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Friday 24 January 2020

AWS Outpost expands global reach

AWS Outpost expands global reachThe expansion of Outpost to four new countries strengthens Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) hybrid cloud proposition by taking the managed services infrastructure closer to end users’ on-premise or colo data centres to better accommodate latency sensitive data and applications.

With the private cloud hardware stack made available last month now available in Canada, Bahrain, Singapore and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Outpost also addresses data sovereignty concerns for public and private sector organisations keen to host and store sensitive information in compliance with local data protection regulation.

Outposts offers on-premise hardware designed in partnership with the likes of Cisco, Aruba and Juniper Networks that lets customers run compute and storage in their private cloud while connecting to AWS’s other cloud services, including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Elastic Block Store (EBS), ECS, Elastic Kubernetes Service and EMR. Each Outpost has a pair of networking devices equipped with support for a range of 1/10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options.

Itt also looks like a strategic approach that will help AWS combat the threat posed by edge computing, which we think provides an ideal springboard for smaller CSPs to challenge the centralised hosting muscle of super scale providers like AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM (see our report Super scale cloud service providers and edge computing here).

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: privatecloud   EdgeComputing   hybridcloud   datasovereignty  

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Friday 24 January 2020

*UKHotViewsExtra* National Policing Digital Strategy 2020-2030

National Policing Digital Strategy coverThe National Policing Digital Strategy 2020-2030 was launched at this week’s Police ICT Summit 2020. The strategy was co-authored by the Police ICT Company and National Police Technology Council and builds upon Policing Vision 2025 that was published in 2016.

The strategy document says progress has been made in recent years but that more needs to be done. It presents five key digital ambitions for policing:

  1. Seamless citizen experience: giving the public more choice in how they engage with the police.
  2. Addressing harm: using digital technologies and behaviours to identify the risk of harm and protect the vulnerable.
  3. Enabling officers and staff: investing in people, from leadership through to the front-line, to ensure they are equipped with the right capabilities.
  4. Embedding a whole public system approach: fostering a philosophy of openness and deepen collaboration with partners to jointly design and tackle public safety issues.
  5. Empowering the private sector: strengthening the relationship policing has with the private sector and fostering a vibrant PoliceTech landscape.

The document is well timed, coming in the same week the Government announced the biggest increase in funding for the police system in a decade. The settlement includes the £750m announced by the Chancellor in last year’s Spending Round to recruit 6,000 of the 20,000 additional police officers pledged by the Government by the end of March 2021 (see Spending Round 2019: turning the page on austerity?).

UKHotViews Premium logoAs almost every traditional crime now has a digital element to it, both in terms of how it was committed and how the police investigate it, getting the right strategy in place for digital, data and technology will be essential for the future of policing. UKHotViews Premium and research subscribers can read more about the National Policing Digital Strategy here.

For more information about TechMarketView's subscription services please contact Deb Seth.

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: strategy   police   government   digital   data  

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Friday 24 January 2020

Q4 report on Citrix triple transition

logoLow level revenue growth of 1% in both Q4 and FY19 to $810m and $3bn respectively for Citrix Systems reflects a company transforming on three fronts simultaneously but one that is progressing.  

As it transitions from products to platforms, on-premise to cloud and perpetual licenses to a subscription model, the shape of the company is changing but in predictable ways. Product and Licence revenue fell 16% in Q4 to $177m with Support and Services down nearly 5% to $440m. However, Subscriptions revenue expanded 49% to $193.5m driven by Networking, while SaaS bloomed 45% to $113m on the back of Workspace demand. Subscriptions revenue is a robust 24% of total revenue but at 14% SaaS is a bit behind the curve compared the wider market although with Workspace positioned for growth this has scope to improve. 

Reassuringly, net income increased, rising from $166m in Q418 to $207m in Q419 (to 31 December 2019), while for the full year it expanded from $576m to $682m. 

Overall, it was strong finish to the year and added to the upward trend developed during FY18, which was reflected in close to an 8% improvement in the share price in after a full day of trading following the results release.  

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: results   software  

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Friday 24 January 2020

*NEW RESEARCH* Business Process Services Supplier Prospects 2020

Our new Business Process Services (BPS) Supplier Prospects 2020 report looks at how the top 10 largest players in the market are set up to deal with the current turbulent market environment.

Report coverDigital complexity is driving the market forward, with clients looking for guidance as they look to navigate the emerging “digital chaos”. One of the clearest symptoms of this is the increasing requirement for expert advice as organisations grapple with their next move. Buyers are expecting digital solutions to create value quickly, which means suppliers are having to be geared up to operate at speed.

Consultancy-led services and the need for consultative selling is pushing through changes to both BPS operating models and staffing requirements. Demand for innovation and design-led thinking skills in particular are red hot, as BPS players invest in the areas likely to deliver both the greatest return as well as a deeper, more strategic relationship with their clients.

The report contains profiles of the top 10 suppliers of Business Process Services to the UK market, from top placed Capita to 10th placed Concentrix.

The insights within Business Process Services Supplier Prospects 2020 and beyond are a positive way to kick of 2020 and the report is available to eligible TechMarketView subscribers. For those of you who don’t have a subscription, Deb Seth will be happy to provide details.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: bps   suppliers   newresearch   prospects  

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Friday 24 January 2020

Restructure underpins turnaround at NCC Group

Restructure underpins turnaround at NCC GroupNCC Group’s ongoing Security Growth Transformation (SGT) programme is starting to reap rewards for the UK cyber security consultancy, with reported first half revenue up 5.3% to £133m on a pre-IFRS 16 like for like basis and adjusted operating profit increasing 11.5% to £17m.

This time last year poor UK performance precipitated a steep 30% decline in the company’s share price (see Cyber skills shortage and cloud undermine NCC Group results). For the six months ending November 2019 however, expanded turnover was spearheaded by strong growth in NCC’s core Assurance business which was up 7% in the UK (£48m) and 11% in the US (£42m), fuelled by a big investment in its technology and workforce.

Within Assurance, NCC saw substantial H1 year on year gains in both its technical security consulting business (up 15%) and its managed detection and response (MDR) proposition founded in its Netherlands based Fox-IT and Accumuli acquisitions (up 6.2%), the latter amidst fierce market competition from managed security service providers (MSSPs) and systems integrators.

