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Monday 01 September 2014

CCS selects suppliers for Managed eMail

Cabinet Office logo

Accenture, BT, CSC, General Dynamics Information Technology and Vodafone have been selected to provide managed email services for public sector organisations. The two year framework will be used by Health and Social Care Information Commission (HSCIC) straightaway as a replacement for NHSmail and shortly by Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for its Criminal Justice Secure Mail (CJSM) service. Crown Commercial Service (CCS) envisages the framework will provide public sector bodies with ‘a single compliant route to market’ in a ‘multi-tenant / shared service environment’.

The framework is divided into lots depending upon the volume of mailboxes being procured (Lot 1: up to 9,999 mailboxes, Lot 2: between 10,000 and 99,999 mailboxes and Lot 3: large volume email 100,000+ mailboxes) with all suppliers selected on to each lot.

In terms of scope customers must buy one or core components (Secure eMail, Secure eMail Gateway, Mobile Device Management, White Pages and Directory Service, Business Partner Secure eMail and eMail Router) with common components (Access, Administration, On boarding and Off boarding, Information Security; Service Management (including Service Desk), Customer Service, Data Retention, Compliance and Reporting) setting out how the core components are delivered.

In addition to core components, there are supplementary components (such as Instant Messaging and Collaboration, Remote Storage and Insecure eMail) which CCS expects to vary by supplier but are not available to be purchased in isolation.

We highlighted in  UK Public Sector SITS Suppliers: Cyber Security Offerings the mixed supplier landscape in Cyber; including SME providers of secure data exchange such as 4Secure, Accellion, Cryptshare3, Deep Secure, Egress Software, Fox IT, IPSWITCH and Nexor. The Managed eMail framework should provide opportunities for these SMEs to be involved. Tony Pepper, CEO, Egress Software Technologies commenting “In order to meet the framework’s stringent requirements, the chosen suppliers have had to work closely with the wider industry in order to integrate innovative technologies and solutions in to their existing platforms”. 

Posted by Michael Larner at '09:57' - Tagged: sme   framework   cabinetoffice  

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Monday 01 September 2014

Share, share, share!

social iconsObservant UKHotViews readers may have already noticed that we’ve made it even easier for you to share articles on social media. You can now share UKHotViews articles via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn simply by clicking the relevant icons, which appear below the article in both the email and web versions of UKHotViews. You can also email individual articles to friends or colleagues from the web version of UKHotViews at the click of an envelope-shaped button.

And don’t forget that you can Comment on articles from the webpage too – the analyst team is keen to hear your views so don’t be shy! 

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:14'

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Monday 01 September 2014

Castleton disposes of Maxima as buy and build strategy continues

castletonCastleton Technology plc (was Redstone plc) is to sell the trade and certain assets of its subsidiary Maxima Information Group to PDMS UK Ltd for a total cash consideration of £752k. PDMS is a software development company based on the Isle of Man

Maxima’s sole trading division (following the sale of QAD in March 2014) is ABS, a software business focused on supporting a range of its own developed and proprietary ERP, reservation, ticketing and payroll software products. In FY14, Maxima (excluding QAD) generated £1.5m in revenue and a profit before tax of £305k.

Castleton has already collected c£200k in annual maintenance revenues in the current year so the enterprise value of its exit will actually be pushing £1m. The disposal marks the completion of Castleton’s restructuring, and we now expect to see the acquisitions start to happen as it looks to build its presence as a managed services provider to the public and not for profit sectors.

Castleton is the latest ‘buy and build’ vehicle of technology entrepreneur, Ian Smith (see Smith begins next ‘buy and build’ at Castleton). It was created from the shell of Redstone after the demerger of Redcentric in 2013. See the latest on Redcentric’s progress here: Redcentric starts the year with confidence.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:13'

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Sunday 31 August 2014

Share Indices August 14

Shares Aug 14Although the media has been full of ‘records broken on stock exchanges..’, these have all related to the US where NASDAQ, S&P and other indices have all broken into record territory. See New highs. Over here in the UK, things are much more subdued. Indeed, the FTSE 100 is up just 1% YTD and all of that gain came in Aug. The TechMark100 is up 4.5% YTD compared with a 9.7% rise in NASDAQ. NASDAQ might indeed be back to those record dot com days of Apr 2000, but the TechMark100 at 3233 is still way off its 2000 peak of c4300.

