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Barclays implements Pay by Bank
19 Feb 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* Cogeco Peer 1: businesses held back by SD-WOT Syndrome
19 Feb 2019
Innovator StaffCircle squares up with £250k funding round
19 Feb 2019
Further momentum at dotdigital despite retail headwinds
19 Feb 2019
Mambu attracts €30m for core banking push
19 Feb 2019
What a 12 years it has been!
19 Feb 2019
Considered a career in teaching?
19 Feb 2019
Nationwide to roll out Watson powered bot
18 Feb 2019
*New Research* TechMarketView's Market Readiness Index
18 Feb 2019
Backers charge up ChargedUp to share more volts
18 Feb 2019
GoCardless plots global expansion
18 Feb 2019
More regulation looms for social media giants
18 Feb 2019
LTI strengthens its banking credentials
18 Feb 2019
Want to appear in UKHotViews eNewsletter?
18 Feb 2019
Adept4 closes a very “challenging year”
15 Feb 2019
JP Morgan coin highlights blockchain’s progress
15 Feb 2019
Zopa gears up for banking launch
15 Feb 2019
Eastnine aims to get market-fit with seed funding
15 Feb 2019
Santander calls on IBM for competitive edge
15 Feb 2019
DeepCrawl weighs up more dosh to crawl deeper
15 Feb 2019
*NEW RESEARCH* The Expanding Influence of Babylon
15 Feb 2019
Capgemini UK puts in sprint finish
14 Feb 2019
Civica helps NHS' Chesterfield Royal to digital health
14 Feb 2019
Starling boosted by cash injection
14 Feb 2019
Welcome further improvements at Micro Focus
14 Feb 2019
IBM opens up Watson AI to competitors’ clouds
14 Feb 2019
Veeam FY18 revenue up 16%
14 Feb 2019
UKHotViewsPremium - A unique subscription service for individuals
14 Feb 2019
Changing of the guard at Celaton
13 Feb 2019
Leidos in 'marquee' win with NASA
13 Feb 2019
Another solid period for Unisys
13 Feb 2019
SumUp acquires Shoplo
13 Feb 2019
Backers help Mojo boost its mortgage mojo
13 Feb 2019
Symantec buys in hybrid cloud protection tools
13 Feb 2019
3radical engages with gamification
13 Feb 2019
Angels help Raven fly higher
13 Feb 2019
FinTech funding continues to grow
13 Feb 2019
Wipro Digital grows up fast
13 Feb 2019
Data centre player, Kao Data, secures Legal & General funding
12 Feb 2019
Getronics signs global 7-year Intersnack deal
12 Feb 2019
Angels bless GradTouch to place more graduates
12 Feb 2019
Mimecast Q3 revenue up 33% yoy, posts small profit
12 Feb 2019
The Panoply acquires voice enabled AI GreenShoot Labs
12 Feb 2019
Agilisys partners with University of Huddersfield
12 Feb 2019
*NEW RESEARCH* Musing on the Mid-Tier Indian pure-plays
12 Feb 2019
Raise your brand awareness & generate leads through targeted advertising direct to the UK tech sector
12 Feb 2019

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Tuesday 19 February 2019

Barclays implements Pay by Bank

ZappUK bank Barclays has announced plans to roll out the Pay by Bank app to its mobile banking customers to enable online purchases direct from their bank accounts, via its merchant network. Pay by Bank was developed by Zapp, a unit established by UK payments network, VocaLink, in 2013, with the aim of facilitating real-time mobile payments via bank apps and the Faster Payments network. Zapp is now a wholly owned, subsidiary of Mastercard, which acquired VocaLink in 2017.

The Pay by Bank app was originally announced to great fanfare, with ambitious growth plans and expectations that it would ultimately rival traditional giants, such as MasterCard and Visa (see: Open Banking and PSD2). However, following the Mastercard acquisition of Vocalink, Pay by Bank went very quiet, and it still has very limited adoption and usage. At the time, the Vocalink deal was highly controversial, in light of the near monopoly that it handed to a single, dominant, commercial provider. In the UK, the majority of salaries, domestic utility bills and state benefits are still paid via the Vocalink network. Some in the industry also voiced concerns that the acquisition would greatly inhibit innovation and restrict the transformation of the UK’s outdated payments infrastructure.

The major, established players in payments have been circling the wagons for some time, in the face of disruptive innovation and new competitive threats (see: Understanding the UK payments market and FinTechViews – why all the M&A in payments?). Mastercard sees Zapp as an important route into the market for UK debit payments, which is currently a stronghold for its great rival Visa.  Mastercard is of course currently engaged in another fight for supremacy in the face of the changing ecosystem (see: Battle for Earthport heats up).

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:51' - Tagged: payments  

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Tuesday 19 February 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* Cogeco Peer 1: businesses held back by SD-WOT Syndrome

*UKHotViewsExtra” Cogeco Peer 1: businesses held back by SD-WOT SyndromeCogeco Peer 1’s (CP1) latest research on attitudes to software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) connectivity amongst UK organisations makes for interesting reading.

Its findings resonate with our own thinking here at TechMarketView: namely that while the technology offers considerable potential for organisations looking to procure more flexible WAN bandwidth at lower cost to optimise cloud application and service performance, the technology remains in the early stages of adoption.*UKHotViewsExtra” Cogeco Peer 1: businesses held back by SD-WOT Syndrome

More …

Not a TechMarketView subscription research client? Then why not subscribe to our low-cost UKHotViews Premium service to access all of our UKHotViews and UKHotView Extra posts?

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:30' - Tagged: CogecoPeer1   SD-WAN  

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Tuesday 19 February 2019

Innovator StaffCircle squares up with £250k funding round

logoIt’s always good to hear when participants in our UK tech SME support programmes are recognised by investors for their business potential.

Such is the case for Leicestershire-based workplace communications startup StaffCircle, which was selected by Capita Scaling Partner to be among the first tranche of UK tech SMEs joining our TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme (then known as the TechMarketView Early-Stage Partner Programme) in June last year (see TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme: StaffCircle).

StaffCircle is a cloud based platform for communicating with a dispersed workforce. It works with any phone or any browser and does not require software to be installed or an app to be downloaded to the employee’s device.

Founded in 2017, StaffCircle has since gone on to secure a £250k investment from the MEIF (Midlands Engine Investment Fund) Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund. The funding will be used to create five new jobs to support further R&D and Sales & Marketing.

This is a great vote of confidence in founding CEO (and seasoned entrepreneur) Mark Seemann and his team, and yet another great example of UK tech innovation.

And do watch out for the announcement of the participants in the next TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme in association with Civica Innovation Partners for which entries are now closed. We will be announcing further TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programmes in association with our enterprise clients later this year.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:50' - Tagged: funding   startup   tesp   tipp  

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Tuesday 19 February 2019

Further momentum at dotdigital despite retail headwinds

logoMarketing automation SaaS provider dotdigital Group reported a very decent set of interims (to 31 December 2018) which saw headline revenue grow 33% to £24.9m but even on an organic basis it achieved 15% growth. What we are seeing is the success of its three pillar strategy - geographic expansion, partnerships, and product development – increasing business momentum.

These growth initiatives are reinforcing each other as sales through channel partners and system integrators for Magento and Shopify helped drive 30% growth in the US, while channel expansion in APAC hoisted sales by 80%. Sales through strategic partners increased 43% YoY to £10.3m. EMEA growth was modest compared to the other regions, with 10% growth for the Engagement Cloud platform business (previously known as dotmailer), restricted by Brexit uncertainty, the impact of the introduction of GDPR and the challenging retail environment.