With gradual and planned phasing out of product sales, only NCC’s risk management consulting (RMC) practice showed cause for concern, down 13% yoy attributed to sharp falls in revenue in both the UK (down 11%) and the rest of the world (down 77%).

The Escrow business too saw continued shrinkage, down 2% in the UK and 3% on a global basis, after the belated introduction of a cloud hosted Escrow as a Service (EaaS) platform in partnership with Microsoft in July last year came too late to make any material impact.

Overall though, this was a very positive first half for NCC after the travails of the past, and we see no reason why current momentum won't continue into H2.

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: results   escrow   H1   cybersecurity   consultancy  

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Friday 24 January 2020

New Babylon partnership to deliver Digital-First Integrated Care

Babylon logoThe Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) and Babylon are launching a 10-year partnership to develop a new healthcare delivery model of ‘Digital-First Integrated Care’, with the first new services expected to go live before the end of 2020.

RWT is one of the largest acute and community healthcare providers in the West Midlands. It employs more than 9,400 people and serves c.300,000 people across Wolverhampton and the wider Black Country, South Staffordshire, North Worcestershire and Shropshire regions.

Through the new partnership RWT will offer patients a free app providing connected primary and secondary care services, including access to clinical consultations with The Royal Wolverhampton and Babylon doctors and specialist nurses; appointment booking; prescription services; access to personal clinical records; health assessments based on medical history and lifestyle information; an AI-driven triage service; and health management, monitoring and rehab services.

The partnership is intended to help RWT deliver its vision for joined-up and integrated care, which forms a key component of the NHS Long Term Plan and is intended to improve access to and the quality of health services whilst reducing the pressure on limited resources. However, questions will be raised about the scale of RWT’s commitment to Babylon and whether it should be entrusting this breadth of services to a single supplier.

Babylon is one of the most high-profile HealthTech start-ups, attracting investment and controversy in equal measure (see Babylon joins unicorn club with $550m fundraise). This partnership represents a new approach for the company that currently offers an app-based private primary care service and operates the GP at Hand service in London and Birmingham and which it expects to expand into Manchester later this year (see The Expanding Influence of Babylon). The service it is developing with RWT will be monitored closely by other Trusts as the NHS looks for new ways to address the challenges created by a growing and aging population. 

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: nhs   partnerships   healthcare  

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Friday 24 January 2020

Kurtosys reports cash injection

KurtosysLondon based enterprise content management (ECM) specialist, Kurtosys, has secured funding from Vistara Capital Partners to fuel its growth ambitions for its digital experience platform (DXP). The company provides an end-to-end solution targeted at global financial services providers. The platform helps users to create and manage all their financial data, documents, websites and content in a secure and compliant environment.

Founded in 2002 by CEO, Mash Patel and Harry Thompson, Kurtosys originally identified the need for greater clarity and efficiency around client communication and reporting within the asset management industry. The company’s solutions include secure websites and portals, document libraries, interactive data tools and automated factsheets.  Kurtosys has a presence in the UK, US and South Africa and intends to use the latest cash injection to accelerate its global growth initiatives and to invest in the automation and delivery of its services.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: funding   FinTech   ECM  

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Friday 24 January 2020

Barclays helps FinTech Nimbla earn its stripes

NimblaUK banking group, Barclays, has formed a commercial partnership with insurance startup, Nimbla, one of the FinTechs to successfully pass through its accelerator programme. Founded in 2016 by Flemming Bengtsen, Nimbla is one of the many new offerings targeting the SME segment. The company provides its clients with the ability to insure against individual invoices to protect against bad debts.

The cost of insuring a single invoice against default via Nimbla starts from just £6 and cover can be arranged quickly and easily online or by the app. The service is compatible with Xero, FreeAgent and is also available via the Starling Marketplace. In contrast, the cost of securing credit risk insurance cover for a whole book is a specialist provision and might typically cost many thousands of pounds and can often be time consuming to arrange.

The Barclays accelerator programme has been running since 2014. The intensive 13-week program is designed to help fast-track FinTech innovation. Another successful graduate, Shoreditch based, Cutover, recently secured $17m in funding, for its mission critical planning tool aimed at the IT departments of financial institutions (see: Cutover secures $17m funding led by Index Ventures). Accelerator programmes run by banks, insurers and IT services providers, are increasingly helping to ensure that the established players retain their strong stake in the tech driven future of financial services (see: Financial Services Predictions 2020).

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: funding   FinTech  

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Thursday 23 January 2020

Dr Mike Lynch and the UK-US Extradition Treaty

LynchLast week the HPE v Mike Lynch High Court case ended. Judgement is not expected until mid year.

Now Mike Lynch has to turn his attention to another issue - his possible extradition to the US. This afternoon David Davis stood up in the House of Commons and delivered a very powerful speech about the inequality in how the UK uses the UK-US Extradition Treaty of 2003 compared to the US. The treaty was brought in to address issues in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and was designed with terrorists and dangerous criminals in mind. Since then the UK has sent 135 of its citizens to the US - 99 for non-violent crimes. Whereas only 11 Americans have been extradited to the UK. Some of the most high profile extraditions have been for white-collar issues where the alleged crimes took place on British soil - eg Ian Norris/Morgan Crucible and the Nat West Three.

This is an issue which should trouble every senior director of a UK company - particularly those with any trading links to the US.

Anyway, David Davis’ plea was that Mike Lynch’s extradition should be delayed at least until the verdict of the current High Court case is known.

You can read the full Hansard transcript of the speech and debate HERE. Regardless of your views on the Mike Lynch case, it is well worth the read. Let’s hope none of our readers ever finds themselves in such a situation.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Thursday 23 January 2020

NEW RESEARCH: Taming Digital Chaos – Predictions Compendium

We are excited to today launch the TechMarketView Predictions Coprempendium for 2020. Based around our research theme for 2020, Digital Chaos, our Predictions are essential reading for both buyers and suppliers of technology and services.  

The report combines all of our Predictions research for 2020, including our Top Ten Predictions for the UK Software and IT Services market, and our views from our experts in the Public and Financial Services sectors. Also included in the Compendium is a special section from Richard Holway entitled: “2020 Vision - Forecasting the Future”.

Expect far more research on Digital Chaos as 2020 progresses. In the meantime, the 2020 Predictions Compendium is available here: Taming Digital Chaos: Predictions Compendium 2020.

