The Prince’s Trust and Dell EMC’s seventh annual Leadership dinner will be held on Tuesday 31st January 2017. Following the success of previous years with HRH The Prince of Wales, Sir Martin Sorrell and Elon Musk as keynote speakers, in 2017 guests will hear unique insights from two leaders who are influencing the future of business in the UK.
Demis Hassabis, Founder and CEO of DeepMind will speak alongside Paul Drechsler CBE, President of the CBI.
Demis Hassabis is one of the foremost pioneers of neuroscience based Artificial Intelligence. His company, bought by Google in their largest European acquisition to date, is on a mission to solve intelligence and apply this to tackle some of the most pressing real-world challenges from climate change to radically improved healthcare.
Paul Drechsler CBE has been the CEO of Wates. His role as President of the CBI places Paul in a critical position, representing and lobbying on behalf of UK business interests at a time of great political uncertainty.
Firmly established as a premier networking opportunity in the annual business calendar, the Prince’s Trust Leadership Dinner is also an ideal client cultivation opportunity. Taking place at the London Hilton on Park Lane, tables of 10 are priced at £7,500. The dinner is usually reserved for corporate partners of The Trust, however given my involvement with the Trust I am able to extend an invitation and I encourage you to purchase a table at this great event!
To secure a place at this exciting dinner please email Allie at The Prince’s Trust on email@example.com.
Hope to see you there.
Posted by Richard Holway at '18:40'
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Capita is going through arguably the toughest time in its history right now. Having issued its first-ever profits warning at the end of September (see here), the UK SITS market leader is now downgrading guidance again for 2016 after further weakness in Q4, which will continue through H117. Its shares took another hit on the news, down c8% this morning, and now almost 60% over the past year.
In the investor call group FD Nick Greatorex said that organic growth in FY16 would now be -1%, down 2 percentage points from downgraded expectations given just two months ago. Capita started the year expecting 4% organic growth. It’s worth remembering that 80% of Capita’s business comes from annuity revenue, so there’s very good visibility on the core.
The problem has been what Greatorex called an ‘unprecedented drop’ in the transactional business. There’s been a continued weakening in IT services tech solutions, and a downturn in discretionary spend in areas like training, consulting in employee benefits, property and travel and events. Capita is going to take a £50m charge in FY16 to cover redundancies and restructuring, with ‘extensive management and structural changes’ in IT Enterprise Services.
There are also plans to dispose of Capita Asset Services (CAS), one of Capita's most profitable and high growth businesses (see Capita predicting slower organic growth (update)), alongside a small number of other businesses. CAS' activities being disposed include shareholder, fund, debt and banking solutions and trust and corporate services, but exclude Capita's mortgage administration services. These activities generate revenues c£300m with a 20% margin.
Next year Capita is going to offshore jobs in application support, and invest further in robotic process automation (RPA), following a successful initial pilot at one of its customers. Big changes ahead.
We will have more on what all this means in UKHotViewsExtra later, only for TechMarketView subscribers.
Posted by John O'Brien at '09:29'
Californian private equity firm, Diversis Capital, has made a cash offer for ServicePower via its UK subsidiary. The Offer Price represents a premium of c130% on the share price of 21 November, valuing the entire issued share capital of ServicePower at c£13.65m.
Stockport-based ServicePower provides workforce management software. In its latest set of results (six months to the end of June), revenue was down 7% to £6.4m – profit was also squeezed. The numbers reflected the company's continued migration to a SaaS model as well as the postponement of some larger global rollouts (due to customer delays) and the cost of transitioning its IT to the cloud.
News emerged in November that ServicePower had rebuffed a bid from the large Canadian software player, Constellation Software, indicating that it was instead in talks with Diversis. Diversis invests in SMEs (across a variety of industries) that “require a transformation to achieve success”. Indeed, we think the involvement of Diversis will provide a welcome boost to ServicePower and help it counter the sorts of challenges it faced in H1. Diversis wants to “aggressively” grow the company, and has the financial might to support this objective. Out of the public spotlight, and backed by an investment partner, ServicePower stands a much better chance of scaling profitably.
Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:08'
Despite persistent reports to the contrary, email is clearly not dead yet. At least so you would assume from the unusually large £23m investment made in Farnborough-based email signature software firm, Exclaimer, by mid-market private equity firm, Livingbridge.
Founded in 2000 (no startup them!), Exclaimer claims to be the largest global provider of email signature software. The product set also includes ‘next generation email archiving, an advanced email auto response system, business grade anti-spam, email image analysis technology and more.’ Exclaimer was also a winner of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade earlier this year. Very well done them.
Playing exclusively to MS Office 365, and with its focus on both the branding power of signatures and the compliance issues of disclaimers, Exclaimer likely has a huge and, yes, still growing market to look forward to.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:42'
If the past few years have been about virtual reality in all its guises, surely the next few will be about ‘touch’ completing the experience (see Getting “touchy-feely” with LBB Ultrahaptics).
Such is indicated by the unspecified further investment raised by Cambridge University spin-out, Cambridge Touch Technologies, in a Series A funding round, led by existing investor Cambridge Enterprise (CTT), and including Amadeus Capital Partners and new investor Parkwalk Advisors.
Founded in 2011, CTT has developed advanced ‘3D touch’ technology claimed suitable for any touch screen, from smartphones to tablets to those in automobiles and beyond. CTT says that its technology is simpler and lower cost than existing ‘3D’ touch systems, and will integrate easily into existing manufacturing lines.
See me … feel me … touch me … heal me … (OK, maybe not that last one – yet!).
Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:17'
Latest data from corporate finance firm Ascendant reveals that not only did UK venture investment continue to grow in Q3, in fact the biggest ever UK VC deal – the £210m funding round in food delivery startup, Deliveroo – occurred in August. However, tech investment through UK crowdfunding platforms fell compared to the prior quarter and prior year.
According to Ascendant, £737m was invested in 163 deals (>£0.5m) in Q3, 16% higher than this time last year, bringing the total invested so far in 2016 to £2.3b. CEO Stuart McKnight remains optimistic that 2016 will still be a bumper year for the UK and Ireland for VC tech investment.
Subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service will find more in the forthcoming edition of IndustryViews Venture Capital, available soon.
Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:54'
And so the story ends as the disaggregated Bond International Software delists from AIM today (see Symphony adds final movement to Bond opus).
May it rest in its many pieces.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:24'
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Posted by TechMarketView at '00:00'
Qinetiq very rarely hits our radar. It undertakes some SITS-specific activity, such as the sale of its AWARD software to assist sourcing projects through life (see UK Government’s G-Cloud: Meeting its objectives?), and the provision of specialist cyber security services (including its Sybard range of security products – see UK public sector SITS suppliers: cyber security offerings). On the whole, it is viewed as a provider of client-side technical services. However, generally, our conversations about Qinetiq are related to its partnering arrangements with the traditional SITS suppliers. For example, we understand that Qinetiq partners with UKCloud for its assured cloud platform. And CGI partners with Qinetiq for its smart metering contract (see Logica teams with Qinetiq for smart metering contract).
For those working with Qinetiq (or competing against), this week’s announcement should be of interest. Qinetiq remains heavily reliant on its 25-year, £5.6b, Long Term Partnering (LTP) agreement to run test and evaluation services for the MoD. The company earns 67%, or just over £500m of its revenues, from the UK MoD. Of that, it generates more than £300m a year from that one contract (equivalent to 40% of total revenues). The contract is due to end in 2028, with the price renegotiated every five years. The news is that half of the remaining value of the contract – totalling £1b - has been agreed in advance, ending the regular pricing talks. This clearly brings a greater level of medium-term revenue certainty for Qinetiq. It will mean the company can invest for the long-term with more confidence, demonstrating more innovation to the market; the company has always been keen to win a greater share of the test and evaluation market in the UK (which it estimates is double the size of the existing deal) and globally. Of course, with any such commercial negotiation, Qinetiq must also have promised additional savings in exchange for such certainty.
Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:53'
Fascinating to see Masayoshi Son, the founder of Japanese Softbank, teaming up with President-elect Donal Trump to announce a £50b investment in creating 50,000 jobs in the US. Son seemed to infer that the investment would be in start-ups. But other big prey has also been rumoured. The announcement seemed to also link in Foxconn - one of the main offshore assemblers of Apple product. Softbank shares soared 5% on the news.
Of course, we in the UK have great interest in Softbank as the new owners of ARM. They have pledged to double the size of the UK workforce post acquisition. My only hope is that this is not all skilled migrants and/or poaching our already thin IT talent pot. Let’s give the IT entry-level jobs market a boost too please!
There is a flipside to all this. Those US companies that already offshore huge parts of their work might well become increasingly out of favour. Maybe we will see increased M&A of indigenous firms with high onshore headcount? Unisys seems a prime target in that regard.
Onshoring is but one threat to the offshorers/IPPs. The other comes from AI and machine learning which is set to decimate the number of low/mid skilled white collar roles over the next few decades. The tasks might well 'Come Back Home' - but how many new jobs they create is questionable.
Posted by Richard Holway at '09:45'
US-headquartered domain and hosting provider, GoDaddy, is acquiring Host Europe Group (HEG) for €1.6bn. That breaks down to €605m to Host Europe’s owner (Cinven) and assumed net debt of €1.08bn.
HEG and GoDaddy both provide domain name and web hosting services for SMEs. Indeed, HEG had very recently added to its capabilities by acquiring Sys Group’s SME business. GoDaddy intends to integrate the majority of HEG's business while exploring strategic alternatives for HEG's PlusServer managed hosting business, including a possible sale.
GoDaddy, which had Q3 revenue of $472m (+15%), already has business in Europe (including the UK), but the acquisition of HEG – which has 1.7m customers – accelerates its European position notably. GoDaddy says HEG looks set to generate $328m in bookings and $139m in EBITDA – no revenue data was given.
Cinven acquired Host Europe from Montagu Private Equity back in 2013 for a total consideration of £438m. The company was originally bought by Montagu in 2010 for £222m. In July 2014, AIM-listed iomart notified the market that it had received, and rejected, two offers from Host Europe.
Subscribers can read more about M&A in the hosting and cloud industry here: Infrastructure Services Supplier Landscape 2016-2017. If you are not a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth.
Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:32'
Enterprise software vendor CA Technologies dispensing with its ‘thoughtful discipline’ approach to growth (see here), with a major €600m cash buy of Germany-based IT and business process automation player Automic Holding GmbH (Automic).
The deal shows just how high the stakes are now for both legacy IT/BPS players and software vendors to significantly scale-up their IT and business process automation capabilities.
CA is buying Automic from Swedish VC owners EQT, who bought the company in 2012 for €220m (see here). At the time Automic had revenues of €62m, and 550 employees. EQT is therefore more than doubling its investment return over the past four years. Today, Automic employs 600 people, and although revenues aren’t disclosed, CA must be paying several times current revenues, underlying the rising values in the Intelligent Automation space.
Automic has been on our radar for some time, as one of the earlier entrants into the Automation field. It was set up as UC4 Software and specialises in automation around SAP and Oracle workflows, integration and reporting. It has been branching out into newer areas such as DevOps to automate and speed up new software deployments.
In the UK customers include the NHS Shared Business Service, Carphone Warehouse, BT, Morrisons and Bet365. At NHS SBS for instance, Automic is used to automate checks against financial accounting rules and import 25,000 invoices into NHS SBS' Oracle Financials system. At Morissons, it is used to connect disparate applications and manage the underlying IT workloads.
