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Sunday 20 September 2020

Time to move on and back the next UK ARM

UK TechI’ve written frequently – and been quoted extensively in the media – about my views on ARM (‘The Best UK Tech company of the last 50 years’). My last article on 14th sept 20 was entitled Sad day as Nvidia set to acquire ARM.

I had hoped that perhaps HMGovt could pull some rabbit out of the hat and suddenly ARM could be a UK-quoted darling again. But, let’s face it, HMGovt should have acted in 2016. It’s too late now. The best that HMGovt can do now is try to ensure jobs and the development HQ are maintained in Cambridge.

The last few years has shown the shortcomings at Softbank. In 2000 they had a really lucky break with their investment in Alababa but their ‘bets’ have turned rather bad of late. WeWork is but one example. But I guess that most Softbank investors (30% are small retail investors) didn’t really expect Softbank to be a hedge fund - found recently gambling on big tech stocks like Tesla and Apple.

Quite what Softbank have done for ARM in the last four years is also questionable. They paid $32b for ARM in mid 2016 when Nvidia was valued around the same figure. This month’s sale to Nvidia values ARM at ‘just’ $40b – little more than the $32b adjusted for inflation. Whereas Nvidia is now valued at over $300b. NASDAQ has risen 230% since mid 2016. Are we really saying that ARM would not have kept pace with NASDAQ? Afterall, shares in Apple (which is a major user of ARM chip designs) are up 4x since mid 2016.

What we need to do now is to support the next round of UK ARMs. They already exist in a number of tech areas that are set to prosper. HMGovt should provide the right incentives for investment. We are actually quite good at start-ups and now even scale-ups. But we are lousy at retaining our megastars. This time every effort should be made to ensure that the success stories stay HQed in the UK.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Friday 18 September 2020

Redstor elevates partners with MSP Marketplace

Redstor logoThe quality of experiences matter which is why there has been sustained focus on the customer, user and employee experience. Cloud data management specialist Redstor is tackling the area of partner experience through the launch of its MSP Marketplace and partner programme. 

The Marketplace is a self-service portal for MSPs, providing access to Redstor backup, recovery, archiving and data management tools, with the aim of making it simpler and quicker for MSPs to provision and scale to customer requirements and add their own value components. It is partnering with Appdirect, using Appdirect’s channel-centric, multi-channel digital commerce engine to deliver Redstor’s offerings and allow Redstor partners to deliver through it. 

As Redstor Chief Product Officer James Griffen explained, by partnering itself, Redstor can concentrate on developing data management products and managing its partners well. This includes the product characteristics that are important to partners responsible for provisioning and implemention, that he notes can be somewhat different to those required when end users are the prime implementator. The move is part of Redstor’s shift from being channel focused to channel centric – primarily selling and all fulfillment through partners but also investing to build products and surrounding capabilities best suited to channel partners. 

This move represents a major strategic and financial investment for the company and indicates how it plans to expand the overall business. It sets it (and its partners) up to follow where SaaS data goes, protecting and providing intelligence to customers about their data and working with a range of cloud applications for example. It is also looking at managing data as it moves through infrastructure, so will build capabilities such as Kubernetes and Microsoft Azure support. Smart data management is what Redstor is really working on, turning data management into a point of value rather than a commodity. 

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: cloud   software   msp   data  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Former HSBC CEO joins Libra as Facebook's crypto dream progresses

EmettJames Emett, HSBC's Group General Manager has been appointed as Managing Director of Libra Networks. Emmett (who stepped down as HSBC's European CEO in February) has been recruited by the Libra Association, the Geneva based organisation responsible for developing Facebook’s fledgling digital currency.

Emett will start in post on 1 October with the brief of helping to drive the project forward. A 25-year veteran of international banking, he brings considerable experience to the role. Prior to his time as CEO Emett served as COO at HSBC and had responsibility for the bank’s technology and business processes.