For further information, please contact our Client Services team (info@techmarketview.com).

Posted by: HotViews Editor

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Thursday 23 January 2020

Computacenter update indicates record full year results

cccThis morning’s upbeat pre-close statement from Computacenter indicates that the firm will record its “best ever” performance across revenue, profit, earnings per share and cash generation. It has also increased profitability by the largest absolute amount ever. As a result – and perhaps not surprisingly – Board members are “comfortable” that Computacenter will hit the upper end of market expectations.

Total revenue for the Group (i.e. including acquisitions in the US and the Netherlands) leapt 17%. The organic, constant currency growth rate was 4%.

In the UK specifically, revenue was broadly flat, but with strong margin growth in both Technology Sourcing (i.e. resale) and Services

Computacenter says it has entered 2020 “with confidence”, pointing to momentum both within the company and the broader market. Its focus on developing capability in areas such as networking, security and cloud is the right approach. Likewise its continued investment in its Services portfolio is essential as the market continues to navigate its way through Digital Chaos.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: tradingupdate  

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Thursday 23 January 2020

Actual Experience grows via the channel

AEAnalytics specialist, Actual Experience plc, has released preliminary results, reflecting encouraging revenue growth and a reduction in its losses. Total revenue for the full year ended 30 September 2019 was up 79% to £1.9m, helped by the annualisation of two large customer engagements that were secured last fiscal. The company's operating loss was reduced from £7.4m to £6.3m and overall, Actual Experience recorded a loss for the year of £5.9m compared to £7.2m in 2018.

The Bath based vendor, founded in 2009, has started to build up some sales momentum, having previously demonstrated the value of its partnering strategy (see: Partnering pays off for Actual Experience). The switch to a channel-led go to market approach required significant investment, which is bearing fruit in terms of new business opportunities.

Actual Experience has established valuable relationships with Accenture, Verizon, Vodafone and Cisco, which are helping it boost its pipeline. It is also good to see the company making progress in reducing its cost overheads. Profitability, however, still appears to be some way off.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: results   analytics  

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Thursday 23 January 2020

IMMJ and SPS aim to improve patient care in Norfolk

IMMJ logoNorfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) will work with Swiss Post Solutions (SPS) to deliver a digital transformation solution across the Trust. The Zurich headquartered business will work in partnership with Great British Scaleup IMMJ Systems to help improve patient care across the region.

IMMJ participated in the fourth wave of TechMarketView’s Great British Scaleup programme in June 2018 and subsequently went on to engage ScaleUp Group to help obtain growth funding (see Tim Gregory to help Great British Scaleup IMMJ scale up and work back). The company was established in 2015—it achieved revenues of c.£500k in the year ended 31 March 2019 and has been growing rapidly.

NNUH is embarking on the first step to becoming a digital hospital and has a target of becoming ‘paper-lite’ by 2023. It will utilise IMMJ’s Electronic Document Management (EDM) software, MediViewer, to provide digitised clinical content and full electronic patient records at the point of care.

By digitising paper health records and making them available electronically, clinical and administrative staff will be able to access and search patient records, wherever they are based geographically, with much greater efficiency. It should mean that users have the most up-to-date version of patient information, which will allow them to provide more effective and timely treatments and interventions. The platform will also allow greater collaboration across different sites and help streamline internal processes, which NNUH believes will ultimately help them deliver cost savings of £2.5m per annum.

As the largest Acute Hospital in the Norfolk and Waveney region and one of the largest Acute Trusts in the country, NNUH represents an important new customer for IMMJ. As more trusts seek solutions to digitise their paper records, we think IMMJ’s solutions will continue to be in high demand. 

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: nhs   contract   digital   transformation   healthcare  

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Thursday 23 January 2020

Blue Prism sees sales surge

LogoUK-based RPA specialists Blue Prism delivered very impressive top line growth in FY19. Beating the guidance issued by the company in its trading update last November (see here), the largely second half weighted performance saw sales for the twelve months ended 31st October increase by 83% yoy to £101m. As significantly, the level of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) being generated at the end of October was £10.6m, up by 71% on FY18, which represents an increase of 60% on 2018 when MRR contributed via the Thoughtonomy acquisition is excluded.

Adjusted EBITDA losses, however, deepened markedly to £71.9m (FY18: £21.5m) as the result of increased investments in both global expansion, via spend in sales and marketing, and continued product development. Indeed, Blue Prism’s headcount at the end of last October stood at just over the 1000 mark, up over 100% on the position at close of the prior financial year.

The company had nearly 1700 customers at 31 October 2019, a yoy increase of 73%. Notable new name wins included Audi, Amazon, Bank of China, Consolidated Edison, the International Monetary Fund, L'Oreal and the United States Department of Justice. Client retention remained very strong, with minimal revenue attrition during the year driving a gross retention rate of 99.3%.

Looking forward, the Blue Prism Board is confident about meeting its revenue expectations for FY20. It believes that the business momentum generated during H219 augurs well for the coming months. The leadership team also anticipates that the benefits of the 2019 investments should begin to come through during 2020.

Early trading would suggest that investors agree with Blue Prism stock up c.10% on last night’s close. Returning Executive Chairman Jason Kingdon still has plenty to do, however, if he is to guide the company to realise its ambition of becoming a market leading platform for corporate adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison

Tags: results   RPA  

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Thursday 23 January 2020

CGI delivers MoJ service desk

CGI logoIt’s taken a while to be made public, but the Ministry of Justice has finally published the notice of a contract awarded back in November. CGI has won the department’s Service Desk contract in a £24.1m, 5-year, deal. The arrangement will run from 28th November 2019 to 27th November 2024. The competition was undertaken via the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Tech Services 2 framework. CGI is already a major supplier of application support and hostng services to the department; however, the shape of its relationship has started to change as the MoJ pursues its disaggregation agenda.

The MoJ’s service desk arrangements were previously covered under two deals: Atos provided the service desk for the HM Courts Service (HMCTS – under a £45m “ICT infrastructure services exit contract” let in 2017), while DXC was the provider for HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS). This deal merges the two arrangements. Bringing the two contracts together is part of the MoJ transitioning to a common ICT infrastructure. We understand that both Atos and DXC were in the running, alongside Computacenter and Wipro.

