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Connectivity providers primed for £500m of HSCN contracts
20 Oct 2017
eServGlobal looking to raise £24m
20 Oct 2017
Serco extends partnership with Hertfordshire County Council
20 Oct 2017
Jinn runs out of tonic
20 Oct 2017
Happy 80th Birthday, Mike
20 Oct 2017
Alphabet bets on transportTECH
19 Oct 2017
Apple goes industrial with GE
19 Oct 2017
Cloud contributes to Q3 profitability growth at SAP
19 Oct 2017
NPS secures 10-year deal to supply West Midlands Police
19 Oct 2017
HPE Next program continues refocus and restructure
19 Oct 2017
NIIT Tech pulling the right levers
19 Oct 2017
New TMV Lead for Application Services – Duncan Aitchison
19 Oct 2017
Untapping hidden revenue opportunities with Adjacency
19 Oct 2017
IBM declines for its 22nd consecutive quarter
18 Oct 2017
Softcat grows for its 48th consecutive quarter
18 Oct 2017
Investors place more dosh for BridgeU to place more students
18 Oct 2017
Eckoh progresses in US and with opex model
18 Oct 2017
IPO vs IVO – Game, Set and Match
18 Oct 2017
**New Research** UK Police SITS Supplier Landscape & Market Trends 2017-18
18 Oct 2017
Wipro breaks through $2b barrier
17 Oct 2017
XMOS captures $15m as adds more voices to Alexa
17 Oct 2017
CloudCall will raise £5.7m to drive further CRM integration
17 Oct 2017
HCL rejigs banking relationship with DXC
17 Oct 2017
H1 in line at RhythmOne but still a way to go
17 Oct 2017
Why smart businesses are moving their data out of the city
17 Oct 2017
LBB Mobysoft funded to expand analytics in social housing
16 Oct 2017
UK responds to global AI race
16 Oct 2017
Zalaris buys into UK HR services market with ROC
16 Oct 2017
New TMV Lead for Business Process Services – Marc Hardwick
16 Oct 2017
Infosys: Nilekani’s software conundrum
16 Oct 2017
Interesting week for Tesla
15 Oct 2017

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Friday 20 October 2017

Connectivity providers primed for £500m of HSCN contracts

Connectivity providers primed for £500m of HSCN contractsWith applications for a place on the government’s Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) dynamic purchasing system (DPS) now open, UK connectivity providers will be keen to stake their claim for the estimated £500m combined contract value on offer over the next six and a half years.

The HSCN replaced the NHS N3 network last year when a 13 year old virtual private network (VPN) contract with BT expired (subscribers to TechMarketView’s PublicSectorViews research stream can read more in the Opportunities Bulletin here).

Rather than going with a single provider, the idea behind the HSCN is to approve a pool of interoperable network services that adhere to an agreed set of standards delivered by multiple suppliers to encourage competition and cost efficiency.

The DPS will allow public sector buyers to quickly provision a range of links to the HSCN from approved suppliers - including broadband, wireless and satellite connections - as well as supplementary components that could include cloud services, voice communications, Internet access and consultancy.

Price competition could be fierce and participating network providers may need to carefully assess the costs involved in becoming HSCN compliant and achievable profit margins in each case. Nevertheless, HSCN looks like a lucrative opportunity few can afford to miss – the list of current connectivity suppliers large and small at various stages of gaining the necessary accreditation include MLL Telecom, AdEPT Telecom, BT, CareLink, Daisy Group, Exponential-e, KCOM, Level 3, Virgin Media Business, Interoute Communications, Telefónica 02, Updata Infrastructure and Vodafone.

Three companies - Redcentric, Capita Business Services and Computacenter – are already winners having been contracted to deliver the infrastructure enabling network providers to link into the HSCN.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:24' - Tagged: public+sector   network+services   hscn  

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Friday 20 October 2017

eServGlobal looking to raise £24m

logoIt’s been a challenging few years for mobile financial technology solutions provider eServGlobal but as we commented earlier this month, the company might be about to turn a corner. To help this along it is calling for funds and undertaking a share placement to raise £24m (gross).

