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Capita wins MoD Fire and Rescue Services
20 Jun 2018
TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme – Day 2
20 Jun 2018
The Operational Research Society's Annual Conference
20 Jun 2018
Castleton makes more progress
19 Jun 2018
Ubisense applies digital twinning to military training
19 Jun 2018
Capita assesses Supplier Assessment superfluous
19 Jun 2018
Great British Scaleup: Eggplant
19 Jun 2018
Technology at the heart of NHS investment plans
19 Jun 2018
How Single Cloud Platforms are Driving Success in Tech
19 Jun 2018
Bitcoin - You can't say we didn't warn you!
18 Jun 2018
'Safe sender' Tessian checks in £9m more funding
18 Jun 2018
TechMarketView's 'Breaking the Boundaries' Presentation & Dinner, 13th September 2018
18 Jun 2018
Ingenta embarks on Greek odyssey
18 Jun 2018
CYBG capture Virgin Money to build scale
18 Jun 2018
Numbers studying 'Computer-related' subjects nose-dives
18 Jun 2018
NTT DATA’s MagenTys deal supports growth ambition
18 Jun 2018
TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme – Day 1
18 Jun 2018
Great British Scaleup: Insource
18 Jun 2018
Slow Data preventing new business opportunities
18 Jun 2018
Chester hospital turns to Cerner for new EPR
15 Jun 2018
Adobe blooms with a perfect dozen
15 Jun 2018
WNS strengthens insurance offer with Hyperion deal
15 Jun 2018
Intelenet sold again – this time to Teleperformance
15 Jun 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Fujitsu FY17: Becoming more customer-responsive
15 Jun 2018
Farmdrop harvests further funding
15 Jun 2018
PatSnap patently flush with $38m more dosh
15 Jun 2018
UK in slow recovery at recruiter SThree
15 Jun 2018
European TMT valuations continue upward trend
15 Jun 2018
Pivotal iQ raises market intelligence
15 Jun 2018
Creating jobs. Creating Unicorns
15 Jun 2018
DevOps, your shortcut to cloud success
15 Jun 2018
Designated ‘on-platform’ business driver doing its job at RhythmOne
14 Jun 2018
The Key acquires school MIS supplier ScholarPack
14 Jun 2018
Pivotal performs post IPO
14 Jun 2018
Blue Prism World – 10 years of progress in RPA
14 Jun 2018
Agilisys: Familiar scenario at LB Tower Hamlets
14 Jun 2018
Strong start for 'new' Aveva
14 Jun 2018
Pimberly looks for long shelf life with £2m funding round
14 Jun 2018
Infosys loses SVP to 'unusual suspect' GlobalLogic
14 Jun 2018
The field force is with Oneserve
14 Jun 2018
UKCloud. The multi-cloud experts – powering digital transformation in the UK Public Sector
14 Jun 2018
Say 'Goodbye' to mowing the lawn
13 Jun 2018
More on that 'Boring Award' for Computacenter
13 Jun 2018
Eckoh’s progress to be shrouded by IFRS 15
13 Jun 2018
TechMarketView celebrates turning 10!
13 Jun 2018
IOTech gets $2.5m funding for IIoT
13 Jun 2018
Government announces £2.3bn boost for UK tech
13 Jun 2018
Great British Scaleup: IMMJ Systems
13 Jun 2018
Bob Fawthrop gets our 'Long Service' award!
13 Jun 2018
Kano announces investment from Sesame Ventures
13 Jun 2018
Fetch.AI fetches in $15m to build a 'digital world'
13 Jun 2018
Computacenter gets a Boring Award!
13 Jun 2018

UKHotViews©

 

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Capita wins MoD Fire and Rescue Services

capitaThe Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded Capita its firefighting contract, estimated to be worth some £500m over 10 years, which will see the company take over 69 defence fire stations worldwide.

MODCapita already has a large footprint in the MoD being responsible for Army recruitment and parts of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). Both contracts have had their challenges, indeed DIO will now end some five years early, but it hasn’t put the MoD off appointing Capita ahead of perhaps the more obvious choices of a Serco or a Babcock. Capita provides software to Fire Services and runs the Fire Services College in Moreton-in-Marsh, responsible for the training of UK and International Fire Fighters but this is all quite different from actually putting out the fires.

Given the company’s challenges this is a big vote of confidence from the MoD and public sector in CEO Jonathan Lewis and Capita will no doubt be extremely pleased to have won one of the first big Public-Sector contracts to have been let post-Carillion, but questions must arise around its strategic fit. 

Mega deals are few and far between in UK Business Process Services so you can certainly see how a deal of this size is attractive but it’s hard to argue that a service of this nature (mainly blue collar) fits with Capita’s new strategy to pivot towards more tech enabled, higher value services.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '06:59' - Tagged: contract   MoD   bluelight  

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Wednesday 20 June 2018

TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme – Day 2

logoWe are delighted to welcome the final four early-stage UK tech companies selected to participate in the pre-qualification stage of the Capita Scaling Partner Digital Disruptor initiative, the first in the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme series (see TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme shortlist announced). Capita Scaling Partner has been working with TechMarketView to identify 'digital disruptors' that Capita can help access lucrative markets that would typically be out of their reach.

The companies participating today are:

  • ABAKA
  • Celaton
  • Mapcite
  • MYGOV

Founders and CEOs of these companies will attend an intensive 90-minute evaluation session with the Capita Scaling Partner team and TechMarketView research directors. Capita will then select the most promising candidates to proceed through to a series of business workshops to ultimately determine which ones will join the Capita Scaling Partner programme.

Congratulations to them all and we look forward to welcoming them to today's event.

You can read short profiles of the shortlisted companies here, and find out more about the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme here and the Capita Scaling Partner programme here.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '06:00' - Tagged: tesp  

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Castleton makes more progress

Castleton logoCastleton’s financial year to 31st March 2018 has been a busy one (see Castleton tops off busy year with positive update). We have written about much of its corporate activity over the months - like acquisition of Kinetic Information Systems Pty (see Castleton buys and builds down under) and a number of significant multi-year and multi-product contracts (see Castleton: one stop shop success). Today, we learn that one of its existing clients – New Gorbals – now takes the entire product suite too, having added four additional solutions. Having bought numerous companies over the years, the last twelve months have been about building on the position created.

The result is a strong set of financials, revealing organic growth in both revenue and profit. Revenue increased by 15% *13% organic) to £23.1m (of which 60% is recurring), while adjusted EBITDA was up 17% to £5.1m. Progress on the cross-selling strategy is also apparent, with 77% of new product and service sales to existing customers and 40% of customers now taking more than one product or service (up from 35% in FY17). And importantly, Castleton will soon be able to point to a successful reference for its fully integrated solution, as Cluid is currently live on six integrated solutions and is due to go live on the final two (housing and CRM) in October. That means the cross-sell and up-sell opportunity remains strong. And, we note, that Castleton has a strong product roadmap with several new products on the horizon, like Castleton Scheduling and Castleton Stock Control, which puts it in a stronger position to grow within its existing client base.

The ‘new news’ post year-end is the acquisition of exclusive and perpetual licence in relation to the platform on which Castleton’s modelling solution is based. The price paid is £1.6m in cash and shares. Castleton’s modelling solution is one element that differentiates it from the competition in the social housing solutions sector. Because of this latest move it will no longer have to pay licence fees of £0.3m per annum. But, perhaps more importantly, it will be able to use, modify, maintain, distribute and sell the platform. That might be something that can be undertaken via its new strategic partnership with an Indian outsource developer, which has also been agreed since the end of the year.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:09' - Tagged: results   public+sector   saas   partnership   software   M&A   housing  

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Ubisense applies digital twinning to military training

LogoThe glimmers of progress at enterprise location intelligence supplier Ubisense are gaining lustre as news of a contract for its SmartSpace software is announced. The customer’s name was not disclosed but it is with a provider of military training solutions who is currently fulfilling a contract with a founding NATO member.

