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Wednesday 12 December 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Application Services Predictions 2019

In our recent Legacy vs. New: An Alternative Analysis of the SITS Market for the Digital Era report, we concluded thatTheme the velocity of “New” (digital, platform and cybersecurity services) growth for individual suppliers - and within the market as a whole - will be determined by the 3 R’s; Readiness, Risk and Relationship. It is, however, the quality and completeness of the multi-faceted relationships that Application Services (AS) providers, be they internal or external, must now sustain which will determine the strength of the foundations upon which growth and impact can be built.

The Year of the Relationship is TechMarketView’s research theme for the next twelve months and goes to the core of what we will be focusing on in AS during the coming twelve months. In 2019, we expect to see the following major factors at play:

It gets harder in the middle

Both the market conditions and the competitive landscape are changing to something far less favourable for the more digital native players that have been enjoying rapid growth for the last decade. These larger AS SME’s are at risk of finding themselves too small to be considered for large contracts and too large and established to be viewed as being a part if the next wave of innovation.

Ambitious run pricing assumptions come home to roost

A rapidly contracting market for traditional applications support, maintenance and operations services has placed a premium on contract retention. Pricing has often become a commercially led “to win” exercise based on aggressive assumptions regarding the efficiency impacts of multiple automation deployments. It is highly probable that neither the scale of savings envisioned nor the estimated speed at which they would accrue will materialise.

The skills bottleneck tightens

Buy and sell-side demand for “New” talent will continue to further outstrip its supply. The ever-widening array of technology skills sets required to deliver in the new AS world, moreover, will only exacerbate the problem. The possibility of a large, Brexit driven applications change bubble, moreover, could make the next two years challenging in the extreme.

Hyper-agility becomes the AS mantra

“Good” in the AS world will increasingly centre around hyper-agility. This necessitates the bringing together of established agile and DevOps approaches with microservices architecture-based, distributed applications that use techniques including containerisation. Expect plenty of hype about hyper-agility in the coming months.

Acquisitions accelerate

As anticipated in last year’s Application Services Predictions, the level of acquisitive activity in the AS arena increased in 2018. Our research indicates that purchases of UK consulting, SI and vertical solution businesses is up nearly 15% so far this year. We expect this pace to accelerate as we head through 2019 and beyond as AS suppliers seek both alternative sources of improved top-line performance and to build out the capabilities now demanded for success.

 Application Services Predictions 2019 provides a deeper dive into these topics and the report is now available for download. Readers who don’t have a subscription can contact Deb Seth for details about how to take one out.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '07:47' - Tagged: predictions   ApplicationServices  

Tuesday 11 December 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Business Process Services Predictions 2019

Year of the relationshipTechMarketViews’s theme for 2019 is “The Year of the Relationship” which fits neatly with what we can expect to see in UK Business Process Services (BPS) next year. Stakeholder relationships right across the BPS value chain are changing. Traditional relationships between suppliers, partners, customers and employees are all being disrupted at record pace ensuring that 2019 is guaranteed to be an interesting year for anyone involved with UK BPS.

In 2019, we can expect to see relationships between suppliers and their clients continuing to develop with new commercial and operating models becoming increasingly common. Relationships are becoming less about outsourcing and more about creating genuinely mutually beneficial partnerships.

The repositioning and rebranding of BPS service providers

As the blurring of the boundaries between BPS and enterprise software and application services continues the language, labels and brand positioning are changing. Outsourcing is very much out, almost a dirty word. Firms will continue to swap their BPS / BPO labels for a variety of alternatives looking to better communicate their propositions. 

It’s all about the ecosystem

Ecosystems are becoming key market differentiators where having the right partners in place is vital to winning and delivering next generation contracts.

‘Virtual BPS’ takes a big step forward

As the market matures Intelligent Automation solutions are the direction of travel and promise even greater market disruption. One such approach is offered through the development of ‘Virtual BPS’, combining strategic consulting expertise and cloud-based Intelligent Automation-as-a-service solutions. 

Employee experience on a par with customer experience

The most advanced BPS players are already seeing significant shifts in company culture, recruitment and training to accommodate the workforce of the future. Improving the employee experience and developing workforce skillsets to better complement an era of automation may ultimately elevate staff from ‘doers of work’ to ‘trainers and managers of technology’.

Consolidation continues

2018 was a very active year for M&A activity in the BPS market and this is a trend that we expect to continue throughout next year. Squeezed front office specialists are looking to increase economies of scale and buy into higher value activities. Whilst deep industry domain expertise is becoming a real differentiator and we expect to see more acquisitions here as market demand moves towards specialisation. 

