Menu
You are not logged in and only seeing 7 days of articles. Please sign up or login to view more
UKHotViews
Tuesday 29 November 2022

*NEW RESEARCH* Building AI-aided Workforce Resilience

Building AI-aided Workforce Resilience report cover imageThe huge knock-on impact of recent – hard to predict – events has placed resilience firmly in the spotlight. We have seen pressure on operations, on growth, on profit margins, on productivity, and on the ability to innovate. Continual change imposed by rapid technological advances, changing business models and workforce requirements over staggeringly short timescales has also been telling. 

With organisations reliant on people to deliver their products and services, workforce resilience is an foundation component of a successful business. TechMarketView partnered with Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI to take a deep dive into the role of AI in workforce resilience.

Building AI-aided Workforce Resilience” is now available to download.

Technology is a critical workforce resilience building block, providing the digital infrastructure and connecting business systems, processes and data sources. The family of data intensive technologies - data science, automation and AI/ML - has a high impact role in delivering the intelligence-based capabilities organisations and workforces need to prepare for, sense and respond to disruption. It is embedded into workforce resilience technology that falls into two categories: 

·       employee-centred solutions that focus on workforce empowerment and enablement; and

·       employer-centred solutions that major on workforce attraction, retention, and optimisation. 

Serving the needs of different user communities, both are required to build workforce resilience. 

Surrey Institute for People-centered AIThe report looks at how AI/ML is moving towards a position where it is contributing to workforce resilience by assisting, augmenting and protecting human workers. Yet this shift can only happen if human autonomy and oversight is recognised and prioritised, which is part of the bigger picture of humanising and explainable technology. The report also examines current practices and building blocks, and some of the off-the-shelf solutions available to support the drive towards AI-aided workforce resilience. 

Download this eagerly awaited report here. If you are not a TechMarketView subscriber and would like information about how to access the report and our other research and services, please contact Deb Seth.

Posted by: Angela Eager at 23:59

Tags: skills   AI   machinelearning   startups   resilience   workforce  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

Musk, Apple and the ‘battle for the future of civilisation’

There is never a dull, ‘no news’ day in MuskLand.

TwitterAppleToday Elon Musk took his fight to Apple and Tim Cook in particular. Apple has, along with many others, reduced its advertising spend on Twitter since Musk gained control. But it was an implied threat to remove Twitter from the Apple App Store that really fired him up.

There is little doubt that Apple does censor what goes onto the App Store. For example, pornography is banned. Musk believes that Apple’s power over what does and doesn’t feature on the App Store is limiting freedom of speech.

But then Musk declared that he was spearheading ‘a battle for the future of civilisation’ and that ‘tyranny is all that lies ahead’ should we go down the wrong path. Eg by allowing Apple alone to decide what iPhone users do or read.

Although Musk’s comments about Apple’s power do have some merit, methinks they are a bit OTT. My first thought was ‘would it matter a jot to me if Twitter went out of business?’ Answer – No it wouldn’t.

Then I got to thinking about what communication method really would matter to me if it wasn’t available anymore.

When I was born in 1947, my parents did not have a telephone. News and comment came from the daily newspaper and the BBC Radio. The main source of personal communication was by letter post or, if it was really urgent (like a death), by telegram. They seemed to get by just fine!

When we got a landline in the 1950s, it wasn’t really ever used for chatting. Too expensive for that!

The real communication revolution occurred in the 1980s with the mobile phone and then with the advent of the text. For many to this day the text or message is the preferred method of communication. Indeed mobile voice traffic is declining. I hardly ever use my iPhone as a phone!

Then, from the 1990s, email increasing took over from the letter post. Over the last 20 years, social media sites came and went with new ones taking over.  I don’t think that civilisation would be threatened if any or all of them – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIN, Twitter etal – ceased to exist.

Many have forecast the demise of email for as long as HotViews has existed. It has never happened. It is still the primary communication source for practically everybody and certainly for all businesses.

So Mr Musk, don’t worry too much about the future of civilisation in the case of Twitter’s demise. I feel, just like my parents in the 1940s, we’d get on just fine without it.

