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Tuesday 11 May 2021

AWS to host NHS Scotland's National Digital Platform

AWS logoAmazon Web Services (AWS) has been awarded a contract by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to provide public cloud services to support Scotland's National Digital Platform. The 10-year deal, with options of two and five year extensions, is worth £15m.

NES is the body and a national health board within NHS Scotland, which is responsible for developing and delivering healthcare education and training for the NHS, health and social care sector and other public bodies. NES Digital Service (NDS) was set up by the Scottish Government in June 2018, following the publication of the Digital Health and Care Strategy for Scotland (see Scotland’s joined-up strategy for digital health and care).

Central to the work of the NDS is delivering on the Government's commitment to establish a National Digital Platform, which is intended to enable the creation and use of information at source and facilitate the interoperability of existing and new health and care technologies. When the strategy was published it stated the intention was to deliver this platform through the development of a new architecture, secure cloud-based services and the use of common shared international standards.

The cloud infrastructure that AWS will be providing will be used to host the platform including: repositories for storing structured and unstructured clinical data, web services to power web and mobile applications, an integration layer and web apps.

This is a good win for AWS as it looks to build its position outside of its core central government market in the public sector. The NHS e-Referral Service and the NHS 111 Directory of Services completed their migration to AWS at the start of 2020 (see First two major NHS services move to the cloud) and during the pandemic AWS provided the infrastructure for the COVID-19 data store and the NHS Test & Trace website application. However, most contract activity in recent months has concerned the transition of AWS' existing customers to the One Government Value Agreement it established last year (see AWS adds MoJ to its OGVA and work back); it has now secured contracts worth over £300m with central government departments and agencies since the agreement was established. 

Posted by: Dale Peters at 09:51

Tags: nhs   contract   cloud   hosting   data   healthcare  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

EY acquires Pythagoras for Microsoft skills

Pythagoras logo

EY has acquired UK-based Microsoft Gold Partner (and TechMarketView ‘Little British Battler’Pythagoras, in a move that supports EY’s ambition to increase the range of technology services it provides to clients, bringing additional capabilities across Microsoft Business Applications, such as Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Azure.

Founded in 1999, privately held Pythagoras achieved Gold Partner status in 2006 and has been a firm force in the UK Microsoft partner environment since. Backed by tech investor Vin Murria, who owned 50% of the business, Pythagoras grew 15% in FY20 (to end of March) reporting turnover of £10.45m and PBT of £1.1m, with nearly £4m in cash in the bank. In May 2020, it acquired the K3 Customer Engagement business (see 
K3 Dynamics UK assets split across three buyers), adding to its growth. Pythagoras has three offices based in Maidenhead, Solihull and London, employs c118 people and has more than 140 clients, with a focus on the higher education, local government and financial services sectors. Although the terms of the deal were not made public, with Vin on-board we suspect the acquisition was a good result for her and co-founders Julian and Emma Stone!

EY logoFor EY, Pythagoras brings skills and capabilities to support its consulting clients with the design and provision of Microsoft technologies, as well as advise them on strategy. The deal is part of EY’s wider growth strategy in the UK and Ireland and follows the acquisitions of SAP consultancy AgilityWorks and tax services business Frank Hirth in the last 18 months. Strong relationships with technology providers are now essential for the Big 4 and acquisitions like Pythagoras and AgilityWorks will support EY’s efforts to catch up with rivals Deloitte and PwC (see our report Consulting Supplier Prospects 2021 and beyond published last month). 

Posted by: Tola Sargeant at 09:49

Tags: acquisition   M&A   consultancy  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

Home Office OSCT NCDS lets raft of contracts

Home Office logoThere has been a raft of contract announcements from the Home Office Security & Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) National Communications Data Service (NCDS), the organisation that gives security, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies legal access to communications data.

The beneficiaries of the contracts, which are all a similar <£10m size over either a two or three-year period, span a range of diverse companies: CGI (Design Assurance, £9.5m), BAE Systems Applied Intelligence (Engineering Delivery, £9.9m), PA Consulting (Engineering Development, £9.4m), Roke Manor Research (Business & Data Analysis, £8.2m) and LA International Computer Consultants (PPM & Business Change, £7.3m). All were call-offs from a framework contract.

The contracts follow on from the award in December last year of a £30m contract, which made Leidos the Managed Service Provider (MSP) for the NCDS’ Agile Data Retention and Disclosure Service (ADRS) project, with responsibility for managing cloud providers and solutions suppliers (see Leidos wins £30m Home Office OCST contract).