This month it was the FTSE Hardware Index which soared – up 14.5%. This was on the back of a massive 49% gain at CSR which received – but rejected – a bid approach from US Microchip Technologies. See FT. Also ARM put on 14.6% on the back of high expectations for the Apple iPhone 6 launch on 9th Sept. Indeed Apple itself was up 7.5% in Aug/28% YTD as its fortunes rebounded and hopes of a long awaited ‘new product genre’ soared. Indeed at $102.5 (or $717.5 before the 7:1 split) that was way ahead of its Sept 2012 peak of $703.

The FTSE SCS Index (which most closely tracks the UK SITS shares we follow) put on3.6% in Aug but is still down 0.2% YTD.

Unfortunately Digital Barriers had another torrid month – falling 16% (down 49% YTD) on yet another warning. This time as its business in Africa was affected by the Ebola epidemic. See – Break even continues to elude Digital Barriers. Despite Confident Quindell raises profit guidance Quindell  shares were down another 14% making 40% YTD. Serco can do without more bad news. Although they refuted reports of the over-charging at the NHS, Serco shares fell 14% in Aug or 40% YTD. Despite claiming success with their fundraising, Outsourcery was down another 13% in Aug (making a massive 83% YTD). We took it all with a pinch of salt as you can read for yourself!

TeleCity lost 6.8% as CEO Mike Tobin announced his departure. They are still showing a 2.1% gain YTD though.

At the other end of the scale, Enables IT put on 65%. But it was more of a recovery as they are still down 52% YTD. Bit like Blur which managed a 25% rise in August but are still down 86% YTD. See Blur and the small print. EG Solutions put on 31% on an upbeat trading announcement – see EG Solutions regains its confidence -and are back to where they started the year.

Globally there was very little of magnitude to note. Salesforce managed a 8.9% rise in Aug but, at a 7.1% gain YTD has not kept pace with NASDDAQ. See Salesforce – so many expectations to meet. I’m just waiting for the profits… Both Sopra (down 10.6% and Steria  (down 4.2% but up 27% YTD) lost a little as their marriage was finally consummated. See Sopra Steria entente cordiale passes muster?.

Must admit to increased nervousness about the outlook. Too many ‘geopolitical’ threats at the moment. Even in the UK, there is the Scottish referendum (far from a done deal for the ‘NOs), interest rate rises sooner than many expect and an increased UKIP threat to a Conservative win at next May’s General Election. The old adage ‘Sell in May , don’t come back ‘til St Leger’s day’ has not been a wise maxim this year. But we are very unsure what will happen after those horses are back in their winter stables.

Posted by Richard Holway at '15:12'

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Friday 29 August 2014

Computacenter UK services sees solid growth

cccA combination of significant wins and enlarged renewals is bumping up growth in Computacenter’s UK services business. H1 revenue increased 8.2% to £241m, while the second half of the year is expected to grow even faster. Computacenter has been the beneficiary of one of the market’s most predominant trends: the break up of large, monolithic outsourcing deals. Examples include Rolls Royce and AstraZeneca. Furthermore, in delivering these deals, Computacenter has increased its experience and developed technologies that give it the ‘fuel’ to win other complex contracts (see Computacenter signs FCO contract). However, it’s not market conditions alone that are driving Computacenter’s success. Credit is due to management for being very careful about which new/extended scope deals they pursue.

We don’t expect that key trend around the break-up of large deals to end any time soon (although, eventually, the world will run out of big deals to break-up). And we certainly aren’t expecting Computacenter to materially change the way the UK services business is run. For those reasons, we would expect to see the good growth story continue into 2015. 

At the Group level (i.e. including France and Germany), the numbers don’t look too shabby either. Revenue increased 4.3% to £1.45bn - services +3.3% and resale +3.9%. UK profit generation was offset by deeper losses in France and reduced profitability in Germany. However, Group operating margin (before amortisation of intangibles and exceptional items – including the impact of onerous German contracts) still improved from 1.8% to 2%. Although Computacenter doesn’t break it out, we estimate that the operating margin in the UK services business is above 5%.

