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Saturday 25 March 2023

Gordon Moore 1929 – 2023

Gordon MooreI’m probably one of the few HotViews readers who remembers 1965. I had just turned 18 and I don’t think I had ever encountered a computer. The most advanced technology in our house was a transistor radio and a black & white TV.

So imagine you were a reader of Electronic Magazine in 1965 – nearly 50 years ago, c20 years before the PC and 40 years before the iPhone- and you read an article by Gordon Moore which predicted

Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers , automatic controls for automobiles and personal portable communications equipment’.

This would all come about because Moore predicted that the number of transistors you could put on a microchip would double every year. This (with some amendments) became known as Moore’s Law.

Three years later in 1968, together with Robert Noyce, Moore founded what would become Intel. Andy Grove joined Intel on the same date as Director of Engineering and went on to lead Intel with Moore as its Ch.

I’m sure I don’t need to remind readers of the importance of Intel to the tech sector – indeed to the world.

Gordon Moore died on 24th March 23 at the age of 94.

Posted by: Richard Holway at 15:42

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Friday 24 March 2023

Tribal performance hit by NTU contract delays

Tribal Group logoEducation software and services provider, Tribal Group, has announced its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2022. Its performance during the period has been overshadowed by the challenges associated with delivering its contract with Nanyang Technology University (NTU) in Singapore.

At the start of 2021, Tribal announced it had been awarded a contract worth up to £16.9m over eight years (see Tribal celebrates £17m Singapore contract win). The deal, which represented its largest ever student information systems (SIS) win, would see Tribal implement its cloud-based SITS: Vision student management system and Edge products and significantly increase its annual recurring revenues; however, things did not go according to plan.

When Tribal announced its interim results in August 2022, it indicated the NTU contract was causing issues (see Tribal benefits from move to the Cloud). Delays to delivery, in part as a result of earlier COVID-19 travel restrictions, had pushed implementation into 2023, resulting in a significant detrimental impact on EBITDA and working capital. In December 2022, Tribal announced that changes to the scope and delays to implementation mean the contract was expected to generate a loss of c.£12m over the life of the contract, but that commercial discussions with NTU regarding an uplift in contract value were ongoing.

Last month, the situation had declined further, with Tribal stating that discussions had not progressed satisfactorily, that significant disagreements remained, and it did not expect a resolution in the near term. Last week, NTU notifed Tribal that it purported to terminate the contract and reserved its rights to claim damages from Tribal. Tribal rejected NTU's right to terminate but has decided to treat the contract as at an end. Although mediation continues, the issues substantially increased ongoing costs and resulted in lower recognisable revenue.

Total revenue increased 3% (2% in constant currency) to £83.6m (2021: £81.1m), with UK revenue up 6% to £51.9m. Revenue for its SIS division was up 1% to £68.2m (2021: £67.3m). In this part of the business, revenue from Cloud services (up 25% to £8.5m) and Edge platform (up 40% to £4.8m) grew strongly; however, this was offset by Professional Services performance (down 12% to £11.2m) due to NTU implementation delays. Revenue for its Education Services division increased by 12% to £15.4m (2021: £13.8m).

Gross Profit decreased 25% to £31.3m (2021: £41.8m); adjusted EBITDA was down 55% to £7.4m (2021: £16.6m); and statutory profit before tax decreased by 96% to £0.4m (2021: £8.6m) largely reflecting operating losses relating to the NTU contract and an associated onerous contract provision of £4.5m for future losses. The company recorded net debt of £3.4m at the end of the period compared to net cash & cash equivalents of £5.9m last year.

Although Tribal continues to win business in the UK and expand into new geographies, this has clearly been a challenging year for the business and the impact of the NTU fallout will be felt for some time yet.

Posted by: Dale Peters at 10:12

Tags: results   contract   education   higher+education  

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Friday 24 March 2023

*NEW RESEARCH* Fujitsu: Investing for growth through Digital and innovation

fujAs Fujitsu closes off the final month of its FY22, we caught up with its UK leader, Anwen Owen. From what we have seen of the year to date, it has been a period of progress for the firm. And the theme we have written about over the past couple of years has continued: focus.

