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New year, new job! Great opportunities available at a multiple award-winning UK software house
13 Dec 2018
Jisc and Eduserv to merge
12 Dec 2018
BT's regional focus pays off with PSSN deal
12 Dec 2018
Enterprising Endava expands
12 Dec 2018
Dell gains approval for stock transaction
12 Dec 2018
'Dial-an-expert' startup techspert dials up £1m funding
12 Dec 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Application Services Predictions 2019
12 Dec 2018
Turn OnTo Electronics
12 Dec 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Business Process Services Predictions 2019
11 Dec 2018
Erratum: Unilink adds Beaumont Colson uniting prison & probation
11 Dec 2018
Acquisitions transform Shearwater
11 Dec 2018
Civica rounds out 2018 with seventh acquisition
11 Dec 2018
Serco extends Peterborough and Lincolnshire contracts
11 Dec 2018
Dictate IT becomes latest addition to Clanwilliam Group
11 Dec 2018
Is your organisation looking to raise its profile in UK tech next year?
11 Dec 2018
2018 - a Year of Rapid Expansion for Kimble
11 Dec 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Enterprise Software Predictions 2019
10 Dec 2018
16 projects funded through the Local Digital Fund
10 Dec 2018
Servelec Controls sold to PE-backed MBO team
10 Dec 2018
Access Intelligence benefits from its “busiest year”
10 Dec 2018
TechMarketView research theme 2019: The Year of the Relationship
10 Dec 2018
Gain access to TMV's Full UKHotViews and UKHotViewsExtra Articles
10 Dec 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Fujitsu: Better matched to market needs?
07 Dec 2018
EMIS reaches settlement agreement with NHS Digital
07 Dec 2018
HCL puts up $1.8bn for part of IBM's software portfolio
07 Dec 2018
Backers trust in Trustology's digital asset vault
07 Dec 2018
Outstanding contenders in TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme
07 Dec 2018
Smart Meter Madness (11): A longer wait
07 Dec 2018
The First and Only AI-Driven WLAN from Mist
07 Dec 2018
Teleperformance to run NHS e-Referral Service
06 Dec 2018
Capita to put workers on its board
06 Dec 2018
Unlock deeper analysis and searchable insight with UKHotViews Premium
06 Dec 2018
TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme shortlist announced
06 Dec 2018
Process Improvement is the Catalyst for Digital Transformation
06 Dec 2018

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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Jisc and Eduserv to merge

Jisc logoPublic sector not-for-profit companies Jisc (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) and Eduserv are to merge. The two charities will begin operating as one from 01 January 2019.

Bristol headquartered Jisc provides shared digital infrastructure and services, sector-wide deals, advice and assistance to further education (FE) colleges, universities and the skills sector, including provision of the Janet network for the UK research and education community.

The majority of Jisc’s funding comes from the UK higher education and FE funding bodies, with additional funding coming from higher education institutions. Earlier this year the Department for Education confirmed Jisc will be required to introduce a membership charge for FE colleges from August 2019.

Eduserv logoEduserv, also based in Bristol, provides digital transformation and cloud migration services across the public sector, including central government, local councils, all UK universities and some third sector organisations.

Jisc currently employs 620 people across its Bristol, London, Manchester and Harwell sites, and Eduserv has 100 Bristol-based employees. The 220 Jisc staff currently located in Bristol are expected to move to Eduserv’s offices in the city in autumn 2019.

The expectation is for Eduserv to be absorbed into the Jisc brand in time, but initially both companies will retain their individual identities and websites. Eduserv’s CEO Jude Sheeran, will take up a position as trustee on the Jisc board in January.

The hope is that the new organisation will have greater scope to co-create products and services for students and citizens, without duplication of effort, time and money.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:48' - Tagged: education   merger   notforprofit   digital+transformation  

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Wednesday 12 December 2018

BT's regional focus pays off with PSSN deal

BT logoBT been awarded the £50 million, nine-year Northern Ireland Public Sector Shared Services Network (PSSN) contract by the Department of Finance (DF). It will provide network and unified communications services including new hardware, software and network security across eleven Government departments and other public sector bodies.