Computacenter says it is on track to meet the Board’s expectations for the full year.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:57' - Tagged: results  

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Friday 29 August 2014

Government’s drive for digital transformation continues apace

Cabinet Office logoThe announcement that former Credit Suisse CIO Magnus Falk has been appointed as Deputy Chief Technology Officer (CTO), reporting to Government CTO Liam Maxwell, was combined with news that the last 12 months has witnessed over 100 digital and technology experts joining government departments.

The Civil Service Capabilities Plan (see here) has four priority areas including raising technology and digital skill levels across government and the recruitment of digital specialists (such as chief digital officers and chief technology officers, to technical architects and developers) is being led by The Government Digital Service (GDS).

Looking at where some of the new recruits have come from offers clues for their new employer’s direction such as:

·         Department for Work and Pensions CDO Kevin Cunnington was previously Global Head of Online for Vodafone

·         Ministry of Justice CDO Paul Shetler, previously co-founded 2 start-ups and was CTO for Banking at Oracle

·         government Chief Technical Architect (CTA) Kevin Humphries was CTA at Qatarlyst (a web-based platform in the insurance market)

Admittedly this approach might only get you so far as Ministry of Justice CTO Ian Sayer was previously Global CIO at Electrolux.

The Digital Leaders Network (see here) and the Technology Leaders Network (see here) should ensure that digital initiatives do not occur in isolation.

We look forward to a time when it’s not necessary for government to recruit hundreds of digital experts and digital is the default setting for government services.

Posted by Michael Larner at '09:26' - Tagged: recruitment   digital   cabinetoffice  

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Friday 29 August 2014

Zoo in deeper poo!

logoIt’s taken management at UK-founded but increasingly US-focused media industry production and workflow software and services provider ZOO Digital almost five months to get the numbers out, but as warned back in February (see Zoo in the poo!) they were not a pretty sight.

Revenues for the year to 31st March were down 8% at $9.6m and net losses ballooned by 150% to $2.7m. Even more worrying was cash in the bank, now just $122k; the company burned through $1.5m in operating cash last year. Earlier this year management put in place an invoice financing facility and the CEO’s wife loaned the company $1m at a 10% interest rate.

Less a zoo, more a jungle, methinks.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:38' - Tagged: results  

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Friday 29 August 2014

Serco refutes latest allegations of over-charging

lThe last thing Serco needs right now is more ‘bad news’ (see here and work back). Unfortunately, that is exactly what has now surfaced, following claims by The Independent (see here) that Serco has been overcharging the NHS on Viapath, its pathology services contract with Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals.

Serco told us that it ‘categorically refutes the allegation made by The Independent... that Serco has ‘overcharged’ or ‘cost’ the NHS millions'. It said: 'Serco does not have a direct commercial relationship with the NHS in these services; all invoicing and billing is carried out by Viapath and not by Serco, which is a minority shareholder in Viapath’.

Viapath is today a partnership with a number of organisations, including Guy’s and St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital, Bedford Hospital and Serco. It was initially set up as a JV between Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Serco in 2009 under the name GSTS Pathology LLP. But after winning business with Bedford, and gaining Kings College as a partner in 2010, Viapath is now majority owned by Guys’ and St Thomas and Kings College. Serco’s role in the organisation is now significantly reduced from what is was.

Questions over accountability within the JV structure and the recent change of ownership, will make it hard to pin these allegations solely on Serco. This is a very different scenario than the electronic monitoring scandal that broke last year, in which Serco and G4S were clearly outsourcing suppliers to the MoJ responsible for electronic tagging (see here). The truth will eventually out, but all the while, risking further reputational damage to Serco.

Posted by John O'Brien at '08:35' - Tagged: health   public+sector   bps  

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Thursday 28 August 2014

Craneware adds to its armoury

logoToday Craneware, the Edinburgh-headquartered specialist software provider to the US healthcare industry, announced two moves which will help prepare the company for the competitive battles ahead in the increasingly complex and demanding market for healthcare management. Over the past year we have seen good progress in this specialist company in terms of getting traction in the big US healthcare managers (see Strong pulse as sales ramp up, here) and these moves should add to the company’s credentials.

The first move is a further strengthening of the top team with the recruitment of another Non-Exec Director with substantial experience with large US healthcare providers in the field of revenue integrity as they deal with a rat’s nest of fiscal and regulatory complications.