The Ministry of Justice is at a critical junction in its relationships with suppliers. Its old ‘FITS’ tower contracts were scheduled to end in 2019, but some were extended to allow for a smooth transition. It is now looking to let a range of much smaller, shorter, contracts, consolidating the ICT requirements of the various agencies.

As an aside, the delay in making this contract award public is not unusual (the delays are often far longer). As a result, suppliers continue to find it hard to navigate their way through a maze of incomplete and hazy information on the actions and intentions of Government departments and agencies, making it very difficult to pursue opportunities. Although things have improved, Government Transparency is not always evident. And, there is a fear that, following New Years’ honours data breach, the Government could further pull back on data publication to avoid further mistakes.  

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: publicsector   centralgovernment   contract   infrastructureservices  

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Thursday 23 January 2020

Craneware reports strong sales performance

CranewareHealthcare analytics specialist, Craneware, has released an encouraging H1 trading update, highlighting strong new sales and customer renewal volumes. The company, which provides healthcare analytics to the US market, saw sales growth for the 6 months ended 31st December exceed 30% year on year.

Craneware indicated that the number of hospitals renewing their contracts was “significantly above” the same period last fiscal. Meanwhile, the company's numbers were negatively impacted by the loss of one large client which saw renewals by dollar value fall to 73%, below the company’s historic annual range of 85% to 115%.  

Craneware has a lucrative niche in this specialist area of the vast North American healthcare sector. The cost and process efficiencies delivered by its cloud-based, Trisus, platform, have demonstrated a strong appeal as the industry increases its focus on value-based care.

In September, Craneware released encouraging full year results (see: Craneware poised to capitalise on US market potential). Although the company experiences something of a sales slowdown in its previous H2, prospects appear strong for further growth this fiscal and the company’s management is confident of meeting its full year targets.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: healthcare   tradingupdate  

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Thursday 23 January 2020

Indian tech company entry-level pay jumps 15-20%

logoAn article in the Economic Times of India gives a rare insight into graduate pay rates at top-tier tech companies – in this case, HCL Technologies.

According to the article, HCL – which plans to nearly double its graduate intake next FY (to 31/3/21) to some 15,000 – is offering Rs 20-23 lakh (c. $28,000-$33,000) for management graduates from top-tier Indian business schools (IIMs) and Rs 15-18 Lakh from lower-ranked IIMs. MBA grads from other campuses get Rs 4.5-7 Lakh ($6,500-$10,0000).

In contrast, technical graduates from Indian Institutes of Technology (ITTs) get Rs 12-15 Lakh, and those from NITs (National Institutes of Technology) get Rs 8-12 Lakh. The article goes on to say that the bulk of hires get annual salaries of Rs 3.6-3.8 Lakh.

The salaries represent a 15-20% increase over the current year for management and technical recruits.

It also seems that grads pay for their training. According to the article, engineering grads pay Rs 2 lakh (c. $2.8k) for a 6-month training programme, while non-engineering grads pay Rs 1 Lakh for a 3-month stint. Employees also sign a bond to commit to working with the company for a specified period of time.

HCL is the fastest growing among the top-tier players, recently reporting another impressive set of results in terms of growth and profitability (see HCL Q3: Europe increases share).

Graduate hiring at Indian tech firms is a bunfight for the best talent. However, most of the players keep entry-level salaries within a narrow band for fear of sparking a wage war. I hope to look into this a little further in the next edition of OffshoreViews.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: offshore  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

IBM exits 2019 in growth mode

IBMIBM closed its FY19 with revenue of $77.1bn and growth in the fourth quarter of +3% (at constant currency and adjusting for divested businesses). For the year as a whole, the business was also able to boast marginal growth - of 0.2%.

The broad revenue trends continued, with Global Business Services flat ($4.2bn) having been held back in particular by a 3% decline in Apps Management, and a 4% decline in Global Technology Services (to $6.9bn). However, Cloud & Cognitive Software - now a very meaty business at $7.2bn - grew 9%. Managing the lack of growth in established business areas is an industry-wide challenge with the aim for many being to achieve a performance in new areas that is able to outweigh that decline. In this regard, IBM is certainly not alone.

Other signs to look out for include the performance of new products (such as Cloud Paks, which is showing “good adoption”) and the integration of Red Hat. IBM talks of entering the next chapter of cloud (which mirrors TechMarketView’s “complex digital” description of the market). The focus is all about moving substantial mission-critical workloads into hybrid/multi-cloud environments - based on a foundation of Linux, and with the application of containers and Kubernetes. This is where Red Hat plays a pivotal role, and indeed, the business hit $1bn in quarterly revenue for the first time in Q4 (+24%).

Red Hat is also having a broader positive impact across the business. For example, the number of new services engagements in GTS and GBS that leverage Red Hat has increased significantly. Meanwhile partner use of the Red Hat tech is also growing - e.g. Workday has committed to using the Red Hat portfolio as a key component of its service delivery infrastructure.

With various positives to pick out in the results, the challenge now is to sustain and improve growth in FY20, which CFO, Jim Kavanaugh, is promising the firm will do.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: results  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Solid H1 for Netcall; low code still rising

logoAccording to its latest update, low code and customer engagement provider Netcall traded in line with expectations during the first half of the year (to 31 December 2019) which translates to an expected 8% revenue increase to approximately £12.3m and adjusted EBITDA expected to rise 5% to £2.1m.

Although the rate of revenue growth was slightly higher than the 6% of the year ago period, there was growth in product sales and professional services, and total contract value metrics all moved comfortably in the right direction, Netcall’s share price dipped slightly in early trading. This might reflect cloud ACV growth of 22% to £6.7m (out of overall ACV growth of 9% to £16.6m) - the market could have been expecting higher cloud ACV growth given that Netcall reached the inflection point where cloud services bookings exceeding product bookings for the first full annual period when it reported results for the year to 30 June 2019 (see here). The cloud curse is that the market generally expects performance to exceed expectations. 

The low code platform remains a driver for the business  - ACV grew 21% to £5.1m - reflecting ongoing demand for the digital transformation enabler. Given low code acquisitions by both Google Cloud and Appian already this calendar year, the stage is set for low code’s profile to rise higher during 2020.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: software   low-code   tradingupdate  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

SteadyPay secures £2.9m top up of its own

SteadyPayUK startup, SteadyPay, has secured £2.9m in equity and debt funding from Hambro Perks and Ascension Ventures. Founded in 2018, by John Downie and Victor Pawley, SteadyPay is one of a growing band of app-based financial services offerings targeted at the burgeoning gig economy.