This major investment by CA shows the importance being placed on technologies that speed up legacy to digital transformation, while removing unnecessary back office and processing costs. It supports our view that we will see more partnerships and M&A between the ‘old world’ and ‘the new’ players in the Intelligent Automation space over the next year or so.
Subscribers to BusinessProcessViews can learn about this disruptor space in our report series starting: Business Process Automation: What is Intelligent Automation?).
Posted by John O'Brien at '08:50'
Sage Group’s North American payments business is under scrutiny with the company exploring strategic options, including a potential sale, although the company stresses that nothing has been decided. The formal announcement follows press speculation about a sell off.
Under CEO Stephen Kelly’s transformation plan, Sage is honing in on growth products and accelerating investment in cloud and its subscription business. While Payments should be one of the growth areas, that has not been the case in North America.
The North America Payments business was one of the business segments on the ‘could do better’ watch list in Sage’s latest full year results, with flat yoy performance. This was attributed to margin compression in line with industry trends but also a shortfall in new accounts due to slower progress in marketing and partner development. Remedial action was taken around payments such as combining Payments, Accounting and Payroll and setting up a dedicated Payments marketing team. The North America Small and Medium Business segment was also one of the poorer performing segments within the company which suggests the performance issue is broader than Payments.
Posted by Angela Eager at '08:45'
Jean-Michel Deligny, Paddy MccGwire and Pietro Strada have combined the teams of their respective firms to create a broader and stronger organisation that can provide an even better service to its clients in the technology sector.
Silverpeak advises innovative, fast-growing technology companies with deep domain expertise in Internet & Digital Media, Enterprise Software/SaaS, Business Services, Enabling Technologies and Healthtech.
Commenting on the merger, Pietro Strada, said "Paddy brings a wealth of relationships, knowledge and experience in technology M&A which will significantly broaden Silverpeak’s advisory capabilities."
Paddy MccGwire added "I’ve known Jean-Michel and Pietro whilst building Cobalt over the last 20 years. We bring together complementary networks and sector knowledge. Combined we have a truly global network to deliver outstanding outcomes to our clients.”
Recent transactions include advising Octopus, the largest institutional investor, on the sale of Magic Pony to Twitter.
Silverpeak has become a member of Globalscope, the international M&A advisor with people on the ground in 41 countries across every continent which Paddy helped co-found.
The merged business will continue under the Silverpeak brand name.
Posted by Silverpeak at '00:00'
It looks like Atos is about to add to the list of sporting events which it supports. It is preferred bidder to provide timing, scoring and results (TSR) systems and the supporting services for four events in the Berlin/Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Apparently, the committee is due to meet this Thursday to consider the report recommending Atos’ appointment. Subject to formalities, the organisers also intend to announce Atos as the first official sponsor of the Championships.
Atos has vast experience in this field. As the worldwide IT partner of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and International Paralympics Committee (IPC), it has been a provider of IT solutions for the Olympic Games since 1992 and to the Paralympic Games since 2002. Atos was also lead sponsor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Of course, its involvement in these events is about more than the contract; being associated with these events – and having its logo plastered everywhere – is ‘worth its weight’ in terms of PR & marketing. And the intention is that this new multi-sport event will reach beyond dedicated fans of the individual sports, to a much broader audience, thus making it even more attractive. There will be six events in Scotland, of which Atos will support four – cycling, gymnastics, triathlon and the new team golf event. The other events are aquatics, rowing and athletics (the latter – the European Athletics Championships - will be competed in host partner city Berlin). Atos will also provide TV graphics for its four sports.
Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:33'
H1 results from iomart are solid with the company turning in organic growth in the 8-9% range. Overall growth (i.e. including acquisitions) was 16% to £42m. Indeed, the purchases continued in the period with the acquisition of Cristie Data Ltd, a Stroud based data storage, backup and virtualisation solutions provider.
