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A unique TechMarketView subscription for individuals
18 Jan 2019
Sluggish US Retail drags Mastek growth and profit
17 Jan 2019
Fiserv to acquire First Data
17 Jan 2019
Tracsis acquires Cash & Traffic Management
17 Jan 2019
Encouraging start for cautious Sage
17 Jan 2019
Announcing 'An Evening with TechMarketView' 2019 Sponsorship Opportunities
17 Jan 2019
Experian stabilises UK Consumer Services
17 Jan 2019
‘Safe sender’ Tessian secures Sequoia’s support
17 Jan 2019
BeMyEye spies Russian buy
17 Jan 2019
Mindtree advances – US surges, Europe stalls
16 Jan 2019
SCISYS concludes spate of space contract contract wins
16 Jan 2019
Tech Talent Charter improving gender diversity in tech
16 Jan 2019
Snap snaps again
16 Jan 2019
Atom Bank takeover rumours circulate
16 Jan 2019
Seeing Machines takes short-term revenue hit
16 Jan 2019
Revenue up 20% at GetBusy
16 Jan 2019
Momentum builds at Actual Experience
16 Jan 2019
Always worth reading the Manual small print
16 Jan 2019
Two Steve’s back Avora again in Series A round
16 Jan 2019
Would you like to be a Civica Innovation Partner?
16 Jan 2019
UKCloud expands sovereign cloud platform in the face of Brexit uncertainty
15 Jan 2019
Immersive Labs scoops $8m for cyber training
15 Jan 2019
The Panoply acquires D/SRUPTION for marketing platform
15 Jan 2019
Telit’s turnaround on track
15 Jan 2019
Check Point buys ForceNock for automated security
15 Jan 2019
Are you a Recruitment Agency or Training Organisation that specialises in the Technology Sector?
15 Jan 2019
Enabling the smart city of the future
15 Jan 2019
Financial Services: Analysing radical transformation
14 Jan 2019
Jon Davies to lead TechMarketView’s Financial Services research
14 Jan 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* RBS buys into success at Loot
14 Jan 2019
Ideagen expands EHSQ with Scannell Solutions
14 Jan 2019
Gresham sells VME business to Fujitsu
14 Jan 2019
Innovation Partner: Smart Agent (by Mission Labs)
14 Jan 2019
Innovation Partner: Threat Status
14 Jan 2019
Infosys increases pace as Sikka’s ‘stars’ stall
14 Jan 2019
Allocate partners with Brookson Direct
11 Jan 2019
LBB Featurespace partners with NTT Data’s everis
11 Jan 2019
IPsoft joins the RPA party
11 Jan 2019
Finnan sits in O’Connell’s chairs
11 Jan 2019
Innovation Partner: Kulea
11 Jan 2019
*NEW RESEARCH* Application Services Supplier Prospects 2019 and Beyond
11 Jan 2019
European tech valuations climb despite muted deal flow
11 Jan 2019
TCS UK marching onwards and upwards
11 Jan 2019

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Friday 18 January 2019

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Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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Thursday 17 January 2019

Sluggish US Retail drags Mastek growth and profit

logoMumbai-based mid-tier Indian pure-play Mastek presented another set of creditable quarterly results, belying a struggle for growth in North America, the seat of its retail activities established through the acquisition of Dallas-based (and offshore-enhanced) Oracle Commerce and CX consultancy, Trans American Information Systems, just over two years ago (see Mastek does Dallas with TAIS).

Mastek’s headline revenues for Q3 (to 31st Dec. 2018) grew by 26.5% yoy to Rs2.65bn (~$37m), an increase of 3.1% over the prior quarter, and representing 18.5% yoy growth in constant currencies. Mastek improved operating margins to 11.2% after a dip the prior quarter.

Mastek’s growth was almost entirely driven by its UK business, up nearly 40% yoy (+6.8% qoq) to Rs1.99bn (~£21.5m). Growth was boosted by a recent extension to a contract with the Home Office (see Mastek expands Home Office footprint).

In contrast, North American revenues declined by over 6% qoq to Rs0.62bn, basically flat yoy. Growth has been volatile at TAIS and the numbers suggest that all the wheels of the business are not necessarily spinning in the same direction at the same time. TAIS was a big bet for Mastek management and it looks like the bet is not yet paying off – indeed TAIS’ profits have also been volatile and the unit fell into loss this quarter. Attention is suggested!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '12:04' - Tagged: results   offshore  

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Thursday 17 January 2019

Fiserv to acquire First Data

fisGlobal payments technology giant, Fiserv, has announced that it is set to acquire payments processor First Data for $22bn, in a move that would constitute a genuine industry “Mega Deal”. The all stock deal is at a premium of nearly 30% over First Data's closing price on Tuesday.

Since it was founded in 1984, Fiserv has grown into a major global banking and payments software and IT services provider, predominantly by serving tier 2-4 players (see Understanding the legacy issues facing banks). Fiserv has around 24,000 employees worldwide and global revenues of c$6bn.  In 2017, Fiserv acquired UK based Monitise (see Last Knockings for Monitise) and incorporated that business into its EMEA operations, headquartered in Slough. In the UK, Fiserv clients include, Virgin Money, Tesco Bank, Birmingham Midshires, Atom Bank and ThinkMoney.

Founded in 1971, First Data is of broadly similar scale to Fiserv, with around 23,000 employees and global revenue of c$13bn. First Data is the largest provider of merchant issuing and acquiring services worldwide with more than six million merchants utilising its point of sale (PoS) and card payment systems and services. 

The payments sector is changing fast and the sources of revenue for companies such as Fiserv and First Data are changing as traditional power bases are eroded. The rise of the FinTechs and the importance of rich, transactional data are also a factor here. Despite their scale, just like the banks, both Fiserv and First Data must look to evolve their business models to ensure long-term prosperity.

If completed, the deal would be one of the largest ever within global financial services technology and is indicative of the transformation that is taking place across the wider financial services industry. Consolidation amongst the larger, established technology players seems increasingly likely over time, in the face of shifting market dynamics and the growth of a whole ecosystem of smaller more nimble providers.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '10:10' - Tagged: acquisition   payments   banking  

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Thursday 17 January 2019

Tracsis acquires Cash & Traffic Management

tracAIM-listed traffic and transport data services provider, Tracsis, has acquired Coventry-based Cash & Traffic Management Ltd (CTM). CTM provides event traffic planning, admission control, and a range of other event-related services.

The acquisition consideration comprises an initial cash payment of £1.3m, followed by an additional payment of c£400k to reflect the net current asset position of the business. An additional contingent consideration of up to £700k is payable subject to CTM achieving certain stretch financial targets within the next two years. In the year ended 28th February 2018, CTM generated revenue of £5.5m, and a normalised Profit before Tax of £300k.

Tracsis goes to market via two main offerings: Rail Technology & Services and Traffic & Data Services (with its overall aim being to solve complex data driven problems). We see a good opportunity for Tracsis to cross sell between the latter and CTM, which claims to have strong customer retention. In November Tracsis announced its full year results, with good organic revenue growth in markets that continue to show potential.