An RPA reality check

Whilst we fully expect growth to continue, 2019 might be the year where reality returns to the valuations of the big RPA players. Whilst growth has been impressive there are still many organisations struggling to scale their implementations and where the benefits are taking longer than expected to be realised. This expectations gap coupled with an increasing emphasis on other cognitive technologies as the market matures towards more intelligent automation, are starting to shift the focus beyond RPA.

Brexit clarity releases investment

It’s almost impossible to publish 2019 predictions without reference to Brexit. Sooner or later we will (finally!) have greater clarity on the withdrawal, transition and future trading arrangements with the EU. Each of these milestones will provide public and private sector decision makers with greater clarity and confidence needed to help release investment.

Business Process Services Predictions 2019 provides a deeper dive into these topics and the report is now available for download. If you’re not a current subscriber, please contact Deb Seth for details about how to take one out.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '17:27' - Tagged: predictions   newresearch  

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Is your organisation looking to raise its profile in UK tech next year?

The seventh annual ‘Evening with TechMarketView’ will take place on the 12 September 2019 at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. We can’t wait to welcome more than 200 leaders from across the UK tech scene to the unmissable evening event, which includes a drinks reception, analyst and guest speaker presentations and a three-course dinner.  And what better focus for the evening than our research theme for 2019 - The Year of the Relationship: Extend. Evolve. Optimise.

Sponsorship BrochureOur flagship annual event, the Evening with TechMarketView presents a range of benefits for sponsors too including: 

·     Thought leadership at the highest levels – the event attracts senior execs from across the tech scene 

·     Brand value across the sector – the event is promoted widely on UKHotViews & Twitter reaching more than 20,000 UK tech leaders 

·     Lead & partnership generation opportunities – engage directly with key individuals. 

By early engagement, supporting organisations achieve maximum exposure through continuous promotion in UKHotViews and on social media. Our options also include generous ticket allocations and advertising packages. 

For 2019, there are a range of sponsorship packages available including:

·     DIAMOND (exclusive) - our lead sponsor, demonstrate thought leadership with the exclusive speaking slot at the beginning of the evening

·     RUBY (two available) - our drinks reception and dinner sponsors, two high profile branding opportunities 

·     SAPPHIRE (multiple available) - perfect for anyone looking to raise their visibility 

·     LANYARD (one available) – designed to increase brand recognition in the tech space.

For more details on the event and associated sponsorship opportunities download a copy of the Sponsorship Brochure today or email Sarah Robinson in our Client Services team with any queries.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:00' - Tagged: event   sponsorship  

Monday 10 December 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Enterprise Software Predictions 2019

logoOne thing business leaders are sure of as they deal with complex, multi-faceted transformation programmes is they cannot do everything by themselves, a sentiment that is richly reflected in our 2019 research theme ‘The Year of the Relationship’.

Relationships - collaborative, sophisticated, adaptable, trusted -  form the bedrock of successful business. The supplier-to-customer relationship is crucial but is just one of many that includes people-to-software, software-to-outcomes, data-to-algorithms and legacy-to-digital software stacks. They are ranged alongside relationships within and between changing technology and supplier ecosystems. These factors form the backdrop to developments across the 2019 enterprise software market.

Organisations seek ‘connecter’ software to convert digital transformation plans into action

2019 is set up to be a year of practical enablement as organisations move from simple to complex digital projects. This will drive demand for ‘connector’ software - the sometimes overlooked products and components that link applications, fill out key processes, ease migration and deployment and provide ready-to-use services to further intelligent automation.

Pressure for ‘continuous everything’ brings second row tech forward

Organisations are in continuous change. BizDevOps and agile methodologies set the intent but organisations need the tools to enable them to act which will bring second row technologies forward such as low code development platforms, graph databases and latter-day data platforms.

A move towards governable AI/ML  

As AI/ML adoption ticks up, the need for governance racks up too. AI/ML needs to be transparent, auditable and explainable - this is about knowing what AI/ML algorithms actually do with the data fed to them. Usage has to be ethical too, raising questions around self-regulation; and it needs to be accessible by a wider community. Discussions around these issues will become ever more prominent over the coming year – and beyond.

Discovering the need for Data Discovery and Process Mining

Organisations that don’t know what they have, can neither fully exploit their data and processes nor manage accompanying risks. These issues will stimulate near term interest in data discovery and process mining tools. Looking further out, organisations will gradually awake to the value dark data analysis - particularly their own caverns of dark data - to improve the quality of predictions and decision making, which will also act as a driver for discovery tools.

