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Collapse 2019 (41)2019 (41)
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IFS on rapid trajectory
19 Jul 2019
Microsoft pulled another big year
19 Jul 2019
WNS Q1 sees UK resilience but currency headwinds
19 Jul 2019
BT links Schindler’s lift
19 Jul 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* Did HPE make a success of the RedPixie acquisition?
19 Jul 2019
Book your place for an Evening with TechMarketView!
19 Jul 2019
Serco settlement rescues Capita MoD Fire service deal
19 Jul 2019
Memorial Service for Dr Doug Eyeions
18 Jul 2019
Value from visualisation secures Zegami fresh funding
18 Jul 2019
SAM Labs secures $8.9m to scale US operations
18 Jul 2019
Workmanlike Q2 for SAP
18 Jul 2019
System C secures Walsall healthcare deal
18 Jul 2019
Moneysupermarket.com reinvents for growth
18 Jul 2019
We choose to go to the moon...
18 Jul 2019
*NEW RESEARCH* Social Energy - transforming energy markets with AI
18 Jul 2019
£106m awarded to Police Transformation Fund projects
18 Jul 2019
Firstsource looks to Cognizant for digital leadership
18 Jul 2019
IBM cranks the quarterly profit wheel
18 Jul 2019
Temenos banks on explainable AI with Logical Glue
18 Jul 2019
Netflix shares slump as US subscribers desert
18 Jul 2019
European growth remains elusive for Wipro
18 Jul 2019
Ten10 Voted Top 5 Place to Work in UK for Graduates
18 Jul 2019
BT property sell off begins with £209m deal for London HQ
17 Jul 2019
ESN: further delays and cost increases seem inevitable
17 Jul 2019
UK Market Trends & Forecasts 2019-2022: Do you understand Digital Chaos?
17 Jul 2019
TechMarketView’s Supplier Rankings 2019: Who ranks where?
17 Jul 2019
Investors line up to back Curve
17 Jul 2019
AppyParking bags £7.6m funding
17 Jul 2019
Archives of IT
16 Jul 2019
Another joint dev partnership for WANdisco
16 Jul 2019
Cloudcall maintains 30% H1 expansion rate
16 Jul 2019
Growing pains at Starling as Sawyer departs
16 Jul 2019
Albert Technologies planning to delist from AIM
16 Jul 2019
Experian continues to prosper in the Americas
16 Jul 2019
Considered a career in teaching?
16 Jul 2019
Alan Turing - The Father of Modern Computing - to feature on new £50 note
15 Jul 2019
Aptitude looks to the future with optimism
15 Jul 2019
Access Intelligence sees H1 jump
15 Jul 2019
*NEW RESEARCH* Containers and security in the cloud
15 Jul 2019
Mystery joint dev cloud partner for WANdisco
15 Jul 2019
Extra time
15 Jul 2019

UKHotViews©

 

Friday 19 July 2019

IFS on rapid trajectory

logoThere’s definitely a feelgood factor coming from IFS, illustrated by management’s decision to raise 2019 full year revenue guidance on the back of strong H1 performance. 

The enterprise software provider, who serves asset intensive and service management focussed businesses, saw business accelerate in H119 with revenue up 24% to 2,996m SEK ($322m). Adjusted EBITDA soared 85% yoy although as the privately held company (backed by PE firm EQT) is not obliged to release full results, the actual figure and net profit is unknown. H119 results followed an upbeat FY18.

The company does appear to be on a rapid trajectory, as adjusted EBITDA increased 69% in Q119 vs. Q118, and 97% in Q219 vs. Q218. It secured its largest deals in the company’s history during H119, while bringing in new customers. IFS has not been the fastest mover in terms of cloud shift and while H1 stats such as a 48% increase in license revenue and a 58% increase in cloud revenue (excluding revenue from the WorkWave acquisition) are positive, they also suggest a customer base skewed towards the on-premise model. We know IFS is working on cloud adoption - without forcing customers to shift - nevertheless the company does need to keep a keen eye on pace and timing. 

It all led to increased FY19 guidance of 6.35bn SEK (US $711m), which would be a 21% yoy increase.

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

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Friday 19 July 2019

Microsoft pulled another big year

logoBig Q419 and FY19 numbers tell a big story at Microsoft. The products and services that have established themselves as growth drivers (including Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365) are securely bedded in and producing sustained results. 

These can be seen in the 12% increase in Q419 revenue to $33.7bn and the 14% full year uplift to $125.8bn. But there are a host of other offerings rising to the surface that are supporting that growth and set to do more, from Teams to the Power Platform and a new class of AI apps that were revealed at the Ignite conference. 

It’s been a good while since Microsoft was reliant on a single product for the bulk of its revenues but what we’re seeing now is more than a multi-product/multi-service company, it is a company where each offering reinforces adoption across the rest of the portfolio. A review of the most recent year against the prior year, shows the effect building. One of the results is larger, multi-year deals, which Microsoft highlighted as one of the growth drivers for Q4/FY19. The latest being the $2bn deal with AT&T that includes widescale deployment of Office 365 and moving workloads to Azure. The contract is positioned to feed cloud revenue over several years. 

Divisional results indicate the reinforcement effect with all three Microsoft divisions at similar revenue levels and two of the three producing double-digit growth. At $11.4bn, with 19% growth, Intelligent Cloud is now the largest division. Of course, it is home to Azure, which saw 64% growth yoy. Azure growth is moderating, reflecting the size of the business and the unsustainability of previous growth of near 100%. It is established as a firm number two to powerhouse Amazon Web Services and is pulling in large deals. Productivity and Business Processes was up 14% to $11bn, once again driven by Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn. More Personal Computing delivered a more prosaic 4% revenue increase to $11.3bn but is benefitting from the move to Windows 10. 

Even at these growth levels, investment in R&D across its huge portfolio and acquisitions including the $7.5bn GitHub acquisition, Microsoft is still improving the bottom line (even with tax benefits) with net income up 49% in Q4 to $33.7bn and operating income up 20% to $12.4bn. For the full year net income rose 137% to $39.2bn, with operating income up 23% to $43bn. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:50' - Tagged: results   cloud   software   AI   machinelearning  

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Friday 19 July 2019

WNS Q1 sees UK resilience but currency headwinds

WNSSolid Q1 results in from BPS specialist WNS show revenue of $214.6m, up 7.4% on Q1 last year and up 1.9% from $210.5m last quarter. Operating profit was $27.6m, compared to $22.4m in Q1 last year and $29.7m last quarter. Sales wise WNS added six new clients, expanded 11 existing relationships and renewed 16 contracts. Q1 adjusted operating margin came in at just under 23%.

Turning to the UK management played up the resilience of the business here highlighting continued strong client demand and a healthy pipeline that has kept the UK operation expanding quarter-on-quarter (although no specific figures given) but flagged up the issue of the falling pound and how that might impact US$ reporting businesses like WNS with significant exposure to the UK.