Craneware has also announced the acquisition of Kestros, a small Scottish provider of a mobile application that enables communication with patients to support service levels and improve efficiency, as well as giving patients a better user experience. The deal will cost Craneware £1.25m and boost its Patient Access product offering.

These moves are targeting growth opportunities, helping Craneware to present its customers with a more comprehensive proposition. As the company’s future is dependent upon wooing the larger healthcare majors in the US, Craneware’s ability to present a broad capability set is likely to be a critical determinant of further success.

Posted by Peter Roe at '10:07' - Tagged: acquisition   healthcare  

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Thursday 28 August 2014

UK education changes dig hole in DRS revenues

DRS logoDRS Data and Research Services , software and IT services  provider to the education, election and census sectors, saw revenues for the six months to 30 June 2014 plummet by 19% to £5.36m, on the back of a 38% drop in UK Education revenues. Management attributed this to ‘structural change to academic qualifications in the UK, which has led to fewer examinations being sat in the January and March series’. Net losses soared from £488K to £2.57m.

DRS has been building international revenues and we said in DRS: revenues down but strategy on track that partnerships will be a key to growth. Last month DRS announced a partnership in South Africa with Bytes People Solutions (BPS). However, management states that overseas Education markets are ‘proving to be more challenging than anticipated’.

The unpredictable nature of the census and elections business is a further drag on the business with the company acknowledging no large scale opportunities coming to market in the current year. As a result, revenue and operating profit are likely to be ‘considerably below expectations’ with a likely ‘significant’ full year loss.

The company committed £1.4m in the first half of this year to new product development; a similar amount to the first half 2013. In light of the deteriorating financial position the pressure will be on the new e-Marker® platform, the hosted electronic marking solution and the new PhotoScribe® scanning machine to stem the falls in revenues and profits.

Posted by Michael Larner at '10:06' - Tagged: education  

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Thursday 28 August 2014

Fewer licences at lower ASP blights Sopheon

logoGosh it’s tough being a small fish in a big pond – especially when that pond is across the Pond, so to speak, as is the case for UK-based – but US-focused – product lifecycle management software developer Sopheon.

Indeed, in recognition of the fact that over 60% of its revenues now derive from the US, the company has started to report its results in dollars – though this was hardly going to flatter the losses whichever way you look at it.

As losses there were – over $0.5m at the operating level in H1 (to 30th June) vs $0.24m profit the year-ago period. As a result, the minuscule $4k net profit recorded in H1 2013 has now become a $0.7m net loss. Sopheon executive chairman Barry Mence attributed this to selling fewer licenses (17 vs 19) at lower value, which saw revenues in H1 2014 drop by 9% to $9.23m, as signalled in the recent  trading update (see C-suite delays prompt caution at Sopheon).

But as the largest individually named shareholder (10%) in the AIM-listed stock Mence clearly has his own skin in the game – not surprising as he co-founded the company in 1993. Other investors are probably watching in dismay as Sopheon’s shares continue on what appears to be an inexorable decline.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:35' - Tagged: results  

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Thursday 28 August 2014

Servelec H1 boosted by acquisition

servelecServelec’s H1 has been characterised by progress. Top line revenue increased 29% to £25m, boosted by the acquisition of Semaphore. Organic growth was 3%. Operating profit increased 12% to £5m.

Servelec is very much a company of two parts. Servelec Automation provides complex, mission-critical control systems to enterprises in the oil & gas, nuclear, power, water, utilities and broadcast industries. In H1, revenue was £17.6m (+43%), boosted significantly by the acquisition of Semaphore. Organic growth excluding the purchase was just 1% - however, underlying operating profit increased 9%. As well as growth opportunities from Semophore, Servelec has been running two "large" pilot schemes at Severn Trent and Wessex Water – from which there is potential for further revenue opportunities to arise in due course.

The other (and smaller) segment is Servelec's healthcare business, which designs, develops and implements Electronic Patient Record and Patient Administration software in secondary care settings (e.g. Mental Health and Community Health). The division is currently transitioning from supplying these products and services via BT as part of the National Programme, to selling directly to trusts (read more here: Healthy Q1 momentum for Servelec). Its performance in H1 shows promise, as it is now preferred bidder in 12 of the 15 London-based Trusts that are looking for new system suppliers. In H1, revenue was up 5% to £7.4m, but clearly there is some momentum building in the background that should flow through in the coming quarters.