Adjusted EBITDA margin was squeezed slightly from 42.6% to 41.8%, partly due to the charges being levied by the cloud providers with which it partners.
The top line growth in the cloud business is holding very steady at around the 10% mark (to £35m). Interestingly, we observe that the company is shifting from its ‘natural habitat’ in hosting towards the types of services that ready organisations for a shift to the cloud - and then migrate the applications. The SystemsUp acquisition is of course additional evidence of this. It’s an important move as it opens up potential for larger hosting contracts. Of course, many other providers are also chasing the services opportunities associated with cloud migration so creating differentiation is challenging. Often it comes down to skills, experience and reference cases, and how those can be applied to strong customer relationships.
We don’t expect to see any surprises in H2 in terms of performance, but could well see more cloud consulting revenue as that part of the business builds.
Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '08:18'
The official taxi app sponsor at the TechCrunch Disrupt London start-up conference (see Robo-dog Spot ‘Disrupts’ TechCrunch show) was Gett, who thoughtfully offered all delegates a discount code to use during the event with their newly enhanced app.
I almost lost the will to live trying to use it.
It took me nearly 15 minutes just to order a cab to take me from the event to the VIP dinner venue, even with the kind assistance of the many Gett helpers on hand. Indeed my first attempt to order a cab went sadly wrong when I got a call from the cabbie saying ‘I’m here – where are you?. Turns out the app’s GPS locator had me positioned in completely the wrong location.
Finally, when another taxi arrived and I got to the dinner venue, I was shocked to see that the cabbie’s app said I owed £11.67, whereas I had expected just £2 (£7 fixed fare less £5 discount). Neither he nor I could work out why (by the way, the meter said £7.60). After another few minutes of faffing around, I told the cabbie to ‘accept’ the fare and said I would sort it with Gett afterwards. When he did, the app finally came up with the correct £2 fare (it seems Gett are overpaying cabbies to get them on board).
I tried Gett again when I left the dinner venue. Once again, I couldn’t get it to recognise my location so gave up and shared someone's minicab back to the tube.
Much to learn from Uber on ‘user experience’, methinks.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:51'
I also caught the interview with Dr Mike Lynch, ex-CEO of Autonomy and now founder and CEO of $1b investment fund, Invoke Capital, on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday (and see Robo-dog Spot ‘Disrupts’ TechCrunch show). He was asked several ‘no holds barred’ questions by his inquisitor about the various law suits flying between him and HPE, about which he was sanguine: “fortunately that stuff doesn’t take too much time so we’re getting on with business”.
Business involves investment in a number of start-ups (‘heading towards ten’), of which the largest is Cambridge-headquartered cybersecurity start-up, Darktrace – the first recipient of Invoke funding, and since co-funded with further investments (see Darktrace alights on further £50m funding).
Lynch made a wry comment about ‘machine learning’, a term he says is now appearing in every entrepreneur’s funding pitch and is now just a marketing hook (wouldn’t disagree in the main).
Maybe because of his current involvement with lawyers, Lynch believes that the legal sector is ripe for technological transformation. Traditionally one of the most resistant sectors to change, Lynch feels that its time has come. Again, we probably wouldn’t disagree, but the pace of change will likely be very slow.
His final question was about an apparent media report that said he was keen on hunting. This came as a great surprise to Lynch who was not aware of the article. He said he certainly does not hunt – in fact he conserves rare breeds of various animals, including ‘medieval pigs’ (I assume that’s their breed rather than age!). “I like foxes,” he said.“ They’re my friends”.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:29'
There’s no disputing who stole the show on the first day of TechCrunch Disrupt, the premier two-day start-up event which kicked off in London’s Olympic Park yesterday and for which TechMarketView is a proud sponsor.
It was Spot, the robo-dog creation of Boston Dynamics, the MIT spin-off now owned by Google.
