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Monday 23 May 2022

Welcoming Computacenter as a sponsor of our TechMarketView Evening 2022!

We are delighted to welcome Computacenter as our fourth sponsor of our 2022 ‘Evening with TechMarketView’ Presentation and Dinner in September!

Computacenter is a leading independent technology partner, trusted by large corporate and public sector organisations. They enable customers to source, transform, and manage their IT infrastructure, delivering digital transformation for over 40 years. Employing over 18,000 people worldwide, they are proud to be an organisation that people actively want to join with a solid reputation built upon powerful and symbiotic partnerships. Computacenter is trusted as a sustainable, agile, and innovative provider of digital technology around the world.

Computacenter

This year our eighth annual event – An Evening with TechMarketView - will be held at the magnificent Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in Portland Place London, from 6.30pm on Thursday 22nd September.

Tickets are now on sale for the event, and can be purchased individually or as tables of ten. Clients of TechMarketView can also take advantage of the discounted pricing. You can secure your place here.

Why not join our current sponsors Computacenter, InterSystems, Aqilla and ScaleUp Group and enjoy the many benefits of your chosen  sponsorship package?

Contact Paula Miles-Mathewson to learn more about how this event can benefit your business.

Posted by: HotViews Editor at 00:00

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Saturday 21 May 2022

Vin Murria withdraws from M&C Saatchi bidding war with huge profit

Vin MurriaSaatchiThere has never been a sure-fire way of making money. But the closest I have ever come to that is backing Vin Murria wherever she decides to invest. It started over 20 years ago in my days with Elderstreet when she took on the loss-making Computer Software Group in 2002 and sold it for £500m in 2007. Then in 2008  she turned her attention to Advanced Computer Software and grew it from scratch before selling it to Vista in 2015 for £765m. I was a shareholder in both.

Then Vin turned to a more pluralist role becoming an NED at companies such at Softcat, Zoopla, DWF, Finncap, Plum, Orbus, Bunzl etal – all of whose shareholders seem to have prospered during her tenure.

In May 2020, Vin took a stake in the then much troubled M&C Saatchi  and, in Mar 21 was appointed to the M&C Saatchi board. A few weeks later Vin launched her SPAC - AdvancedAdvT. Then in Jan 22, AdvancedAdvT bought a 9.8% stake in M&C Saatchi. There then followed four bids by AdvancedAdvT for M&C Saatchi – the latest last Tuesday for £254m. These were all rebuffed by M&C Saatchi’s board as ‘seriously undervaluing’ the company. Seems they were right because on Friday the board accepted a £310m bid from Next Fifteen. The 18-strong executive had threatened to walk out if Vin took control but backed the Next Fifteen bid.

A failure for Vin?

Well hardly.

On my reckoning, Vin has made a 8x (or more) return on her investment and, together with AdvancedAdvT, has made perhaps up to £50m in the process. As I have declared before, I followed Vin’s lead buying M&C Saatchi shares in 2020 too.

I wonder where Vin will turn her attention next? I’ll be watching closely!

Posted by: Richard Holway at 18:06

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Friday 20 May 2022

*UKHotViewsExtra* Getting to know PSA specialist Kantata

Kantata logoFormed from the merger of Kimble and Mavenlink, Kantata is a dedicated professional services automation (PSA) provider able to come to market with greater scale, resources, a broader portfolio and geographic reach. 

The combination of the ever increasing shift towards a services economy and heightened recognition of the value industry-specific solutions can bring, marks this as a breakout time for both the PSA sector and Kantata. In the HotViewsExtra research note Getting to know PSA specialist Kantata, we explore the high level PSA market trends, the challenges around visibility and the expanding value proposition, and what Kantata aims to bring to the market.

TechMarketView clients can access the research note here. If you’d like details about the range of TechMarketView services, Deb Seth will be happy to help.

Posted by: Angela Eager at 17:11

Tags: software   merger   PSA  

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Friday 20 May 2022

Wayve scales up autonomous vehicle tech with Microsoft supercomputing

Wayve logoUK start-up Wayve is to use supercomputer infrastructure designed for it by Microsoft to further its autonomous vehicle technology development because commercial cloud offerings are not enough for what it has planned. 