By replacing a wide range of diverse networks, the intention is to provide a platform with security and operational stability on which to deliver new and improved public services. The first core network services will be available for use from the summer of 2019. BT could increase the value of the contract – up to £400m – through the addition of additional services and customers.

Following a troubled period, BT has restructured the business and strengthened its regional focus, giving more responsibility to its local sales teams (see UK Public Sector Supplier Prospects 2018). It has also refocused its portfolio of offerings on managed services, connectivity and mobile. With this in mind, the PSSN contract is precisely the type of contract that BT is keen to ensure it wins.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:43' - Tagged: public+sector   contract   network+services   telco   local+government  

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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Enterprising Endava expands

LogoLondon-based “nearshore” IT services company Endava completed its first quarter as a publicly quoted company in some style. Revenue for Q119 (the three months ended 30th September) was up just shy of 40% yoy to £66.4m on a constant currency basis. Profit before tax in the first quarter was £2.6 million compared to £6.4 million in the same period in FY18 as the result of a one-off  fair value adjustment in relation to the Velocity Partners' acquisition made earlier this year (see here). Underlying margin on an adjusted profit before tax basis increased yoy from 16.4% to 17.6%.

We met up with a not surprisingly upbeat CEO John Cotterell the other day. He was able to report growth across every facet of the business - new and existing customers, all geographies and all industry verticals. From a sector perspective, Financial Services remained the single largest segment for Endava. Sales in this vertical grew by 13% yoy and accounted for 53% of turnover in Q119, down from 60% at the same point last year. Revenue in the company’s newer industry sector focuses increased by over 150% to £13.3m in line with Endava’s ambitions to establish a more balanced vertical portfolio.

In terms of the firm's geographies, North America led the charge with its first quarter top line up by some £10m yoy to £17.9m. Generating 44% of total turnover and with yoy revenue growth of 28% in Q119, the UK was still the company’s dominant region. Europe accounted for the remaining 29% of sales.  On the current trajectory, it should not be too much longer before Endava achieves its goal of having businesses of equal size in each of its three major territories.

Looking forward, the company expects both to see sales increase by over 30% yoy next quarter and that full year 2019 revenue will be in the £275m to £278m range representing constant currency growth of between 25% and 26%. Based on Endava’s current momentum, however, this guidance seems somewhat conservative.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '08:50' - Tagged: results   itservices   ApplicationServices   digital  

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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Dell gains approval for stock transaction

Dell Tech logoFollowing a special meeting of stockholders, Dell Technologies has announced it has received approval for its Class V tracking stock transaction based on a preliminary tally of votes, and it will return to the public market.

After concerns from investors that the original offer undervalued the stock, Dell returned with an improved offer of $120 cash per share in November. This offer has now been approved, which equates to a total market capitalisation of $23.9bn for the tracking stock (see Dell improves tracking stock offer for further details).

The transaction is expected to close on 28 December 2018 and, as indicated in Dell’s recent Q3 results notice (see Dell revenue up 15% ahead of crucial vote), Dell Technologies Class C shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DELL) on the same day.

Largely through the acquisition of EMC in 2016, Dell is a more diverse business compared to the one that was taken private in 2013. However, the increased complexity of the business is one of the challenges it needs to address. This deal will simplify the capital structure of the business, but more needs to be done to make its proposition easier for customers to understand. It also remains to be seen how potential investors will respond to the total debt burden of the business, which stood at over $52bn at Q3 FY18.

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:32' - Tagged: software   listing   infrastructure   hardware  

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Wednesday 12 December 2018

'Dial-an-expert' startup techspert dials up £1m funding

logoWould you pay good money for ad hoc access to a worldwide network of experts? Cambridge-based startup techspert.io rather hopes you would and claims to be able to search through more than 150m experts "in minutes" to find just the right one for your business.

From what I can infer from its website, techspert does not create its own expert network like market leader GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group) which charges members a subscription fee for access. Instead, techspert scans online public datasets public datasets, such as academic journals, clinical trials registries, government documents, and commercial registries for relevant experts and then triages out the most likely suspects before passing their profiles on to their client. It appears that techspert takes a commission from the expert's fee. How big the fee is I don't know, but media reports suggest that 'experts' in the GLG network can charge up to $1,000 an hour for a phone call.

