HotViews Archive

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Collapse 2018 (44)2018 (44)
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AlbionVC is hiring
17 Oct 2018
IMIMobile makes smart move with Apple Business Chat
16 Oct 2018
Not every company is a tech company
16 Oct 2018
Netcall seizes Low-code route to growth
16 Oct 2018
Endava gets strategic with Bain
16 Oct 2018
Dotdigital overcomes GDPR headwind
16 Oct 2018
Wipro targets UK skills development
16 Oct 2018
CoinShare raises a token €2m for loyalty scheme
16 Oct 2018
Paul Allen dies
16 Oct 2018
Legaletch Lexoo leaps up a funding level
16 Oct 2018
Musings on the Patisserie Valerie debacle
16 Oct 2018
Can YOU disrupt the Customer Management/Customer Experience market?
16 Oct 2018
Win innovation funding with the NTT DATA Open Innovation Contest 9.0
16 Oct 2018
Corero and Juniper strengthen ties with US$2m funding
15 Oct 2018
London AI Lab: first fruits from Atos/Google partnership
15 Oct 2018
Government launches digital economy competition investigation
15 Oct 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* End User Insights: Uncovering AI/Machine Learning Deployment Success Factors
15 Oct 2018
Redstor beefs up management to support expansion plans
15 Oct 2018
Dawn strengthens Garrison's security
15 Oct 2018
A unique TechMarketView subscription for individuals
15 Oct 2018
Top backer loans dosh to IDE for '365' MBO
15 Oct 2018
Quarterly Research Summary Q3 2018
15 Oct 2018
GOSH launches new digital hub
12 Oct 2018
Digital delaware spreads out in the UK
12 Oct 2018
Rimini Street: supporting the business of IT
12 Oct 2018
TCS sets the bar (again)
12 Oct 2018
Ouch. This really hurts
12 Oct 2018
Dialog secures future with Apple
12 Oct 2018
Summer slump lingers in European tech M&A market
12 Oct 2018
ServiceNow buys again to enrich Now platform
11 Oct 2018
KCOM to appoint ex-BT exec Sutherland as new CEO
11 Oct 2018
Huawei puts data centre into Audi Q7
11 Oct 2018
Fintech lender Duologi secures £20m in race to £1bn
11 Oct 2018
Don't have a corporate subscription? You can still become a TMV client
11 Oct 2018
Mercia backs 'broadcast spyware' startup Covatic
11 Oct 2018
Sanderson Group makes significant progress
10 Oct 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Legacy vs. New: An Alternative Analysis of the SITS Market for the Digital Era
10 Oct 2018
Access Intelligence to acquire more PR SaaS
10 Oct 2018
*UKHotViewsExtra* BT Global Services strategy update: trust and technology take centre stage
10 Oct 2018
Gresham rebuilding confidence
10 Oct 2018
Capita picks new talent management partner
10 Oct 2018
Mercia fills in more blanks in Voxpopme's funding
10 Oct 2018
Helecloud gains a £2m boost from BGF
10 Oct 2018
Building Smarter, Faster and Reliable data rich applications that operate in real time
10 Oct 2018

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

IMIMobile makes smart move with Apple Business Chat

logoWhile TechMarketView has long been a critic of the Government’s initiative to roll out smart electricity meters, see Smart Meter Madness (10) and work back, it is good to see that suppliers are doing what they can to improve the customer experience for those who are looking to switch to a smart meter.

One of the largest energy providers in the UK, npower, has become IMIMobile’s first client on Apple Business Chat, a new service for consumers to connect directly with businesses using the Messages app on Apple devices. Customers will be able to access rich media messages informing them of the benefits of a smart meter and how to switch. npower will also be able to elicit feedback via surveys to improve its service to customers.

The addition of Apple Business Chat is another string to IMIMobile’s bow as it enables a wide range of utilities and financial services companies to transform customer journeys. It can also short-circuit the legacy and organisational problems of established companies as they move to deliver joined-up and end-to-end processes over multiple contact channels. IMIMobile has been making rapid progress, with strong results for the year to March, further acquisitions and consistent investment in its cloud software platform. The addition of Apple Business Chat should provide further momentum.

Posted by Peter Roe at '12:41' - Tagged: software   automation   CX  

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Not every company is a tech company

picInteresting article in today's FT by Andrew Hill (see Not every company is a technology company) on a theme that we have been banging on about for yonks.

Hill's article begins "Rather than adopting the hackneyed advice to think outside the box, companies often take a different tack: they relabel the box", bemoaning how traditional products and services businesses are relabelling themselves as tech companies. The pic, from the FT, is captioned "Under Armour is a sportswear maker and retailer, not a technology company" (© Dreamstime).

Of course, pretty much every business nowadays is reliant to a greater or lesser extent on technology – and the bigger the business the more reliant they become.

Then along come the 'tech disruptors' (fintech, proptech, martech, legaltech, etc etc).

Some of these are 'true' tech companies – i.e. they provide technology platforms for other companies to run their businesses more efficiently and productively. Others are financial services, property services, marketing services, legal services etc businesses in their own right, competing against the traditional players but with their core 'proposition' delivered electronically.

What they are all looking for is a 'tech disruptor' valuation.

In truth it's a case of what comes around, goes around. We saw it first in the dot.com era, later with IoT (internet of things) and now with blockchain (I'm sure there are others). Just hang your hat on the latest and most fashionable hook and watch your valuation soar.

Alas, it would be naïve to think that it will ever be otherwise.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:56'

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Netcall seizes Low-code route to growth

logoNetcall has reported on a transformational year (to June 2018). This was propelled by the August 2017 acquisition of Low-code software provider MatsSoft, opening up huge market opportunities as companies look to quickly embrace the benefits of digital. The first stages of the MatsSoft integration are now completed and the Netcall management team seems to have plotted the course of the larger group with considerable care. We can expect a flow of positive news.

Results for 2018 showed revenue up 32% to £21.9m, with MatsSoft contributing £5.2m (up 19% on a comparable basis). Recurring revenues comprise 71% of the total. EBITDA increased 21% to £5.4m. The new financial year has started well with Low-code driving new business, see here.

Netcall is looking to seize the Low-Code opportunity and at the same time to continue the growth of its Liberty Customer Engagement Platform. These will go hand-in-hand, with the Low-Code capability accelerating time-to-market for new applications and opening cross-sell opportunities into Netcall’s existing customer base of over 700 UK customers. A new sales team has been recruited to sell the MatsSoft capability into new customers, leveraging Netcall’s experience in account management to build share of wallet. Investment in a partner network is increasing access to domain expertise (e.g. in insurance and central government) as well as providing a channel into international sales. Netcall is also building a developer community to speed development and knowledge transfer around Low-code use cases.

Solid progress in the Liberty business should not only generate some growth in recurring revenue, but also fund the development of the Low-Code technology and the delivery capabilities required as the business grows. Analysts expect around 20% growth in the cloud-delivered, subscription-based Low-Code and Liberty platforms for 2019, with some acceleration anticipated in the following year.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:48' - Tagged: software   insurance   low-code  

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Endava gets strategic with Bain

Endava company logo

Bain and Company logo

London-HQ’d “nearshore” IT services company Endava is joining forces with Boston-based management consulting heavyweight Bain & Company to mount a combined attack the digital transformation market opportunity. The global strategic partnership aims to bring together the firms’ complementary strengths in business and technology strategy, product ideation, technology development and deployment and organisational change management.