Further opportunities are also on the horizon. In March, NCDS gave notice that later this year it would be looking to put in place ‘service contracts’ to facilitate the delivery of its Communications Data (CD) applications and the AWS infrastructure in which they reside. The contract will cover 2nd level and 3rd level support (or a DevOps solution), Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to deliver minor enhancements, and an AWS infrastructure support function. The opportunity is valued at c£32m.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole at 09:33

Tags: publicsector   centralgovernment   contract  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

High profile Premier League win for Oracle

Oracle logoOracle recently added a popular customer to its UK client list as the Premier League opted to take its cloud infrastructure, analytics and machine learning capabilities to power live-in match stats for viewers.

The terms of the contract were not disclosed but given the high profile and passion around the Premier League it is a strategic win  that will put Oracle’s capabilities in the limelight. 

Called 'Match Insights - Powered by Oracle', it is expected to come into play at the start of the 2021-22 season, which should be in August. The analytics tools will provide Average Formation to track the positions of players when their team is in and out of possession, providing viewers with insight into how teams react to their opposition's tactics and  strategies. Live Win Probability will provide  stats on the potential match outcomes based on simulations.  Momentum Tracker will measure the likelihood of the team in possession scoring a goal in the next 10 seconds. 

In-play data to complement live sports action and enrich the viewer experience has become more popular, with deployments across football, tennis and cricket and scope for plenty more. The is the second high profile sports contract win for Oracle in recent months -  in March it announced a contract with the Red Bull Honda F1 team.

Posted by: Angela Eager at 09:07

Tags: contract   cloud   software   machinelearning  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

Genpact sees Q1 uptick in analytics

GenpactBusiness Process Operations specialist Genpact saw total revenue grow 1% (in constant currency) in Q1 to $946m with growth held back by declines in its footprint with former parent GE. Adjusted operating profit for the Group was $163m, up 20% YoY with a corresponding margin of 17.2% (14.7% in Q1 2020).

Revenue from its ‘Global Clients’ (i.e., Non-GE) came in at $853m, up 5% YoY (constant currency) and now represents 90% of all revenue, including $9m of revenue from some recently GE-divested businesses. The GE ‘account’ generated $93m of revenue in the quarter, down 24% YoY as some businesses were divested by its former parent and IT projects reduced due to market uncertainty.

However, it was Transformation Services, which includes Genpact’s consulting, analytics and digital arm, that was the real ‘star of the show’, growing by some 20% and includes the contribution from the recent acquisition of data engineering and analytics firm Enquero. This part of the business now represents more than 30% of total Global Client revenue and the growth in analytics more generally was a real highlight of the quarter, growing 30% with Genpact’s Global Client base.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 09:04

Tags: results   bps  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

*UKHotViewsExtra* CDDO tackling biggest barriers to UK Government digital progress

Jo Davinson photoAt the end of April, the Institute for Government (IfG) hosted an event entitled ‘Future Digital Government’ with speakers including Paul Wilmott (Chair of the Central Digital and Data Office, CDDO), Jo Davinson (Executive Director, CDDO - pictured), and Tom Read (CEO, Government Digital Service). You can watch the event here.

The CDDO was established in January this year. And, four months in, the event allowed the trio to shed more light on priority focus areas.

TechMarketView readers might remember our opinion piece following the establishment of the new organisation (see New UK Government Central Digital & Data Office), in which we espoused the move and expressed our renewed confidence in the ability of those in Whitehall to maintain digital momentum.

Listening to the IfG event, we were impressed with the willingness of those leading the charge at the CDDO to tackle some of the biggest problems that have hampered the Government’s digital progression. Read more in UKHotViewsExra.

TechMarketView subscribers can access our analysis via the link above. If you are not yet a subscriber - or are not yet sure if your organisation has a corporate subscription - please contact Deb Seth to find out more. 

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole at 08:43

Tags: centralgovernment   policy   organisationalstructure   digital   leadership   data   public+sector  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

Rimini Street continues to move forward

Rimini Street logoPerformance at Rimini Street is more measured these days as the company matures but was still very creditable in Q121 with revenue up a comfortable 12.6% to $87.9m. At $88.5m -$90.5m Q2 guidance is modest but the company says it is on track to reach its target of $1bn annual revenue by 2026 and is looking at full year 2021 revenue in the $370m-$380m range.