The North American part of the Cambridge, UK-based business secured the contract, which should be worth £4m+ in 2018, and there is a framework agreement for similar sized, follow-on orders expected in 2019. It is a significant win for the company who reported revenue of £27m in 2017 and also furthers Ubisense’s strategic aim of generating more revenue from its own IP. Perhaps even more importantly, the contract shows the ‘digital twin’ concept that is usually associated with manufacturing (and Ubisense’s usual operating ground) can be applied to other sectors – location based military training in this case. Successful deployment here could open up new business sectors and expand Ubisense’s addressable market. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:22' - Tagged: contract   defence   software  

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Capita assesses Supplier Assessment superfluous

logoCapita's new CEO, Jon Lewis, continues apace with the deck-clearing (see Capita clears the decks), announcing the disposal of its Supplier Assessment Services division for £160m cash to funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus. Underlying revenues of the division – which includes Constructionline, a register for pre-qualified contractors and consultants used by the UK construction industry – were £14m, with a £6m operating profit (no, I have no idea where that valuation comes from!).

Lewis is running a two-pronged strategy to 'reinvent' Capita, broadly involving disposal of the unnecessaries and investing in 'innovation' (see our latest research note, Capita - The Road to Reinvention). Part of the innovation thrust is being generated by Capita's partnership with the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme, which is running this week in conjunction with Capita Scaling Partner, Capita's start-up development unit (see here). Earlier this month Capita took a small equity stake in online robo-advice savings and investment platform Munnypot (see here).

Meanwhile, it's 'business as usual' for Capita with a mix of good news – including today's confirmation that Capita has been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence as the winning tenderer for the Defence Fire and Rescue Project; and, well, not so good news (see Capita’s PCS contract woes underline the need to rewrite the rules on risk transfer). Lewis is trusting that Capita's reinvention will lead to far more of the former than the latter!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:06' - Tagged: contract   disposal  

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Great British Scaleup: Eggplant

logoEstablished norms within software testing are falling away in the face of digital change, intelligent automation, multiplying devices, continuous software delivery and DevOps – and the acute awareness that customer experience (CX) is the arbiter of success or failure. Surviving in this market is challenging, scaling up more so. Software testing providers need to rethink their strategy. Eggplant is doing precisely that, which is one of the reasons it was selected for the Great British Scaleup programme.

As the management team headed by CEO John Bates explained, Eggplant’s strategy is to test the CX as well as thelogo code, to improve business outcomes. Developments around CX optimisation are active recognition of the difference between the technical metrics of code and business metrics like user satisfaction - and both need testing. That’s why Eggplant has broken its own and traditional software testing boundaries by converging testing, monitoring and continuous improvement in the pre and post production environment.

The Eggplant of today is different from the one of 12 months ago. Formerly Testplant, it rebranded, taking the name of its well-known product suite. It also acquired NCC Group’s Web Performance division in March 2018. With capabilities such as synthetic monitoring, real user monitoring and performance analysis, Web Performance will play a significant part in furthering Eggplant’s CX optimisation vision. Combine that with developments around intelligent testing automation and AI/machine learning-assisted test creation, and the company has the ingredients to scaleup.

Customer references such as a UK building society that achieved the same level of testing in one week with two people as was achieved with a 25-strong team in 4 months using another vendors’ product garner attention. As does Annual Contract Value growth of 45% and Total Contract Value growth of 60% in 2017. It has work to do to execute its vision, including addressing questions over whether a software testing provider can tackle CX, tighter market targeting and developing relationships with application services and business process services suppliers, but it has several scaleup routes to explore.

Posted by Angela Eager at '07:38' - Tagged: software   digitaltransformation   CX   GreatBritishScaleup  

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Technology at the heart of NHS investment plans

NHS logoTheresa May has provided further details behind the plan to boost NHS funding by £20.5bn a year in real terms by 2023-24, an average of 3.4% per year growth over the next five years.

The new funds will be front-loaded with increases of 3.6% in the first two years. This means an extra £4.1bn will be allocated to the NHS next year. The five-year funding plan will be linked to a new 10-year strategic plan, which will be agreed with the NHS later this year, with technology set to form a key component of the drive for productivity improvements, disease prevention and treatment.

Short-term funding arrangements were highlighted as being a key reason why the NHS has not realised the potential of technology to date. The Prime Minster said, “our long-term plan for the NHS needs to view technology as more than supporting what the NHS is doing already. It must expand the boundaries of what the NHS can do in the future, in the fastest, safest and most ambitious way possible.”

She reiterated her desire for the UK to lead the world in the use of data and technology to prevent illness and to be at the forefront of the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare (see here for further details). Theresa May also said that there needs to be more investment in technology to improve the way care is delivered, emphasising the use of apps to support healthcare provision.  

The Prime Minister said extra funding will come from a combination of, as yet unspecified, contributions from taxpayers, economic growth, and money that the UK will no longer spend on its annual membership to the EU post-Brexit.

The plan has been cautiously welcomed by the sector. It is clear the extra funds will not solve all the problems faced by the NHS and any notion of a “Brexit dividend” has been widely questioned. Providing greater visibility of funding arrangements should allow the sector to think more strategically about technology, but issues of capability and skills will still need to be addressed.

Posted by Dale Peters at '06:20' - Tagged: investment   healthcare   policy   government  

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Monday 18 June 2018

Bitcoin - You can't say we didn't warn you!

BitcoinI’ve been issuing warning about cryptocurrencies for so long and so often that if you haven’t got the message yet I doubt you ever will. See Cryptocurrencies plunge in value and work back.

The latest warnings from the Swiss-based Bank of International Settlements are ‘withering’. ‘Cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic worth and are useless as a form of exchange. They entail exorbitant transaction costs. They are very slow. Together they are turning into an ecological nightmare’.

On the latter point the report says that ’Bitcoin alone uses as much electricity as Switzerland..’ On top of that they aren’t even safe - as the many recent incidents of fraud and theft illustrate. The Daily Telegraph today has a more detailed analysis with some good charts.

Financial economist Hyun Song Shin went further and likened Bitcoin to ‘baseball cards, beanie babies and Tamagotchi’. Whereas Agustin Carsteins, GM at BIS, described Bitcoin as a ‘Ponzi scheme’.

Well we did warn you!

Posted by Richard Holway at '12:04'

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Monday 18 June 2018

'Safe sender' Tessian checks in £9m more funding

logoThe name on the tin has changed but Tessian (nee CheckRecipient) still checks to see whether you are sending your email to the right address. The London-based startup recently changed its name to reflect a broader remit on 'Enterprise Communication Security' though email 'safe sending' remains at its heart.

I tell you this because Tessian has recently closed a $13m/£9m Series A funding round led by Balderton Capital and existing investors, Accel. Amadeus Capital Partners, Crane, LocalGlobe, Winton Ventures and Walking Ventures also participated. Tessian (as CheckRecipient) had previously raised $2.7m in seed funding in April last year (see CheckRecipient recipient of $2.7m funding cheque).

I still can't find any reference to a business model, though as I said before, "What’s it worth preventing a sensitive email going to the wrong person? Some would say ‘priceless’!"

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:37' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Monday 18 June 2018

TechMarketView's 'Breaking the Boundaries' Presentation & Dinner, 13th September 2018

TechMarketView LogoOur sixth annual Presentation and Dinner will be held once again at the magnificent Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in Portland Place London, from 6.30pm on Thursday 13th September.

Up to 250 of UK tech’s ‘great & good’ are expected to attend the evening event which has become a popular fixture in the tech calendar and has been described by attendees as “the best networking event in the industry”.

Insight & networking

The evening will begin with an extended welcome drinks reception, sponsored by InterSystems, giving plenty of time for networking over a glass or two of your favourite tipple. After a few drinks with your peers, you will be treated to an hour or so of insight on key trends and suppliers shaping the UK tech sector from our leading analysts. And, in line with our 2018 theme, we will of course be ‘Breaking the Boundaries’ too (more on that in due course) before we sit down to a sumptuous three course dinner.

TMVE image

As in previous years, TechMarketView subscription clients and SMEs that have been through our Little British Battler (LBB) and Great British Scaleup (GBS) Programmes benefit from a 20% discount on ticket pricing. Our growing band of UKHotViews Premium subscribers also qualify for this discount (yet another reason to sign up!).

Ticket sales are now live so click on the link to reserve your place here.