The intention is to use £8.5m for the HomeSend joint venture which “has expanded beyond its initial investment case and is showing strong momentum in its expanded focus on the banking market,” to respond to an expected capital call from HomeSend to meet cash flow requirements. HomeSend’s performance is one of the reasons for modestly raised optimism in eServGlobal. Another £2.5m has been earmarked for rationalisation within the core business to get to EBITDA breakeven at the start of FY18. The bulk, c.£11.0 million will be used for loan repayment.

eServGlobal thinks it has reached the position where is has become a self-sustaining business with its current customer base and that final moves to right size will mean it can get on with business. FY18 will be a telling year, when it will have to prove its ability to deliver. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:23' - Tagged: financialservices   mobile   fundraising   payments   shareplacing  

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Friday 20 October 2017

Serco extends partnership with Hertfordshire County Council

Serco logoSerco has secured a £48m two-year extension to its contract with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC).  

The original eight-year deal was signed in 2010, with the strategic partnership commencing in 2011. The contract saw Serco provide front and back office operations including ICT services, finance, payroll and HR, facilities management, customer contact centres and occupational health services. The scope of the partnership was subsequently widened to include adult social care and highways. The two-year extension means the partnership will now continue until March 2021.

Since the original contract began, Serco has helped HCC to save over £21m. The extension sees it agree to deliver further guaranteed savings of at least £1.3m over the two additional years. It will also be helping HCC deliver its ‘Smart Digital’ strategy, including working with the council on the transformation of adult social care to place a greater emphasis on early intervention and prevention, and improving customer-facing digital services.

HCC plans to remove hard facilities management and occupational health services from the Serco contract by the end of the initial term in 2019. However, the council’s value for money analysis on the remaining services suggested it was getting better value from Serco than if it were to re-procure the contract.

Serco is still in the midst of a long-term turnaround strategy, but order intake is looking positive (see Serco’s order intake points to a brighter future) and things appear to be moving in the right direction.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:11' - Tagged: contract   partnership   bpo   government   local  

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Friday 20 October 2017

Jinn runs out of tonic

logoWhen I wrote in May about the latest fundraising by London-based, ‘on demand, within the hour’ delivery startup, Jinn, (see Another $10m tonic for Jinn), I concluded: “Jinn claims to be running ‘positive contribution margins’ and expects to be profitable in 2018. If they really have found a way to magic up profits with their business model, well done them!”.

They hadn’t. As I had surmised, the ‘magic’ was all smoke and mirrors, and Jinn has closed its (virtual) doors.

The news was apparently broken by Business Insider which alluded to recent last-ditch attempts by Jinn to sell itself to rivals. The report also suggested that many of Jinn’s couriers will be left unpaid. Back in July, TechCrunch reported that Jinn had already ceased business outside of London.

I struggle to see how any but the most lavishly funded ‘quick response’ courier startups have even a smidgen of a chance of survival when, in the end, it all comes down to trying to make a dollar transporting physical goods from Point A to Point B on our highways and byways.

Yeah, I know, ‘bring on the drones’!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:23' - Tagged: startup   shutdown  

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Friday 20 October 2017

Happy 80th Birthday, Mike

SGYI can’t let today go by without wishing a Happy 80th Birthday to my dear friend Mike Wright who was the guy who did all the number-crunching for Richard Holway Limited for some 20 years from 1986. Mike is an ‘unsung hero’. Unlike me, he never sought the limelight. He just beavered away creating a database of over 1000 companies. Mike was the ‘rock’ behind the Holway Report. The person who took SystemHouse to the printers every month from 1989. The guy who did all the accounts etc.

Mind you he was rather overly qualified for the role as he was the local Midland Bank Manager until his retirement.

I/we owe a huge debt to Mike and we really do wish him ‘Many Happy Returns’ on his 80th Birthday today,

Footnote - Photo shows the team in 2000 as we moved into 2 St Georges Yard in Farnham. Mike is far LHS. Really proud that so many of those early people - like Anthony, Tola and Georgina - are still with us 17 years down the track. 

Posted by Richard Holway at '00:00'

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Thursday 19 October 2017

Alphabet bets on transportTECH

Alphabet bets on TransportTechInteresting to see that Alphabet (Google’s parent), via its CapitalG investment fund, is leading a £1b funding round in Lyft which would value Lyft at $11b.

I’ve written before – and you are all no doubt aware anyway – of the issues and problems at UBER right now. Lyft is seen as UBER’s main competitor - interesting as Alphabet was an investor in Uber too. But Lyft describes itself more as a self-driving/autonomous car company. So, given that Alphabet already owns Waymo and has been open about its ambitions in the autoTECH sector, this investment makes sense.