Retail headwinds and the impact of “a few large” retail customers going into administration dulled the impact of the Comapi Communications Platform-as-a-Service acquisition, hitting its headline sales, but dotdigital says it did not impact group level profitability. Operating profit came in at £4.9m vs. £4.4m. As integration of the Comapi omni-channel capability progresses, dotdigital’s revenue opportunities should open out on the back of personalised, timely and channel-sensitive campaigns – and confirm the (sometimes painful) shift from dotdigital as an email-centric to an omni-channel supplier. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:49' - Tagged: results   software  

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Tuesday 19 February 2019

Mambu attracts €30m for core banking push

MambuEuropean core banking innovator, Mambu, has successfully raised €30m (£26m) via a new funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Also contributing to the total were, existing investors Acton Capital, CommerzVentures, Point Nine Capital and Runa Capital. Berlin based Mambu plans to use the cash to increase its core team as it aims to significantly grow its revenues.

Launched in 2011, Mambu is one of a very small band of cloud native, core banking vendors, that are shaking up the traditional vendor landscape. Mambu provides its technology via a SaaS model and already claims more than 50 customers, including leading European neo-banks N26 (Germany) and ABN-Amro’s, New12 (Netherlands). Purpose built for the cloud, using the latest approaches and technologies, cloud native, core banking platforms are architected in a flexible, agile manner that is unlike any of their traditional rivals.

Closer to home, Lloyds Banking Group has invested heavily in fellow cloud native, provider, Thought Machine, and it was recently revealed that the bank is to start migrating clients onto their innovative Vault platform (see: FS firms learn to dig the new breed). Meanwhile Swiss based, Temenos, has become the only established vendor, so far, to provide a cloud native offering. As reported yesterday, it would appear that new partners are lining up to work with Temenos following the launch of T24 Transact in January (see: LTI strengthens its banking credentials). Whilst many established banks may ultimately decide not to replace their core, for those that are looking to take that step, it is difficult to make a strong case for the traditional core banking vendors.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:27' - Tagged: cloud+native   core+banking  

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Tuesday 19 February 2019

What a 12 years it has been!

ATTSeidenbergLast week I was interviewed alongside Mike Seidenberg - one of the fund managers from San Francisco who manage the Allianz Technology Trust (#ATT). You can now listen to the Podcast of the interview.

We talked about what caused the tech stock sell off in the latter part of 2018, China, the IT spending environment in 2019, digital transformation, payment systems & cyber security, M&A and the ‘Hot’ sectors going forward. Although I say it myself, the ‘chemistry’ worked rather well and I think you’ll find the podcast both informative and quite entertaining (an unusual combination!)

I participated in the podcast because I have been a director @ #ATT since Jan 2007. I explain in the podcast what my role as a director has been. The team in SF is responsible for the portfolio and individual stock picks. My input is more in terms of overall trends. So, for example I can debate the global market for cyber security but which stock to buy is totally up to the team. Indeed, we have seen how, even within growth sectors, individual execution can vary greatly.

I also believe that all directors should have ‘skin in the game’. I bought a slug of #ATT shares on my appointment in Jan 2007 and they are now showing a gain of nearly 600%. Indeed #ATT is up another 21% in the first 7 weeks of 2019. So I am pretty pleased to have been involved with about the best peforming tech investment trust over any period you care to choose.

What a 12 years it has been!

For tech

Back in Jan 07, Apple had yet to launch the iPhone. The mobile market was dominated by Nokia and every self-respecting executive carried a Blackberry. Hardly anyone had heard of Facebook which had only just been made available to users in the UK. Social media was Bebo or MySpace. Amazon was just about to launch the Kindle and was best known as an online bookseller. Cloud was a new team used by us analysts. Talk of electric cars or driverless cars would have been greeted with derision.

For Holway

It’s been a fascinating 12 years for me too. I joined #ATT because Ovum, after IPOing in mid 2016, had just been bought by Datamonitor. I was free! As well as #ATT, I took on other directorships and also started my 2 year term as Chair of the Prince’s Trust Technology Leadership Group.

It would be another two years before Anthony and I launched TechMarketView.

Wonder what the next 12 years will hold...

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:52'

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Monday 18 February 2019

Nationwide to roll out Watson powered bot

NationwideIn another validation of TechMarketView’s predictions for the UK financial services sector (see: NEW RESEARCH: Financial Services Predictions 2019), the use of AI and cognitive technologies is continuing to proliferate. In the latest development, Nationwide Building Society is set to launch a virtual assistant to service its mortgage customers. Nationwide’s new virtual assistant will utilise machine learning from IBM Watson and help first-time buyers by responding to their initial enquiries. Christened Arti, the technology will provide front line support to customers and will escalate enquiries to a human service agent as the interaction progresses.

AI and Cognitive Technologies have become key areas of focus for financial services organisations and activity in this area has accelerated greatly over the last 2 years. There is a keen appetite amongst banks and insurers to explore proofs of concept and possible use cases for these technologies. Meanwhile some of the early adopters are already reaping the rewards. This burgeoning interest demonstrates the potential business value that institutions recognise in both AI and Cognitive and 2019 is likely to see continued growth in project activity.

In truth, virtual assistants and Robo-Advisers are just the public face of AI and cognitive. Financial services organisations are awash with vast amounts of data, and many of their services rely upon relatively routine business processes and data driven decisions. As a result, there are a multitude of potential applications for technologies such as AI and cognitive in the back office.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:24'

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Monday 18 February 2019

*New Research* TechMarketView's Market Readiness Index

MRI logoIn case you missed the excitement this month, TechMarketView is proud to have launched the first research published as part of our brand-new Tech User Programme (see here for more information).

Our first Tech User Programme report focuses on the UK’s Top 10 IT and business process services providers: Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, Capita, Cognizant, DXC, Fujitsu, HCL, IBM, and TCS. The in-depth, highly valuable, 86-page, report answers a fundamental question for the end user community: how ready are these leading suppliers to support their clients – the tech buyers – as they seek to digitally transform their organisations?

To answer this question, TechMarketView’s has designed the Market Readiness Index (MRI). The Index has been devised with buyers, for buyers, to help assess how advanced suppliers are when it comes to being able to contribute to the creation of more intelligent and more automated organisations for their customers. Our conversations with end user decision makers have revealed that they are looking for independent and expert guidance that they can trust. They want new ideas, honest recommendations and true collaboration from suppliers. And we have responded to that.

The MRI applies our highly regarded, rigorous, research approach to assess suppliers across six key areas: Corporate Resilience; Suitability of Offerings; Skills & Resources; Partner Ecosystem; Industry Expertise; and Delivery & Execution. This involves in-depth, revealing conversations with various functions within the supplier organisations as well as with a selection of clients.

TUP logoOver the coming months, we will expand our Tech Users Programme and will set about assessing a broader cross section of players. The analysis will be shared with senior buyers in the TechMarketView’s end user community.

If you are an End User organisations and have joined our Tech User Programme, you can download the report – TechMarketView Market Readiness Index (MRI): Top 10 UK IT & business process services suppliers – today. If you would like to find out more about joining the programme and accessing the report, you can find out more from Deb Seth.

If you are an IT/BP services provider and you are an existing TechMarketView subscription service client, reports published within our Tech User Programme are available to purchase. Please contact Deb Seth for information.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:23'

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Monday 18 February 2019

Backers charge up ChargedUp to share more volts

logo

How far can you stretch the ‘sharing economy’ model?