There is evidence of new customers and renewals as organisations opt for Rimini Street support services for SAPand Oracle implementations, and it is also a partner to Salesforce. Recent UK wins include a Nottinghamshire County Council renewal and Kent County Council coming on board as a new customer. 

The $2.5m net income of the year ago quarter reverted to a $3.6m net loss as the company continued to invest in product development and people. During the quarter it raised $57m from a follow-on public offering and also completed a $10m buyback of face-value shares for an approximate 10% discount. Post period it  completed the buyback of $60m face-value stock, plus make-whole of approximately $2.3m. 

Rimini Street is investing for growth and stability. It has set itself an ambitious target but also a decent timeframe to get there in a market where there is growth potential.

Posted by: Angela Eager at 08:36

Tags: results   itservices   IToperations  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

Capita appoints new CFO

CapitaCapita has appointed Tim Weller as its new Chief Financial Officer effective from tomorrow Weller joins from G4S where he has been CFO since 2016 and will be joining the Capita Board as an Executive Director.

Tim WellerA quick look at Weller’s bio shows an extremely experienced CFO having previously held CFO positions with Innogy an energy company, RWE Thames Water and United Utilities Group. Weller was also CFO of Cable & Wireless Worldwide between 2010 and 2011 and CFO of Petrofac Limited between 2011 and October 2016. Prior to that he spent his early career at KPMG, where he trained as a chartered accountant, rising to partner in 1997, before joining Granada as director of financial control. Weller is also a Non-Exec at the Carbon Trust.

Weller replaces Capita’s interim CFO Gordon Boyd who steps down the Board now that a permanent Finance head has been found.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 08:08

Tags: appointment   Capita  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

Orange Bank selects Atos for its digital workplace

AtosFrench owned, technology, consulting and business services provider, Atos, has been selected by Orange Bank, as its global provider of digital workplace services. The contract will see Atos deliver its cloud-based Advanced Digital Workplace solution, with the aim of providing a unified work experience across all devices and locations.

The cloud-based service covers 1,200 workstations, incorporating Microsoft O365 and including support to help employees of the mobile bank adapt to the new work environment. The solution is underpinned by Atos' Security Operations Centre (SOC) and equipped with dedicated Endpoint Detection Response (EDR) to detect and analyse abnormal behaviour, in real-time.

Flexible, collaborative working from remote locations is a key trend emerging from the pandemic. The coronavirus has led financial services providers to “reset and reimagine” their operations and business models. The principle of a distributed workforce has been tested and proven and many organisations have realised that a permanent change is on the cards (see: ”Rush hour on hold as 80% adopt hybrid working”).

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 07:33

Tags: banking   Atos  

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

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Monday 10 May 2021

Women with autism

GretaThankyou for your responses to my Elon Musk and Autism post earlier today.

A reader rightly chastised me for not mentioning a single woman in my list of notable people with autism. Also that the ‘gift’ of autism doesn’t just manifest itself by being a brilliant scientist.

So let me add Emily Dickinson (poet), Barbara McClintock (scientist), Temple Grandin (animal scientist), Susan Boyle (singer), Daryl Hannah (actress) and Greta Thunberg (climate activist) as people somewhere on the autistic spectrum.

I’m sure there are many others. But pleased to repair the gender balance on my list.

Posted by: Richard Holway at 16:13

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Monday 10 May 2021

Jaguar Land Rover appoints Accenture to work alongside Spark44

Acceenture logoJaguar Land Rover has appointed Accenture to support it as it establishes its new global marketing model. As part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine Strategy, the company is seeking to transform with the aim of creating a modern, electric-first, luxury business consisting of two distinct and highly desirable brands. The new marketing model is set to play a central role in achieving that goal.

Jaguar Land Rover is responding to an evolving market landscape that is driving the expectations of its customers. The brand has always been associated with the creation of distinct luxury vehicles. Now, the new marketing model puts far greater emphasis on delivering a more personalised ownership experience for customers defined by new levels of intimacy. That will require turning to both creativity and technology to develop connected services. 

It is the need for a combination of creativity and digital excellence that has resulted in a new partnership. Spark44, Jaguar Land Rover’s successful client-agency joint venture, was created in 2011. With ten years of experience under its belt it has built unique knowledge of the brands and customer touchpoints. Accenture will, therefore, work alongside Spark44 so that Jaguar Land Rover can leverage the combined capabilities of the two organisations. While Spark44 will bring its creative skills, Accenture will bring consultancy, marketing services, and technology capabilities. Jaguar Land Rover and Spark 44 will work with both Accenture Interactive and Accenture Operations. Within the latter, it will be able to leverage Accenture’s SynOps platform for the enablement of AI-powered insights and automated production.