Founded in 2016 as Biotechspert, the startup has since spread its remit beyond the biotech sector to 'any question, any sector' (though belied by its logo!). techspert has just raised £1m from various angels and backed by the Angel CoFund. According to CrunchBase, techspert had raised two prior seed funding rounds.

If techspert does not charge a subscription fee, then, rather like eBay, it is relying on the honesty of both enquirer and expert to complete the transaction through its own platform so it can get its cut. Techspert has some basic level of protection in that the enquirer contacts the expert though a dial-in bridge, but I suspect many of these experts are on LinkedIn and could be reached by other means. And what about follow-on calls?

Techspert is a well-meaning idea but needs a watertight  business model.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:28' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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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  

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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  

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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Erratum: Unilink adds Beaumont Colson uniting prison & probation

Unilink logoWe would like to make readers aware that in our original UKHotViews post entitled Unilink adds Beaumont Colson uniting prison & probation, published on 4th December, there was a typo in the combined turnover of the two companies. The correct combined turnover figure is £12-13m. The article has subsequently been updated.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '10:43'

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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Acquisitions transform Shearwater

shearFirst half results from Shearwater Group, the “digital resilience” firm, reflect what has been a transformational period.

Revenue more than doubled (to £4.5m) following six months of trading from acquired entities SecurEnvoy, Xcina, and GeoLang. At the Group level, the underlying EBITDA loss was £1.6m

In fact, the results only tell half the story of what has been happening at Shearwater because it was only after the end of the trading period that the firm closed its acquisition of Surrey-based Brookcourt for £30.3m (for background see: Shearwater continues strategic march with proposed Brookcourt acquisition).

The acquisition moved the Group into a cash flow positive position, and broadened its cyber security capabilities. But it also created a much larger platform for further consolidation in the market. Integration of the business, we are told, “continues to progress well”. Phil Higgins, who was co-founder and CEO at Brookcourt, has today been appointed Executive Director at Shearwater.

By year-end we should know much more about how the integration has progressed and what benefits the Group is seeing from cross sales and other synergies.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:49' - Tagged: results   cyber  

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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Civica rounds out 2018 with seventh acquisition

Civica logoCivica has rounded out a busy 2018 with a seventh acquisition, announcing the addition of e-recruitment software specialist Trac Systems to its health and care division. The move comes hot on the heels of the acquisitions of ERS last month and iCasework in October (see Civica acquires election specialist ERS Group and Civica makes fifth acquisition of 2018).

Trac Systems provides cloud software and related services to the NHS and the wider public sector for the complete recruitment process, from advertising vacancies and managing applications to on-boarding and induction. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s evident that this is a small bolt-on purchase and ‘business as usual’ for Civica in terms of acquisitions. The SME is too small to file full accounts with Companies House and employs c.50 people, but it is well-respected in its niche and its software is used by some 160 NHS Trusts. 

Trac Systems adds to Civica’s presence and expertise in health and care, where Civica already works with more than 400 customers. But is also brings a SaaS capability that is relevant to customers across the group that require recruitment management solutions, so we can expect Civica to look for cross-sell opportunities in the UK and internationally too.

In other words, Trac Systems ticks all of Civica’s acquisition boxes. It expands its capability and activity in current or adjacent markets; brings specialist domain expertise and IPR; and has a cloud/SaaS model that’s in keeping with Civica’s cloud-centric strategy. 

Whilst this is likely to be Civica’s last acquisition of 2018, expect more of the same from the PE-backed group in 2019. 

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '09:43' - Tagged: acquisition   software   healthcare  

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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Serco extends Peterborough and Lincolnshire contracts

SercoSerco this morning confirmed extensions with both Peterborough City Council and Lincolnshire County Council to continue providing a range of corporate services. The contract extensions have a combined value of approximately £135m.