I can see the sense in bicycle-sharing. It costs a lot of money to buy a bicycle just for occasional use and it’s not easy to carry one with you on the off chance you need one. Having said that, our street is littered (OK, slight exaggeration – perhaps one or two a week) with abandoned bikes waiting, I assume, for the mother-ship to rescue them.

On the other hand, you can buy a phone charger pack for a few quid and keep it with you. Which is why I struggle with the business model behind London-based startup, ChargedUp. They have developed a pick-up and drop-off battery system for those times that you are caught with a dying mobile.

The ChargedUp system comprises a bespoke battery charger which houses 10 intelligent batteries released from the charger though an app. The batteries can be returned to any other venue that has a ChargedUp charger (assuming, I suppose, it’s not already full of batteries). You get the first hour’s charge free and then pay 50p for 30 minutes charge. If you don’t return the battery you are charged £30. The battery itself needs recharging in a ChargedUp station every couple of times it’s used.

ChargedUp has just raised £1.2m in a seed funding round led by The Garage and JamJar. The startup, which was founded in 2017, had previously raised £200k in pre-seed funding.

In a media interview last August, ChargedUp founder Hugo Tilmouth was hoping to have a network of 1,000 charging stations by the end of 2018. According to ChargeUp’s website, they have so far reached 250.

Surely within just a few years all mobile devices will have wifi charging capability. I can’t see how ChargedUp's backers will ever recoup their investment.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:59' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Monday 18 February 2019

GoCardless plots global expansion

GoCardlessUK based, payments innovator, GoCardless, has successfully raised $75m in additional funding, as the company seeks to fuel its global expansion. Founded in 2011, GoCardless facilitates recurring online payments, and the company currently processes around $10bn worth of transactions a year for more than 40,000 corporate clients. The latest capital injection has been led by US technology giant, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and by SaaS pioneer, Salesforce.

GoCardless establishes payments using bank account details, as opposed to using payment cards. This approach greatly reduces costly delays, processing issues and failed payments. The company’s proposition has proved to be a reliable and appealing one to its corporate clients. The latest investment in GoCardless follows a previous funding round in 2017 (see: GoCardless raises $22.5m).

GoCardless CEO and co-founder, Hiroki Takeuchi, was paralysed in a cycling accident in 2016. However, the company and its creator have not let that personal tragedy hold back the fortunes of the payments, technology provider and GoCardless has continued to enjoy impressive growth. In 2018 the company opened offices in Paris, Munich and Melbourne, and has plans to open in Spain and the US later this year. As GoCardless plots its global expansion and mulls its technology roadmap, it will be interesting to see whether the company can continue on its impressive path.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:19' - Tagged: funding   payments   cards  

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Monday 18 February 2019

More regulation looms for social media giants

A report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on disinformation/fake news has hit the news headlines today. You can read the full report HERE.

FacebookAlthough the report is aimed at social media in general it is Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Google that have been singled out. Mark Zuckerberg was accused of failing to show ‘leadership or personal responsibility’ over his failure to appear in person before the committee. The DCMS recommends a compulsory and legally backed code of ethics to remove fake news, disinformation and harmful content (such as the recent teenage self-harm content). An independent regulator would be established. Fines could be levied and, in certain cases, criminal charges. The Electoral Commission to be given new powers relating to political advertising and associated ‘disinformation’. Costs of implementation to come from a levy of social media companies.

The issue boils down to whether social media companies are merely ‘platforms’ or ‘publishers’. I’ve often cited my own Farnham Herald Test. Over the last ten years the Farnham Herald has lost much of its classified advertising to social media - from house sales to ‘find me a plumber in Farnham’. Conversely the Farnham Herald employs ‘real people’ who not only write original stories but vet the letters/comments sent in for publication. An advert extolling self-harm would be as unthinkable as would a letter suggesting the murder of the local MP. That vetting costs money just as the source of their revenue is moving elsewhere. And don’t get me started on who pays their local and national taxes...

I think the days where social media companies say that the stuff they carry ‘has nothing to do with me guv’ whilst reaping huge financial reward are coming to an end. Implementing any new regulations will cost social media companies big time. Although AI will of course help, it will not be the total solution. More and more real people will have to employed. At least that will start to level the playing field for the likes of the Farnham Herald.

Posted by Richard Holway at '08:13'

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Monday 18 February 2019

LTI strengthens its banking credentials

LTIThe news that Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI) is set to acquire German based, Nielsen+Partner for €28m, demonstrates the growing importance of financial services to the Indian technology provider and its ambitions for the banking sector. The cash deal will see LTI acquire the global operations of Hamburg based software services and IT consulting firm, Nielsen+Partner, which specialises in wealth management and banking and has a presence in both Europe and Asia Pacific.

LTI has been on the acquisition trail recently and acquired another specialist, financial services IT consultancy, Syncordis, in 2017 (see: LTI leaps ahead). Crucially, both Syncordis and Nielsen+Partner are Temenos experts and LTI clearly recognises the potential of working more closely with the Swiss banking technology provider. The advantages of which may have come into even clearer focus, after the recent launch of Temenos’ cloud native, core banking solution T24 Transact.

LTI has been performing strongly of late (see: LTI does the business as it moots Mindtree move) and the company’s leadership has been executing well on its strategy. This latest transaction should further serve to boost LTI, as the company establishes itself as a formidable contender in the banking technology space.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:13' - Tagged: acquistion   M&A   banking  

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Monday 18 February 2019

Want to appear in UKHotViews eNewsletter?

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Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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Friday 15 February 2019

Adept4 closes a very “challenging year”

adeptWarrington-based Adept4, which provides managed and professional services to UK SMEs, has detailed the difficulties it faced during its financial year (to end September 2018).

In terms of the numbers, revenue was roughly flat at £10.2m 
(70% is recurring revenue) a disappointing reduction on the 7% organic growth in the previous year. Operating losses sank to £3.3m from a small profit last year, in part due to an impairment charge of £2.6m in respect of goodwill in its acquired businesses. However, the company was also hit with reduced margins as it moved more customers to cloud services. 

Adept4 is making no bones about the fact that FY18 was tough on several fronts. Of note is that the firm pursued a legal claim against the vendors of one of the businesses it acquired. This in itself was a distraction, but it also had a knock-on effect on sales as key professionals from the acquired firm left earlier than anticipated. New sales people have been brought in but they have “not yet delivered the results we had hoped for”.

There have been some positives, though. The management team is stronger following the recruitment of a new Chief Technology Officer, a Director of Operations and a new Sales Director. And there have been improvements in service levels. However, Adept4 is quite rightly taking a very cautious approach in its new financial year. It’s stepping back from driving new business and instead is looking to safeguard its relationships with existing customers, and protect its cash balances and shareholder value while it explores “the strategic options for the Group”.

Shares in the firm were down almost 5% at time of writing.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:25' - Tagged: results   managedservices  

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Friday 15 February 2019

JP Morgan coin highlights blockchain’s progress

JPMUS investment bank, J P Morgan has launched its own, blockchain derived, crypto-currency the “JPM coin” to facilitate transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Despite previous public criticism of crypto-currencies by J P Morgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, the bank says it has always "believed in the potential of blockchain technology".