To express your interest in other sponsorship packages related to this or future events – some of which come with sought after speaking slots - please contact TechMarketView’s Tola Sargeant or Sarah Robinson directly (tsargeant@techmarketview.com).

Sponsors:

InterSystems Logo

Brands2Life Logo

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:33'

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Monday 18 June 2018

Ingenta embarks on Greek odyssey

LogoIngeneta, the Oxford-based provider of software and services to the global publishing industry, has teamed up with Greek VAR Athens Technology Centre (ATC). The move aims to both expand the breadth of solutions within Ingenta’s portfolio and extend the company’s market reach through ATC’s reseller network across Europe and the US.

Described as a strategic partnership, the arrangement allows Ingenta to not only market ATC’s complementary products, but also embed them within its existing offerings. Of particular relevance to the current issues within the publishing world is ATC’s Truly Media product. Developed in conjunction with German broadcaster Deustche Welle, the online collaborative platform helps users detect “fake news” distributed on social media platforms. The European Parliament and Amnesty International are among its early adopters.

Ingnenta, which changed its name from Publishing Technology plc at the end of March 2016, has struggled somewhat in recent times. While the bottom line challenges of a few years ago (see here) would appear to be behind it, the company saw its FY 2017 revenues fall by 3% yoy, Management believes, however, that the product investment and operational efficiency improvements made of late have laid the foundations for growth. Investors will be looking for material evidence of this over the next twelve months.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '08:30' - Tagged: publishing  

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Monday 18 June 2018

CYBG capture Virgin Money to build scale

logovmThe realignment of the UK banking sector continues as CYBG (the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group) success in an all-share bid for Virgin Money. Ownership will be split between existing CYBG shareholders (62%) and Virgin Money shareholders (38%).

The move is as a result of the shift to mobile across the sector, the changes in regulation and technology as well as the threat from new entrants. The CYBG management expect that the deal provides a business with national coverage, a broader product range and most importantly, greater scale. Without the greater bulk and diversity of revenue sources, CYBG may well have been stuck in the “squeezed middle” – between the nimble and increasingly successful new sector challengers and the larger brands which hope that their scale will enable them to weather the competitive storm and transform their operations and business model.

As the move to Open Banking drives faster change, expect more M&A deals as banks scurry to build scale, technical capability and more attractive portfolios.

Posted by Peter Roe at '08:09' - Tagged: acquisition   mobile   M&A   banking   regulation  

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Monday 18 June 2018

Numbers studying 'Computer-related' subjects nose-dives

StudentsAll those with an interest in our young people and the future of ‘home grown’ computer skills, will be depressed with the findings of a University of Roehampton study into the GCSE and A Level ‘Computing-related ‘ qualifications.

You will recall that ‘Computer Science’ was introduced as a subject in 2014 and, this coming academic year, the old ‘ICT’ qualification will be withdrawn. Computer Science is deemed a much more difficult subject compared to ICT - which was much more about Powerpoint, Word & Excel. As a result there is forecast to be a ‘significant reduction’ in the number of students taking any ‘computing-related subject in 2019. The fall is even more pronounced amongst girls with 30,000 fewer female students taking any computing relating subject this year. Overall only 11.9% of students are now taking Computer Science - and that only in schools where it is offered. Around 24% of schools don’t offer it at all. The problem at A level might become even worse as 86% of the colleges that offer A Level Computer Sciences report class sizes below the minimum viable A level course size - so are vulnerable to being culled if budgets get squeezed.

Many of us campaigned for better ‘Computing -related’ courses and associated qualification at schools and colleges. The aim, of course, was to get more youngsters involved in coding etc and therefore increase the pool of home-grown computing skills. But because the new subject is deemed ‘too difficult’ - and I suspect a dearth of suitably qualified (and inspirational) teachers - the exact opposite seems to apply.

This just has to be addressed.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:59' - 1 comment

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Monday 18 June 2018

NTT DATA’s MagenTys deal supports growth ambition

nttmagNTT DATA UK has grown for 29 years consecutively and looks on track to deliver c.20% growth in 2018. Management are looking for differentiated capability and competitive advantage, increasingly supported by proprietary IP and in specific verticals. One example is in the implementing specialist processes in the London insurance market, backed by its skills in Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The recent acquisition of London-based MagenTys is another step forward, adding the skills of the 30-strong team in DevOps and Open Source Test Automation to the NTT DATA UK portfolio. MagenTys is also an Atlassian solution partner and has experience with the Cucumber open source automated software testing solution. The direct team of MagenTys is supplemented by an extensive community of associates, enabling the business to punch above its weight in the UK. This operation will continue as a separate brand and will reinforce NTT DATA UK’s existing DevOps teams in the UK and the near-shore centres in Italy, Romania and Spain. Additional resources are available from a further c.1,000 strong DevOps team in India.

The market for testing services is continually evolving, with major emphasis on automation and workflow management. NTT DATA UK believe that MagenTys can help here and also support an increased focus on the intelligent design of testing processes and the sophisticated analysis of errors, to spot them early and to avoid recurrence.

The wider NTT DATA operations are keen to develop their partner ecosystem and leverage the group-wide investment in innovation. MagenTys looks like a useful addition, providing a sharper cutting edge and talented team in a high growth area.

Posted by Peter Roe at '07:35' - Tagged: acquisition   testing   software   automation   DevOps  

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Monday 18 June 2018

TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme – Day 1

logoWe are delighted to welcome the first three of the seven early-stage UK tech companies selected to participate in the pre-qualification stage of the Capita Scaling Partner Digital Disruptor initiative, the first in the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme series (see TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme shortlist announced). Capita Scaling Partner has been working with TechMarketView to identify 'digital disruptors' that Capita can help access lucrative markets that would typically be out of their reach.

The companies participating today are:

  • InteriMarket
  • Shaping Cloud
  • StaffCircle

Founders and CEOs of these companies will attend an intensive 90-minute evaluation session with the Capita Scaling Partner team and TechMarketView research directors. Capita will then select the most promising candidates to proceed through to a series of business workshops to ultimately determine which ones will join the Capita Scaling Partner programme.

Congratulations to them all and we look forward to welcoming them to today's event.

You can read short profiles of the shortlisted companies here, and find out more about the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme here and the Capita Scaling Partner programme here.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:15' - Tagged: tesp  

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Monday 18 June 2018

Great British Scaleup: Insource

insourceInsource is a Great British Scaleup working to help healthcare providers better manage their data in a way that significantly reduces cost and turns data into a genuine asset.

GBSInsource was originally established some 25 years ago as a general IT services business.  Current CEO Steve Aitken has shifted the focus of the business firmly onto the healthcare sector where data management issues are prevalent and extremely costly.

The problem that Insource is seeking to solve is that healthcare providers and their hospitals typically run multiple systems (sometimes supporting up to 400 different systems) all from a combination of different providers and inhouse bespoke applications. These disconnected systems are unable to draw down consistent data creating the need for lots of manual work before the data becomes genuinely useful. 

In the UK this is an issue that every NHS Trust is grappling with and the costs associated with managing this can run as high as £5-6m per hospital per year equating to a £1bn+ market opportunity for Insource in Britain alone.

Insource’s solution is Health Data Enterprise - think ‘ERP for health data’, at its core is a sophisticated data preparation engine that automatically takes data from any system, processes it and presents it in a single unified form in order to feed a suite of integrated applications.

Deployable as a standard product across all NHS Trusts but then crucially configured locally to accommodate each individual Trust’s subtleties. It is made possible by an underlying technology which it calls ‘Data Academy’. This in itself is IP with real potential as the generic architectures are not industry-specific so could in turn be applied to any other vertical market where organisations are having to manually combine multiple disparate data sources to extract value.

Entirely self-funded to date with heavy investment made in getting the right technology in place Insource is ramping up sales and marketing activities to take full advantage and already has 20 referenceable clients in the UK of which 7 are using the full suite, including leading trusts such as Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Hull & East Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '06:36' - Tagged: health   datamanagement  

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Friday 15 June 2018

Chester hospital turns to Cerner for new EPR

Cerner logoThe Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (COCH) has signed a 15-year deal with Cerner to supply its new electronic patient record (EPR) system. Cerner Millennium will replace the Meditech EPR system, which COCH has used since 1999, when Meditech’s contract expires towards the end of next year.