Under the leadership of Owen – who moved into her position at the start of the financial year last April – it has been a busy period of renewals and new name wins. She also tells me that the first half of the year was “ahead of plan in terms of orders”. Importantly, the work done in the company’s commercial sector business is driving “green shoots of growth” in digital areas. Overall, TechMarketView estimates Fujitsu is on track to grow low single digits for the whole year – depending on how Q4 finishes up. hvp

Fujitsu is of course very well known as a provider with a long history in UK Public Sector, and throughout the year we’ve seen it notch up contractual successes across the board. The recently announced Home Office contract to support to the Future Borders and Immigration System (FBIS) Programme is critical for government, while its appointment as digital strategic partner for Bristol City Council is a great opportunity to highlight its digital transformation credentials in local government. Earlier in its FY22, a number of Whitehall wins flowed through, supported by Fujitsu’s Digital, Data and Cloud (DDaC) team. Critically, these wins demonstrate a shift in the type of work that Fujitsu can undertake in Whitehall. A lot of investment has been ploughed into customer facing teams and in growing its capacity and capability in the UK. The intention is that supporting the alpha and beta stages of digital projects will put Fujitsu into a strong position to win further (and bigger) contracts.

In FY21, Fujitsu grew its Private Sector business for the first time in several years and that momentum has continued in the year to date. Renewals in Banking and Retail & Hospitality demonstrate that Fujitsu has been able to improve its positioning to take a larger slice of digital spend. Read MORE….in this HotViewsExtra analysis.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan at 09:45

Tags: growth   innovation   digital  

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Friday 24 March 2023

MagoPay acquires WhenThen

MangoPayWhenTHenDublin-based payments orchestration technology specialist WhenThen has been acquired by Mangopay, a European payment technology provider for marketplaces and platforms. As a result of the deal, WhenThen’s co-founder Kirk Donohoe has joined Mangopay’s executive committee to serve as Chief Product Officer. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Founded in December 2020, WhenThen facilitates payment acceptance and enables online businesses to automate key elements of the payments processes. The company provides a no code editor for orchestrating payments across global marketplaces. The acquisition means that WhenThen’s entire team and product set have become part of Mangopay and will in future operate under the Mangopay brand.

Founded by Celine Lazorthes in 2013, Luxembourg-based Mangopay, is a modern payments infrastructure provider. Prior to the WhenThen deal, the vendor recently extended its partnership with global payment giant PayPal. This latest acquisition should boost Mangopay’s own payments portfolio and pay-in capabilities. The technologies of both firms will offer marketplaces and platforms with smart routing across various payment methods via a no-code interface.

During 2022 the total value of transactions processed by Mangopay exceeded €11bn. The company recently announced plans to increase its workforce by 250 people in 2023 off the back of its 35% annual growth. The company has already recruited around 100 new staff so far this year as well as having reportedly onboarded 243 new customers. With the platform economy continuing to grow, despite the broader economic malaise, M&A activity in this space is likely to increase as firms look to enhance their propositions.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 09:01

Tags: payments   M&A  

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Friday 24 March 2023

NTT DATA partners with Neptune

NTT DATANTT DATA’s UK and Ireland business is strengthening its SAP practice by partnering with low-code app development platform, Neptune Software, as it looks to help clients speed up application development activities. 

Low code and no code solutions continue to gain traction in the market for enterprise application development helping organisations digitise their processes and user interfaces ever more efficiently. Neptune Software is an Oslo-headquartered business with UK operations in London working with clients looking to build their own application ecosystems on top of SAP. Their software is designed to help speed up application development and thus digital transformation initiatives built around SAP. NTT DATA UK&I will supplement Neptune’s ability to deliver customised applications by hosting the solution on Microsoft Azure and will also provide clients with vertical industry focused expertise.