Boston Dynamics founder, Marc Raibert (left in pic) was interviewed on the main stage and showed off some of their various robo-creations – both four-legged and two-legged – with a series of videos which showed that at least one of the robots has a future in slapstick comedy, with its brilliant rendition of the famous slip-on-a-banana-skin routine.
And then on bounded Spot who proceeded to go through his paces mostly unaided, bar a few times his ‘controller’ had to step in when the robot got a bit confused by the bright lights.
The future looks scary – and also hilarious.
By the way, TechCrunch Disrupt runs through till the end of today – it’s not too late to get a ticket and have your mind blown by the many UK and international startups showing their wares.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '06:55'
This morning TechMarketView's Martin Courtney has written about amendments to ‘Rule 41’ (see Amended Rule 41 poses more data sovereignty questions), which call into question whether data centres owned and operated by US companies (including those located in the UK) could be remotely accessed by the FBI. The fact that there is still a question mark over the impact of Rule 41 has the potential to make some organisations think again about where they host their data. But, for now, as confusion continues, another UK public sector organisation is taking the plunge with the Microsoft Azure cloud service.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will upload footage from Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras developed by Microsoft partner, Axon, to Microsoft Azure. 22K police men and women from 32 London boroughs are collecting millions of hours of footage; it will be automatically uploaded once the BWV device is docked in a police station. The benefits of BWV cameras, when combined with the ability to securely store and easily access the recordings, are numerous – they include making police more accountable; reducing the number of complaints against police officers; helping resolve cases more quickly; more people pleading guilty and speeding up the justice process and defusing potentially violent situations.
The decision by MPS follows a similar decision by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) earlier this year, which signed up to use Microsoft Office 365 and Azure cloud services, citing benefits of value for money and security. Notably, MPS states its decision is based on UK data residency and transparency around secure data management. These decisions will have been made before the Rule 41 amendment was approved. There is a chance that some organisations might now delay hosting decisions with US companies until more is known about where Rule 41 applies... but how long might that take?
Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:52'
Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) moved towards higher ground in the Financial Services sector. As financial services customers accelerate their take-up of cloud-based services, (see our FS Market Trends report) AWS is cementing relationships with key suppliers, to build the credentials of its scale-advantaged service, to anticipate potential customer concerns and drive faster growth. This closer identification with partners and sector-specific solutions should also build greater differentiation versus Microsoft Azure.
By launching the AWS Financial Services Competency within the AWS Partner network, AWS has identified a number of preferred partners with audited experience of the AWS platform and delivering solutions in the AWS Cloud environment.
The list of Consulting Partners includes two dedicated AWS Cloud suppliers (2nd Watch and REAN Cloud) alongside Cloudreach and Cloud Technology Partners which also deliver solutions over other cloud platforms. The list of “mainstream” consulting partners comprises Accenture, Capgemini, and Sopra Steria, as well as the IPPs Cognizant, Infosys and Wipro.
Closer alignment with AWS could bring substantial benefits to these suppliers, particularly as they introduce transformative solutions to the conservative (but also cash-strapped) mid-sized financial services players. Sopra Steria specifically pointed out the value of AWS as a foundation for their offerings in robotics-as-a-service and cognitive automation, while Capgemini cited the importance of AWS as on-premise solutions are migrated to the cloud and in the provision of as-a-service models. Some interesting technology partners have also been identified in the areas of Risk Management, Core Systems and Data Management, including innovative banking systems provider Mambu, spend tracker Moven and market data provider IHS Markit.
Cloud is of such importance to the sector going forward that we would expect that many of the notable absentees from the initial list; TCS, HCL, Atos, CSC, etc. are already working on their applications.
Posted by Peter Roe at '09:48'
TechMarketView’s 2016 research theme, “Surfing the Waves of Disruption”, couldn’t be more apt. The evolution of the infrastructure services industry has hit a significant milestone with Amazon Web Services (AWS) storming into our Top 20.