COCH is a Fast Follower (see here for further details) of the Global Digital Exemplar, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which has been using Cerner Millennium since 2010. Cerner will be working alongside the two Trusts as they seek to extend digital capability, improve clinical outcomes and move away from paper-based notes.  

The system will allow patient observations, notes and records to be input and stored digitally, providing clinicians with access to up-to-date information. COCH also intends to integrate the new EPR with the tracking system it’s currently trialling alongside four other NHS providers. The system supplied by TeleTracking Technologies, utilises more than 4,000 infrared sensors placed around the hospital to detect electronic badges and bracelets attached to patients, staff and equipment. It provides real time information for bed status, as well as automating workflows, certain domestic duties and the discharge process.

The first half of 2018 has gone well for Kansas-based Cerner. It added East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust to its list of customers at the start of the year and with COCH on board it will mean 24 NHS trusts will be working with the business.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:47' - Tagged: nhs   contract   software   healthcare  

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Friday 15 June 2018

Adobe blooms with a perfect dozen

Adobe blooms with a perfect dozenAdobe delivered better than expected second quarter results, with reported revenue up 24% yoy to US$2.2bn and GAAP operating income up 39% to US$698m. Diluted net income per share too increased 77% to US$1.33 on a GAAP basis.

The company continues to move turnover out of product and into subscriptions having introduced a new billing model in 2016. Recurring subscription revenue was up 30% yoy to US$1.9bn during Q218, swelled by a partnership that is starting to reap the benefits of Adobe’s Sign e-signature solution being integrated into Microsoft’s Office 365 and Dynamics 365 platforms.

This is now Adobe’s 12th consecutive quarter of double digit revenue growth by our reckoning, and the company shows no sign of slowing down despite emerging competition from e-signature specialist DocuSign after its US$629m IPO in April.

Management are confident the current momentum will continue in Q318, with the proposed US1.68bn acquisition of e-commerce platform provider Magento Commerce expected to swell the coffers further.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:35' - Tagged: results   q2   Adobe  

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Friday 15 June 2018

WNS strengthens insurance offer with Hyperion deal

WNSSpecialist BPS player WNS has strengthened its insurance capabilities with a partnership to deliver global shared services for Hyperion Insurance Group.

HyperionThe deal sees the opening of the Hyperion Shared Services Centre in India based in Pune and will provide services and processing requirements such as data cleansing, underwriting data entry, and London Market processing for DUAL and Howden UK.

Hyperion is a leading international insurance group comprising broking divisions Howden and RKH, and underwriting division DUAL. Hyperion’s businesses operate across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, employing over 3,800 people in 38 countries.

WNS has been investing in a differentiated offer with specific domain expertise – particularly in Insurance and analytics that delivered strong growth in revenue and profitability in 2017. This deal will further enhance its Insurance BPM credentials where it already manages services from simple transactions to mission-critical, judgment-based processes for a range of leading insurance companies including Aviva, its biggest client in the UK.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:26' - Tagged: sharedservices   insurance   WNS  

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Friday 15 June 2018

Intelenet sold again – this time to Teleperformance

teleperformanceFrench customer management specialist Teleperformance announced yesterday that it had agreed to buy Intelenet from Blackstone for around $1bn. 

InternetIntelenet has certainly done the rounds in recent years having now been sold four times since 2007, when it was first sold to Blackstone, who in turn sold it to Serco in 2011 for £385m before buying it back again in 2015 for £250m.

This deal represents a good return for Blackstone who had mandated JP Morgan to run a formal process to sell the company and had several interested parties. This also represents one of the best exits for the PE group from India. Blackstone currently owns 83% of the company with the remaining 17% held by employees and senior management team.

Intelenet employs around 55,000 people in the Americas, UK, Europe, Middle East, India and the Philippines serving 110 plus clients from 8 locations and 70 delivery centres. It had planned grow revenues to $1 billion by 2020 via acquisitions in digital tech and on back of deals from Blackstone’s portfolio companies.

For Teleperformance this is an opportunity to strengthen its specialist services business. Intelenet’s operations, include HR and admin services primarily to the banking, financial services and insurance sectors, and will help Teleperformance deliver its 2018-22 targets. 

The transaction is expected to close by the end of September and will be fully financed through debt provided by BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan and Natixis. Time will tell if Intelenet has finally found a permanent home.

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

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Friday 15 June 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Fujitsu FY17: Becoming more customer-responsive

fujIn this research note we outline the financial performance of Fujitfujitsu in the UK over the past year. An improved story in revenue terms has played out alongside some fundamental changes to structure and approach. Furthermore, while we’ve long said that Fujitsu’s technology prowess has been too buried within the organisation, evidence appears to show that when it does present new technology solutions that respond to a business need, the customer reaction is very positive. 

Subscribers to our Foundation Service and InfrastructureViews can read the research note here: Fujitsu FY17: Becoming more customer-responsive

Please contact Deb Seth for more information on becoming a subscription client or engaging with our analysts.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:49' - Tagged: results   cloud  

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Friday 15 June 2018

Farmdrop harvests further funding

logoWhen I wrote about London-based online grocery delivery startup Farmdrop's prior funding round in April 2017 (see Farmdrop brings home the bacon … and carrots ... and apples and …) they weren't yet delivering to our local suburb (Ealing). Now they do – and in branded electric vehicles, to boot!

Farmdrop has just raised a further £10m in a Series B funding round which included new investors LGT Impact Ventures and Belltown Ventures as well as previous backer Atomico. Farmdrop was originally incorporated as Local Food Movement in 2012. The service was launched in 2014 on the back of a £750k crowdfunding round and moved from a ‘click-and-collect’ model to home delivery.

I am not sure that Farmdrop's model works precisely the way they suggest on its website ("You place an order; The farmer harvests; Your order is packed; Your food is delivered") as that might suggest a lot of duplicated trips to the fields and slaughterhouses. But you get the gist.

But as I said before, there's a host of grocery delivery startups competing for a slice of the market, such as HelloFresh, Gousto and Grocemania, let alone the supermarket-led services. Farmdrop's 'farmer friendly' proposition is a differentiator, but I just can't see how they can make money on the competitive prices they charge and the hour-slot delivery service they offer.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:43' - 1 comment - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Friday 15 June 2018

PatSnap patently flush with $38m more dosh

logoThink what you like about the name (I have my own views) but PatSnap is in fact the Singapore-born but now UK headquartered intellectual property data-as-a-service provider, supplying patent and related information from global IP datasets.

Founded in 2007 in Singapore and relocating its HQ to London in 2012, PatSnap has closed a $38m Series D funding round led by Shunwei Capital and Sequoia Capital, with participation from Qualgro. All three were involved in PatSnap's Series C round in November 2016, with total funding raised so far reaching $100m.

It seems that PatSnap just provides the database, while the 'value add' comes from its consulting partners, which feature European Intellectual Property Consulting and Brokerage ClearViewIP among others.

I can't see any information on pricing, though I would imagine PatSnap's business model includes commissions from its consulting partners. But there must be more to it than that, given the patently generous funding.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:17' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Friday 15 June 2018

UK in slow recovery at recruiter SThree

logoBusiness in the UK & Ireland (UK&I) picked up a little in FQ2 for UK-headquartered recruitment firm, SThree. Whereas gross profit in FQ1 fell by 3% (see Contractors slow SThree's UK contraction), today's preview of half-time results show UK&I GP decline eased to 2% in FQ2 and for the half-year.

In stark contrast, SThree's business in Continental Europe roared ahead, with GP up 18% in H1. ICT GP was up 9% in H1, with a boost from +5% in Q1 to +13% in Q2.  Net net, Group GP in H1 rose 11% at constant currency to £148.4m.

Detail will be revealed with the full H1 report next month.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:41' - Tagged: trading   recruitment  

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Friday 15 June 2018

European TMT valuations continue upward trend

chartEuropean deals led the global TMT M&A activity in May, according to latest data from corporate finance firm Regent Partners, boosted by 11 transactions valued at more than $1bn. Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s German, Czech, Hungarian and Romanian operations for $22bn was the top global TMT deal in May. Valuation multiples continued to improve with the aggregate Price/Sales ratio up marginally at 1.7x while the Price/EBITDA ratio jumped up from 7.4x in April to 9.6x in May.