Dallying with direct data monetisation

Direct monetisation can be achieved through the sale of raw data (Data-as-a-Service),  analysis of data (Analysis-as-a-Service); or through the provision of API applications that allow external parties to interact with the data on terms set by the organisation. From an end user perspective, direct monetisation comes with more advanced (complex) digital change; the immediate opportunity for suppliers is around DaaS and AaaS.

Prepare for interrogation - trust and credibility under scrutiny

Business leaders are struggling to differentiate between suppliers so building a more collaborative relationship is an uphill struggle. Suppliers will have some tough go-to-market calls to make to create differentiation and build trust and credibility. Opportunistic wins should be questioned and new outcome-based commercial models need to be devised – the time for saying ‘we’re exploring’ is coming to an end.

Enterprise Software Predictions 2019 provides a deeper dive into these topics and the report is now available for download. If you’re not a current subscriber please contact Deb Seth for details about how to take one out.

Posted by Angela Eager at '18:05' - Tagged: partnerships   predictions   machinelearning   data   digitaltransformation  

Monday 10 December 2018

TechMarketView research theme 2019: The Year of the Relationship

The Year of the Relationship logoToday we are excited to formally launch TechMarketView’s research theme for 2019: The Year of the Relationship: Extend, Evolve, Optimise. Those who attended our TechMarketView Evening in September will already have had a sneak peek – see An Evening with TechMarketView 2018.

This is a natural evolution of our 2018 theme – Breaking the Boundaries. It acknowledges that suppliers and end users must effectively develop an array of relationships as they compete in a market being driven by the desire to digitally transform. Success in this market is entwined with that of the entire ecosystem, both within and beyond organisational boundaries.

Suppliers must look closely at their relationships with their employees (with the aim of attracting, recruiting and retaining the required digital skills and resources); with acquired organisations (particularly relevant for those acquiring and managing creative digital agencies); with partners (to get the right balance between quantity of partners and quality of collaboration); and with their customer’s customer (as they pursue co-creation initiatives or pursue B2B2C related opportunities).

But most important of all is the supplier’s direct relationship with its clients and prospects: the end user. In a software and IT services market being held back by legacy drag, suppliers need to be strongly positioned to convince client organisations to embark on and invest in digital transformation initiatives involving newer emerging technology. That means creating an environment defined by trust; an environment in which supplier and their clients can work together to face up to the shared challenges that are a barrier to faster progress.

Extending the client relationship is crucial, as digital touches every part of the organisation, has relevance to the entire executive team and reaches into all the lines of business. Evolving the relationship, is necessary to align it to the changing demands of the market; end users we speak with refer to the need for a frictionless relationship that allows the rapid firing up of projects and the support of innovation and change. And finally, optimising the relationship, will require finding the most effective relationship model to drive towards a truly mutually-beneficial partnership; the aim is to allow clients to move beyond their comfort zone, be bolder, and start to take a few more calculated punts.

As we progress through 2019, TechMarketView’s research will look at all these relationships, exploring which suppliers are getting it right, highlighting new relationship models, and advising how to ‘extend, optimise and evolve’.

UKHotViewsPremium LogoThis week, TechMarketView’s Research Directors will be publishing their Predictions for 2019 and discussing how the Year of the Relationship is relevant to their research area of focus. Keep an eye out over the next few days!

Meanwhile, in UKHotViewsExtra, TechMarketView subscribers can access a more detailed review of our 2019 research theme here. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to find our more.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '06:51' - Tagged: TheYearoftheRelationship  

Friday 07 December 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Fujitsu: Better matched to market needs?

Fujitsu released its H1 results at the end of October, and at the same time outlined a restructure of the organisation to “transform its growth strategy as soon as possible” (see more here Fujitsu restructures for growth).

In the first six months of the year, the company’s Services business at the global level was roughly in-line with last year at 1,207.5bn Yen. However, outside of Japan, the “weak performance” continued (revenue was down 2.8%) withfuj both the US and Europe being called out in the financial report. The operating margin in the Services business did, however, increase, but this was primarily due to the impact of higher revenue in Japan.

In spite of what continues to be a muted performance outside of Japan, Fujitsu recognises that Services (and more specifically what it calls Connected Services to create data-driven intelligence for its customers) are where its future good fortunes lay. To that end, the firm has been undertaking a radical strategy to strip back its hardware businesses, including creating a JV with Lenovo for back-end manufacturing, and selling its LSI chip business. As a measure of the significance of these moves, the activity has resulted in a reduction in its revenue line of several billion pounds over the past 18 months or so. Fujitsu is also set to close its manufacturing plant in Germany, centralising all manufacturing and R&D in Japan.