Tracsis is currently on-boarding a new CEO, via what appears to be a well-planned process.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:47' - Tagged: acquisition   data   rail   traffic  

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Thursday 17 January 2019

Encouraging start for cautious Sage

logoThe first quarter of its new fiscal year proved to be an encouraging one for Sage Group as it reported 7.6% organic revenue growth on the back of sales of products related to the all-important Sage Business Cloud.

The latest trading update shows group level revenue of £465m in the quarter ending December 31 2018. Within that recurring revenue increased 10.5% to £387m, supported by 27.7% growth in subscriptions to £237m. These positive indicators continue the movement seen at end of the previous fiscal year, although they come off a comparatively weak YoY comparative (see here).

There was good news in terms of recovery within the UK and Ireland, where revenue grew 5.9% to £96m, including double digit recurring revenue growth driven by Sage 50 cloud connected migrations. Making Tax Digital also provided a boost, helping with both Sage 50 reactivations and cloud connected migrations. There should be more to come because Sage estimates Sage 50 migration is around halfway through in the UK with about a year to run, while Sage 200 migration is just getting started. Making Tax Digital is a one-time opportunity that Sage needs to make the most of against rising competition from Xero.

Q1 is traditionally a weak quarter; the better performance in the most recent period is an encouraging indicator of the focus on recurring revenue. In the reverse of the usual trend, H1 is expected to be stronger than H2 due to the phasing of recurring revenue. This can be positively interpreted, illustrating the focus across the business to accelerate the move to the cloud and subscriptions. However, management did stress that progress is unlikely to be linear and although pleased that the company was off to a strong start stressed there was still a lot to get through this year, there are lots of moving parts, so emphasised it was important not to get carried away.

Part of the FY19 three-point cloud programme is to simplify the portfolio. The sale of US-based Sage Payroll Solutions to iSolved HCM for £78m this week marks the first step. The divestment of the unit that reported an operating loss of £1m on revenue of £38m in the last FY had been previously announced but the sale means there is one less distraction for management and additional funds to reinvest.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:46' - Tagged: saas   cloud   software   divestment   tradingstatement  

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Thursday 17 January 2019

Announcing 'An Evening with TechMarketView' 2019 Sponsorship Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:00'

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Thursday 17 January 2019

Experian stabilises UK Consumer Services

ExperianQ3 update from information services provider Experian for the period ending 31stDecember, has the business overall delivering organic growth of 9% (at constant exchange rates) and total revenue growth (at actual exchange rates) of 5%. 

Different geographies are growing at different speeds with Experian’s North American operations taking the lead booking organic growth of 12% across both the B2B and Consumer Services segments for the quarter. 

In the UK and Ireland, total and organic revenue growth was 3% with B2B continuing to perform much better than Consumer Services. Here, organic revenue growth across B2B was 4%, driven by new business wins, pre-qualification and data aggregation services (the Runpath acquisition). There was also growth in decisioning software and fraud prevention, including new wins for CrossCore. 

The recent decline in the UK&I Consumer Services business has moderated to -1%, with growth in credit marketplace referral fees helping offset lower credit monitoring revenues. The future performance of the segment remains entwined with the outcome of the proposed Clearscore acquisition.The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) negative provisional finding in November was definitely a big blow to the business. The CMA has now taken views on its provisional findings and will issue a final decision by March. 

Experian also reaffirmed its targets for the year.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:55' - Tagged: results   software   FinTech  

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Thursday 17 January 2019

‘Safe sender’ Tessian secures Sequoia’s support

logoLondon-based email security startup Tessian, has closed a mooted $40m Series B funding round, according to sources alluded to by TechCrunch. Founded in 2013 as CheckRecipient, Tessian raised £9m in a Series A round in June last year (see 'Safe sender' Tessian checks in £9m more funding). The new round is said to be led by Sequoia Capital. Tessian co-founder, Tim Sadler, was a winner in the ‘Young Entrepreneur’  category at last year’s annual Enterprise Awards Dinner (see Tech industry 'Oscars' an outstanding success).

Email security is a crowded market, and Tessian is competing against well established suppliers such as Mimecast (see Mimecast FY18 revenue up 38%) and ProofPoint which have seen strong revenue growth in recent years. But Sequoia’s support is a significant vote of confidence in Tessian’s potential.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:32' - Tagged: funding   startup   cybersecurity  

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Thursday 17 January 2019

BeMyEye spies Russian buy

logoAcquisitive London-headquartered retail shop spy service, BeMyEye, has set its sights on Russia and the CIS countries with the acquisition of Russian peer, Streetbee. Terms were not disclosed, though the ever-vigilant Steve O’Hear at TechCrunch mooted an all-share deal.

Founded in 2011, this is BeMyEye’s third acquisition since its Series B funding round in May 2016 (see BeMyEye spies €6.5m and acquires), which was followed by the acquisition of UK competitor, Task360 this time last year (see BeMyEye spies growth with Task360).

In a nutshell, BeMyEye pays members of the public to spy on retailers on behalf of brands to ensure correct in-store product placement. Streetbee apparently adds image recognition technology to BeMyEyes service, so that images snapped on spies’ (they call them ‘Eyes’) smartphones can be more quickly interpreted.

All sounds very cloak-and-daggerish to me, but I suppose all’s fair in war and retail.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:02' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Mindtree advances – US surges, Europe stalls

LogoBangalore-based mid-tier Indian pure-play Mindtree backed up its Q219 performance by delivering another quarter of strong growth coupled with margin expansion.

Mindtree's headline revenues in Q3 (to 31st December) increased by almost 30% yoy in Rupee terms to Rs17.87bn translating to 17.4% yoy growth in US dollar terms to $251.5m. Operating margin, at 13.6% (in our model), was 50 bps better than the prior quarter and maintained the upward trajectory displayed so far this year.

Mindtree's US business was once again the star of the show. Quarterly turnover in this region rose by just shy of 25% yoy to $185m and now accounts for almost three-quarters of firm-wide revenue. Conversely, the sluggishness of demand in Europe persisted. Last quarter’s qoq dip in sales was presumed to be a glitch (see here). Although Q319 European top line inched ahead by 1.5%, the quarterly revenue run rate remains below that at which the geography exited FY18.

Overall, however, Mindtree’s results point to a business in good shape. The company’s senior management is confident that the pace of expansion will continue through the end of the FY. More good news is to be expected in three months’ time.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '16:51' - Tagged: offshore   resullts  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

SCISYS concludes spate of space contract contract wins

SCISYS logoAfter last night’s Parliamentary fiasco, it feels good to be able to report on a European contract win by a UK born-and-bred company (albeit a win by its German subsidiary – see SCISYS protects itself against BREXIT). The win is yet another by SCISYS related to a project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). Others over the last few weeks can be investigated here (SCISYS space wins keep rolling in) and here (SCISYS restructuring decision vindicated with Galileo win).

Today’s announcement is of a contract with AIRBUS Defence and Space for the development, integration, verification and maintenance of the EGNOS V2 Performance Assessment Facility (PAF) – a satellite-based augmentation system designed to improve positioning accuracy. SCISYS' Space division in Germany will provide a solution for the PAF to enable detailed performance monitoring of 40 ranging and monitoring stations. The total contract value is expected to be €1.32m, with delivery commencing in January 2019 and expected to last until July 2025. According to CEO, Klaus Heidrich, this win concludes the recent series of Space contract wins; together they have proven that SCISYS has been able to protect its EU-funded work.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '10:05' - Tagged: contract   it+services   ApplicationServices   space   brexit  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Tech Talent Charter improving gender diversity in tech

TTC19Yesterday saw the launch of the Tech Talent Charter’s inaugural report on gender diversity in tech atop the iconic Gherkin building in London. TechMarketView is proud to be one of the nearly 300 organisations large and small that have signed up to the Tech Talent Charter in its first year, undertaking to drive greater gender diversity in tech roles. 