SteadyPay’s subscription service enables workers on variable incomes to smooth out fluctuations in their cashflow with automated short-term credit. SteadyPay tops up the bank accounts of its subscribers when their earnings fall below average and allows them to repay the loan over time, via interest-free instalments.

The SteadyPay proposition, is very similar to a number of others recently brought to market, such as by fellow UK startup, Portify (see: Portify raises £7m for gig economy push) and taps into a genuine need in society. Irregular earnings are a day to day reality for an increasing number of workers (see: Uber becomes a challenger bank) and the flexible credit provided appears to be a more convenient and favourable option than payday lenders.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: funding  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

FireEye buys in Cloudvisory

FireEye buys in CloudvisoryFireEye’s latest acquisition adds virtual security tools to its Helix platform, helping organisations to perform compliance audits across various on- and off-premise platforms including public and private clouds.

Founded in 2014 US start-up Cloudvisory monitors assets and workloads and identifies potential risks spread across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Kubernetes, OpenStack and VMware environments, as well as virtualised and bare metal architecture.

FireEye is just the latest cyber security supplier to add virtual cloud infrastructure governance capabilities to their portfolio, mindful of the public and private sector organisations commitment to implementing and demonstrating ongoing compliance with data protection regulation such as the European Union GDPR (read more detailed analysis in our report Cyber Security Market Trends and Forecasts to 2022 here).

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: cloud   compliance   cybersecurity   dataprotection  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Sage update reflects wisdom of SaaS move

SageUK based enterprise software provider, Sage, has released a Q1 trading update highlighting encouraging overall revenue growth and excellent sales of its subscription offerings. Total group revenue in the period ended 31st December 2019 was up 6.7% to £465m, with recurring revenue up by 10.7% to £410m, as software subscriptions climbed by 24.8% to £286m.

Sage recently took the decision to shift to an “as a service” model, despite the potential short-term balance sheet impact (see: Sage revenues grow as it leaps into the cloud). The latest numbers provide further validation of the strategy, as adoption of the company’s cloud-based subscription software has continued to grow strongly.

Sage is continuing to enjoy good momentum in North America, where subscription software helped recurring revenue grow by 11.8% to £154m. However, growth was strongest in the UK and Ireland, where revenue was up by 15.1% to £93m, fuelled by sales of cloud-based contracts. Meanwhile, “other” revenue fell by 15.8% to £55m, reflecting the decline in traditional licence sales and professional services, as the company focuses on subscription software.

Sage has started its latest financial year well and management will no doubt be pleased with the strong growth in subscription services. Whilst the company’s adoption of its new business model was likley to prove a commercial necessity in the longer term, Sage is now positioned nicely to build on its excellent growth trajectory.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: as-a-service  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Ideagen heading for 11 in a row

IdeagenInterim results from acquisitive AIM-listed risk management software specialist Ideagen shows both a first half performance in line with market expectations and a positive outlook for the second half of the year. 

Ideagen has already banked ten years of consecutive revenue and profit improvement and continued to grow both in H1, with revenue up 30% to £27.3m (H1 18 £21m) and adjusted EBITDA up 38% to £8m (H1 18 £5.8m).

The company also continued its transition from a perpetual licence to a SaaS based subscription model with continued growth of recurring revenues now representing 74% (H1 18 67%) of all revenues. SaaS revenues also increased by 76% to £9.7m (H1 18: £5.5m). There was also strong overseas growth with 90% of all new SaaS wins falling outside of the UK.

Whilst the business saw healthy organic revenue growth of 7% (H1 2018: 8%) the business is being principally driven forward by acquisitions with two new businesses coming on board during the period. Ideagen snapped up Redland Solutions, a RegTec SaaS company supplying software to the financial services industry and Optima Diagnostics a SaaS based Health and Safety compliance business.

Ideagen looks in good shape and set up to make it 11 years in a row of revenue and profit growth having started the second half of the year in line with expectations. 

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: results   saas   risk  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

3D Repo models a £2.3m funding round

logoMajor construction projects involve multiple parties, all – in theory at least – working from the same plans. London-based 3D Repo aims to turn the theory into practice with its cloud-based Building Information Management (BIM) platform, which allows all parties in a construction project to work from, as they put it, ‘a single source of truth anywhere and at any time’.

Spun out from University College London in 2014, and originally backed by Sussex Place Ventures (the VC fund wholly owned by London Business School), 3D Repo has raised a further £2.3m in a Series A funding round led by Ingenious via its Infrastructure Ventures EIS Service.

3D Repo has already made its mark in high-profile public and private construction projects including London Olympic Stadium, Wood Wharf, Crossrail, and Smart Motorways. Indeed, according to its website, the UK Cabinet Office mandated the use of collaborative 3D BIM technologies on all public construction from 2016 onwards.

There are of course many other players in the BIM market, not least of which, US-based CAD giant, Autodesk’s REVIT. 3D Repo’s challenge is to show that it really is the best tool for the job.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Nyansa boosts network performance monitoring for VMware

Nyansa boosts network performance monitoring for VMwareThe acquisition of Nyansa should give VMware customers greater visibility into the performance and availability of its VelcoCloud software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) services and attached Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Billed as a cloud-enabled artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) platform, Nyansa’s Voyance tool acts as a virtual appliance to monitor user network traffic across thousands of different customer sites. It was designed to simplify the way network administrators and engineers plan, deploy and manage edge, local area network (LAN), WiFi and IoT configurations by automating performance analysis across multiple topologies from a single analytics dashboard.

The start-up was founded in 2013 and landed US$15m of Series B investment led by Intel Capital in 2018, bringing the total to US$27m. Terms of proposed acquisition were not disclosed, but the deal is not expected to have any major impact on VMware’s revenue, but it will bring around 100 customers into the fold, including Tesla, Uber, GE Healthcare, SF International Airport, Stanford and Northeast Georgia Healthcare System.