This is very good news for Serco’s Citizen Services business and with Hertfordshire recently signing up to a long term extension it confirms the Company’s plan to be a serious long-term player in Local Government BPS.

Serco has been working with Peterborough since 2011 providing services including Customer Services, Rev & Bens, HR & Payroll and Procurement and has committed to a long-term extension worth £105m now running to 2031.

Lincolnshire is a shorter extension to 2022 worth some £30m but given where that contract was not that long ago this represents a real turnaround. Serco will continue to provide services including Customer Services, Financial Services, IT Services and HR & Payroll.

New Local Authority BPS deals are few and far between so renewing contracts like Lincolnshire and Peterborough has become ever more important for established players like Serco.

Lots of interesting things going on at Serco at the moment. Yesterday we attended the (re)launch of the Serco Institute at an event run in conjunction with thinktank Reform and focused on ‘Reimagining public services for citizens’. The Serco Institute was originally set up back in 2002 to position the company as a thought leader in public service delivery but was quietly ‘put on ice’ back in 2012. 

Its re-emergence can only be good news for Serco and is a statement of intent that the business intends to be proactive in helping set the public services agenda. For too long the big public service providers like Serco, Capita and many others have been too reactive, letting others (mostly their critics) define success and failure. Initiatives like this are desperately needed to secure the future of Public Sector BPS at what remains a challenging time for the sector.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:22' - Tagged: localgovernment   contract  

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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Dictate IT becomes latest addition to Clanwilliam Group

Clanwilliam Group logoClanwilliam Group has acquired medical correspondence and clinical reporting specialist Dictate IT for an undisclosed fee. The deal follows hot on the heels of the acquisition of Obsidian Healthcare at the end of last month (see Clanwilliam Group acquires Obsidian Healthcare).

Founded in 2004, London-based Dictate IT provides digital dictation, outsourced transcription, and speech recognition services to 27 healthcare providers in the UK and Ireland, including The Royal Free, Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals, and Surrey and Sussex NHS Trusts.

Earlier this year, it launched its new real time medical speech recognition solution, ‘Dictate IT Live’, which uses a deep neural network model for acoustic modelling. For the year ended 31 March 2018, the business achieved a turnover of £9.5m, up 6% on the previous year.

Dictate IT is the 18th business Clanwilliam has acquired since it was formed in 2014. It will become part of the group’s NHS division, alongside Obsidian Healthcare and Informatica Systems, acquired this year, and Medisec Software and Maxwell Stanley, which joined the business in 2017 (see Clanwilliam Group: Ambitious Plans in Healthcare).

Digital dictation is part of the drive to improve efficiency and accuracy in the NHS and is an important component in the paperless agenda. As with previous Clanwilliam acquisitions, Dictate IT will work with other businesses in the group to build synergies between products and services.

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:44' - Tagged: acquisition   healthcare   digital  

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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  

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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  

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Monday 10 December 2018

16 projects funded through the Local Digital Fund

MHCLG logoThe Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has awarded c.£1.3m to help councils develop digital solutions to improve public services. The funding, which comes from the first round of the Local Digital Fund, sees 16 projects receive grants of up to £100,000.

As discussed in our UK Public Sector SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2018 report, the Government launched the Local Digital Declaration, a shared vision for the future of local public services, in July 2018. Over 130 organisations have now signed the Declaration, including local authorities and other organisations operating in the sector. It is a commitment to work together to create the conditions for the next generation of local public services, with technology acting as an enabler to service improvement.

The initiative is backed by the Local Digital Fund, which provides £7.5m of government funding over 2018/19 to 2019/20, with grants of up to £100,000 made available for projects that have the potential to be rolled out more widely across the country. The fund attracted 389 expressions of interest from 171 organisations by the October 2018 deadline. A proportion of these were invited to bid for funding to develop one of two types of project: discovery (to better understand a common problem) and alpha (build and test something to address a known requirement).

The Local Digital Collaboration Unit team received 77 full applications by the mid-November deadline and recommended funding for 16 bids. These 16, which include 57 local authorities as named partners, comprised 10 Discovery projects and six alpha projects. These projects covered a wide range of technologies, including chatbots for people in care, improving online tools for reporting social home repairs, and using data analytics and AI for children with special educational needs—more details here.