By bringing together Accenture and Spark44, Jaguar Land Rover is acknowledging the central role that data sources will play in the future of brand communications if a seamless end-to-end customer experience is to become a reality. Best-of-breed data expertise and creative capabilities can rarely, if ever, be found within a single organisation.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole at 09:31

Tags: contract   marketing   digital   customerexperience   data   automotive   marketingautomation  

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Monday 10 May 2021

Oxford Nanopore close to £2.5bn valuation with new funding

logoHarwell-based DNA sequencing technology innovator, Oxford Nanopore Technologies has slipped in a cheeky funding round ahead of its announced – but not yet scheduled – IPO on the London Stock Exchange (see DNA tester Oxford Nanopore starts sequence for an IPO).

The somewhat unexpected raise brought in a further £195m, of which £125m came from new investors Temasek, Wellington Management, M&G Investments and Nikon. Existing investors topped up the balance, including LSE-listed IP commercialisation business, IPGroup, which invested a further £18.7m, reducing its stake to 14.5% but at a slightly higher book value, £359m, suggesting a valuation of £2.48bn for the company. According to market chatter, Oxford Nanopore’s IPO is mooted to value the company somewhere between £4-7bn.

As far as I’m concerned, Oxford Nanopore should be counted as one of the heroes in the fight against COVID-19.

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 09:19

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Monday 10 May 2021

Distributed raises £5m for on-demand talent

DistributedWe first covered “future of work” player Distributed just over a year ago, when they announced their partnership with Capita’s scale-up development unit Capita Scaling Partner (see here).

The London-headquartered start-up has now gone onto raise £5m in Series A funding led by Guinness Asset Management with participation from Fuel Ventures, bringing total funding to date up to £9m.

Distributed addresses a very real and pressing need within the digital skills market. Pretty much every firm now is to a greater or lesser extent a “tech business”, all competing for the same relatively small pool of digital talent. This lack of skills has driven up salaries and time to hire and on the whole, driven down quality as talent gets increasingly spread thin and wide. As a consequence, many clients are unable to deliver digital projects to quality and cost.

The start up offers clients access to a distributed workforce (that can be located anywhere) of qualified and vetted freelance coders and developers that organisations can deploy on their digital projects. Distributed’s USP is that it provides a platform (Elastic Teams™) designed to make this distributed workforce collegiate, work together and acting as a genuine team via a strong staff engagement model.

Funding is to be used help Distributed scale up its operations and improve the platform, and will come as a nice addition to the Capita tie-up which has already given the firm access to a wider range of enterprise customers.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 09:16

Tags: funding   skills  

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Monday 10 May 2021

iSIZE gets help from Octopus to squeeze video bandwidth

logoThe quest for ever more efficient data compression algorithms is as much being spurred on by the ‘green’ agenda (i.e. less ‘grunt’ needed to shift data) as it is on bandwidth cost and image quality.

This is certainly apparent from the ‘environmental’ messaging surrounding the latest funding round for video encoding platform, iSIZE, which recently closed a $6.3m Series A raise led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from existing investors. Spun out from Oxford University in 2017, this latest funding comes almost exactly a year since iSize's last seed round (see iSIZE gets dosh to downsize video datastreams).

Good on them!

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:54

Tags: funding   startup  

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Monday 10 May 2021

Elon Musk and autism

MuskI’ve written about Elon Musk – both his endeavours and the man himself – many times on HotViews. Indeed I, and a few other readers, met him at the Prince’s Trust Leadership Group Dinner back on 28th Jan 2016.  You will also be aware that I have often said that I believed Musk was autistic. I have family experiences of this and it is not too difficult to spot the signs.

Elon Musk hosted the popular US Saturday Night Live show this weekend where he stated publicly that he had Aspergers (a now rather out-of-date term to describe people somewhere on the autistic scale) He then went on to say “Look I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works…To anyone who’s been offended, I just want to say I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”

I’ve also written many times that, although autism at its extremes can be hugely problematic both for those with the condition and their carers, it can also lead to brilliance. Back in 2013 I reported how SAP were deliberately targeting autistic people as they found they made great programmers. Indeed TechMarketView’s Duncan Aitchison in his excellent report The Digital Skills Divide – Breaking the Bottleneck referenced firms collaborating with the National Autistic Society to find more and better ways of bringing its members into the world of digital work.