WNS provided updated guidance for fiscal 2020 with management expecting net revenue to be in the range of $855m to $895m representing y-o-y revenue growth of 8% to 13%.

All in all, pretty good stuff.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:23' - Tagged: results   WNS  

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Friday 19 July 2019

BT links Schindler’s lift

BT links Schindler’s liftBT’s contract with international elevator and escalator firm Schindler shows it can compete with rival network providers on global reach, performance and cost when it comes to delivering core voice and internet connectivity to large, geographically distributed organisations.

Financial details were not disclosed but the multi-year deal will see BT link up to 500 sites – including data centres, factories, offices and contact centres - through its IP Connect network service.

Schindler is exactly the type of multinational corporation (MNC) BT is targeting with its new “asset light” strategy (see *UKHotViewsExtra* BT Global Services strategy update: trust and technology take centre stage). But while further details may eventually emerge, for the moment we see little evidence of any managed services provision being delivered as part of the agreement.

We guess BT would have seen a better margin from the contract had it been able to supplement additional layers of cloud hosting and managed security for example, or provide the Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity for Schindler’s smart elevators and escalators (a deal won by rival Telefónica earlier this year).

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:17' - Tagged: networkmanagedservices   telecommunications   Schindler  

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Friday 19 July 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* Did HPE make a success of the RedPixie acquisition?

hpeA little over a year ago, HPE announced its acquisition of London-based RedPixie with the intention of deepening its capabilities in cloud consulting, app development and services for migrating workloads to the public cloud. Competition to buy the small Shoreditch-based company was intense as RedPixie had made a name for itself as a Microsoft Azure specialist. red

The acquisition was part of HPE’s broader strategy to build out capabilities in hybrid IT, and followed the purchases of Cloud Cruiser (technology to track, measure, and control cloud usage) and Cloud Technology Partners (services to move clients to/operate in the cloud - including its own IP) in 2017.

Acquisitions such as RedPixie can, however, be very risky – something HPE was well aware of. Often the greatest challenge with small transactions by large players is that they fizzle to nothing, usually as the core hub of talent decides it doesn’t like corporate life and departs shortly after the earn-out.

So did the HPE team in the UK get this one right?

Find out here: Did HPE make a success of its RedPixie acquisition?

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:11' - Tagged: cloud   hybrid  

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Friday 19 July 2019

Book your place for an Evening with TechMarketView!

There are just two months to go until the doors open for the seventh annual ‘Evening with TechMarketView’ on 12 September at RIBA, London. We’re looking forward to welcoming over 200 UK tech CXOs to the evening event, which has been described by attendees as ‘the best networking event in the industry’.

TMVEJoin us from 6.30pm for a welcome drinks reception, supported by InterSystems, then take your seat in the auditorium as TechMarketView’s expert analysts take to the stage to share insight and analysis on the trends and suppliers shaping the UK tech market under the banner of TMV’s 2019 research theme – ‘The Year of the Relationship: Extend. Evolve. Optimise’. You can also look forward to a fireside chat with our guest speaker, Mastercard’s EVP for Global Cities, Miguel Gamiño. Prior to joining Mastercard, Miguel served as the CTO of New York City, pioneering a new civic engagement and innovation platform for NYC and he has stood as a voice of leadership in tech policy, including smart city and IoT programmes.  The evening is rounded off with a superb three-course silver service dinner, providing further networking opportunities, supported by Datto.

Tickets are selling quickly so don’t risk missing your chance to join us for an enjoyable evening of analyst insight and quality networking – book your place now! There are also a limited number of tables of 10 available so why not gather a group of colleagues or clients and bring them along for the evening too?

Don’t forget that if you are a TechMarketView subscription client, subscribe to UKHotViewsPremium or if you're one of our Little British BattlersGreat British Scaleups or Innovation Partner Programme companies, you will be eligible for the discounted TechMarketView ticket price. See the full details and booking form here.

Event details

Date: Thursday 12th September 2019

Venue: Royal Institute of British Architects, London

Format: A networking drinks reception commences from 6:30pm, supported by InterSystems. This will be followed by 90 minutes of speaker sessions and a first-class silver service dinner supported by Datto.

For more information contact tx2events at 020 3137 2541 or

CLICK HERE to book now!

An Evening with TechMarketView is proudly supported by:

InterSystemsDatto logo

AqillaKimble

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:50'

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Friday 19 July 2019

Serco settlement rescues Capita MoD Fire service deal

SercoSerco announced yesterday that it had reached a settlement with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on its legal challenge over the award of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project (DFRP) to Capita.

CapitaSerco and the MoD have reached an agreement described as “amicable and constructive” by Kevin Craven, Serco CEO for UK & Europe, that sees it drop its case in exchange for £10m compensation – that should at least go some way to covering bid and legal costs.

MoDThis now frees the path for Capita to get on with transforming the Defence Fire and Rescue service, a contract that was originally handed to them back in June last year. This is a big win for Capita worth some £525m over 12 years to operate and modernise 53 MoD fire stations in the UK, Cyprus and the Falklands. Capita will also build and manage a new, centralised training facility for Defence firefighters at its Fire Service College in Gloucestershire.

Capita has been conspicuously quiet on the contract announcement front of late and with few mega-deals in the market will be delighted to have got this one over the line. However, whilst Capita is promising to invest here in new digital technology solutions it’s hard to argue that a service of this nature (mainly blue collar and asset heavy) fits with Capita’s new strategy to pivot towards more tech enabled, higher value services.

Serco will also be pleased to be able to draw a line under this and move on without too much collateral damage to its relationship with a core client.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:14' - Tagged: contract   defence   bpo  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

Memorial Service for Dr Doug Eyeions

Further to my post on the death of Dr Doug Eyeions, I have been asked to let readers know that a Memorial Service will be held at 2.00pm on Sat 10th Aug  at the Court Room, 5-7 St Andrew St, Holborn, London EC4A 3AF.

If you would like to attend, please let his son Keith know on eyeons@hotmail.com.

Posted by Richard Holway at '22:11'

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Thursday 18 July 2019

Value from visualisation secures Zegami fresh funding

logoSalesforce’s $15.7bn acquisition of Tableau, coupled with activity at visualisation and data management peer Qlik, are sure signs that data visualisation is the next rung on the data value ladder. It’s not on the same scale but funding secured by Oxford-based start-up Zegami is another indication of rising interest in data visualisation. 

A 2016 spin-out from Oxford University, Zegami has developed a machine learning-enabled visual data exploration platform. What that means in practice is that data exploration is made accessible across the workforce rather than just by data scientists. The platform aims to take the pain out of filtering, tagging and sorting data, data exploration (e.g. identifying patterns), and interpretation, through the use of interactive visualisations. 