AWS is certainly a disruptive force to be reckoned with, and one of things that really unnerves traditional suppliers is the unknowns around its full competitive might. AWS has grown to become a substantially sized player over an incredibly short period of time, racking up phenomenal UK growth in FY15 - based on our analysis.
However, the AWS figures hint at an even more disruptive future. If the company continues to grow at such a rate - and if our leading players continue to grow very slowly or not at all - we’re looking at AWS becoming one of the top five infrastructure services players in the UK within just a few years’ time.
To find out exactly where AWS is placed, and to read more analysis on the pure-play cloud provider and its peers, see Infrastructure Services Supplier Landscape 2016-2017, by Kate Hanaghan, Research Director.
Of course, the report also examines other key industry players, moves and trends and is essential reading for those looking to survive as the market shifts into the cloud and towards a Hybrid IT operating model.
If you’re not yet an InfrastructureViews research stream subscriber, contact Deb Seth for more information.
Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:33'
Despite late and unsuccessful attempts from US senators and data privacy groups to stop or delay it, changes to US criminal procedure which give the FBI extended rights to remotely access data on any computer came into effect on December 1st.
Previously Rule 41 restricted those powers of remote access and search only to legal jurisdictions where local US judges had issued search warrants – its amendment extends that power to ‘any jurisdiction’. That could be interpreted to include locations outside the US – namely data centres owned and operated by US companies in other territories, including the UK and the European Union.
We probably won’t know if the amended rule extends beyond US borders until it is actually tested in court though. And any attempt by US authorities to access the private data of EU citizens which is stored only in European data centres and never transferred to the US (and beyond the remit of the EU – US Privacy Shield) is bound to clash with national and EU data protection laws.
Data sovereignty is an emotive issue which arguably gets more attention than it deserves compared to what we think is a much bigger threat to data security from cyber criminals. But cloud service providers, colocation and data centre hosting providers continue to play on those fears to persuade new, and reassure existing, clients (particularly in the public sector) they can keep their data safe from the US government (subscribers to SecureConnectViews can read our report The impact of data sovereignty on UK cloud service development here).
Like everybody else, we’re waiting to see how the application of Rule 41 actually plays out. In the meantime the tussle will continue as US providers like Microsoft, IBM and Amazon Web Services make big investments in expanded UK-based hosting facilities to head off any concerns, whilst UK companies like UKCloud proclaim immunity to intrusive US legislation.
Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:23'
The marketeer’s mantra ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half’ is attributed to US department store owner John Wanamaker some one hundred years ago. Nothing much appears to have changed since then.
You’d therefore have to say that the holy grail of marketing departments everywhere is, was and always will be to be able quantify the return on advertising spend (ROAS in the vernacular), and London-based Appsumer is just one of numerous AdTech startups to help the search. They’ve just raised $1m in a seed funding round led by business angel syndicate Galvanise, along with other angel investors.
Founder Shumel Lais spent a few years at mobile ad agency Fetch (since acquired by Dentsu Aegis) before joining M&C Saatchi for just over a year. He launched Appsumer in April 2015. A million dollars is a great vote of confidence.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:49'
It describes itself as ‘the only platform to enable organizations to share, promote and monetise collective expertise’ – though on the face of it, London-based startup Zapnito is essentially a souped-up content management system ‘on a mission’, the mission being to sell content and expertise. Nothing wrong with that!
Given that co-founder Charles Thiede spent many years (on and off) with media and business information publishing firm Informa (also a Zapnito client), it would be fair to assume he has a handle on all of this. Some angel investors think so too, from whom Thiede has raised £440k in seed funding.
Thiede’s back story is interesting (see Creative Digest), and undoubtedly reflects the experience of many other tech entrepreneurs who fail to get venture funding for their first ‘big idea’ – basically, fund the next one yourself and get a few marquee names as pilot clients.