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: iot   SD-WAN   networkinfrastructure   networkmanagement   networkperformance  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Stasher drops ‘City’ but gains $2.5m

logoThey called themselves CityStasher when I first wrote about them a couple of years ago (see CityStasher bags $1.1m to stash your baggage), but the London-headquartered luggage storage platform is now plain Stasher, making the point that the platform intends to spread beyond cities.

Indeed, Stasher is now available in over 1,200 locations in 250 cities worldwide and is building a network of accommodation partners such as Accor, Premier Inn, Expedia and Hotels.com (which is owned by Expedia), as well as high street retail outlets, to store travellers' luggage.

Stasher has now raised a further $2.5m in a venture round led by Venture Friends, along with various angels including Johan Svanstrom, former president of Hotels.com.

Stasher still charges users £6/$6/€6 to stash a bag for 24 hours, of which roughly 50% goes to the storage partner, and they’ve upped luggage insurance cover from £750 to £1,000.

As I said before, this is a great idea and other startups thought so too. Just as an example, Italy’s BAGBNB (“The first luggage storage network”) claims over 3,000 storage locations worldwide and charges €5 per bag but with only €500 insurance cover.

I would imagine travellers would select which of the several platforms now out there based on location convenience, and I am therefore still waiting for an entrepreneur to build a Trivago-like platform to help users choose.

(PS Not to be confused – as was CrunchBase – with Stasher, the silicone storage bag manufacturer recently acquired by SC Johnson!)

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Netflix faces increased competition

NetflixAs it’s a bit ‘left-field’ for TechMarketView, I cover Netflix only because it’s the ‘N’ in FAANG/FANMAG. Last night Netflix announced that subscriber numbers had risen from 158m at end of Sept 20 to 167m at end Dec 20. But it forecast slowing growth rates - particularly in the US - this year. Revenues grew 30% yoy to $5.47b and profits rose 4-fold to $587m.

Once upon a time, Netflix pretty much had the video streaming business to itself. Now almost every month sees a new competitor entering the market. Apple, Amazon, Disney, Britbox, HBO etc. On top of that, each new competitor removes its own programmes from the Netflix platform. Eg Netflix has lost its most watched programme - Friends - to HBO.The problem is that if you wanted to subscribe to every streaming platform, as well as paying your BBC licence fee, you’d be shelling out over £500 pa. Probably nearer £1000 pa if you included all the sports channels too.

Anyway, the results were not as bad as some feared. Netflix shares rose 2% in after-hours trading.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Capgemini's UK health breakthrough with Barts

Capgemini logoCapgemini has won a three-year framework agreement with Barts Health NHS Trust, one of the largest NHS Trusts in the UK. The deal will see Capgemini deliver cloud services across multiple cloud providers to all five hospitals within the Trust. The aim will be to create a “more secure, scalable and agile operating environment” by transforming cloud services end to end. Capgemini will provide security solutions, ongoing management, and the migration of workloads.

Capgemini’s Head of Public Sector in the UK, Matt Howell, has described it to us as a “breakthrough deal”. Our estimates suggest the company has only has a tiny footprint in the subsector up to this point. The value of the deal is unknown; however, Capgemini will clearly seek to use this as a growth platform. We expect to see Capgemini displaying assertiveness in the sector in the months ahead.

In October last year, Barts Health NHS Trust announced that it would receive £35.8m in loan funding from the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) to go towards modernising equipment, refurbishing wards, and ensuring safety of buildings; it is part of a £184m package of capital loan funding allocated to 12 Trusts. £7.6m of Barts’ loan was allocated to moving IT networks to the cloud and other IT infrastructure developments. The Trust is also currently tendering for a provider of a virtual platforms and end user computing service as part of its wider programme of infrastructure transformation (value estimated at £10m). 

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: publicsector   contract   cloud   health   framework   migration  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

*NEW RESEARCH* Business Process Services Supplier Prospects 2020

Our new Business Process Services (BPS) Supplier Prospects 2020 report looks at how the top 10 largest players in the market are set up to deal with the current turbulent market environment.

coverDigital complexity is driving the market forward, with clients looking for guidance as they look to navigate the emerging “digital chaos”. One of the clearest symptoms of this is the increasing requirement for expert advice as organisations grapple with their next move. Buyers are expecting digital solutions to create value quickly, which means suppliers are having to be geared up to operate at speed.

Consultancy-led services and the need for consultative selling is pushing through changes to both BPS operating models and staffing requirements. Demand for innovation and design-led thinking skills in particular are red hot, as BPS players invest in the areas likely to deliver both the greatest return as well as a deeper, more strategic relationship with their clients.

The report contains profiles of the top 10 suppliers of Business Process Services to the UK market, from top placed Capita to 10th placed Concentrix.

The insights within Business Process Services Supplier Prospects 2020 and beyond are a positive way to kick of 2020 and the report is available to eligible TechMarketView subscribers. For those of you who don’t have a subscription, Deb Seth will be happy to provide details.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: bps   suppliers   newresearch   prospects  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Learning Technologies beats profit expectations

Learning Technologies Group logoLearning Technologies Group had sounded confident in its H119 results that the business was on the right track for a strong set of full year results (see Learning Technologies Group H1 momentum gives FY confidence). Its trading update for the twelve months to end December suggests it has delivered.

The provider of services and technologies for digital and learning management highlights KPIs all heading in the right direction. Group revenues increased by c38% to £130m. And excluding PeopleFluent (see here - which contributed a full year of revenues), the company points to organic revenue growth (constant currency) in both its divisions: Software & Platform and Content & Services. Recurring revenues are also, once again, a bigger part of the mix (73% vs. 68% a year previously).

As we have previously highlighted, LTG has shown confidence in its investments in R&D and incremental sales initiatives, and the attitude appears to be paying off with momentum apparent going into 2020. Alongside the company’s established businesses, PeopleFluent is also outperforming expectations, delivering $93m of revenue vs. the expected $91m; a return to growth in 2020 looks more certain.

The profitability and cash position is also strong. Adjusted EBIT is expected to be comfortably ahead of expectations at not less than £41m (up 58%, 2018: £26m). Improved margins across the Group have been accompanied by synergies from the integration of businesses. And “substantial cash generation” in H2 has led to a net cash position at year end of £3.8m (vs. net debt of £11.5m at end Dec 2018).