Automation, self-service and presentation of data in usable forms are key trends within the AI/ML area to improve accessibility and adoption. Zegami is firmly hooked into them which is why it has raised £1.25m in equity funding in a round led by RT Capital Management and the Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund, with contributions from existing investors Oxford Sciences Innovation and Oxford University Innovation. The latest round takes total funding to £4m, and will be used to commercialise the software and develop commercial partnerships on the back of existing product development and use case studies that range from predicting heart disease, to visualising a collection of wall art, associated market values and dummy stock values and providing a dashboard to help HR professionals conduct people analytics.

Posted by Angela Eager at '16:33' - Tagged: funding   startup   AI   machinelearning   datamanagement   visualisation  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

SAM Labs secures $8.9m to scale US operations

SAM Labs logoLondon-headquartered SAM Labs has raised $8.9m (c.£7.1m) in a Series A2 equity funding round from investors including Partners in Equity and Inventures Investment Partners.

The education technology company, which was founded in 2014, produces smart construction kits aimed at improving children’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) skills. The kits include wireless electronic blocks, which provide functions, such as buttons, lights, sensors and motors, that can be integrated with Lego bricks and can be programmed using visual, flow-based coding apps. The system is currently used by more than 4,000 schools worldwide.

SAM Labs has now secured a total of $19.8m in investments, including a $6.75m Series A funding round, led by Touchstone Innovations and E15 Ventures in 2017; £3.2m seed funding from a group of investors led by Imperial Innovations in 2016; and a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015 (see SAM Labs completes $6.75m funding round).

The latest funds will be used scale operations and sales in the US, where it has just launched a new Learn to Code Course Kit aimed at Pre-K-5 learners. It also intends to bring new education products to the US and UK.

As we commented recently (see here), more needs to be done to ensure no child misses out on opportunities to code at an early stage of their education. SAM Labs is one of many companies targeting the primary school coding opportunity. With many teachers lacking the confidence to teach programming at this level, products that make coding accessible and fun have a vital role to play. 

Posted by Dale Peters at '10:06' - Tagged: education   funding   coding   school   edtech  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

Workmanlike Q2 for SAP

logoQ219 was a workmanlike period for SAP, with solid numbers, no change to guidance (having raised it in Q1) and little excitement evident in management’s comments. Whether there is a different tone during the investor call later today remains to be seen.

Double digit top line growth was a good starting place, with revenue up 11% to €6.63bn. Within that the important cloud revenue line saw a 40% yoy improvement to €1.69bn – taking it to a milestone 25% of total revenue – and included new cloud bookings up 17% to€494m (bookings were up 24% in the year ago quarter). Respectable overall. However, software licence revenue fell by 5% to €948m, which SAP put down to US-China trade wars, although the licence decline was a steeper 9% in the Q218.

Operating profit fell a sharp 21% to €827m, with Q2 impacted by restructuring charges and the $8bn Qualtrics acquisition. Restructuring costs for the quarter were €199m (see SAP restructures to protect cloud growth). This may have contributed to the subdued tone because being seen to enthuse during a programme of early retirement and redundancy (albeit some voluntary) would hardly be politic. 

The SAP S/4HANA metric continued its upwards trajectory, adding 600 new customers during the quarter (to 30 June) taking the total to 11,500, up 29% yoy. Surprisingly, there was no update on live implementations. Nor was there much insight into progress with Leonardo – just one new and one live customer named. S/4HANA is attracting new customers – 50% are net new to SAP – which is positive but also suggests existing customers are staying with on-premise implementations. SAP’s cloud growth appears to be coming from other offerings such as SuccessFactors and the Intelligent Spend division (this sector grew 22% to €786m). The Customer Experience division (which includes the relatively new C/4HANA and Qualtrics) expanded 81% but only to €365m.

A positive top line but mixed performance elsewhere indicates SAP is working hard to keep the cloud, license and transition juggling balls moving at the same pace and height. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:55' - Tagged: results   cloud   software   digitaltransformation  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

System C secures Walsall healthcare deal

System C logoWalsall Healthcare NHS Trust has chosen System C to replace DXC Technology and supply it with an integrated clinical and administrative system. Under the 10-year deal, System C will replace the current Lorenzo patient administration system (PAS) originally from CSC/iSOFT, and several other clinical and departmental systems, with a new system based on its Global Digital Exemplar blueprint.

The new system, which will go live over the next 12 months, includes System C’s Medway PAS, a mobile emergency department solution, patient kiosks, integrated business intelligence, an upgraded e-observations system and the Medway Bluespier theatres system as a replacement for the existing Ormis theatre system. Crucially, the project will also see the development of an integrated health and care record for the local population of 270k through the new Walsall Together Partnership, which is hosted by the Trust.

System C won out over other bidders because of the high quality of its product, proven track record and clear approach to a genuine partnership, according to Daren Fradgley, Director of Strategy and Improvement for Walsall Healthcare. 

The fact that System C’s blueprint provides the Trust with a clear route towards a full Electronic Patient Record (EPR) was also key. Indeed, System C’s solution appears to be appealing particularly to smaller Trusts wanting to take a more phased, integrated approach to full EPR rather than embarking on an expensive, big bang ‘rip and replace’ project with one of the big US vendors. System C also has the advantage of being able to offer a route to an integrated health and care record, which is important under the NHS Long Term Plan - it already works with 84 local authorities who take its LiquidLogic social care software (see here for the history). 

By our calculations, Walsall will be System C’s 26th Medway EPR customer. Other Trusts that have recently switched to Medway include Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (also previously a Lorenzo trust) and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which replaced a legacy Allscripts PAS. In March, System C and the Graphnet Care Alliance, also secured a seven-year contract with the Thames Valley Health and Care Records Partnership to provide a new region-wide shared record and population health system.

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '09:52' - Tagged: software   socialcare   healthcare  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

Moneysupermarket.com reinvents for growth

MoneysupermarketUK based, price comparison site, Moneysupermarket.com has released interim results reflecting encouraging performance, in the first six months of the year. The financials (which were slightly inflated by the adoption of IFRS 16) revealed that overall group revenues, for the period ending 30th June, were up 15% to £199m whilst post-tax profit was up 18% to £50m.

The insurance market remains Moneysupermarket’s core segment and accounted for £96m of the company’s total revenue. Growth here was however slowest, at 3% year on year, whilst the company’s Home Services division saw revenues increase by 52% to £4m. Meanwhile, revenues from the company’s Money segment rose by 5% year on year to £46.5m.

Moneysupermarket’s “Reinvent” strategy, now in its second year, appears to be bearing fruit in respect of its two key goals of reinvigorating core growth and delivering growth from new markets. The company also appears to have benefitted from its recent investments in its product engineering teams and the successful integration of its 2018 acquisition Decision Tech.