Posted by: Richard Holway at 22:12

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

NEW RESEARCH - IoT orchestration

The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly become one of the hottest areas of the technology sector with billions of dollars invested to date. IoT has the potential to transform most industries with millions of devices now connected via sensors collecting and sharing data in real time, all designed to make operations more intelligent and more efficient. However, it’s also an area that has been struggling to deliver on its potential, with a significant proportion of projects ‘failing’ and yet to deliver real returns on hefty levels of investment.

IoT OrchestrationIoT is at the heart of the convergence of IT and OT (Operational Technology). And here, one of the biggest challenges IoT faces is a significant problem integrating new technologies with old systems, from legacy scheduling, stores and work order systems in manufacturing through to CRM and order systems in retail, through to patient and appointment systems in healthcare. Until recently, industrial technology operated principally in silos and made entire production processes harder to manage. IoT changes this as connected sensors attached to nodes and devices within a network allow for data to be captured, visualised, and analysed. 

Another big challenge is the ability of bringing instant human experience and AI insights into IoT-initiated processes. For example, operations experts may receive lots of important IoT data that can prevent issues. But often the data is not simply understood, the context of the data is not obvious, or what options are available to address the issue. So, it’s too difficult to make quick decisions and turn these decisions into positive actions. However, it doesn’t come risk free – the coming together of IT and OT is potentially adding new vulnerabilities into networks that could potentially be targeted by cyber criminals.

Fixing this “interoperability” issue offers huge potential to increase returns from existing IoT investment and it’s why we caught up recently with Chris Lamberton, CEO of TrustPortal, a UK based HyperAutomation scale-up, that to date has cut its teeth targeting the contact centre and shared services environment.

If you are a subscriber to TechSectorViews click on the following link to access the report IoT Orchestration –  Getting the most out of IoT investment

If you don’t yet have a subscription and would like to gain access the report and our other research and services, please contact Deb Seth.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 16:12

Tags: newresearch  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

*NEW RESEARCH* OffshoreViews Q3 2022 Review

The latest edition of OffshoreViews is now available for download by subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service.

OffshoreViews includes our regular summary of the top-tier and mid-tier Indian SI reporting season, along with insightful charts showing multiyear trends for the Top Tier players and a clickable index to relevant UKHotViews posts.

Click here to download.

Posted by: TMV Team at 14:06

Tags: offshore  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

Twitter hack sees 5.4m user records leaked on dark web

TwitterOver 5.4m Twitter user records containing non-public information stolen using an API vulnerability have been shared for free on a hacker forum. Whilst most of the data consisted of public information, such as Twitter IDs, names, login names, locations, and verified status, it also included private information, such as phone numbers and email addresses.

The hack was first exposed back in July when a threat actor began selling the private information of over 5.4m Twitter users on a hacking forum for $30,000. It would seem that the data has now outlived its usefulness to the hackers and has been dumped into a dark web forum for people to use as they please.

The data was collected in December 2021 using a Twitter API vulnerability disclosed in the HackerOne bug bounty program that allowed people to submit phone numbers and email addresses into the API to retrieve the associated Twitter ID. Using this ID, the threat actors could then scrape public information about the account to create a user record containing both private and public information. The vulnerability was fixed in January 2022 but not before it was exploited.

It is unclear if the HackerOne disclosure was leaked, but according to BleepingComputer multiple threat actors were utilising the bug to steal private information from Twitter. While it is concerning that threat actors released the 5.4m records for free, an even larger data dump was allegedly created using the same vulnerability.

All in all, things just keep going from bad to worse for Twitter with Musk now deciding he also wants to start a fight with Apple, probably not a good idea. Let’s just hope he at least kept enough engineering staff to keep the platform secure and run security checks on any new features he dreams up overnight.

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 09:32

Tags: cybersecurity  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

ActiveOps sees opportunity in recession

ActiveOpsReading-headquartered Management Process Automation (MPA) software provider, ActiveOps, continues to progress with interim results showing total revenue growth of 7% to £12.3m (H1 FY22 £11.5m). Annual recurring revenue (ARR) grew 12% (7% constant currency) to £22.1m (H1 FY22 £19.8m). Gross margins remained strong at 81% with adjusted EBITDA improving to £0.3m (H1 FY22 -£0.2m).