The Tech Talent Charter benchmarking analysis shows that signatories to the charter are more gender diverse than average with 26% of tech roles held by females, compared to the reported UK average of 19%. Interestingly, smaller businesses lead the way with micro businesses at 53% women, SMEs averaging 20-23% and larger companies at 19%.

In other words, as Tech Talent Charter CEO Debbie Forster MBE said yesterday, “there is no reason to think that a company is too small to think about diversity”. Indeed, genuine flexible working and a supportive culture have a strong role to play in making the tech workplace more appealing to women, and this is perhaps easier to achieve in smaller or newer businesses (including TechMarketView of course!). Larger organisations are making huge strides too though and it was great to hear practical examples yesterday from a mix of businesses about what they’ve done to improve recruitment, retention, returning and reskilling of women in tech roles. 

TechMarketView subscription clients, including our growing band of UKHotViewsPremium subscribers, can read more in UKHotViewsExtra today here.

And everyone can download the Tech Talent Charter report or find out more about signing up to the charter to push for greater diversity in tech here.

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '10:04' - Tagged: diversity   womenintech  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Snap snaps again

Will Snap, like its messages, disappear?

SNAPI’ve been following Snap (or SnapChat as it was once called) for many years. Maybe it was because I could always use a variant of Snap, Crackle and Pop in the headlines. See Fri 3rd Mar 17 - Snap pops but when will they crackle? and work forward to the many variations on the breakfast cereal theme!

Snap was a hit with teenagers who loved that their messages (and dodgy photos) disappeared within a few seconds. In 2016, Google - who really wanted a Facebook-like social platform of their own - were widely rumoured to have offered $30b for Snap. But Snap was determined on an IPO which they completed on 2nd Mar 17 at $17 a share. The shares popped to $24.5 on the first day giving them a valuation of $28b.

Since then the Crackle went away and Snap has well and truly snapped.

Yesterday Snap shares dropped by another 8% to just $6.5 as its CFO - who had only been in the role for 8 months - departed. So Snap’s value has crashed from $28b to just $8.5b in less than 2 years. The CFO joined a long  list of Execs who have left since the IPO.

The problem with Snap is the declining growth in its userbase. It committed the cardinal sin of surprising the market with its maiden results in May 17 showing an amazing $2.2b loss. Its ‘spectacles’ product has been a flop. It hadn’t helped itself by redesigning its user interface in early 2018 which upset many loyal users. On top of that, at every turn Facebook (particularly via Instagram) copied its new features. Stories is one such example. Then there is a general feeling that we may have witnessed ‘peak social media’ amongst the young.

I don’t think I - or many others - will shed a tear even if Snap - like its messages - disappears.

Posted by Richard Holway at '10:01'

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Atom Bank takeover rumours circulate

atomAccording to reports, UK challenger bank Atom may be poised for takeover by Spanish bank BBVA.

Sky News has revealed that Atom is seeking advisers in light of the potential takeover and is in talks with Citi to discuss its options. App-based Atom Bank has no physical outlets and has currently attracted around £1.3bn in customer deposits in the UK.

In 2018, Atom Bank raised £149m from a group of investors led by BBVA (see: IndustryViews Venture Capital Review Q1 2018).  The move coincided with the departure of Anthony Thompson, the charismatic co-founder of Atom Bank (also co-founder of Metro Bank) who spearheaded its launch in 2016. BBVA now owns around 40% of Atom.

This latest move is an intriguing development in the evolution of the challenger banks in the UK.  BBVA is one of Europe’s most innovative banks, having itself transformed into a customer centric digital bank, built with Accenture’s Alnova banking technology platform at its core.

Highlighting the transformation imperative in banking and how it aims to compete in the new digital ecosystem, BBVA Executive Chairman Francisco González has previously stated that “BBVA will be a software company in the future”.

It will be interesting to see what BBVA has planned for Atom and whether the takeover heralds a significant push into the UK by Spain’s second largest bank.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:58' - Tagged: acquisition   banks   banking   challengerbank  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Seeing Machines takes short-term revenue hit

Seeing Machines logoAustralian headquartered, but AIM listed, Seeing Machines had been growing strongly (see Seeing Machines: The vision to drive strategic change), with revenue increasing by 117% in its last financial year. Performance in H119 (six months to 31st Dec 2018) highlights the challenge it has had adjusting the business to meet rising demand. The company expects revenues to be down c8% to A$13.5m compared to H118. This follows the review of its Fleet business – its biggest revenue generator – and is in line with management expectations.

Seeing Machines describes itself as “the advanced computer vision technology company that designs AI-powered operator monitoring systems to improve transport safety.” Across its four divisions it has a focus on Automotive, Aviation, Fleet and Mining & Rail. Across all sectors, there appears to be strong momentum building with evidence of increased demand for its products and a positive outlook. For example, in automotive, mandatory driver monitoring for cars, vans, trucks and buses looks set to be introduced in Europe and North America, resulting in increased interest in the company’s Driver Monitoring System (DMS). And in aviation, the Group’s eye tracking technology is creating traction in commercial deals as the industry seeks to improve training.

The H1 downturn in revenues is all down to the ongoing transformation of the Fleet business. A new leadership team has initially focused on cost reduction and on honing the direct sales focus on profitable geographic markets and industry categories. Good progress has been made. Now, Seeing Machines executive team must keep a close eye on technological progress and continue to align its investments accordingly; one observation in this trading update is of “prioritisation at CES of semi-autonomous Level 2 and Level 3 driving technology, whilst the introduction of fully driverless vehicles at Level 4 and Level 5 is now anticipated to be much further away than the industry had predicted…”.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:47' - Tagged: trading   transport   automation   AI   automotive  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Revenue up 20% at GetBusy

GetBusy logoFollowing a solid H1, momentum continued to build at document management software supplier GetBusy plc during the second half of the year (see Momentum in evidence within GetBusy at half year point).

Today’s trading update for the year ended 31 December 2018 states the business expects total revenue to be up c.20% to £10.9m on a constant currency basis. Recurring subscription revenue was up 22%, with growth in the UK increasing by 17%. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in-line with expectations.

GetBusy has three core product offerings: Virtual Cabinet, its document management solution of medium size to enterprise size customers; SmartVault, its document management product aimed at SMEs; and GetBusy, its new client chat and productivity product.

During the year it has been migrating SmartVault from self-managed servers to Amazon Web Services, which GetBusy says will improve the speed, reliability, security and scalability of the product. It also launched the public beta for its GetBusy client chat and productivity app in December.