At the TMV Evening a few weeks back, I put transportTECH (that’s autoTECH plus every other kind of transport like ships and airplanes) as the major growth/disruption sector in the period to 2035 (that was our theme) The sector is at least 100x larger than the personal computing/smartphone sector which has been the major growth sector over the last 20 years. So companies that dominate transportTECH are clearly going to be the next winners. But, of course, there will be huge competition to be that winner (or more likely quite a few winners) - existing players (GM, Boeing etc), players from adjacent technologies (eg Alphabet and Apple), new upstarts (Tesla and others) as well as companies we haven’t yet heard of. I predict exciting times ahead.

Note – Happy to acknowledge Engadget as my source of this news.

Posted by Richard Holway at '17:40'

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Thursday 19 October 2017

Apple goes industrial with GE

logoApple’s determination to expand its enterprise footprint has seen it partner with tech market heavyweights including Accenture, IBM, SAP and Cisco but its latest tie-up - with digitising industrial giant GE - sees it move directly onto industrial enterprise ground.  

This gist of the announcement is that Apple and GE will create a SDK focused on IoT and jointly develop apps for Apple iOS. The SDK will allow external developers, as well GE developers, to build native apps on the GE Predix platform, which will also give them access to the complete Apple ecosystem from iBeacons to iPhone gyroscope sensors and the latest AR capabilities. In addition, Apple will sell GE’s Predix platform, where it has industrial customers. Meanwhile GE is to standardise on the iPhone and iPad for its 330,000 employees.

GE’s market reach, coupled with its pronounced digital programme, and the richness of the collaboration means this partnership is quite some endorsement for Apple and could open the door to the major industrial sector, which is not a sector Apple is normally associated with. Contracting directly with an industrial manufacturer suggests a new model that cuts around the side of traditional IT services providers. As more enterprises build apps and platforms as part of their digital transformation programmes, there is scope for further direct tie-ups with major enterprises. While Apple’s existing tech partnerships will be important in expanding its enterprise reach, direct connections could carve a different route to market, especially the new types of markets IoT should open up. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '11:07' - Tagged: partnership   software  

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Thursday 19 October 2017

Cloud contributes to Q3 profitability growth at SAP

logo“We see growth in every corner of the business, which is why we are again raising our guidance for the full year," announced SAP CEO Bill McDermott when releasing Q3 results. But as always, the picture is not perfect in all corners.

There certainly was progress during the period to September 30 2017 and with FY guidance raised on the back of cloud momentum the outlook is promising but will likely be battered by currency headwinds. They could slice 5-8 percentage points off cloud & software revenue and operating profit growth in Q4, and 1-3 percentage points over the full year.

Nevertheless, SAP is getting into its S/4HANA and cloud stride. Q3 saw the number of S/4HANA customers grow by 600 (including Shell) to 6900, a 70% yoy improvement, although the proportion of cloud vs. on-premise implementations is not clear. As software licence revenue held steady at €1.03bn, this suggests on-premise and hybrid deployments. However, overall cloud revenue grew 22% to €937m, with new cloud bookings up 14% to €302m so the cloud shift is sustained – and cloud revenue is now close to 17% of total revenue. The Leonardo platform is beginning to add to the mix with early sales coming in too, while there was quiet progress of 9% to €578m in the unsung SAP Business Network area (Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass).

Overall it added up to group revenue of €5.6bn, which was a 4% uplift and operating profit up 19% to €1.3bn. However, revenue growth was down on the 10% of Q2, although Q3 operating profit growth contrasted with the 27% plummet of the prior quarter (see Cloud drives SAP Q2 revenue up, profits down). Q1 also saw double digit revenue growth but with a decline in profitability. The takeaway from Q3’s lower top line growth but higher bottom line growth is that SAP is starting to see financial gains from its cloud business, although this may not be a linear progression.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:51' - Tagged: results   cloud   software  

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Thursday 19 October 2017

NPS secures 10-year deal to supply West Midlands Police

NPS logoNorthgate Public Services (NPS) has secured a significant new contract for its CONNECT policing platform. Accenture, West Midland Police’s Innovation and Integration Partner, signed a 10-year contract for the software solution, which provides a range of tools including custody, investigation and intelligence management applications.

Accenture logoSince 2014, Accenture has been working with West Midlands Police (WMP), the second largest police force in England, to deliver its WMP2020 transformation strategy (see Accenture cops West Midlands Police contract). The strategy includes over 30 projects, many of which have technology at their heart. CONNECT will now form a key component of that strategy.