The UK software and IT services acquisition scene was buzzing last month, led by the £1.3bn secondary buy-out of Berkshire-based accountancy and payroll solutions provider IRIS Software Group. The deal saw Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) take a joint partnership stake alongside Hg Saturn Fund, and coincided with yet another acquisition by IRIS, that of cloud tax and accounts provider, Taxify.

Prolific acquirer Civica bought twice in May, acquiring Glasgow-based master data management (MDM) specialist and former TechMarketView Little British Battler VisionWare and well as cashless catering and EPOS provider Nationwide Retail Systems.

And in a move to boost its BPO capabilities, privately-held reseller and services supplier SCC announced the acquisition of Hobs On-Site, the business processing outsourcing division of Hobs Group. The new business will become M2 Managed Document Services and sit alongside M2, SCC’s existing specialist managed print services business.

There's lots, lots more. 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 '07:25' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Friday 15 June 2018

Pivotal iQ raises market intelligence

LogoLondon-based Great British ScaleUp Pivotal iQ is on a mission – to revolutionise how GBSmarket intelligence is received and applied by the ICT sector. Founded in 2015, this young company has developed what it believes to be the world’s most accurate, most granular and most dynamic view of this industry’s supply and procurement activities. Using big data principles and the latest technologies, Pivotal iQ tracks everyday some 2 billion data points relating to 600,000 companies and an IT spend of $3.25tn across 186 countries.

The self-service SaaS platform currently comprises three data tools; SpendView, InstalledView and ContractView. Together, they allow customers to better understand what organisations have spent on IT, what they’ve purchased, what has been outsourced and their budgets positions. Initially aimed at the vendor community, Pivotal iQ seeks to help its customers increase both new name win rates and wallet share within existing accounts through better planning and targeting. Later this year the company intends to launch additional data tools designed for the buyer community.

Market reaction has been very positive and Pivotal iQ has already secured a significant number of global vendors as clients. As the tech sector matures and with it the need for much greater marketing sophistication, so too will demand increase for reliable, current and actionable market insights. Pivotal iQ is strongly positioned to benefit from this global trend and the company believes that fivefold growth over the next few years is well within its grasp.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '07:00' - Tagged: saas   marketdata   GreatBritishScaleup  

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Friday 15 June 2018

Creating jobs. Creating Unicorns

JobsApple suggested yesterday in a report that it is responsible for 291,000 jobs in the UK - up from 241,000 in 2016. 138,000 of these are in London - compared to 119,000 in Paris. Apple actually only employs 6,459 people directly in the UK but reckons that such roles as UBER drivers or Deliveroo couriers are dependent on Apple Apps. Apple says that the UK is the ‘Capital of Europe’s App economy’. Apple undoubtedly produced the report at this time as a defence to the EU as it faces claims of tax avoidance etc.

Another highly controversial job creation report came from the US research house - Statista. It found that immigrants to the US had created half of all the US Unicorns (ie start-ups valued at $1 billion or more). Of the 87 Unicorns (as at 2016), 44 had been created by immigrants with 14 of these coming from India. Interestingly, it listed 8 of these founders coming from the UK. Ie c10% of ALL US Unicorns in 2016 were founded by ‘immigrants’ from the UK. This begs the question of why these UK citizens didn’t found these start-ups in the UK.

Figures released for UK Tech Week show that the UK is home to 13 - or nearly 40%  - of Europe’s Unicorns. Seven out of Europe’s Top Ten VCs ‘call the UK home’. Investment in UK tech firms doubled last year to $7.8b - compared to $3.2 for Germany and $2.8b for France.

I suspect that immigrants have a similarly beneficial effect on the start-up scene in the UK. Which is why the current debate on Visas is so relevant to the UK’s future. Looks like the UK Govt is finally coming to its senses on this.

I’ve long campaigned for the UK to be the tech start-up and tech scale-up centre of Europe - if not the World. It sounded a ridiculous target a decade ago. Look how far we have come! Let’s just hope that all the current silly politics don’t put all those achievements at risk.

Posted by Richard Holway at '06:08' - 1 comment

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Designated ‘on-platform’ business driver doing its job at RhythmOne

logoFull year results from digtial media adertising platform provider RhythmOne today confirmed the numbers in the upbeat trading update issued of April (see Visible progress at RhymOne). With performance in line with expectations and growth from existing and acquired products, the adtech company is working hard at bulking up and developing an integrated offering so it can face off against larger rivals.

As previously indicated, full year revenue increased 71% to $255.1, of which acquisitions (YouMe, RadiumOne, Perk) contributed $129.7m. On-platform programmatic revenue growth came in at 14%, taking the total to $89.7m. RhythmOne is still a business in transition however, as indicated by off platform revenue which declined 38% to $35.7m. Overall, the results show that the designated ‘on-platform’ driver for the business is doing its job.

As would be expected with the level of change and acquisitions, there is work to do on the bottom line but with slimmer net losses of $13.9m (vs. $18.8m) and adjusted EBITDA of $14m vs. $1.4m this metric is going in the right direction.

With several senior exec and board changes during the year and the post year-end announcement of the appointment of Mark Bonney as president, CEO and executive director - with a remit to enact transformation, increase value for shareholders and maximise growth opportunities – RhythmOne is proactive as well as ambitious. 

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

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Thursday 14 June 2018

The Key acquires school MIS supplier ScholarPack

The Key logoThe Key, provider of information services, professional development and online platform solutions for schools, has acquired school MIS supplier ScholarPack (Histon House Ltd) for an undisclosed fee.

ScholarPack logoAs we discussed in our review of the school MIS supplier market earlier this year, ScholarPack is the rising star in a sector that has been dominated by Capita for decades. It entered the market at a good time with the right, cloud-based and affordable offering for primary schools. Despite currently having just 5% of the primary school market (behind Capita on 78% and RM on 12%), it has been taking market share from its competitors. It was the fastest growing MIS in English schools last year, helped by its competitor Wauton Samuel exiting the market and arranging for the majority of its customers to transfer to ScholarPack.

The Key started life as part of Ten Lifestyle Management (now Ten Lifestyle Group plc). The business demerged in 2013 to allow Ten to dispose of the education business and focus on providing concierge services aimed at high net worth individuals. Isfield Investments backed The Key’s management to buy the business in 2014. In 2016 it acquired Webbased, which allowed it to expand into local government services. Revenue in 2017 was £8.8m.    

This looks like a good deal for both businesses. The Key counts 10,600 schools in the England as customers (approximately half of the state schools in the country) providing ScholarPack, which currently has just over 1,000 schools, with scope to expand. The Key has acquired the fastest growing MIS supplier at a time when the academy programme and cloud adoption in the sector are helping to increase market churn. The two businesses plan to work side-by-side to continue to develop solutions to schools. ScholarPack CEO Rich Harley, will be joining the board of The Key as part of the deal.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:47' - Tagged: acquisition   education   edtech  

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Pivotal performs post IPO

LogoCloud-based development platform provider Pivotal Software reported a strong start to its first year as an independent entity. Revenue for Q1 2019, the three months ending 4th May 2018, increased 28% yoy to $156m. Operating loss was trimmed back to $33.5m, down from $48.4m in Q1 2018.

Subscription sales, the company’s primary focus, jumped by nearly 70% over the same point last year to $90m. This was driven by both expanded platform usage by existing customers and a 20% yoy rise in subscriber numbers. Services revenue conversely shrank by 3% to $66m for the quarter.

The results announcement comes just six weeks after Pivotal was spun-out from Dell Technologies. The IPO, broadly viewed at the time as a modest success, placed a value of $3.9bn on the San Francisco HQ’d supplier and provided it with $555m in capital to continue to expand internationally. Since then the Pivotal share price has risen by nearly 50% as concerns recede over the continuing influence of Dell, which still controls over 90% of the voting rights.