ActiveOps's customers are predominantly in the banking, insurance BPO sectors and includes the likes of Citi, Allianz, UBS, SS&C and DXC. Its software is right smack in the middle of the improving productivity space so fits very well with TMV’s overarching research theme for 2023 of Pursuing Productivity. We believe that 2023 will be the year when we start to see organisations look at how to get more out of the graft they are putting in. And, importantly, tech will play a big role in the answer.

CEO Richard Jeffery agrees and sees opportunities in any downturn for ActiveOps “Based on our historical performance in challenging times, the proven track record of our offering, its ability to find hidden capacity and optimise costs, we firmly believe our solutions will play an integral role in helping new and existing customers deal with the challenges posed by a recession."

Operationally, this “productivity opportunity” translated into three new customers and 12 expansion deals with nine out of ten of the Group's top ten accounts expanding usage of its products. The company also launched a new workforce management solution called CaseworkiQ and established a data science function to support its AI and Machine Learning ambitions.

Given the continuing popularity of hybrid working and any likely recession demanding organisations squeeze more out of existing resources, the market potential for ActiveOps looks strong. The challenge will remain getting clients to commit and invest during a downturn.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 09:25

Tags: results   operations  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

Cybersecurity provider Shearwater grows 2% in H1

Shearwater GroupManaged security services and advisory provider Shearwater Group has posted modest growth of 2% in the first half of the year as consulting growth balanced out declines in software revenue.

H1 FY23 revenue was £10.8m growing 2% yoy, with services revenue growing 5% yoy to £9.1m, supported by robust growth in consulting, whilst software revenue declined -12% to £1.65m. Adjusted EBITDA was £0.1m (H1 FY22: £1.3m) impacted by the weaker Sterling against the USD, excluding FX impacts underlying performance of the business would have been in line with the prior year. The company said that projects that were delayed due to the pandemic have restarted and are progressing well, and consulting utilisation rates are increasing with a healthy orderbook.

Shearwater Group comprises of two divisions, Services (85% revenue) and Software (15% revenue). Services division clients are largely blue chips, with particular strength in the banking, telco and technology sectors. Software offerings are sold through distributors to the global reseller channel. In H1 the business won new enterprise clients as well as becoming a supplier on the UK Governments G-Cloud approved suppliers list.

Shearwater Group companies also launched several product enhancements during H1 with its GeoLang data protection business introducing optical character recognition ("OCR"), a feature which allows customers to search scanned documents and PDFs for sensitive data and it is now being used by a leading international bank. SecurEnvoy, a group business providing Identity and access management and data loss prevention, released geolocation enhancement, allowing customers to control and restrict the geographic location someone can log in to the corporate network. It also expanded its geographic reach in North America, signing an agreement with technology distributor Ingram Micro. Alongside organic growth Shearwater continues to look for targeted Mergers & Acquisitions with an active pipeline of opportunities to add new capability and scale.

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 09:22

Tags: cybersecurity  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

Aire Logic signs another £29m deal with NHS Digital

Aire Logic logoHealthtech consultancy Aire Logic continues its winning form, securing a £29m/four-year contract with NHS Digital that will see the supplier ‘run, maintain and transform’ some of the software and services that are currently supported by the NHS’ Spine Core Platform.

Under the deal, which runs until November 2026, Aire Logic will take on responsibility for NHS Digital's Clinicals products and service pillar, which includes the National Record Location, Summary Care Record (SCR), Summary Care Record application and Child Protection Information Service (CPIS) amongst other products.

We highlighted Aire Logic as ‘one to watch’ in our recent Health Software & IT Services Suppliers, Trends & Forecasts 2022-2025 and today’s contract win cements that view. This is the latest in a string of healthcare contracts for Aire Logic and follows the SME’s landmark £30m deal with NHS Digital announced in July to support the delivery of digital services relating to the COVID-19 and flu vaccinations programme.

Aire Logic was founded in 2007 as XML Solutions by a couple of IT consultants who met on the NHS data spine project and has grown rapidly in the last few years having, we suspect, found itself in the right place at the right time. It doubled its revenue in FY21 to £30m and looks set for continued rapid growth in 2022 and beyond on the back of recent contract signings. 