Some of the most brilliant people in history have been considered to be somewhere on the autistic scale – Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Sir Isaac Newton, Alan Turing – indeed Nikola Tesla himself.

Elon Musk ‘coming out’ about his autism might encourage a more open debate. Perhaps we might sometimes now consider autism as a gift and not a disability.

Posted by: Richard Holway at 08:43

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Monday 10 May 2021

OnePulse beats stronger with new funding for quick-fire surveys

logoIt’s been four years since quick-fire survey platform OnePulse last raised funding (see OnePulse gets $2m to keep brands’ fingers on your pulse) and since then they’ve launched the product in the US and now only charge in USD. OnePulse has refined its pricing model from solely pay-per-response (then 69p) to a credit-based system for which you pay $1.30 per credit (93p at current FX) to get the response to 3 questions – the maximum you can ask in a survey. However, you can reduce (or eliminate) the per-response fee by taking out an annual subscription – but they don’ t say what that costs.

Founded in London in 2013, and now co-HQ’d in Austin, Texas, OnePulse has raised a further £2m in a funding round led by Blackfinch and Nexus Investments.

When last I wrote about OnePulse, I thought that the idea of limiting surveys to just three questions hit the spot for what you might call the short attention span generation, the main target of its high-profile brand customer base. Indeed, OnePulse now claims to service over 2.5m questions per month, returning 500 responses to clients in an average of 10 minutes.

Seems like OnePulse really does have its finger on the pulse of the consumer.

PS Delighted to see they have changed their Twitter handle from @startpulsing to @OnePulseApp precisely as I had suggested!

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:24

Tags: funding   startup  

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Monday 10 May 2021

*NEW RESEARCH* BPS Operations Supplier Prospects

BPS Ops supplier prospectsThe UK Business Process Services (BPS) market is seeing an unprecedented level of change as both service providers and their clients work to adapt operating models and service delivery to the impact of COVID-19. BPS players are having to transform their own operations at the same time as their clients at record speed, whilst trying to deliver both KPIs and contract profitability.

Moving delivery centres to WFH on mass will have a profound effect on future service delivery, accelerating a range of transformation activities that have been long overdue and needed the “burning platform” of a pandemic to get kick started. In the longer term, we expect service delivery to remain dispersed and geographically fluid with automation investment both increasing and becoming more strategic.

In the short to medium term service providers have the cushion of long-term contracts, whilst risk associated with Covid-19 and Brexit will also drive caution. This should favour incumbents as contracts get renewed and extended until the dust finally settles.

The smartest operators will use 2021 as an opportunity to accelerate their own transformation ahead of the wider industry curve, towards a hybrid robotics, tech-enabled and human delivery model, all necessary to ensure the long-term relevance of the sector.

Our latest BPS Operations Supplier Prospects looks at the Top Ten leading players (by revenue) in the UK SITS BPS Operations market, and assess what they will need to do to be successful now and beyond. We also provide our analysis of the potential hurdles that will prevent suppliers reaching their potential in the short and mid-term.

Subscribers to TechSectorViews can download the BPS Operations Supplier Prospects report by clicking this link. If you are not currently a TechSectorViews subscriber and would like to gain access the report, please contact Deb Seth.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 08:09

Tags: suppliers   newresearch   operations  

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Monday 10 May 2021

NTT Data emphasises its insurance expertise

NTTAs data efficacy increasingly becomes the competitive differentiator within financial services, IT services specialist, NTT Data, is seeking to highlight its vertical specific insurance credentials. To support this goal, the company has launched a dedicated insurance website, emphasising NTT Data’s longstanding experience within the sector alongside its capabilities as an innovation partner.

NTT DATA’s current global strategy has seen the company working to enhance its presence as a trusted brand across a variety of global markets. As part of this ongoing strategic re-alignment, NTT Data recently re-branded its wholly owned, specialist consultancies, everis and itelligence, under the main corporate banner (see: everis and itelligence integrated…).

The Japanese vendor has been performing strongly of late and achieved double-digit growth in the UK during its last fiscal. One of the reasons for this success appears to be NTT Data’s ability to collaborate effectively across the entire group and thus leverage its broad range of specialist capabilities (see: NTT DATA UK…). Globally, NTT DATA’s ambitious goal is to become one of the top 5 companies in the global IT services market by 2025.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 07:55

Tags: insurance   NTTData  

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