On paper this appears to be a smart play for both companies. In our most recent Application Services Market Trends and Forecasts report we noted that consulting appears to be moving from a discrete capability to a much more integral component of all transformational propositions. Technology is playing an increasingly integral role in every aspect of business. Agile approaches and BusDevOps are on the rise. The scale of the business change management challenges associated with successful digital deployment is becoming better understood. These factors are driving demand for more multi-disciplinary powered solutions. A robust consulting capability is becoming a competitive necessity for all application services suppliers, just as a credible technology delivery capability is becoming a “must have” for business consultancies.

Bain is by no means the only management consultancy to establish partnerships within the SITS community. Last year McKinsey launched its global Digital Capability Centre initiative in concert with the likes of PTC, Intex and Ubimax. In 2016 The Boston Consulting Group set up its Innovation Center for Operations in Paris with the support of a wider ecosystem of technology partners. Sustained strategic relationships between such organisations and IT services firms are, however, unusual. The grey line between where the delivery ambitions of both parties begin and end can often create points of contention.

The Bain-Endava collaboration, however, does have some real substance. As an indication of commitment to the partnership, Bain has taken an ownership stake in Endava via its July 2018 IPO (see here). We will watch how this promising relationship progresses with great interest.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:31' - Tagged: partnerships   consulting   ApplicationServices   digital  

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Dotdigital overcomes GDPR headwind

dotdigitalMarketing automation specialist dotdigital published a strong set of results for last year proving that it really had “dodged a bullet on GDPR”. 

AIM-listed dotdigital Group saw revenues grow 35% to £43.1m (2017: £32.0m) with adjusted EBITDA up 21% to £12.5m (2017: £10.3m).

The company has had a consistent strategy for a number of years focusing on three growth pillars - product development, geographic expansion and strategic partnerships.

Its integration of the Comapi acquisition, which has brought dotdigital into the omni-channel space, appears to be going well and trading in line with expectations and will have helped contribute to a strong final quarter. This has seen recurring revenues increase 41% on the back of enhanced product functionality, and momentum appears to have continued into the current year.

GDPR posed a real challenge in dotdigital’s core European markets, delaying decisions and creating uncertainty around compliance. The Company will be very pleased to have got someway passed this and grew double digit in the UK despite these headwinds. 

Geographically the company has also been dipping its toes in a number of new markets, particularly in Asia Pacific, where it is establishing a Singapore base. 

Strategic partnerships also remain a focus with relationships with ShopifyBigCommerce and Shopware all expanding ecommerce opportunities, the latter providing a springboard into the German market.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:31' - Tagged: results   software   marketing  

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Wipro targets UK skills development

LogoOffshore services major Wipro is strengthening its focus on developing STEM skills in the UK through the establishment of its new Innovation and Talent Hub in Reading. The multifunctional facility will be the centre of excellence for the company’s Ascent programme. Launched last year, the initiative trains UK-based computer science graduates and degree apprentices in digital technologies. These include cognitive computing, IoT, business intelligence and cyber security. To date, 135 individuals have completed the training and been placed in client projects at Wipro clients across the UK.

The hub will also run work experience programmes for school leavers, internship programmes for university students and training programmes for employees. In addition, the facility will provide a collaborative space for co-innovation with clients.

Given the greater need for colocation of client and supplier resources on digital projects, it is not surprising that Wipro is seeking to beef up its onshore digital skills presence. With such capabilities in both short supply and high demand, it has become a competitive necessity for SITS suppliers to deploy inventive strategies to attract, develop and retain the requisite volumes of digital talent upon which their continued growth and prosperity is dependent. Wipro’s Innovation and Talent Hub launch, together with the company’s recently announced partnership with King’s College London to develop the first MA in STEM Education in the UK, are cases in point.

These types of UK entry level skills focused initiatives are not unusual within western-headquartered SITS suppliers. Capgemini, for example, launched the first degree apprentice programme with Aston University over three and a half years ago (see here). Just yesterday, PwC welcomed 111 technology and data science students into its new Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship scheme. Such programmes have until now been much rarer within the India pure-play community. It is unlikely, however, that Wipro will be the last offshore major to step up its efforts in the battle for young domestic digital talent.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:24' - Tagged: skills   recruitment   digital  

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

CoinShare raises a token €2m for loyalty scheme

logoI'm certainly a cynic. And maybe I'm a Luddite too, especially when it comes to blockchain. Two possible reasons why my hackles rose when I read the main splash on the website of London-based blockchain loyalty scheme CoinShare – "Social commerce in blockchain. Create your community and earn more than you spend."

The 'free money' (my words) comes from cashbacks (well, 'cryptocoinbacks', actually) when you purchase goods from vendors within the CoinShare community. What's more, sellers also accumulate and earn from purchases made by their customers in the stores of the circuit.

Earn as you buy; earn as you sell; everyone's a winner.

Estbalished in 2015, CoinShare (not to be confused – I hope – with US-based cryptocurrency investment group, Coinshares, two of whose funds were recently suspended by the SEC) has recently raised more than €2m in an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) in a private sale to local and international investors.

CoinShare's website exhorts you to action: "Now is the time! Don't miss your chance".

I may pass.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:13' - Tagged: funding   startup   blockchain  

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Paul Allen dies

PAVery sad to learn of the death of Paul Allen - co-founder of Microsoft. Paul was only 65. I always find it disturbing when people younger than me die. But I guess I better get more and more used to it as the years pass.

Everyone associates Bill Gates as the founder of Microsoft in 1974. After dropping out of university Allen went to work as programmer for Honeywell in Boston and got to know Gates who was at Harvard. He persuaded Gates to drop out too and they formed ‘Micro-Soft’ - the name that Allen came up with for their venture. They first worked on a BASIC interpreter. But the real break came in 1980 when IBM needed an OS for their forthcoming PC. Gates & Allen bought QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) for a song and turned it into DOS. The rest, as they say, is history,

Allen left Microsoft in 1983 but refused to sell his shares to Gates at $5 each. That decision turned Allen into a billionaire after Microsoft went public.

Allen went on to use his fortune to make a huge range of investments in the tech sector, real estate and buying sports teams. He was also a major philanthropist.

Co-founders rarely get the recognition they deserve. Eg Steve Wozniak at Apple. Also great companies are often built from building on other people’s initial ideas.  Eg all the things, like the mouse, GUI, laser printers, Steve Jobs saw at Xerox Park on his visit in 1979.

That Allen and Gates recognised what they (and IBM) could do with QDOS and ran with it, created the foundation of the PC industry which still affects all of our lives today.

Posted by Richard Holway at '08:52'

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Legaletch Lexoo leaps up a funding level

logoThe legal profession is long overdue for technology disruption and we're now seeing a slew of 'legaltech' startups take a tilt at different aspects of this market. At its most basic level is the law firm marketplace, which is where London-based Lexoo plays.