NTT DATA is making good progress in the UK market maturing its local ecosystem of suppliers having recently merged its IT Services operations outside Japan with fellow Japanese-headquartered technology corporation NTT (see NTT and NTT DATA merge operations outside Japan). Progress in the UK is evident from the number of new deal announcements since the start of 2023, with McLarenCadentUniversity of Reading and HS2 already signing up.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 08:56

Tags: SAP   low-code   partnership  

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Friday 24 March 2023

Jump for joy at this offer

Jump for joy

Posted by: HotViews Editor at 00:00

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Capgemini continues to provide application development services to DEFRA

Capgemini logoCapgemini has been awarded a call-off contract with DEFRA, via the Technology Services 3 agreement, to provide application development services for Future Farming, Food Security, Borders and Trade. The contract has a maximum value of £74m over its three-year term (two years with an option to extend for an additional 12 months). It is running from 1st February 2022 to 31st January 2024 or 2025.

Capgemini has counted DEFRA as a strategic account for several years, having first worked with the department back in 2009. Historically, much of the work that Capgemini has undertaken has been in the delivery of commoditised services, for example under its continuing service desk and service management deal. However, over the years we have seen Capgemini transform the relationship and become a strategic trusted delivery partner to the department, e.g., in support of its EU Exit programme. This latest contract sees Capgemini continue to deliver a range of end-to-end application development and digital delivery capabilities within some of Defra’s priority programmes.

We estimate that Capgemini has grown the relationship significantly over the last couple of years, having demonstrated strong delivery and a drive to innovate. We understand that it has worked closely with the department to shift the relationship, from one that was commodity-led or resource augmentation-led, to one that is based on the ability of Capgemini to deliver on specific outcomes and support departmental policy aims. With its footprint expanded, and its involvement deepened, its work now touches the core department as well as its largest arms-length bodies (ALBs).

Capgemini has also aligned its approach to DEFRA’s sustainability agenda. Recognising sustainability as a top agenda for the department, it states that it is “taking sustainability beyond the hype and planning a programme of work that brings tangible sustainable benefits within the services it delivers.” As an example, it is collaborating with DEFRA to reduce the carbon footprint on all services it is delivering.

This latest contract award forms part of DEFRA’s ongoing Application Development and Maintenance Services (ADMS) procurement initiative, that is designed to support the department’s wider digital ambitions through to 2030. The department is seeking to support c200 existing applications as well as support its application development pipeline under a range of contracts expected to be worth £750m in total. Another recent application development services award, also valued at £74m, went to Cognizant (see Cognizant: Significant win at Defra | TechMarketView).

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole at 16:47

Tags: contract   public+sector   application+services   central+government  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Accenture cuts 19,000 heads as outlook softens

LogoAccenture is trimming 2.5% of its global workforce over the coming eighteen months. The axe will fall most heavily on personnel in the firm’s corporate functions who will make up more than a half of the planned company-wide reduction in headcount of around 19,000 staff. The associated severance costs will run to an estimated $1.2bn. In parallel, Accenture will also be consolidating office space to further pare back its outgoings.

The announcement of streamlining initiatives accompanied the publication of the company’s predominantly robust second quarter results. Revenue for the three months ended 28th February increased by 9% yoy at constant currency to $15.8bn with the underlying operating margin, excluding restructuring costs, improving by 10 bps to 13.8%. New bookings of $22.1bn hit a quarterly record high in Q223.

Double-digit top line growth was achieved by the majority of Accenture’s vertical sectors, lines of business and regions during the second quarter. Among the firm’s industry groups, the Resources unit continued to prove the most resilient with sales up 16% yoy to $2.2bn. Conversely, momentum stalled in the Communications, Media and Technology segment grouping for which turnover remained at the Q222 level. Across the company’s services portfolio, demand for strategy and consulting offerings continued to weaken experiencing a mid-single digit revenue decline during the period. This shrinkage was, however, more than offset by 10+% rises in sales from both the Technology and Operations horizontals. Accenture Europe continued to perform comparatively well as turnover in this territory expanded by 12% yoy in the second quarter, more than twice the pace of growth delivered by the firm’s North American business.

Looking ahead, the firm is still expecting demand to remain healthy for the remainder of the year. Revenue guidance for FY23 has been trimmed slightly to a yoy increase of between 8% to 10% in constant currency (previously 8%-11%) while the projection for operating margin, excluding restructuring costs, has been left unchanged at 15.3%-15.5%.