There are currently a number of major cryptocurrency projects underway across global financial services. Just as with other areas of transformational technology, activity and focus appears to have increased in the wake of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the attitudes of international regulators are evolving as understanding of the underlying concepts grows. The EU is one body that has indicated it is likely to introduce standards for “stablecoins” such as Libra.

Facebook's initial bold strategy in respect of the launch of Libra was a major miscalculation with national governments and central banks understandably reacting badly to the apparent threat to their sovereignty (see: Libra faces scrutiny). The project is however still very much alive and Emett’s appointment is the latest in a line of big hitters brought in from the banking world as Libra looks to make its vision a reality. Perhaps via a less “in your face” approach.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: libra   bitcoin  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Fujitsu and Toyota take quantum to supply chains

fujFujitsu and Toyota Systems have been working together to bring quantum technology to the car maker’s logistics systems.

Toyota Systems was founded in 2019 as an IT solutions company to support Toyota Motor Corporation (and its group companies) in the development of technology offerings. Fujitsu brought in its Digital Annealer “quantum-inspired technology” to optimise the car marker’s large-scale logistics network, which has more than three million potential routes for parts delivery from hundreds of suppliers. toy

Working together, the firms identified an approach that takes just 30 minutes and can reduce logistics costs by 2-5%.

The Digital Annealer technology solves complex “combinatorial optimization” problems at speeds that are not possible using conventional computing technologies. For example, it can rapidly calculate variables such as the number of transport lorries, total mileage, and package sorting tasks. From this, the technology can then determine the most cost-effective approach.

Going forward, Fujitsu will help Toyota Systems develop further solutions based on the Digital Annealer technology. Fujitsu also intends to develop solutions from this trial as part of its Fujitsu Digital Annealer Cloud Service in order to open it up to other industries and business domains.

Further reading for TechMarketView clients: Quantum Computing: Assessing the potential for the next decade.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: automotive   quantum  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Backers lubricate Tribosonics with funding to reduce wear and tear

logoThe clue is in the name. IoT – the internet of things – is all about ‘things’. And ‘things’ need sensors to collect data about the ‘thing’ and pop it across the internet.

Sheffield-based Tribosonics (tribology is the science of wear, friction, and lubrication, don’t you know) designs, manufactures and installs ultrasonic transducers. They have a strong suit in embedded devices permanently installed in the ‘thing’ being sensed, typically bearings and other moving parts such as found in wind turbines and propellors.

Founded in 2006 by Dr Phil Harper – now the company’s CTO – Tribosonics has secured £1.1m investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. Entrepreneur Glenn Fletcher was brought in as CEO in December 2018 in order to commercialise the business.

Tribosonics sounds like really innovative technology that has been waiting for someone to recognise its potential and ‘make it happen’. This funding round, and its expanded leadership, is hopefully the next step on the way.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   iot   scaleup  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Civica lands finance shared service deal

CivicaLocal Authority shared services continues to be a happy hunting ground for Civica. Hot on the heels of their revs & bens shared service deal with Cotswold, Forest of Dean, and West Oxfordshire District Councils (see yesterday’s post), Civica has won an eight-year contract from Staffordshire County Council to provide a new financial management system for the shared finance operation of Cannock Chase District and Stafford Borough Councils.

Both councils already make use of Civica’s revenues and benefits platform and the new £910k contract will see joint adoption of the company’s FinancialsLIVE cloud software. The driver as you would expect is all around improved efficiency with better planning and management tools as well as more self-service and reduced duplication and effort for staff.

Civica’s software continues to prove very popular with Local Authorities and is central to positioning the firm at the heart of the digital transformation agenda within the sector. Cloud, platforms and local government shared services is certainly proving to be a fruitful combination for Civica at the moment.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: localgovernment   contract   sharedservices   Finance   councils  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Series A funding to accelerate DrDoctor's growth

DrDoctor LogoHealthTech start-up DrDoctor (ICNH Ltd) has raised £3m in Series A investment from Ananda Impact Ventures and 24Haymarket.