Founded in 2014, Lexoo kicked off its funding endeavours in January 2015 (see Legal-eagle portal Lexoo lands £260k funding) and since went on to raise a further £1.3m in two subsequent rounds (Source: CrunchBase). Lexoo has now jumped up a level with a $4.4m Series A funding round led by Earlybird, with participation from Forward Partners and Ned Staple, General Counsel at Zoopla Property Group, among others.

Lexoo uses a combination of a search engine and an in-house legal team to match client briefs with law firms bidding for work. Clients pay nothing for the search and Lexoo takes its skim from the law firm winning the bid. This was 10% of the fee when I wrote about them back in 2015, but I can't find anything further on this.

This worries me a bit. Actually, it worries me a lot.

I hope Lexoo won't fall into the same trap as infamous services marketplace Blur Group (now called Maistro – start with Maistro – new brand, old problem, work back, and weep). Blur got into deep doo-doo because it charged an unfeasibly low commission (in their case, 20%) for a hybrid tech/manual search process with payment contingent on client project milestones being achieved (which, of course, often weren't) and lost shedloads of dosh in the process.

Caveat Lexoo!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:26' - Tagged: funding   startup   legaltech  

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Musings on the Patisserie Valerie debacle

LJOn the surface, any comment on the problems at a High Street ‘Coffee and Cake’ chain like Patisserie Valerie seems out of place in HotViews which is dedicated to the tech sector and Software and IT Services in particular.

But many readers sit on the boards of companies and must be as shocked as I am that any board could be unaware of two company bank accounts with massive overdrafts. We all know how difficult it is to open any business account in the first place - let alone then run up c£10m overdrafts. How could HSBC and Barclays have allowed this to happen without ensuring they had board approval? Then there is the role of the auditors - Grant Thornton. How could any audit have missed all the signs that such accounts existed? How could it have missed that fact the large payments to creditors like HMRC had not been made?

The episode reminded me of the issues surrounding Autonomy and HP. How did the auditors of this FTSE100 company miss the accounting issues that lead to Autonomy’s CFO Sushovan Hussain being found guilty of fraud in a US court earlier this year? It also begs the question whether the rest of the board knew as well. But that will be tested in the UK courts next year.

I have sat on 20 different boards over the last 30+ years and have never encountered such issues. Sure, we had incidences of attempted petty fraud. But the procedures we had in place exposed them before they became anything major. Mind you I have tended to limit my number of board seats to no more than 4 at a time. Being a company director is very time-consuming. It is not just the regular board meetings - but more particularly all the work between like board recruitment, M&A, fund raising etc. Even Luke Johnson now admits he was spread too widely and has resigned from a string of boards and other activities since the Patisserie Valerie debacle hit last week.

Finally, I admit to being an avid reader of Luke Johnson’s books and columns. Although I disagree with him over BREXIT, his many other business homilies, like backing management teams, strike home. One of his columns last year pointed out the importance of having a good and trusted FD. Another drew up a checklist for spotting fraud in a company. True but somewhat ironic now.

Luke Johnson is giving up writing his column in the Sunday Times.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:41'

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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Can YOU disrupt the Customer Management/Customer Experience market?

TechMarketView and Capita Scaling Partner are working together again to find 'digital disruptors' looking to revolutionise the Customer Management/Customer Experience (CM/CX) market.

APPLY NOW ON THIS WEBFORM

The story so far ...

TIPP logo

Earlier this year we launched the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme in association with Capita Scaling Partner (Capita's innovation development unit). It was a phenomenal success – you can see the testimonial videos here.

We are now extending our search for innovative partners under our new programme brand, the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme.

We're running the next event in December and Capita Scaling Partner is once again offering an unrivalled opportunity for innovative UK tech companies to access lucrative client markets that would typically be out of their reach. This event has been designed to attract the most ambitious and forward-thinking companies looking at disrupting how companies interact with their customers.

The chance to sell to Capita's clients

Capita logo

Capita is the UK’s leading provider of outsourced customer management services including market leading contact centre, data, analytics and digital services. Capita has more than 100 million customer conversations every year across multiple different contact channels. We are giving UK tech innovators a chance to reach this incredibly broad and rich market.

If you are selected as a Capita Scaling Partner Digital Disruptor you will get:

  • Accelerated market access: Capita will work with you to win business in their clients;
  • Extensive business development support: Capita will help you develop and refine your product, finance and go-to-market strategies;
  • Unparalleled industry visibility: TechMarketView will trumpet your success in UKHotViews, arguably the most influential daily commentary on the UK tech scene and beyond.

Eligibility requirements

You should be the Founder or CEO/MD of a privately-held, UK tech company with an innovative digital technology proposition in Customer Management or Customer Experience

Your business should be focused on transforming the way companies interact with end customers. We are looking for companies with the potential of disrupting established ways of working and service delivery, who will help to deliver key customer contact outcomes, for example:

  • Increasing end customer satisfaction;
  • Helping to improve revenue generation, e.g. increasing the range of services customers buy, or improving sales conversion;
  • Running operations more efficiently.

You could be an early-stage company or you may have been in business for some years - it's innovation we're looking for. Your customer management/customer experience proposition must at a minimum be close to the MVP (minimum viable product) stage, successfully deployed to one or more clients, and you are now looking to distribute at scale.

How to apply

To be selected as a Capita Scaling Partner Digital Disruptor, you should apply in the first instance to attend an intensive 90-minute Pre-Qualification Session (PQS) with TechMarketView Research Directors and Capita Scaling Partner advisors. The PQS event will be held in London during the week of 3rd-7th December.

PQS applications must be submitted on this webform by Friday 2nd November 2018. Applicants will be notified if their application has been successful by Friday 16th November. There is no charge to apply for or, if accepted, participate in a PQS.

You can find more information about the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme on the TechMarketView website and further information about Capita Scaling Partner on the Capita website. For further information please email tipp@techmarketview.com or call TechMarketView Managing Partner Anthony Miller on 020 3002 8463.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:00'

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Monday 15 October 2018

Corero and Juniper strengthen ties with US$2m funding

Corero and Juniper cement ties with US$2m fundingCorero’s US$2m of equity investment from commercial partner Juniper Networks leads us to speculate just how much closer the relationship between the two companies might become.

Juniper and Corero began a multi-year global partnership in 2017, with Juniper reselling and supporting Corero’s flagship SmartWall distributed denial of service (DDoS) platform alongside Juniper's MX Series routers.

Juniper has its own DDoS technology embedded into its Junos router and switch operating system. But Corero delivers its protection from a dedicated appliance and managed service combination, offering greater scalability for larger enterprises and service providers (incidentally Juniper’s core customer base) dealing with higher volume attacks. March this year saw one DDoS attack peak at 1.35Tbit/s as hackers tried to bring the GitHub website down by flooding it with spurious web traffic.Juniper invests US$2m in DDoS partner Corero

Corero outlined plans to raise US$9.8m to fund SmartWall product development and marketing back in April and its financial health looks much better after declining revenue from discontinued products bottomed out this year. A trading update suggests FY18 saw revenue grow 4% yoy to US$5m with EBITDA losses halving to US$1.4m.