Microsoft logoWayve already uses Azure, and Microsoft is an investor in the company having joined the $200m Series B funding round led by Eclipse Ventures in January 2022. Its approach to autonomous vehicles relies on cameras fitted to the outside of the vehicle which enables the system to learn from day-to-day traffic patterns and the behaviour of other drivers, rather than using HD digital maps and rules to operate the vehicle. Notably, Wayve’s camera-first sensing approach is designed to enable vehicles to successfully drive in cities they have not been in before. There is a need to process the 1 trillion bytes of data (about an hour of consumer video) Wayve cars generate every minute, hence the need for supercomputing access to build the machine learning-based models. 

Wayve was able to prove the concept when in 2020 it deployed its system in five UK cities, using the driving skills learned in London, without having to make city-specific adaptations.  With access to much greater processing power Wayve is aiming to scale up for trials on last mile delivery vehicles in the UK – Ocado and Asda are poised to begin trials later this year using Wayve technology in London; they will also use additional data from DPD’s London fleet of vans. Success within commercial fleets would move autonomous vehicles adoption forward considerably and increase confidence in the technology. 

Wayve’s experience highlights the need for compute power to deal with AI/ML requirements. Elsewhere, auto providers working on autonomous vehicles are looking to quantum computing for the solution. Hyundai Motor Company for example, has announced a joint project with quantum computing company IonQ to improve computer functionality for vehicles using quantum-powered AI/ML, to classify images and detect three-dimensional objects faster and more accurately.

Posted by: Angela Eager at 10:13

Tags: iot   AI   ML   autonomousvehicles   partnership  

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Friday 20 May 2022

New market forecasts launching June

Long-time TechMarketView clients will know June is the month we launch our refreshed set of complete market data, buyer trends, and supplier analysis. And 2022 will be no exception!

What is striking about this year, however, is the combination of very strong market growth set against a hugely challenging geopolitical and economic backdrop. The acceleration of digital initiatives in 2020-2021 continues to benefit the tech suppliers mtfpositioned well to serve these needs. Indeed, we have seen some incredible supplier performances (both through 2021 and continuing into this year) reflecting market conditions that are the strongest they have been for many years.  

While the digital transformation journeys of organisations will of course continue, it is essential suppliers have a firm understanding of how the broader picture might impact pace and direction. What are the specific implications for their own businesses and how should strategic direction and priorities be adjusted?

Our two key annual reports – Market Trends & Forecasts and Supplier Rankings – are published through our Foundation Service. They provide unrivalled insight into the UK market (with particular depth in Public Sector and Financial Services) blending robust data with market and supplier analysis built on years of research and understanding.

If you do not have access to the Foundation Service and would like it, please contact Deb Seth.

If you would like one of our team members to present our fully refreshed market data (which explains the Software and IT services market both by type of service and industry) and explain the implications for your business, please contact Chief Research Officer, Kate Hanaghan. (Story picture shows last year's report cover)

Posted by: HotViews Editor at 09:45

Tags: trends   forecasts  

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Friday 20 May 2022

Darktrace AI effective again and Microsoft Zero-day exploits found

DarktraceCybersecurity company Darktrace announced that a UK retailer used Darktrace's AI to stop a cyber-attack attempting to leverage 'BumbleBee', a new malware loader known to be used by Russia-based ransomware group Conti among other cyber-criminal entities.

The retailer was leveraging Darktrace's Self-Learning AI when it was targeted by a cyber-attack. The AI had established an evolving understanding of 'normal' for the company's operations in order to detect the subtle indicators of an emerging cyber-threat. Darktrace’s AI solutions continue to prove their effectiveness, recently also stopping an in-progress ransomware attack on a South African Financial services company – See Cyber-attacks while you work and sleep

Darktrace have had a turbulent week as their stock sank 15% on Wednesday following links with the Mike Lynch/Autonomy fraud case - See The ‘tragedy’ of the Mike Lynch/Autonomy saga continues. The stock price has largely recovered since as Darktrace publicly distanced itself from the case.