Looking forward, Pivotal expects to achieve only a modest sequential increase in revenue in Q2 2019. It does, however, anticipate that the second quarter operating loss, unburdened the one-off IPO related expenses in Q1, will fall by c. 30% qoq. Sales for its first full year of independence are forecast to grow by c. 27% against 2018 and exceed $640m. The operating loss is projected to improve by more than 40% over the previous twelve months. Assuming that it delivers on its guidance, Pivotal will have much to celebrate at its first birthday party.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:46' - Tagged: resullts   cloudmigration  

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Blue Prism World – 10 years of progress in RPA

blue prism worldYesterday I attended Blue Prism World in London, a huge conference with over 1,000 delegates all focused on learning more about the latest developments in Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

This has become an annual fixture for Blue Prism who also ran a sister event in New York in May for North American clients and partners. The event has been getting bigger each year and whilst its naturally a great sales and marketing opportunity for Blue Prism and its partners, it did allow for reflection on how far RPA (and Blue Prism) has come in the last ten years. Throughout Blue Prism took the opportunity to pay homage to the ‘digital visionaries’ who took a risk on RPA and the company in the early days such as NpowerO2 and the Co-op Bank

As is usually the case with this type of jamboree the most interesting sessions were where customers shared real life experiences and lessons learnt from RPA implementations. Chief Customer Officer Neil Wright showcased Blue Prism’s ‘Robotic Operating Model’ or ROM, essentially a methodology for scaling RPA implantation. Having heard customer presentations from the likes of ADPNordeaHeineken and United Utilities is was clear that the method was very much informed by the experiences and lessons learned from the pioneers, making implementation much easier for those coming later to the party. 

It might have taken 10 years to get here but as we have covered may times before Blue Prism is a great example of what British tech can achieve and it was really impressive to see the momentum and buzz that they have created. Blue Prism’s ability to build and mobilise its network and make customers feel that they are all on the journey together is very much at the heart of this.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:26' - Tagged: RPA   blueprism  

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Agilisys: Familiar scenario at LB Tower Hamlets

Agilisys logoIt’s a familiar story in the UK local government market: an ICT contract extension that has required significant restructuring and a reduction in annual value for the core ICT services provider. Agilisys is certainly not alone in facing this type of scenario.

The company first signed a seven-year, £70m, strategic partnership with London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 2012 (see Agilisys does it again in local government). We understand that project work boosted the value of the contract to around £10m on an annual basis.

Agilisys signs contract extension with LB Tower HamletsThe good news is that Agilisys has now extended that contract for a further two years to 2021 (from 1st April 2019). However, the relationship will look quite different. LB Tower Hamlets describes how the extension supports its move to a “hybrid model” involving some insourcing and some re-tendering. Agilisys will continue to manage the IT infrastructure and will reshape a range of technical services.  Meanwhile, ICT applications management, ICT contract management (of 160 contracts with 100 suppliers) and ICT project management will return to the direct management of the council. Agilisys highlights how many of those services have undergone successful transformation under Agilisys and their management is now viewed as ‘Business as Usual’. Agilisys will retain delivery of more complex IT services, which require further specialist programme management to take them through the desired transformation.

Because of the changes, 50% of staff involved in running the services (35 staff) will return to the council. The contract extension value will be £14m over two years; this represents an annual contract value reduction from £10m to £7m, of which, we understand, £5m is from the core service and £2m a year from additional project work. A fair chunk of this reduction will be related to the fact subcontractor revenues will no longer pass through Agilisys.

All local government suppliers need to evolve their contractual relationships to align with technological changes and evolving client needs. Flexibility is key to securing longer-term opportunities. Indeed, that applies across all sectors. At LB Tower Hamlets, Agilisys is ensuring it can support the council’s large scale move to a new civic centre in 2022. In the short-term, the result is a tough market where the maintenance of existing relationships at lower value must go together with seeking new opportunities with new clients, sometimes in new sectors.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:24' - Tagged: public+sector   localgovernment   contract   it+services  

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Strong start for 'new' Aveva

logoNewly married Aveva and Schneider Electric Software (SES) have made their first public appearance since the completion of the reverse acquisition on 1st March with the release of full year results. They show respectable performance for both entities that wraps up into solid pro forma results for the combination that will serve as a baseline for future comparison.

Pro forma results for the year to 31 March 2018 show Aveva Group revenue up 8.6% to £794.6m. Although PBT plummeted 34% to £64.4m, adjusted PBT was a better looking £162.8m, a 6.8% increase. With 15% growth to £248,2m ‘historic’ Aveva pulled itself upwards during the year as it focused on sales execution, while ‘historic’ SES took revenue up a more modest 5.4% to £456.4m.

Given the size of the reverse acquisition, the integration process will take time but the aim is to capitalise on the digitalization process and Digital Twin concept with a broader portfolio of engineering and industrial software that combines engineering design and 3D visualization (Aveva) with industrial operational lifecycle products (SES). The concept sounds reasonable but given the difficulties in getting to the acquisition (the engagement was broken several times), execution will probably be challenging.

The strategy seems to be to do more, be bigger and be broader – basically grow the markets the broader combined portfolio can be sold into on the back of industry digitalization advances. That includes expansion in North America and into more industry verticals and geographies where the Group's market share is underweight. A positive development is that the combination of the two companies has improved end market and geographic balance: bulking up in North America, reducing exposure to the cyclical upstream Oil & Gas end market while increasing the ability to address the downstream part. There also appears to be scope to diversify into industries such as Food & Beverage and Pharmaceuticals.

The first set of results have provided a confidence boost – shares were up 13% in early trading.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:20' - Tagged: results   software   acquistion   digitaltransformation  

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Pimberly looks for long shelf life with £2m funding round

logoNews of the investment was first revealed in March, but the amount was only announced this week. It's a £2m Series A funding round for Manchester-based Product Information Management (PIM) software developer Pimberly, made by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

I am a little confused as to Pimberly's heritage as the business name was only incorporated in January this year, but it appears to have been spawned as part of another software business, Matrix Software Development Ltd, whose history traces back to 1999.

Modestly proclaiming itself to be "the most powerful Product Information Management platform on the planet", Pimberly reportedly has 18 staff and revenues of £1m but is "growing fast". Pricing starts at £20k p.a. for 10 users and 50k SKUs (stock- or shelf-keeping units – i.e. products) rising to £60k p.a. or more.

I am not a world expert (or indeed any sort of expert) on PIM software but I do know there's a lot of it about. NPIF has made a sizeable bet on a 'startup' in a well-established market. Good luck to them both.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:47' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Thursday 14 June 2018

Infosys loses SVP to 'unusual suspect' GlobalLogic

logoInfosys has lost another senior exec, but this time it's not one of 'Sikka's mates' (as in an ex-SAP exec brought in by ex-SAP CTO Dr Vishal Sikka after he was appointed CEO at Infosys). It's Nitesh Banga, 11-years with Infosys, most recently Senior VP and head of the company's Products & Platforms division. He joins 'digital engineering services' firm, GlobalLogic in the newly created post of COO.

I find this interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it seems to be another indicator of Infosys' new CEO, Salil Parekh's intent to unwind Sikka's strategy to move Infosys more towards being a software-led business (and see Infosys Innovation Fund loses another exec).

logoBut more so secondly, as I hadn't heard of GlobalLogic before. It appears GlobalLogic is essentially an offshore-leveraged software development house for hardware and software product manufacturers, a line of business that many of the traditional Indian Pure-Plays (IPPs) call Engineering Services or R&D Services. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in California, GlobalLogic was acquired by private equity firm Apax Partners in 2013. At the time, GlobalLogic had some 6,600 employees.

Apax disposed of 48% of its stake to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in January 2017, by which time GlobalLogic had grown to 11,000 employees. Then just last month, Apax exited GlobalLogic entirely, selling its remaining stake to Partners Group in a deal which valued the business at over $2bn. GlobalLogic now has 12,000 employees and revenues north of $500m. By way of a single-data-point valuation comparison, IPP market leader TCS has a market cap of some $100bn on revenues of $19bn.

So, the 'rehabilitation' of Infosys apparently continues, while a 'stealth' IPP is revealed. Interesting.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:05' - Tagged: offshore   management  

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Thursday 14 June 2018

The field force is with Oneserve

LogoGreat British ScaleUp Field Service Management SaaS provider Oneserve has its eyesGBS firmly trained on market leadership. A significant player in the fast-growing Exeter tech hub and already recognised as one of the world's Top 20 most influential organisations in its sphere, the company expects revenue to increase fivefold over the next few years.