Juniper is sufficiently confident to invest US$2m in Corero’s future and the two firms' portfolios are very much complementary. In an investment market where small cyber security companies are sometimes saddled with high valuations and Corero seemingly on the cusp of rapid growth, we wonder if an acquisition is on the cards before the purchase price gets inflated.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:29' - Tagged: funding   cybersecurity   Corero   DDoS   JuniperNetworks  

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Monday 15 October 2018

London AI Lab: first fruits from Atos/Google partnership

logologoEarlier this year Atos and Google entered into a major partnership to deliver enterprise level hybrid cloud, machine learning and digital workplace solutions (see here). The agreement was both wide and deep and included Atos committing to open three R&D and Innovation Labs in the UK, France and North America, centred on machine learning and artificial intelligence (it has also made Google its preferred public cloud partner). The first Lab as a result of the partnership opened today, marking Atos’ first dedicated AI Lab.

The London-based AI Lab was launched by Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Rt Hon Margot James MP. It aims to bring public and private sector together to collaborate and explore cross enterprise opportunities – that particular aspect is music to TechMarketView’s ears because cross industry learning has the potential to uncover so much value.

Initiatives like these need to be productive for suppliers and end user organisations. In terms of practical differences Atos will be able to expand its data analytics suite Codex Industry Solutions, adding Google AI and data technologies, with the aim of providing industry-specific solutions. It is also hoping the Lab will “build an ecosystem of highly-skilled AI workers in London and across Europe”. Indeed, part of the value proposition of the AI and the many broader based digital innovation labs crated by suppliers, is to attract (and retain) scarce talent. For Google, the development of the partnership - with a brand such as Atos -  adds to the enterprise credentials it is cultivating. The proof point for both suppliers will be when customers come through the doors.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:26' - Tagged: cloud   machinelearning   digitaltransformation   machineintelligence   Labs  

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Monday 15 October 2018

Government launches digital economy competition investigation

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has launched an independent review of the state of competition in the digital economy to consider what the opportunities and challenges are for policy in the UK. The study is being led by former US president Barack Obama’s chief economic advisor, Jason Furman. The final report will be published in early 2019.

The move comes amid growing concerns that competition in the UK digital market is being stifled by powerful tech giants. The announcement of the review coincided with the publication of a government paper on the potential for data to drive economic value. This document highlighted the worry that the dominance of a few, key digital companies places significant restrictions on access to data, with potential adverse effects on competition across a wide range of industry sectors. In parallel, the chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) - the UK’s competition regulator - said last week that it is actively considering launching an investigation into the digital advertising market.

An expert panel, which began work last month, will look at the pros and cons of the current market set-up. It will assess how the government can strengthen regulation to both boost competition and enhance innovation, and thereby give consumers more choice and quality in services they access online. The review will also consider the impact of competition policy on the UK’s growth, productivity, wages and labour markets within the context of the digital economy.

The launch of the study is not surprising given ongoing governmental concerns regarding many aspects of the behaviours and practices of the FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google). Nor is it unwelcome. The risks associated with market concentration in the digital arena and their potential implications are important areas for investigation. Whether these often globally rooted challenges can ever be tackled meaningfully from a solely national level is, however, another matter.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:00' - Tagged: government   digital  

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Monday 15 October 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* End User Insights: Uncovering AI/Machine Learning Deployment Success Factors

imageBefuddlement is restricting adoption of AI/machine learning. CIOs sense the value but struggle with the detail of identifying use cases, deployment unknowns and determining value. The technical nature of many AI/machine learning discussions does not help the cause either so it was refreshing to talk to Kevin Sweeney, group IT director at Irish recruitment firm Cpl. He went straight to the heart of the matter: “the business is not demanding AI but it is demanding results”.

Dublin based Cpl is Ireland’s largest recruitment agency and a global provider of staffing, recruitment, training and outsourcing services. The latest research from the ESASViews research stream follows Cpls’ AI/machine learning road trip, providing insight into how the company is using the technology for practical outcomes, from productivity improvements and reputation enhancement.  

With its emphasis on practicalities and success factors, this report is valuable reading for enterprise and suppliers. Subscribers can click to download ‘End User Insights: Uncovering AI/Machine Learning Deployment Success Factors’.

For TechMarketView subscription enquiries please contact Deborah Seth

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:53' - Tagged: saas   software   machinelearning   digitaltransformation   machineintelligence   EndUserInsights  

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Monday 15 October 2018

Redstor beefs up management to support expansion plans

redTechmarketview Great British Scale Up and Little British Battler, Redstor, has appointed Gareth Case to the role of Chief Marketing Officer.

Case has spent time at technology brands including DXC, CSC and NIIT, and his appointment completes the operational board at Redstor. Last month Redstor also appointed Mark Howling as Chairman. Howling has spent many years in the industry and was most recently CEO at Pulsant. He’s now Non-executive director there and Chairman at TIG (see TIG takes aim at ambitious profit target).

Redstor has built a cloud-based data management platform, designed to help organisations take control of their sprawling data stores and extract more value from data. Almost exactly a year ago, the company secured additional investment from Beech Tree Private Equity. And now, with the team complete, it will be driving forward its ambitious plan to treble the business by 2020. We wish it well!

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '08:33' - Tagged: cloud   appointment   data   datamanagement   CMO  

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Monday 15 October 2018

Dawn strengthens Garrison's security

logoThis is the news that London-based early-stage VC Dawn Capital has just led a £22.9m/$30m funding round in London-headquartered cybersecurity software developer Garrison Technology, along with existing investors IP Group, BGF and NM Capital. IP Group originally invested in Garrison back in 2015 through Touchstone (the erstwhile Imperial Innovations, see Touchstone touching more IT) which it acquired this time last year (see IPO vs IVO – Game, Set and Match).

This brings total funding raised by Garrison to more than $50m. Garrison was founded in 2014 David Garfield and Henry Harrison, who previously worked together at national-security specialist Detica and subsequently established the Cyber Security business unit at BAE Systems. IP Group now holds just over 23% of Garrison's equity valued at nearly £29m, which pitches Garrison's valuation at some £123m. Dawn is a pretty shrewd judge of character having previously backed UK-born, Nasdaq-listed email security firm Mimecast, which is now valued at some $2bn.

Garrison specialises in secure web access software that removes malware before it reaches the endpoint during browsing sessions. That is a much needed component in both enterprise and consumer cyber defences as long as people continue to click on dubious links and urls (which they do).

All in all the funding is excellent news for a UK startup with great prospects.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:24' - Tagged: funding   startup   cybersecurity  

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Monday 15 October 2018

A unique TechMarketView subscription for individuals

UKHotViewsPremium

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:00'

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Monday 15 October 2018

Top backer loans dosh to IDE for '365' MBO

logoAfter declaring "the worst set of results I have ever had to provide commentary for" a couple of weeks ago at AIM-listed network, cloud and IT managed services provider IDE Group (see IDE Group CEO cheery on half-time results (NOT!)), erstwhile Group CEO Ian Smith is trying to fix the problem by selling off one of its constituent parts to management.