The London-based business, which was founded by Perran Pengelly, Rinesh Amin and Tom Whicher in 2012, provides a patient engagement, appointment booking and virtual consultation solution for hospitals. It currently manages over 30m outpatient appointments for more than 6m patients across 27 NHS trusts in England and Wales.

The company has grown organically since it was founded and, apart from initial seed funding of £15,000 from Bethnal Green Ventures, it has not needed external investment. However, the business has seen demand for its technology increase markedly during the pandemic and the new investment will help it scale to meet the opportunity. It has already increased staffing by over 40% during the COVID-19 crisis and now DrDoctor intends to take on a further 35 employees over the next year (it currently employs 60 people). The company also intends to add new functionality to its patient platform.

Earlier this month, DrDoctor was selected as part of the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health and Care Award, which is run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)—see Hancock launches £140m AI in Health & Care Award. It was one of ten successful suppliers in Phase 4 of the award, which is intended to identify medium stage AI technologies that have market authorisation but insufficient evidence to merit large-scale commissioning or deployment. The company uses AI to ensure hospital appointment attendance is as high as possible by using past attendance and demographic data to predict those less likely to attend in the future and customising communication accordingly.

DrDoctor has been growing well by helping to solve real problems in secondary care. The pandemic has seen hospitals turn increasingly to digital solutions to address their challenges, which has resulted in an upswell in the demand for DrDoctor's services—the new investment should enable the business to seize this opportunity for further growth.

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: nhs   funding   startup   AI   healthtech   hospital   healtcare  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Eagle Eye provides tech shot for Pret A Manger coffee sub service

Eagle Eye logoPret A Manger grabbed the headlines when it announced its in-shop coffee subscription service “YourPret Barista” earlier month, as part of its response to COVID-19 driven changing spend patterns and in support of its digitally-led, multichannel strategy. And technology from UK HQ’d Eagle Eye is playing an important role in enabling the digital strategy.

When Pret customers sign up to the service they are emailed a unique digital voucher issued by the Eagle Eye AIR digital marketing platform, which can be downloaded into Apple or Google Play mobile wallets. Drinks are redeemed by presenting the voucher for scanning at the till. The creation and redemption process makes use of API-based integration between the Eagle Eye AIR platform and Pret’s instore Oracle MICROS Simphony POS system. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but there could be further business on the way as Pret has indicated it is looking at supporting other services via the digital platform.  Eagle Eye AIR forms part of Pret’s new digital infrastructure that is aimed at accelerating its customer loyalty strategy, while Oracle Simphony integration brings together in-shop customer and transactional data. For Pret, these are the building blocks for a digitally-led, multichannel business. 

Pret A Manger is a clear example of how COVID-19 is accelerating digital transformation as organisations adapt business operations to deal with the fallout. As for Eagle Eye, while revenue was impacted by COVID-19 because platform transaction fees from retail and hospitality form part of its revenue stream, it is still powering ahead. Continuing an established strong growth trend, full year revenue for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 was up 21% to £20.4m, of which 73% was recurring. Adjusted EBITDA rose from £0.7m to £3.3 while losses shrank substantially from £2.4m to just £0.5m. Its digital approach to real time personalised marketing and customer loyalty should resonate now more than ever.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: results   contract   software  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Kbox lightens ‘dark kitchen’ opportunity with extra funding

logoCall me a cynic (and many do), but when I see a company claim they can help you make additional profit “with no investment or risk”, then I can only think of the maxim, “if it looks too good to be true…”.

I refer to London-based start-up Kbox Global (until recently aka, Splendid Restaurants Limited), which claims to turn underused commercial kitchens, such as in restaurants, pubs, clubs and supermarkets, into branded meal delivery hubs. It’s a bit like having a ‘dark kitchen’ in your spare kitchen space.