2019 will see the business focus on building subscription revenues from SmartVault and Virtual Cabinet, and increasing the number of beta users of its GetBusy app to aid product development. We will get further details when full results are published on 05 March 2019.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:45' - Tagged: results   saas   documentmanagement   productivity  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Momentum builds at Actual Experience

LogoBath-based Analytics-as-a-Service provider Actual Experience plc has delivered an encouraging set of results for FY18 (the twelve months to 30th September). Turnover tripled yoy to £1.08m on the back of the company’s the first full-scale deployment of its offerings. A second significant engagement was also closed and it will generate substantial revenue during FY19. Both wins were secured through Actual Experience’s channel partners upon which the company now rely as its primary sales engine.

Annual Recurring Revenue was up to £1.6m at year end. This figure has since further increased to £1.8m as at December 2018. The loss for the year was down marginally (2.5% yoy) to £7.2m, driven in part by continuing investment in product development and operational processes.

The progress made during 2018 helps validate Actual Experience’s channel strategy, which has entailed significant investment in automation and support to make it easier for partners to integrate the company’s technology into their offerings. The two recent large wins goes some way to supporting the company’s estimate of average annual revenue of $500k per enterprise customer. As we’ve commented previously, Actual Experience has a good offering (see here). Several more significant deals are, however, still needed for this estimate to be proved.

The company believes that its market has reached an inflection point. It is sensing that customer reticence to invest at scale in digital brand protection is now waning. Actual Experience is confident that the two large engagements secured in FY18 mark the start of a growing pipeline of deals and it expects to see the number and rate of deployments increase gradually throughout the current year. We will watch the progress that the company makes over the next nine months with great interest.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:33' - Tagged: saas   analytics   results.  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Always worth reading the Manual small print

logoAt first blush, newly-launched London-headquartered startup Manual looks like a well-being website for younger men especially concerned about their hair and, shall we say, 'performance'.

But did you spot the little icon at the bottom right on their home page? Click on it and it takes you to the UK register of authorised sellers of medicines (MHRA), confirming that Menwell Limited (the registered name for Manual) is authorised to sell prescription-only medicines as well as over-the-counter medicines.

Now take a look at the small print in Manual’s T&Cs. This explains that if you want to order a prescription drug, they provide an online ‘medical consultation’ (read ‘questionnaire’) to assess your suitability – and once you have submitted your questionnaire, “you can no longer cancel this service”. You have go to the FAQ section to find out that what you have signed up for is a three-month contract for Manual to send you the drugs every month. Helpfully, the FAQ also tells you what to do in case of an emergency: “please call 999 immediately”.

I tell you this as Manual has proudly announced a £5m seed funding round, backed by Felix Capital, Cherry Ventures and Cassius Capital.

Of course, now that I have had a good look at its website, I suspect Manual’s cookies will ensure I will now start seeing ads offering me helpful hints for all aspects of my personal well-being. Unfortunately, it’s rather too late to do anything about my hair.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:52' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Two Steve’s back Avora again in Series A round

logoDr Steve Garnett and Stephen Kelly, both carving out roles as angel investors since serving time at the top of well-known enterprise software firms, have increased their investments in London-based enterprise analytics platform, Avora, as part of a £5.1m Series A round led by Albion VC and existing investor Crane. Founded in 2014, Avora had previously raised £1.5m in December 2017 (see Avora's next gen BI service secures funding). Avora plans to use the funds to launch in the US and for further product development.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:59' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Would you like to be a Civica Innovation Partner?

TechMarketView is helping Civica find innovative technology partners –
could this be you?

APPLY NOW ON THIS WEBFORM

logoWe are delighted to announce that we will be running the third event in our TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme series in March 2019 in association with Civica Innovation Partners, the new initiative announced by Civica, the UK’s leading supplier of business-critical software, digital solutions and managed services to the public sector and regulated markets and among the fastest growing of its kind.

Launched in March 2018, the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme (TIPP) helps our leading enterprise technology clients find innovative technology partners.

Working in partnership to leverage your business

logoCivica has a mission to use technology to deliver better services for its customers and the communities they serve. To enable this mission, Civica wants to work in partnership with innovative UK SMEs to develop compelling joint propositions that both create value for its customers and support growth of the UK technology sector.

One of just a few UK tech 'unicorns', Civica has established itself as a leading technology partner for organisations around the world, with a significant customer base and an enviable track record in providing the digital technology, cloud software and automation behind everyday services for over 100 million people.

Civica works with more than 3,000 major customers in 10 countries around the world, including national and local government organisations, health & care providers, social housing organisations and schools, as well as commercial enterprises. The Group’s software underpins critical services, supporting over two million professionals in their jobs and administering over £100 billion annually.

The chance to sell your "machine intelligence" solution into Civica's clients

Civica is looking for partners with an innovative solution in areas of “machine intelligence”, including:  Analytics; AI; Automation and Connected Devices.  Civica is interested in solutions which have been developed for use in any sector; one of its goals is to work with you to see how the most innovative technology being used in the private sector can be applied to solve the challenges faced by its public sector customers.

If you are selected as a Civica Innovation Partner, you will have the opportunity to work with Civica's business development teams to create joint propositions to offer to its extensive public sector customer base. You will also benefit from technical support from Civica’s technology community of over 1,500 people and from marketing support for future collaborations.  Please note that Civica is not looking to provide cash funding or to take equity in your business as part of this programme.

Eligibility requirements

You should be the founder or CEO/MD of a privately-held, UK tech company with revenues of less than £10m p.a. with an innovative solution in areas of “machine intelligence”, including:  Analytics; AI; Automation and Connected Devices. At a minimum, your technology solution must have been successfully deployed to at least one customer and is now ready to scale. Civica is interested in solutions currently in use in any sector.

How to apply

For the chance to be selected as a Civica Innovation Partner, you should apply to attend a Pre-Qualification Session (PQS) at Civica's offices in Southbank, London in March 2019. Shortlisted businesses will be invited to pitch their plans to representatives from Civica and TechMarketView. Civica will then work with successful candidates to develop propositions and a full commercial partnership.

Applications must be submitted on this webform by Friday 8th February 2019. Applicants will be notified if their application has been successful by Friday 22nd February. There is no charge to apply for or, if accepted, participate in a PQS.

You can find more information about the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme along with Frequently Asked Questions on the TechMarketView website HERE and further information about Civica Innovation Partners HERE. For further information please email tipp@techmarketview.com or call TechMarketView Managing Partner Anthony Miller on 020 3002 8463.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '07:00'

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Tuesday 15 January 2019

UKCloud expands sovereign cloud platform in the face of Brexit uncertainty

logoIn a move that coincides with Tuesday’s crucial vote in parliament, UKCloud has announced that it is making increased capacity available on its UK sovereign cloud platform, to support its public sector clients in the face of Brexit uncertainty.

UKCloud provides secure cloud hosting for public sector workloads, via services hosted in UK datacentres and is seeking to mitigate the potential disruption that may lie ahead whilst ensuring that it is well placed to benefit from potential opportunities.

UKCloud recently celebrated seven years of growth (see UKCloud: Responding to a changing market). The announcement by UKCloud and its timing, highlight the potential market opportunity for SITS providers in the UK, amidst the uncertainty of Brexit. This opportunity is of course not restricted to the public sector, as organisations across the spectrum are making contingency plans.

