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Tuesday 11 August 2020

Bangalore Sonata seriously out of tune in Europe

logoLike most other suppliers serving the Travel sector, Bangalore-based IT product and services supplier Sonata Software has suffered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As mentioned back in May (see Sonata’s services coda a growth year), most of Sonata’s European IT services revenues derive from the UK and are dominated by a single client in the travel sector. As a result, Sonata’s revenues in Europe last quarter (to June 30th) halved to around $6m as the client’s business stalled.

Sonata’s worldwide International IT Services revenues in the quarter dropped by almost 18% (yoy and qoq) to $36.5m. In contrast, Domestic Products & Services revenues grew by nearly 20% yoy/12% qoq in local currency. Even so, International IT Services still represents the lion’s share (80%) of Sonata’s EBITDA.

With Europe now just 16% of Sonata’s International IT Services revenues – which last FY only tallied some $180m in total – you’d have to ask whether it’s time for management to rethink its options on which markets to serve.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: offshore  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

*UKHotViewsExtra* Workday challenging Oracle & SAP in large Whitehall departments

Workday logoWe have written on numerous occasions about Workday, but usually about its progress globally. Worldwide, the HR, financials and planning cloud pure-play boasts revenues of $3.6b in its last financial year (to end January 2020) – see Network effect at Workday. In the UK, our estimates put its turnover somewhere sub $500m.

Globally, and in the UK, the company has grown rapidly over the last few years. In the US, it claims one-third of the 100 largest corporates as its clients. Meanwhile, in the UK, the commercial world has also proven to be the biggest source of revenues.

Where Workday has limited presence is in the UK public sector – “public sector represents a tiny proportion of UK revenues”. That doesn’t, though, mean that the company is without a footprint. Its client base in Whitehall – and associated agencies and NDPBs - is building.

UKHotViews Premium logoIn this latest PublicSectorViews research note - Workday set to challenge Oracle & SAP in large Whitehall departments - we take a look at Workday’s existing presence in the UK public sector market, UK Government’s current attitude towards the company and its offering, and Workday’s ambitions.

TechMarketViews’ subscribers - including UKHotViews Premium subscribers - can download Workday set to challenge Oracle & SAP in large Whitehall departments now. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to find out more.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: publicsector   centralgovernment   erp   saas   software   backoffice  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

SDL delivers solid H1 as Covid induces shift in sales mix

SDL logoLanguage services and technology company SDL has delivered a solid set of H1 results having moved quickly to protect the business as COVID-19 hit. Overall, revenue declined by just 1% to £180.7m in the six months to end of June, whilst profitability improved – operating profit increased by 13% to £13.4m compared to the same period last year. The outlook appears cautiously positive with SDL reporting the stabilisation of customer activity in May and June and signs of more positive momentum beginning to build.

As expected, the sales mix shifted as a result of COVID-19 with some areas performing less well and others growing strongly. Stronger Language Services revenues in sectors such as corporate communications and Life Sciences offset weaker areas such as Marketing Solutions, travel, leisure and automotive. Whilst in Technology sales, softness in Translation Productivity was offset by 46% growth in Machine Translation.

Geographically, Asia Pac was hardest hit with revenue from the region declining by 24% on H119 to £20.8m. All other regions reported growth, including the UK, where revenues increased by 2.4% to £21.2m, and the US (including NASA), up 3.8% to £86.5m. 

It’s encouraging to see that SDL’s innovation engine is now firing on all cylinders. The SLATE smart translation platform was launched in the first half, Trados Live launched post period and the launch of Tridion Sites 9.5 is planned for the second half. SDL is now well positioned to benefit from continued growth in machine translation and an increased acceleration in cloud adoption across the industry.

As for the outlook, SDL has a good pipeline for the second half, traditionally its stronger period. However, the management team is rightly cautious given the risk of a second COVID-19 wave and will reconsider reinstating the dividend suspended in April alongside the full year results.

As a footnote, SDL is another business planning a more permanent move to home working. Only 5% of SDL employees worked from home prior to COVID-19 but the substantial majority are still working remotely and the Group now believes a much larger proportion of the workforce can work from home in future. As a result, it has initiated a plan to ‘right-size’ the property portfolio over the next five years, resulting in expected savings of £3-£4m p.a. by the end of 2025.