Although a lot of the public “hype” around blockchain may have subsided recently, the disruptive potential of the technology is widely recognised, as evidenced by recent M&A activity (see: Facebook acquires blockchain startup Chainspace and Battle for Earthport heats up). There is a great deal of activity around blockchain going on behind closed doors within financial services. Many of the major banks have crypto-currency projects that are now well advanced.

Whilst the JPM coin is the first, major crypto-currency to be publicly revealed by a leading US bank, it is not unique and follows in the path of the Signet system implemented by US rival, Signature Bank, late last year.  Signature has already, successfully attracted more than 100 clients to Signet who are currently using their blockchain based system to move millions of dollars every day. The future model, that many in the industry envisage, is that most major financial organisations will ultimately operate their own crypto-currencies. As evidenced by the news from J P Morgan, that destination may have just moved a step closer.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:51' - Tagged: payments   banking   blockchain  

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Friday 15 February 2019

Zopa gears up for banking launch

ZOPAZopa, the innovative, UK based, P2P lender, has moved a step closer to fulfilling its goal of becoming a fully-fledged bank, with the appointed of Gordon McCallum as its new chairman. McCallum is a former CEO of Virgin’s UK management company and will take over from the co-founder of Zopa, Giles Andrew, who is handing over the reins after running the business for nearly 15 years. Andrew is also chairman of several other FinTechs and plans to make these his focus going forward.

Launched in 2005, by a group of forward thinking entrepreneurs, Zopa was at the vanguard of peer to peer lending, and as such, was a genuine disruptive force in the financial services industry. Zopa successfully raised an additional £44m in investment funding in 2018, to support its banking ambitions (see: Zopa banks another £16m to become a bank). The P2P lender was subsequently granted a UK banking license in December.

Having lived through the previous financial crisis, the team at Zopa will know that, the scale of consumer debt and the potential of an economic downturn are risk factors for a pure lender. Expanding into banking will enable Zopa to progress its plans to launch a range of new financial products and services, and crucially to balance its portfolio. As one of the industry's true innovators, it will be interesting to see where Zopa’s ambitions take it in the future.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:34' - Tagged: banking   p2p  

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Friday 15 February 2019

Eastnine aims to get market-fit with seed funding

logoThe received wisdom is that you are more likely to exercise when you are doing it with someone else than if you do it alone. Indeed our chairman Richard Holway is known to enjoy a weekly ramble with pals in the wilds of Surrey as I remain slumped in my armchair watching the snooker on TV (despite the fact that I have an exercise cycle and rowing machine gathering dust in my home office).

I tell you this because of the news (Source: TechCrunch) that ‘social fitness’ app Eastnine has been launched on the back of a £2m seed funding round led by LocalGlobe and Cherry Ventures, with a host of (assumedly fitness fanatic) angels. Now in ‘beta’, Eastnine’s app offers audio-based professional coaching sessions and then lets you race against other users who have taken the same coaching session. Currently free to use, the app aims to adopt a ‘freemium’ model over time.

There’s a large number of social fitness apps in the market already, as well as ‘socially enabled’ fitness machines, such as internet-connected exercise cycle Peloton, whose TV ads mercilessly interrupt my snooker viewing and cause me just to slump further in my armchair. Not sure that Eastnine will have any more joy in West Five.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:19' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Friday 15 February 2019

Santander calls on IBM for competitive edge

ibmThis week’s news that IBM has secured a major deal with Santander, to transform the Spanish banking group’s global IT architecture, is the latest sign that the battle for the higher ground in financial services is heating up. Technology has become the key to competitive advantage in the banking  sector and Santander’s declared aim is to “build the most advanced IT architecture" in financial services.

The $700m (£545m) transformation deal, will see Big Blue leverage technologies such as AI, blockchain and big data, to help Santander successfully address the key competitive challenge of, improving customer engagement with its accountholders. Crucially, whilst helping Santander to respond to the transformation imperative, the efficiency and modernisation offered from the project is expected to deliver significant savings to the bank’s overall IT budget.

IBM has had a run of major banking wins of late. Most recently, with its BNP Paribas deal (see: IBM and BNP Paribas announce major cloud deal), which was reportedly one of the largest ever cloud deals in European banking. Santander meanwhile, has always viewed technology as a competitive enabler. For example, the Spanish bank’s ability to acquire and successfully integrate acquisitions, such as UK bank, Abbey National, was largely predicated on the flexibility of its core banking platform. Santander is already working across a hybrid, multi-cloud environment and has created its own Cloud Competence Centre, which is working closely with IBM. As a result, Santander’s own transformation journey and strategic goals are far more advanced than some its banking rivals.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '07:53'

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Friday 15 February 2019

DeepCrawl weighs up more dosh to crawl deeper

logoLondon-founded web analytics product developer DeepCrawl has raised a further £2.4m in a funding round led by prior Series A investor, Beringea. This brings the total raised by the company, which was founded in 2010, to £4.2m (Source: CrunchBase). Crawl on!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:51' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Friday 15 February 2019

*NEW RESEARCH* The Expanding Influence of Babylon

Babylon logoNHS England has given permission for Babylon’s GP at Hand service to extend outside of London for the first time. It had previously advised against expansion due to concerns about access to local clinical pathways and screening services. NHS Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), where GP at Hand is based, and Birmingham and Solihull CCG will now work together to agree when the service will start operating in Birmingham.

Report Cover ImageUse of Babylon’s GP at Hand app, which provides a symptoms checker, appointment booking and online consultation service, has grown rapidly since its introduction. It has been a controversial success story though, because when patients sign up for the service they deregister from their existing GP practice and the NHS funding for that patient goes with them. This is leading to concerns about a two-tier system developing where the younger and fitter patients are cherry picked from their previous practice.

Babylon has long wanted to expand the GP at Hand service outside of London, but, until now, had been blocked by Hammersmith and Fulham CCG and NHS England. The restrictions on expansion into Birmingham have now been removed and GP at Hand looks set to add patients from the city to its service shortly.

In this report we look at the history of GP at Hand, the impact of its expansion, the company behind the technology and concerns about how that company has been championed by the Government.

PublicSectorViews subscribers can download a copy of the report here.

If your organisation doesn’t yet subscribe to our in-depth public sector and healthcare research and you’d like to know more about our 2019 subscription packages please contact Deb Seth for the details.

Posted by Dale Peters at '07:36' - Tagged: nhs   healthcare   government   AI  

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Thursday 14 February 2019

Capgemini UK puts in sprint finish

Capgemini logoIn October, at the time of the Q3 results (see Capgemini UK returns to growth), we reported Capgemini being in “rude health”. The FY18/Q18 results (to end December 2018) reveal that that description is still apt. With growth across the business, at the headline level, Group revenues increased by 5.4% - equating to 8.1% growth at constant exchange rates (to €13,197m) and 6.2% growth organically. Within that, the business mix shifted further towards digital and cloud services, with growth of 20% (ccy) pushing its share of Group revenue up to 45%.

This is impressive growth – well above market growth rates. Capgemini is focused on two strategic imperatives. The first: more dynamic management of its portfolio of services. The second, aligning the whole organisation around the client (supported by its new client-centric organisational structure). These are both elements that we analysed in depth in our TechMarketView Market Readiness Index (MRI), with Capgemini one of ten companies assesses for its readiness to support its clients on their digital transformation journey. Focused investment is paying dividends and allowing Capgemini to grow while also improving profitability – the operating margin was up 20 basis points in the year to 12.1%.