Servelec became the largest UK tech IPO for three years when it began trading on LSE’s Main market in December 2013. Its two business segments might be very different from one another, but both appear to be prospering in their respective niches. The year looks to be shaping up well, and management says it is “confident of achieving expectations for the full year”. 

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:20' - Tagged: results   health  

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Thursday 28 August 2014

Banking remains weak at Hays UK

logoSectoral growth rates at UK-headquartered international recruitment firm Hays paint an interesting – and in some ways surprising – picture of the state of the UK economic recovery.

As presaged in last month’s pre-close trading update (see UK still leads Hays’ growth), it was the Construction & Property sector that led Hays’ UK growth, with net fee income (gross profit) climbing 21% in the year to 30th June 2014. But second-fastest growth came from the public sector, where NFI shot up by 16%, led by Education and Healthcare. IT recruitment growth was nearly as good, with NFI up by 15%. But the weak link in the UK chain remained the Banking sector, where NFI declined by 3%. Net net, total UK NFI grew by 11% to £246m, representing 34% of the group’s total.

Hays’ peers are having mixed fortunes in the UK recruitment market, with much smaller PageGroup also doing well (see here), whereas Zurich-based giant Adecco saw growth in UK IT recruitment slow down (see here). So the UK economic recovery is clearly not a case of ‘a rising tide lifting all ships’ – more a case of ‘he who paddles fastest (or smartest!) goes furthest’.

For the record, Hays' headline FY revenues were all but flat at £3.68bn, 3% higher like-for-like. Group NFI grew 1% to £725m, 5% higher like for like. Operating margins expanded by 40 bps to 3.8%. Hays CEO Alistair Cox expects broad-based growth to continue in the UK business.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:11' - Tagged: results   recruitment  

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Wednesday 27 August 2014

TMV Evening 2014 a sell-out

We are delighted to say that our 2014 event, Race for Change: An Evening with TechMarketView, sponsored by Telecity, is now officially SOLD OUT. We are really looking forward to seeing so many of you at BAFTA on the evening of September 17th. 

If you didn’t manage to book a place and you’d like to be added to the wait list please contact Tina Compton at techUK, who is organising the event for us (email tina.compton@techUK.org).   #TMVEvening2014

TMV evening images

Posted by HotViews Editor at '15:38' - 1 comment - Tagged: events  

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Wednesday 27 August 2014

LASA aims for price transparency in local government

Crown Commercial Service LogoIn UK Government G-Cloud: meeting its objectives?, we found 80% of total sales, by value, through the G-Cloud framework were from central government. Within local government, usage has been limited. However, a new framework - the Local Authority Software Applications framework (LASA) - published by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is designed specifically for local authorities and should encourage greater take-up by local councils. Like G-Cloud, it requires suppliers to openly disclose their prices.

LASA has not been mandated by central government. It is the result of a partnership between procurement coalition Pro5, the London ICT Programme and the Local Government Association (LGA). Local authorities are, therefore, likely to feel greater ‘ownership’ of the framework, which will hopefully lead to greater usage.

LASA is divided into eleven lots including core local authority business applications such as revenue and benefits, social care and libraries plus newer areas like Open Government Systems. Encompassing a wide array of service lines backs up the ambition for the LASA to be a one stop shop for local authorities looking to purchase applications as well as related support services. Initially the framework will be for two years plus the potential for a two year extension.

Local authorities often doubt whether they have achieved the best price for applications. They look to services such as openlylocal, Socitm’s Applications Register or Spikes Cavell to provide reassurance; having pricing information within the framework itself should ease those concerns. Open book pricing is an important step in engendering transparency between local government suppliers and their customers and will work well in established areas such as revenues and benefits. However, in newer areas like Democratic and Citizen Engagement systems it will be harder to compare apples with apples. 