Now a long-established brand, Moneysupermarket.com was in effect, amongst the first wave of FinTechs to bring disruptive innovation to UK financial services back in the 1990s. The company still has a high approval rating from its customers and its technology-based services continue to be greatly valued by many, for providing transparency and simplifying the process of securing value for money. Much of the innovation currently taking place within the financial services space is similarly customer focused (see: Open banking momentum starts to build) and this clearly remains one of the keys to long-term success.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:35'

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Thursday 18 July 2019

We choose to go to the moon...

MoonAt the start of 2019 I wrote about all the Significant Events of 1969.  You would literally have to be living on another planet not to know that Saturday 20th July is the 50th anniversary of the first Man on the Moon. I was one of the people who stayed up all night to watch Neil Armstrong make that Giant Leap for Mankind at around 4.00am.

I still can’t watch it without David Bowie’s Space Odyssey (first released in June 1969)  playing in my head.

“Here I am sitting in a tin can.
Far above the world.
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do..”

But the other thing always in my mind is President Kennedy’s speech of Sept 1962.

“We choose to go to the moon...We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..”

When quoted, the last bit is often omitted. I often feel that so many people only ever do the ‘easy’ things but give up the moment they become ‘hard’. All the things that are really worthwhile doing in life are really hard. Sometimes I think we - and our children and grandchildren - need reminding of that.

Posted by Richard Holway at '09:33'

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Thursday 18 July 2019

*NEW RESEARCH* Social Energy - transforming energy markets with AI

COVEREvery so often at TMV we get to spend time with a business taking a very different approach to a traditional market, and (on the face of it) to look like they could make things very uncomfortable for the incumbents. Yorkshire HQ’d Social Energy (SE) is one such business - part green energy provider, part AI platform business, part energy trader. 

Originally established seven years ago, SE is at a critical part of its evolution having recently completed a Beta-launch in the UK and is now heading towards a proposed £50m funding round as it looks to turbo charge its first mover advantage.

We spent time recently with Social Energy CEO, Ryan Gill to discuss their vision to transform a multi trillion-dollar energy market.

Subscribers can read what we found out here: “Social Energy - transforming energy markets with AI

For subscription enquiries, please contact Deb Seth.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:26' - Tagged: energy   utilities   AI   machinelearning  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

£106m awarded to Police Transformation Fund projects

Home Office logoThe Home Office has published details of the latest round of investments from the Police Transformation Fund (PTF). The PTF is intended to transform policing by investing in digitalisation, flexible workforce initiatives and new methods for responding to crime and threats.

This is the second round of allocations in Phase 2 of the PTF. In Phase 1 (2016-17 to 2017-18), 98 projects benefited from £223m of PTF funding (see Home Office invests a further £60m in police transformation). Phase 2 (2018-19 to 2019-20) shifted the focus to prioritising investment in delivering the major national programmes: National Enabling Programme; Specialist Capabilities Programme; Digital Policing Portfolio; Transforming Forensics; and Portfolio Management Capability.

Yesterday’s announcement saw £106m invested across 21 projects, with the largest award (£83.5m) again going towards the national policing programmes. The National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS), which was awarded £4.6m in the 2018-19 allocations, picked up a further £5.0m in this round. Details of all projects are available here.

NDAS was established in 2017 by a consortium of nine law enforcement agencies, led by West Midlands Police, with the intention of creating a scalable and flexible analytics capability for UK law enforcement using advanced analytics to deliver insights on high priority operational and organisational issues.

In its first year of testing, NDAS used police data on knife and gun offences to identify patterns and common traits among perpetrators. The new funds will allow further testing to be conducted on using machine learning to assess the risk of someone committing a crime or becoming a victim. If successful, the intention is to roll out NDAS nationally.

There are obvious ethical considerations about the use of advanced analytics in law enforcement. In 2017 the Alan Turing Institute Data Ethics Group and the Independent Digital Ethics Panel for Policing raised a number of concerns about NDAS, but praised the efforts taken to develop an ethical as well as legally compliant national analytics capability. Since then further ethical safeguards have been put in place, which will be vital if the service is going to be delivered with the approval of the public.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:20' - Tagged: police   analytics   government   data   police   police   police   police   digital+transformation   ethics  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

Firstsource looks to Cognizant for digital leadership

FirstsourceOutsourced customer management specialist Firstsource has chosen to appoint current Head of Cognizant’s Digital Operations Vipul Khanna as its new MD and CEO with effect from August.

Vipul KhannaKhanna’s digital focus and experience fits well with Firstsource’s needs and its current direction that has seen improving profitability on a digital push. As with most of the other large contact centre outsourcers digital revenues as a % remain relatively low compared to other parts of the SITS market and it is looking to do much better. Digital revenues were 9% in FY19 and are expected to grow to 13-15% of revenues in FY20. Khanna will be looking no doubt to drive this much higher during his tenure.

Current CEO Rajesh Subramaniam was part of the founding team back in 2001 and has taken the decision to step down having developed Firstsource into a serious customer management player with a strong onshore presence in the UK that now accounts for some 44% of its global revenues. 

Firstsource continues to make steady progress but needs to get itself truly ‘match fit’ for digital – bringing in Khanna with his digital expertise looks like the right decision at the right time.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:59' - Tagged: appointment   customermanagement   CEO  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

IBM cranks the quarterly profit wheel

ibmIf industry watchers were expecting an update on the Red Hat deal in the Q2 announcement they would have been disappointed. The transaction officially closed last week, but we’ll have to wait until the 2nd August for more information - along with an update on full-year financial expectations.

In terms of Q2 finances, IBM said revenue was down 1.6% (constant currency) to $19.2bn, driven by an 18% decline in Systems (hardware and operating systems software) and a 4% decline in Global Technology Services (a much bigger business at $6.8bn). Cloud & Cognitive Software was up 5%, while Global Business Services was up 3%.

Operating gross margin increased by 100 basis points – the largest increase in over five years – driven by a combination of software revenue growth, services productivity and cloud scale efficiencies.

We are at a pivotal point in market evolution. Many organisations are using cloud (to varying degrees) and are starting to adopt the kind of front-end solutions that hint at the real potential for digital technologies. But typically, this ‘simple’ digital doesn’t even begin to tackle the much more complex and highly scaled digital challenges organisations face. Enabling the latter - specifically via hybrid cloud - is key for IBM, which is why analysts and investors alike are watching the Red Hat progress like hawks. The deal is a bold move, but fundamental progress will not happen if suppliers simply tinker around the edges. 

Essential reading on the evolution of digital: TechMarketView’s recently released Market Trends & Forecasts 2019-2022.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '08:49' - Tagged: results   cloud   hybrid  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

Temenos banks on explainable AI with Logical Glue

TemenosLeading Swiss banking software provider, Temenos, has completed the acquisition of UK based vendor, Logical Glue, for £12m. The specialist provider of “explainable” AI to financial services providers, was co-founded in 2012 by Professor Hani Hagras, a renowned global expert in Fuzzy Logic and XAI systems. Logical Glue is also a former TechMarketView “Little British Battler” (see: Machine learning market and emerging suppliers), its award-winning AI platform, XAI, has increasingly been gaining popularity with banks in the UK and Europe.