Despite the relatively small amount of government funding dedicated to the initiative, the impressive level of engagement shows a willingness for councils to work together to find solutions to common problems. In the Year of the Relationship it will be vital for local authority suppliers to build strong collaborative partnerships with councils and help drive innovation in the sector.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:01' - Tagged: funding   government   digital   local+government  

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Monday 10 December 2018

Servelec Controls sold to PE-backed MBO team

Servelec logoThings are moving quickly at Servelec, which we said in our analysis last week - a year after it was taken private by Montagu Private Equity - was ripe for sales as three separate businesses (see Servelec on mission to deliver ‘full potential’). 

The Sheffield-headquartered technology and software group has just confirmed the sale of its systems integration business, Servelec Controls, through a management buyout led by Managing Director Andrew Mills, and backed by Alcuin Capital Partners. Servelec Group will continue as the current Servelec (healthcare, social care and education) and Servelec Technologies businesses.

All three of the diverse business units within Servelec Group have been strengthened over the last twelve months as part of the three to five-year plan, with investment from Montagu and a series of appointments, including Mills as MD of Controls. The businesses are now being run quite separately and are well-positioned for sale individually.

Of the three businesses, Servelec Controls, which serves critical industries including oil and gas, nuclear power and defence, performed best this year and is set to show growth in 2018. Mills and the management team will now lead the business in its future strategy, with the goal of transforming it into a robust, stand-alone entity and a market leader in the UK SI industry. 

Attention will now naturally turn to the two remaining Group businesses, Servelec and Servelec Technologies, which are also being run much more independently with strengthened management teams. Over recent months, Neil Laycock and Richard Betts joined Servelec as Managing Directors of healthcare and social care and education respectively, and David Frost joined as Managing Director of Servelec Technologies. Although Montagu is not in a hurry to exit, we wouldn’t bet against the sale of either of the two remaining businesses should the right buyer come along.

For our latest analysis on Servelec Group, PublicSectorViews and CompanyViews subscribers should check out Servelec on mission to deliver ‘full potential’.

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '08:56' - Tagged: disposal   systems+integration   private+equity   oil&gas  

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Monday 10 December 2018

Access Intelligence benefits from its “busiest year”

Access IntelligenceToday’s trading update from marketing communications software supplier Access Intelligence confirms it remains firmly on the road to recovery in FY18, benefiting from what management describes as the “busiest year in the Company's history”.

Access Intelligence has been under pressure to perform in FY18 and deliver on the restructuring and divestment programme undertaken a while back. This has seen the company move towards a single brand and platform and an enterprise sales team. Added to this the company has invested in new offerings around the Vuelio engagement platform and in November acquired ResponseSource to broaden its offer and customer base. 

This has translated into recent contract wins with the likes of Porsche, Médecins Sans Frontières, Investec, Philips and Air France KLM, whilst Vuelio has continued to perform well in the public sector, now serving nearly half the UK's local councils and universities and the majority of UK police authorities.

The proof is always in the numbers, and for the year to 30thNovember the business saw organic growth in net Annual Contract Value (ACV) of £0.6m. With the addition of £3.2m in ACV through the ResponseSource acquisition, the Group's total ACV was approximately £12.4m, compared to £8.6m at the same time last year. Management expects total revenue from continuing operations for FY18 to be in the order of £8.9m, compared to £8.1m for the prior year. EBITDA is expected to be in line with expectations.

Things are looking up for Access Intelligence with the integration of the ResponseSource already underway and new additions from a combined product-development function expected in the first quarter of 2019.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:30' - Tagged: cloud   tradingupdate   machinelearning  

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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  

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Monday 10 December 2018

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Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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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  

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Friday 07 December 2018

EMIS reaches settlement agreement with NHS Digital

EMIS Group logoAt the start of the year EMIS Group revealed there had been a failure to meet its service levels and reporting obligations with NHS Digital (see EMIS fails to meet NHS Digital obligations). It was subsequently stated that a provision of £11.2m had been made to cover any potential settlement and costs associated with these breaches, which related to its EMIS Web product (see EMIS results overshadowed by NHS Digital SLA issues). It has now been announced EMIS has reached a settlement agreement with NHS Digital and that it falls within the limits of its provision.