Posted by Michael Larner at '10:13' - Tagged: localgovernment   framework  

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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Deloitte squeezes another year of growth - just

LogoDeloitte reported a fourth year of growth when it released its annual results, but with revenue growth of just 1.4% to £2.55bn it only just made it and the year to May 31 2014 was the slowest growth year during the period (see here for the previous year). Management puts it down to a "complex and challenging" market background and has a mixed view of prospects for the current year. On one hand, growth has increased in the period to date, helped by better economic conditions. But the other indicates “political uncertainty” i.e. the 2015 UK General Election could have a negative effect.  Consulting revenue edged up 0.5% to £622m. Total UK revenue was up just 0.2% to £2.3bn.

From our perspective, its security focus should provide Deloitte with prospects, particularly if it can hammer home the business implications of security breaches. The firm is also looking at the digital agenda for growth but like everyone else is still building and organising to enable it to take hold of this opportunity. Its digital unit (which moved to a special 'Digital office' in Clerkenwell in April) has delivered 50% growth in two years and is expected to double by the end of next year.  The level of growth combined with the lack of any hard numbers suggests actual digital revenues are still low – and if that is the case, Deloitte is not unusual. One of the most pressing challenges facing SITS suppliers is unlocking digital spend, which is being held back by organisations’ lack of certainty on how and where to apply digital technologies and strategies on an enterprise-wide basis. Consulting has a prime role to play in opening up the digital market.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:49' - Tagged: results   consulting   digital  

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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Cabinet Office policies facing increasing criticism

cabinet office logoBack in July, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report into HMRC’s Aspire contract (led by Capgemini). We commented at the time – see HMRC resisting Cabinet Office directives – that it appeared to us that the department was resisting the pressure to a) novate Fujitsu’s subcontractor revenues and b) re-compete elements of the Aspire contract.

Today the Times has two articles looking at HMRC Aspire (both behind the paywall) entitled “Get IT Right” and “IT ‘disaster’ could cost taxpayer’s billions”. As is common in the press, the articles are inflammatory, using terms like “Public sector IT projects have a proud history of going spectacularly wrong...” and “the public purse has been splurged at the whim of a greedy contractor...”.

But cut through all that and there are some points worth highlighting. Indeed, points we have made on occasions before. Putting aside the history of the Aspire contract, the articles criticise the coalition Government’s plan to split Aspire “into 100 parts”. It looks to us like the “100 parts” claim comes from assuming that the contract will be worth £10b (close the the lifetime value of the existing contract). The Cabinet Office ‘rule’ is for no contract let to be worth over £100m. Firstly, there is no indication that the new contract(s) will be worth anywhere near that amount and, secondly, they will likely be for far shorter terms than the current arrangement.

Nonetheless, the concerns over restructuring HMRC’s IT contract arrangements in line with the, now common, SIAM/tower model are valid. As the NAO report highlighted, the department has had problems managing the existing arrangement. It begs the question why the Government think it will be any easier managing multiple inter-related contracts. With limited commercial and contract management expertise within Government, it is easy to envisage a renewed swelling of payments to the management consultancies. Indeed, as our UK public sector SITS supplier landscape report 2014-15 highlighted, consultancies like PA Consulting and Deloitte have already started to report strong growth in their public sector businesses. Though the Cabinet Office has a programme in place to bolster internal expertise, it is questionable whether they will be able to attract the right people in the right timescales.

This comes one the same day that the FT highlights delays in the implementation of the first Independent Shared Services centre and the on-boarding of initial ‘customers’ (ISSC1, being implemented by Arvato). With the General Election looming, any criticism of existing policies – whether it is the Shared Services agenda or the restructuring of ICT arrangements - will attract great interest from the supplier community and more uncertainty in the pre-Election period. Uncertainty inevitably leads to a reluctance to sign new deals.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:45' - Tagged: public+sector   centralgovernment   contract   policy  

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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Genpact partners Automic for IT automation

lIn a sure sign of the increasing tie-up opportunities to be made between business process services (BPS) and automation software players, Genpact is now making its second such partnership, with US-based IT automation software provider Automic. This adds to another tie-up formed last year with Israeli IT automation player Ayehu (see Genpact partners with automation player Ayehu).

Automic (previously called UC4, until a name change in 2013) is one of the ‘old-guard’ automation providers we mention in our newly published report Business Process Automation – a brave new world for BPS providers. The business has been around for some 25 years, and best known for automation of day to day backups for mainframes and distributed technology for customers like EON, T-Systems, eBay, Fujitsu and GE (Genpact’s largest customer and former parent). Automic is now owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT VI, acquired for €220m in August 2012 from Carlyle European Technology.