Kbox uses its ‘AI’ technology to assess your kitchen and select the most appropriate meal brands to bring in based on location and demographics. They provide all the training you need to produce the meals and connect you with meal delivery aggregators. What could be simpler? No additional upfront cost is involved – just pay Kbox a licence fee (not disclosed). What’s not to like?

Founded in 2015, Kbox claims it is live in 140 kitchens across the UK with multiple brands yet there is no reference as to which kitchens they are, nor any details on the food brands, or, most importantly, what the additional meal output is. Founder Salima Vellani says she is on course to have 2,000 Kbox kitchens in the UK by the end of next year and has already signed franchise agreements in n Australia and India with eight more countries to come.

Kbox has just raised an additional £12m in a funding round led by Balderton Capital, having raised £5m from Hoxton Ventures in July. I just really, really hope these VCs have done their due diligence.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup  

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Friday 18 September 2020

*New Research* Sopra Steria: Targeting Net Zero ahead of the curve

Report CoverSopra Steria has announced its commitment to reaching “net zero” emissions by 2028. That means that any Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions normally generated across the organisation’s value chain are reduced by emission reduction initiatives and the residual emissions are compensated by the purchase of ‘carbon removal’ carbon offsets to make the net emissions to zero. 

2028 is an ‘anniversary year’ for Sopra Steria, marking 60 years since Sopra was founded, so management felt a desire to align the net zero target with the celebrations.

In this latest TechMarketView report, you can learn how Sopra Steria's ambitions compare to others in the market, what the Group's environmental sustainability achievements have been to date, how it intends to ensure it reaches its targets, and why the announcement is important for the business as a whole.

Subscribers to TechMarketView's Foundation Service or TechSectorViews research stream, can download the report - Sopra Steria: Targeting Net Zero ahead of the curve - now. If you are not yet a subcriber, or are unsure if your organisation has a corporate subscription, please contact Deb Seth

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: environment   sustainability   decarbonisation  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Vodafone expands IoT activity with Landis+Gyr

Vodafone expands IoT activity with Land+GyrVodafone’s Internet of Things (IoT) partnership with Swiss smart grid and meter specialist Landis+Gyr should help the mobile operator win more connectivity deals in the utilities sector on a global scale.

The alliance is touted as providing Landis+Gyr with access to around 400 networks in 180 countries. That includes the UK where the smart meter provider signed a £600m contract with British Gas to supply up to 16m smart meters back in 2013. It's products are also certified under the UK Government’s smart metering equipment technical specification 2 (SMETS2) standard.Vodafone expands IoT activity with Landis+Gyr

While the debate over the success and usefulness of Britain’s smart meter rollout rumbles on (see Smart Meter Madness (14): Things can only get … worse?) Vodafone’s Landis+Gyr partnership extends far beyond the UK’s borders. Landis+Gyr employs 5,700 people at 72 sites in 30 countries and made US$1.7bn of revenue in its last financial year. Other customers include e.on, Iberdrola in Spain and ERDF in France, as well as big energy companies in North America and Asia.

The intention is also that Vodafone will link a wide range of the company's smart energy and utility devices, including solar panels, energy storage systems, industrial sensors, flow measurement tools and temperature gauges. The finer points of the commercial arrangement were not disclosed but Landis+Gyr will integrate Vodafone Business IoT connectivity in its products and devices before shipping them to its customers worldwide in order to simplify their installation and management.

IoT connectivity will be delivered through multiple networks depending on availability - by default using the narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and/or long term evolution for machines (LTE-M) protocols which underpin Vodafone’s low-power wide area (LPWA) infrastructure. Those networks are currently available in just 18 countries however, and even then coverage is limited. Vodafone’s third (3G), fourth (4G) and eventually fifth generation (5G) cellular networks are expected to fill in the gaps where needed.

This is a big deal for Vodafone which acts as a showcase for its NB-IoT network and puts it at the heart of IoT smart energy rollouts currently being implemented or planned by large utility companies. But the operator has to make sure it can provide reliable, secure device connectivity from the off where needed if those customers are to keep it switched on.