As ever, the challenge for the scaleup, which had just 125 employees in FY21, could well be scaling quickly enough to deliver on its recent contracts without any loss of quality, particularly against a backdrop of skill shortages and wage inflation in the UK tech market (see also Skills & Retention: Why it’s essential to keep investing in your staff).

Posted by: Tola Sargeant at 09:16

Tags: contract   healthcare  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

Angels give a funding shout to aid Hearing Diagnostics’ test platform

Can anyone please tell me why I can pick up a decent pair of wireless earbuds for under a hundred quid yet one hearing aid can cost upwards of a grand (and more with wifi)?

I wear heading aids and I say God bless the NHS, which provided them to me free some years ago after a very thorough hearing test I had also free at the excellent audiology department at Ealing Hospital.

I go back there every couple of years to have the aids tweaked as my hearing changes (at my age …). The hearing test is run on a PC, and then they connect my hearing aids to the PC and automatically adjust the settings to match my hearing profile. Unfortunately, the app and connectors are proprietary as I would love to be able to do these adjustments at home. Indeed, I can’t see any reason why I couldn’t do the hearing test at home too.

Maybe that time is getting closer.

logoEnter Edinburgh-based healthtech startup Hearing Diagnostics, which aims to make hearing screening technology available outside of specialist clinics.

The team have developed a platform (Audimetroid) which, and I quote, ‘uses a spatial paradigm, wherein the patient listens to spatially-localised sounds, simulated in real-time using headphones and inertia measurement sensors’. In other words, you clap on a pair of headphones, listen to some sounds and turn your head. The software analyses head movements to determine which sounds you actually heard with greater reliability, it is claimed, than traditional hearing tests.

Founded in 2017 by former auditory neuroscientist, Dr Claudia Freigang (CEO) and computer scientist Colin Horne (CTO), Hearing Diagnostics has raised £1.1m in an funding round led by Edinburgh-based angel network Archangels and supported by Scottish Enterprise.

I suspect it will be a while before hearing tests become self-serve. But I am hoping that Hearing Diagnostics will at least make them far more widely available beyond the confines of hospitals, specialist clinics and high street retailers.

Now, back to my opening question …

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 09:00

Tags: funding   startup   medtech  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

Growth slows at GB Group

LogoDigital location, identity and identity fraud software specialist, GB Group (GBG) found the going somewhat heavier during in the first half of its current fiscal. Having achieved a double-digit organic top line increase in previous FY (see here),  the Chester-based company saw revenue in H123 (the six months ended 30th September) rise by just 3.4% yoy on a like for like constant currency basis to £134.9m. Adjusted operating profit improved by just 1% over the same period in the prior year with the associated margin falling by 450bps yoy to 21% in the first half.

The strength of the firm’s H122 performance, buoyed by the US stimulus project and exceptional cryptocurrency volumes, made for a tough set of comparators. GBG expects, however, that margin will improve for the full year supported by both a c. 6% yoy increase in second half revenues and disciplined cost control.

We have noted before that trends such as remote/hybrid working and rising levels of online fraud should mean that GBG’s longer-term prospects remain healthy. For now, investors appear more sceptical with the company’s share price having both halved since early September and falling by nearly 9% at the time of writing in early trading this morning. Evidence of demonstrable progress during the second half of the year will be required if GBG is see any material improvement in market sentiment.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison at 08:50

Tags: results   software   identity   fraud  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

*HotViewsExtra*: Doubling Access Group doubles again

The Access Group logoThere are few software companies able to consistently double their size every two years while maintaining profitable growth but as it released FY22 results, UK HQ’d SME business management software specialist The Access Group demonstrated that this is what it has done and continues to do.

Financial results for the year ending 30th June 2022 showed reported revenue of £618m vs. £392m. On a pro forma basis revenue reached £685m, representing 43% growth and demonstrating its on-going ability to deliver organic growth alongside the inorganic gains from the 20 acquisitions completed during FY22. Organic growth reached 17% compared to 10% in the prior year. Growing remains profitable too: pro forma Adjusted EBITDAC was £256m, a 42% yoy increase. On a reported basis adjusted EBITDA rose 60% to £258m. 

Check out Doubling Access Group doubles again in HotViewsExtra for our analysis of what is behind Access’ on-going success and observations on its public sector prospects through its developing Health, Care and Support division.