Founded in 2010, Oneserve focused initially on building out its Enterprise platform to address the needs of large, complex organisations. Central to its philosophy and core to its differentiation are putting self-service functionality, customisable workflows and speed of deployment to the fore. Over the last three years the company has been progressively ramping-up its sales and marketing efforts.

The results have been impressive. Revenue has almost doubled since 2015 and Oneserve has become the dominant field service management SaaS provider to the UK Social Housing sector. It has also established strong positions in the Local Government, Contractors and Utilities & Telco markets. Its clients now include Islington Council, Kier, Sky, KCOM and SES Water.

Development of the Oneserve SaaS portfolio has continued apace with the addition of Oneserve Lite, specifically targeted to smaller organisations, and most recently Oneserve Infinite. This leverages IoT monitoring and AI optimisation to deliver full predictive management to address the needs for ever improving customer service on the one hand, while continuously driving increased efficiencies on the other.

The company currently relies solely on a direct sales and implementation approach. This is now becoming a limitation on the potential rate of growth and Oneserve is actively recruiting partners to help free this bottleneck. It is also weighing up where and when to take its first steps outside the UK. Overseas expansion may not now be too long away. Here is a UK tech SME that has its sights on making its mark on the world stage.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '07:00' - Tagged: saas   fieldservice   GreatBritishScaleup  

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Say 'Goodbye' to mowing the lawn

MowerWe hear and write a lot about automation. Tonight I was invited to a neighbour’s house to see automation really close to home. The automower.

My neighbour has 6.5 acres of lawn. He has installed six Husqvarna Autolawnmowers at a capital cost of £18,000. He reckons they will payback within 18 months based on the labour costs he paid before + the costs of his ride on mowers.

LawnI didn’t believe that the mowers would cut the grass to the required standard. But I was pleasantly surprised at the end result - as you can see in the photo on the right.. The automowers are silently in action 24 hours a day (if you want). They automatically return to their charging station (see photo below) every 3-4 hours. He has laid control wires around the areas to be cut and the automowers randomly cross and re-cross the lawn. It is particularly impressive at night with their little headlights. They even seem to handle slopes well. Everything is controlled via a smartphone app. So you can see remotely exactly what each mower is doing. They also alert you if they get stolen. Indeed thieves were caught when the app alerted the police to the stolen automower’s whereabouts.

ParkedAutomation in agriculture creates huge opportunities. Particularly as casual labour becomes more difficult to procure. You can see these robot machines planting and then harvesting all kinds of crops. Indeed if you visit a modern farm you will see jobs, like milking, being automated to the extent that the cows decide when to get milked. Jobs that only a few years ago required much manual labour at unsocial hours.

My experience tonight of the Hisqvarna automower really convinced me that robotics were not only practical in a garden - but affordable too!

Footnote - Garden maintenance - much of which involves mowing grass and cutting hedges - is a worthwhile job that can be undertaken by people with limited academic achievement. Indeed a great entry-level job for youngsters. So what is the social effect if simple jobs like this are automated? Sure, it may create new jobs for hardware and software engineers designing and building the robot mowers. But those jobs are out of reach for many less able youngsters.

Posted by Richard Holway at '21:09' - 1 comment

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

More on that 'Boring Award' for Computacenter

CCCAs I reported, yesterday (See - Computacenter gets a Boring Award) I had the pleasure of presenting a Holway Boring Award to Mike Norris at Computacenter in recognition of 10+ years of uninterrupted EPS growth.

I guess I should have explained (again) the origins of the Boring award as several readers have asked why Mike was so pleased to be described as ‘boring’. It all started back in 1992 when the FT asked for my views on Admiral’s financial performance. I described them as ‘boringly consistent’. But the FT reporter - Alan Cane - reported this as ‘Analyst Richard Holway describes Admiral as boring’. I then had several letters (well it was 1992!) to say ‘our performance is just as ‘boring’ as Admiral’. So I instigated an Award to any publicly quoted tech company with 10+ years of uninterrupted EPS growth. Only 6 other companies have been awarded it. And all have lost it. The last two holders were Sage and Capita.

Mike Norris seemed genuinely pleased to receive his award. Mike said in his acceptance speech that Computacenter got many awards. But, because the award was given so rarely (this is the 7th in 26th years), it really meant a lot. Norris greatly prizes consistent performance too. It is also the first time the Holway Award has been given to a reseller.

I’d really like to give more Boring Awards. But just as companies are about to get one - Micro Focus is a recent example - they get one bad year and have to start all over again. Triad tell me that they might be the first ever Boring Award holder to get the award back. We will see!

Posted by Richard Holway at '20:38'

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Eckoh’s progress to be shrouded by IFRS 15

logo

Eckoh had a good second half, delivering year-end revenue of £30m, up 3% while adjusted EBITDA rose 13%. 

The star performer was again the US operation, (now 37% of group) with reported revenues up 16%. The success of the CallGuard secure payments proposition was clear, with revenues up 179%. We have seen consistent growth in contract wins and TCV, with SaaS-style “Opex” pricing dominating the mix. Partners are key routes to market, and a new US Head of Channel Sales should ensure greater focus on the larger and more winnable contracts.

The UK had a poor H1, due partly to the travails of large partner, Capita. However, good results from other partners, particularly Teleperformance and a sales team reorganisation restricted the full year revenue decline to 2.2%. Sales through partners account for 32% of the UK total and this proportion is expected to increase.

Eckoh is looking to leverage its leadership position in secure payment solutions (particularly in the US) with a strong development pipeline to build omni-channel capability, speech analysis and intelligent chatbots to improve the rate of first call resolution, reduce agent time per call and increase the proportion of calls that lead to transactions. 

Analysts are expecting double digit growth in US sales in the current year with the UK business expected to decline as a result of 2017/8’s problems and contract timing. Reported revenue and profit will however be impacted by IFRS 15 which changes the timing of revenue recognition. The impact is particularly stark in the US where the proportion of up-front fees to total revenue is high. IFRS 15 would have reduced reported 2017/8 revenue by 12% and the forecast 2018/9 hit is c.17%. 

The underlying business is strong, but reported revenue will look less positive.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:57' - Tagged: software   contactcentre   payments   IFRS15  

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

TechMarketView celebrates turning 10!

This month marks TechMarketView’s official tenth anniversary and we were delighted to have so many of our longstanding customers and friends join us in the magnificent Riverside Room at the IET in London for a ‘Now we are 10’ celebration last night. Many thanks to all of you for making it a very enjoyable evening to remember.

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As you will read in today’s UKHotViews, during the evening we also presented a number of awards.  Richard Holway presented a somewhat overdue ‘Boring Award’ to Mike Norris and Tony Conophy of Computacenter, for their amazing record of more than ten years of uninterrupted EPS growth. Anthony Miller presented Bob Fawthrop with a special award for being our longest serving individual client. And I had the pleasure of presenting Tina Compton, Managing Partner at tx2 Events, with a special award in recognition of the three decades that she’s been running our events so seamlessly.

Congratulations to all three and thank you once again to all of our clients and supporters for helping to make TechMarketView’s first decade such a success – here’s to the next ten years!

awards

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '09:40'

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

IOTech gets $2.5m funding for IIoT

IOTech gets $2.5m funding for IIoTInternet of Things (IoT) start-up IOTech is to receive US$2.5m in seed funding led by Dell Technologies Capital as it accelerates its software development and hires more staff.

The Newcastle Upon Tyne-based company’s Edge Xpert industrial IoT (IIoT) proposition is built on an open source platform available to third party IoT vendors, users and service providers that want to bring new applications and services to market quickly without incurring systems integration costs.

IOTech also intends to package its own distribution of the code into a commercial product, backed by support and maintenance contracts, quality testing, customisation options and upgrade roadmaps.

TechMarketView has noted widespread interest in IIoT amongst various vertical sectors - manufacturing, distribution, logistics, utilities and retail for example – and we expect to see rapid growth in product and service provision over the next few years (subscribers can access two key TechMarketView reports analysing the market here).