Meanwhile at the PWN2OWN security contest event in Vancouver, contestants won $800,000 after successfully exploiting 16 zero-day bugs to hack multiple products, including Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system and the Teams communication platform. In this case finding such exploits by ethical hackers is of course a good thing, if somewhat worrying they were found at all. Vendors have 90 days to develop and release security fixes for all flaws reported at the event.

The risk of ransomware attacks continues to remain high as techniques utilised by threat actors become more sophisticated. Zero-day exploits also continue to rise, Mandiant Threat Intelligence recently observed a record number of zero-day exploits, with 80 in 2021 compared to just 30 in 2020. Google, Microsoft, and Apple products are most frequently targeted. Both of these trends highlight the need for strong cyber resilience as well as a proactive approach to threat detection and prevention.

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 09:34

Tags: ransomware   cybersecurity  

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Friday 20 May 2022

Fujitsu and AWS deepen relationship

fujFujitsu and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have signed a “Strategic Collaboration Agreement” that will see the firms together target the Financial Services and Retail sectors.          

New offerings will be created that will form an “integral” part of the Fujitsu Hybrid IT Service. Hybrid IT is one of seven areas of focus for Fujitsu's new business brand, Fujitsu Uvance. fuj

Specifically, Fujitsu will provide fully managed services on AWS (including cloud infrastructure and services centred on its Finplex financial solution, originally launched in 2016). The Fujitsu team will in addition work more closely with AWS Professional Services to help drive modernisation in FS and Retail customers. Fujitsu is also aiming to put ten new services and applications through the AWS marketplace within the next three years.

The relationship between Fujitsu and AWS goes back a decade and Fujitsu says this latest move will enable the firms to jointly help clients to improve the customer experience for their consumers against a backdrop of “intensifying global competition”. This latest SCA follows the signing of one last year that targeted the mobility industry. Furthermore, there may be more announcements to come with Hirohisa Yamaguchi, Executive Vice President, Vice Head of Global Customer Success, saying Fujitsu hopes “to continue to expand our cooperation in other fields”.

The new SCA echoes a similar announcement made by IBM a few days ago whereby a broad selection of IBM’s software catalogue will be made available as SaaS offerings on AWS. It also follows the announcement by Kyndryl (which was spun-out from IBM last year) that it has made AWS its “preferred cloud provider” and plans to build  its own internal infrastructure in the cloud.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan at 09:05

Tags: financialservices   retail   hybridIT   partnership  

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Friday 20 May 2022

Another milestone for open banking in the UK

TreuLayerIn an important milestone for the UK’s open banking reforms, TrueLayer has facilitated the first live consumer Variable Recurring Payment (VRP) transaction in the UK. The payment was successfully completed by a customer of finance provider “The Credit Thing” via TrueLayer’s recurring payments API.

Within agreed limits, VRPs enable authorised payment providers to complete transactions on behalf of a client via direct, API-enabled, access to their bank account. Previously, only single immediate payments have been permitted, with each transaction having to be individually approved and authenticated.

Unlike direct debit payments, VRPs, offer more flexibility and control. The method is also a more cost-effective alternative as no card fees are incurred and there are fewer operational overheads. The longer-term impact of VRP adoption on the revenue streams of the established players also supports the ambitions of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to shift the balance away from the traditional ecosystem.

The implementation of VRPs was originally planned for the start of 2021, however, the CMA pushed back the deadline due to the impact of the pandemic. In December 2021 NatWest/RBS successfully piloted its first VRP, subsequently adding the functionality to its Payit app. The bank recently became the first UK bank to offer VRP as a recurring payment option through its partnerships with TrueLayer, GoCardless and Crezco.

The adoption of the CMA's open banking reforms has been one of the key drivers of competition and transformation across UK financial services and TrueLayer has been one of the movement’s leading proponents. The variety of services made possible by open banking dataflows is continuing to grow, with lockdown(s) fuelling adoption and the prospect of further change (see: Financial Services Predictions 2022 and Beyond).