As AI has become more and more sophisticated, outputs and ultimately decisions have become increasingly opaque. Explainable AI provides a degree of transparency and helps users to better understand the rationale behind the outputs of AI and Machine Learning. Regulators are increasingly mandating that institutions be able to explain automated decisions that affect their customers (e.g. GDPR includes ‘a right to explanation’ for all decisions made by AI). Ultimately explainable AI enables business users to have more confidence in the process when making decisions.

The addition of Logical Glue is another positive step by the Swiss vendor, which recently launched a “cloud-native”, cloud agnostic, iteration of its core banking platform T24 (see: Temenos addresses the banking industry imperatives). Temenos plans to immediately embed XAI into its banking platform, making it available for use with all of its various software offerings, both on premise and via the cloud. The vendor hopes that XAI will accelerate adoption of AI by its customers and help them to automate manual processes with self-learning capabilities.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:41' - Tagged: acquisitions   M&A   littlebritishbattler  

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Thursday 18 July 2019

Netflix shares slump as US subscribers desert

NetflixNetflix is a bit ‘left field’ from our normal reporting range. But warrants a mention as it  is part of the FAANGs or the FANMAGs (ie including Microsoft) as I prefer.

Last night, for the first time ever, Netflix reported a 126,000 fall in its paid subscribers in the US from 60.2m to 60.1m in Q2. This was after it increased its prices in the US from $11 to $13 pm. Worldwide it added 2.7m new subscribers (total now 151.6m) - way below analyst estimates of a growth of 5m.

Q2 revenues increased 26% to $4.92b. Net income reduced from $344m in Q1 to $271m in Q2

Netflix shares slumped 12% in after-hours trading.

Netflix’s problem is that it now faces competition from all kinds of players - new and old. It’s now far from being a ‘one stop shop’. You may think that its most popular shows are its original content. Whereas actually its most popular shows are old reruns of Friends and The Office. That will end soon as AT&T pulling both from Netflix to put on HBO Max set to launch in spring 2020.

Another ‘issue’ is that it is easy to share Netflix passwords. Some 14% of Netflix users view using a shared password according to researchers MoffettNathansn. Only 6% of Amazon Prime passwords are shared. But whereas there is little at risk in sharing your Netflix password, why would you share your Amazon prime password thus allowing others see what you are purchasing or even to buy on your account?

Many analysts are suggesting that Netflix’s Glory Days are over. On the evidence stacking up, I cannot but agree.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:54'

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Thursday 18 July 2019

European growth remains elusive for Wipro

WiproOffshore services major Wipro has kicked-off FY20 with a steady Q1. Sequential top line growth of -0.7% qoq landed at the bottom end of the guidance for the three months to 30th June. Constant currency revenue, adjusted to take account of the divestment of its hosted data centre services and Workday & Cornerstone businesses, was up 5.9% yoy to $2.04b. Unadjusted, sales for this latest quarter rose by just 2.5% against Q119. Operating margin again improved lifting by 80bps over the same period last year to a creditable18.4%.

Wipro’s rotation to the new continued to gather pace (see Wipro Digital grows up fast for more details on this). Revenues generated by digital services in Q120 increased by nearly 35% yoy. From geographic and vertical industry perspectives, the Americas and Financial Services were the star performers last quarter both growing their top lines by over 11% yoy.

Although the European revenue decline posted in Q419 appears to have been arrested, this side of the pond again proved hard work for the company. First quarter sales here were flat yoy. Given that the UK accounts for nearly 50% of Wipro’s business in the region, it is reasonable to assume that the performance in this country followed suit.

Looking ahead to Q2, the company is expecting to achieve sequential constant currency revenue growth of 0.0% to 2.0%. While this indicates an uptick in business momentum, it still leaves Wipro struggling to hang onto the shirt tails of its Tier 1 IPP rivals.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '07:53' - Tagged: results   offshoreviews  

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

BT property sell off begins with £209m deal for London HQ

BT property sell off underway with £209m deal for London HQThe sale of BT’s London headquarters could make a £209m dent in the telco’s £1.5bn three-year opex reduction target outlined last May (see BT Strategy Update: Consumer investment and enterprise cost reduction hold sway).

After a six month delay BT finally agreed a £209.5m sale and leaseback deal for its flagship office with Orion European Real Estate Fund V, managed by Orion Capital Managers, on the back of buoyant London property prices. The move will see staff continue to occupy the site in St Paul’s for around 30 months until they can be transferred to a new London office, the location of which is yet to be announced.

Nor is St Paul’s the only BT site being sold off to cut costs (alongside shedding around 13,000 jobs) over the next few years. Chief executive Philip Jansen revealed plans to axe as much as 90% of its real estate last month as he builds on predecessor Gavin Patterson’s plan to transform the telco into a smaller, leaner and ultimately more profitable company to better match its rivals in the telecoms and managed services space.

These are painful, but most agree necessary, measures for BT which saw its FY19 turnover flat as consumer growth was once again offset by declines in its business units. Most of the cuts will fall on the Enterprise and Global Services divisions (see *UKHotViewsExtra* BT Global Services strategy update: trust and technology take centre stage) and the telco faces a tricky task in undertaking such a seismic restructuring while simultaneously expanding its infrastructure and services framework to exploit new market opportunities.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:54' - Tagged: consolidation   telecommunications  

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

ESN: further delays and cost increases seem inevitable

Public Accounts Committee logoThe House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published an update on the Emergency Services Network (ESN) programme to replace the existing Airwave communications system used by the police, fire and ambulance services in England, Scotland and Wales.

It is another scathing review of the progress the Home Office has made towards implementing ESN and follows similar criticism from the National Audit Office earlier this year.

The report states, although the forecast cost of ESN has increased by £3.1bn to £9.3bn, it is likely that Airwave will need to be extended further than December 2022 and inevitable costs will increase again. In May the Home Office agreed a 5% discount with Motorola in extending Airwave for three years to December 2022 at a price of £620m per year. The Committee said they are concerned the Home Office has limited leverage to secure value for money should, as is likely, Airwave needs to be extended further.

The Committee also called on the Home Office to analyse the skills and tasks needed to integrate ESN before it appoints a new delivery partner. In 2015 KBR was appointed as delivery partner to support the integration of the different elements of ESN, but the contract was not successful and was terminated in April 2019. The integration role now sits with the Home Office, but the Committee does not believe it has sufficient skills to undertake this role.

Although the Home Office still believes the financial benefits of ESN will outweigh the costs of continuing with the old Airwave solution, albeit seven years later than originally planned, the report says the forecast costs for the programme are not finalised and the business case is not expected to be approved until next year, over a year late.