Posted by: Tola Sargeant

Tags: results   software   remoteworking  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

MRI Software acquires Housing Partners

MRI SoftwarePrivately held Ohio-headquartered commercial real estate software provider MRI has expanded its social housing offer in acquiring Housing Partners, a specialist UK social housing software provider.

Worcester-based Housing Partners was set up over 20 years ago and now works with over 500 housing associations and local authorities across the UK and Eire. Its largest product is “HomeSwapper” which looks to match up social housing tenants looking to move outside their current provider. Its other products cover a range of services that focus mainly on the tenant rather than the property, so covering things like debt, anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, rough sleeping etc.

Housing Partners is run by CEO Jonathan Prew - who previously ran both Capita and Serco’s Local Government businesses. Prew commented: “Becoming part of MRI Software brings the potential for far greater scalability. MRI’s global experience and technology will enable us to bring the benefits of software to many more people. It will also support our clients in their desire to speed up digital transformation, the need for which has been heightened by the COVID-19 crisis as the social housing sector strives to deliver effective and efficient services remotely.”

As we covered back in April, MRI has been targeting UK M&A with the acquisition of UK-based, social housing-focused, Orchard Information Systems and Castleton TechnologyHousing Partners becomes the latest addition to the stable, in what has become an increasingly active market that MRI seems keen to consolidate, as the housing sector turns to both traditional software and emerging technologies to deliver better services and support tenants.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: acquisition   software   housing  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

Better book-to-bill bolsters DXC’s spirits

LogoAnnouncing its Q121 results, struggling IT services heavyweight DXC Technology pointed to a book-to-bill ratio of 1.2x as evidence that it is executing on its transformation journey. Revenue, however, for the three months to 30th June totalled $4.5b, down 5.9% yoy and 5.7% qoq on a constant currency basis. The net loss for the period was $199m (Q120 $168m net profit), albeit this number was dragged down by a series of exceptional items totalling $330m. These included restructuring costs, transaction and separation costs, and amortization of acquired intangibles.

On a segment basis, the company’s Global Infrastructure Services (GIS) unit – essentially DXC’s traditional outsourcing business - remained on a downward trajectory. Turnover for the quarter declined by 12.4% yoy and 6.1% sequentially to $2.33b as service terminations, contract run-off’s and price cutting continued to bite.

Better news came from the more digital and SI centric Global Business Services unit where revenue increased by 2.4% yoy to $2.17b. Although COVID took its toll here with the qoq top line contracting by 5.2%, this segment managed to deliver a strong sales performance signing $3.5b of orders (Q120 $2.4b) to generate a book to bill ratio of 1.6x.

There was steady progress too on DXC’s “strategic alternatives” – its term for the exit from of its Healthcare Software, US State and Local Health and Human Services, Horizontal BPS and Workplace and Mobility businesses. The first of these was sold in July to Dedalus for $525m (see here) and the second is expected to be bought during the current quarter.

Looking ahead, the company expects Q221 revenues to stabilise, margins to improve and a book-to-bill of 1x. DXC’s share price is up 8.5% since the results announcement.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison

Tags: results   outsourcing   SI  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

Pulsant strengthens leadership team

pulPulsant  is expanding its leadership team with the appointment of Stephen Ball as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and Simon Michie as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Both appointments are significant and underpin Pulsant’s key strategic aims. Ball joins to drive the firm's go-to-market approach, a key focus area for the firm this year. The addition of Michie gives weight to Pulsant’s ability to create a stronger vision for technology and service development. With a senior figure driving that process, we also expect to see Pulsant undertake tighter management of the product set, keeping it more closely aligned with its core position as a provider of regional data centres and private cloud platforms. With a permeant CSO and CTO on board, CEO Rob Coupland has added more depth to his leadership team, which is a good thing for customers as well as Pulsant.

Pulsant is currently focused on refining five key elements of the business: Its go-to-market, product streamlining, systems & tools, people & culture and customer experience. Refining these areas should help Pulsant develop a more differentiated approach, with customers once again the beneficiaries.