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 08:48

Tags: truelayer   open+banking  

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Friday 20 May 2022

The HCL ‘Cup of Two Dreams’ at Old Trafford

HCL Cup eventYesterday I had the privilege to attend the ‘Cup of Two Dreams’ at Old Trafford. The event was hosted by HCL, who are the digital transformation partner of Manchester United and was in support of the Prince’s Trust, a charity close to the heart of both HCL and many of the team here at TechMarketView. The chance to play on the hallowed ground of Old Trafford is a rare one and the event had no shortage of willing participants. In total 6 teams took part from HCL, UK Police Forces, BBC, Cadent Gas, Unilever and of course my own ‘Analysts and Advisors’ team.

It was a fantastic and well organised event, and all in the name of a great cause. We also had the ‘Voice of Old Trafford’ - Alan Keegan, as our commentator and host, as well as guest appearances from former United players John O’Shea and Quinton Fortune.Analyst and Advisors team

Unfortunately, the ‘Analysts & Advisors’ team (featured right) could not be victorious, though we put on a good show in our two games, first losing 2-0 to eventual winners UK Police forces, and then registering a 3-0 Victory over HCL in our second. Well done to all the teams, there was some great games, and an all-round fantastic day of football.

For those of you not familiar, the Prince’s Trust charity helps support young people in preparing for and finding employment, providing career advice and skill coaching. It is a worthy cause and one I was glad to be able to support through this event. A final thanks to all those involved in organizing the day, it was very well run and I certainly had a brilliant time, though I don’t think I will be called up to the United first team any time soon!

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 08:33

Tags: fundraising  

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Friday 20 May 2022

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Posted by: HotViews Editor at 00:00

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Thursday 19 May 2022

Adam Hale appointed Exec Chairman at Orbus Software

Orbus Software logoWhen cloud enterprise architecture tools specialist Orbus Software was acquired by PE SilverTree Equity in January 2021 (see here), Adam Hale, former CEO of Fairsail and Chairman of the ScaleUp Institute, Vin Murria OBE, the founder of Advanced Computer Software and Matt Harris, former partner at KPMG and FTI Consulting joined the advisory board. Hale has now been appointed as Executive Chairman.Adam Hale picture

Having held executive and advisory positions at suppliers such as Arctic Shores and Clue Software as well as Fairsail, Unit4 and ScaleUp Institute (who he will continue to support - busy man), he has a track record in helping B2B technology organisations accelerate growth. He will be working with the existing Orbus Software team and a new CEO (recruitment is underway to replace Michael D’Onofrio who has left the business).

Founded in London in 2004, Orbus Software has offices in Australia, USA and UAE and a customer base of c.550 that includes commercial and public sector organisations (e.g. AstraZeneca, BP, Mastercard, IKEA, Scottish Water, Worcestershire County Council), across 48 countries. It operates in a market hotspot: its iServer Suite is a strategic decision-making and tooling platform to help organisations blueprint their enterprise architectures and digital transformation journeys. 

Posted by: Angela Eager at 09:48

Tags: software   appointment  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

LSE acquires MayStreet

LSEThe London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) has announced a deal to acquire, US financial markets data specialist MayStreet for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2012 by data analysts, Patrick Flannery and Michael Lehr, MayStreet combines ultra-low latency software with cloud technology, to provide real-time access to comprehensive global market data.

MayStreet is used globally across financial markets to support decision-making and improve performance. In the US the company provides market data to the SEC’s Market Information Data Analytics System (MIDAS). MayStreet also has an existing commercial partnership with the LSE to support the exchange’s Real-Time Direct Feed.

Data underpins the activities of the global financial markets sector. In October 2020, the LSE completed the $27bn acquisition of another financial data provider, Refinitiv (see: LSE to finalise Refinitiv via Italian sale). MayStreet will ultimately sit alongside Refinitv within the Exchange’s Data and Analytics Division, (part of its Enterprise Data Solutions business) enhancing the LSE's overall data proposition.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 09:44

Tags: acquisition   M&A   financialmarkets  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

CGI wins MOD Picasso Intelligent Customer contract

CGI logo (red on white)CGI has a strong footprint in the UK defence sector; defence revenues make up around a third of its public sector business in the UK. Its latest win is a contract valued at £6m with UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) Defence Digital. Under the contract, which will run for an initial 23-month term, CGI will provide the Intelligent Customer Team for the PICASSO Programme’s Allied System for GEOINT (P-ASG).