Automic is evolving, via accreditations in both SAP and Oracle to automate their key applications. It is also keen to expand in business process automation (BPA), targeting functional tasks such as billing and finance to automate manual workaround activities that are deployed to reconcile data between different systems.

BPA is where we believe there is huge potential to remove costs, improve efficiencies and streamline processes for their customers. Automic claims that its technology can reduce manual efforts on financial reporting by 90%, and deliver 45% savings in payroll processing.

IT services accounts for 25% of Genpact’s revenue vs. 75% for BPS, so IT automation partnerships address a much smaller revenue base within the group. We see this as a safer first step for Genpact to test the water with automation technologies, since they also come with attached risks to existing revenue streams.

Posted by John O'Brien at '09:32' - Tagged: bps   businessprocessautomation  

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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Monitise hits IBM Accelerator button

logoSince her June appointment, see here, Monitise’s new joint-CEO Elizabeth Buse is making her presence felt; focusing on delivery, conserving cash and allowing Alastair Lukies to develop partnerships, especially that with IBM, discussed here. The deeper cooperation with Big Blue, further explained in an announcement today, will accelerate Monitise’s progress in the mounting land-grab across mobile banking and m-commerce. It should also enable a more robust and resilient relationship with the banks, particularly in the US, as bank CEOs demand more from their mobile strategies.

Central to the announcement is the focusing of IBM’s sales and specialist resources to sell and deliver Monitise’s Mobile Money service and content, initially into the Financial Services vertical but then across other verticals. Monitise will also transfer its Professional Services team, some 20% of its employees, into IBM. A key requirement will be for this team to leverage the wider IBM and increase the resources available to promote and integrate this technology into the customer base. This move completes the transition of Monitise to the subscription model for mobile “Bank, Pay and Buy” as announced in March, see here.

Monitise stresses the coalition’s mutual objectives (too many partnerships have failed as goals were misaligned). IBM benefits from a bigger m-banking portfolio, additional relevance to FS customers globally and more sales of IBM (cloud) infrastructure. Monitise gets distribution capability, scale and more market credibility. Monitise’s diminishing cash pile will now be focused on developing the technology and product offerings, rather than supporting individual customer implementations. Finally, the deal de-risks Monitise’s re-iterated forecasts, of 25%(plus?) revenue growth in 2015, 2016 profitability and 30%+ EBITDA by end 2018.

The market will learn more at the annual results on September 15th. Much remains to be done, but this is a good step forward.

Posted by Peter Roe at '09:15' - Tagged: cloud   big+data   payments  

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Tuesday 26 August 2014

UK Amris ‘recruits’ US Zao

logoNice to see the take-out tables being turned for a change. Essex-headquartered e-recruitment software developer The Internet Corporation (trading by its product brand Amris) has acquired Zao, a social recruitment platform based in Los Angeles. Terms were not disclosed. According the blessed TechCrunch, Zao received $1.3m in seed funding from an undisclosed source a couple of years back. As far as I can tell, TIC/Amris is self-funded.

Amris is an applicant tracking system aimed at enterprises wanting to handle their own recruitment. They seem to have a goodly bunch of well-known brands in the client mix, even including Netherlands based international recruitment giant Randstad! Good on them!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:29' - Tagged: acquisition   startup   recruitment  

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Tuesday 26 August 2014

Mike Tobin resigns as Telecity CEO

telecityLongstanding Telecity CEO, Mike Tobin, has today said he will step down at the end of October. The official press release states that now is the right time for a new leader to take the company to the next stage of its development.

Tobin has been absolutely instrumental in growing the company, which in terms of UK revenue sits just outside the Top 50 in our latest Software and IT Services player rankings (UK SITS Rankings 2014). Tobin’s association with Telecity stretches back around a decade when he joined Redbus as sales and marketing director (he became CEO the following year), and subsequently led the merger with Telecity in 2006. In 2007, Telecity listed on the main market with a capitalisation of £436m. It’s now worth £1.6bn.