The part in question is managed services firm 365 ITMS which IDE (then known as Coretx) acquired in April 2017 in a £5.4m cash and share deal. The MBO team are paying £3m cash to IDE, financed by a 3-year loan from its major (as in 43%) investor, MXC Capital (CEO Ian Smith) for a £75k arrangement fee and 12% p.a. coupon.

As part of the transaction, Smith is handing over the reins at IDE to Andy Parker (ex-CEO of Capita) who joined IDE as non-exec director in August this year and now becomes its executive chairman pro tem. Smith remains an executive director.

This leaves IDE with two remaining parts: IDE Group Manage, which provides outsourced IT services, including 1st, 2nd and 3rd line IT support and network-based solutions, and IDE Group Connect, which provides network services and data centre hosting services. There are no plans to dispose of these bits … yet.

I just can't wait for the next exciting instalment.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:48' - Tagged: disposal   management   boardchanges  

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Monday 15 October 2018

Quarterly Research Summary Q3 2018

Quarterly Research Summary Q3 2018Our latest edition of the Quarterly Research Summary Q3 2018 is now available for download. Make sure you’ve not missed anything in the last quarter by reading through our handy quarterly summary. We’ve published rather a lot, from Funding Trends and Patterns in AI/Machine Learning to our preliminary review of the Government’s Digital Marketplace sales figures.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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Friday 12 October 2018

GOSH launches new digital hub

GOSH logoGreat Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has opened a new innovation centre to help accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in the NHS. The new unit, called DRIVE (Digital, Research, Informatics and Virtual Environments), is a partnership between GOSH, University College London (UCL), industry and NHS Digital.

The intention of DRIVE is to create a digital hub that will draw on technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to improve clinical practice and enhance the patient experience. The unit will be used to hot-house concepts, so they can be scaled-up within GOSH and across wider NHS programmes.

The unit will be working in partnership with Arm, Barclays (through its Digital Eagles and Eagle Labs initiatives), NTT DATASamsung and Microsoft. This follows the news in May 2018 that Microsoft, GOSH and UCL were working together to help develop artificial intelligence tools aimed at transforming the health of children. This partnership, which now forms part of DRIVE, has led to the hospital being recreated in Minecraft, allowing patients and their families to explore the hospital virtually before they visit in real life. It has also created Project Fizzyo, which is using chipped sensors inside airway clearance devices to help researcher look at how physical activity affects the health of children with cystic fibrosis.

The initiative will also receive support from UCL’s Industry Exchange Network. The Network places over 500 students a year on work projects with industry partners, including 70 student projects for the NHS last year—half of which were in the early stages of DRIVE’s development.

NHS Digital will be heavily involved with DRIVE, with CEO Sarah Wilkinson sitting on the DRIVE strategy steering group and CCO Michael Kay joining the operational board. The organisation expects DRIVE to play an important role in leveraging commodity technologies in healthcare, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and cloud services.

This is an interesting partnership and one we will be following closely. The NHS needs to better leverage digital technologies to improve efficiency and the quality of care, but it continues to struggle to move projects from small pilots to scale—broad and successful collaboration is vital if that situation is going to change. 

Posted by Dale Peters at '14:49' - Tagged: healthcare   collaboration   AI  

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Friday 12 October 2018

Digital delaware spreads out in the UK

logoThe delaware name is not well known within the UK IT services sector but with active investment in facilities and people, the company is looking to change that.

It has launched its first UK client service delivery “Hub” in Bristol Temple Quarter, which is expected generate roles for 50 people focused on the design, development and support of business solutions primarily based on SAP and Microsoft technologies. With a gamut of tech companies, Bristol is a sensible location for an emerging IT services company in the UK, especially as delaware will also be collaborating with local universities. The company is also investing in the development of talent – something TechMarketView likes very much – and has recently launched its first graduate development programme in the UK for 15 individuals, which will provide them with training and experience over two years.

The company was founded in Belgium in 2003 following an MBO from Andersen/Deloitte. It now has 1750 employees, a presence in 13 countries and 24 regional offices. It specialised in SAP and Microsoft technologies early on but because of its relative youth it has been able to build services around the newer offerings including Microsoft Cortana Intelligence, Dynamics 365, SAP S/4 HANA and Leonardo. With a focus on ‘next gen’ solutions and digital change enablement, it has a shopfront that should attract attention, so we’ll be finding out more about delaware in due course as it ramps up its UK activity.

For insight into developments within the UK Application Services market, download Application Services Market Trends and Forecasts 2018; and for the latest on digital market evolution Legacy vs. New: An alternative analysis of the SITS market for the digital era is a ‘must read’.

Posted by Angela Eager at '10:00' - Tagged: ApplicationServices   digitaltransformation   graduates  

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Friday 12 October 2018

Rimini Street: supporting the business of IT

logoA catch-up with Rimini Street provided glimpses into how the third party support provider and its service lines are developing following the GP Investment merger and its fast track public listing in October 2017. One of the objectives was to add more services lines and we saw an early development in May 2018 with the announcement of Rimini Street’s partnership with Salesforce to provide support for Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds. Further services are on the cards, something we were able to discuss with SVP and CMO David Rowe recently.

We can’t go into specifics yet but the Rimini Street proposition is moving further beyond simple application break-fix. Its approach is to support ‘the business of IT’. Its view is that the CIO must be aligned with the business, helping drive technology enabled growth. As such, the CIO has to be a creator or be left behind so Rimini Street’s role is to optimise what the CIO has, freeing up budget for reinvestment in the projects the business needs. Forthcoming services will reflect this direction.

With offerings such as Advanced Technology Services and Proactive Support Services in place, alongside mobile, database security and analytics solutions, the company has been expanding its remit. We would expect more activity around cloud migration of enterprise applications - lift and shift initially, then moving to managed cloud services. There are also hints of an orchestration strategy, providing integration and interoperability between SaaS and licenced applications. 

As we’ve noted before, there is scope for Rimini Street to grow but as its strategy grows in sophistication it becomes more complex and costly and despite strong growth (annual revenue up 33% to $212.6m in FY2017), the company is still chasing profitability. The legal battle with Oracle is still rumbling on too. New services, the Salesforce partnership and formalised relationship with other types of suppliers - which could usher in new commercial models - are notable developments.

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:51' - Tagged: supportservices   ApplicationServices   digitaltransformation  

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Friday 12 October 2018

TCS sets the bar (again)

logoTCS kicked off the India-centric services supplier reporting season in typically serene style, not only maintaining double-digit growth but also furnishing its best operating margin for over two years.

Headline revenues for FQ2 (to 30th September) grew by 10% yoy to $5.22bn, just over 3% higher that the prior quarter. UK was the star performer with revenues surging ahead by nearly 23% yoy as the Prudential Life & Pensions deal builds up a head of steam (see TCS on a roll in life & pensions).

Operating margins expanded to 26.5%, over 1 point higher yoy and 50bps up on the prior quarter; the last time TCS hit this level was in December 2015. TCS has been the peer group margin leader for three years.