During the period of lockdown, like others, Pulsant saw a slowdown in new business and larger projects put on hold. Looking out to the remainder of the year, management is cautiously optimistic that growth will be “muted” rather than characterised by material decline. It has a focus in the mid-market, where many organisations are running very small tech teams on very tight budgets. Pulsant has observed that even with Business Continuity Plans in place, some mid-market organisations remained woefully unprepared for the fallout of the pandemic. There is now, however, an opportunity to not just ensure preparedness but to also reassess how technology requirements need to change to support what is likely to be a permeant shift in where and how people work (for example, collaboration and security requirements). Given the core tech role Pulsant plays for many of its customers, we expect there to be plenty of opportunities for it to help them re-think their tech priorities and set a slightly different course.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: leadership   appointments  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

Genpact continues to grow in Q2

GenpactGenpact was another major SITS player to report its quarterly results towards the end of last week. Given the state of the wider market and the impact Covid is having on client industries, a 2% YoY growth in revenues (to $900m) looks like a solid performance although operating income, down 15% YoY to $90m (with a margin of 10%), shows the impact the virus is having on costs. Revenue from former parent GE represents 13% of Genpact’s business and this declined by 2% YoY in the Quarter. Revenue from its wider client base grew 3% YoY to $783m.

We already knew that Genpact was heading into Covid in pretty good shape with a robust set of Q1 results underpinned by the firms accelerated pivot toward digital and transformation activities. The strategic tie up with Deloitte, announced last week, will only help support this and looks like a smart move for both parties with a complementary fit skills wise.  Whilst Q2 has seen a deterioration in business, results were better than expected and certainly look positive relative to peers. 

Genpact is now providing full-year guidance expecting revenue to be between $3.63 to $3.67 billion, representing growth of between 3% to 4%.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: results  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

RESEARCH for uncertain times: Market data and competitor insights

During times of such uncertainty, our talented team at TechMarketView is doing all it can to support clients as they make crucial decisions. As well as providing customised research and advisory, we have recently published two major reports providing market and supplier analysis.

Clients can read UK SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2020-2023 and its companion report, UK SITS Supplier Rankings 2020, for the definitive view of the UK Software and IT Services scene.   SR

In such an extraordinary year, defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdowns, TechMarketview’s expert analysts have created market forecasts for the next four years based on two market scenarios.

Scenario A is based on our most optimistic view of prospects for the UK SITS market. It is founded on the presumption that the UK SITS market will suffer a relatively shallow reverse in fortunes during 2020 as a result of the pandemic, and will rebound fairly promptly thereafter, as the wider UK economy enjoys a V-shaped recovery.

Scenario B takes a far more cautious view of the prospects for future growth and is based on the UK SITS market experiencing a sharp decline during 2020. It assumes that both technology spend and the wider UK economy will remain in recession during 2021, with the UK SITS market not returning to growth until 2022. If this outcome comes to pass, by 2023 the UK SITS Market will be worth approximately £4bn less than under our more optimistic, Scenario A.

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.

Alongside the Market Trends & Forecast report, clients should read UK SITS Supplier Rankings 2020, our analysis of the largest 60 suppliers in the UK SITS market. It follows detailed research into over 200 publicly quoted and privately held companies.

Holding on to its number one spot is Capita, in spite of a notable revenue decline in 2019. However, powering into second place is TCS (see The Rise and Rise of TCS), thanks to mega deal wins - many of which have been in Banking and Financial Services. The rankings reflect the changes in the market, and in particular how the long-standing suppliers are managing to balance heritage Software and IT/Business Process Services with new propositions.

To make sure you are prepared to respond, read the research:


If you are not yet a client, please contact my colleague, Deb Seth, to find out how you can gain access to this invaluable research.

And don’t forget, you can engage directly with the TechMarketView analyst team with one of our virtual engagements, customised to YOUR organisation’s needs.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: forecasts   competitoranalysis  

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

Log my Care raises funds to enhance care home tech

Log my Care logoCareTech startup Log my Care (LMC Software Ltd) has raised £600k in an early-stage funding round led by RYSE Asset Management. The new investment brings the total raised to date to c.£1.1m.

The London-based business, which was founded in 2017, has developed a management system for care homes. The system includes the Care Office management portal, which is designed to oversee care and delegate tasks, and the Carer App, which enables carers to manage their tasks and record the care provided. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the company also developed a coronavirus monitoring system that provides care homes with symptom tracking tools.

Log my Care operates a freemium model, where its Core Module, provided free of charge, can be supplemented by a series of premium modules to enhance functionality. The company is planning to use the new funds to develop more tools and expand its customer base.  