Telecity’s latest set of results (Telecity pushes H1 growth upwards) show improved organic growth and adjusted margin – a performance driven by the on-going demand for data centres that can support the growth of internet-powered businesses in particular.  

Richard Holway comment:  When I heard the news of Mike Tobin's resignation this morning, I wasn't quite as surprised as others. There had been rumours of disagreements between Mike and others on the TeleCity board for some time - some centering around the return of capital to shareholders.

Anyone who knows Mike will realise that he is something of a 'one off'. His management style - which all can read about in his book Forget Strategy, Get Results, published last year - might not always appeal to everyone and one suspects makes him something of a maverick on any board. But people - clearly including his staff - really love him. Literally following him to 'the depths of the sea and the peaks of mountains' regardless of the risk. His departure will be a very unsettling time for everyone - staff, clients and shareholders.

From a personal viewpoint, I've got to know Mike well because of his huge support for the Prince's Trust (and other charities). If the term 'Heart of Gold' is going to apply to anyone, then it would be to Mike Tobin. I'm also a TeleCity shareholder who has done very nicely thank you during Tobin's time. Indeed Tobin himself has a c£5m shareholding and I'm sure he too will not want to see that damaged. Although, as one might expect, TeleCity shares have opened down nearly 10% on the news this morning.

One thing I am absolutely sure of is that 'we ain't heard the last of Mr Tobin'. Indeed, I understand he still intends to speak at the TechMarketView Conference on 17th Sept. Can't wait.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:11' - Tagged: managementleadership  

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Tuesday 26 August 2014

ONLY 7 PLACES LEFT FOR THE TECHMARKETVIEW EVENING!!!

We are really looking forward to seeing so many of you at BAFTA on the evening of September 17th for our 2014 event, Race for Change: An Evening with TechMarketView, sponsored by Telecity.

If you haven’t yet booked your place you need to get your skates on – there are just seven tickets left available for the evening, which promises to be a high profile date in the UK tech calendar. The event includes short, insightful presentations from the entire cast of TechMarketView research directors - 'topped' by our esteemed chairman, Richard Holway, and 'tailed' by our inimitable Managing Partner, Anthomy Miller – followed by a drinks reception and sumptuous dinner in the magnificent surroundings of BAFTA in Piccadilly.

For full details of the evening see our Events pages then book one of the last few places by clicking here or by contacting Tina Compton at techUK who is organising the event for us (email tina.compton@techUK.org). Don’t miss the opportunity to join us for what promises to be an informative and enjoyable evening.  #TMVEvening2014

Event banner

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:55' - Tagged: events  

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Tuesday 26 August 2014

TCS scores first ‘international’ deal at Diligenta

logoIndian offshore services market leader TCS has scored another ‘first’ for Diligenta, its UK-based Life & Pensions software and services subsidiary, with a “multi-million pound, multi-year” contract at Friends Life for its International operation. Up till now, all of Diligenta’s contracts have been solely related to clients’ UK operations.

This deal is fundamentally different to the original £1.4bn business process services contract that Diligenta won at Friends Life back in November 2011 (see here), in that it is a traditional IT outsourcing contract (i.e. Friends Life still runs the business process). The application will be based on the TCS BaNCS financial services platform used for Friends Life's UK business and will be hosted by TCS in the UK.

This is a good example of how IT services suppliers should be ‘sweating the platform’ when selling line-of-business applications, with the aim of reducing cost of sale as well as service delivery. TCS rather seems to have ‘got it’ (and see TCS looks to the verticals).

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:47' - Tagged: offshore   contract   lifeandpensions  

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Tuesday 26 August 2014

NEW RESEARCH: Winds of change blow in Bangalore

PICThe lead article in the latest edition of OffshoreViews takes a look at the increasingly divergent fortunes of the infamous Bangalore Blues Brothers, aka Infosys and Wipro, and poses the question whether we might eventually see an upset in the offshore services rankings.

Plus we have our regular update of the performance of the leading India-based suppliers globally and in the UK, along with our detailed (and newly enhanced) key operating metrics which as ever highlights the striking contrasts between the players.

All this – and of course with links to relevant offshore-centric UKHotViews posts – in just 4 pages, ready for download here by eligible TechMarketView subscription service clients.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:51' - Tagged: offshore  

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