With more acquisitions on the cards (LTG points to an active pipeline of attractive international targets), proof that sales and cost synergies can be found, and the exploration of new routes to market, it looks like it will be an exciting year ahead.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: results   software   learning   tradingupdate  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Steadying SDL

logoA brief year end update from SDL, the language translation and content management specialist, indicates the improvements seen in FY18 and H119 have continued. Revenue and adjusted operating profit are expected to be “significantly ahead of 2018” and in line with market expectations. Net cash increased from £14.4m as of 31 December 2018 to £26.4m at the end of 2019.

As revenue hit £182.5m in FY18 - much of which was due to the July 2018 Donnelley Language Solutions acquisition - SDL’s position is clearly improving. Fortunately, it’s not all down to acquisition as investments activities, operational benefits from its automation programme, the launch of the SDL Language Cloud software platform and upgrades to the Neural Machine Translation (NMT) product evidently contributed to growth. In terms of sectors, there was growth across high tech, financial services and life sciences. 

Following a prolonged period of difficulty and transformation, SDL’s experience is a lesson in ‘sticking to its knitting’ i.e. language translation software and services. And the need for such capabilities are not going to go away. Full results are scheduled 25 March.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: software   tradingupdate  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Ascent extends IoT play via £30m Purepoint

Ascent acquires IoT skills with £30m Purepoint buyAscent Software’s £30m acquisition of Purepoint deepens its Internet of Things (IoT) expertise and brings a host of new clients to the group.

Founded in 2011, Purepoint employs around 25 people, with current chief executive Alex James remaining with Ascent as chief technology officer (CTO). The London-based company develops custom-built, cloud-native hybrid and mobile software applications as well as embedded firmware and virtual agents for a range of Industry 4.0 and Smart Home/City devices, backed by middleware, APIs, testing, migration and analytics tools and services.

Backed by Horizon Capital and based in Reading, Ascent is a software development house that offers services to customers on a global basis in various verticals, including financial services, manufacturing, retailing, postal, telecoms, eGovernment and eHealth.

TechMarketView believes IoT adoption is on the brink of rapid acceleration with the imminent arrival of fifth generation cellular network coverage in the UK (see our report 5G: Opportunities in Next Generation Mobile Networks). We expect that activity to fuel rising demand for bespoke IoT focussed applications and services in a range of new business cases and usage models, and software development houses like Ascent willing to invest in the skills and flexibility to adapt are likely to enjoy positive returns.

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: acquisition   softwaredevelopment  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

CityFibre pushes ahead with FibreNation buy

CityFibre pushes ahead with FibreNation buyWith the general election out of the way and Labour’s plan to nationalise BT Openreach dead and buried, UK wholesale broadband provider CityFibre is pushing ahead with its purchase of FibreNation from TalkTalk Group.

FibreNation is the JV between TalkTalk, Sky and CityFibre launched in 2018 to deploy full fibre infrastructure across the City of York. Planned dark fibre rollouts elsewhere in Yorkshire are expected to now help CityFibre reach an additional 3m UK homes and businesses, expanding its total to 8m through an additional £1.5bn of fibre to the home (FTTH) investment on top of the £2.5bn announced in 2018.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but press reports put the figure at £200m. TalkTalk will remain as a retail customer (though there was no mention of Sky), using CityFibre’s infrastructure to offer broadband services under its own brand. In parallel with the deal, reputedly worth around £200m, CityFibre has also modified the terms of its existing partnership with Vodafone to allow rival consumer Internet Service Providers (ISPs) access to FibreNation network. That looks to effectively end a temporary exclusivity agreement between the two companies, which may have been influenced by Vodafone’s decision to enter a new commercial partnership with BT Openreach for Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) provision last November and could have stopped CityFibre signing lucrative contracts elsewhere in the meantime.

By our reckoning the network expansion now cements CityFibre’s place as the UK’s third largest wholesale provider of fibre infrastructure behind BT Openreach and Virgin Media. The consolidation may also enable greater competition in the retail fibre broadband market which Britain needs if it is to become a truly digital economy. Private equity backed CityFibre is certainly helping to push the envelope by enabling smaller providers to deliver better value services.

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: acquisition   broadband   fibre   networkinfrastructure  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

dotdigital standing tall on its three pillars

dotdigitalSix-month trading update from marketing automation SaaS provider dotdigital, shows continued progress on its ‘three pillars’ strategy helping it grow revenue c.15% to £23.1m (H1 2019 £20.1m) driven predominantly by strong direct sales. Average revenue per user (ARPU) was also up a healthy 14% to £999 per month (H1 2019 £876 per month) driven by increasing spend from current clients and new customers taking on a wider range of channels.

Pillar 1 - Product development and R&D remain key, with recurring revenues from improved product functionality growing by 32% to £7.4m (H1 2019 £5.7m). Further channel functionality was also added to ‘Engagement Cloud’, including a new chat solution and additional SMS capabilities.

Pillar 2 - International sales now represent 34% of all sales (excluding Discontinued Operations), up from 30% last year, reflecting the increased focus on geographic diversification. EMEA sales grew by c.11% whilst the US grew organically c.18% to $5.1m, (H1 2019: $4.3m). Asia Pacific was the real star performer growing organically by c.51% to AUS$2.5m, (H1 2019: AUS$1.6m).

The final pillar of the strategy is partnering and sales via strategic partners increased 4% to £10.7m (H1 2019: £10.3m), slowed by ramp up times for new staff. The Magento/Adobe relationship looks important with revenues growing 16% for the period and with Engagement Cloud live chat now bundled into the core code base of Adobe Experience Manager and available with all Magento downloads.

Half-year results are out on 25th February when we will report more.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: marketing   automation   tradingupdate  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

£2.5m for Feedstock as compliance drives demand

FSUK startup, Feedstock, has secured £2.5m in funding for its AI based offerings. Praetura Ventures led the funding round, with £1.8m, with the other contributions coming from existing investor, Illuminate Financial, along a group of angel investors. Feedstock plans to use the cash to accelerate its product development and to fuel its market expansion.

Founded in 2015, Feedstock’s main SaaS product, Cortex, enables financial services companies to use natural language processing techniques to meet compliance obligations. The software scans correspondence and a variety of other inputs to ensure MiFID II compliance. Meanwhile, the company’s new Synapse offering, analyses client communications to provide for workflow routing, whilst automatically populating CRM fields.