The Committee says any further delay will weaken the argument for continuing with ESN and calls on the Home Office to set out a “plan B” for what happens should the programme cease to represent value for money.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:47' - Tagged: police   communications   government   bluelight   police   police   police   police  

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

UK Market Trends & Forecasts 2019-2022: Do you understand Digital Chaos?

marIn UK SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2019-2022, TechMarketView’s expert analyst team explains the most important – and some of the most complex – trends in the market.

The report introduces the idea that, across industries, we are witnessing digital chaos. Much early digital development was undertaken in an anarchic environment. Ironically, in the phase of digital maturity we refer to as ‘simple digital’ which has been focused on point, predominantly front-end solutions, the result has been an often-disorganised ICT estate that requires a degree of order to be restored. And that is without yet achieving the digital nirvana of cross-boundary (cross functional, cross-process, cross business unit) data flow that would bring the biggest value to organisations… something which is set to add yet another level of complexity.

The need to make sense of the disorder makes TechMarketView’s research theme for 2019 – ‘The Year of the Relationship: Extend, Evolve, Optimise’  – more pertinent than ever. End user organisations must create islands of stability within the chaos before they can even contemplate a move to truly disruptive digital transformation. Faced with a mountain to climb, and against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty, risk aversion and caution will abound. IT suppliers will need to focus hard on relationships with clients, prospects, partners and employees if they are going to unlock digital investment.

As you read detailed market analysis from each of TechMarketView’s Research Directors, it will become evident that this digital chaos is influencing the rate of growth in the market over the coming years. In 2018, the performance of the UK SITS market improved, but we don’t expect such a rosy picture in 2019. And it will be a few years until we believe the environment will be ripe for an acceleration in ICT and digital investment.

Note, though, that the market is changing shape. At TechMarketView we have acknowledged this with the launch of our new market forecast model. TechMarketView’s Digital Evolution Model (DEM) – has been designed to shine a spotlight on the shift from spend on heritage – or legacy - ICT to spend on the ‘new’ (digital, platform and cyber). We have also sought to reflect the increasing breaking of boundaries between traditional ICT asset demarcations (infrastructure, applications, business process) by focusing primarily on the nature of what is being delivered (consulting, solutions, and operations). For suppliers, UK SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2019 highlights where the opportunities lie, and how to benefit, considering shifting market demands.

To make sure you are prepared to respond to the evolving world, read UK SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2019 now. Subscribers can also access the detailed market size and forecast numbers in either spreadsheet or PDF format.

This report should be read alongside UK SITS Supplier Ranking Report 2019 for a complete, and unrivalled, view of UK tech.

If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact our Client Services team (info@techmarketview.com) to gain access or to book a webinar presentation of the research by one of the analyst team.


To hear directly from the TechMarketView analyst team, come along to our annual Presentation & Dinner on Thursday 12th September 2019, London (more details here).

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:26' - Tagged: cloud   cyber   digital   AI   platforms  

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

TechMarketView’s Supplier Rankings 2019: Who ranks where?

rankTechMarketView’s unique ranking of Software and IT Service providers in the UK market is now live.

Our annual – and highly anticipated – UK Software and IT Services Rankings 2019 is available for Foundation Service clients. The report contains our Top 60 ranking of suppliers, which has been compiled following detailed research into more than 200 publicly quoted and privately held companies.

We can now reveal that Capita holds on to the top spot despite suffering another tough year of transition as it looked to do “fewer things better”. Accenture, meanwhile, continues to chase Capita’s tail, with another solid year of market-beating growth. But it was players further down the rankings that really shone, with three players in the Top 30 achieving double-digit percentage growth. Amazon Web Services, for example, moves up five places with its seemingly inexorable growth.

Further down the rankings, performance is mixed, but there are plenty of established mid-sized players putting in an impressive show. Read the report to find out who they are.

The report also profiles each of the Top 30 suppliers, alongside analysis of the movement and performance of the Top 60 players in aggregate. Top 20 ranking tables are also provided for key horizontal market areas: Enterprise Software, Application Services, Infrastructure Services, and Business Process Services, giving readers unparalleled depth and breadth of analysis.

UK SITS Supplier Rankings 2019 is available here and should be read alongside TechMarketView’s UK SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2019-2022 for a complete picture of the UK tech scene.

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

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:00' - Tagged: digital   AI   Suppliers  

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

Investors line up to back Curve

CurveInnovative, payments startup, Curve, has successfully raised $55m in a Series B funding round. The UK based FinTech, enables customers to consolidate all of their payments cards into one, via the Curve card and app. Curve’s “aggregator” approach not only simplifies payments and makes it easier for users to manage their spending, but also enables customers to access other benefits, such as loyalty bonuses and promotions.

The latest investment was led by Gauss Ventures and supported by Creditease, IDC Ventures and a number of others, including Santander InnoVentures. As a result of the latest funding, Curve is now valued at around $250m. The cash injection will be used to enhance the features available via the Curve platform and to support the company’s ongoing European expansion. Curve currently has around 500,000 users and plans to launch in the US in 2020.

In January, in a reflection of how the major incumbents in the card space feel threatened by the likes of Curve, American Express blocked functionality that enabled its customers to utilise the FinTech’s app (see: Amex throws a wobbly over Curve). Curve branded the move “anti-competitive” and vowed to refer the matter to industry regulators.

The stance taken by Amex highlights some of the “restrictive” practices of the global payments industry. Many of the traditional structures and relationships within the card space in particular are inefficient, expensive and self-serving. As newcomers like Curve continue to shakeup the industry with innovative, customer focused offerings, it’s not surprising that the incumbents are worried as their lucrative business models are undermined.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:57'

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

AppyParking bags £7.6m funding

AppyParkingLondon-based mobile kerbside parking firm AppyParking has secured £7.6m in Series A funding led by VC firm West Hill Capital with additional investment from Aviva VenturesSumitomoHyundai and Breed Reply.

Driving around looking for a parking space on busy residential streets is one of the many frustrations of urban life. The brilliantly named AppyParking’s proposition is to try and make this whole process more efficient – helping Local Authorities better manage their parking estate whilst saving drivers the hassle of driving up and down looking for a space.

AppyParking began mapping London’s road network’s parking restrictions last year showing users the location, rules and price for all on and off-street parking allowing motorists to link to Google Maps, drive to the parking space of their choice and then pay for the space. 

All of this is very welcome and extremely useful but it’s when sensors are added to the mix and placed in the parking spaces that it offers a step change. AppyParking is already working with Westminster and the City of London Corporation, where disabled parking bays use AppyParking’s sensors to identify if a car is already parked there. This type of sensor parking technology could be be vital in the shift to driverless cars.