There is a ongoing need to digitalise and streamline social care and it is an area that is attracting growing interest from investors. Tools such as those provided by Log my Care will play a key role in relieving the pressures in the sector.

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: funding   startup   app   caretech  

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Monday 10 August 2020

Robust Ideagen snaps up Qualsys

Ideagen logoIdeagen, which provides information management software to highly regulated industries, has today announced another acquisition and confirmed that trading remains robust with continued demand for its products, particularly from the financial services, pharmaceutical and US Federal sectors.

The acquisition is Qualsys, a fast-growing supplier of electronic quality management software (EQMS), which Ideagen is buying for a net consideration of £15.6m in cash. Qualsys’ management accounts for the year to end February 2020 show revenues of £3.1m and PBT of £0.4m. Annualised recurring revenue (ARR) is now c£2.9m, an increase of 38% over the last three years, and is expected to be at least £7m by April 2022. The acquisition is due to be modestly earnings enhancing this year, adding £0.6m to Ideagen’s adjusted EBITDA in FY21 and £1.5m the following year. 

It is no surprise to see Ideagen continuing on the acquisition trail, with the addition following hot on the heels of the Workrite acquisition in March and Redland Solutions and Optima Diagnostics in 2019. Qualsys looks to be an excellent fit with strong potential to drive future growth. The SME, which boasts over 150 customers including Diageo, Unilever and BT, is a rare example of a successful services turned product company. Founded in Sheffield in 2001 as a consulting company advising on ISO compliance, Qualsys has evolved into a software business through the development of EQMS, launching a cloud-native version of the software (Version 7) last year. It’s this cloud-native product that is particularly appealing to Ideagen, providing an opportunity to accelerate the development of its own Q-Pulse software. Qualsys V7 will be integrated into Ideagen’s cloud platform and its sales engine harnessed to accelerate ARR growth further. 

As for general trading, it’s reassuring to see that Ideagen’s business model remains resilient with customer retention and cash generation largely unaffected by COVID-19. Trading in Q1 is described as ‘robust’ with notable contract awards from KPMG, GSK, Medtronics and Bank of Montreal. Whilst the aviation sector remains ‘suppressed by stable’ as a result of COVID-19 challenges, other sectors are performing well, giving the management – which took steps to shore up 2021 performance in April - ‘every confidence’ that the business will meet market expectations over the coming months.

Posted by: Tola Sargeant

Tags: trading   acquisition   software  

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Monday 10 August 2020

Conduent sees green shoots in Q2

ConduentBusiness process Services (BPS) player Conduent published Q2 results towards the end of last week that saw both revenue and EBITDA land above expectations. The firm also saw its strongest quarterly performance for new contract signings since being spun out of Xerox several years ago.  

Signs look promising that Conduent is moving in the right direction under the leadership of new CEO Cliff Skelton, having enacted a major cost reduction programme and strategic review earlier this year. This has seen over $100m trimmed from costs and whilst quarterly revenue declined 8.6% on the previous quarter to a tad over $1bn and EBITDA fell 3.5% to $110m, this was mainly down to business lost over the previous twelve months. 

Conduent is being helped by the performance of its Public Sector businesses driven in particular by larger volumes in the Government payments space and its Transportation business proving to be more resilient than expected. New business signings have been particularly strong with a Total Contract Value (TCV) of $623m, up 90% YoY and 92% QoQ. 

Whilst Conduent’s business will continue to shrink as a result of the last couple of years of divestments and contract attrition, recent sales activity and the wider strategic review, coupled with its response to Covid does appear to be showing some “green shoots” for 2021.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: results  

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Monday 10 August 2020

Digital Innovation Farm to be established in Gloucestershire

Hartpury LogoHartpury University and Hartpury College (Hartpury) in Gloucestershire has been allocated £1.25m in government funding to help create a Digital Innovation Farm. The investment is part of an £11.3m funding package secured by GFirst LEP, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Gloucestershire, from the nationwide Getting Building Fund programme.

Hartpury, a specialist education provider in agriculture, animal, equine, sport and veterinary nursing, is trying to establish Gloucestershire as the lead AgriTech county in the UK. In February 2020, it formally opened the £2m Hartpury Agri-Tech Centre to help showcase the production, welfare and financial improvements that smart farming technology can bring to farmers and producers. The new Digital Innovation Farm is the latest component in its plans to help shape the future of digital farming in the UK and beyond.