Did you know you can take out an individual UKHotViews Premium subscription that includes access to HotViewsExtra and the HotViews archive? Drop Deb Seth an email if you'd like to know more.

Posted by: Angela Eager at 08:41

Tags: results   software  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Tuesday 29 November 2022

Backers inject dosh to propel Bionaut Labs’ fantastic voyage

logoI wonder how many of our readers are of an age to remember the 1966 movie ‘Fantastic Voyage’? The premise is that a scientist develops a blood clot in his brain and in order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his bloodstream with a small crew to fix the problem. Happy ending, of course, but will never happen.

But maybe we’re getting close.

Los Angeles-based Bionaut Labs is developing millimetre-length wireless robots (the self-same Bionauts) which can be injected into a person and then guided by an external magnetic field to the desired drop-off point deep inside the human body where it then discharges its payload – which could be medical therapies or diagnostic sensors. The Bionaut is then guided back to the point of entry and removed. All that’s missing are the microsized crew!

Founded in 2017, Bionaut Labs has just closed a $43.2m Series B funding round, adding to the $20m raised back in March 2021. The startup has US FDA approval for human clinical trials which they hope to commence in 2024.

Might truth turn out to become stranger than fiction? I hope so!

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:15

Tags: funding   startup   medtech  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Monday 28 November 2022

RM announces £16m sale of RM Integris and RM Finance

RMRM Plc has announced it has conditionally agreed to sell RM Integris and RM Finance, part of its principal trading subsidiary RM Education Limited, for up to £16m in cash to The Key Support Services Limited. RM’s share price is up 10% on the news at time of writing, but still down over 75% ytd in 2022.

The sale is part of its strategy to restructure the RM Technology Division and refocus on its core managed services business. RM announced back in October (see here) that its ongoing IT implementation programme has had a material impact on its financial performance and so the news is perhaps not a huge surprise as the company looks to reduce debt and strengthen its balance sheet. 

Management information systems (MIS) sit at the heart of data management in schools and account for a significant proportion of school software expenditure, but for years it has been a market that has rested firmly in the hands of Capita who acquired SIMS in 1994. However, underinvestment coupled with the pressure on school budgets, the rise of multi-academy trusts, the increasing popularity of cloud, and the rise of more innovative and nimble competitors means things are starting to change.

For example, Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) recently chose Arbor Education to supply its new cloud-based MIS for all of its academies. See - Arbor secures major AET MIS contract. We have also seen new entrants into the market such as London based Satchel, who launched a new MIS solution, building on the success of their flagship product Show My Homework, which is already used by a third of all UK secondary schools. According to the latest schools MIS market share data, RM Integris accounted for 10% of MIS in primary schools, the third largest provider, in comparison SIMS (part of the ParentPay Group) still accounts for 57% of MIS in primary schools and 60% across primary and secondary.

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 09:29

Tags: education   M&A  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Monday 28 November 2022

Dark kitchen execs get dosh delivery for dark warehouse platform bodo

logoWell, the first thing they ought to do is correct the glaring typo at the bottom of their homepage “Click here to Contat (sic) Support”.

I refer to bodo, the recently hatched, on-demand ecommerce fulfilment platform (not to be confused with the Python supercomputing analytics platform of the same name), which has just announced the closure of a $2.3m seed funding round led by BAM ventures, along with a host of angels including the founder and CEO of MeUndies (I threw that one in as I couldn’t believe anyone would call their business that).

Here’s bodo’s proposition. Let’s say you’re an ecommerce retailer and you aren’t already using Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) service (or its many UK start-up competitors like Huboo or Selazar) to warehouse, pick, pack and ship your products and handle returns. Well, now you can use bodo. That’s it, as I understand it. But without returns handling.

London-based bodo was founded by a couple of American chaps who used to work at Travis Kalanick’s dark kitchen venture, CloudKitchens (see Kalanick’s UK ‘dark kitchens’ see the light of day (and night). They’re setting up a chain of ‘micro-fulfilment hubs’ (sheds?) around the UK, the first being in East London. bodo offers e-tailers ‘customer-centric’ (you’d really hope!) 30-minute or one-hour (depending on which PR you read), and same-day delivery options. Pricing was not disclosed.

bodo (so says the PR) is currently working with ‘mission-aligned brands’, including that of a ‘popular sustainable toothbrush’. Can someone please tell me what an ‘unsustainable’ toothbrush might be?