Against this backdrop, the scale of Accenture’s staff cuts may appear high. Since the start of June 2021, however, the firm has increased its workforce by some 30% recruiting nearly 170,000 additional personnel. With the pace of market growth set to slow still further next year (see here), it is unlikely that Accenture will be the only services major to now be taking a hard look at its expense lines. Investor reaction to the move has been positive pushing the company’s share price up by 7.5% on last night’s close at the time of writing.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison at 16:15

Tags: results   bps   IT+services  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Government sets out strategy to protect NHS from cyber attacks

Department for Health and Social CareThe UK government has set out a cyber security strategy for health and adult social care to promote cyber resilience across the sector by 2030. The plan aims to better protect services from cyber threats, further securing sensitive information and ensuring patients can continue accessing care safely as the NHS continues to cut waiting lists.

The new strategy sets out 5 key ways to build cyber resilience in health and care by 2030 including, identifying areas of greatest harm, uniting the sector, growing the cyber workforce and offering cyber training, embedding security into the framework of emerging tech, and supporting all health and care organisations to minimise the impact and recovery time from cyber attacks. A full implementation plan will be published in summer 2023 setting out detailed activities and defining metrics to build and measure resilience over the next 2 to 3 years.

Technology is transforming how people access health and care services and information. Over 40m people now have an NHS login and over 50% of social care providers now use a digital social care record. However, as hospitals and healthcare institutions have become more digitalised, they have opened themselves up to increasing cyberattacks. Whilst the sector has made good progress in recent years, by using the increasing number of cyber defence and response tools it has at its disposal, there are still plenty of weaknesses in the system and through 3rd party suppliers.

Last year we of course saw the major cyber-attack on the NHS 111 service, resulting in a significant loss of service, and knock on effects causing delays for GP’s and care trusts months after the initial attack. Further attacks on healthcare organisations also continue around the world on a regular basis, such as the crippling attack on a French hospital (as highlighted in our CyberViews H2 report – See here) and earlier this month a ransomware attack on a hospital in Barcelona, forcing the cancellation of 150 non-urgent operations and up to 3,000 patient check-ups.

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 09:28

Tags: cybersecurity   healthcare  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

CGI works with Breakthrough to train prison leavers

CCGI logo - red blockGI has just trained its first cohort of apprentices with partner, Breakthrough (, an apprenticeship provider directly recruiting from prisons. Breakthrough’s apprenticeship programmes are aimed at both prison leavers and those from underprivileged backgrounds who face barriers to employment.

CGI has taken a group of apprenticeships – known as associates – through Breakthrough’s eight-week community pre-apprenticeship programme. The training is designed to equip prison leaver candidates with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a full-time apprenticeship and enter the workplace.  CGI delivered training in both technical skills and soft skills, e.g., via mock job interviews. After completion, the associates were invited to a graduation ceremony at its London Fenchurch offices.

Like all tech providers, CGI is bring driven by two factors. Firstly, it is grappling with how to attract the talent that it requires to respond to increasing market demands. Secondly, it wants to make sure that its pool of talent is diverse and inclusive. This partnership helps it respond to both those things, while also positively contributing to society. Breakthrough’s statistics reveal that prison leavers who are employed are half as likely to reoffend as their unemployed peers; unfortunately, only 16% of leavers are employed within 12 months.  

In our PublicSectorViews report - Social value in UK central government | TechMarketView – we highlighted a range of other social value initiatives within CGI aimed at improving diversity and inclusion, ranging from partnering with the Social Mobility Foundation, to joining the FastFutures employment hub, to offering STEM camps. If you want to delve into the detail and aren’t sure how, please contact Deb Seth, who’ll be happy to help.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole at 09:26

Tags: training   apprenticeships   diversity   Inclusion   prison   socialvalue  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Intrinsic looking chipper with new funding

logoMy voyage of discovery into the well-hidden world (to me, anyway) of UK semiconductor startups, next takes me to London, where Intrinsic Semiconductor Technologies (IST) is based.

Spun out in 2017 from University College London by researchers Professor Tony Kenyon, Dr Adnan Mehonic and Dr Wing Ng, IST has developed, and I quote, ‘an innovative approach to non-volatile memory using resistive random-access memory (RRAM) … (which) can read data 10x to 100x faster and write it 1000x faster than existing solutions.’ The technology can be integrated directly into silicon processor chips, making for lower manufacturing costs.