The Digital Innovation Farm will include the National Centre for Agricultural Data Management and Interpretation, which is intended to assist the industry in its advancement of agricultural technology, data and security. It will also create new innovation and demonstration workspace for SMEs operating within the AgriTech sector.

The project was one of over 300 to receive funding through the £900m Getting Building Fund (GBF), which was announced by the Prime Minister in June. The GBF is part of the plan to invest in 'shovel-ready' housing and infrastructure projects intended to aid economic recovery and mitigate the impact of the pandemic in England.

With recent research estimating the global population will grow from 7.8bn (2020) to peak in 2064 at 9·7bn there is an urgent need to ascertain how to feed an increasing number of people. The situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, with food security rising up the political agenda in many countries. (The UK government recently announced a £24m package to apply data analytics, AI and robotics to UK farming as part of the UKRI's Transforming Food Production challenge.) Agriculture will need to become more efficient, and fast, which will mean AgriTech becoming an increasing focus for investors.

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: startup   investment   government   innovation   agriculture   farmtech   argitech  

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Monday 10 August 2020

*NEW RESEARCH* The Rise and Rise of TCS

CoverIn June 2020, TechMarketView published its annual rankings of the leading suppliers of software, IT and business process services (SITS) to the UK market, UK Software and IT Services Rankings 2020.

Rising to second place was TCS, now one of the world’s largest and most respected tech companies, beating IBM and Accenture for the first time for any Indian Heritage Provider.

This CompanyViews report traces the history of TCS in the UK, highlighting some of the key milestones that saw the company grow to become one of the most successful players in the UK SITS market.

This report is authored by TechMarketView Co-founder and Managing Partner Anthony Miller, widely respected as the UK’s preeminent commentator on the Indian offshore services scene, and includes insight from interviews with all TCS UK Managing Directors since 1999.

The Rise and Rise of TCS is available for download by all subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service.

Posted by: HotViews Editor

Tags: offshore  

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Monday 10 August 2020

Proptech Mashroom looks to the future with Future Fund loan

logoI misread the name of London-based property rental start-up Mashroom as ‘Mushroom’ and thought they were riffing on the verse from the late, great Lonnie Donegan hit, “My Old Man’s a Dustman”, which ran: My dustbin's absolutely full of toadstools! How do you know its full? ‘Cause there’s not mushroom inside! OK, maybe not – it is Monday morning after all.

Anyway, Mashroom seems like a good idea but with a risky business model. It’s basically a property lettings and landlord/tenant communication platform which is free to use by both landlords and tenants. Landlords can advertise their properties (via Zoopla and Rightmove) and handle all the necessaries online at no charge.

So how does Mashroom generate revenue? Through offering landlords optional third-party services such tenant referencing (£15 per tenant), property photography (£120), inventory checks (£90+), gas safety certificates, etc. I’m also assuming (though it’s not stated) that Mashroom gets a sliver of a cut from Zoopla and Rightmove if the lead comes from Mashroom. Tenants can avail themselves of Mashroom’s deposit replacement option (essentially an insurance plan), where a one-off payment covers the deposit value.

Founded in 2018, Mashroom has just raised £4m in convertible loan notes from the UK Government’s Future Fund and existing investors. This brings total funding to date to £7m.

There are lots of start-ups playing in the property rental market, such as Canopy (see Backer throws a £2m canopy around Canopy), Flatfair (see Flatfair raises dosh for controversial ‘no-deposit’ tenancy) and Reposit (see Reposit raises to charge tenants non-refundable 'deposit'). These focus on the deposit financing side with some other services, such as insurance, and get their revenues from commissions on the deals. In contrast, Mashroom gives away its core proposition free in the hope that Landlords (in particular) will buy its optional services. But will that leave mushroom for profit I wonder?

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup   PropTech  

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Monday 10 August 2020

Capita signs £355m TfL extension

CapitaCapita announced this morning that it has signed a series of contract extensions with Transport for London (TfL) to continue to manage London’s Congestion Charge, Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

TfLThe combined deal is worth £355m to Capita and includes an extension to the existing schemes, running to October 2026, and some new work associated with the expansion of ULEZ, Direct Vision Standards (DVS), LEZ and their operations over the same period.