They really shouldn’t have wasted their (backers’) money.

Oh, by the way, ‘bodo’ means ‘hurry up’ or ‘get on with it’ in Farsi. Not a lot of people know that.

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:44

Tags: funding   startup  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Monday 28 November 2022

Equals on the up with purchase of fintech Roqqett

EqualsEquals Group the SME focused fintech has made another acquisition, following its recent buyout activity, with a £2.25m deal for open banking startup Roqqett Ltd.

As the holder of both AISP (Account Information Service Provider) and PISP (Payment Initiation Service Provider) authorisation Roqqett is permitted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to take direct payments and access the real-time data flows of bank customers.

Equals (a provider of international payments, expense management, current accounts, multi-currency cards and FX) has been enjoyed strong demand for its services on late. Interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2022 showed revenue up by 86% and gross profit was up 44% (see: Growth at Equals continues to accelerate).

In October Equals completed the purchase of the minority interests Equals Connect Limited, for around £3.4m. The move followed the 2019 acquisition of Casco Financial Services which saw the vendors retain a 48% interest in the side of the business that is now known as Equals Connect.

Equals Connect facilitates a white-label international payments platform targeted at smaller foreign exchange brokers. Since the initial Casco deal in 2019, Equals Connect has enjoyed strong growth and performed profitably throughout. During 2021, the unit generated £7.7m for the group and contributed £400k towards pre-tax profits.

Equals’ latest acquisition is subject to regulatory approval from the FCA. When completed, the deal will represent an important step in the company's development providing as it does two key banking licences that Equals does not currently possess.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 08:03

Tags: M&A   acquisitions  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Monday 28 November 2022

Cerillion delivers another bumper year for growth

CerillionCerillion, the AIM-listed billing and CRM provider, has enjoyed another year of strong growth. Full-year results for the former Logica unit showed that annual revenue was up by 26% in the twelve months to 30 September 2022 to £32.7m whilst pre-tax profit rose by 40% to £11.9m.

FY22 was the second fiscal in a row that Cerillion expanded by more than 25% with the company's growth having been steadily gaining momentum over the past three to four years. The telecoms industry focused vendor recently secured its largest ever contract win and has also been expanding its offshore resources in Bulgaria and India, in response to the growing demand for its services

Cerillion has reaped the benefits of some significant recent developments in the market, including the widespread adoption of hybrid working and the UK rollout of 5G technology. Meanwhile, customer engagement and workflow automation have become two of the major themes shaping technology investments since the pandemic and Cerillion remains well placed to take advantage of these as evidenced by its strong pipeline.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 07:34

Tags: payments   billing  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Sunday 27 November 2022

Alexa – What’s gone so wrong?

Amazon's Alexa unit said to be losing $10b a year

EchoIn Amazon’s Black Friday sale (running all last week..) we bought yet another Echo (our 7th) and an Alexa Echo Auto for my car. Both were under half price. Both were delivered in less than 24 hours – for ‘free’ as part of our Amazon Prime subscription. Both were amazingly simple to setup and worked exactly as expected.

99% of the time, our Alexa devices are used to play either music (Alexa - Play the Killers' Caution) or the radio (Alexa - Play Boom Radio). We also use the timer facility. Other than that? Nothing really. Apparently Amazon gets upwards of a billion such interactions every week.

A few weeks ago, Amazon cut off Amazon Prime users from their ‘Unlimited’ music library. If you want to use it you now have to pay an extra £8.99pm subscription. But as we have an Apple Music sub anyway, you just Ask 'Alexa -Play such-and-such from Richard’s Apple Music' - which not only gives access to Apple’s streaming music service but also to the 3000+ tracks I have on my iPhone including all my playlists.

So far. So good. Well for me anyway…

Great for Apple but not so good for Amazon.

Two weeks ago Amazon announced a job reduction programme to eliminate some 10,000 posts. The redundancies were said to hit the Alexa unit particularly hard. Since then there have been several media reports that the Alexa unit is ‘losing $10b a year’. (Source – Ars Technica)  '$3b in the last quarter' alone. (Source – Business Insider)

So Holway is a delighted customer but Amazon is losing bucketloads.

