Market opportunities and trends
The UK Systems Integration market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.3 per cent until 2018
Enterprises are increasingly looking for a technology partner to provide solutions that deliver clear business outcomes
Today’s large corporate and public sector organisations face the challenge of developing technology strategies, designs and services that meet their rapidly evolving needs.
They recognise the value of being better connected – to customers, partners, employees and other assets and resources – and they understand that a joined-up technology architecture is the route to achieving this.
There are benefits that can be exploited across a number of technology layers:
Technology architecture: organisations are increasingly seeking external support to address digital challenges and opportunities. We are well positioned to provide insight on emerging technologies and have a strong track record in designing and delivering IT transformation plans to meet business goals.
Contact and collaboration: organisations want to reap the benefits of increased collaboration between employees and with partners, and manage contact with customers across multiple channels. We have the experience and capability to add value in this service area by creating flexible, rapidly deployable and easily scalable solutions.
Systems integration: as enterprises seek to extend their networks to connect customers, partners and a growing number of applications, we have the expertise to deliver seamless integration of existing systems and create a technology environment that facilitates new connections.
Cloud adoption and integration: hosting systems and applications in the cloud present the opportunity for enterprises to reduce capital and operational expenditure on IT while increasing business agility and flexibility. We are a premier partner of Amazon Web Services and the leading UK provider of cutting-edge cloud technology projects.
Identity and access management: a more connected enterprise, with authorised users sitting both within and beyond the traditional boundaries of an organisation’s IT services, can increase exposure to risks. We are uniquely able to use voice and biometric analytics to enhance identity and access management and can support bespoke solutions to manage cyber threats.
Data and voice analytics: large enterprises have much to gain by using the vast amounts of data generated by customer contact to create insight that can help identify new opportunities. The cost of storing and processing this data means it has remains largely unexploited but our experience in cloud computing means we can help organisations deliver a ‘Big Data’ solution cost-effectively.
Our opportunity within this market is to exploit our deep communications and application knowledge and expertise, and that of our partners, to build, integrate and manage technology solutions that maximise business value for our customers.
End-to-end solutions covering consultancy, solution delivery and service management
The propositions we offer to the enterprise market match our capability with the opportunities set out by leading global technology analysts based on the prevailing CIO agenda.
We offer consultancy, solution delivery and service management and support to target sectors including central government, transport and logistics, financial services, travel and leisure, retail, utilities and manufacturing.
HM Revenue & Customs
As the UK’s tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) ensures money is available to fund public services through its collection, compliance and enforcement activities.
HMRC selected Kcom to provide its new virtual contact centre, which enabled over 8,000 advisors to deal with more than six million phone calls during January, the month leading up to the self-assessment deadline.
The new cloud-based platform uses speech recognition to enable customers to speak directly to the advisor best placed to help them. Through secure integration with HMRC’s systems, advisors also have instant access to the caller’s history.
Other benefits of the cloud-based platforms we develop for enterprise customers include:
- better handling of fluctuations in demand, improving customer experience and advisor productivity;
- multi-channel capability to support customer contact preferences;
- lower costs through a usage-based commercial model; and
- rapid deployment and integration with existing infrastructure.
84 per cent of UK organisations have formally adopted at least one cloud service, with the cloud services market estimated to reach £2.7 billion by 2017
SMBs of all types and sizes need reliable connectivity to run their operations
While many rely on their phone and internet services chiefly to sell goods and services, connect to customers and suppliers and communicate within the workplace, the growing availability of fast and affordable connectivity means SMBs are in a better position than ever to exploit cloud-based services to address business challenges and achieve growth.
Cloud technologies include IT infrastructure, platforms and software managed and maintained by a third party, delivered over a network connection and paid for based on usage. In contrast to traditional technology purchasing, where a business buys and owns a fixed IT asset such as a server or a software license, cloud technology offers benefits that are particularly attractive to the SMB sector, including:
Scalability: the capacity of cloud services can be rapidly scaled up and down to cope with growth or changing demand.
Cost: cloud services reduce the need for up-front investment in hardware and software, and give SMBs access to technical expertise without the cost of dedicated IT resource.
Flexibility: cloud services support mobility, allowing employees to work from any location.
Security: data and systems are stored remotely, supporting business continuity in the event of disaster, while automatic software updates address online threats.
Our focus in recent years on developing our portfolio of cloud-based services means we are well-placed to capitalise on forecast growth within this market, both through our expanded offering to our existing SMB customer base and by attracting new customers to whom we can offer both connectivity and cloud services.
