Monitise enters agreement to transfer UK Professional Services staff to IBM
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Monitise plc (LSE: MONI.L) (“Monitise”, the “Company” or “Group”) announced a global digital commerce and resourcing alliance.
Combining the best of both companies’ mobile banking, payments and commerce technology, this alliance brings IBM sales and specialist resources to clients around the world with the full spectrum of advice, solution design and delivery of Monitise’s Mobile Money services. Building on Monitise’s IBM Global Alliance announcement in July that included the IBM MobileFirst portfolio of offerings. Monitise’s technology will be enabled, hosted and sold as an IBM cloud-delivered solution worldwide in the business-to-business space. This in turn underpins Monitise’s go-to-market strategic priorities as announced in March 2014, including its target for 200 million users using Mobile Money products and services developed by Monitise by 2018.
As part of the collaboration, IBM’s global go-to-market investment of dedicated resources and promotional initiatives, globally and in region, will pair with Monitise staff to pursue Mobile Money opportunities. While commercial opportunities initially will be targeted at financial institutions, the companies will also address the needs of mobile network operators, retailers and any vertical requiring simple API connectivity to bank-grade, interoperable and scalable mobile payment and commerce functionality and content.
As part of today’s agreement, teams from Monitise’s UK development and integration business known as Professional Services — including a number of contractors — will be transferred into IBM; IBM will in turn deliver services back to Monitise. The transfer, which involves UK employees representing a little over 20 percent of Monitise’s global employee base, means Monitise technology talent will now be available for both Monitise and IBM customer projects and vice versa. All Monitise contracts and client relationships, intellectual property, commitments and delivery remain unchanged.
The collaboration will substantially increase Monitise’s ability to handle larger custom projects globally, in addition to implementing standardised solutions. Equally, the resources will enhance IBM’s ability to deliver existing and future Monitise-based Mobile Money solutions to customers. Efficiencies derived from the collaboration support Monitise’s target, as reiterated in its trading update in July 2014, to be profitable in FY 2016 and achieve an EBITDA margin of at least 30 percent by end of FY 2018.
“Today’s businesses require solutions that radically streamline and accelerate mobile adoption to reinvent the customer experience,” said Bridget van Kralingen senior vice president, Global Business Services, IBM. “Our deepening collaboration with Monitise, our strong cultural fit and shared vision for a multi-channel future, ensures that we are perfectly positioned to help our clients take full advantage of the mobile opportunity.”
Monitise plc CEO Alastair Lukies said: “Today’s announcement marks a new milestone in delivering an industry-leading Mobile Money partnership, establishing IBM and Monitise as a global powerhouse. Together, we are in an unrivalled position to enable banks and other leading businesses to build on mobile banking and payments capabilities to tap into the growing digital commerce opportunity.”
Lukies added: “Our deeper level of collaboration with IBM supports the strategy update we announced in March with our increasing product focus and our ability to scale, both in terms of our delivery capabilities and our global footprint, as well as letting each company focus on its proven market-leading strengths. Creating the most comprehensive and easiest access to the best Mobile Money tools for businesses around the world is the biggest driver behind this deal. No matter whether you are a start-up, mid-sized or international bank, mobile network operator or retailer, this unrivalled partnership delivering cost-effective interoperable bank, pay and buy mobile products and solutions from any country, helps business unlock the commercial benefits of Mobile Money.”