Alexa – What has gone so wrong?

Amazon has long had a business model that basically offers some stuff as loss-leaders in order to get customers hooked on the repeatable stuff that is highly profitable. Give them the Kindle e-reader and they will buy audibles from Amazon. Offer them Amazon Prime and they will never use another ecommerce site that charges for delivery.

The problem is that nothing that Alexa offers (to the Holway household anyway) actually makes any money for Amazon. On top of that, it would probably kill the model if they started to introduce adverts (which, afterall, is what pays for the ‘free’ services from Google and Facebook etal)

Clearly Amazon needs to introduce a ‘must have - paid for’ service to run alongside Alexa. But I’m blessed if I know what extra facilities the Holway household would actually pay for. Maybe Andy Jassy has some ideas? I’d hate to see our eight Echo devices consigned to the scrapheap.

Posted by: Richard Holway at 15:36

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Friday 25 November 2022

Do you want to join our analyst team?

TechMarketView is a very highly regarded brand in UK technology, and we are looking for someone new to join our fantastic team of analysts.

We are seeking an Analyst with an understanding of Software & IT Services and technology. Your knowledge may be very specific, or it may be very broad. And, if you have an understanding of any aspects of the UK Public Sector that could be an advantage.

You may already be working as an analyst, have a role inside a vendor or enterprise/Government organisation, and are looking to progress your career. job

We set the bar high at TechMarketView and you will be expected to have excellent writing skills, be comfortable with numbers, and be able to present to clients – both face-to-face and via video. You’ll need to be confident, enthusiastic, and keen to work with our sales team on the commercial front. Our clients are at the forefront of everything we do so you’ll need to enjoy helping people find solutions to their business challenges.

Our analysts are creative and have a significant amount of autonomy in following the research agenda. We work closely as a team here, regardless of your position, and are a friendly bunch.

For the right person, this is an excellent opportunity for career progression. The usual benefits apply, and we offer a competitive salary.

We’d love to hear from you if you think you might fit the bill or if you’d like to ask any informal questions.

Drop me a line: Kate Hanaghan, Chief Research Officer.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan at 10:00

Tags: vacancy  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Friday 25 November 2022

*NEW RESEARCH* UK Enterprise Cybersecurity Supplier Rankings 2022

TechMarketView’s new Enterprise Cybersecurity Supplier Rankings 2022 report is now available for download by subscribers. In it, our lead cybersecurity analyst, Simon Baxter, examines the Top 20 UK suppliers (by revenue) as well as the key drivers of market growth.

Enterprise Cybersecurity RankingsSpending on cybersecurity remained resilient in 2021 despite challenging market conditions and a rapidly evolving threat landscape, with the majority of suppliers posting strong double digital growth. Following the disruption of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine has driven further rising costs, supply shortages and geopolitical tensions in 2022 and even though retaliatory cyber-attacks on UK businesses did not happen as many feared, it has not lessened the importance of investment in building robust cyber resilience.

The threat of ransomware and skill shortages are also still in sharp focus, and this has driven broad market growth, especially in areas such as Extended Detection and Response (XDR), automation tooling, and the usage of AI for threat detection. 

This year we have seen the inclusion of several new suppliers into the Top 20. Of particular note is Microsoft who has quickly emerged as one of the largest providers of security solutions, following years of relatively under the radar investment. Other new entrants include TCS, the #1 ranked supplier of UK SITS in 2022, and LSE listed Darktrace. But just how far did these companies make it up the rankings and what does this mean for the competitive landscape?

Read the full report for our profiles and analysis of the UK’s largest providers of enterprise cybersecurity.

Subscribers to TechMarketView's TechSectorViews research stream can download the research - Enterprise Cybersecurity Rankings 2022 - now. If you are not yet a subscriber and would like to find out how to gain access to this research and much more besides, please contact Deb Seth.

Posted by: HotViews Editor at 09:39

Tags: cybersecurity   supplier+rankings  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link
Previous 1 2 3 Next 


© TechMarketView LLP 2007-2022: Unauthorised reproduction prohibited see full Terms and Conditions.