Application services remains the lion’s share of Capgemini’s revenues (64% share) and revenues increased 10.1%. But, arguably, the most interesting growth trends are in ‘Consulting’ and ‘Managed Services’. Consulting revenues (6% of the total) were up 37.4% (ccy). Some of that was down to acquisitions but strong activity also played a large part; the establishment of Capgemini Invent, combining expertise in strategy, technology, data science and creative design, is playing out positively. Meanwhile, a 4.2% decline in ‘Other Managed Services’ was negatively impacted by a slowdown in BPO, and a contraction in infra services in the public sector, but counteracted by strong growth (in H2) in cloud integration and orchestration services. Technology & Engineering Services (15% of total) grew 5%.

The UK finished the year with an impressive Q4 – growing revenues by 9% in the last three months of the year compared to the previous quarter. We had commented that the UK would have to have a sprint finish to push the region into growth territory for the full year… and it managed it (just!). Growth at constant exchange rates was +0.1% for the full year (we’ll gloss over the small headline decline once foreign exchange rates impact). The private sector was the growth engine, as the financial services and energy & utilities sectors came up trumps. And while public sector declined, Capgemini talks of “a clear rebound at the end of the year”. The UK was highlighted as one of the strongest regions for ‘Technology & Engineering Services’. Due to the change in business mix, the UK operating margin declined from 16.1% to 12.6%.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '10:08' - Tagged: results   systems+integration   consulting   ApplicationServices   digital  

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Thursday 14 February 2019

Civica helps NHS' Chesterfield Royal to digital health

Civica logoCivica appears to be gaining traction in the UK healthcare market with its cloud-enabled digital health platform, CITO. It has just extended its partnership with Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust through a five-year contract for a full migration to CITO, which will support the Trust’s digital IT strategy. The news comes after other long-standing Civica customers, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, made similar moves in the second half of 2018.

Civica has been working with Chesterfield Royal Hospital since 2012 using its electronic document management system (EDMS) WinDIP to digitise paper records. The upgrade to the CITO EDMS and clinical information management system will integrate more than 30 existing clinical systems into a single ‘Electronic Version of Truth’. 

It is easy to see the appeal of CITO to Trusts that don’t have all encompassing electronic health record systems (EHRs) and need to deliver on the NHS’ paperless 2020 agenda. The cloud-based system enables a single view of patient records from multiple systems through a single sign-on interface. It also facilitates the transfer of essential information between the Trust and its healthcare partners, something that is central to the NHS’ vision of the future (see the UK Public Sector SITS Market Trends & Forecasts report and NHS Long Term Plan: What does it mean for tech? for more). 

Known historically for its local government software, Civica now has a much wider footprint both in the UK and internationally, public and private sector, and badges itself as a provider of ‘business-critical software applications, digital solutions and managed services’. It can claim to have been in the UK healthcare sector for 30 years – first as a reseller and then with its own software intially through the acquisition of In4tek back in 2009 (see Civica acquires In4tek). 

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '10:02' - Tagged: contract   software   healthcare  

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Thursday 14 February 2019

Starling boosted by cash injection

StarlingUK challenger bank, Starling, has announced that it has successfully raised an additional £75m in funding, bringing the total raised by the bank to date to £133m. Merian Global Investors were the major contributors to £60m in Series C funding, with a further £15m in follow-on funding from Harald McPike (Starling’s original backer and major shareholder). The new capital will be invested in Starling’s retail and SME banking operations, including a European expansion.

Meanwhile, Starling has revealed that it has so far attracted 460,000 personal current account customers and around 30,000 SME account holders. The bank hopes to reach one million customers by the end of 2019. (Rival challenger bank, Monzo, currently claims around 1.5m customers). Starling is also understood to be in the throes of applying for banking license in Ireland, to help protect its expansion plans in the face of an unruly Brexit.

Starling has successfully made progress with some major players in the financial services sector, in the shape of its contract with the DWP, and via its partnership with Mastercard Send. The bank has also established a potentially lucrative relationship with RBS/NatWest (see: Starling makes progress and opens door into RBS). Starling has also been tapping into opportunities around the UK’s Open Banking reforms.  The bank’s app-based, marketplace of third-party financial products is supported by its open API and currently has 11 partners, with more in the pipeline. Starling has experienced encouraging growth to date and the latest cash injection should help it continue to expand its customer base.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:59'

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Thursday 14 February 2019

Welcome further improvements at Micro Focus

logoThe Micro Focus share price soared in early trading (up c.11% at the point of writing this post). The reason: a set of results that confirmed the improving trajectory evident in its interim results and the most recent trading update, and an extension to the share buyback programme. Looking back over the past 12 months, there was a notable improvement in H2 over H1 which is attributed to throwing off one-off transitional effects of the HPE Software acquisition and integration.

Having realigned its year end to 31 October, Micro Focus reported statutory results for an 18 month period. But considering that, plus two major business-changing  transactions (the completion of the HPE Software acquisition in September 2017, and approval of the SUSE sale in August 2018 which is expected to close in Q119), 12 month pro forma results provide better insight into performance. And they show the business is moving in the right direction.

Pro forma constant currency revenue for the 12 months to 31 October 2018 (which includes SUSE and 12 months contribution from HPE Software), declined 5.3% to  $4.1bn but significantly the rate of decline slowed and performance was better than the -6% to -9% guidance. Revenue matters of course but the Micro Focus business model emphasises profitability, margins (and shareholder returns) and these continued to head in the right direction. Adjusted EBITDA rose 9.2% to $1.5bn and the Adjusted EBITDA margin increased by 4.6 percentage points to 37.7%.

Although the shape of the business will change once more with the sale of SUSE and the HPE Software integration programme continues, the future looks promising with a “further moderation of revenue decline” expected. This has enabled the company to issue 12 month guidance on revenue from the continuing Micro Focus portfolio (excluding SUSE) of between minus 4% to minus 6% compared to the 7.1% decline for the 12 months to 31 October 2018.

Acknowledging the problems the company has faced via a reference to the move to a more dynamic environment where execution is faster, operations simpler and people more accountable, CEO Stephen Murdoch says the company is getting back on track. There is still work to be done and the infrastructure software provider needs to keep its portfolio rolling forward as organisations reassess their legacy assets, but with its ability to bridge the old and new, Micro Focus is well positioned as organisations look to lower risk ways of modernising and accessing technology-enabled innovation. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:52' - Tagged: results   software   digitaltransformation  

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Thursday 14 February 2019

IBM opens up Watson AI to competitors’ clouds

ibmIBM’s Think 2019 event is currently underway in San Francisco and one of the announcements the firm has made is that customers will now be able to connect Watson AI to data held on any cloud (e.g. AWS, Azure), or in their own data centre.

Watson AI is a collection of applications, development tools, machine learning models, and management services, designed to help organisations mine data, predict outcomes, and automate processes. Customers will be able to connect data held in any environment to Watson AI through IBM Cloud Private for Data.

The first Watson AI products to be available in such a way are Watson Assistant (which can be used to build conversational interfaces into apps and devices) and Watson OpenScale (a management console that is designed to make using AI simpler).

There is so much interest in the potential for AI technology but often the challenge is knowing where and how to begin. The Watson brand is very well recognised in end user organisations. However, in a move that IBM describes as a “new chapter”, the firm is giving customers much more choice and potential to start using Watson. It could just be the impetus some need to get going with Watson in a meaningful way.

There is a flood of messaging coming from the supplier community around AI, but that is not mirrored in adoption levels. Finding ways to shift usage from the experimental phase to mass adoption is at the heart of the challenge. 