TechMarketView’s own Brexit research has highlighted the numerous systems in the UK that will need updating in line with Brexit requirements (see Public Sector Predictions 2019). UKCloud appears to be hoping that there is a further market opportunity around applications currently running on non-UK environments that may be brought back onto UK soil. Whether the imperative for such a move is real or perceived, it will be interesting to see whether this patriotic messaging from the UK based providers such as UK Cloud, helps to stimulate demand.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:51' - Tagged: public+sector   cloud   iaas   hosting   infrastructureservices  

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Tuesday 15 January 2019

Immersive Labs scoops $8m for cyber training

Immersive Labs gets $8m for cyber wargame trainingCyber security start-up Immersive Labs received a large US$8m slice of Series A funding led by Goldman Sachs and other private investors.

Founded by ex-GCHQ security researcher and instructor James Hadley in 2017, the Bristol-based firm offers a different take on cyber security training and counts companies such as BAE Systems, Sophos and Grant Thornton as customers.

Rather than classroom-based learning the company uses gamification and real-time attack feeds to quickly teach new skills in response to the latest threats.

With the current cyber skills shortage set to continue, many companies are looking for ways to turn staff and recruits with IT rather than security skills into cyber professionals as quickly as they can.

Immersive Labs will use the funding to take on more people, develop its platform further and expand its go to market strategy.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:40' - Tagged: funding   cybersecurity   ImmersiveLabs  

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Tuesday 15 January 2019

The Panoply acquires D/SRUPTION for marketing platform

The Panoply logoThe Panoply Group is continuing as intended with its second acquisition since its flotation on London’s AIM market (see The Panoply to float on AIM and The Panoply quick to secure first acquisition). However, on this occasion there is a different flavour to the buy.

In taking D/SRUPTION into the fold, The Panoply is getting its hands on a marketing platform for its Group of companies (a Group that will expand over time). The Panoply's overall strategy is to bring together a group of digital services companies with the aim of leveraging the scale and financial strength of the company and start winning larger contracts. But the Group knew it would need to develop a marketing platform in order to raise awareness of its capabilities amongst decision makers. In acquiring, rather than developing its own, The Panoply states it will have saved vast amounts of time and resource.

Where I’m struggling a bit is with the shape that this marketing platform takes. D/SRUPTION is a “thought leader, which currently reaches senior management within many large organisations involved in digital transformation through its magazine, newsletter, research papers and events”. The Panoply intends to leverage content, sponsorship and advertising at limited or no cost. Immediately, worries about the integrity and independence of D/SRUPTION, once ensconced within a supplier organisation, jumped to mind. Clearly its something that The Panoply has thought about too; the Group states that “to preserve integrity and maintain the high level of quality content it currently creates, D/SRUPTION will retain editorial independence”.

So, I ask myself the question, ‘if TechMarketView was to be acquired by an IT services provider, would our subscribers be convinced that our view was independent (no matter how many ‘Chinese walls’ were put in place)?’ I just can’t believe they would. If that’s the case, would D/SRUPTION survive? Only time will tell. Building up an internal thought leadership engine within an IT services company is all very well and good but benefiting from it commercially is another thing entirely.

The Panoply will pay an initial consideration of £50K in shares through the issue of 57,142 ordinary shares in the Panoply at a price of 87.5p per share. There is also a potential earnout (to be received between April 2019 and March 2023), with the total consideration capped at £3.6m.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:30' - Tagged: acquisition   sme   M&A   digital  

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Tuesday 15 January 2019

Telit’s turnaround on track

LogoAIM-listed Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Telit Communications enters 2019 in considerably improved health. The strengthening business position evident at the FY 18 mid-year point (see here) continued build during through the second half. The company now anticipates that revenue for the twelve months ended 31st December 2018 will grow by 14% yoy to $427m with Cloud and connectivity revenues increasing by more than 20% to $33.5m. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in line with previous guidance at between £30m-$35m, up from $18.1m in 2017 and reversing the 66% slump experienced in the prior FY.

Chief Executive Yosi Fait has orchestrated significant strides forward for the business during his first four months in post. Management has been completely overhauled, a restructuring process which shaved US$10m off cash expenses has been executed, and efforts have been re-focussed on the company’s core industrial IoT capabilities. Telit has also negotiated the sale of its automotive division, which makes communications chips for connected vehicles, to Hong Kong-based TUS International for $105m (see here). This transaction will complete by the end of month.

The company is optimistic about the business outlook and believes that its financial performance will improve further in 2019. Based on this latest trading update Telit’s confidence would seem well founded. Full 2018 results are expected to be published in March.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:21' - Tagged: iot   connectivity   results.  

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Tuesday 15 January 2019

Check Point buys ForceNock for automated security

Check Point buys ForceNock for automated securityCheck Point’s acquisition of Tel Aviv-based security start up ForceNock brings additional machine learning and behavioural security expertise to the Israeli company’s ranks as it races to simplify security management and configuration for its customers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but ForceNock’s technology will be integrated within Check Point’s Infinity architecture, a platform designed to provide a blanket of cyber protection across networks, endpoint, cloud, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems.

Founded in 2017 by five former F5 Networks, Check Point and McAfee employees, ForceNock’s Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) solution is big on ease of use and management. It is designed to allow companies with no resident security expertise to automatically configure their own web application firewall (WAF), API and bot mitigation defences.

TechMarketView has noted an increasing emphasis on security management automation amongst suppliers as they look to alleviate the growing burden of configuration and administration on hard pressed IT departments (see our Cyber Security Market Trends & Forecasts to 2021 report).

Rather than being a “nice to have”, that ease of use and deployment is now becoming a major point of differentiation, partly driven by a continuing cyber skills shortage. We wait to see how quickly the ForceNock technology can be integrated into Check Point’s product and service portfolio and if the solution can help drive additional sales in the SME/SMB sector it targets.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:39' - Tagged: acquisition   cybersecurity   CheckPoint   ForceNock  

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Tuesday 15 January 2019

Are you a Recruitment Agency or Training Organisation that specialises in the Technology Sector?

Advertise with us to drive lead generation

We attract a high calibre audience including SITS players and support firms, Government & CIOs, Local Government & investors and we have above industry average click through rates reaching over 20,000 readers per month.

You can advertise your services, industry whitepapers and more and we can tailor advertising packages for your needs. 

TMV AdvertisingSponsored Posts are embedded within the newsletter (identified by a coloured background) and they are up to 250 words in length and can include up to two images and links to landing pages, social media and other contact details. They are sent out in one daily UKHotViews newsletter, as well as being published to our website for 7 days and also sent out on our Twitter stream. Gold and Silver banners can also be positioned at the top and bottom of both the newsletters and webpages. 

For pricing and further information on how you can advertise through TechMarketView, please contact us on info@techmarketview.com.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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Monday 14 January 2019

Financial Services: Analysing radical transformation

A first UKHotViews piece from TechMarketView's new Research Director, Jon Davies

I am very excited to have joined TechMarketView and its respected team of analysts. As a long-time subscriber to the firm’s research, I recognise what fantastic support TechMarketView provides to both tech suppliers and tech buyers. As my predecessor Peter Roe starts his well-earned retirement, I’d like to thank him for keeping us all so well informed over the years.

We all know that the market for financial services technology has changed dramatically in recent years, and the UK landscape is set for even more radical transformation in the near future. It is my intention to shed even greater light jonon the shifting market dynamics that are impacting the sector, highlighting the opportunities for suppliers and the best strategic direction for banks, insurers and other providers.

