to Cinvin and Capita respectively, is changing shape again. This time majority shareholders Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division and leveraged buy-out specialist Park Square Capital (who took a stake in November 2015), are selling the UK part of business to Bain Capital Private Equity.

The parts to be sold off comprise the mid market focused NGA UK and Moorepay SMB divisions. That will leave NGA HR with a large enterprise focus for its global HR and payroll offerings and outsourcing services. However, it is stated that NGA HR’s large payroll and HR services delivery capability in the UK and Ireland will not be affected by the proposed transaction.

With the expected completion of the sale, CEO Adel Al-Salah who was brought in six years ago to turn the business around, will move to T-Systems as CEO (see NGA HR exec to take T-Systems lead). He will be replaced as NGA HR CEO by Andy Monshaw, NGA HR’s existing enterprise president. The rationale for the sale, which Al-Saleh says completes the company’s transformation, is to allow NGA HR to focus on driving growth in the large enterprise market. Although the large enterprise division is growing, we don't think it is achieving the same level of growth as the mid market and SMB parts. 

Meanwhile the mid market UK and SMB Moorepay businesses can focus on their sweetspots, led by Jonathan Legdon, the UK MD who has been appointed as CEO of NGA UK. The mid market business is based around ResourceLink; the CleaHRsky HR BPaaS product which is based around SAP Successfactors and was launched last November will remain with the large enterprise business.

During its multi year transition NGA has reshaped itself several times, each time getting slimmer and more focused. In our view, tight focus is a necessary characteristic of the current and future market, although suppliers still need the resources to invest, particularly around analytics and intelligent applications. We’ll provide more insight into the implications of the proposed sale for the UK business once we’ve spoken to Jonathan Legdon later today.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:01' - Tagged: acquisition   outsourcing   software   divestment   bpaas   bps  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

Investors find Verve just the ticket

logoIt’s like an online Tupperware party, but for event tickets! In other words, you get your friends to buy tickets for events and you earn rewards.

Such is the proposition for the London-based startup now known as Verve (aka StreetTeam Software), which has developed a ‘white label’ sales platform for brands to recruit fans (‘advocates’) to sell tickets to events in exchange for rewards. It seems that brand owners pay nothing to set up a programme, but get charged for each sale made by advocates. The tickets are sold through the usual suspect online agencies but it’s not clear if Verve also take a cut from them. Verve now claims 450 clients and has sold more than 500,000 tickets globally through its platform.

Founded in 2011, Verve has just closed an $18.5m Series B funding round led by Draper Esprit, with participation from previous investors Kindred, Frontline Ventures, and Backed. Verve had previously raised $10m in a Series A round in 2016.

It’s a neat idea, but the choice of new name may cause confusion with the eponymous – and much longer established – US-based mobile marketing platform developer.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:57' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

* NEW RESEARCH* FintechViews - Klarna: Shaking Up Payments

logoOne of the companies in the news over recent months has been Klarna, with Visa announcing the purchase of a stake (less than 10%, price undisclosed) in June and Permira, the private equity group, taking a 10% stake for a reported US$250m in July - investments which featured in our recent report Why all the M&A in Payments?

fintechKlarna is one of a rare and endangered species, the European Unicorn, having originated in Sweden along with fellow success stories Skype and Spotify. It is fascinating to see how a business formed to accommodate the particular payment characteristics of some Northern European markets is now viewed as having relevance on a global scale.

Subscribers to FinancialServicesViews can access this latest report in our FintechViews service: “Klarna – The European Unicorn Shaking Up Payments”, here.

Posted by Peter Roe at '08:54' - Tagged: payments   FinTech   AI  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

Tech, legal recruitment drives Robert Walters UK

logoUK-headquartered, international recruitment firm Robert Walters is still showing peers how to make a living in the supposedly downbeat UK market. Net fee income (gross profit) in Robert Walters UK business grew by 15% to £26.9m in the 3 months to 30th September, reversing the deceleration witnessed in Q2 (see UK growth slows at recruiter Robert Walters). Growth was driven mainly by tech and legal recruitment in London.

Across the group, headline NFI rose by 22% (21% and constant currency) to £90.7m. Continental Europe was Robert Walters’ fastest growing region, with all businesses seeing NFI rise by over 15%.

On the tech side, I can only assume that Robert Walters has a better handle on finding and placing premium-priced ‘digital’ skills than peers. If so, well done them!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:08' - Tagged: trading   recruitment  

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

* NEW RESEARCH * UK Tech funding soars

chartVenture capital funding of UK and Irish technology companies reached new heights in Q2, according to the latest data from corporate finance firm, Ascendant. During Q2, £1.42B was invested in 182 deals of more than £0.5m by 235 investors at an average deal size of £7.8m. This represents a 20% yoy increase in the number of deals and a 122% yoy increase in the total quarterly value which was 62% higher than the previous record high of £873m set in Q1 2016.

The latest edition of IndustryViews Venture Capital includes over 30 pages summarising significant venture funding in UK tech companies.

Subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service can download our latest quarterly review of UK software and IT services M&A in the just released report, IndustryViews Venture Capital Q2 2017.

For further information, please contact our Client Services team (info@techmarketview.com).

Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:42' - Tagged: funding  

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