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: smartmeters   iot   utilities   NB-IOT  

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Friday 18 September 2020

*NEW RESEARCH*: Consulting Market Trends and Forecasts 2020

The Consulting Market Trends & Forecasts 2020 report is hot off the virtual press and ready to download HERE.

Fuelled by the rush to digital, 2019 saw UK SITS consulting service sales surge ahead by 9.4% yoy to just over £3b. CoverThe following strong start to 2020 was stopped in its tracks by the advent of the COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns. The resulting business and economic impacts have been, and are taking, a disproportionately heavy toll on the consulting sector.

The medium to long term outlook for this market, however, remains healthy. As the dust settles from the initial impacts of coronavirus, a growing number of businesses will be looking to make bigger post-pandemic strategic bets. This is being accompanied by a greater openness to the possibilities of the Enterprise 4.0 era coupled with a preparedness to begin to tackle the heavy lifting required to realise the potential of “complex” digital.

Being in position to benefit from this rebound will require consulting practices to strike a delicate balance between addressing immediate cost and revenue pressures while continuing to invest in their own fundamental reinventions – and time is definitely of the essence. Whether it is in either getting and staying ahead of clients’ accelerating change agendas or anticipating and reacting to the shifts in demand hot spots, consultancies now have existential needs for speed and agility.

The report contains our latest market size and forecast data along with an analysis of the trends shaping this segment of the UK IT services market. It also looks at the “how” of adapting to and prospering in this dynamic, evolving environment.

Consulting Market Trends & Forecasts 2020 is available to TechMarketView subscribers who take the TechSectorViews research stream. If you don’t have a subscription and would like details please contact Deborah Seth.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison

Tags: consulting   research   MarketForecasts  

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Friday 18 September 2020

Support your business planning with a virtual TMV engagement

TMV logoAre you interested in digging deeper into our UK SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2020-2023 and UK SITS Supplier Rankings 2020 research? Well now you can. TechMarketView is offering a virtual engagement to explore the meaning behind the written word of our two flagship reports. We have designed a session to enable you to get the most out of our latest analysis and support your business planning activities.

Report coversIn such an extraordinary year, defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated global lockdowns, TechMarketView’s expert analyst team has had to consider the extreme uncertainty that remains for us all and we have created forecasts for the next four years based on two market scenarios. The scenarios will determine how quickly confidence will return. But regardless of the pandemic’s progression and the resultant impact on the UK economy, change is coming. In fact, it’s already here.

Strategic planning in the current environment is filled with unknowns. There’s a strong desire to leverage past investments while accelerating change. Suppliers must recognise the fundamental shift in their clients’ attitudes, and help them ‘reset and reimagine’, ensuring that technology remains at the heart of the agenda.

TechMarketView is on hand to help you with these challenges and a virtual engagement or webinar with one of our expert analysts is a great way to kick off your business planning process. 

Contact to book your session. Exclusively for subscription clients and priced at £2,950 +VAT.

Posted by: HotViews Editor

Tags: webinar  

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Thursday 17 September 2020

UK Jigsaw24 is an early member of new Adobe SI program

Adobe logoAs Adobe’s Q3 results yesterday demonstrated, data and content are part of the driving force behind its upward trajectory. While it provides the products, the partner community can be central to organisations making the most of them so it has launched the Adobe Certified Service Partner for Video and Audio program for systems integrators. 

The program is designed to helps systems integrators develop the expertise to deliver high levels of service in support, workflow and system design, and software integrations. There is a bit of a UK flavour because the certification program was designed in conjunction with long time Adobe partners Support Partners who operates in the UK and US, and MoovIT in Germany, who are Jigsaw24 logoboth now certified. The program now has two more members one of whom is UK HQ’d Apple reseller and service provider Jigsaw24 who is looking at the certification to boost its Adobe Creative Cloud services. 