It was important for EMIS to get this issue resolved as we move towards the new General Practice (GP) IT Futures Framework that replaces the GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) agreement (see NHS Digital publishes GP IT Futures notice). The new framework poses a threat to EMIS, along with the other GPSoC suppliers (TPP, INPS and Microtest Health), as it marks a shift towards a more modular approach that is designed to make it easier for new suppliers to enter the market.

EMIS believes its relationship with NHS Digital is changing for the better and that it is aligned with their priorities. It is currently upgrading and extending its EMIS Web system, which serves c.57% of GP practices in England, to form a new integrated clinical platform called EMIS-X, which supports NHS Digital's interoperability standards.

The company remains well positioned for GP IT Futures. Although NHS Digital wants to refresh the market, the pressures on primary care will make it wary about causing wide spread disruption. We would expect EMIS, as the dominant GPSoC supplier, to retain a strong position after GP IT Futures commences, but it will face new competition and can’t afford to be complacent.

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

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Friday 07 December 2018

HCL puts up $1.8bn for part of IBM's software portfolio

logologoAs IBM hones in on the high growth areas of integrated cloud, AI/ML and security, it is divesting itself of part of its software portfolio. HCL Technologies is stepping up to acquire the products in a $1.8bn deal (the largest in its history we believe).

HCL will take on seven products in the marketing automation, commerce and security areas that IBM says tend to be sold on a standalone basis. HCL already has partnerships with IBM covering five of them, which is at the heart of market chatter about why HCL needs to buy them and the amount it is paying for them. Even though HCL is confident that the acquisition will add revenue of $650m in the second year following completion of the transaction (expected mid 2019), significantly expand its customer base and give it a lift in the security, marketing and commerce sectors it says are strategic to its business, shares were down c5% at the time of writing.

HCL has described the move as a new direction for the company and there is scope to scale the business via cross sale opportunities to customers of the IBM products, expand its software-and-services revenue stream and diversify but it does tie HCL closely to IBM when competitors are vendor agnostic. The IPP is growing faster than larger peer Infosys, slower than peer leader TCS but overtook Wipro this earlier this year (see here) but getting the services-plus-software go to market right will be crucial to maintain its growth trajectory. That's a difficult task because the services and software business models are so different, and it remains to be seen how much growth there is in these established products.

The products concerned are Appscan (identifying and managing vulnerabilities in mission-critical applications); BigFix (endpoint management and security software); Unica (cloud-based marketing automation); IBM WebSphere Commerce (omni-channel commerce platform);  IBM WebSphere Portal (web portal development; stalwarts Notes and Domino (collaboration); and Connections (email, activity and task management, instant messaging, and file and document sharing).

As for IBM, this is another move to resposition the focus of its software portfolio around hybrid cloud and ‘digital’ areas, which includes the $34bn proposed acquisition of Red Hat

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:44' - Tagged: acquisition   software   divestment   ApplicationServices   infrastructureservices  

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Friday 07 December 2018

Backers trust in Trustology's digital asset vault

logoOne possible clue to Trustology's prospects might be found in an interview that Alex Batlin, founder and CEO of the London-based digital asset security startup gave to Reuters. He said, "The original thinking was we would build the tech and sell to the banks,” (but) (t)hey are not moving as quickly as we are…" Batlin went on to say that they have "quite a lot of demand from individuals, as well as crypto funds."

I guess it's all about whether cryptocurrencies are going to 'go large' - or at least large enough for Trustology to make any money from its product. Clearly VC firm Two Sigma Ventures thinks so, having just led an $8m seed round in the startup, with participation from ConsenSys, the global blockchain company founded by Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin.