TCS also sets the standard on IT services attrition which remained at 10.9%, the lowest among peers, although it must be said that this is not an exact 'apples with apples' comparison (see OffshoreViews Q2 2018 Review).

All in all, a class act which the others will likely struggle to follow.

We'll have a full round-up of Indian pure-play results in the next edition of OffshoreViews.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:12' - Tagged: results   offshore  

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Friday 12 October 2018

Ouch. This really hurts

imageIt cannot have escaped your notice that stocks - and tech stocks in particular - are having a torrid time this week. NASDAQ has fallen 9% in October (but is still up 5.6% YTD). Many of the highflying FAANGs have fallen even more steeply. You don't have to be an active stock market investor to feel the pain. Every pension pot will have some exposure to tech.

As far as I can see, the reasons for the sharp and sudden decline are not connected to the performance of the tech market in particular. As the Q3 reporting season starts there are no real signs that we are in for any negative surprises.

The problem is that interest rates are rising. Any interest rate rise increases the cost of debt for companies (reducing profitability) and consumers (reducing spending power). It also makes stock market investing less attractive compared to bonds and even cash deposits.

If stock market valuations dive, IPOs will suffer - indeed are being pulled. Ultimately that would work through into valuations in M&A and private fund-raising.

Of course, we have seen downturns before. Indeed since the current bull market started - about 10 years ago now - every dip has created a buying opportunity. But this dip seems different. As I have pointed out many times in my monthly share price roundups, we have been expecting this correction for quite a long time. We expected it in global markets - as there are many other worrying factors involved like trade wars, Italy, Russia, Trump, BREXIT etc. Tech is a major and integral part of the global economy. So, of course, it would suffer collateral damage in any downturn. But the severity of the current sell off, and how tech has been particularly badly affected, has come as a bit of a shock.

You would need to be 'brave' to predict that the current correction has ended or even to buy expecting markets to recover swiftly.

Posted by Richard Holway at '08:03' - Tagged: shares   stockmarket  

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Friday 12 October 2018

Dialog secures future with Apple

appl

Given the dire consequences last year when Apple decided not to use UK’s Imagination’s chips in their iPhones, yesterday’s deal between Apple and the UK’s Dialog Semiconductor is a blessed relief. Apple is paying $300m to ‘acquire’ some 300 Dialog engineers who will transfer to Apple (but stay in the UK and Europe) plus another $300m in prepayments for Dialog’s power management chips over thedialog next 3 years.

Against a plunging tech stock market, Dialog shares surged by 27%. Dialog will use the proceeds to develop in other areas, for example for automotive and IoT.

Given the alternatives, this seems a good deal all round. Engineers stay in the UK and a highly innovative UK company has the funds to power it for the future.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:43' - Tagged: acquisition   chips   semiconductor  

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Friday 12 October 2018

Summer slump lingers in European tech M&A market

chartThe summer slow-down in European TMT M&A activity which started in August (see Summer sees deeper dip in European TMT M&A) lingered into September, according to latest data from corporate finance firm Regent Partners. The aggregate deal value of $10bn was the lowest since April 2017. However, valuation multiples improved with the aggregate Price/Sales ratio up from 1.6x in August to 1.9x in September and the Price/EBITDA ratio up from 9.6x in August to 9.8x in September.

The top TMT deal involving a UK company was the $350m cash acquisition of Basingstoke-headquartered cloud-based call centre specialist NewVoiceMedia, by US based VoIP (voice over IP) platform provider, Vonage (see here). A huge result for the many investors that had been backing NVM over the past decade.

We were delighted to see one of our Little British Battlers get the chance to reach wider markets, with news that London-based ICT industry sourcing intelligence supplier Pivotal iQ has been acquired by Santa Barbara-based market intelligence firm HG Data (see here). Terms were not disclosed.

There's more to see, and  indeed all of our UKHotViews commentary on the UK tech M&A scene is available to TechMarketView Foundation Service clients and to personal subscribers to our new UKHotViews Premium service can search on the keyword 'acquisition' in the UKHotViews archive.

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

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Thursday 11 October 2018

ServiceNow buys again to enrich Now platform

servSaaS service management platform provider, ServiceNow, has made another acquisition to improve the usability of its Now platform. The firm has bought San Francisco-headquartered start-up, FriendlyData, which has to date received relatively modest funding over three funds.

FriendlyData has developed technology that enables non‑technical people to ask quantitative questions in plain English. The addition of FriendlyData follows ServiceNow’s acquisition of Parlo in May, and together they both enable the firm to increase the ability of its Now Platform to understand natural language.

ServiceNow’s year is progressing well with Q2 results showing an acceleration in revenue growth. The quarter delivered a 50% increase in the number of contracts worth $1m+ (annual contract value) and a doubling of the number of customers spending more than $5m.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:50' - Tagged: acquisition   saas  

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Thursday 11 October 2018

KCOM to appoint ex-BT exec Sutherland as new CEO

KCOM to appoint ex-BT exec Sutherland as new CEORegional broadband and IT services provider KCOM will appoint former BT business group executive, Graham Sutherland, as its new CEO next week.

KCOM’s FY18 results illustrated the range of challenges it faces, particularly in the enterprise business, as it looks to increase revenue share from managed services and cloud hosting deals.

Sutherland has many years of UK telecoms experience behind him to meet those challenges, having been chief executive of BT’s Business and Public Sector division before it was combined with the Wholesale and Ventures unit to form BT Enterprise earlier this year (see BT Enterprise, boldly going …).

Reading between the lines Sutherland’s first task will be to engineer a strategic transformation at KCOM intended to drive improved financial and operational performance. We guess that will be an easier task at KCOM than it was at BT given the gulf in scale and management complexity between the two companies, though KCOM’s current situation looks rosy in comparison (see BT outlines further restructuring on poor enterprise results).

Current KCOM CEO Bill Halbert will stay on during the transition, and we look forward to finding out the company's plans to grow its enterprise services portfolio and turnover in the coming months.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:20' - Tagged: bt   appointment   managedcloud   KCOM   CEO   telecommunications  

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Thursday 11 October 2018

Huawei puts data centre into Audi Q7

Huawei puts data centre into Audi Q7One of the first technology solutions to come out of the connected car partnership between Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and German car maker Audi is a prototype Mobile Data Centre (MDC) installed in a Q7 SUV.

Huawei suggests the collaboration will “lead automatic driving into the fast lane” which we hope was meant as a pun, though enabling self-driving vehicles in urban environments is very much on the agenda.

The tie-up first surfaced in July, with the two companies signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop intelligent connected vehicles and associated staff training schemes.Huawei puts data centre into Audi Q7

Neither offered any detail on what form the MDC takes or actually does. But we note that Huawei has been instrumental in formulating the LTE-V mobile communication standard for connected vehicles which gives drivers in China real-time traffic information to traffic light systems and video monitoring at road junctions.

The Audi tie up indicates Huawei may bring that LTE-V standard to Europe (Audi is also testing wireless 5G networks with Ericsson) while boosting Audi’s presence in China.