In my short time with TechMarketView, I have already had the chance to engage with some of those in the vanguard of change (see Loot: The FinTech only your kids have heard of?). And, over the coming weeks and months, I aim to explore some of the major forces impacting the UK financial services industry. TechMarketView’s Predictions for the sector in 2019 (see Financial Services Predictions 2019) show major regulatory, economic, political and technological forces all coming into play. Particularly important areas included Open Banking - where I will examine what the most innovative players are doing to take advantage of the reforms - and AI/cognitive, where I will assess the key providers and key implementations/case studies. You can expect much more besides, including the key Market Trends & Forecasts and Supplier Landscape research.

I Iook forward to enjoying some stimulating conversations with you and finding out more about your own transformation journeys. You can contact me directly on jdavies@techmarketview.com.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:48' - Tagged: people   financialservices   insurance   research   banking   research   research   research   research  

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Monday 14 January 2019

Jon Davies to lead TechMarketView’s Financial Services research

It is my absolute pleasure to announce that Jon Davies has joined TechMarketView to lead the Financial Services research programme.

Jon will be replacing Peter Roe who is stepping back to enjoy retirement and more time with his grandchildren and the golf course. We wish him well!

Jon joins us directly from DXC Technology where he held a variety of research, planning and strategy roles. He has spent much of his career working closely with financial services and technology leaders, and prior to DXC he worked in the business intelligence team of insurance firm, Sun Life. Photo Jon Davies

In the short time he has been with us (five working days!), Jon has hit the ground running. He has an excellent network of established contacts across the industry but like the rest of us analysts will be spending plenty of time meeting both new faces and newcomers (see his piece today: Loot: The FinTech only your kids have heard of?).

The financial services sector has been through significant change in recent years and is set to experience even more radical transformation in the near future. Jon’s research programme will see him examine these shifting market dynamics, helping you to understand which technologies are producing the best outcomes and which suppliers are leading the way. He’ll be working with both buyers and technology providers to navigate these challenging times, providing research insight and strategic advice.

Jon is currently finalising his 2019 research agenda so I would encourage TechMarketView clients to be in touch with him to understand more about what can be expected.

You can contact him directly on jdavies@techmarketview.com

Welcome onboard, Jon!

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:44' - Tagged: people   financialservices   research   research   research   research   research  

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Monday 14 January 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* RBS buys into success at Loot

lootUp and coming UK fintech Loot has capped a successful 2018 by attracting additional investment funding from RBS of £3m. RBS has provided the latest investment on behalf of its own digital banking start up Bo (scheduled for launch 2019). RBS has taken a 25% stake in Loot and to date its total stake in Loot stands at £5m. 

Loot has so far attracted funding from another strategic partner, Canadian based Power Corporation, via their VC arm Portag3, whilst other investors are SpeedInvest and Global Founders Capital.

Last week we spoke with Ollie Purdue, the founder and CEO of Loot and his fellow board member and core funding partner, Nick Kingsbury, to hear about its market approach and to discover the secret of success to date.

TechMarketView clients, including UKHotViews Premium subscribers, can learn more about developments at Loot and its future plans, in our HotViewsExtra article published today: Loot: The FinTech only your kids have heard of?

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:40' - Tagged: banking  

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Monday 14 January 2019

Ideagen expands EHSQ with Scannell Solutions

logoThe latest acquisition by Ideagen, the provider of information management software to highly regulated industries, brings Republic of Ireland-based Scannell Solutions into the portfolio, along with its Environmental Health, Safety and Quality platform (EHSQ) and a 100-strong customer base that includes brands such as Intel, Johnson and Johnson, BT, Heineken and Coca Cola.

Ideagen will pay £3.5m cash for the SaaS company that has a revenue run rate of approximately €1m, of which €0.7m is recurring, and is breakeven. It is expected to be earnings neutral for Ideagen in the current financial year and contribute €0.3m additional EBITDA in the first full year of ownership.

The acquisition is consistent with the strategy of acquiring companies with their own IP and rising recurring revenue and will slot into the GRC part of the business. Within the GRC segment, Ideagen has identified EHSQ as a fast growing market so this acquisition is designed to improve its product and market position. Scannell Solutions also aligns with the aims of recently appointed CEO Ben Dorks (former Ideagen Chief Customer Officer) who is focusing on operational performance, customer acquisition and retention, and product development as part of sustaining the overall company objective of doubling revenues and adjusted EBITDA every three years. Revenue was up 33% to £36.1m in FY17 (11% organically) while adjusted EBITDA increased 40% to £11m (see here). Scannell Solutions is not a major acquisition but every little helps. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:26' - Tagged: acquisition   software  

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Monday 14 January 2019

Gresham sells VME business to Fujitsu

logoSpecialist provider of real-time transaction control and enterprise integrity solutions Gresham Technologies is to sell its declining VME software business to Fujitsu for £2m as it concentrates on is flagship Clareti  platform. VME was ICL’s flagship operating system, which was then acquired by Fujitsu.  

The mainframe software part of the business generated revenue and profit of £0.87m and £0.70m, respectively in FY17, out of total revenue of £21.7m (and is on a downward trajectory) so the impact on Gresham is not substantial but it will mean it can focus its effort and resocues on growth engine Clareti. This is important as the platform experienced a blip during FY18 (see Gresham disappoints) when its rate of growth dropped substantially.

The transfer of the VME business - which involves 13 customers - is part of a transformation programme that has seen Gresham change shape over the past five years. Having undertaken a technical feasibility study with Fujitsu during 2018 regarding the compatibility of Gresham's VME products with Fujitsu's successor platform and to quantify the product upgrade requirements and associated benefits and risks, the decision was taken sell the VME business. The transaction will complete on 31 January 2019. For Gresham the move is part of a tidying up process, for Fujitsu it pulls another 13 mainframe customers closer, with the potential to take them through an upgrade programme. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:50' - Tagged: acquisition   software   divestment   financialservices  

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Monday 14 January 2019

Innovation Partner: Smart Agent (by Mission Labs)

smart agentMission Labs was one of the five companies shortlisted for the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme event held in December in association with Capita Scaling Partner, looking for 'disruptors' in the Customer Management / Customer Experience market.

TIPPNorth West-based Mission Labs was founded in 2016 by Damian Hanson and David Hague both with backgrounds in the technology and telecoms sector. The company’s focus is now addressing the current big customer services challenge – that customers expect instant responses in an era where the amount of customer contact and the variety of communication channels are both expanding rapidly.

Responding to this challenge Mission Labs has created SmartAgent, a product designed and developed by them to provide large businesses with a cross-channel contact management solution using AI, machine learning and natural language processing to automate and assist common customer service queries in an integrated fashion.

SmartAgent's bots can quickly understand why customers are contacting looking to handle their query automatically. The software is integrated with backoffice, ERP, warehouse management, CRM and courier systems to provide up-to-date information to customers. When a customer query requires human intervention, it is able to transfer them through to an agent receiving the entire bot conversation and all of the customers details onscreen in a single place.

SmartAgent works across a variety of channels including Voice, Chat, and Social with Email support coming in early 2019, all within a single app. This means enterprises no longer need separate teams to handle different contact channels and instead can deploy their agents where they are needed most. Agents also no longer need to be physically seated in a contact centre and can work wherever they have an internet connection providing greater working flexibility and outsourcing opportunities.