In this research note we look at some of the other adaptions the company is making and what this means for its position and performance. Subscribers can read it here: Fujitsu H1: Better matched to market needs?

To gain access to TechMarketView analysis or speak with an analyst, please contact dseth@techmarketview.com.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:56' - Tagged: results   strategy   digital  

Friday 07 December 2018

Outstanding contenders in TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme

logoThe founders of five truly impressive UK tech SME's contended for acceptance as a Capita Scaling Partner at yesterday's TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme pre-qualification event at Capita's new headquarters in London. TechMarketView and Capita Scaling Partner are working together again to find 'digital disruptors' looking to revolutionise the Customer Management/Customer Experience market.

The contenders were:

  • Alliants a successful customer management consultancy making the journey to a software-led solution provider
  • Dragonfly who have developed exciting technology that mimcs the way the brain assigns salience to visual information to make marketing more impactful
  • Kulea a second generation marketing automation and personalisation platform that delivers significant improvements in customer acquisition, conversion and retention
  • SmartAgentan AI-driven automated customer service agent that can engage with customers in multiple languages in real-time
  • Threat Statuswhose threat monitoring platform helps identify, protect, detect, and respond to stolen secrets that have already been leaked outside of the network boundary

Successful Capita Scaling Partner Digital Disruptors will get the benefit of:

  • a dedicated business development team that works with them over 2-3 years to secure scale business deals from Capita's extensive client base
  • direct access to decision makers in Capita's corporate clients through relationships that have been built up over 30 years
  • the ability to work with Capita’s market leading customer management experts to refine and develop their proposition
  • the ability to negotiate scale deals with clients on an equal footing
  • direct channels to UK and Ireland consumers
  • Capita’s proprietary consumer data, collected from handling over 45 million contacts every day
  • access to Capita's low cost and scalable shared services.

You can read short profiles of the shortlisted companies on the Capita website here, and find out more about the Capita Scaling Partner programme here.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:11' - Tagged: tipp  

Thursday 06 December 2018

TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme shortlist announced

logoWe are delighted to announce the shortlist of innovative UK tech SMEs selected to participate in the pre-qualification stage of the Capita Scaling Partner Digital Disruptor event, the second in the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme series. TechMarketView and Capita Scaling Partner are working together again to find 'digital disruptors' looking to revolutionise the Customer Management/Customer Experience market.

logoFounders of the shortlisted companies will attend an intensive Pre-Qualification Session with the Capita Scaling Partner team and TechMarketView research directors at Capita's offices today. Selected candidates will progress through to a series of business workshops to determine which will be chosen to join the Capita Scaling Partner programme.

The shortlisted companies are:

  • Alliants
  • Dragonfly
  • Kulea
  • SmartAgent
  • Threat Status

Congratulations to them all.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:00'

Wednesday 05 December 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Servelec puts focus on mobility and interoperability

Servelec logoIt’s been a year since UK-headquartered technology group Servelec was taken private by Montagu Private Equity, so we caught up with CEO Alan Stubbs and CFO Mike Cane to take stock of progress over the last twelve months and discuss the outlook for the diverse business under Montagu’s ownership.

Avid TechMarketView readers will recall that Servelec is a business of ‘many halves’ with core business in health and social care, oil and gas, power and infrastructure and the water sector. It operates through two divisions, Servelec HSC (Health and Social Care), now branded simply Servelec, and Servelec Automation, which is further divided into Technologies and Controls. We’d long felt that these were essentially three different businesses that would perform better independently, and our sense is that Montagu also believes that the sum of the parts will be greater than the value of the whole when it comes to exit.

As you might expect, it’s been a hectic few months for the Servelec team who’ve been working hard behind the scenes with new owners Montagu on a three to five-year strategic plan for the business. The ‘full potential plan’, as it’s known, involves heavy investment over the initial 12-18 months in sales, marketing and product development. There have been a number of important new hires – not least the appointment of non-exec Chairman Neville Davis to help drive growth across the business. 

Report coverMontagu has also provided the funding necessary to invest in Servelec’s products, particularly in health, social care and education, where the software has been modernised with mobility and interoperability top of mind. Indeed, just this week, Servelec announced the extension of its strategic partnership with mobile workforce solution provider Totalmobile, which will see them jointly develop a suite of mobile apps to support the health and social care workforce. A range of solutions linked to Servelec’s Rio electronic patient record product are already available, and mobile solutions for Servelec’s social care platform, Mosaic, will be available from January. 