IOTech looks well placed to help suppliers build their own IIoT edge platforms without waiting to develop their own software solutions, a crucial competitive advantage in an immature market where staking an early claim could prove instrumental to long term success.

It also looks to be in good hands from the investment perspective. Previously known as Dell Ventures, Dell Technology Capital is the venture capital division of Dell EMC which emerged from stealth mode last year to reveal a string of IPOs, including DocuSign, MongoDB and Zscaler, and has an estimated 81 start-ups on its books.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:29' - Tagged: funding   IOTech   IIoT   DellTechnologiesCapital  

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Government announces £2.3bn boost for UK tech

picThere's even more excellent news for the UK tech sector (and see Brexit? Schmexit! UK leads European tech VC funding) with Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement last night of £2.3bn of private investment in UK tech. The announcement was made as part of London Tech Week, an event heavily supported by industry association techUK (see A week of celebrating tech in our vibrant capital city) on the Board of which august organisation I am proud to sit.

May's announcement featured:

  • Salesforce, who are investing £1.9bn in the UK over the next five years, which will include the opening of their second UK data centre in 2019
  • Mubadala, who are launching £300m European investment fund based in the UK
  • NTT data who are investing £41m to open a new office and Innovation Centre, creating up to 200 jobs over the next three years
  • A new £2.5 billion British Patient Capital programme, which is expected to attract a further £5bn in private investment, to support UK companies with high growth potential to access the long-term investment they need to grow and go global.
  • A new Start-Up Visa for entrepreneurs will launch in Spring 2019. This will replace a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, opening it up to talented business founders. This will include accelerators playing a role in the endorsement of candidates
  • Opening up key parts of the Ordnance Survey’s valuable geospatial data to small businesses for free to boost competition in the digital economy.
  • Two new Tech Hubs will be launched in Brazil and South Africa, to build innovative partnerships and develop skills, capability and business networks in these markets.

There's much to digest here and we will comment more as we get down to the nitty-gritty.

I am particularly heartened about the British Patient Capital programme, which I hope will be effective in helping UK tech scale-ups get access to the funding they need to become global champions. Our own Little British Battler, Great British Scaleup and Early Stage Partner Programmes have amply demonstrated that there is no shortage of innovative tech startups and SMEs here in the UK. They need all the help they can get.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:15'

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Great British Scaleup: IMMJ Systems

IMMJ logoFounded in 2015, IMMJ Systems is younger than many of the companies that we meet through the Great British Scaleup Programme but no less ambitious. Founders Michael van de Weg, Max Smith and Jonathon Desmond have big ambitions in the UK healthcare Electronic Document Management (EDM) software market (and, in time, well beyond healthcare and the UK). 

At the moment, the UK healthcare market is their sweet spot and - although it’s early days - it appears the SME is not short of opportunities as the NHS in England strives to go paper-free, or at least paper-light, by 2023 (see our UK Public Sector SITS Market Trends and Forecasts report). 

GBSIMMJ System’s software, MediViewer, has been developed over many years predating 2015 when company was registered. Since then, the software has been deployed by Noble’s Hospital on the Isle of Man, under a partnership with System C Healthcare,and was recently chosen by Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust as their EDM solution too; also under a partnership with System C Healthcare. 

As NHS trusts become more active in procuring EDM solutions to digitise their legacy paper records, IMMJ’s pipeline is growing. Indeed, if all goes to plan the SME’s biggest challenge over the next few months could be scaling quickly enough to keep up with demand. Partnerships will help here though and we’re encouraged to see how well existing relationships with prime contractors such as System C appear to be working. Indeed, I’m sure we won’t be the only ones keeping a close eye on IMMJ Systems’ progress over the coming months as they look to scale up and stake their claim to a growing share of the NHS EDM market.

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '09:01' - Tagged: healthcare   scale-up   EDM  

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Bob Fawthrop gets our 'Long Service' award!

picIt was a wonderful evening last night at TechMarketView's 10th birthday party (see other UKHotViews posts today) where it was my great pleasure to present Bob Fawthrop with a special award for being the longest serving personal subscriber to our research.

I've known Bob since way back when and it's great to see that he is still very active in the UK tech sector. Bob started subscribing to our research pretty much from the time Richard and I started TechMarketView and he has been a loyal supported ever since.

Many thanks, Bob, and here's to the next ten years!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:36'

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Kano announces investment from Sesame Ventures

Kano logoLondon-based educational computing company Kano has secured additional funding from Sesame Ventures. The size of the investment was not disclosed, but it forms an extension to Kano’s series B round in November last year.

Kano creates kits that allow users to build their own computers. The system is powered by Raspberry Pi 3 and Kano OS (see Kano pulls $15m plum from Raspberry Pi), and is designed to help people understand how a computer works and then use the device to learn to code in simple steps. It shipped its first kit in 2014 and now claims to have 250k users in 150 different countries. The kits have proved popular in the education sector, where it is used by more than 3,000 schools and educational programmes worldwide. The company also provides an online platform that allows users to learn to code and provides access to step-by-step coding projects.

Sesame Ventures is the investment arm of Sesame Workshop, the company behind Sesame Street. It looks to partner with companies innovating in education, health, and social welfare for children. As part of the investment Kano will gain access to Sesame Workshop’s expertise in early childhood development and associated research.

The Series B round in September 2017, which was led by Thames Trust and Breyer Capital, raised $28m, allowing Kano to introduce a new line of computing kits and roll them out through c.4,500 retail stores across North America and Canada, partnering with Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft, Target and Walmart.

The DIY computer market is a competitive one, with Arduino, pi-top and more also operating in this space. The new deal with Sesame Ventures will provide Kano with opportunities to create new products and content, and benefit from the strong brand awareness of Sesame Workshop, particularly in North America.  

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:30' - Tagged: education   funding   startup   coding   computing  

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Fetch.AI fetches in $15m to build a 'digital world'

logoWill you think less of me if I admit that I just cannot get my head around the nuts and bolts of all this blockchain stuff? No matter how many times it's explained to me I sort of think I get it, then an hour later, much like the proverbial Chinese meal, I find I need to start again.

Anyway, I tell you this because Cambridge-based blockchain startup Fetch.AI has revealed a $15m seed funding round led by Outlier Ventures. The VC has been working (in 'stealth mode') with Fetch.AI since early 2017 and declared their involvement in March this year, trumpeting the startup as "genuinely next generation distributed ledger tech" (I think the last generation may have passed me by, but there we go).

According to Fetch.AI's website, "Fetch is a decentralised digital world in which useful economic activity takes place. This activity is performed by Autonomous Economic Agents (AEAs)… Underpinning the digital world is the smart ledger: a new generation of learning ledger that provides a collective super-intelligence to support agents’ individual intelligences."

So now you know about as much as I do, and I hope it means more to you than to me. It obviously means $15m to Outlier, so let’s hope their best brains 'get it'.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:07' - Tagged: funding   startup   blockchain  

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

Computacenter gets a Boring Award!

BoringLast night TechMarketView LLP celebrated its 10th Birthday. All those early subscribers are still with us.  They backed us when there was no research on our website -now there are 20,000 pieces of research, analysis and comment available. So we were delighted to raise a glass with representatives of all those subscribers at our Birthday Party last night.

Boring awardI was particularly pleased to be able present a Holway BORING Award to Mike Norris and Tony Conophy of Computacenter. The Boring Awards started in 1992 and were awarded to UK quoted Software and IT Services companies with at least 10 years of uninterrupted EPS growth. The first award was to Admiral and some 6 other companies have since received an award. The two longest standing Boring Award Holders were Capita and Sage. But they, like all the others, have now lost it.

Interestingly, all the Boring Award Holders had very long serving CEOs. All lost their Boring Awards soon after those CEOs stepped down.

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Mike Norris has been with Computacenter since 1984 and has served as CEO since 1994. Tony Conophy as been with Computacenter since 1982 and has been i/c of the Finance function since 1996. They don’t come longer serving than that!

Their record is truly awesome. As you can see from the chart, EPS has been boosted by 540% since 2005. Compared to the ‘fortunes’ of many others in their arena, that is incredible.

As a Computacenter shareholder, my only plea to Mike & Tony is ‘Don’t leave..’

Posted by Richard Holway at '00:00'

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