The partnership is just the latest example of a large ICT supplier joining forces with a car manufacturer to provide the networks, software and applications needed to take connected cars into mainstream use. Microsoft announced a €3.5bn partnership with Audi parent VW earlier this month, Google is working with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Fujitsu and VMware are collaborating on automotive IoT for example. We expect to see many more emerging in the next couple of years as car makers bring new models to market.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:33' - Tagged: iot   connectedcar   Huawei   Audi  

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Thursday 11 October 2018

Fintech lender Duologi secures £20m in race to £1bn

logoThe bit on its website that worries me most goes, "Don’t have an FCA licence and want to get started straight away? We can offer 0% interest finance for up to 12 months as part of a non-regulated agreement, meaning you do not need an FCA licence." So how much protection would the punter get?

This is Basingstoke-based fintech startup Specialist Lending Limited which trades under the far trendier name, Duologi, and offers app-driven point-of-sale finance facilities to retailers. Launched late 2017 and backed by Oaktree Capital, Duologi has just secured £20m in a structured debt facility from West Midlands-based Paragon Bank.

Certainly Duologi is not short of ambition. The startup currently has a loan portfolio of £40m but aims to grow this to £1bn within five years. Let's hope it will not all made up from unregulated zero-percent interest loans!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:26' - Tagged: funding   startup   FinTech  

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Thursday 11 October 2018

Don't have a corporate subscription? You can still become a TMV client

UKHotViewsPremiumIf you are not lucky enough to be part of a corporate subscription you can still gain access to our hugely valuable digital library of more than 15,000 articles which creates an unparalleled resource on the UK IT market.

The below two services, UKHotViews and UKHotViewsExtra provides you with the resources to do your own authoritive research on the UK tech market and your competition. 

Topics covered regularly in UKHotViews include:

- Financial results & strategic moves from IT suppliers large & small, public & private
- M&A activity
- Funding & investment
- Tech stock performance
- Contract wins, losses & opportunities
- Leadership changes
- Vertical market trends
- Future tech trends & areas of opportunity

You will also have access to our highly regarded UKHotViewsExtra analysis, which are longer and more in-depth and provide an extra level of analysis and insight. There are already 400+ UKHotViewsExtra articles available to subscribers on a broad range of topics such as:

- regular thought pieces from our expert team (not least our esteemed Chairman Richard Holway MBE)
- insight gleaned from interviews with the CEOs of a wide range of tech companies on their latest strategy or corporate activity
- considered analysis of the impact the latest piece of government policy will have on the UK tech sector.

As well as access to our repository you will be eligible to discounted TMV client event rates throughout the year - including the flagship ‘Evening with TechMarketView’ held every autumn - and be able to claim a 50% discount off the price of one TechMarketView report during the subscription period.

Cost: £395+VAT for 1 year or £650+VAT for 2 years. For more information, please contact sales@techmarketview.com or sign up here

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:00'

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Thursday 11 October 2018

Mercia backs 'broadcast spyware' startup Covatic

logoWell, I don't know what you'd call it, but I'd call it spyware!

This is a software development kit (SDK) developed by University of Oxford spinout Covatic, to create mobile apps that access your activity, location, connectivity, calendar and media consumption to guide broadcasters as to when's the best time to feed personalised content to the user's device, "for example an audio clip when walking to the station and downloaded material to read on the train", albeit without disclosing confidential user data.

Ironically, Covatic have called their SDK 'Serendipity' which I'm sure they know means 'the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way'. Not sure that much is left to chance and who gets the benefit!

Anyway, founded in 2016 and based in Birmingham, Covatic has recently raised a further £850k in a round led by the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows a Series A round in January 2017 and brings the total raised so far to €1.8m (Source: CrunchBase).

Covatic has prototype software running at the BBC and hopes to roll out the platform to 'key global broadcasters' later this year.

Personally, I think this is far too intrusive.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:51' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

Sanderson Group makes significant progress

Sanderson logoAccording to today’s trading update, Sanderson Group has made “significant progress and year-end results will be slightly ahead of market expectations” for the year ended 30 September 2018.

Revenue (which remain subject to audit) was up approximately 48% to c.£32m (2017: £21.6m). Although much of that improvement stems from the acquisition of Anisa in November last year, the trading update indicates that on a like-for-like basis excluding the effect of the acquisition, revenue improved by c.5%. This represents a stronger performance from the business in H2 (see Sanderson Group strengthening in 2018 for performance at H1).

Sanderson reports all businesses trading strongly in H2, highlighting the performance of its Digital Retail business which grew at over 20%. The acquisition of Anisa appears to be going well and it has made a good start as part of the Sanderson Group. Earlier this month it secured a deal to supply the software for Port of Dover's new Refrigerated Cargo Terminal.  

Operating profit increased by 30% to over £5m (2017: £3.9m) and on a like-for-like basis is “expected to be slightly ahead of last year”. The order book at the end of the financial year stood at over £7m (2017: £5.8m) and it reports good sales prospects going forward. The Board is confident that the business will make further progress in the current financial year. Full results are due 26 November.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:34' - Tagged: software   tradingupdate  

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Legacy vs. New: An Alternative Analysis of the SITS Market for the Digital Era

Front cover

The UK software & IT services (SITS) market presents a paradox. Viewed in its entirety, it has stagnated in real terms. Barely a day goes by, however, without more news of technology’s transformational impact on every sphere of human activity. Tech giants now dominate lists of the world’s largest companies and, every year, approaching two million new tech start-ups join the global digital gold rush. The anecdotal evidence suggests that we should be witnessing market growth rates not seen since the halcyon days of Y2K and the dotcom boom. So why aren’t we?

Click to download Legacy vs. New: An Alternative Analysis of the SITS Market for the Digital Era for both answers to this question and fresh insights into the dynamics that are reshaping the SITS arena.

In this paper, we apply a different lens to the SITS marketplace. Complementing the traditional horizontal tower view with an additional ‘Legacy vs New’ segmentation, we reveal a much clearer picture of the forces at play. We analyse how the balance of the market is evolving, identify the impacts that this is having on the suppliers within it, explore the possibilities for growth acceleration, and consider the essential attributes of tomorrow’s SITS winners.

If you are an existing subscriber to our Foundation Service,  InfrastructureViews, ESASViews, BusinessProcessViews or SecureConnnectViews you’ll know you can access the report by clicking the link above. If you’d like to discuss an extension to your existing subscription or would like details of how to subscribe to TechMarketView, please email Deb Seth.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:26' - Tagged: sits   research   digital   research   research   research   research  

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

Access Intelligence to acquire more PR SaaS

LogoMarketing communications and reputation management software supplier Access Intelligence is back on the acquisition trail. Subject to shareholder approval, the company has agreed to purchase complementary SaaS business ResponseSource which provides online intelligence to PR, marketing and journalism professionals. The £5.5m deal (£5m cash, £0.5m shares) should close next month.

Founded in 1997, ResponseSource has built a client base of some 1,900 customers. Last year it turned over £3.1m and generated profit before tax of £0.3m. Its core online Journalist Enquiry Service will improve Access Intelligence’s media data and press release wire offering. It is intended, however, that products will continue to be marketed under ResponseSource brand for the foreseeable future.