Being the co-founder of a research firm which sells content and expertise, I do ‘get it’. Though with client brands including JP Morgan and McGraw Hill amongst other, Zapnito is probably not targeted at ‘small, but perfectly formed’ boutiques such as TechMarketView!
Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:09'
Really interesting article in The Times today - Autism barrier is broken by search for hidden talent. It is based around news of a new London-based IT consultancy - Auticon - which will hire only people on the autism spectrum. Auticon is already established in Germany where it has 83 employees and contracts with Siemens and Allianz. In 2013 I wrote about SAP which now has 120 autistic employees.
The Times suggests that 450,000 people in the UK of working age are autistic but only 16% have jobs according to the Autistic Society.
My dear 12 year old grandson is autistic and I know several other readers have autistic children. My grandson does lack some of the social niceties but is brilliant at computers and gaming in particular. He would do really well in an IT environment but would he get through the interview process? The more that is done to educate employers that autistic people can bring great benefits, the better. With huge IT skills shortages, we should be fully utilising those with obvious tech talents.
Posted by Richard Holway at '06:41'
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Posted by TechCrunch at '00:00'
HPE’s latest partnership with Nokia adds another component to the company’s emerging Internet of Things (IoT) service play following a deal with GE earlier this year.
The two companies will jointly market and sell IoT platforms based around asset management, remote site automation, predictive maintenance and network connectivity into two vertical sectors – manufacturing and smart cities (smart lighting and building systems).
TechMarketView spends a lot of time analysing IoT business models and working out exactly where in the long, complex value chain various suppliers sit. Surprise, surprise, HPE is very much where it has always played – back-end fixed and wireless networking, servers, storage and systems management with the latest virtualisation and cloud provisioning platforms thrown in.
Nokia’s strengths are in the cellular networks needed to connect remote IoT devices beyond the reach of WiFi and its relationship with mobile operators. As such it fills a gap in HPE’s ability to co-ordinate and package end to end IoT services to its customers, just as GE’s Predix delivered an IoT-focussed PaaS platform (and arguably a bigger foot in the door to the aerospace, oil and gas, manufacturing, automotive and energy industries).
Both HPE and Nokia have also played leading roles in the development of network functions virtualisation (NFV) technology earmarked for application and service orchestration and security which we think will come to represent an essential component of cost effective IoT business models as 5G networks develop (SecureConnectViews subscribers can read our report SDN/NFV to boost cloud service profit margins here).
Big things are expected for industrial and consumer IoT solutions over the next five years and more partnerships of this type are bound to emerge as suppliers try to cover all the bases (see Fujitsu and DHL Collaborate for IoT services and IBM and Cisco narrow the IoT ecosystem) and control the customer relationship.
Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:33'
When I first wrote about Cheltenham-based ‘meeting productivity’ startup Meetzoo in October, they were about a quarter of the way through a £150k crowdfunding raise on Crowdcube (see Meetzoo looks to meet funding crowd). As at time of writing, they had beaten the target, having raised a total of nearly £166k from 96 investors (~£1.7k average per investor) and are holding the round open for a few more days. Crowdcube investors now share just over 18% of Meetzoo’s equity, which had a pre-money valuation of £750k and is now valued at over £915k. Meetzoo is in ‘beta’.
Let’s see what they can do with the dosh.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:25'
Its main proposition is not out there yet (‘alpha’ due soon, ‘beta’ next year) but there seems to be enough of a buzz around Finimize to entice London-based early stage investor, Passion Capital to lead a £450k seed funding round in the startup, along with angel investors.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in London, Finimize is building a robo-advice app to help millennials with their financial planning. As described on its website by co-founders Max Rofagha and Scott Tindle, the Finimize MyLife app ‘strive(s) to demystify finance by making financial news easy to understand, succinct and relevant’. Rofagha is the entrepreneur behind Swiss e-commerce platform DeinDeal.ch, now part of MyStore.ch. Tindle, a CFA, was VP Institutional sales at Barclays Capital.
It’s all about the money.
Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:55'
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