Having spent many an hour looking for parking spaces in London streets I am already sold. With some serious transport and automotive players on board like Sumitomo and Hyundai there must be huge potential to tap into the burgeoning Smart City, autonomous vehicle and intelligent mobility projects happening worldwide.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:30' - Tagged: localgovernment   funding   automotive   parking  

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

Archives of IT

SHToday I had a call from an old customer and avid reader of SystemHouse which I first published in November 1989. So coming up to its 30th Birthday. He was looking for some particular news item from 2000. It made me realise that I hadn’t made our current readers aware that the charity Archives of IT had recently scanned every edition of SystemHouse and (with a bit of financial help from me) made them freely available in their archive. See System House archive. The editions are in month order or you can search them as you would expect for companies etc.

Archives of IT was setup by my friend Roger Graham.

Other key publications you can access are, for example, all of Logica’s Annual reports from 1996 - works of art all! Together with early editions of Computer Weekly, Computing and Dataweek.

One of the other key resources are the Interviews with industry notables going back 50 years or more. Recorded whilst the individuals are still with is! A huge selection including Roger Graham himself and a certain guy called Richard Holway

One of the latest to be added is with our old friend John O’Connell.

They are all worth a read now if you have the time. But isn’t it great that in 50 years time this archive will be available for students etc looking back on the early days of computing in the UK. Much better than taking it all to the dump...which is what my wife had advocated!

Posted by Richard Holway at '16:26'

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

Another joint dev partnership for WANdisco

logoHaving revealed a joint development programme with an unnamed enterprise cloud provider yesterday, WANdisco followed up by announcing a separate joint development agreement with analytics provider Databricks that aims to simplify migration of on-premise analytics workloads to Azure Databricks. 

It marks another step towards providing enterprises with practical tools to help modernise their infrastructure and migrate from on-premise to the cloud and builds out WANdisco’s expanding partner network, which is helping drive business and revenue. Establishing itself as part of a multi-vendor cloud infrastructure stack has long been a WANdisco goal and investing in its partner programme will help. However, as with the enterprise cloud partnership, there are no timelines for output from the Databricks partnership.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:15' - Tagged: partnership   software   digitaltransformation   cloudmigration  

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

Cloudcall maintains 30% H1 expansion rate

Cloudcall maintains 30% H1 expansion rateRevenue growth at AIM-listed computer telephony integration (CTI) specialist CloudCall continues apace with first half turnover again up 30% yoy to £5.2m according to a trading update.

New orders and new users were up 44% and 37% respectively during the six month period, while customers in the US contributed 40% of the Leicester-headquartered company’s recurring revenue for the first time. A three year £1.1m deal via its partnership with SaaS CRM provider Bullhorn in May will see CloudCall’s CTI software client installed by an additional 2,000 users – the first of many large enterprise deals it hopes to sign in the current financial year.

While the US side of the business is operationally “profitable and generating cash” the same cannot be said in the UK or Europe for the moment. We won’t know the scale of Cloudcall’s H1 EBITDA loss (£2.9m in FY18) until the final results are announced but an extension of the company’s current debt facility suggests little or no improvement.

That won’t cause too much concern as long as sales keep expanding, which a new CRM integration with The Access Group announced in June should help to maintain in the second half.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:10' - Tagged: crm   tradingupdate   CloudCall   CTI   Bullhorn   TheAccessGroup  

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

Growing pains at Starling as Sawyer departs

StarlingUK challenger bank, Starling, has lost the services of its influential COO, Julian Sawyer, who has left the business 4 years after co-founding it in 2015. Sawyer was instrumental in establishing and growing the FinTech and had remained actively involved in the day to day running of its operations. Sawyer has been replaced on an interim basis by Helen Bierton, Head of Banking Services, until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Sawyer’s departure follows a number of recent, high profile exits from the app-based bank. Starling’s Product Director, Ben Chisell, left the business two weeks ago, whilst Chief Platform Officer, Megan Caywood, defected to Barclays in January. Senior Product Manager, Jason Wilkinson Brown, was recently poached by TSB, whilst the bank’s new Head of SME Lending, Stuart Doignie, left in May after less than six months in the role.

Starling received a cash injection of £75m in May, in part to help fuel its European expansion (see: Starling boosted by cash injection). To date the bank has attracted funding from investors totalling more than £133m. Earlier this year, Starling was also awarded £100m from BCR, the independent body established to implement the £775m RBS State Aid Alternative Remedies Package (see: Challengers boosted by BCR injection).

Sawyer has left the business that he founded, looking for his next “exciting opportunity”. It will be interesting to see whether he already has other undisclosed “irons in the fire” or whether his exit and the other recent departures, are indicative of tensions behind the scenes at Starling. What is for certain, is that the services of entrepreneurial banking innovators like Sawyer, are greatly coveted by the established banks, as evidenced by the recent appointments of his erstwhile colleagues.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:55'

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

Albert Technologies planning to delist from AIM

logoFour years after its debut (as Adgorithms), adtech company Albert Technologies is planning to delist from AIM. In response to changes in the online advertising market, it had already closed down its original advertising business in 2017 and focussed its all on the SaaS based Albert AI marketing platform. 

The platform crunches data and uses AI/ML to run autonomous marketing campaigns. But this is an embryonic area where opening up new markets requires significant investment. Albert is growing but from a low base and has struggled to accurately forecast the pipeline and accelerate large enterprise deals. Going has been slow so far in 2019, following fiscal 2018 that saw revenues rise but losses deepen too. The company needs additional funding and does not think it will be able to secure the right investors as a listed company so has taken the decision to delist. Assuming shareholders back the decision, trading will cease on 27 August 2019. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:49' - Tagged: software   AI   machinelearning   delist  

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

Experian continues to prosper in the Americas

ExperianDublin based, credit scoring and information services provider, Experian, has released a positive trading update ahead of announcing its Q1 results. The company’s overall fortunes continue to reflect a strong performance in the Americas, with organic global growth of 6% in constant currency. During the first three months of the new fiscal, revenue increased by between 7% and 10%, across all lines in both North America and LATAM. Experian now has around 55 million consumer customers in the region.

The latest update follows a similar trend to Experian’s full year results, released in May, with Europe and the UK experiencing more challenging conditions (see: Experian boosted by growth in North America). Whilst B2B Data operations in the UK grew by 9%, revenues from Decisioning fell by 13% year on year and contributed to an overall decline in UK B2B revenues of 1%.

Experian has continued to invest in new technology and the company’s big data platform, Ascend, has proved to be a significant asset, underpinning the favourable results in North America and growth highlights elsewhere. Despite the challenges closer to home, Experian is an industry leader with a potent business model. The company is benefitting from the market’s thirst for data, which is not only supporting credit and finance, but increasingly helping to combat fraud and financial crime.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:18'

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Monday 15 July 2019

Alan Turing - The Father of Modern Computing - to feature on new £50 note

TuringFor so many reasons, it is really great to see Alan Turing - The Father of Modern Computing - featured on the new £50 note. I understand the design will feature technical drawings of the ‘British Bombe’ designed by Turing in WW2 to help break the code used in the German Enigma machines at Bletchley Park.