Expect more Watson offerings to be available across multiple environments over the rest of 2019.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '08:49' - Tagged: cloud   AI  

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Thursday 14 February 2019

Veeam FY18 revenue up 16%

Veeam FY18 revenue up 16%Last year was another good year for backup and archiving specialist Veeam, which delivered US$963m of bookings in the 12 months ending December 2018. That represents annual growth of 16%, though the rate of expansion slowed considerably from FY17 when total bookings were up 36% yoy.

By our calculations that is now 12 years of double-digit organic growth for the Switzerland-headquartered company, which added a further 48k customers in FY18 (including the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust) bringing the total to around 330k.

Like other suppliers – including Veritas, IBM, HPE, Dell EMC, Arcserve and Commvault - Veeam is looking to move the conversation beyond backup and archiving and onto intelligent data management that extends protection from on-premise systems to incorporate off-premise public, private and hybrid cloud-hosted infrastructure and applications and distributed end points (see Veeam: big ambitions for intelligent data management).

The company has done a particularly good job of aligning its virtualised solutions alongside cloud services offered by Microsoft (Office365) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) whilst integrating its storage and data protection software portfolio with leading hardware players such as HPE, NetApp, Cisco and Lenovo.

Despite slower FY18 growth and the departure of co-chief executive Peter Mackay, privately-held Veeam is still held in extremely high regard by investors, having secured a mammoth US$500m of financial backing from Insight Venture Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in January.

There are suggestions that Veeam’s competitors are starting to catch up with rival cloud-centric data protection platforms of their own though. While we expect strong enterprise and SME demand for secure, compliant data backup solutions precipitated by the GDPR and other privacy regulations will continue (see our Security, Networking and Cloud Predictions 2019 report) it will be interesting to see if the company can repreat its earlier momentum in FY19.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '07:38' - Tagged: cloud   resullts   dataprotection   backup   archiving   Veeam  

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Thursday 14 February 2019

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Changing of the guard at Celaton

logopicI’ve just been speaking to Andrew Anderson, former CEO of automation software specialist, Celaton, who is moving on to pastures new 15 years after founding the business. Celaton has yet to announce his replacement.

We’ve been following Celaton’s fortunes since 2013 when the company joined the Little British Battler brigade (see Celaton - artificial intelligence for business processes). More recently, Celaton was one of just five innovative UK tech SMEs selected by Capita to participate in our inaugural TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme – now TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme – (see TechMarketView Early Stage Partner Programme: Celaton).

Anderson has rich experience in the sector, having co-founded Celaton in 2004 after leading the MBO of Redrock Software from Netstore and the subsequent acquisition of DG Tech. I have a feeling that it won’t be long before we’ll be announcing his next venture. 

Posted by Anthony Miller at '22:40' - Tagged: management  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Leidos in 'marquee' win with NASA

Leidos logoIt might not be in the UK, but it still feels worthy of mention. Leidos’ has announced what it is calling “a marquee win”. Leidos’ Civil Group has been successful in its bid for NASA’s End-User Services & Technologies (NEST) contract.

The long-term IT end-user services outsourcing deal is described as “fixed-firm price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” – in other words, Leidos has taken on maximum risk. The potential value is high at $2.9b if all extension options are exercised (a two-year option, a one-year option and a five one-year award term options). But the initial base period is two years and three months.

From NASA’s 10 centres nationwide, Leidos will provide, manage, secure, and maintain IT service supporting the agency’s activities. The arrangement covers PC hardware, supporting infrastructure, agency standard software, mobile IT services, help desk support and other end user services.

There will be a big focus on automation and end user support management, with one of the aims being system security. Data-driven practices will be used to reduce call volumes, enhance self-service and improve customer experience. Of course, for Leidos, getting the automation right under a fixed price contract will be essential – get it wrong and profitability of the deal will be heavily impacted.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:41' - Tagged: contract   space   IToutsourcing   enduserservices  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Another solid period for Unisys

logoThere were a couple of ‘firsts’ evident in the full year and Q4 2018 results from Unisys. Most eye catching was the 3% FY revenue growth to $2.83bn, notable because it was the first time this metric has grown since 2003. Services revenue also grew - for the first time since 2006 – up 2.5%. While Technology revenue increased at the headline level (up 6.1%), the ClearPath Forward renewal schedule resulted in an 6.7% decline on an adjusted revenue basis. The company also converted the $65.3m year ago loss into net income of $75.5m.

An industry go-to-market approach and using security as a point of differentiation drove the improvement. Cloud migration, infrastructure modernisation and managed digital workplace services were also contributors and are set to persist through 2019.

Q4 saw headline revenue growth of 2.2% to $760.9m but net income fell from $50.5m to $25m, although this was impacted by high tax credits in the year ago quarter. Services maintained its emerging growth trajectory – this being the third consecutive quarter of revenue growth (up 5.6% to $625.5m). However, Technology revenue fell 11% to $135.4m, which was attributed to as-expected, lighter ClearPath Forward renewals.

Several significant contracts were secured during Q4, including with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent bureau of the US Department of the Treasury, worth up to $69m and a US state government contract for Unisys Stealth software and  security services; while MASkargo, the cargo division of Malaysia Airlines, bought into the cloud-based Unisys Digistic digital logistics solutions to further its digital transformation.

Overall, Unisys built on its solid Q3 results and is establishing an upwards trajectory in terms of overall and services sector revenue which looks promising for 2019.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:40' - Tagged: results   security   sevices  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

SumUp acquires Shoplo

SumUpUK FinTech SumUp, that enables small businesses to accept card payments, has announced the acquisition of Polish, multi-channel, e-commerce platform, Shoplo. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but SumUp has indicated that it hopes the deal will help it grow its product suite and broaden its online marketplaces. The Shoplo technology should also enable SumUp customers to enhance the look and feel of their e-commerce presence.

SumUp’s backers include, innovative Spanish bank, BBVA, American Express and Groupon (see: Sum up sums up another €10m). Since its launch in 2012, the company has been growing strongly by acquisition, having previously integrated German rival, Payleven and Danish based invoicing software platform, Debitoor. The acquisitions are part of SumUp’s ambitious growth plans, as it aims to create a one-stop-shop for businesses of all sizes. SumUp is rumoured to on the brink of achieving ‘unicorn’ status, with a valuation of $1bn, off the back of annual revenues of $200m.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:21' - Tagged: payments   acquisitions  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Backers help Mojo boost its mortgage mojo

logoHow many online mortgage brokers does it take to fill a hole in the housing lending market? I have absolutely no idea but it seems there are startups (and backers) who think there’s room for more.

Witness Manchester-based Mojo Mortgages, which has just raised £7m in a Series A funding round backed by NVM Private Equity, Maven Capital Partners and others. Mojo launched last year as Nuvo and managed to snare the Mojo brand just ahead of real estate chain Countrywide, which was looking to use the name for its own online mortgage broker (now called Dynamo).

So, Mojo joins a long list of ‘disruptors’ including robo-advisor MortgageGym (see MortgageGym completes £3.8m funding), the not-too-dissimilar sounding Molo (see Molo raises funds to build a better mortgage mousetrap), as well as the much advertised Trussle (see Trussle hussles another £13.6m) and Habito (see Habito raises £18.5m to galvanise mortgage market) and others besides.