PICASSO is “an enduring capability programme that provides UK Defence with an integrated information environment for the exploitation, production, and dissemination of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)”. It will support informed decision making by the Armed Forces and their Partners Across Government (PAG) in support of the UK’s national security. The PICASSO Allied System for GEOINT (P-ASG) family of projects delivers production capabilities for imagery intelligence, geospatial analysis, and the production and provisioning of maps, charts, and other foundational geographic information. 

CGI will provide expertise in areas such as systems engineering, architecture, IT service management, and Scaled Agile Framework (SAF) to help the MOD manage transition, obsolescence, business, change, and service management within a complex, multi-domain IT environment. It will work with industry partners Apache ix, Atkins (which has provided consultancy support to the UK MoD over several years on a variety of projects and programmes – see Defence SITS Supplier Trends & Forecasts 2020-2023), and i3works (one of the most successful defence suppliers on the Digital Marketplace last year – see UK Defence SITS: Market & Suppliers 2020-2024).

Back in November last year, Leidos was awarded the contract to deliver GEOINT capability to support the UK’s National Centre for Geospatial Intelligence as part of the PICASSO programme (see Leidos: strategic win with MOD Picasso.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole at 09:33

Tags: contract   defence   consulting   public+sector  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

Lawtech Legl raises another £14.5m

LeglLondon-based lawtech Legl has closed a $18m (£14.5m) Series B funding round, led by existing investor Octopus Ventures, as the start-up looks to internationalise. We covered Legl’s Series A funding round back in March last year (see Legl raises £5m) also led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from BackedSamaipata and First Round Capital.

Legl’s focus area is serving law firms looking to digitise workflow processes and automate things like client onboarding, payments and compliance. Anti-money laundering compliance such as ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) are burdensome and expensive admin process for professional service firms, that slow down the conversion of potential clients into revenue – its hugely ripe for automation and rightly a ‘hot area’ for investment. 

Legl will use the funds to internationalise the business with a particular focus of trying to tap into the overseas offices of existing clients. Client onboarding and compliance automation is a busy area for Lawtechs and has thus become very competitive. Growing the business off an existing client base makes a lot of sense, given the relative cost of winning new greenfield clients. However, the client names listed on Legl’s website appear to be mostly UK centric firms rather than large global partnerships. The challenge also is that Law Firm offices, like many professional service partnerships, remain mini fiefdoms that often operate autonomously when it comes to selecting suppliers and adopting technologies.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 09:28

Tags: funding   lawtech  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

Famous person backs oddballs, outcasts and underdogs marketplace Contact

logoHere’s another marketplace that claims to cut out the middleman oblivious to the fact that it is the middleman.

This is online ‘creatives’ agency The Contact Agency, ‘the creative community that celebrates the oddballs, outcasts and underdogs’.

Celebrating such oddballs, outcasts and underdogs is Maisie Williams, who is apparently famous and has backed a £3m funding round which was led by Vancouver-based VC Rhino Ventures, along with existing backer Founders Fund, Riverside Ventures and others. Contact raised £1.4m in a seed round in August 2021.

London-based Contact was founded in 2020 by Reuben Selby, who still runs his own business ‘crafting maximalist clothes for introverts’. Me, I’m more into minimalist clothes for extroverts, but chacun à son goût, as I so rarely say.

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 09:11

Tags: funding   startup  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

BJSS sets up shop in Denmark

LogoFast-growing IT and business consultancy BJSS is making its first foray into the Scandinavian market through the establishment of an operation in Copenhagen. An initial investment in Denmark of £4 million over the next 3 years will see the Leeds-based firm recruit over 75 employees into the new office by 2025.

This latest move comes just two years after the company began its expansion into Europe which began in Portugal in 2020. Last month, BJSS also announced plans to open a third office in the US adding to its presence in Houston and New York.