IST has just closed a £7m funding round led by Octopus Ventures, with existing backers, UCL Technology Fund and IP Group, following on. The round included £1m in grant funding from InnovateUK.

IST is among the ranks of Great British Semiconductor Startups (GBSS – you heard it here first, folks) such as PragmatIC, Cambridge GaN, EnSilica and Sondrel, along with the ‘late’ (as in no longer British-owned) Arm and Flusso. There are undoubtedly more hiding their little lights under what I suspect is a very big bushel.

These are surely the types of tech businesses that our government sees as vehicles on the journey towards turning the UK into an ‘international technology superpower’, as proposed in its recently unveiled strategy statement from the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology.

Which cause would surely be helped if the government made some sort of effort to keep British technology British.

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 09:20

Tags: funding   startup   semiconductor  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Don't miss our UKHotViewsExtra analysis!

HV Premium benefitsOur regular UKHotViews readers will know that we frequently publish more in-depth, analytical articles – known as UKHotViewsExtra – for our paying subscribers. The longer length of these articles provides the opportunity for our analysts to examine technical topics or trends in greater detail, share further insight from their conversations with suppliers or end-users, and expand on news-driven coverage.

Both corporate and individual UKHotViews Premium subscribers can access all of these articles in one place at any time using the quick link to UKHotViewsExtra.

Or you can click through directly to an article of your choice. Here is a selection from March so far in case you missed one (click the headline to read the article):

·      TRIC-DT seeks to harness the power of digital twins

·      Google Bard chatbot launches to compete with ChatGPT

·      UK's "International Technology Superpower" roadmap announced

·      Wipro looking to accelerate cybersecurity growth

·      Microsoft Copilot to disrupt how we work

·      Technology at the heart of Spring Budget 2023

·      Integrated Review Refresh 2023: An evolution (and some more money)

·      UK government's digital delays cause material harm.

·      DXC looks to make a difference as it invests for the long term

·      Capita benefits from stabilising Experience

Access to UKHotViewsExtra is just one of the benefits of our UKHotViews Premium service for entrepreneurs and tech professionals, which is available from just £395+VAT a year. For more details and to sign up see here, or if you’d like more details on our corporate subscription packages for 2023, email Deb Seth in our Client Services team.

Posted by: TMV Team at 08:54

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Solid progress at Sopheon

Sopheon2022 FY results out this morning from specialist enterprise innovation management software and services supplier Sopheon, show the business to be progressing as it continues its shift from one-off perpetual licences and services contracts to ARR.

Sopheon’s transition to SaaS is accelerating with ARR increasing to $24.3m at the start of 2023 up from $20.7m a year previous, having grown 17.4% during the year - Overall revenue grew to $36.8m (FY 2021 $34.4m). Sopheon added 16 new customer wins (FY 2021 saw 10 added) for its Accolade platform, all but one signed as SaaS, whilst also converting all 13 existing clients over to SaaS. Sopheon also concluded its largest ever order with existing customer the US Navy, increasing total contract value signed in the year to over $30m (FY 2021 $22m). Adjusted EBITDA also improved for the FY to $6.9m (FY 2021 $6.2m) ahead of market expectations.

Operationally, the business integrated two acquisitions to its SaaS portfolio the May 2022 Solverboard (front end innovation management) and earlier ROI Blueprints (project management) acquisitions, evidence of its commitment to shift to SaaS. This saw the firm launch three SaaS products under the Acclaim brand - Acclaim Ideas (formerly Solverboard), Acclaim Projects (formerly ROI Blueprints), and Acclaim Products.

Sopheon goes into FY 2023 in confident shape with its SaaS transition taking shape on several fronts and delivering ARR growth, a new set of products and FY revenue visibility of $28.4m (last year $25.1m). Shares are up this morning 24% at the time of writing, so investors clearly agree.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick at 08:50

Tags: results   saas   software  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

*UKHotViewsExtra* TRIC-DT seeks to harness the power of digital twins

The Alan Turing Institute logoThe Alan Turing Institute has launched a new initiative to help advance the use of digital twin technology. The Turing Research and Innovation Cluster in Digital Twins (TRIC-DT) was launched as part of the national institute’s AI UK conference.