A significant opportunity lies in the area of cloud-based communication and collaboration services, where across our Eclipse and KC brands we have an established offering including hosted business voice services, business-class email including security and archiving, web and phone conferencing, instant collaboration and mobile device management.
We are seeing an increasing number of SMBs switch to hosted voice services when it comes time to upgrade their in-house telephone system. Likewise, the need to renew software licenses for services such as email and other standard business applications is a key factor triggering consideration of a move to a cloud-based solution.
Superfast broadband remains a key opportunity in Hull and East Yorkshire
We have continued to see high take-up of our fibre-based broadband service among SMBs in Hull and East Yorkshire. The expansion in April 2015 of a Government scheme that provides funding for SMBs to connect to superfast broadband means we are now able to offer the service to businesses beyond our planned roll-out areas.
BPL Business Media Ltd
BPL Business Media Ltd is the leading digital media, print, events and research company covering the IT, telecom and broadcast sectors. Eclipse’s reputation for service and support led BPL to choose it to manage the migration of key Microsoft applications to the cloud.
As technology industry experts, BPL understood the productivity and cost benefits offered by cloud services. When the time came to upgrade licenses for key applications it chose instead to streamline its IT infrastructure and evolve to Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365. The solution provided by Eclipse delivers benefits including:
- fully-managed migration of data with minimal interruption to operations;
- access to the latest versions of Microsoft applications across all devices and from any location;
- a financially-backed service level agreement guaranteeing 99.9 per cent uptime;
- service continuity and support from an official Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Partner; and
- a predictable monthly fee per user that reduces the total cost of ownership of key IT services.
KC’s fibre broadband customers download more than twice as much data as those using non-fibre connections
Consumers are using more devices to connect to more online services
UK consumers are increasingly using the internet to improve almost every aspect of their lives. This trend continues to drive growth in the overall number of broadband connections and demand for faster download speeds.
Whether for general browsing, gaming, social media, shopping or on-demand TV and video, consumers of all ages are spending more time online thanks to developments in both technology devices and services.
Ofcom’s 2013 UK Communications Market Report showed that UK households have an average of three different types of internet-connected device, while a survey by Microsoft later that year indicated that the typical UK household has six devices connected to the internet including laptops, tablets, smartphones, games consoles and smart TVs.
The use of data-hungry services and applications including free on-demand TV and subscription-based content services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video has also continued to grow.
The combination of these trends has resulted in significantly increased data traffic across our Hull and East Yorkshire network, with the average KC consumer broadband customer now downloading more than three times as much data each month than in 2012.
Addressing demand through new propositions
One of the ways in which we are addressing the market opportunity for growth in fixed-line consumer broadband services is by developing new propositions to appeal to the needs of a wider range of customers.
These include low-cost broadband packages aimed at households new to fixed-line broadband, and low-cost PCs, laptops and tablets aimed at households where the cost of a device is a significant barrier to switching to fixed-line broadband.
We have begun a trial of a pay-as-you-go broadband service, aimed at consumers who are unable to commit to a fixed-term contract.
We are also seeking opportunities to enhance the content delivered by our YouView-based TV service including regionally focused programmes.
Accelerating our deployment of fibre-based broadband
The second way in which we are addressing the market trend for increased data usage and demand for faster download speeds is by accelerating the deployment of our fibre-based broadband service, KC Lightstream, across our Hull and East Yorkshire network.
We have reached our target of making KC Lightstream available to more than 45,000 properties by 31 March 2015. The high take-up rates achieved have given us the confidence to double the speed of our implementation over the next two years so that by 31 March 2017 it will be available to more than 100,000 local properties.
The typical Lightstream-connected household downloads more than twice as much data each month than the average household with a standard copper broadband connection.
Our Lightstream packages accommodate this demand by delivering download speeds of 50Mbps (megabits per second), 75Mbps, 100Mbps and 250Mbps. They also offer significantly larger data allowances than our standard copper broadband products.
Hull and East Yorkshire residents
As digital services become the default option for accessing public services, information and entertainment, KC’s broadband services are helping households across Hull and East Yorkshire make the most of all the internet offers.
Take-up of broadband across KC’s network grew by 5.9 per cent during the year, supported by the introduction of affordable devices and low-cost packages aimed at first-time users. The many benefits of being online were set out in the UK Broadband Impact Study published by the Department of Culture in November 2013 and include:
- improved job prospects, as being digitally capable is critical in finding and securing a job;
- reduced costs of living. Households offline are missing out on savings of £560 per year from shopping and paying bills online; and
- improved quality of life, especially for older people: 81 per cent of people over 55 say being online makes them feel part of modern society and less lonely.