Non-domestic growth is an increasingly important facet of the firm’s longer-term strategy. Revenue from BJSS’s overseas activities has doubled over the last 12 months, albeit sales outside this country only account for around 6% total turnover which reached c.£260m in FY22. Fellow UK-HQ’d digital SI’s Kainos and Endava have already made significantly greater strides beyond these shores and now generate respectively c.30% and 57% of revenues from their international operations.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison at 08:50

Tags: systemsintegration   digital  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

The cash keeps rolling in for Thought Machine

Thought MachineThought Machine, the UK company behind the cloud-native core banking platform, Vault, has raised an additional $160m to fund its ongoing development. The cash injection was led by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, Temasek and supported by a number of the vendor's large banking clients, including Lloyds Banking Group, Chase and Intesa San Paulo.

Founded in 2014 by CEO, Paul Taylor, Thought Machine provides a modern transactional core system, architected for the cloud. Vault is designed to help banks transform their back-office systems and processes in order to improve efficiency and enhance customer engagement via accelerated product development and improved service provision.

The latest Series D round follows hot on the heels of a Series C round in late in 2021 that raised $200m. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Vault was selected by Intesa San Paulo to support the launch of its new digital banking operation. That core system deal saw the Italian bank invest a further $40m in Thought Machine (see: Italian banking giant selects Thought Machine). 

Vault has now been chosen by a number of high-profile banks that have in turn helped to fund the platform's ongoing development. As the global appetite for bank transformation grows, Thought Machine has indicated that it aims to use the latest investment to further develop its offerings whilst also broadening its international footprint. To date Thought Machine has raised more that $500m in funding and is now valued at more than $1bn.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 08:46

Tags: funding   banking  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

Fair wind blows Coriolis Technologies along funding path

Today’s mystery word is ‘Coriolis’. To save you reaching for your dictionaries, I can tell you that it is the effect of the earth's turning on the direction of the wind, which is to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

logoI tell you this because Belfast-based start-up, Coriolis Technologies has just joined the burgeoning client list of our very good friends at Corporate Advisory network, ScaleUp Group (full disclosure – I am also a Partner) who will be helping founder Dr. Rebecca Harding obtain growth capital to capitalise on its pioneering ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) work.

Established in 2017, Coriolis produces data and analytics for global trade and trade finance, including compliance and sustainability tracking. Dr. Harding knows her stuff – she has written 11 books, published 200+ articles and is an acknowledged subject matter expert in Trade Finance/ access for SMEs.

I look forward to bringing you news of future funding rounds!

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:31

Tags: startup  

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Thursday 19 May 2022

Idox on a positive flightpath

Idox logoToday’s H1 trading update from Idox shows the company is continuing to make good operational progress. The company also delivered a respectable financial performance, with revenue for the six months ended 30 April 2022 expected to come in up 7% at c.£33m and adjusted EBITDA up 8% to c.£11m—this is in line with management expectations. Net debt at the end of April was c.£4m, a 51% reduction since 31 October 2021.

Operationally, the company secured new contracts and extensions across both its Public Sector Software (PSS) and Engineering Information Management (EIM) businesses, and order intake was up 7% year-on-year. The company has simplified its business structure, consolidating its offshore activity into a single centre in Pune, India—during H1 it continued to scale its operations in the region to help increase efficiency and capability.

Anoop Kang joined Idox as Chief Financial Officer in February 2022, bringing extensive experience of large finance teams and in capital markets from his time at Deloitte, Balfour Beatty, Kier Group, Cambian Group and Logistics Development Group. The appointment allowed Rob Grubb to take up a newly created M&A Director role in the business. The company reports it has made good progress on furthering its M&A pipeline through the strengthened team as it looks to acquire more UK-based public sector software focused businesses.

The company has been progressing through its transformation strategy, based upon the three phases of 'Walk, Run, Fly'—it is now firmly in the Fly phase and appears to be on track to deliver its plans for FY22.

Posted by: Dale Peters at 08:21

Tags: results   software   H1   public+sector   trading+update  

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