As I have said before, blockchain is rather 'above my pay grade', and maybe Trustology's technology really is just what the industry is waiting for in order for cryptocurrencies to be widely accepted and trusted. But I am not so sure.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:42' - Tagged: funding   startup   security   blockchain   cryptocurrency  

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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  

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Friday 07 December 2018

Smart Meter Madness (11): A longer wait

chartThe truth is in the numbers, as I always say. And the numbers show that the government's massively mishandled smart meter rollout is going even further off the rails.

The latest statistics published by the Department for Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy & Wasting Fabulous Amounts of Our Money show that installations of smart meters in domestic premises slowed in Q3, with 1,128k domestic smart meters installed last quarter down 10% on Q2. This is despite more suppliers getting in on the act. And the trend line seems to be pointing downwards (see chart).

This will surely push the timeframe to replace every 'dumb' meter in the land even further out. My last 'back of a fag packet' calculation estimated a mid-2025 end date based on the Q2 installation rate (see Smart Meter Madness (10): The long wait to 2025). On current course and speed – who knows?

Adding insult to injury are the sums of money being spent on completely pointless advertising by Smart Energy GB (SEGB), the non-Government smart meter campaign body funded by domestic energy suppliers. Indeed I question its very existence. Last year, SEGB cost us £47m, 22% more than in 2016. And I say cost us because of course energy suppliers will pass this cost on to consumers through their tariffs. SEGB's very glossy TV and print media ads concoct meaningless scenarios of how much money we can save by having a smart meter installed. But only, of course, if we use less energy and prices don't go up.

Let's just leave the energy suppliers to get on with the job of installing smart meters – whenever it finishes – without all the PR hoo-ha. And let's consign to fanciful thinking the 'benefits' that were meant to accrue from creating a UK 'smart grid'.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '06:00' - Tagged: smartmetering  

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Thursday 06 December 2018

Teleperformance to run NHS e-Referral Service

TeleperformanceFrench customer management specialist Teleperformance has been awarded a three-year contract (with an option to extend to five) to run the Telephone Appointment Line as part of the NHS e-Referral Service. Commencing in April 2019 Teleperformance will look after telephone contact from patients needing to book hospital appointments following a GP referral.

NHSThis is a great win for Teleperformance in the UK where the business returned to growth earlier this year. The company had found the market here tough going for some time citing Brexit and political uncertainty as drags on its UK business.

NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) makes around 40,000 referrals daily and combines electronic booking for patients with a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments. Patients can choose their initial hospital or clinic appointment, book it in the GP surgery at the point of referral, or later at home online, or by phoning the Telephone Appointment Line.

Part of the service will also include handling contacts from NHS Health Care Providers in the event of changes around availability of appointments that need to be communicated directly to patients. In addition to the contact centre operation, Teleperformance will also provide a print and direct mailing service for appointment confirmation and supporting information.

The NHS Digital Evaluation Panel that awarded the contract, praised Teleperformance for the scalability of its solution and perhaps not surprisingly given the needs of the service the security controls on offer. 

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:33' - Tagged: contract   customermanagement  

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Thursday 06 December 2018

Capita to put workers on its board

CapitaIn a sign that times really are a changing at Capita, CEO Jon Lewis has announced that it will become the first FTSE company since the 1980s to appoint workers to its board.

Changing the culture at Capita is a major part of Lewis’s transformation plan and this is a big statement of intent. Writing in today’s Times newspaper, Lewis says: “An employee perspective at board level is long overdue and can only help us achieve our objectives. It will ensure the board has an unvarnished view of the operational challenges facing the company. It will improve checks and balances.”

The two successful employees must have worked for the business for at least two years and will be paid an additional £64,500 on top of their existing salary. They will take on full boardroom non-exec duties as well as keeping their day job. Applicants are to be selected via an independent process and will be covered by full liability insurance. The appointments, from next spring, are expected to last two to three years.

The appointment of worker-directors on big companies was one Theresa May’s big ideas when she became Prime Minister but was quietly dropped when faced by opposition from the business community. 

Culturally and commercially putting workers on the Capita board makes a lot of sense – it makes a big statement to all stakeholders that things really are changing. Others will be watching very closely to see what impact this delivers.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:08' - Tagged: Capita   boardchanges  

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Thursday 06 December 2018

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Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:50'

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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'

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