SmartAgent can also support international operations providing support for 21 languages with further languages being made available in coming months. Translation is provided in real-time for both SmartAgent bots and human agents, allowing for example a French customer to chat to an English agent each communicating in their native languages.

SmartAgent is an exciting proposition for businesses that worry about being ‘off the pace’ with their customer experience at a time of increasing contact volumes and expectations. With over 6,000 contact centres employing some 1.3m customer service agents and with so many companies looking to enhance their customer experience the UK potential alone for the product is very large indeed.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:44' - Tagged: startup   Capita   customerexperience   customermanagement  

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Monday 14 January 2019

Innovation Partner: Threat Status

Threat Status logoTIPP logoThis is the third in the series of short profiles of the five shortlisted candidates for the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme event held late last year in association with Capita Scaling Partner to seek 'disruptors' in the Customer Management/Customer Experience space.

Established in 2017, Threat Status may be a new name in cyber security, but its age belies the amount of experience that sits behind the business.

Founder and CEO Jon Inns has been working in the information security sector since 2001, including gaining experience at the MoD and ArcSight (which went on to be acquired by HPE and now forms part of Micro Focus), before going on to establish EdgeSeven in 2011, which was acquired by Accumuli a year later (Accumuli was subsequently acquired by NCC in 2015). Cyber industry veterans Ian Nice and Andrew Smith joined Threat Status as directors in May 2018.

Threat Status wants to provide organisations with cyber security insight at an affordable cost. It sees its sweet spot as being the SME sector, which hasn’t necessarily got the resources and cyber security capability of large corporations. Its cloud-based platform, Trillion, provides digital risk monitoring, which gives organisations greater visibility of threat vectors developing outside of the network boundary, as well as its attack surface. It’s designed to be used by all employees, not just cyber experts.

The platform helps organisations in four areas: (1) discovering data breaches in client supply chains as well as their own systems; (2) automatically triaging in real-time the data points it collects looking for business affecting issues; (3) informing its clients about high risk data in breaches that will impact them through its proprietary risk scoring algorithms and link analysis; (4) allowing organisations to directly involve every affected member of staff in the remediation process.

There have been a number of high-profile security breaches over the last few months, including Marriott, Quora and Facebook; some estimates suggest 24 billion credentials have now been stolen in total. The quantity of data and range of tools available are making cyber-attacks easier than ever to conduct, placing more organisations at risk, and not necessarily through any fault of their own.

Given the risks, it’s not surprising that Threat Status is in demand. Despite only starting to promote the business in August, it has already attracted c.20 customers, its direct pipeline is growing strongly, and it has also secured two reseller partnerships.

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:36' - Tagged: startup   cybersecurity   tipp  

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Monday 14 January 2019

Infosys increases pace as Sikka’s ‘stars’ stall

logoThere’s an even more optimistic outlook for the year at Bangalore-based offshore services major, Infosys, as management tweaks up guidance for constant currency revenue growth from 7% to nearly 8.8% on the back of double-digit revenue growth last quarter.

Headline revenues for Q3 (to 31st December) grew by 8.4% yoy to $2.99bn, 2.3% higher than the prior quarter. In constant currencies, growth was 10.1%, the highest level since June 2016 (12.1%). Operating margins pulled back to 22.6% though management are holding to their 22%-24% FY guidance.

About the only thing that tarnished these otherwise respectable results was the news that Infosys has been unable to find buyers for Kallidus/Skava and Panaya, companies that prior CEO, Dr Vishal Sikka, acquired during less lucid moments. New CEO Salil Parekh announced their intended sale in April last year, and they were meant to be out the door by March 2019 (see Parekh sets Infosys on course for faster growth). Sikka spent a total of $320m cash for the businesses, which are now, I assume, worth all but zilch.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:14' - Tagged: results   offshore  

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Friday 11 January 2019

Allocate partners with Brookson Direct

Allocate logoAllocate Software and Brookson Direct (soon to be rebranded +Us) have announced a partnership to improve the interoperability between their healthcare workforce solutions.

Brookson Direct logoThe deal creates a two-way interface between Allocate’s BankStaff and Brookson’s agency release and worker engagement products. It will allow NHS customers to gain greater visibility of agency-sourced workers in real-time live rosters alongside their substantive workforce. The partnership will mean Allocate’s customers have a choice of how to manage agency-sourced temporary workers engagement.

Although the NHS has cut its use of agency staff significantly in recent years it is still a major area of expenditure. Last year NHS Improvement said the NHS could free up £480m if it shifted from using agency staff to using bank staff—pools of flexible workers already employed by NHS trusts. Last year, spending on bank staff was higher than for agency staff for the first time in several years.

The NHS is reliant on flexible staffing solutions, so providing customers with a choice of how they source and manage temporary workers should be well received. With staffing representing c.70% of NHS expenditure, it is vital that staff are used effectively and productively. This means streamlining back office processes and ensuring staff are fully utilised.

The deal will open up new opportunities for both businesses and aligns well with the Government’s call for increased interoperability of data and systems in the sector, as detailed in the NHS Long Term Plan published earlier this week. 

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:44' - Tagged: nhs   partnership   healthcare  

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Friday 11 January 2019

LBB Featurespace partners with NTT Data’s everis

ftTechMarketView is always pleased to convey positive news about the up and coming companies that are part of our Little British Battler (LBB) programme. One such company, Cambridge based, machine learning, fraud and risk management provider Featurespace, has just announced an interesting new partnership deal.

The consulting arm of NTT Data, everis, has selected Featurespace and its Adaptive Behavioural Analytics platform ARIC™ to combat payments and account fraud within several banking organisations. As a result of the deal, everis plans to implement ARIC™ in 16 countries, including the UK, US, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Brazil.

This is great news for Featurespace and appears to be another significant development in terms of the company’s growth, reputation and market presence. The everis deal follows another successful collaboration in 2018, between Featurespace and US payments processor TSYS, that led to the creation of the award winning, anti-fraud solution Foresight Score with Featurespace (see LBB Featurespace in payments partnership).

Hopefully, we can look forward to more positive developments from the team at Featurespace in the months to come.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:37' - Tagged: analytics   banking   littlebritishbattler  

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Friday 11 January 2019

IPsoft joins the RPA party

IPSoftYesterday, Anthony and I spent some time with the European arm of AI and automation software player IPsoft. Our host for the day was new European CEO Jeff Heenan-Jalil (see - Wipro's Heenan-Jalil jumps ship to IPsoft) who is already busy retuning the European businesses strategy as IPsoft heads towards an IPO, possibly later this year. 

Jeff is tasked with scaling the European arm significantly and is sensibly focusing efforts on growing IPsoft’s partner network in the region. Plans for the European arm will see the business initially focus on a smaller number of geographies (including UK, Iberia and DACH region) and become much more about selling product rather than services. 

IPsoft has always had some very impressive technology, indeed I remember being wowed by Amelia, its human-like AI when I first encountered it a few years ago. Whilst the technology remains as impressive as ever what is particularly interesting is the way in which IPsoft is differentiating itself from other automation and AI providers in what has become a crowded and often confusing market.