The contract means 13 police forces in the UK have now signed-up for CONNECT, nine via the Athena programme. As we discussed in our recent report, Athena has faced delays in implementation, but with the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Alliance going live earlier this month it means five Athena forces are now using the platform. WMP joins Lancashire and Humberside (both of which are now live) and South Yorkshire as forces signing up to CONNECT outside of Athena. On top of the 13 UK forces, NPS secured a five-year contract with the Isle of Man Constabulary towards the end of last year.

NPS will be hoping to add the Metropolitan Police Service to its list of CONNECT customers in 2018. It is thought to be up against Capita and PA Consulting with Niche Technology for the major Met Integrated Policing Solution (MiPS) contract, which will be awarded next year.

For more information on police technology and the Top 10 SITS suppliers to the sector, including NPS’s performance and prospects, see UK Police Software and IT Services: Supplier Landscape & Market Trends 2017-18. If you are not yet a subscriber and are interested in getting hold of this report please click here

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:38' - Tagged: contract   police   emergency   bluelight   emergency   police   emergency   police   emergency   police   emergency   police  

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Thursday 19 October 2017

HPE Next program continues refocus and restructure

HPE Next program continues refocus and restructureHPE’s annual securities analyst meeting set out the company’s long term financial model, and promised good returns for shareholders keeping a close eye on progress after its software and enterprises services businesses were spun out to Micro Focus and DXC Technology respectively.

Global revenue growth for the fiscal year ending October 2017 is expected to be 5%, broadly in line with the encouraging 6% yoy incline registered in Q317. However HPE still faces challenges in tackling market headwinds, particularly in its core servers and storage solutions. Subscribers to our InfrastructureViews research stream can access TechMarketView’s analysis of the company’s UK-specific organic performance in our Infrastructure Services Supplier Ranking Report here.

It looks like a significant restructuring and redesign is on the cards between now and 2020. The HPE Next program will see company change its organisational structure and prioritise investments in higher margin, growth areas like private/hybrid cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Those changes are needed because HPE’s topline FY18 revenue growth is expected to be ‘modest’ whilst the long term financial model predicts no more than 0-1% organic growth. Building on those numbers will be no small challenge, and the company is keen to show investors and shareholders it is working hard to improve its turnover and profitability. It plans to return US$3bn to shareholders in FY17 and a further US$2.5bn in FY18, with earnings per share (EPS) forecast to grow by around 7-9% per year.

Operating profit too is predicted rise at a rate of 4-5% over the same period, though we think much will rely on whether the company can successfully execute on its three year cost reduction and ‘right-sizing’ plan – the target is US$1.5bn of gross savings between now and 2020, US$700m of which will be ploughed back into the company leaving net savings of US$800m to lift the bottom line.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:13' - Tagged: infrastructureservices   HPE   outlook  

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Thursday 19 October 2017

NIIT Tech pulling the right levers

logoManagement at Noida-based, mid-tier Indian pure-play (IPP) NIIT Technologies pulled the right levers for both growth and profitability last quarter (to 30th Sept.), with headline revenues up 11% yoy to $115m, representing 4.4% growth over the prior quarter. Operating margins were 30bps higher than the prior quarter, at 11.5%, though 40bps below that for the same period last year. While business in EMEA declined nearly 5% due to a ramp-down at a key client in the Travel sector, the company ‘enhanced its relationship’ with a key client in the UK.

NIIT Tech recently announced the appointment of Gautam Samanta as its new head of Europe. Samanta was one of a long line of Infosys execs that bailed out in the aftermath of the resignation of CEO Dr Vishal Sikka and the return of chairman and co-founder Nandan Nilekani (see Infosys: Nilekani’s software conundrum and work back). Samanta was four years at Infosys, as VP Global Client Partner, Financial Services, after spending five years managing Capgemini’s UK financial services business. Europe generates about one-third of NIIT Tech’s revenues; worldwide, Banking & Financial Services accounts for 17% of the business.

NIIT Tech’s mid-tier IPP peers have yet to report their results, and I will ‘compare and contrast’ when they do. But on the face of it, a respectable enough result as CEO designate Sudhir Singh waits on the sidelines to assume control (see NIIT Tech looks to Genpact for next CEO).