Digital twins are a priority area for the Institute and feature strongly in the organisation’s new strategy. Together with its partners, it has already invested c.£30m in research and innovation across a range of digital twin projects, including developing foundational theory and applications in engineering, environmental and social sciences.

The Institute has played a key role in the development of digital twins and has partnered on a number of notable projects and has been seeking to address the challenges associated with developing ecosystems of digital twins (EDTs).

With the TRIC-DT the Institute is seeking to enhance the creation of digital twin expertise by working closely with development partners to advance the science and innovation of digital twinning; produce open and reproducible computational tools for digital twin development; and help democratise access to digital twin technology. Its research activity will be anchored on three areas of societally important challenges: Environment & Sustainability, Infrastructure, and Health.

UKHVX Premium logoTechMarketView subscribers, including UKHotViews Premium subscribers, can find out more about The Alan Turing Institute’s new plans to drive improvements in digital twin research and innovation here

If you aren't a subscriber - or aren't sure if your organisation has a corporate subscription – please contact Deb Seth to find out more.

Posted by: Dale Peters at 08:36

Tags: health   research   infrastructure   collaboration   data   environment   sustainability   digital+twin  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Mumbli, chickens, eggs

logoI was exceedingly pleased for Marion Marincat, founder and CEO of audio technology startup Mumbli, when I reported a few weeks ago that he had reached his £250k target for his crowdfunding raise on Seedrs nearly two weeks prior to close (see Crowd cheers on Mumbli (but not too loudly).

Marincat has developed affordable technology that public venues can install to monitor sound levels to make them friendlier for hard-of-hearing folks like me (Marincat himself is profoundly deaf).

But it looks like it may all go horribly wrong.

It turns out that a key investor who pledged £50k in December didn’t deliver on the pledge, and despite two lead investors topping up with a further £30k, Marincat looks like losing the lot if he can’t find backers to make up the balance. Seedrs has extended the deadline till the end of this month.

This is not an unusual occurrence for startups trying to raise funds. Sometimes a backer’s failure to deliver is due to circumstances beyond their control (especially in current economic conditions). But sometimes it’s because they are holding out for better terms than those originally agreed, hoping that the entrepreneur will have to comply.

I don’t know the circumstances in Mumbli’s case, but whatever, this is a salient reminder that in fundraising, as in life, it is best not to count your chickens …

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 08:34

Tags: funding   startup  

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Thursday 23 March 2023

*UKHotViewsExtra* LTIMindtree joins the top tier with bold ambitions

LTIMindtreeFollowing a swift conclusion of the regulatory approval process, fellow mid-tier Indian headquartered SITS vendors LTI (Larsen & Toubro Infotech) and Mindtree completed the formal process of combining their two organisations in November 2022. Whilst behind the scenes the operational integration may take some time to fully complete, a major new player has arrived in the global IT services marketplace in the form of LTIMindtree.

HVPOur UKHotViewsExtra: LTIMindtree joins the top tier with bold ambitions, explores the merger that has created India’s fifth largest IT services provider and discusses the performance and prospects of the new company.

TechMarketView subscribers, including UKHotViews Premium customers, can learn more about LTIMindtree, its constituents and the company’s bold ambitions for further growth via UKHotViews Extra. If you are not yet a subscriber and would like access to this or any other of our services, please contact Deb Seth to find out more.

Posted by: Jon C Davies at 07:00

Tags: M&A   acquisitions  

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Wednesday 22 March 2023

*UKHotViewsExtra* Google Bard chatbot launches to compete with ChatGPT

GoogleGoogle has started rolling out its AI chatbot Bard as it looks to compete with Microsoft and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Unlike its viral rival, it can access up-to-date information from the internet, though not in a hugely successful manner I might add. It does have a ‘Google it’ button that takes you through to google search on the topic in question. Users currently have to register for a waitlist to try it out, though there appears to be no restriction on who can access it (including age).