The ever-increasing regulatory burden on the financial services industry continues to drive the market for specialist technology, dedicated to improving the efficiency and efficacy of compliance (see: UK Financial Services Market Trends and Forecasts). Meanwhile, regulation is also helping to drive investment in areas such as data analytics, reporting tools and cyber security.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: funding  

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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Facebook's confidence in the UK

FacebookOn a stop-over in the UK on her way to DAVOS, Facebook’s CEO Sheryl Sandberg announced that the company would recruit another 1000 staff in the UK. Thus taking their total to over 4000 - the largest headcount outside of the US. Many of the jobs will be in high-skill areas including software engineering and data analytics.

As we have reported many times before, over the last 5+ years the UK had become the best place in the world to setup and build a tech company - be it from scratch or as your base outside the US. ‘Hubs’ are crucially important to this. The more the hub grows the more it attracts everything from advisers to investors etc. Indeed it can become an unstoppable movement - as was found in Silicon Valley in the US.

Regardless of your views on BREXIT, this is really great news. Indeed the success of the UK post BREXIT will depend on us retaining and growing that world-beating position as a tech hub. If we achieve that, the future could indeed be bright.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Monday 20 January 2020

HCL Q3: Europe increases share

HCLThird quarter results from HCL show the firm increased revenue by 16.4% year on year at constant currency to $2.54bn. Revenue was up 2.1% on the previous quarter.

In Q2, top line growth was up 20.5% (yoy, constant currency) to $2.48bn, including the contribution from the acquired IBM software products.

The firm’s revenue reliance on the US reduced in the period (down from 64.4% last year to 62.8% this year), while Europe’s share edged up from 28.2% to 29.2%. Furthermore, it’s not just the top line that has moved in the right direction. In the second quarter, the firm’s focus on pricing and cost levers over the preceding six months enabled it to deliver an EBIT margin of 20%. In Q3, that stood at 20.2% - up 28bps quarter-on-quarter, and 68bps year-on-year.

What HCL continues to do well at the global level is maintain (albeit modest) growth in its “Mode 1” business. This revenue stream relates to more traditional services, where many other IT service providers are struggling to find any growth at all. Its services across Applications, Infrastructure, Engineering and R&D, and Digital Process Operations, are heavily infused with tech to make them as lean and as agile as possible.

The “Mode 1” business is also a nicely profitable business for HCL - at 66% of revenue, turning in c20% EBIT margin. Furthermore, based on the firm’s growth outlook, our analysis shows HCL could reach $10bn in revenue for the full year.

In the UK, there are positives too. Indeed, we believe the firm is doing at least as well as the global growth rate. The shift to a product based structure, underpinned by an agile approach, is helping HCL to get more complex workloads into the cloud. And let’s face it, this is increasingly where the high value opportunities in cloud/Infrastructure services will be in 2020 and beyond.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: results  

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Monday 20 January 2020

NTT Ltd consolidates data centres in new division

NTT Ltd consolidates data centres in new divisionThe reorganisation of NTT Ltd continues with the launch of a new global data centre division that spans 160 hosting facilities in 20 countries and regions around the world, including five (and soon to be six) in the UK.

Incorporating the previously acquired assets of e-shelter, Gyron, Netmagic, NTT Indonesia Nexcenter, Ragingwire and other data centre companies that previously sat under the NTT Communications brand. NTT Ltd is currently building a new hosting facility in Dagenham, East London, designed to accommodate retail and wholesale clients in the capital which is currently scheduled to go live in May.

Demand for cloud infrastructure and IaaS/SaaS hosting continues to drive up demand for hosting capacity (see our report The London data centre market: Shaped by cloud and corporate activity) while the newly formed NTT Ltd set up its headquarters in London last summer.


Posted by: Martin Courtney

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Monday 20 January 2020

Remembering Gary Starkweather and the Laserwriter

LaserwriterI’ve written often about how the Apple Lisa and Mac changed my life enabling me to setup and grow Richard Holway Ltd in the mid 1980s. Many of the features that Steve Jobs incorporated into those systems came from Xerox Park - including the mouse and GUi.

But Richard Holway Limited was also built on DTP and the laser printer in particular. It enabled me to produce graphics in print-ready form at home. It revolutionized the production of reports and presentations.

Xerox, in the 1960s, was the world leader in photocopiers. The Laser Printer was also a product of Xerox Parc. In 1969, a young engineer called Gary Starkweather had the idea of drawing an image directly onto a copier drum. The early manifestations of the laser printer in the1970s were hugely expensive. Even by 1981, the cheapest system was the Xerox Star that cost $17,000.

StarkweatherThe real break through came in 1985 when Apple introduced the Laserwriter (based on a Canon engine) and paired it with the Postscript page description language. Pagemaker was produced by Aldus especially for the Apple Mac and Laserwriter. That was the combination that Holway bought in 1985 to establish his new company. Indeed used it to produce SystemHOUSE and the Holway Report for the following 15+ years.

I write this today as Gary Starkweather, the inventor of the laser printer, died last week at the age of 81.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Monday 20 January 2020

LTI gets its mojo back

logoAfter five successive quarters of declining yoy growth rate (albeit still double-digits!) and four of declining margins, Mumbai-based mid-tier offshore services firm LTI (Larsen & Toubro Infotech) got its mojo back in Q3 (3 months to 31st Dec. 2019).

The ‘on-track’ ramp-up of large deals helped lift revenues by 13.7% yoy (8.4% qoq), to $394.4m, while operating margins expanded by 70bps qoq to 16.2%, albeit still nearly three points lower yoy. These numbers would likely include a small contribution from LTI’s recent acquisition of AWS consultancy, Powerup Cloud (see LTI growth slows again as powers up cloud capability).

As usual, most of LTI’s growth derived from North America, which accounts for a tad under 70% of its total revenues. However, growth slowed in Europe, much like Mindtree, the Bangalore-based firm that LTI acquired last year (see Mindtree maintains momentum).

LTI CEO Sanjay Jalona has a mighty task ahead of him in this final quarter if he is to beat FY19's impressive 19.1% growth rate as this would imply Q4 revenue growth of close to 40%! But if he could at least achieve similar growth to Q4 in the prior year (14.5%) that should push LTI's FY20 revenues to just over the $1.5bn line, a notable milestone.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: offshore  

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