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:03' - Tagged: offshore   resullts  

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Thursday 19 October 2017

New TMV Lead for Application Services – Duncan Aitchison

It is a fascinating time to be joining TechMarketView. The IT services industry is in the throes of its most profound change and nowhere more so than in Application Services (AS).

pictureAs we highlighted in Enterprise Software and Application Services Market Trends and Forecasts 2017-2020, the overall demand for AS will increase at a CAGR of c.2% to generate a meagre £200m - £300m of additional revenue opportunity each year. This slow rising tide cannot lift the increasing number of boats small and large that sail these vast waters to anywhere near their collective revenue ambitions. Fuel the swell with wave upon wave of technological disruption, add in the maelstrom caused by unparalleled political turbulence and we are now in uncharted, potentially treacherous seas. That’s why I will be focussing on clarifying how demand for AS will evolve, identifying where the opportunities for growth and value creation will be found and evaluating the strategic responses that will be required.

Beneath the surface of this £14bn market much is changing. Customers are struggling with the “how” of unlocking their intelligence and executing real transformational change, at both pace and affordable cost. The boundaries with the other traditional towers – in particular Business Process Services and Infrastructure Services - are also fast eroding.

Success in the AS arena will require much more than the mastery of an ever expanding and developing array of technologies and capabilities. It will demand radical changes to current business models; service portfolios and mixes, skills strategies, supply chains, pricing and contractual constructs and beyond.

I will be taking a closer look at these challenges. Working with my TMV colleagues I’ll be analysing the changes in the AS market, anticipating its future direction and assessing the implications for all who seek their fortune there. It promises to be an exciting voyage of discovery.

For more information on subscribing to our Enterprise Software and Application Services research please contact our Client Services team by emailing info@TechMarketView.com.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:00' - Tagged: ApplicationServices  

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Wednesday 18 October 2017

IBM declines for its 22nd consecutive quarter

IBMThird quarter numbers (to end September) from IBM saw the company decline for the 22nd consecutive quarter. However, shares gained more than 5% in afterhours trading as Big Blue came in ahead of analysts’ expectations around EPS and revenue performance. In constant currency, IBM declined 1% over last year (to $19.2bn), however this was two points better than last quarter’s growth rate – see IBM Q2: Recurring themes.

A welcome boost came from that old faithful, mainframe, with a “solid launch” of the new z14 product. The Services (Global Business Services and Global Technology Services) and Cloud Platforms businesses produced a very similar performance to Q2, with “strong double-digit growth” in GTS signings.

IBM's “strategic imperatives” revenue increased 10% over last year, with cloud and security the stronger performers: analytics grew 5% (to $5bn), Cloud 20% (to $4.1bn) and Security by 49% (to $700m). Across the past 12 months, these strategic areas grew to $34.9bn, and now account for 45% total revenue. Therefore, even with these higher growth areas now worth almost half the business, IBM is still not growing the top line. That said, the end goal is getting closer.

Key to sustaining (and indeed increasing) growth in these areas is IBM’s partnerships and the ecosystems it can develop to create differentiated services for customers that need to leap frog along the pathway to adoption of more digital-driven services. Partners are also invaluable routes to market, with reseller-heritage firms such as SCC and Softcat already investigating just how they might take Watson into the fertile UK mid-market.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:12' - Tagged: results   cloud   security   cognitive  

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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Softcat grows for its 48th consecutive quarter

softcatIn contrast with IBM’s Q3 results from last night (see here), Softcat continues to march on with its 48th quarter of consecutive growth. The Value Added Reseller today announced its full year results (to end July), which saw top line revenue increase 23.8% to £832.5m and gross profit lift 12.9% to £136.3m. Shares were up 5% at time of writing.

Softcat’s Services business accounts for just under 16% of revenue, and grew an impressive 28% in the year. Strong areas include security (as compliance with GDPR focuses the mind of buyers) and hybrid IT (as organisations look to identify the most effective way to increase flexibility while decreasing costs).

The mid-market is fertile ground for services providers that can appeal to buyers with the right portfolio set and develop a position of trust. However, with growth here already pushing almost 30%, Softcat is cautious about accelerating this further. Quite rightly, CEO Martin Hellawell wants to ensure quality of service while avoiding de-stabilisation of the business by stretching it way too fast. There is also the issue of being able to employ enough of the right people with the right skills to support even faster growth. Additionally, given Softcat’s track record of focusing on organic rather than acquisitive growth, it’s unlikely the company will use the latter to scale-up.