As a bit of background and further info, Bard is a descendant of an earlier language model of Google's called Lamda, which was never fully released to the public, but did attract significant attention when one of Googles engineers claimed its answers were so good it was sentient (he was subsequently fired and Google denied the claims).

Google has also warned Bard would have "limitations" and said it might share misinformation and display bias. It is programmed not to respond to offensive prompts and has filters to prevent it from sharing harmful, illegal, sexually explicit or personally identifiable information but like any method these guardrails will occasionally fail (see my further analysis in UKHotViewsExtra).

Google has of course been much slower and cautious in the generative AI race. This latest move feels a bit like desperation and I wonder how much longer it would have remained in development if Microsoft had not forced its hand (and based on initial testing that may have been a good thing). Caution and patience will certainly serve AI development well going forwards and something we need more of.

When ChatGPT launched in November 2022, it had more than one million users within a week. Will Bard surpass that milestone given its access to the web, and the continued hype around the field of generative AI?

I got access myself overnight, so have managed to have short play around with Bard this morning to see how it compares to ChatGPT/GPT-4. TechMarketView subscribers - including UKHotViews Premium subscribers - can read my short analysis on Bard and such large language models in UKHotViewsExtra here

Posted by: Simon Baxter at 10:10

Tags: ArtificalIntelligence  

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Wednesday 22 March 2023

UK's "International Technology Superpower" roadmap launched

Government offices_Victoria StreetAnnouncements from the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) are coming thick and fast, with a clear focus on the UK becoming a “superpower” in the space.

DSIT was created at the beginning of February (see New department to lead on science, innovation and technology | TechMarketView). Less than a month later, the department launched its first piece of major work: the UK Science and Technology Framework (see DSIT launches UK Science and Technology Framework | TechMarketView). A few days later, the new post Brexit data reform bill was introduced (see New post-Brexit data reform bill introduced | TechMarketView). Then we had the publication of the Integrated Review Refresh, which, again, highlighted that science and technology were seen as vital to the UK’s future (Integrated Review Refresh 2023: An evolution (and some more money) | TechMarketView). This was backed up in the Budget a couple of days later, which saw the Government commit to all nine of the digital technology recommendations made by the Pro-Innovation Regulation of Technologies Review led by Sir Patrick Vallance.

There is certainly no chance of DSIT being accused of letting the grass grow under its feet. Today, alongside the Foreign Secretary, the department has launched its plan to make the UK an “international technology superpower” by 2030 in a new International Technology Strategy. Its aim strongly aligns to the Integrated Review Refresh by plotting a roadmap to ensure that the UK can make the best use of new technologies while countering malign influences on tech. Read more…

UKHV premium logo

TechMarketView subscribers – including UKHotViews Premium subscribers – can read more about the strategic roadmap and our views on it in UKHotViews Extra: UK's "International Technology Superpower" roadmap announced | TechMarketView. If you are not yet a subscriber, or are unsure if your organisation has a corporate subscription, please contact Deb Seth to find out more.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole at 09:40

Tags: policy   government   AI   semiconductor   telecoms   quantum   engineering   science  

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Wednesday 22 March 2023

HPE makes canny acquisition of OpsRamp

hpeHewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is acquiring OpsRamp, an IT operations management firm headquartered in California.

OpsRamp was part of the Hewlett Packard Pathfinder program, which “identifies and invests in category-leading startup companies”.

It’s a really smart move, bringing into the fold some very useful technology to improve the monitoring and management of IT infrastructure, cloud resources, workloads and applications in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. These types of environments are hugely complex and increasingly common. OpsRamp’s hybrid digital operations management solution can help to bring down some of that complexity by discovering, monitoring, and automating activities with artificial intelligence. Couple that with HPE’s GreenLake (Edge to cloud) platform, and the combined offering looks compelling. The acquisition is also further evidence of how effective the Pathfinder programme can be.

Earlier this month, HPE reported a Q1 that illustrated a strong start to the year. The Q1 Annualised Revenue Run Rate (ARR is a financial metric to assess growth in consumption services – i.e., GreenLake) breached the $1bn threshold and the firm reiterated its target CAGR of 35-45% for FY22-FY25.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan at 09:30

Tags: acquisition   cloud   hybrid  

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