This is clearly good news for Capita, given both the tough state of the market and its challenging first six months of the year. TfL has become a key client for Capita, and an account that has been grown significantly over recent years benefiting from the firm’s approach to relationship management. In addition to today’s announcement, Capita landed a major network deal with TfL just a couple of weeks ago (see here for more detail).

The contract extensions are also in the digital “sweet spot” that Capita is so keen to mine and will see the firm migrate the existing technology that processes some 1.5m images daily and operates the Congestion Charge, LEZ and ULEZ, to the cloud. Capita expects to recruit 900 new staff to deliver the expanded service which in a sign of the times will be mainly working remotely and encouraged to work from home.

Intelligent transport remains a market with huge potential and where both Greater London and Capita remain market leaders. It will be interesting to see, after years of false starts, which cities finally follow London’s lead and invest, taking the opportunity of a Covid-reset to “green” their urban environments.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: contract   transport  

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Monday 10 August 2020

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Friday 07 August 2020

Klarity: Back to the Workplace solution

DelfinHealth logoDocHQ logoTechnology to support the ‘back to the workplace’ move is a hotspot as organisations strive to create COVID-secure environments, so solutions are being created and existing tools repurposed or extended at pace. UK startups Delfin Health and DocHQ have joined forces to provide Klarity, an AI/ML-based ‘back to the workplace’ solution designed to predict, monitor and test the health and safety of the workforce as people return to their workplaces. What is different about this health and COVID-19 risk assessment tool is that employees are in control of their data. 

Delfin Health provides a service that allows for the collection and management all individuals’ health data, while DocHQ provides a health and wellbeing platform and services and capabilities from both solutions have been combined to create Klarity.

In addition to daily symptom checking and a proprietary testing process and interpretation (based on guidelines), it also includes a  personal risk assessment using explainable AI to determine the severity of COVID-19 risk for each employee, which is designed to help reassure returning employees. Klarity provides employers with an overview of each employee’s health status plus actionable insights, while enabling employees to only share relevant data if they chose to. 

Relying on individuals to share data has its challenges in terms of participation but the element of choice rather than compulsion could go a long way in getting individuals on side. There is a need for ‘back to the workplace’ enablers but there are privacy considerations that need to be thoroughly worked through too.

For insight into the booming ‘back to the workplace’ sector, look out for our forthcoming report: Priority technology for COVID-19 business recovery.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: software   startups   covid-19  

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Friday 07 August 2020

CCS opens artificial intelligence DPS

CCS logoThe Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has opened the Artificial Intelligence Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) Agreement (RM6200) for bids. The organisation is establishing more focused frameworks to run alongside the G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes & Specialists (DOS) frameworks; the first of these—the Automation Marketplace DPS—opened for bids in February and went live in March.

The new AI DPS, which is due to go live in September, is intended to provide central government and wider public sector departments with the opportunity to procure an extensive range of artificial intelligence services via a comprehensive number of suppliers. The initial term of the DPS is expected to run to March 2022 to keep in line with the Automation Marketplace DPS, but there will be opportunities for two 12 month extensions. The estimated value of the DPS is £25m in the first year, growing to £50m in year two and remaining steady at £50m per annum in year three and four if it is extended.

Buyers will be able to enter into a contract with a supplier for up to a maximum of four years. If they are new to AI they will be able to procure services through a discovery phase, but more experienced buyers will be able to purchase licencing, customisation and support services, or access to end-to-end partnerships.

The type of technology includes, but is not limited to: AI software applications; augmented decision making; data analytics using AI; the development and implementation of intelligent virtual assistants and chatbots; and medical AI technology. As detailed in the Guidelines for AI Procurement published by the Office for Artificial Intelligence in June, suppliers will be expected to adhere to the Data Ethics Framework. Suppliers applying to provide medical AI technology will also be required to demonstrate compliance with sector specific standards and guidance.  

AI technology and associated services are already available via G-Cloud, DOS, Automation Marketplace DPS and SPARK DPS, but the specific focus of the AI DPS should make it easier for specialist suppliers to highlight their expertise in this rapidly expanding area of the public sector market.

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: government   framework   AI   opportunity   DPS  

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