To read our full analysis of Servelec, including our view on its recent financial performance and the outlook for the business, PublicSectorViews subscribers can download our latest research note available from today: Servelec on mission to deliver ‘full potential’.

If you don’t currently subscribe to our in-depth research and you’d like to know more please contact Deb Seth for details of our 2018/9 subscription packages.

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '09:45' - Tagged: results   health   software   socialcare   oil&gas   mobility   utilities   interoperability  

Monday 03 December 2018

*UKHotViewsExtra* Suppliers lend weight to AWS Security Hub

*UKHotViewsExtra* Suppliers lend weight to AWS Security HubSecurity suppliers queued up to certify their wares for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Security Hub announced last week.*UKHotViewsExtra* Suppliers lend weight to AWS Security Hub

The rush to partner the cloud provider highlights just how important cloud security has become as IT departments continue to shift more of their data, applications and infrastructure into off-premise environments owned and operating by third party providers. More …

Not a TechMarketView subscription research client? Then why not subscribe to our low-cost UKHotViews Premium service to access all of our UKHotViews and UKHotView Extra posts? Click the flag for more information.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:52' - Tagged: AWS   cybersecurity   UKHotViewsExtra  

Monday 03 December 2018

*UKHotViewsExtra* Share Indices for November 2018

UKHotViewsPremiumRead our summary of the ups and downs of the leading software and IT services stocks in November here on UKHotViews Extra, available to all TechMarketView subscription service clients and to entrepreneurs and tech professionals subscribing to UKHotViews Premium.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:20'

Sunday 02 December 2018

*UKHotViewsExtra* The Panoply to float on AIM tomorrow

The Panoply logo

UKHotViews Premium logo

Tomorrow, The Panoply Holdings plc, “the parent company of a digitally native technology services group founded in 2016 with the aim of identifying and acquiring best-of-breed specialist information technology and innovation consulting businesses across Europe”, floats on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. The offer is expected to raise £5m from the primary offering and £400K from secondary shares. The offering was oversubscribed.

Panoply definition: “An extensive or impressive collection”

The Group consists of four independently profitable businesses: Bene Agere (an Oslo-based strategy and management consultancy); Manifesto Digital (London-based digital experience agency, with a focus on service design, UX, and front-end web development, and a strength in not-for-profit); Notbinary (experts in transformation through software, data and automation—more on them later); and Questers (onshore and nearshore agile software development services, with clients including News UK and Ocado Retail).

Our understanding is that the four businesses, that have agreed to be a part of The Panoply, will be acquired today, i.e. the day before the float; however, all will continue to be run autonomously retaining their entrepreneurial spirit. In the year to end March 2017, the four companies had combined revenues of £10.6m; this increased to £15.6m in the 12 months to March 2018. The revenue split is 70% private sector; 18% not-for-profit and 12% Government.

According to the IPO documentation, The Panoply Group's primary strategy is “to acquire companies in order to build geographic regional clusters of complementary companies and help those acquired companies to achieve organic growth through a mixture of cross selling, upselling and winning bigger deals.” In other words, it is designed to offer the best of both large scale/corporate resilience of the large ICT firms and the niche platform specialism offered by SMEs. The Panoply Group’s core value set binds them together.

The Panoply was co-founded by Neal Gandhi (the Group’s Chief Executive) and Oliver James Rigby (CFO). Gandhi may be best known to UKHotViews readers as the co-founder of Attenda (since bought by Ensono – see Attenda acquired by Ensono); since leaving Attenda in 2005 he has been involved in a variety of ICT ventures, co-founding four technology services companies in total. Most worthy of note, he co-founded Quickstart Global, aimed at helping clients establish their own operations around the globe, from which Questers was spun-out in 2012.

Notbinary logoNotbinary: A Panoply Group company

Last month, we met up with the CEO of one of the four companies within The Panoply Group: Notbinary. James Herbert, Notbinary’s CEO, previously co-founder of Methods Digital (having spun it out from Methods) and was its MD from 2012 to 2017. Prior, James was Director Transformation & Technology within the Cabinet Office (under UK Government CIO John Suffolk).

TechMarketView subscribers can read more about Notbinary, its history, its raison d’être, its successes to date, and its ambitions as part of The Panoply, in UKHotViewsExtra: The Panoply to float on AIM tomorrow. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to find out how to read this research note and more.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '19:01' - Tagged: cloud   software   ipo   data