Softcat’s search for a replacement CEO (for when Hellawell steps down in due course) is ongoing. There is now a shorter list of candidates, however the company is in no panic about finding a replacement as Hellawell is more than happy to remain in situ until the right candidate is identified.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:06' - Tagged: results   security   resale   hybridIT   VAR  

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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Investors place more dosh for BridgeU to place more students

logoWhen I first wrote about university preparation and careers guidance software startup BridgeU, it had just raised $2.5m in seed funding to further its international reach (see BridgeU bridges funding gap with Octopus investment). The company has now raised a further £4m in a Series A round led again by Octopus Ventures, along with existing backer Fresco Capital and new investor Downing Ventures. Based in London and Hong Kong, BridgeU has so far raised £6.4m since its founding in 2013.

This all sounds fine and dandy, but I am struggling to find any hard data on the basics such as how many students has BridgeU helped place, whether it has indeed extended its reach, and, especially, how the business model works. The various media pieces have much fluff about the challenges that youngsters face in choosing which universities to apply for and what careers to follow, but where’s the meat? There is mention that BridgeU “works with schools in over 50 countries” but with what result?

True enough BridgeU sounds like a noble cause, and I assume that Octopus et al have run the numbers. But it looks a bit opaque to me.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:22' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Eckoh progresses in US and with opex model

logoWe wrote in June about Eckoh’s transformative year in the US, leading to this region generating one-third of Group revenue. Today’s brief first half trading statement repeats this successful message.

Just before the March year-end, Eckoh had been able to sign its largest ever payments contract with a US win. Since then, Eckoh has signed a further seven deals in the US, worth over US$5m, almost twice the value of contracts signed in the region during the first half of fiscal 2017. All these new contracts are on an “Opex” pricing model, giving annuity income and consequent visibility to both revenue and cash. Eckoh report that they have now won 30 contracts in the US over the past three or so years. The Group is now in a net cash position (£1.7m of cash in September 2017 against net debt of £2.1.m a year previously).

The company management is sending out a confident message about growth and competitive position in a large and relatively untapped market. New competitors are emerging, but Eckoh has established a strong foothold from which we should see continued progress. More detail, and an update on the UK business should be forthcoming when they publish half-year figures on 22nd November.

Posted by Peter Roe at '07:45' - Tagged: security   contactcentre   payments  

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Wednesday 18 October 2017

IPO vs IVO – Game, Set and Match

logologoAs expected, tt’s game over for AIM-listed, university-focused IP commercialisation business Touchstone Innovations (the erstwhile Imperial Innovations aka IVO). The acquisition bid by main market-listed rival IP Group (aka IPO - see Imperial sides with IP Group over Touchstone) has been cleared by the Competition & Markets Authority and the offer is now wholly unconditional.

Given that IP Group already had acceptances from investors holding north of 96% of Touchstone’s shares, there remains just an aria from a voluptuous diva (geddit?) to herald its delisting.

In theory at least, the scale of the combined businesses should give it more muscle to invest in promising UK innovation (see  IP Group + Touchstone = sterling investor ‘unicorn’?).

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:45' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Wednesday 18 October 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

The report, accessible to PublicSectorViews subscribers, is available to download now. If you are not yet a subscriber, or are interested in getting hold of this report please click here.

Posted by Dale Peters at '00:00' - Tagged: public+sector   police   research   bluelight   police   research   police   research   police   research   police   research  

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Wipro breaks through $2b barrier

logoManagement at Bangalore-based Indian offshore service major, Wipro, have something to smile about, with the company completing its first $2b quarter (to 30th Sept.). The 5.1% yoy headline growth, to $2.01b, was faster than the prior quarter and operating margins were better too, at 17.3%, though 50bps lower than the year prior. A serviceable result under the circumstances.

Archrival Infosys reports this time next week, and you will be able to see our full ‘compare and contrast’ of the top IPPs as usual in the next edition of OffshoreViews after they have all reported.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '17:36' - Tagged: results   offshore  

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

XMOS captures $15m as adds more voices to Alexa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

CloudCall will raise £5.7m to drive further CRM integration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

HCL rejigs banking relationship with DXC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday 17 October 2017

H1 in line at RhythmOne but still a way to go

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

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

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

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

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Monday 16 October 2017

LBB Mobysoft funded to expand analytics in social housing

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

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

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

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Monday 16 October 2017

UK responds to global AI race

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday 16 October 2017

Zalaris buys into UK HR services market with ROC

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

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

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

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

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Monday 16 October 2017

New TMV Lead for Business Process Services – Marc Hardwick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday 16 October 2017

Infosys: Nilekani’s software conundrum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday 15 October 2017

Interesting week for Tesla

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

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

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

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

Posted by Richard Holway at '19:29'

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