Now, back to my first question …

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:19' - Tagged: funding   startup   FinTech  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Symantec buys in hybrid cloud protection tools

Symantec buys in hybrid cloud protection toolsSymantec’s purchase of Israeli start-up Luminate Security extends its ability to protect customer workloads hosted in hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed though rumours of a US$200m price tag for a company that emerged from stealth with US$14m of funding just last year suggest just how keen Symantec was to get its hands on the technology. A handful of public Luminate customers include international insurance firm AIG, UK-based financial trading specialist NEX Group (formerly ICAP) and US IT resilience specialist Zerto.

Luminate describers its Secure Access Cloud as a consistent security stack for all corporate applications, hosted on any environment, accessed by any device, by any location. Its “software-defined perimeter” technology appears to supplement (or replace) Symantec’s existing cloud access security broker (CASB) by granting users “zero trust” access only to authorised applications and resources, and will be absorbed into Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defence proposition.

The deal follows a tranche of similar initiatives involving cyber security suppliers adding tools that help IT departments protect cloud-hosted assets in accordance with national data protection regulations and industry governance frameworks (see Palo Alto buys RedLock for cloud security compliance and Suppliers lend weight to AWS Security Hub).

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:05' - Tagged: acquisition   cloud   cybersecurity   Symantec   LuminateSecurity  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

3radical engages with gamification

logoIf you’re known by the company you keep, Bristol start-up 3radical has friends that impress and its latest include Stephen Kelly and Steve Garnett who have invested in the company and joined as advisors.

As you no doubt know, Kelly’s previous roles have included top roles at public companies Sage, Chordiant and Micro Focus and a period as COO of UK Government, while Garnett chaired Salesforce in EMEA for 13 years, following senior roles with Siebel and Oracle, so both have reams of experience to bring to the existing 3radical management and advisory team.

3radical operates in the martech sector with its SaaS Voco audience engagement platform. What’s different to traditional marketing offerings is that it uses gamification to encourage two way interaction between organisations and individuals, aims to provide rewarding digital content (including various ‘rewards’), and operates in real time so relevant offers can be made ‘in the moment’ i.e. when, how and where they are appropriate for the individual. The interactive aspect underpins the offering and company ethos and is positioned as playing a major part  in establishing trust between organisations and the individuals (designated audiences are identified as consumers, employees and students) who chose to share their precious data.

Customers include Dell, DBS Bank, Azzuri Group, GVC and National Australia Bank. Operating in the UK and Asia-Pac, with plans to expand into the US, 3radical has good credentials to support its development. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:43' - Tagged: startup   investment   software  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Angels help Raven fly higher

logoThis is a textbook example of spotting a glaring need in the market and spinning out a software startup from a services business.

The need in the market was a more efficient way of recording and responding to security incidents in venues and arenas. And the software startup is Glasgow-based Raven Controls, a spin-out from event security consultancy, ID Resilience, founded in 2014 by ex-counter terrorism police officer Ian Kerr.

Kerr spun Raven out from ID Resilience in 2016 and went on to win £65k last December from Scottish EDGE, the annual competition which supports Scottish entrepreneurs. Raven has now raised a further £300k in angel funding.

Raven’s software lets event security staff log and manage incidents on mobile devices, a task traditionally done using standard desktop software or even pen and paper. The software has already been used at events such as the Ryder Cup and the European Championships in Glasgow.

While there are plenty of event management products in the market, at first blush I could not find any that specifically handle security and incident management. It seems Kerr has found a gap in the market and his aspiration for Raven to become ‘a global leader in event control’ deserves much support and encouragement. 

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:36' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

FinTech funding continues to grow

FinTechAccording to the latest figures, overall venture capital investment in UK FinTechs grew by 18% during 2018 to $3.3bn. The analysis released by Innovate Finance, reveals that the UK ranks third globally, in terms of vc funding, with China in 1st place and the US 2nd. Globally, total vc funding of FinTechs climbed to a new high of $36.6bn in 2018, whilst the number of deals was more than two and a half times greater than in 2017 at 2,304. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest single segment on FinTech investment relates to challenger banks, with 27% of the total funding overall.

The flow of investment into the FinTech space shows no real sign of slowing, despite the maturity of the overall economic cycle. Whilst the innovation that has driven the global modernisation of financial services has, in part, been fuelled by the ready supply of capital, the imperative for change is undeniable. However, as highlighted by TechMarketView (see: IndustryViews Venture Capital Q3 2018 Review)  there has been something of a “flight to quality”. In recent years, the needle has shifted towards investments in more mature companies that have already cut their teeth, and the overall proportion of startup investments has declined. Regardless of future funding patterns, the innovative new technologies and business models that have emerged, have set the industry on a path that is unlikely to be deflected.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:27'

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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Wipro Digital grows up fast

LogoWipro Digital, the CX-centric arm of the Bangalore-based offshore services major, has turned into a somewhat precocious four-year old. Headcount in the unit has grown from 50 to 5000 people and the division is now generating a substantial proportion of Wipro’s $2.7bn revenues from “new” (digital, platform and cybersecurity) services world-wide. Wipro Digital's clients include an impressive array of major brands such as AIB, Audi, Lloyds Banking Group, JCB and SAS.

The business has acquired and successfully integrated Denmark-HQ’d digital design house Designit (see here). This has both doubled in size and expanded its geographic footprint since joining the Wipro Digital fold in July 2015. Its capabilities have been extended through the subsequent purchase of US design consultancy Cooper during the year before last.

The case studies, customers and partners on show at its Analyst and Advisor event in London last week portrayed a credible picture of a substantial, global and very capable digital customer experience focused business. The most interesting sessions – for me at least – were those delivered by Rajan Kohli, President Wipro Digital & Consulting, and Humberto Matas, Global Managing Director Designit. These focused on the cultural shifts and new ways of working that have been necessary to establish the foundations for growth and facilitate effective collaboration - not only between the parties’ respective technology and design communities, but also with clients. At the core has been the adoption of both a business-wide product management ethos and a customer value driven engineering mindset.

In our $5 Billion and Counting…Is the SI Creative Agency Gamble Paying-Off report last year, we identified the integration dilemma as one of the key challenges now facing the many IT services firms that have been buying into the digital design consultancy space. The Wipro Digital approach appears to be driving convergence without destroying the essence of the acquired assets. We will be returning to this subject in more detail as a part of our 2019 Research Agenda.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '08:14' - Tagged: offshore   customerexperience   digital+transformation  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

Data centre player, Kao Data, secures Legal & General funding

kaoKao Data, a provider of wholesale colocation data centre services, has announced that it has secured investment from Legal & General Capital, which has teamed up with existing investors, Goldacre Noé Group.

The pair say this is the first step of an “ambitious partnership….to drive the strategic expansion and accelerated growth of the UK data industry”.

Kao opened its ultra-low PUE data centre, Kao Data London One, a year ago. This is the first of four 8.8MW data centres planned for its Campus based in the London-Stansted-Cambridge technology corridor. The firm claims it is the first wholesale colocation data centre in the UK to use Indirect Evaporative Cooling with no mechanical refrigeration to maintain environmental guidelines and deliver an ultra-low PUE <1.2 across all load levels.

Building modern data centre facilities is a highly capital intensive activity, meaning there are very few new entrants to the market. While terms of the investment were not disclosed, it is not likely to be a small sum.