The notes will also feature a Turing quote from The Times of 11th June 1949  “This is only a foretaste of what is to come and only a shadow of what is going to be”. Well, how true that turned out to be! Particularly as machines now routinely pass the ‘Turin Test’ where people cannot tell the difference between human or machine generated answers.

As well as his famous work at Blectchley Park, Turing played a major role in the development of modern computing both at the National Physical Laboratory and Manchester University. He pioneered the use of algorithms and of AI.

Of course, the Turing story had a darker side with the disgraceful treatment he received from the authorities just for being gay. Leading to his suicide in 1954 at the age of just 41. In 2013, the Queen signed a posthumous pardon for him.

Posted by Richard Holway at '16:41'

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Monday 15 July 2019

Aptitude looks to the future with optimism

AptitudeFinancial services specialist, Aptitude Software, has released a positive trading update, following the recent disposal of Microgen Financial Systems (see: Aptitude to sell Microgen). Aptitude, which itself was known as Microgen until a rebranding in April, took the decision to separate following a strategic review and the sale to private equity firm, Silverfleet Capital, was subsequently completed in June 2019.

Aptitude’s management will report half-year financials on 24 July 2019. The results are expected to reflect good progress in respect of sales of the company’s Aptitude Insurance Calculation Engine ("AICE") and Aptitude Accounting Hub ("AAH"). AICE is Aptitude's regulatory-focused application which enables insurers to comply with the new insurance accounting standard (IFRS 17) which effectively comes into force on 1 January 2022.

Aptitude’s recurring software revenues are expected to be £27.5m for the end of June 2018 reflecting strong year on year growth of 29%. Meanwhile, CEO, Tom Crawford, who has overseen the company’s recent growth and restructuring, will be standing down for personal reasons in 2020, but will stay on in part-time capacity to support the company. As a result, Aptitude’s Chief Client Officer, Jeremy Suddards, formerly of Hewlett Packard, is set to transition to the role of CEO.

After some fluctuating fortunes in recent years, Aptitude has responded to the changing marketplace by focusing on its strengths. Prospects for regulatory compliance tools within financial services are strong and the company’s recent sales growth appears to reflect a healthy market for AICE in particular. Going forward, there should also be opportunities for Aptitude’s accounting offering, in the face of the widespread transformation of finance functions.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:30'

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Monday 15 July 2019

Access Intelligence sees H1 jump

Access IntelligenceHalf-year results from reputation management software provider Access Intelligence, shows revenue up 42% to £6.2m (H1 18 £4.4) primarily driven by last year’s £5.5m ResponseSource acquisition. Annual Contract Value (ACV) growth delivered by new offerings around the Vuelio engagement platform also helped, increasing by some 45% year-on-year to £12.9m (H1 18: £8.9m).

The Company delivered adjusted EBITDA of £379k (H1 2018: loss £55k) whilst operating losses from continuing operations were £1.4m (H1 18: loss £773k). 

Access Intelligence continues to build on the significant progress it made last year that saw the company move towards a single brand and platform and an enterprise sales team. The acquisition of ResponseSource has broadened its offer and customer base and management expects revenue to accelerate due to its integration with the company's Vuelio platform. Customers are now scheduled to come across onto an upgraded system during Q3.

Access Intelligence has undergone a period of significant change. Restructuring, a narrowing of market focus and putting in place a new management team. All of this combined with its recent acquisition looks to have to put revenues on the right track and it remains a company to watch. 

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:20' - Tagged: results   cloud   communications   machinelearning  

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Monday 15 July 2019

*NEW RESEARCH* Containers and security in the cloud

Containers and security in the cloudSoftware containers are being widely deployed by organisations that need more agile and responsive development processes for applications and services to accelerate time to market with new digital products.

Doubts regarding their security remain however, especially when compared to other technologies supporting cloud workloads such as virtual machines (VMs).

Nor are all containers created equal when it comes to security provision, with various grades of protection often available to meet specific requirements. This report - Containers and security in the cloud - analyses what the major container platform developers and cloud providers offering container services are doing to minimise the vulnerabilities inherent to containerised systems and data.

Suppliers cover in this report include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, Docker, Canonical and VMware.

Subscribers to SecureConnectViews can access our report Containers and security in the cloud here. If you are not currently a subscriber to SecureConnectViews and would like access, please contact Deb Seth for further information.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:11' - Tagged: cloud   cybersecurity   containers   Kubernetes   Docker  

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Monday 15 July 2019

Mystery joint dev cloud partner for WANdisco

logoThere was an intriguing announcement from WANdisco today, of a partnership with an unnamed “enterprise cloud partner” to jointly develop a “first of its kind” data migration and replication product to be embedded into the partner’s cloud platform ecosystem. It is described as being of significant strategic importance to WANdisco. 

Among the teaser was the information that the new product will use technology from WANdisco’s Fusion product alongside the scale and enterprise capabilities of the partner’s platform and will be a fully managed cloud service with cloud portal integration allowing single click deployment. The aim is to enable customers to seamlessly migrate data from on-premise big data stores into the partner’s cloud without worrying about procuring or managing infrastructure. Potential use cases include data replication for big data cloud migration, hybrid cloud and multi-region data consistency. 

It all sounds very practical and addresses the ‘how’ of digital change but the big question is who is the partner? WANdisco has been investing in its partner network – one of the reasons for its deeper losses in 2018 but also its forward optimism was the partner ecosystem focus. WANdisco will be working with an existing partner but as it already works with Amazon Web ServicesMicrosoft (Azure) Google and IBM, that doesn’t narrow the field much. It also has an OEM sales agreement with Alibaba. Today was just the announcement of the joint development, the product needs to be built and got to market and no timescales have been hinted at. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:47' - Tagged: cloud   partnership   software   digitaltransformation  

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Monday 15 July 2019

Extra time

CricketIn 1966, at the age of 18, I had just started as a trainee programmer when, together with some 40 fellow students I watched England win the Football World Cup in extra time. Watched on a 17 inch black and white TV, I can remember the excitement of ‘They think it’s all over. Well it is now’ as if it was yesterday

Then I remember the excitement of Wilkinson’s drop goal in the last seconds of extra time that won the Rugby World Cup for England in 2003. I had that kick on a loop on my PC for some years!

Then, last night, I witnessed the most nerve-racking end to a cricket game that I can remember as England won the Cricket World Cup. Again a match decided in ‘extra time’ (or a Golden Over, to be more precise).

53 years have passed for me to tick off that hat trick. Assuming the clock now reset to zero, I wonder how long it will take for that feat to be repeated?

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:35'

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