With Adobe delivering sterling performance, SIs stand to gain by aligning with the company, particularly if they can offer organisations practical pathways to operationalising the data and content held within Adobe’s products. 

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: software   itservices  

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Thursday 17 September 2020

Covid-19 hastens move to cloud in health and care

Over the last six months, there has been a quantum leap in clinicians’ and patients’ appreciation of the role that tech and digital can play in the health and care sector, with a rapid shift to remote working, remote consultation and remote monitoring during the pandemic. None of this would have been possible without cloud-based systems and there can be little doubt that the move to cloud in the healthcare sector has been hastened by Covid-19.

Advanced logoThe deployment during Covid of Advanced’s new electronic patient record (EPR) system at mental health and learning disability care provider Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is just one example of the impact moving the cloud has had. The system went live – as planned – in the midst of the pandemic when the country was in lockdown and overnight it enabled 1,300 staff to work remotely and effectively from home. 

According to Trust CIO Bill Fawcett, the cloud-based CareDirector software - formerly CareWorks which was acquired by Advanced in November 2019 (Advanced extends healthcare potential with CareWorks acquisition) – also enabled them to build real-time trust-wide dashboards of Covid-19 cases and redeploy staff ensuring they had access to the information they would need in their new roles.

It does now seem inevitable that the majority of health and care systems will be cloud-based by default henceforth, not least because staff expect to be able to access the data they hold anywhere, anytime. As Fawcett said in relation to Leeds & York’s previous ageing EPR, “We had a mobile, agile workforce that was being held back by this technology, and it became increasingly apparent that our people were developing digital literacy skills and the ability to perform an enhanced level of data analysis.” In other words, we are seeing a ‘pull’ from users demanding modern cloud-based systems, as well as the ‘push’ from government and NHS policy.

Posted by: Tola Sargeant

Tags: cloud   software   healthcare   covid-19   Techgoodness  

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Thursday 17 September 2020

Civica secures shared service revs & bens deal

Civica logoCivica has announced a new shared service agreement with Cotswold District Council, Forest of Dean District Council, and West Oxfordshire District Council via the shared public company, Publica Group.

The five-year deal, which is worth £975,000, will see the public sector software specialist provide a digital platform for revenues and benefits via its OPENRevenues solution across the three councils. Forest of Dean Council is an existing OPENRevenues customer, having used the software since 2010.

Publica Group formed in November 2017 from four partner councils (Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils) to deliver both more efficient and improved services to customers.

The new service will mean the three councils participating in this contract no longer need to manage separate revenues and benefits systems, which should deliver cost savings and improve efficiency. It is also intended to improve the ability for citizens to self-serve online and provide enhanced visibility of their information. 

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: localgovernment   contract   software   sharedservices   councils   revs&bens  

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Thursday 17 September 2020

COVID-19 places "rocket booster" under Government digital ambitions

Julia LopJulia Lopez MP offficial photoez MP took the role of Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office in February this year, succeeding Jeremy Quin. Her responsibilities include supporting the delivery of cross-government efficiency and public sector transformation. And that means having oversight of the Government Digital Service (GDS) and the Government’s DDaT (Digital, Data & Technology) function.

Yesterday, she was the keynote speaker for the opening day of TechUK’s Smarter State 2020 conference (#techuksmarterstate). She spoke confidently and with clarity about where the Government’s digital priorities lie.

She made clear that, rather than the COVID-19 pandemic holding back progress, it has put a rocket booster under the digital ambitions of UK Government and blown away many of the previous barriers: “Now IS the time for reform”. The demands of the pandemic have tested the digital infrastructure and applications already in place (including Gov.UK and some of the GaaP components like Gov.Notify and Gov.Verify) and seen new digital applications – Lopez highlighted the development of HMRC’s Job Retention Scheme application – to be built rapidly. The aim is to build on the momentum of the last few months and tackle the friction and frustration experienced by civil servants and citizens as they try to navigate the complexities of the machinery of Government.