Readers are likely to be familiar with Kao’s Chairman, Craig Wilson, who has had various senior roles in the tech industry over the years, including at XChanging and HPE.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '10:00' - Tagged: funding   datacentres  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

Getronics signs global 7-year Intersnack deal

getGetronics has won a tasty deal with German-headquartered Intersnack, the holding company behind c20 well-known brands, including Hula Hoops, McCoys, KP nuts, and Estrella. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Getronics has been contracted to deliver and manage the global IT infrastructure landscape, including Service Integration & Management (SIAM), end-user computing services, networking, hardware, software, security and service desk. These services are the infrastructure foundation upon which Intersnack’s ERP provider, Infor, will deliver a cloud applications migration project.

Intersnack produces more than 500,000 tonnes of snacks each year and is privately owned with turnover of €2.7bn. The company has made various acquisitions and has been looking to centralise its IT operations and outsource the majority of the responsibility for running these to a small group of global partners, including Getronics.

The deal is a great endorsement for Getronics, which has been on its own highly-acquisitive journey in recent years. Getronics was acquired by German private equity firm Aurelius in 2012 (see KPN sells non-Dutch bits of Getronics) and five years later was sold to Bottega InvestCo, the private equity firm led by US/UK/Brazil-based entrepreneur Nana Baffour (see Getronics sold to Brazilian backers), who now serves as chairman and group CEO of Getronics.

The UK business is now led by Campbell Robertson, who succeeded Paul Fox following his promotion to Regional MD International. We plan to catch-up with Campbell shortly for more insight into the UK business.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '10:00' - Tagged: contract   infrastructre  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

Angels bless GradTouch to place more graduates

logoIf you want to have any chance of making your voice heard in the overcrowded recruitment market – especially as a startup – it helps to have a specific focus. And Manchester-based GradTouch’s focus is on graduate recruitment for SMEs.

GradTouch claims ‘to cut out all the crap and make it easier for you to find your ideal career’ (as their website succinctly puts it), for example by visiting hiring companies ‘Interview(ing) leaders of the company … and … tak(ing) photos and videos of the office so you know where you’ll be spending your time’. GradTouch also lets employers set up their own landing pages on their platform.

Established in 2011 and launched in 2013, GradTouch had raised £1m in March 2018 in a seed round led by Maven Capital Partners on behalf of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), who contributed £250k. GradTouch has just raised a further rather modest £150k funding round from GC Angels, the angel investment arm of Manchester-based not-for-profit organisation, Growth Company.

GradTouch claims to have over 200 employers and 200,000 graduates on its platform and is aiming for a projected £1.6m turnover in 2019, doubling to £3.2m in 2020. Typically, recruiters charge employers a slice of each hire’s first year’s compensation (around 30%). However, GradTouch seems to operate a subscription model, charging from £500 p.a. to £3,000 p.a. (depending on functionality required) for unlimited placements.

GradTouch is far from being the only game in town, with the likes of Graduateland, Target Jobs, Instant Impact and others also catering to this market. GradTouch’s business model is certainly ‘disruptive’ compared to traditional recruiters, but I really struggle to see how they will make money from it.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:35' - Tagged: funding   startup   recruitment  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

Mimecast Q3 revenue up 33% yoy, posts small profit

Mimecast Q3 revenue up 33% yoy, posts small profitMimecast’s positioning as the email security supplier of choice for many of the organisations which subscribe to Microsoft Office365 continues to drive significant revenue growth.

The information archiving specialist expanded its third quarter turnover 33% yoy in constant currency to US$88m, with adjusted EBITDA hitting US$16m. That led to a small US$458k net profit for the period, compared to a loss of US$2.6m in Q318.

Management predict similar growth rates for Q419, with FY19 guidance anticipating revenue of around US$339m (which would represent yoy of growth of 31% depending on currency fluctuations).

A large segment (41%) of Mimecast customers now use its platform in conjunction with Office365, up from 29% in Q318 as IT departments look for a reliable method of protecting and archiving cloud-hosted data.

That alignment – which we think has more mileage yet in parallel with Windows 10 operating system upgrades - is the core of Mimecast’s success. It will be interesting to see how long it continues and how quickly Mimecast can build a user base for its web security and training services proposition over the longer term (read our  Cyber Security Supplier Prospects 2019 and Beyond report here).

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:03' - Tagged: results   Q3   cybersecurity   Office365   Mimecast  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

The Panoply acquires voice enabled AI GreenShoot Labs

The PanoplyThe Panoply Holdings has wasted no time in making a series of acquisitions since it listed on AIM back in early December (see here). First off it acquired Deeson a small UK-based digital agency specialising in high-profile content-managed websites and digital products just before Christmas (see here) before going on to acquire D/SRUPTION for its marketing platform in Mid-January.

The Panoply, which describes itself as a “digitally-native technology services company” is now buying GreenShoot Labs, which marks the Group’s entry into the AI and conversational interfaces market. GreenShoot Labs’ work here includes the creation of an AI auditor for a global accounting firm, a chatbot supporting cybercrime victims currently being tested by UK police forces, and a voice-enabled AI football coach.

The total consideration payable by The Panoply is capped at a maximum of £7.35m dependent on GreenShoot Labs generating in excess of £1m EBITDA within the earn out period.

The Panoply’s acquisition strategy is to focus on the addition of new service capabilities, the hire of new teams and on smaller complementary acquisitions as the company looks to build regional clusters of digital transformation services. GreenShoot Labs gives the Group access to an exciting and dynamic market helping organisations build much in demand voice enabled services.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:03' - Tagged: acquisition   AI  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

Agilisys partners with University of Huddersfield

Agilisys logoAgilisys has secured a contract with the University of Huddersfield to help the higher education institution (HEI) transition from on premise infrastructure and applications to Microsoft Office 365.

The partnership will see Agilisys and the university work together to develop the full use of the Office 365 suite. Agilisys will provide consultancy, advice, options appraisal, health checks and readiness assessments through to planning, execution and ongoing support. It will also help to develop the university’s in-house digital skills and capabilities.

The OJEU notice reveals Agilisys beat 12 other suppliers to win the contract, which has a value of £200k. The contract is for an initial period of two years but may be extended by a further three years subject to satisfactory review and agreement between the two parties. However, the duration of the engagement is contingent on Agilisys successfully delivering the first project, which is to work in partnership with the university to migrate the staff email service to Office 365; this is expected to be completed in summer 2019. 

The partnership aligns with Agilisys’ strategy of drawing on its cloud migration and digital transformation expertise and expanding its footprint beyond its core local government market into adjacent sectors. With more HEIs moving to the cloud in an effort to improve efficiency and facilitate better collaboration between departments and academic partners, the contract should provide Agilisys with a useful case study to help it expand further into the higher education sector. 

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:53' - Tagged: cloud   Office365   higher+education   digital+transformation  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

*NEW RESEARCH* Musing on the Mid-Tier Indian pure-plays

chartWhile the Top 6 Indian pure-plays (IPPs) have been struggling for growth in recent times, the mid-tier suppliers have generally shown them a clean pair of heels with double-digit growth rates.

Having revenues broadly between $500m-$1bn, there is much speculation about consolidation among the mid-tier players to create more formidable competition for the top tier suppliers.

In the latest edition of OffshoreViews, TechMarketView managing partner Anthony Miller takes a closer look at the mid-tier players and speculates on whether there are indeed any ‘marriages to be made in heaven’!

Plus there’s the usual Snapshot summaries of the Top Tier IPPs and all sorts of colourful charts to enlighten the uninformed on the state of play among the offshore services market leaders.

Subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service can download OffshoreViews Q4 2018 Review right here, right now!

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:13' - Tagged: offshore  

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Tuesday 12 February 2019

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Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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