IPsoft is perhaps best known for IPcenter its IT service management platform but now offers a suite of products that can be either stand alone or delivered as an integrated package. This includes Amelia, now described as ‘Conversational AI’ and providing a Natural Language Interface for a variety of front and back office systems, and 1Desk that integrates both IT operations and shared services into a single platform, which then in turn can be accessed via natural conversations with Amelia.

What is new is the addition of its own RPA solution. Whilst late to the RPA party, IPsoft joins a very competitive market with a differentiated offer. Not only is it priced very aggressively and designed to drive much better rates of utilisation, it also offers integration with more intelligent tools such as Amelia at a time when a maturing market is starting to look for more intelligent capability. This is all very sensible stuff - RPA gives IPsoft an entry level product that should help it expand the account base that can then be upsold with higher value solutions.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:22' - Tagged: AI   RPA  

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Friday 11 January 2019

Finnan sits in O’Connell’s chairs

picSean Finnan, well known in this parish from his time in executive roles at EDS, HP and IBM, has just taken over as chairman at the Boards of two UK tech companies previously chaired by venerable tech entrepreneur John O’Connell; hotel booking engine developer, Avvio, and operations management solutions provider, ActiveOps.

O’Connell had chaired ActiveOps, previously known as AOMi, since the investment by Calculus Capital in 2014 (see AOMi bags £5m to scale the business). ActiveOps was also one of the early participants in the TechMarketView Great British Scaleup programme (see here). Finnan had joined the ActiveOps Board as a non-exec director in 2014. 

Prior to his appointment at Avvio, Finnan had worked with the company in an advisory capacity. 

Both John O’Connell and Sean Finnan are part of TechMarketView Great British Scaleup programme corporate advisory partner, ScaleUp Group, which O’Connell founded and chairs.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:00' - Tagged: management  

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Friday 11 January 2019

Innovation Partner: Kulea

logologoThis is the second in the series of short profiles of the five shortlisted candidates for the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme event held late last year in association with Capita Scaling Partner to seek 'disruptors' in the Customer Management/Customer Experience space.

One of the problems with traditional marketing automation (MA) software is that complexity has hindered adoption. That’s one of the issues Kulea is addressing with its SaaS-based marketing and personalisation offering. And given the level of positive customer feedback we are aware of, it is doing something right. That’s all the more notable because although founded in 2015 the first sales were in 2018.

It takes a lot to stand out in the crowded marketing automation sector. Kulea’s characteristics are a focus on self-service MA for SMEs. This combination should help resist the functionality sprawl that would undermine the ease-of-use proposition while keeping it on track in terms of relevant capability - which today includes a versatile persona-capable personalisation engine that enables the mass customisation at scale that digital business demands. Technology only takes a supplier so far so we were reassured to hear that Kulea is focused on client success and its go-to-market includes advice and content creation to support success of client campaigns and help them understand the need for process change for example to promote adoption and deliver business outcomes. 

Although the product is appropriate within any industry vertical, the company is targeting the recruitment sector – a pragmatic decision enabling it to target resources effectively, build a reputation and avoid being swamped by the massed rank of MA suppliers that range from Oracle Eloqua to HubSpot and MailChimp.

Looking forward, while the Kulea engine can be used for lead scoring it could also be deployed within areas such as HR for staff engagement scoring; and we can see the potential for a data story too – using data from the system to suggest individual customer journeys and best practice. Founded and led by a team steeped in marketing and marketing tech, and with experience scaling businesses, the company has the fundamentals in place and the scope to grow across several dimensions.

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:42' - Tagged: startup   software   Capita   tipp  

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Friday 11 January 2019

*NEW RESEARCH* Application Services Supplier Prospects 2019 and Beyond

Just in case you missed it, the Application Services Supplier Prospects 2019 and Beyond report is now available to Coverdownload. Subscribers to TechMarketView's ESASViews can read the full analysis of the challenges facing the players in this market over the coming year, what they need to do to be successful and the ways to win in the longer term. The document also includes profiles of the Top 10 AS suppliers to the UK market.

The AS arena continues to be shaped by the interaction of a complex, often capricious set of countervailing forces. User demand is being stoked by needs to invest in digital transformation, compliance and security. It is, however, simultaneously suppressed by not only macro-economic and political uncertainties, but also skills shortages, relentless operational cost pressures and business preparedness for large scale change programmes.

Rich seams of opportunity for double digit growth exist for those with the agility, ability and determination to exploit them. Individual supplier successes in an AS services world increasingly driven by digital, platform, cybersecurity related demand, however, will be determined by how well they embrace the new 3 R’s; Readiness, Risk and Relationship.

If you are not yet an ESASViews subscriber, please contact Deb Seth (dseth@techmarketview.com) to find out how you can access this research. 

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '08:36' - Tagged: ApplicationServices   research   Suppliers   research   research   research   research  

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Friday 11 January 2019

European tech valuations climb despite muted deal flow

chartEuropean TMT M&A activity ended the final quarter of 2018 with the number of deals announced in December remaining almost unchanged from November, according to latest data from corporate finance firm Regent Partners. However, transaction valuation multiples jumped during the month with the aggregate Price/Sales ratio up from 1.4x in November to 1.9x in December and the Price/EBITDA ratio up from 9.0x in November to 9.9x in December.

The UK tech M&A market was quite lively in December, with public sector ‘unicorn’ Civica rounding out the year with its seventh acquisition. Meanwhile, newly-floated, self-styled ‘digitally-native technology services company’, The Panoply, set off on the acquisition trail, buying digital agency Deeson (see The Panoply quick to secure first acquisition).

And we were delighted to report that Little British Battler-cum-Great British Scaleup prisoner self-service and offender management solution specialist, The Unilink Group, has acquired UK national probation case management system developer, Beaumont Colson, acknowledging the inextricable link between prisons and probation.

All of our UKHotViews commentary on the UK tech M&A scene is available to TechMarketView Foundation Service clients and to entrepreneurs and tech professionals subscribing to our UKHotViews Premium service by searching on the keyword 'acquisition' in the UKHotViews archive.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:21' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Friday 11 January 2019

TCS UK marching onwards and upwards

logoAs usual, first off the blocks in the Indian pure-play reporting season was Mumbai-based market leader TCS, for which we risk running out of superlatives, most notably for its UK business.

While worldwide revenues grew by a shade under 10% yoy to $5.25bn in Q3 (to 31st Dec. 2018), growth in TCS UK jumped yet again, to 25%, lifting trailing 12-month revenues close to £2.4bn. It would take just 3% sequential UK revenue growth in the current quarter for TCS UK to breach the £2.5bn barrier for the year, over 20% higher than FY17/18.

TCS’ worldwide operating margins in Q3, at 25.6%, were a tad higher yoy and a little lower qoq. At current course and speed it would be surprising if TCS didn’t exceed a 25% operating margin on the year.

What’s especially driving TCS’ UK growth is its Life & Pensions processing business, Diligenta, which was boosted again in November with an expansion of its deal with Phoenix Group (see here). Earlier that month, TCS snapped up Wapping-based digital design agency W12 (see TCS goes East with W12), the first acquisition of its kind by the company.

With the recent depressing news from Tata Motors, owner of Jaguar Land Rover, TCS must surely be the shining star in the Tata Group firmament.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:59' - Tagged: results   offshore  

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