Lopez described her vision of public services: digital by default, personalised and efficient. Perhaps ‘digital by design’, i.e. implementing digital when it adds value, might have been a better choice of words but the sentiment is clear. She focused on two areas: Citizen Experience (CX) and Data. On the former, she espoused the need for a Single Sign On (SSO) to make citizen access to public services simpler, safe, and more secure. This will be interesting to watch in the light of the criticisms of Gov.Verify. But we were assured that Government will engage early to ensure a "robust, consent-based approach”. The hope is that SSO will support new, innovative and, potentially, personalised services. On the latter, she was clear about the need to tackle the systemic lack of data sharing across Government (see National Data Strategy: Framing an ambitious agenda).

Lopez also highlighted the key barriers to progress: Governmental organisational structures and a lack of levers, as well as the prevalence of legacy ICT or “technical debt”. Changes are afoot. Already we have seen a shift in responsibility for data (with Cabinet Office/GDS taking responsibility for Government data, and DCMS responsible for creating a strong digital economy). Next, we will see the appointment of a new Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO) - see UK Government: Senior DDaT changes. Lopez believes the GCDO will have the means and ambition to deliver real reform – “the technology, tools and total commitment”. It will help that COVID-19 has significantly altered the mindset of at ministerial level: expectations are now much higher regarding what can be achieved in quick time.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: publicsector   centralgovernment   government   digital   customerexperience   data   digitalidentity  

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Thursday 17 September 2020

LBB Mobysoft changes hands

logoGreat news from one of our TechMarketView Little British Battlers. Mobysoft, the Manchester-based predictive analytics software provider to the social housing sector, has a new backer in the shape and form of mid-market private equity firm ECI Partners.

Mobysoft was one of the 2016 LBB cohort (see LBB Mobysoft makes waves in Social Housing). They received a ‘substantial’ investment from Livingbridge in October 2017 (see LBB Mobysoft funded to expand analytics in social housing). Livingbridge has now exited to ECI. Terms were not disclosed.

We wish Mobysoft all the best on the next stage of their journey.

Posted by: HotViews Editor

Tags: funding   buyout  

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Thursday 17 September 2020

Not a great H1 for WANdisco

WANdisco logoWANdisco’s share price had fallen c.11% at the time of writing on the back of disappointing interim results that saw revenue drop and losses deepen.

Revenue for the six months to 30 June was $3.6m compared to $6m in the year ago period while Adjusted EBITDA loss was $11.9m vs. $7.6m. At $33.6m cash, reserves were higher yoy due to a placing that grossed $25m. The data migration and replication specialist is suffering from the transition from licence to recurring revenue – and does have deferred revenue of $3.2m. 

It often feels like WANdisco’s breakthrough is just around the corner - its cloud and data migration product set is well pitched for these times and demand for software infrastucture is increasing as indicated in the TechMarketiew Enterprise Software Supplier Ranking report - but the corner is still some distance away (see here and work back). It is putting itself into the hands of the channel and building specific versions of its LiveData product for partners including Microsoft and Amazon Web Services which are positive moves but the results are taking time to come through. However, during H1 it did sign up a large global SI. It also won a $1m contract with a media and telecommunications company to migrate data into Microsoft Azure cloud; a contract with large airline to migrate analytical data to the Microsoft Azure cloud; and a signed a contract worth up to $1m with a major British supermarket for both on-premises and migration to the Microsoft Azure cloud. 

Looking at the current period, its native, first party LiveData Platform for Azure product is “close to open preview”, which will take it a step closer to being available to customers. It has also launched a new product, LiveData Migrator, a data lake migration product. Launched on the AWS platform, the first customer has been signed up - GoDaddy will be using the product to migrate a complex on-premises Hadoop environment to S3. There are prospects across H2 if they can be closed. 

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: results   cloud   software  

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