Access Intelligence has undergone significant change of late. Restructuring, a narrowing of market focus including the sale of non-core assets and a new management team have combined to put revenues on the right track (see here). Access Intelligence believes that the acquisition offers significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities to the ResponseSource client base, while accelerating the development roadmap of the company’s flagship, intelligent automation-driven Vuelio platform. The transaction is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year of trading.

The acquisition and its integration will be financed through a placing which has conditionally raised £6.8m. Access Intelligence is also proposing a one-for-ten share consolidation to reduce the number of ordinary shares (486,591,022 today) to something more in line with similar sized companies on AIM.

We have long considered Access Intelligence a company to watch. It is one of the new generation of suppliers enabled by digital data and AI/machine learning techniques. This latest move has done nothing to dampen our interest.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:16' - Tagged: acquisition   saas   machinelearning   machineintelligence  

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

*UKHotViewsExtra* BT Global Services strategy update: trust and technology take centre stage

*UKHotViewsExtra* BT Global Services strategy update: trust and new technology take centre stageBT Group’s enterprise services division has experienced steep declines in revenue and EBITDA, and its new(ish) CEO Bas Burger was appointed to oversee a restructuring designed to fundamentally transform the business with a new organisational approach, a shift to a software defined architecture and a focus on a smaller number of core markets.*UKHotViewsExtra* BT Global Services strategy update: trust and new technology take centre stage

Our HotViewsExtra report provides a detailed analysis of the ten strategies BT Global Services (BTGS) is pursuing to effect that turnaround, weighs up their chances of success, and compares BTGS’ approach to those of other global managed network service providers taking a similar path. More …

Subscribers to TechMarketView’s research services, and our UKHotViewsPremium service, can read further details here.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:12' - Tagged: cloud   network+services   transformation   cybersecurity   SD-WAN   telecommunications   BTGlobalServices  

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

Gresham rebuilding confidence

logoThe management of Gresham Technologies is beginning the process of rebuilding confidence after the July announcement of a slowdown in growth in its flagship Clareti offering and problems in its Australian sub-contracting business, see here. The share price is 20% below the level in July.

Today’s nine-month trading update for this specialist provider of real-time transaction control and enterprise integrity solutions celebrates the signing up of five new Clareti customers (including three in the US). Several customers have upgraded their subscriptions as usage expanded within their organisations. Gresham has also signed a fintech partnership agreement with a major Asia-Pac bank to help deliver new generation banking solutions. The growth rate of Clareti revenues has perked up a little, to 16%, and the company is working hard to convert a number of opportunities. As presaged in the half year figures, on-boarding these new customers on schedule will be important in determining the full year outcome.  It would also boost the level of confidence with which the company enters 2019.

Elsewhere in the Group, the Gresham Cash Management Solutions business (formed around the newly-acquired B2 business) looks to have hit the ground running with two new subscriptions and one upgrade for the Clareti Multi Bank proposition. Gresham management see potential gains in share of wallet across the Group’s customer base as this unit gathers momentum. The legacy businesses also look under control and, with good revenue visibility, unlikely to generate any new surprises.

The next key test will obviously be the full year results and management will be keenly aware of the need to continue to deliver on this Group’s significant potential.

Posted by Peter Roe at '08:44' - Tagged: software   financialservices   legacy  

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

Capita picks new talent management partner

capitaStrategically ‘New’ Capita wants to be much more about deploying platform-based Business Process Services (BPS). Historically this would have principally involved making lots of acquisitions, but the focus has now sensibly shifted to developing mutually beneficial partnerships, often with small dynamic companies. Adepto

In this vein Capita’s start-up development unit, Capita Scaling Partner (CSP) has entered into a new partnership with Adepto, a London-based talent platform provider.

Capita will help Adepto ‘scale’ by providing business development services to support its expansion and will also look to adopt Adepto’s cloud-based platform to help manage its own workforce. Adepto will also get pointed at Capita’s existing client base via its People Solutions business designed to help clients better manage all the talent available to them.

This is another example of how Capita is changing its Modus Operandi and if the partnership works clearly both companies have a lot to gain. 

As many of you will know earlier this year we launched the TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme in association with Capita Scaling Partner. It was a great success and elsewhere in today’s HotViews you will read about how we are now extending our search with Capita for innovative partners in the Customer Management/Customer Experience space under our new programme brand, the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:39' - Tagged: partnership   Capita   hrtech  

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

Mercia fills in more blanks in Voxpopme's funding

logoYou have to listen closely to the 'explainer' video on its website to realise that video survey startup Voxpopme still uses real people to transcribe the audio on the video clips. But that hasn't dampened Mercia Technologies' enthusiasm for the Birmingham-based company.

Having initially invested in Voxpopme through its fund management arm just under a year ago (see Mercia pops a million+ into Birmingham’s Voxpopme), Mercia moved the startup to its 'direct' (plc balance sheet) portfolio last March (see Mercia promotes Voxpopme with £1m investment). Mercia has just tossed another £1.5m into the pot to help Voxpopme expand its technical and commercial teams. Just a week ago Voxpopme hired ex-Verint executive Jon Carbone as VP of its VideoCX product.

Founded in 2013, Voxpopme now appears to be shifting its brand focus to VideoCX, which now has its own website mirroring that of the Voxpopme website, which I did find a little confusing. But with the whole world apparently on a CX (customer experience) kick, it does make sense for management to 'relabel the tin'.

While there is no shortage of survey platforms out in the market, I don't seem to be able to find another 'video first' product like Voxpopme's. This could be great news if you subscribe to a 'first in, best dressed' view of market leadership, or perhaps not so good news if you take a view that if nobody else is there, then there ain't a market!

I think Mercia is backing the right horse, though I still worry that the 'human transcription' link in the proposition will pull back the reins on Voxpopme's ability to really gallop ahead.

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

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Wednesday 10 October 2018

Helecloud gains a £2m boost from BGF

logoOne of the most important conclusions in our recent Financial Services SITS Market Trends and Forecast report was that the move to Cloud Services is accelerating. Public Cloud is particularly gaining momentum.

These trends are creating fertile ground for specialist cloud services consultancies and managed services providers who can bring both expertise and experience to resource-constrained purchasers. One such company is HeleCloud, based in Maidenhead and Sofia and now employing over 50 people to realise the cloud vision for companies by delivering Amazon Web Services technology and capabilities. HeleCloud has been active in the Financial Services sector, completing contracts with Zopa and NEX, as well as with secure communications platform provider Viber.

2-year-old HeleCloud has now received a £2m minority investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund) to enable it to accelerate its growth strategy of expanding its portfolio and extending its European presence. HeleCloud, led by ex-AWS Regional CTO Dob Todorov, will also strengthen its board with the appointment of Duncan McIntyre, as Chairman and adding Alex Snodgrass of BGF as a Director. McIntyre had previously been Morse CEO and Chairman of Monitise.

With many companies eagerly exploring the opportunities presented by public cloud, HeleCloud has a long list of opportunities. The injection of capital from BGF should help build scale and momentum as customers look to engage this dynamic business in bigger and more complex projects.

Posted by Peter Roe at '07:31' - Tagged: cloud   funding   PublicCloud  

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